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<p>I'm not sure what I'm looking for here, but let me put it out there and we'll see where it goes.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My DH has like NO ability to recover from the most minor problems. I mean things like the milk is in the (overcrowded) refigerator in the "wrong" place. He'll start screaming and trying to tell me I'm only allowed to put things on one shelf in the refrigerator. This morning he nocked is mood and chlesterol medication onto the floor and  you would have thought he poured scalding water on himself and needed to go the hospital right away. He's was screaming. Then he couldn't remember the password to the computer (which is 3 weeks old) and was saying it was a $1000 door stop and we've have to wipe the hard drive. This was the computer he logged onto yesterday. I'm like what are you talking about? What's ON that hard drive to lose? ( we haven't even installed Word or Excel - there aren't any files or photos on it.).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think he also has an OCD/Hoarding problem. He's sees a psychiatrist but no cognitive therapy.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>This is all very hard on me - waking up to these explosive mornings for even the most minor of problems. It's completely stressed me out. Our DD is a bit of an explosive inflexible child and we are starting counseling for her but I feel like I'm the only one holding the family together emotionally and it's killing me. I know I need to start my own counseling but haven't yet found anyone just for me.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>How about - any advice for detaching and not feeling so emotionally responsive for the outbursts from the 2 of them? They are both very good at making it someone else's fault that they are screaming.</p>
 

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<p>Oh Mama! I'm so sorry you're dealing with these major issues!  I have no advice, but wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and am sending you lots of strength!</p>
 

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<p>My DH is like that too - although maybe not as extreme as yours sounds.  But yes - every minor thing is a HUGE deal to him that warrants shouting and yelling, making sweeping statements, declaring everything to be ruined, etc.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Example - not 30 minutes ago I was nursing the baby down for bed.  DD1 and DH were downstairs - DH washing up and DD still eating her dinner (she constantly stalls over it).  While she was there on her own she poured her water all over the place and made a bit of a mess.  Instead of just getting her to help him clean it up he completely blew up on her - yelling that it was a *huge* mess, that she'd ruined her dinner, he was going to throw it in the bin and so on.  She, naturally, starts freaking out and screaming back.  (I, of course, can hear all of this upstairs, as can the baby, who's not going to sleep...)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If we have a fight, he loses the plot too - will swear and curse at me, call me names, demand a divorce... Despite agreeing not to do this while calm, and agreeing especially not to do it in front of the kids, he will then turn around and do exactly the same thing the next time he gets angry.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>It's really wearing to live with because simple things like a mess that needs cleaning up, or something that's gone missing become this gigantic problem - and I can hear him sighing, huffing, carrying on, shouting etc. everywhere in the house and it just puts my blood pressure right up.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have no idea what causes this kind of behaviour - because although I have my bad days I don't make a big deal out of things like that, even when I'm having a really bad day.  And I'm afraid I don't really know what to do about it either.  I have talked to DH - and when he's calm he agrees that what he does is over-reacting and that it's unnecessarily stressing the rest of us out, but then he goes right back to doing it.  Maybe we could help them come up with a more appropriate behaviour? That lets them express their frustrations in a less explosive manner... I'm coming up blank right now though.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway - all that to say I'm in the same boat and commiserations :hug</p>
 

