How to help my husband

Hoping someone out there has some advise for me as right now I am drowning trying to help my husband. He has suffered from mental health issues for around 20 years and over recent years he will always become angry when he is having an episode. He blames everyone else around him for things going wrong and seems totally incapable of realising that he reaction to situations is so volatile that actually it is him that is at fault.

My son suffers from aspergers and so will get very agitated about certain situations and will quite often shout if someone isn’t doing something quick enough or good enough for him. At times (but rarely) my son will also become a little violent (kicking out or pushing someone).

My husband cannot deal with these outbursts, and very quickly will react with shouting himself at my son (which then makes things worse as they end up shouting at each other). Very often my husband will then walk out on us, claiming to hate us and that he is never coming back etc etc. He always says “he cannot cope any longer”, he thinks we hate him, he has never done anything wrong. His classic phrase is “I didn’t do anything wrong”, yet from the other side his wrong doing is getting angry and walking out instead of trying to take himself off to a room and calm down. He has never practised the things he has been told to do, such as splash his face with water, do some deep breathing for a minute, go to a room for 5 minutes and only leave if he still hasn’t calmed down.

Whenever he has calmed down and I try to talk to him, if I say to him he is depressed and that is what makes him react differently to the rest of us he gets angry and annoyed that I am blaming his depression for these feelings he has. My son does not only direct his anger at my husband, he will direct at myself and his sister too and neither of us react it such an extreme way.

I really do not know how to get my husband to understand and see that he must get more help for his depression and that it is this causing him to have these feelings that we hate him. When the situations return to normal he understands and sees that we do love him but it is so hard to see him going through the bad days believing his family dislike him. The truth is we hate seeing him so upset and want to help him, but he thinks we hate him as a person.

I am drowning right now, tonight has been one of those episodes, he has walked out and threatened to never come back. Eventually he has agreed he will come back but only after we have gone to bed and only if we do not talk to him.

Following on from situations I always ask him if he wants to talk and his answer is always “what is there to talk about”. This is so frustrating and no matter how much I say to him what we should be talking about he just won’t. I don’t feel like I can get through to him. In one way I feel like his is emotionally abusing me, in another I am scared and worried for him as I have been married to him for 21 years.

Looking for advise and someone to talk to.

Hello Nicola, It sounds like you are going through a difficult time. Your son and your husband have difficulty controlling their emotions.
How old are your son and daughter?
When your husband is calm - talk to him about different ways of getting through these difficult times. Suggest that next time your son gets agitated your husband calmly leaves the room and ignores your sons behaviour. Then make a mental note of how your son reacts.
Can you cope with your son when your husband isn’t there?
Do you know why your husband is depressed?

I think you need counselling so that you talk all this through at length and work out what is for the best for you.

Re your husband only he can make the decision to accept help and engage with it. You could write to/ email his GP and any other professionals involved in his care to let them know the situation.


Does he get physically aggressive?

My son is very nearly 13 and my daughter is 15, yes I can deal with him by myself. I have tried again today to explain to my husband how to deal with it. I am not too sure if he will try this or not. It is like he sees red and cannot see past it.

He is depressed partly due to being out of work, but has long standing issues from his childhood where he was bullied by people at school and his uncle.

He will throw things such as a computer mouse or punch a wall but not hurt a person.

It sounds like when your son is under pressure vour husband feels he has to react in an aggressive way towards him. But this just makes the situation worse. And now your son has started to copy your husband’s behaviour - and they end up shouting at eachother.

This might well sound odd (and I fully understand if you don’t feel like it) . But try giving your husband more attention - especially hugs and cuddles. He is probably feeling very low and in need of some TLC. He may even be jealous of the loving relationship you have with your son. Plus do things you enjoy doing together. I know it’s really difficult at the moment but let him know that you still care about him.
I really hope this helps,
Karen x

Thank you, maybe I will try that, it is hard when he pushes me away so much x

Bullying does deeply affect people and people just don’t get over it and move on.

I was bullied and suffered a lot of abuse as a young adult, It really does ruin your life.

Your husband needs specialist support, treatment for his depression and long term counselling.
I didn’t get any treatment/support and yes did exactly what your husband, getting angry throwing things, breaking things.

This is due to trauma.

None of this is your husbands fault, he didn’t choose to be bullied and has been left emotionally scarred.

Depression is horrible and many men won’t admit to being depressed, a sign of weakness and being out of work, being unable to provide for the family, makes everything 10 times worse.

There is help available but your husband has to ask for it and work through the treatment.

And you should be getting help as well, are you receiving any support from any organisation or friends and family?

Have you a carers centre nearby that can help?

I have registered with Worcestershire carers and they have spoken to me a couple of times. They suggested this forum. Problem is there are no meetings at the moment due to Covid.

He has registered with healthy minds and has a tel apt this week. I am hoping he is honest with them and asks for the help he needs. He has tried counselling in the past but gave up. When he was first diagnosed he had some help but now the feelings have come back so the help didnt last long term.

The NHS doesn’t help much, you get about 6 sessions and then that’s it left on your own with no help.

But there are charitys that can offer often free councelling or a small financial contribution.

Try doing a search in your home town for charitys that deal with Adult abuse?

Or ask the carers centre, they should be able to signpost you to the correct help and support for your husband and you.

We are not allowed to diagnose on this forum but Look up Post Traumatic Stress disorder, similar symptoms to your husband?

Any trauma, a car crash, loved one dying, a burglary or abuse and bullying can cause PTSD.

Nothing such as a car accident but his mother did die about 10 years ago and I guess things did get worse after that.

I have just done a quick research into PTSD and yes you are correct it does look like the symptoms could fit, I will do a bit more research and then talk to him.

it is just so hard, yesterday I tried to talk to him about what had happened on Saturday and he said that as he was struggling to find a job he couldn’t see a way out except in a coffin. But he still maintains that it is not down to depression, but it must be. I just find it so hard being with him when he is like this, I try to be supportive to him but he pushes me away emotionally all the time. Plus I have to think of the feelings of my two children when he is like this so I am stuck in the middle.

In an ideal world you need a professional diagnosis from a Psychiatrist but they are very thin on the ground at the moment.

And then long term therapy, if there is a good mental health team in your area, but there have been cuts in mental health and long waiting lists.

Did your husband get any help when his mum died, could still be grieving, you never really get over the death of a loved one.

But depression it likes walking through treacle, very difficult to get anywhere and you get stuck.

To do the slightest thing is difficult, low energy, low mood, low motivation, what is the point, things won’t get better.

Often you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

He has got to think positive, he has a loving family, a roof over his head etc.

Depressed people just don’t see things like that.

Full of negative thoughts, no one loves me, my family would be happier without me.

Of course that’s not true but that’s what many depressed people think.

First step is admitting he needs help and accepting that help.

I am a man , male unpaid carer and i know it is very difficult for some men to go to to the doctor, admit they have problems.

Men should be big and strong, stiff upper lip and all that, men don’t get depressed, its a sign of weakness.

Men don’t or shouldn’t cry, this seems to be the message.

But this is the 21st century, men do suffer from depression, anyone from a bin man to a movie star, rich or poor, depression can hit anyone and it does hit.

Men do tend to bury their heads in the sand but depression can be treated and resolved.

There is no need to live in misery and that’s what depression is , a miserable life.