need to vent

I sometimes feel like a prisoner. My husband is quite nasty when I want to go out in the evening. This is a rare event, and only when the thing I want to go to is only on in the evening. Today he said ‘you’ll be sorry some day’.

He still spends the day lying on the sofa and nobody can tell him otherwise. For a while they thought he had Parkinson’s, but that seems to have been a misdiagnosis - the symptoms were caused by an anti-nausea drug he was taking but has had to stop taking because of the side-effects they caused. He suffers from nausea, weakness, generally feeling unwell but they can’t sort out what’s wrong. Has seen many specialists, has had every test in the book. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and also suffers from atrial fibrillation and psoriatic arthritis. I don’t know how or if the diabetes is progressing because he refuses to test his blood sugar. I do feel sorry for him and try to do what I can to help, but I don’t appreciate the rudeness. He won’t allow his friends to visit, so the burden is all on me. And to threaten me with ‘you’ll be sorry some day’ - I just want to cry.

Thanks so much for listening.

You MUST have time off. Invite him to come out, come with you, and I’m sure he’d say no. Tell him you’d love him to come out with you, but it he chooses to stay home, then you will have to go out alone. It’s HIS CHOICE to stay there all the time. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated to stay home.

Maybe say to him you are sorry that he is feeling so poorly, and does he want you to be I’ll with stress and upset because he begrudges you a very occasionally evening out? Sometimes reversed psychology works. You should go out regardless,. I understand it would make you anxious, but he will have to get over it.

Ask yourself what it would be like if the positions were reversed.
If you had multiple issues, none of which meant you needed someone with you 24/7, would he be staying in all the time just to be with you? Or would he be going out following his interests and seeing his friends?
If you demanded he’d stay in , would he?

Just because he is ill and you care doesn’t mean you have to stop being a person in your own right. Certain dementia and alcohol abuse related condition can produce nastiness as the brain chemistry changes, but it doesn’t sound like that is the situation here so he has no reason not to be polite and considerate.

‘you’ll be sorry some day’

…hmm, ever tried snapping back ‘I’m sorry already!’

To be honest, sounds like a bit of ‘man flu’ to me??? Yes, maybe there is, indeed, something significantly but mysteriously wrong with him, but it also sounds like you don’t have to feel TOO sorry for him - he’s clearly feeling quite sorry enough for himself for both of you!

There is no excuse for his rudeness and grudgingness. Unless you personally caused his illness, his ONLY word to you shoul be ‘Thank you!’ (as in 'Thank you for sticking with me and looking after me…)

What was he like before he was struck down like this? Did he always begrudge you any ‘time to yourself’??

Sorry if that’s a bit unfair and harsh, but he doesn’t sound like a very sympathetic person???

Hi as a full time carer j get very needy on my girlfriend. her boundaries means she takes off several weeks xmas, easter and summer-this keeps her sane. her protected time is exactly that -

Shaun - that sounds wise!

Thank you all so much. I booked the ticket and today he is guilt-tripping me about it. ‘You have made me feel so nervous, have destroyed my peace of mind etc etc’. What you’re all saying is very sound advice. I just hope I can implement it. Before his illness all was fine. I did my thing, he did his, and sometimes we did things together, sometimes with other people. Like all couples, I imagine.

There is no medical reason why he can’t stay by himself. He wants me to be there all the time so that he feels less anxious but I haven’t given in to that although I have made a concession or two. He has no idea - or doesn’t care - what this is doing to me. I am genuinely concerned about his welfare but he has absolutely no idea the emotional hurricane/tornado/tsunami I’m going through.

Anyway, I have a day to decide whether or not to use my ticket.

Hmm, i am wondering if his problem is more mental/emotional than physical. What is he doing about his anxiety? You could point him to online self help, or there are good self help books. Then of course there’s counselling or CBT which he can self refer for, no need to go via GP. Just Google CBT and your area and it should come up.

How old is he? Has anyone looked at onset of dementia perhaps?

All this is long term stuff, so go ENJOY your activity.

‘You have made me feel so nervous, have destroyed my peace of mind etc etc’.

This is classic controlling behaviour! We tend to think of controllers as ‘bullies’ and ‘brutes’ but the opposite can be true as well.