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<p>i'm sorry.  i've been reading your posts here for a year or maybe just a bit longer?  i'm sorry you haven't been able to find individual counseling yet.  i think it would really help clarify whether this behavior is acceptable to you, and then how to respond.  if you are okay with it, and with raising your kids in this environment, then it's a question of learning how to cope and how to raise normal kids with a very abnormal parent/spouse (and by "normal" i don't mean, like, conformist or something - just able to function normally).  if you are not okay with it, then therapy can help you figure out where you go from here.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>imo the only way to deal with this behavior from a child or an adult is to make clear when they are NOT in a tantrum, that you will not respond to tantrums.  with a child, you do need to give them the tools you want them to learn, by stating the phrase you want them to use in the tone you want them to use.  then during the tantrum, remind them, "i will not respond when you scream.  try it again."  my children are able to stop pretty much immediately and replace "I NEED THAT NOW!" with "mama, may i please have the (whatever)." although my younger son (3yo) can have a harder time settling down (but he will do it).  with an adult, after the initial statement, imo you either completely ignore their freakout, or stick with one phrase you repeat like (again) "i will not respond when you scream," or "i will not solve this problem for you."</p>
<p> </p>
<p>this is controlling behavior, and the kind of drama/chaos creation typical of people with borderline personality disorder, because they need it to be about them and they need emergencies to constantly happen.  it's like an addiction to drama and attention.  don't know if that is the cause in this case, but it sounds pretty familiar to me. </p>
 

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<p>It really sounds like he needs more from his psychiatrist.  Perhaps a meeting with you there, to hash out exactly what is going on in the house.  I have seen people really snow their counselor (or whoever) by just telling them part of the problem.  Behavioral help only works if the counselor gets the whole picture. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck. I can't imagine trying to live in that type of environment. </p>
 

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<p><em>"He'll start screaming and trying to tell me I'm only allowed to put things on one shelf in the refrigerator."</em></p>
<p> </p>
<p>No.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The explosive kid - you have to deal with.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The explosive adult - you don't.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Explosive in this case = emotionally abusive.  And no wonder your child acts that way if that is what she sees all the time.  It must be very upsetting for her - I mean, she must hear all of this!  I would think long and hard - not just about if <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>you</em></span> can detach from that crap, but if your child is able to.  And if that's the sort of household you both need to be in.  I  myself don't see any benefit to it.</p>
 

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<p>I sort of have the same problem with my husband. except that instead of yelling, he gets incredibly withdrawn and depressed. Lately, he has been "down" as he likes to call it, due to the "holidays". I have no idea what that means, as his holidays growing up always seemed nice to me. So he has been more withdrawn, and I can tell something is wrong but when I ask him, all I get are vague generalizations. "work" "traffic" etc but it never seems like enough to get so upset about. And he seems to need more affection, something I have an incredibly hard time giving. And I can tell something is bothering him and have a really hard time ignoring it, which I choose to do because he can never really tell me what's wrong. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>So I deal with this guilt, that he is suffering and I don't know what to do for him, but I cannot wallow in it with him as I have the kid to manage and my own relationship issues. </p>
<p>I am sorry you have to deal with an emotionally unstable partner, it's important to him to set a good example for your children and he is NOT doing that. </p>
 

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<p>My ex was like this when we were together. It got worse after we had kids. Here are my theories of why:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>For the first time in his life, he worked full time at a real job with adult responsibilities.</p>
<p>(He was under pressure as a breadwinner AND he felt it was unfair that he had to go to work at all.)</p>
<p>He was depressed.</p>
<p>(I'm not the only one who says this. As far as I know, he has not been clinically diagnosed, but that's NOMB anymore.)</p>
<p>He was resentful that I stopped taking care of him as I used to -- now I was taking care of the children and expecting him to be an adult. Having kids hit us both hard -- it was unplanned and we had to grow up quickly.</p>
<p>(Codependent much?)</p>
<p>He just plain can't share space. He needs to have his own space and have ultimate control over his immediate environment. That's a valid choice, but it doesn't work to live with a family. It's not just me -- he has had control issues with everyone he's lived with.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>However, why aside, he behaves that way because it is acceptable to him to behave that way.</p>
 

