Something is Terribly Wrong With My Husband

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Very specific symptoms, need help before someone gets hurt or worse. Please Tell me what could be causing these specific symptoms before someone gets hurt or worse. I am a wife, deeply worried about my safety and the safety of my Husband. I know something is terribly wrong with him and I have no idea what to do. He is like 2 different people. He has mentioned killing himself and even me. Please Please help.
This is him, describes him perfectly.

  • While with friends or at work ( multiple adults around )
    Appears Happy, Usually very Loud, Funny but to the point of being rude and overbearing for most to handle, cocky, Crude, But a real ” life of the party”, Joking, Needs to be noticed, Did I say LOUD, laughing …. etc.

  • While here at home alone or with just me ( the wife ).

    From the moment he wakes until bed every day, withdraws to the same chair in the same corner and closes off everyone and everything, easily agitated to the point of a sudden screaming outburst or throwing something at a person if interrupted. Does not want to move, go out, and especially not talk. Ignores or blocks out everyday problems if he does not know the immediate answer to fixing them. ( he watched TV for 5 hours while a broken water line flooded our upstairs and brought down half the ceiling above him in our house while I was gone, didn’t even go upstairs to see why water was coming through the ceiling because he did not know how to fix it ). Answers every question no matter how difficult or simple with ” I don’t Know “. ( ” do you want burgers for supper ” ” I don’t know ” …. ” the car won’t start what should we do ” ” I don’t know ” … ” Our 16 year old daughter didn’t come home last night, what should we do ” ” I don’t know ” ) and then if I press for an answer or ask to many questions … He may pick up a bat and threaten to kill me or a knife and threaten to kill himself.

His folks both died in a car wreck when he was 13, he is 36 now and we have been married for 5 years. He has always had quite a temper and seems to deal with stressful situations by ignoring them, but the rage and total shut down has escalated in the last year.

A specific incident that best describes him … After a perfect fun day playing golf with the kids and a few friends we came home ( about 5:00 ) the children went to a friends and he asked what was for dinner … I told him the fridge was empty – he commented made a comment about me being a lazy wife and I ( against my better judgement ) laughed and reminded him that he had not gone to work for a week and I had been working overtime.

He grabbed my hair and started laughing, got the craziest look in his eyes, and told me about 10 ways he could kill me without anyone ever finding out. He left and when he came back he acted like nothing had ever happened ” baby, I’m home … want to go catch a movie ? ” …..

What is wrong with him ? Is this normal ??? PLEASE PLEASE help. He Laughs at the thought of counseling and it angers him If I suggest looking into help. I don’t want to give up on him because I know he can be a very loving and wonderful hard working person, and about 60 % of the time is an ideal father and Husband.

Any ideas of what it could be?

A. I cannot offer a diagnosis over the Internet. The best way to receive a diagnosis is for your husband to be evaluated by a mental health professional. Though I cannot provide a diagnosis, I am very concerned about your situation. Based on your letter, it is clear that you face two main problems. The first problem is that you are afraid of your husband. He has threatened to kill you on multiple occasions. He has even listed the many different ways in which he could kill you and not get caught. His behavior is odd, erratic, and unpredictable. It is also bizarre. It is highly unusual for him to have ignored the collapse of the ceiling in your home. You have every reason to feel afraid of your husband. The fact of the matter is that you and your children may be in danger.

The second problem or complication is that your husband laughed at the suggestion of counseling. Unfortunately, you cannot force someone to seek treatment. An individual can be forced into a hospital when they are a danger to themselves or others but at that moment in time, it is often too late. An individual can also be mandated to treatment by a judge after a crime has been committed. My concern is that by the time a crime will have occurred, you and your children may have become the victims of that crime.

You and your husband are no longer working as a common unit. He is no longer caring for the children, the home, or any other aspect of his life or surroundings. In many ways, the marriage is no longer functioning as a marriage. He is doing nothing to help the marriage and even laughs at you when you suggested seeking help. Currently, this is not a marriage and the situation seems to be becoming worse with time.

He needs help but he is refusing the help he needs. This means you have to make the next move. You and your children are in danger. You have to protect yourself and your children from this danger. I understand that this is a very difficult situation because you love your husband but when someone endangers your life and the life of your children you must take action. I’m not suggesting that a partner should leave their mentally ill spouse but in this case, your lives are at risk. You must do what is necessary to protect you and your children from the potential risk that your husband imposes.

You should strongly consider alternative living arrangements. This may include staying with friends or family or living in a temporary residential living shelter. Also, do not hesitate to call the police if you believe that your husband is about to harm you. These actions may save your life and the lives of your children. Your husband has given you every reason to fear him. Do not underestimate the risk that he imposes. I wish you well.

Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Dec 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Something is Terribly Wrong With My Husband. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/12/26/something-is-terribly-wrong-with-my-husband/