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Husband acting strangely
I need some help figuring out if my husband is depressed or just over me.
Usually he is quite happy go lucky & nice to me. We have a good relationship. (No kids, married 7 years,together 11, in late 40's. He's a bit possessive but nothing major. About two months ago he became quite fed up. Wouldn't really talk to me, quite rude to me, turning away from me. I had family visit during this time & they noticed the change in him. Over several weeks I tried to talk to him about it, eventually getting fed up with him which led to me withdrawing affection. Two weeks ago I tried to talk again. Said I felt he was down & wanted to help. What ensued was a long argument about how he was fed up with everything, me, his job (we work together we have a small business together) life etc. He gave examples of what was wrong all of which were things I was or wasn't doing for him. Some valid-some not. He said he didn't see the point of us going on as we were so unhappy. I pretty much persuaded him to stay & arranged for him to go away for a week with his brother. He called me during that week quite happy & chatting like nothing had happened so I thought it's going to be okay, we can talk about it and sort it out when he comes back.
He came back on Sunday & I decided to clear the air, have a chat about what happened and how we go forward. That did not go well. I got a lot of why are you bringing this up again-you had to go and ruin things. We have done nothing but row since - actually I've sat there crying asking what can I do to fix this-while he has told me how awful our life is &points out the things I do wrong.
The reason I am writing in the forum is because in our arguments he has said repeatedly, "I have nothing to look forward to". Which is making me worried that he is depressed. And the things he accuses me of are dumb, like I didn't say goodnight to him and that is typical of how awful I am so he can't see a future for us.
We are now barely speaking and I'm not sure what to do. If this is him just wanting out then fine, I'll cope, But first I need to ask - could his behavior be linked to depression/anxiety or is he just being an ass. I don't want this to find later that he was ill & I didn't help him.
The obvious questions of course are is there someone else, drugs, etc - I just don't see it because as we work & live together we pretty much always know where the other is.
Thanks in advance for any advice offered
Thank you for sharing and welcome to BB. Wow you certainly do have alot going on. Please forgive me if you wrote this already but can you remember when all this started ? and are there other areas of his life that have changed as well, how he relates to people and other clues that he might be struggling in his own life ? It is interesting to see that others have noticed a change in his behaviour as well. Do you think he would go and see a professional ? I guess my main thing I always stress is self care. Take care of yourself, no matter what is going on with other people. Make sure you can talk to someone and get the support that you need for yourself and keep doing the things that you like to do. You can call us on 1300 22 4636 to chat or for any resources you may need. No matter what is going on for him, you need to feel balanced and centred in your own life as best you can. It does seem to be quite extreme to say he doesn't think there is a future because of small things that you may not have done. Something is definately not right. Maybe you could start a journal and see if there is any patterns and for your own mental health and release. It sounds like a very frustrating and hurtful situation at the moment and I really hope that you can resolve this and have the peace and love you want and deserve. If you have the time or would like any more information, please let us know how you are going. Wishing you all the best and you are in my thoughts. Best Wishes Nikkir x
Hi MissPAI. Have you considered he may want 'out' of the business altogether. Maybe when you first started the business, he didn't realize how demanding running a business can be. Getting a small business off the ground can be time consuming and depressing. Trying to build up customer-relations, competing with other established business often mean stepping on toes etc. It could be he just feels it's too hard and he possibly regrets the whole thing. When you say you'll try and get him to talk to someone else, who are you thinking of? Asking him if he wants 'out' of the business could be difficult as his emotions may make him feel as though he's failed. Perhaps you could try asking him if he wishes to keep the business. Going away with his brother enabled him to put the business on the 'back burner', coming home meant he was facing the same problems he went away from. Tell him if the business is too hard, you understand, and it doesn't mean you have failed. It simply means running a business is not all it's cracked up. You are to be admired for giving it a go. Reiterate how proud you are that he was willing to give it his best shot. Tell him his happiness and yours is more important then struggling with something that is causing you both unhappiness.
Sorry but I had to laugh when you asked if it was depression/anxiety or him just being an ass. But it's a damed good question. I think sometimes the lines are pretty blurred in this respect.