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<p>Whoa there!! Ellien, he takes some sort of mood medication and he's still falling apart likes this?  I'm with June'smom, he absolutely needs to see his doctor about his medication. It's not doing what it is supposed to do.  He is NOT entirely in control of his moods right now.  Doesn't mean he isn't responsible to do something about it, he absolutely is.   He either needs to increase his dose, lower the dose, add another medication, or eliminate his current med and try another one entirely.  He needs to keep at it until he finds some combination of medicine that helps him calm the heck down.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>He sounds just like me after dc#1 was born and I was working full time. I was hell on Earth.  In my opinion, in my <em>experience,</em> cognitive therapy won't be helpful until he can get a handle on his irrational moods. But there after therapy will be very helpful. People who engage in psychotherapy report feeling better and stay feeling better longer than people who use medication alone.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>May I ask, is he using or abusing drugs or alcohol?  That's a wrinkle that simply exacerbates these mood disorders, makes them much harder to deal with. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>His biology isn't his fault but he IS responsible to make it possible for his loved ones to live with him in relative peace. Besides, he is no doubt in pain. It hurts to be in a whirl wind of anger and frustration all the time.  It's quite possible that he's lost perspective and doesn't know how bad he's feeling, though. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Urge him to go back to the psychiatrist and report that the meds he's taking just aren't doing the job and he wants to try something else. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Best of luck.</p>
 

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<p>It does sound like a medical issue to me. I think you're right about OCD or something related (milk in the wrong place is a good indicator). I second the suggestion of adjusting his medication and CBT. CBT is actually really good at treating disorders like OCD that have triggers. It can help a person's brain rewire itself to reinforce a healthy pattern rather than an explosive one (which without treatment is often self rewarding)</p>
<p>Hugs  </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MissLotus</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283862/dh-cannot-recover-from-very-minor-setbacks#post_16097838"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><em>"He'll start screaming and trying to tell me I'm only allowed to put things on one shelf in the refrigerator."</em></p>
<p> </p>
<p>No.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The explosive kid - you have to deal with.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The explosive adult - you don't.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Explosive in this case = emotionally abusive.  And no wonder your child acts that way if that is what she sees all the time.  It must be very upsetting for her - I mean, she must hear all of this!  I would think long and hard - not just about if <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>you</em></span> can detach from that crap, but if your child is able to.  And if that's the sort of household you both need to be in.  I  myself don't see any benefit to it.</p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br><p> </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #12
<p>Thanks for everyone's replies. I'm glad I checked back with this thread. I was feeling kind of down.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>To add some more information -</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I pretty much told him that limiting me to a single shelf in my own kitchen was ridiculous, that I was his wife, not his roomate and I wasn't going to live that way. In general, I do agree that the creamer for the coffee needs to be front and center and I'll do my best to keep it there, but it WON'T always happen that way and he needs to find a way to cope with that. He basically agreed with me but begged me to keep things as stable as same as possible for him.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>He does not have any substance abuse or alcohol problems - thank god for that. My sister is an addict (in recovery for many  years) and I'm so glad I haven't had to deal with that.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>He is depressed and has been under psychiatric care for a long time. I don't think this Psychiatrist is helpful at this point. He's had crying breakdowns at work a year or 2 ago, which, when his psych found out about that, said that shouldn't happend and upped his dose AND gave him a drug he's supposed to take not daily, but when things are going very wrong.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I feel the mood meds have totally decreased his frustration tolerance and his ability to concentrate. Is that possible? He's hell to drive with these days. He can't handle the inputs of me being IN the car and the children, who aren't bad, but are children. It's like his concentration is completely shot. Imagine if it was foggy, and rainy and you were driving too fast on a highway and didn't know where you were going. You know how, sometimes when you drive it takes absolutely all of your concentration to do that? He's like that ALL the TIME in the car, except he forgets he is like that, asks us a question and then gets mad when we are giving him the answer and he misses a turn or something. I've taken to trying to drive whenever we go out, but he navigates so much better than I do. I have to rely on him for directions to most places.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We were both older when we got married (dated for many years) and older when we had our children - planned and very wanted - and I believe that we could live off my salary alone if that's what we wanted. He doesn't think so, but I'm SURE we could - we'd just live differently. He's got major money issues that I don't have. (and a hoarding problem, too if you ask me).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Would it do any good if I called the psych? I was on the verge of doing that last year but my mother (social worker, licensed counselor) talked me out of it. I feel like it's this ONE wild card that I've never played. My mother was like - well, he can't talk to you about a patient. He might talk to YOU about YOUR problems. But I kind of think the psych doesn't know how bad it is and a it's not like I've EVER called the guy. We had a major crisis last year when he wouldn't/couldn't shovel the snow and I was 8 months pregnant.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #13
<p>What I need to do here - and now that I've written it all out, I can see -</p>
<p> </p>
<p>is not OWN his problems ( or my daugthers for that matter). I need to detach from feeling like I have to fix everything or make changes to make it right. I need to be like a third party observor here - isn't that interesting - there is a trigger there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I stayed with my sister for a week while her DH went through chemo (which itself can bring on moods) and she has an explosive autistic child - but it was great because I didn't feel responsible for any of that. And she came to my house when I had a week old baby and she said the same thing about my daughter. She was able to say "Isn't that interesting - she's having a tantrum about that."</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'll take any advice from not "owning" problems, moods, fits and fixes that aren't mine to own. Thanks so much everyone.</p>
 

