overstressed hubby looking for a way out

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
overstressed hubby looking for a way out
Wed, 01-20-2010 - 11:45pm

My husband has been under an extreme amount of stress. His father died a year and a half ago and it has just destroyed his family. He is the oldest son in his family and so his father left his business to him.

After his dad died, his brother who had previous issues with drugs went back in a way that was significantly worse than before. It got so bad that my husband had to fire him from work as he was using on the job and drugs were found in the company vehicles.

As if this wasn't worse enough, his mother (whose cancer was in remission for nearly a decade) returned just before Thanksgiving in a very aggressive way (tumors on the brain and lung) and had to undergo surgery. He spent any free time helping her to recover from surgery.

He is the one that everyone leans on and refuses to turn to any outlets. He has always sensed when something was bothering me and offers to talk about it and knows just the right things to do/say to make it all better. He is the complete opposite in volunteering information and refuses to admit or reveal what is bothering him.

Last week, after a significant period after the romance in our relationship departed, he said that he wanted to discuss our relationship and talked about trying out a separation for a while. I honestly don't want him to leave, I don't see him much as it is since he is working so much.

He has refused couples counseling in the past when we have had problems, and so I am not counting on him (or us) seeking counseling now. I just don't know what to do, I really don't want to lose him. He is the only man that I've ever loved and I just don't know what I would do without him.

Does anyone have advice on how to deal with this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 01-21-2010 - 2:27am
Welcome to the board, Manymommy09 ~ I'm so sorry you're dealing with all this, and sorry for what your husband is shouldering as well.

I don't quite understand though, do you feel that his burdens are what has him asking for a separation or have you two been having significant problems prior to all this?

Would he see a counselor with you not to get help for himself but to help you? Sometimes men who won't go to couples counseling and won't go on their own WILL go if their wives set up counseling for themselves and ask them to go with them as support. The hope, of course, is that the entry will allow him to go "for you" and his defenses about going will be down. Once there (hopefully), he'll engage in answering questions and will be working in couples counseling before he knows it. Whether his introduction into counseling allows him to continue or whether he continues to think going is "to support you" doesn't really matter. What matters is he's there. Just a thought.

In regard to separation -- why does he want a separation? What is wrong with the relationship? How does he see separating make your problems better? How will you work on your problems if you're separated? How are you working on your problems now?

"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2009
Thu, 01-21-2010 - 6:02am

cl-2nd_life gave an excellent advice.I would try to give something to think about.
Men and women deal with stress in a different way- women talk,talk and talk till they feel better while men either shut down or turn to close friends.Women are usually the ones to ask for help while men want to sort it out themselves.
Your husband has gone through a lot of emotional turmoil,he may not even know how to deal with it and since your relationship itself was dwindling off,he is trying to not get any more pressure than he already is in and probably separation is the only way he is seeing.

Sometimes happenings in life change the entire perspective of people and he does seem to have gone through life altering experiences which can either be a positive result or negative.

Have you offered yourself as going to be supportive while not putting pressure on your relationship at the moment?What does he say about it apart from separation.Separation is not a solution here as what he needs ,IMO,is your support which he is not asking.Or is it that he seems to believe that you wont be able to help him the way he wants?