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My Husband's Sudden Personality Changes

Hi.
I met my husband and started dating him in high school. We are now in our late 40's have been married for 25 years, and have three sons.

My husband has always been great, a little quirky, and a little inflexible, but it was workable. Over the last wo years he has:

gotten very angry about things that happened 30 years ago in high school
wakened me at night to yell at me
was sexually aggressive
sent topless photos of me to strangers on internet
became very very angry when he saw a text I wrote to a friend indicating he was in a bad mood
restricts me from texting friend, cries when thinking about her, thinks that I want to leave him for her (this is irrational, I am not a lesbian.)
Cries a lot

We go to an IMAGO therapy sessions and have learned how to have "imago" dialogues, but at times he insists on dialoging in night etc.
I was able to get him to a psychiatrist but he refuses to take meds for depression, and refuses to tell me what the psychiatrist says, except that it is all my fault.
Sometimes he seems teary and aologetic, and loving  and at other times very angry at me.
My mom died in May, and he has cried more than me and I resent dealing with him while I'm grieving.
I resent that he says it's my fault he did those things (pictures and aggression, controlling behavior) and has never apologized but demands I apologize for things like texting my friend.

I am trying to get to an individual therapist. Does anyone have any input? I do love my husband, but I don't know how to help him.
5 Responses
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134578 tn?1614729226
How old are your kids, and are they out of the house? What do they see of your husband and his behavior, and what do they think of it?

Have you spoken with his therapist and told him or her the list above (such as sending topless photos of you to strangers) so the therapist knows the full extent of what is happening? I don't think you necessarily need to know what his therapist has said to him, but do think you should (once, not constantly) tell the therapist what is going on, in case your husband is masking his irrational behavior. Some of what your husband is doing sounds almost dangerous.

Has he lately had a checkup from his regular doctor? His hormones might be going totally wackadoodle, and wouldn't that be great if such things could be helped medically?
Helpful - 0
2 Comments
Oh thank you what great suggestions. Kids are in the house, and have become increasingly aware, 16 and 12 year old twins. What a good idea to suggest a full work up from Dr. Therapist is aware but the "Imago" therapy doesn't address each person but rather the couple. I'm not sure it's the right thing.
I think the fact that your husband is willing to go to any therapy (Imago or alone) is really good. It's not uncommon for guys who are misbehaving or stressed to blame their wives for everything, but a whole lot of guys who blame their wives for everything use that as an excuse not to see a therapist themselves. At least he's not doing that, and I would keep going to Imago together if only just to keep him going on the idea of therapy. Also, often the change in behavior of one partner (you, in how you react to him) can cause changes in behavior of the other. So it isn't necessarily a waste of time.

I don't remember the full list of illnesses that can cause the kind of changes you're seeing, but know I've read that this can happen even with common conditions (I think I remember undiagnosed diabetes on the list). So definitely get him in for a full checkup. You might send a note with the behaviors above (along with the assurance that this behavior is not normal for him) to his M.D. in advance of the checkup, so the doc knows to look for hormonal changes or other physical issues that can make someone have mood swings or act very differently.

And yes, do see an individual therapist yourself. You probably need to be able to unburden yourself about this and not to friends, and you will need help with questions like what to tell the children if they notice, and just someone to talk to about what might be wrong with your husband, for your own understanding.

973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi royalbee, I wrote to you on the other forum you posted in!  Here to chat any tie.
Helpful - 0
207091 tn?1337709493
I totally agree with Annie, and would urge you to make sure you take care you yourself and your kids.

If you haven't ever looked up the term gaslighting, you might want to do that. It's a form of emotional abuse and manipulation. I don't know if your husband is doing that, but it sounds like it.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-warning-signs-gaslighting

https://www.healthline.com/health/gaslighting

There are several medical and psychological conditions that may be causing this, since it's a sudden change. Definitely rule out the physical first, then see if he'll get a good psych eval. Of course, if he won't, that's something you'll have to consider.

I wish you the best. :)  
Helpful - 0
134578 tn?1614729226
Here also is from a different website:
______________________________________________________
What Causes a Personality Change in Adults?

Sudden personality changes in adults involve many warning signs that loved ones may notice.

-  Mental illness and issues like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD can cause personality changes in adults.
    
-  Substance abuse can also change an adult personality. If drugs or alcohol interact with a mental illness or physical illness, it can make all problems worse.
    
-  Physical illness can cause personality changes. Stroke, brain infection, other infection or injury, dementia, Alzheimer’s and even digestive disease or heart disease can cause personality changes.
__________________________________________________


Helpful - 0
5 Comments
Oh thank you all so much!
This is unusual, I don't often talk to my husband about what I read on MedHelp, but I did ask him about this. My husband suggests your husband is getting hit on all fronts (jobwise, friends-wise, problems he had at an earlier age, things that you're doing that make him think you're getting more independent) and then add to it Covid-19 fears, and that's enough to make a person "bat **** crazy." (Says my husband.) He suggests your husband might have had a thin veneer of normal up to now and that the combo is too much, and he needs to talk about each thing one at a time with a therapist and/or with you. He says, "We're all feeling it now. Covid is making everyone go crazy." He also suggests having lots of sex, saying guys feel worthy when they think someone wants to have sex with them.
Would you want to have sex with him right now? I understand where your husband is coming from, but he sent topless pics of her to the internet without her consent, has been sexually aggressive with her, and is accusing her of having some sort of relationship with a girl friend.

I mean, sex makes men feel worthy, generally speaking, but personally, sex might be the last thing on my mind after the violations of trust, intimacy and safety.

Tough situation here. :(
No, I agree, if it were me, sex with my husband after the photos went out on the Internet would be the last thing I'd want to do. This was just my husband's remark and I included it because of his comment that sex makes a guy feel "worthy."  I don't think I would have included it even so, except that she sounds like she loves her husband and wants to help him, with no underlying anger at him for being such an a.h. to send her photos out. In my world, sex would feel like betraying myself in order to prop him up. But if it would help her in her world (if he would take it as affirmation) then maybe. I sure wouldn't do it if it encouraged him to be sexually aggressive in an unpleasant way.
oh my goodness you are all so helpful! Thank you!
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'm going to copy what I wrote on the question you asked on the other forum: Wow.  Sweetie, that's a lot.  Do you have kids with him?  How long have you been together.  Honestly, woman to woman, he sounds terribly unstable.  And if this progresses, I'm not sure he would be safe to stay with.  He's careening into dangerous territory from being irrationally jealous, trying to isolate you and not controlling his anger.  Has he ever hit you?  

I do not think anyone should have to stay in or be in a relationship where there is a safety issue or just living with someone that is unstable and not working on it fully.  I would not be okay with this situation in my home.

I understand your resentment as well. This was YOUR mother.  His emotions seem out of balance.  He may be sad for sure, but his duty as your spouse is to comfort YOU at this great loss.  This seems all about him. Would make me resentful too.  

I totally agree that it's hard to deal with those we love having mental health problems but even worse when you are the target of it.  That's not sustainable.  We are not punching bags.  We should not have to be in that position.  

You must feel very alone right now.  I'm sorry.  Here to talk any time.
Helpful - 0
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