How do you deal with anxiety/stress when the main cuprit is your spouse?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 7/21/2008 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I love him, don't want to leave him and realize you can't change someone else, unless they want to change. I know that everyone has issues. His anger management problems and need for things to be done a certain way are not at all compatible with my anxiety and my disorganized mind. We've been dating and then married for about 20 yrs now so this is nothing new, but as a sahm mom for the last 7 yrs it has definitely gotten worse. I've always thought of him as kind of a Jeckel and Hyde. He has two different sides to him. The fun, loving, loyal and adoring guy I fell in love with and the angry condescending jerk that visits sometimes too frequently. I'm just wondering how others handle similiar relationships other than getting out of them. What can I change in myself to make things easier? Also if you've ever been able to get through to someone else like this and how you did it. The old advice, "You make me feel like....when you" does not work with him at all.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 7/21/2008 5:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I went through something similar and I am still in that relationship now. Its hard to get over such a hurdle in the relationship but it is possible. My boyfriend was also changing one day to the next and treating me just awful sometimes. The only way to make someone realize how much they should appreciate you when someone isn't willing to talk about about their issues is to sort of make them miss you. Treat him as good as possible for a few weeks while putting up with his tantrums but letting him know later (when he calms down) that you don't like it and you don't HAVE to stay it is a personal choice to be with him. Anyway, treat him great and then spend a little time away from him if possible. Make him miss you and appreciate you and either he will realize or not. There was a lot of fighting in this period for us but my plan worked!

Have you tried romancing him a little? trying to get into some of his hobbies or find something new to share together? sometimes its good to send the kids away for a while. Happy parents = Happy children!

Hope this helps! I will check back.
The sun can't shine every day :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 7/21/2008 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   


I really have to ask, and you don't need to answer, you can email me if you prefer, but does he abuse you physically? If I am out of line I sincerely apologise, but if he abuses you in any way then it is just not on. I was married to an abusive addict for several years and he could be the most wonderful person in the world. Sometimes. The next day eyes

Okay, serious stuff aside..Have you ever tried counselling? The "when you say this it makes me feel.." is a wonderful way to communicate without blame, but sometimes if you have a mediator (counsellor) then it can forces hubbie to listen. Anxiety is enough to deal with, without having to tiptoe around his issues. It's hard work!! If you want to change anything in yourself I would say..don't put up with it. If he starts being condescending, just tell him "I'm not willing to put up with you in this mood" and walk away. Often people don't realise that they are taking out their frustrations on the wrong person. I'm guilty of it after a bad day..but if it makes you feel unsafe then you need to take some action. let him know how it impacts on your life. Take care, and please, put yourself and your children first.


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Date Joined Apr 2007
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   Posted 7/22/2008 7:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning.  Good input from all.  My hubby will do this too, just be plaine ornery with me.  I will finally tell him to stop it as I am not the one he is ticked off at and if he doesn't want to get into it with the people or thing he is upset with then don't dump on me.
I am open for listening but not getting talked down to or yelled at because he is in a ugly mood.  He owns the problem and he needs to rein in his temper or just let go of whatever is bugging him.
Usually works.  Sometimes I will ask him if when he goes to visit his Mom if he rants at her?  Gotcha.  Of course not, so no yelling at me.
Let us know how it is going for you.

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 7/22/2008 7:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Meg and Robyn,
thanks for your words of advice. No he is not physically abusive to me or the children, and I am confident he never will be. He is also not manipulitively abusive, ie he does not try to control my every move, who my friends are or make me feel like I am worthless. I agree if it were to ever get to that level the kids and I would be out of here! He has an explosive voice when he is mad and he says unkind words, really unkind words occasionally (like once every few months) . A lot of times it's more his tone of voice than what he actually says and when I speak to him about it he truly doesn't seem to understand why it was not ok to act like he did. Robyn, you are so right about romancing him and getting time away from the kids. Grandma is taking them next weekend! We try to get out once a month or so and I make sure I often spend time with him after the kids go to sleep. He started a new job last month and it's been very stressful for him. Unfortunately his stress comes out as anger. I would like to help him to manage that a different way, but I don't know how. He hasn't actually been mad at me or the kids lately, he just gets so angry about things in general, like the neighbors' barking dogs or the fact that someone started mowing their lawn at 8:30pm, or the loud, partying teenagers that moved in across the street lately. I'm not saying he doesn't have a right to peace and quiet or a right to say something to the neighbors or call the police or whatever, but he obsesses about it and he has angrily confronted the neighbors on several occassions. Different neighbors, mind you. He yells and swears at them and he thinks they are idiots and he doesn't need to treat them with respect. This has caused me a great deal of anxiety as you can imagine! At the end of the day I just pray that there are no disruptions. I am always hoping noone will connect me to the raving maniac that banged on their door the night before.

My brother passed away unexpectedly in January and I feel like every day is a gift. I feel like my dh is still not getting that! Life is too short to spend yelling at my neighbors IMO. My DH is a good father and husband in many ways and I don't think we'd be better off without him, although when he's at his worst I have thought about it. Meg, I like your suggestion to tell him "I'm not willing to put up with you in this mood" and to walk away. I think I'll try that. I tend to make matters worse by going on and on about it and that's never helped anything. I've always thought we should go to counseling at some point, but he seems to be open to it only as a last resort. I'm hoping that a marriage workshop or something similiar will come up in our area. I think I might be able to convince him to do something like that. I just started reading a relationship book that a friend of mine recommended so maybe that will help. Thanks for listening to me ramble. I really appreciate it! If anyone else has suggestions for me send them my way. Thanks!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/22/2008 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Cait's bio dad was like this to a tee and I could not for the life of me get why he had to live that way
Every day is a BLESSING that we are alive IMHO

I wish all the best for you all have given their best input I can only add my luv care and thoughts for a change for the good and real soon
I am sure if he were to face a life/ death situation his attitude would change in a min second .........IMHO

Be well my friend

  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 7/22/2008 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Lyn! You too.
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