Reach out or be emotionless?

by lynn
(nashville)

My husband is almost 60, very fit and acts much younger. He started having problems after his brother died, then my parents died, and he started having health problems.


He's obsessed with exercise and staying young. He mentioned a year and a half ago that he did not know if he wanted to be married anymore, it wasn't me, he did not want anything tying him down. He wanted to figure out what he wanted in life. He then had heart issues and had to have a stent put in. the cardiologist suggested prozac for a year, and it helped. He stopped the prozac 2 months ago and things have gone downhill.

before he stopped the prozac we went to counseling and we got a lot closer. He's still willing to go to counseling but he wont talk about everything because he doesn't want to upset me. I see glimpses of the old person...we have so much in common and can talk for hours about stuff we both like to talk about.

One minute, he won't talk to me or look at me, and the next he's driving around to look for our next house. The mixed signals are driving me to leave. I don't have the patience for this.

My friends say I should leave, he's messed up. My counselor says to break the "dance" and reach out, but when I do it doesn't go well. Should I continue to reach out, give him books on this topic? or just leave him alone...I'm really scared if I leave him totally alone, he will leave.

Noel's response

I am not sure what you mean by 'reaching out', but it sounds as though you mean 'helping' him by doing things such as giving him books about midlife transitions.

From the sound of it, he might benefit from grief counseling. I suspect his obsession with health is motivated by his fear of death.

You might also tell him that his erratic behaviour is hard for you to take, and that you want him to go back on prozac until he has had enough counseling to deal with his chaotic feelings.

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Aug 06, 2011
update
by: Lynn

I did tell him today that how he is feeling is how I felt for years before I realized I had been depressed and suffered PTSD for a very long time. It was only after medication and counseling that I am better enough to work on myself now and analyze my own behavior, wants, and needs, without getting uspet and wanting to run away. He has seen me get better and I hope that helps.

in the last 2 days he's been a little more normal, if he doesn't want to talk,I write letters to him so I don't get stuck and passive aggressive. He does read what I write and started reading the books I gave him, so I guess I am lucky that he seems to want to try, just not ready to really talk yet.

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