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What's Wrong With My Husband?

by April
(North Carolina)

I have been married to my husband for over 5 years. When I first met him he was happy, carefree and fun. This is what attracted me to him. Over the last few years we've dealt with some very stressful times.

He exited the Marine Corp with the promise of a job in our local law enforcement division. There were some issues with a building of the new jail and, after his 4th and final interview, he was told there was a hiring freeze from the commission until all issues with the new jail could be resolved.

His terminal pay from the military ran out and we were barely hanging on with bills, food and utilities. We fell behind on a lot! He was going to school and collecting his GI Bill, but that barely helped. We took a pretty big pay cut getting out, leading to a heap of financial stresses.

In the last year or so I've noticed him complain more and more about life in general. He's not happy with anything. He wasn't happy with the military, so he got out. He always wanted to be in law enforcement....that was his dream. Now he's in law enforcement and he's not happy again. He consistently makes statements about winning the lottery and not having to work for a living, just live life doing what he loves.

I think this is part of his resentment toward the kids and I, in that he feels he must work to take care of us. He has a lot, so I don't understand what he feels he's missing in life. We own two homes, two nice vehicles, a motorcycle, etc. By my standards, we have a wonderful life with 3 beautiful children. He feels it's not enough.

He has nothing nice to say about the kids at all. He points out everything he finds wrong with them all the time. My 14 year old has begun cutting herself, my 9 year old son is self destructive and my eldest daughter is always talking about a way out. I know that if I don't take them and run, they will grow to hate me for never doing anything about it.

I don't know what triggers his rage. It could range from something so small, like a pair of shoes left in the living room, to a bad grade at school. His punishments are often severe and unrealistic to say the least. If I try to tell him that his rage turns on me. I will watch his veins pop out of his face, his skin color turn to shades of red and purple that you wouldn't think was humanly possible.

It's as if he just hates "us". We are the problem, we are terrible and if we weren't around his life would be so much better. I can't take his anger and resentment toward us, because we've done nothing to deserve it. We love him to the fullest extent and often I see my children going out of there way JUST to make him happy. We live in fear of what will set him off next.

I have holes in my walls, replaced my furniture many times over due to him throwing it, punching it, flipping it over. I hide my precious belongings for fear that he'll take his rage out on those. I should not have to run around finding hiding places for things to keep it intact. Please help! I know he's a good man deep down inside and I hang on to that hope, too much I think.

When his days are good, they are really good....but it's to a point that they no longer outweigh the bad days (which are extreme). No happy medium, just really happy or really, really, really angry. I could go on and on, but I don't want to drag this out too long. We had an episode last night regarding my son, where a simple question from me with regards to my husband being mistaken about my son's intentions while playing with a toy, led to my sofa table broken, the kids off to school for the second time with no sleep and me sitting here emotionally broken.

I didn't accuse, I asked....but in Jimmy's world that is me questioning his parenting and accusing him of not knowing what he's talking about. I can't communicate with him because there is no such thing. It's his way, his feelings, his wants, his needs or we all pay for it with his anger and rage. I am at my wits end. Any advice would help.

P.S. He refuses to seek counseling or medicine. The doctors have told him his blood pressure is out of control and he ignores them. He says he will not depend on medicine to live. If he won't seek help, then why should I stay?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello April, and thanks for telling your story here. You sound like you already know what you need to do. I encourage you to follow this intuition. This type of situation, as you describe it, does not get better on its own.

Unless he were to seek serious, focused, long-term help, you and your children will not be safe with him. Take the action you already know is best.

You can do this. You have the ability and the responsibility to provide a safe home for your children. You’re a good person, and a good mother. Safety (including emotional safety) is always priority one.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Oct 10, 2013
Some helpful suggestions
by: Forestnana

I agree with the Doctor. You will need to be very strong and brave and protect yourself and your children.
I don't know if your husband is experiencing some after-math from his time in the military or maybe just his frustration with what he considers "the world is against me" syndrome. But his escalating anger is endangering you and your children.He is obviously unhappy & is taking it out on you. His anger is also endangering his health (i.e. high blood pressure). His unwillingness to seek help, either medical or counceling, I believe to him, would be showing weakness and that is a male thing (my opinion).
I noticed that the doctor didn't suggest you separate, and I wouldn't either accept I fear for your family if there isn't "tough love" shown here. YOU can at least seek counceling for yourself. You need a strong advocate before this gets any worse. He needs to know that 1. You love him, 2. He is scaring you and the children & 3. IF he doesn't get help you will have to take shelter somewhere else until he does.
Please be careful. I will pray for you April. Please keep us informed. God Bless!

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