The ‘weak’ controllers are those who, just like your husband are ENDLESSLY seeking to CONTROL our behaviour! He wants to ‘chain you to his side’ (all that ‘wants you all the time by him’), but he also REFUSES to take ANY responsibility for HIMSELF.

Please understand - YOU did not MAKE him feel nervous, YOU did not destroy his peace of mind.

HE DID THIS TO HIMSELF but REFUSES to accept that.

Please do start researching controlling behaviour on the Internet - there’s a depressing amount of it, sigh.

The ‘weak’ can control just as effectively, if not more, as a bully can - as they tap into our pity for them, rather than our fear, as a bully does.

He has NO right to control you in ANY way.

Sadly, the irony is that his attempts to ‘chain’ you to him are only going to have the exact opposite effect, nd make you so damn fed up you’ll leave him to his fate. That is HIS fear, so he tries to ‘chain you’ through any and all means, especiall yyour compassion for him.

This is an ABUSE of your love for him.

Do understand that there is NO LIMIT to how closely he will strive to chain you to his side, because his fear that you will abandon him (as, I say, ironically, his very behaviour is making this more likely!), is bottomless. The more you ‘give in’ the less he will ‘allow’ you to ‘abandon’ him in any way whatsoever. He is building a cage around you of HIS fear.

Definitely also look up anxiety disorders (there’s a depressing number of them, and the most depressing is ‘GAD - General Anxiety DIsorder’ where sufferers are anxious about EVERYTHING!!!)

It is completely ‘irrational’…you can’t reason with them, or argue, they will just be anxious ALL THE TIME.

So for YOUR sake you have to ‘blank’ it. At least for now.

As in, until you DO enjoy your day out, and of COURSE go and enjoy it!!!

(If you don’t go, all you are doing is feeding his anxiety - not assuaging it. It will grow and grow the more you pander to it.)

PS - if you think he isn’t controlling, try swapping the ‘you made me feel so nervous’ that he comes out with to the really chilling,

‘You made me angry with you by disobeying me so I have to beat you to a pulp now’…

See!!! Exactly the same mindset - an absolute refusal to take responsibility for their own reactions and feelings. Blaming others, and then punishing them (in your case with ‘prison at his side’, in the bullies’ case with bodily harm…)

Two different faces of the same thing…

Realising that similarity may help you ‘resist’ the emotional and physical imprisonment your husband is trying on with you.

I feel like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. My own gastritis/acid reflux/whatever is in turmoil now - great burning pain in my stomach from all this. I have to learn not to be so affected. But I AM going (to see a live broadcast of The King and I). Hopefully I’ll calm down once I’m there and deal with this kind of thing better next time. I feel bad, I feel guilty, I feel very angry.

“I have to learn not to be so affected”

This is key. He’s going to be unhappy whatever you do, so YOU might as well have a good evening!

It’s really hard, I know, to ‘blank’ what he will be ‘broadcasting’ to you (the ‘I’m not happy!’ ‘outrage’ that he will be feeling), but you DO need to ‘desensitise yourself’ to his moods and behaviour.

Remember, the ‘malign’ aspect of his personality (the ‘controller’) (which is NOT the ‘real him’, but the one his fears allow to dominate him) will WANT you to feel ‘damned’ either way. It’s called gaslighting! Look it up!

But don’t look it up now. Now, head off tor the evening and really ENJOY!

(Altogether now - Shall we DANCE…tra la la!’ I defy you not to be humming that all the way home. Oh for a HUGE crinoline to swing about me as I dance it!!!)

I went - it was great - came home - no problem. All that grief and anxiety for nothing. Thanks for your encouragement, Jenny.

Well done, now get into the habit of doing this, so it’s never a big deal again.

Lovely! So pleased.

If he was ‘good’ about it (ie, not moaning as much or at all), why not ‘reward’ him with a ‘treat’ that is just for him, and say thank you for being so understanding darling, I really really appreciate it!

That might work wonders?!

PS - start planning your next outing straight away! If you like these live broadcasts, then why not make it a ‘regular thing’ so your husband knows that you always have ‘another one’ in your diary. If he gets used to that, he may take it more easily. Maybe he fears you’ll be off clubbing or whatever instead (!!!) so simply going to the movies for something ‘special’ is a lot ‘safer’ for him