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<p>Holy cow, you poor thing.  <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>I feel the mood meds have totally decreased his frustration tolerance and his ability to concentrate. Is that possible?</div>
</div>
</div>
<p>Loss of focus is pretty common for psych meds.  It stinks, but if a particular med can give a person a handle on their anxiety or depression in exchange for some focus, it's probably worth it. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>In my own experience with various anti-depressants and mood stabilizers, a decrease in tolerance is a sign that 1) the medicine is not working and 2) might be making things worse. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>One dramatic example:  undiagnosed bipolar disorder.  Bipolar II can look a lot like depression mixed with anxiety.   Anti-depressant medications can trigger manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder.  Mania isn't always about feeling euphoric and energized. A lot of times mania simply manifests as severe, never ending irritation and short-temperedness. Check out <a href="http:">www.psycheducation.org. </a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Just my opinion, it would be OK to contact your dh's psychiatrist.  Sure, the doc can't share any information with you, but you can tell the doc your concerns about your husband, his patient.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You need more support, as well. I'm not usually a big proponent of couples counseling but maybe this is one time where it might be helpful for you both to be seen by the same professional. </p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>I'll take any advice from not "owning" problems, moods, fits and fixes that aren't mine to own. Thanks so much everyone.</div>
</div>
</div>
<p>So by 'owning' these issues, have you been taking responsibility for them? Blaming yourself for your dh's moods, for example?  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I agree, it's good to step back and detach a bit, if only because you can't make rational, good decisions when you're thoroughly upset. It's <em>very</em> useful to be able to not take it personally when your dh is making the location of the milk bottle a personal issue. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Is your dh actually unhappy with his current state?  Is he motivated to get help?  </p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>I would contact his doctor.  I'm not sure whether I would let dh know that I was going to do it or had already done it, though.  That would depend on your dh, I guess.  It seems to me that his issues are beyond anything you can really help with directly.  The only thing you can possibly do is to fill his doctor in on his home life. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I hope you are able to create some kind of peace for you and your children.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ellien C</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283862/dh-cannot-recover-from-very-minor-setbacks#post_16105717"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p> </p>
<p>Would it do any good if I called the psych? I was on the verge of doing that last year but my mother (social worker, licensed counselor) talked me out of it. I feel like it's this ONE wild card that I've never played. My mother was like - well, he can't talk to you about a patient. He might talk to YOU about YOUR problems. But I kind of think the psych doesn't know how bad it is and a it's not like I've EVER called the guy. We had a major crisis last year when he wouldn't/couldn't shovel the snow and I was 8 months pregnant.</p>
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<br><br><p>I am going to totally disagree with your mother.  I asked my own therapist about this and she said that I can absolutely call my dh's therapist (we see seperate ones) and tell him anything I want.  All he will do is listen (he cannot tell me anything about my dh or even confirm that he is a patient) but he will absolutely listen to anything and everything I have to say.    My aunt also had to do this with her dh's therapist when her dh was not getting medicated correctly (he has bipolar).  Think of it this way... your dh does not have an accurate view of what is going on right now, so how could he possibly give an accurate view to his therapist when he talks to him?  And the therapist doesn't live with him, so is relying only on what he can see in an 50 min session and what your dh tells him.  The therapist/doc NEEDS more input to get an accurate picture and treat this effectively.  You have several options with this one, if you don't want to call then ask dh if you can go with him for one session (I've done that too) and have a discussion with the three of you.