Unfortunately there's just not enough information to make any informed advice, as there's so many variables. All sorts of things come in to play...you're were married in your 40's, so that's likely why you didn't have kids...what about past relationships? Were there any moments in your marriage that can be classed as "critical moments of neglect" - i.e.. things that one of you did that was pretty bad that the other may not have gotten over. Who started the business? Is he bummed out that he hasn't achieved or done what he's wanted to do before??
Essentially there is a lot of stuff you can't control here. You're not responsible for him feeling like he has a sh**ty life, that he doesn't have anything to look forward to. He's totally responsible for owning that stuff. It's also his responsibility to have the guts to confront you with whatever's on his mind and state it clearly. Not in a passive aggressive way like he's done. The way he's done it is also known as a "victim puke" (I know because I'm guilty of doing it and I'm sure many have too), where he's stored up all his frustration and let you have it in one sitting. Ultimately that's not cool. He needs to own that. That's him being an ass. No he might be well and truly depressed or suffering from some kind of medical condition that's making him feel this way. So therefore he goes to a doctor and gets assessed, including blood work. Half the struggle can be getting him to do that, but once again it's his responsibilty. . He's playing the mean card to you. So the only way to deal with that is to play it back. I don't mean in the same passive aggressive way he's doing it to you, but not accepting his rudeness or putdowns - boundaries.
Essentially the "go plan is the same as the stay plan". Get prepared for the worst case scenario but at the same time concentrate on looking after yourself, getting exercise, getting rest, eating right and first up seeing if he'll get a medical checkup. I wouldn't be indulging him with pursuing the "what's wrong" angle. Give it some space because it's not working. Focus on you. Look into keeping the business for yourself (or working out an alternative income), discuss things with a close friend, catch up with friends, get a support network. Just look after yourself for now.
Hi Mispa1 hope i got your name right. Im Max.i have been like that before in a relationship. I felt like my partner was the boss in everything.she wasnt really.it was my fears of what other people thought or saw me.sometimes my mates made a comment as well that made me feel less a man. Financially.compared to thier jobs. Its what i felt.maybe completely diferent in your case. I often told my partner she was too much .it wasnt working.etc. i just wanted to feel in charge.i guess.i know its a slack reason.but i wanted to be THE provider. As for drugs? I lost my big brother to that...usually prescription meds will go missing. Is an early sign.but best to trust him and show support either way. Note. The company one keeps. Can be a pointer to ones changes in behaviour as well. You might find chatting to someone on beyond blue helpful yourself. Chin up. Max
Thank you all for your support. Reading these makes me feel less like I am going crazy. To answer a few questions, I did say that we would sell the business and he agreed - I also suggested he get out of the business and get another job. He agreed initially but when I pointed out some jobs he could do he accused me of pushing him away.
There has been no significant life change in our marriage, we've both lost parents over the last few years - his about 5 years ago, mine 18 months ago. He has always wanted to go live on a boat and sail around Australia - we have done that for 5 months a few years ago now he wants to do it permanently and when I say that we have to work a bit more he says I am ruining his dream. And now that I see that written down I think yeah maybe he's not depressed he just wants out.
Writing things down in this forum has really helped me get a bit of clarity, I'll take the journal suggestion and keep doing that and see what happens from here. In the meantime, we were supposed to spend Christmas with his family, I think I'll suggest today that he goes to his and I go to mine and we have a nice time with people who love us and then see where we are after that.
Thank you again
Hi MissPAI. Sorry about my comment here, but it almost sounds as though you are considering ending your marriage. Suggesting separate times with separate families over Xmas makes me wonder if perhaps you are offering him a permanent 'out'. He does seem to be putting you at fault for wanting different things out of your life. He would rather blame you than admit anything is wrong. That is quite normal for people who suffer any sort of depression. They tend to push people away, rather than admit to needing guidance and support, which they see as weak. It's quite often easier to 'pass the buck' than accept responsibility. I hope you can sort something out to either part or reconcile. Reconciliation will mean work, which he or you may decide against. Either way, try to enjoy your time with your family.