Husband has lost control in life

by Bella
(Melbourne)

The Question


My husband of 23 years is going through a transition in his life that he cannot control. He has always been very analytical - always in control/able to help anyone with any problems. Yet, as he constantly tells me, for the first time in his life he cannot fix himself.

He has always been a wonderful husband/father/provider but recently told me that he was unsure if he was "in love" with me. He says he hates hurting me and is trying everyday to try and get those old feelings back for me. I on the other hand adore him and have told him so.

I see a man who has lost total control over his emotions and is totally blocked. In other words I see a man who is in a dark hole and cannot get out. It is tearing me apart as I don't know how to help him.

Just today I could see that he was on edge. Our teenagers were giving us a bit of cheek and normally he could handle them but I could see that he was about to blow his stack very quickly. I told him to go out and meet up with some mates for a drink to give him "chill out time". He thanked me for understanding. I don't know if this is the right approach or not but am willing to try anything to save our marriage.

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated as he won't go to a doctor/psychologist/marriage counselling. He cannot see how anyone else can help him.

Noel's response

It sounds to me as though you are doing what you can. You cannot 'help' him in the sense of aiding him in getting through this, but you can be there for him when he needs it, such as sending him out when he was about to blow his top with your teenagers.

He may never get his old feelings for you back, so it is fruitless to try, but once he gets through this transition, he may well find he loves you at a deeper level.

It is too bad he won't see a psychologist, as that may help him get through this transition with less confusion.

If you show him my website, he may find the symptoms I have listed here are similar to what he is feeling, and realize what he is going through is normal and he is not alone.

As for yourself, hang in there, but have some boundaries around how he treats you. Some men become mean when they are in midlife transitions, and their spouses and families suffer for it.

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