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As far as stepping back you might want to look into books about dealing with borderline personality disorder (they focus A LOT on how to not get dragged into the drama).  One is calle "Divorcing the Borderline".  I've not read it yet, but have heard good things.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck mama, I will be thinking of you.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ellien C</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283862/dh-cannot-recover-from-very-minor-setbacks#post_16105717"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I feel the mood meds have totally decreased his frustration tolerance and his ability to concentrate. Is that possible? </p>
<p>...</p>
<p>Would it do any good if I called the psych? I was on the verge of doing that last year but my mother (social worker, licensed counselor) talked me out of it. I feel like it's this ONE wild card that I've never played. My mother was like - well, he can't talk to you about a patient. He might talk to YOU about YOUR problems. But I kind of think the psych doesn't know how bad it is and a it's not like I've EVER called the guy. We had a major crisis last year when he wouldn't/couldn't shovel the snow and I was 8 months pregnant.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
As for the first, yes it's possible, even for that to start after years of taking the meds. I've had that happen with psych drugs, so it's definitely something to consider.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for talking to you, my husband called once to discuss some concerns he had with my therapist. While the psychiatrist shouldn't say, "well, here's what happened in our last session..." it's perfectly permissible (and useful, I'd argue) for the spouse to call with concerns that the patient may be really even be aware of.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #19
<p>Thanks for all of your replies. This is so helpful for me. I'm feeling much better.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DH, I think, wants to get better but despair's that any (more) help is available. I hadn't considered borderline personality, but it's something to think about. He functions at work (mostly). Holds a job, does his share of household chores, but DD to bed every night while I take care of baby. In general he does drop off while I do pickup. He does the grocery shopping, some cleaning, some laundry. This all comes at "price" for me though since he's become so rigid.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't feel responsible for causing his problem of the day but I do feel responsible for making it better. Trying to get DD to cooperate when DH is having a hard morning - she has her own explosive-inflexible issues, which I don't believe are because of what has been modeled for her but are part of her inborn self. I read through that book The explosive child twice and I'm done taking responsibility for the cause - bad parenting, bad role modelling etc. I will take responsibility to helping her fix it. She starts counseling on Thursday.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You've all encouraged me to contact DH psychiatrist (who just prescribes for him - they do  no talk therapy). I think DH might be in denial about the full extent of his problem or unaware about the lack of concentration. I do think the current meds may be making things worse (and the new baby doesn't help, though he's really, mellow).</p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>I don't feel responsible for causing his problem of the day but I do feel responsible for making it better. Trying to get DD to cooperate when DH is having a hard morning - she has her own explosive-inflexible issues, which I don't believe are because of what has been modeled for her but are part of her inborn self. I read through that book The explosive child twice and I'm done taking responsibility for the cause - bad parenting, bad role modelling etc. I will take responsibility to helping her fix it. She starts counseling on Thursday.</div>
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<p>That all totally makes sense.  You're right, you're not responsible for making him better.  You might share with him that you've been feeling responsible for this but you can't do that anymore. That might be one more thought to motivate him.  If asked bluntly, 'Do you think your wife should be responsible for making you feel better?' or 'Do you think your wife should have to protect your child from your bad moods?'  it isn't likely that he'd say Yes.</p>
<p> </p>
 
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