Relationship I can’t stop being angry at him

Watash2

New Here
My husband has combat PTSD and a TBI. He is rated 60% with the VA. We have been together for 4 years, married 2 months. In the beginning I worked so hard to not have any needs and work around his issues, but of course that couldn’t last. He lets me down constantly. Breaks promises. Can’t be responsible. Let’s me do all the work while he watches TV, goes hunting, generally dicks around. I feel like I’m not even a priority in his life. I am so angry at him all the time and I don’t know how to stop. I feel like I’ve tried to bring up the issues I have in a reasonable way, but any time I try to begin any kind of serious conversation, he automatically assumes a posture like he’s getting ready to be physically attacked, and simply won’t talk to me. I don’t know how to handle this and it’s ruining our relationship. I feel like maybe this is a common enough issue someone might have some insight? He’s not going to change. I hope I can get some kind of new perspective that will stop me being angry all the time. TIA and happy new year!
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
Caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue are very very real.

It sucks out loud doing the heavy lifting with very little to no reciprocation or appreciation. It sucks being the target. It sucks not being able to have your own bad days or meltdowns. Even having the joy sucked out of your day gets old fast.

Honestly, after years of this, I don’t think there is a way to fix or eradicate it. It seems like it will come around every so often. We love our partners to death, and most of the time we’re good. Things truck right along and life is pretty stable, even content. It’s just a phase we all go through every so often, especially if our partners have been symptomatic or otherwise trying for awhile. That shit is exhausting (I’m looking at you, pandemic/holiday/politics combo).

You’re allowed to be irritated and burnt out. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a human with functioning emotions.

I probably sound bleak myself, but I’m also a bit over it right now. This has been a rough year, and it’s hard to get a typical “escape” in when you can’t really go out and do anything. That’s my usual coping mechanism... Getting out for a little peace without PTSD (shopping, girls night out, a concert, a weekend away with friends, etc).
 

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
Happy New Year. Have you tried framing it another way. For example instead of saying “You watch TV instead of helping me work“ you could say “I have got so much work to do. Would you mind helping me with this job right now?“?

Dunno. We have got four kids and a lot of work. I am very fortunate with my Vet because he actually likes helping and typically does what you ask of him... and often we have the other kind of problem, because he cleans everything and it annoys me a lot because I think a home with kids doesn’t need that standards of cleanness... but what I noticed is he doesn’t like it when you tell him things like “stop being lazy“... well he might help you, but moves very slowly, dicks around, must read the news on his cell phone before he lifts a finger and when I complain he is like “Why are you complaining? I AM helping you“.

What works well when I ask him to do a job:

“Hubby, would you mind vacuuming the floor this morning before ten o clock“ or “Hubby vacuum the floor right now“. I am not sure if this because he has ptsd or because he is a man but it works much better if you give him a time.

But when I say “You watch TV and the floor is not vacuumed“ it annoys him and I think it hurts his feelings. Having said that we typically have the other kind of problem. He thinks I am unclean and spends to much time cleaning.

You say your Vet breaks promises. Mine does too and it took me a while before I realized that he did not plan to let me down but he was afraid and unable to talk with me about this. For example he promised to take us to a place but didn’t and I was mad at him but he just grinned and nodded when I told him + joked around. That made me even angrier.
Today I realize that there was something he could not tell me and it was “I am deeply afraid of that place but I cannot tell you because that would make me feel unmanly. I promised to takeout there because I really wanted to and it would have meant so much for me to see you + the kids happy... but then I could not. Please dont be mad at me. I have tried my best“. I have talked to other Vets who had the same kind of behaviour and quite a few of them told me they do not tell there spouse if they are afraid of/triggered by something. As time went by he became better with communicating and also better with keeping his promises... because number one reasons he did not keep a promise was he was afraid or feeling physically unwell... but it took me a long time to realize because never did he show it. You cannot read his face, probably the same for many vets.
I am not saying he is afraid but it might be something to consider. For example my vet sometimes feels so afraid all he can do is play with his cell phone, or polish his shoes but it took years until he was really able to talk about this. Iris also ossicle your guy might forget about things... or maybe he really is just a giant flake. Who knows?

Right now we are in lockdown where we live because of the coronavirus... but I will not force him to go out after that. I think it will take a time again after that until he goes places again.

Hope it was a bit helpful and I am sorry if it does not apply.
 

Watash2

New Here
Happy New Year. Have you tried framing it another way. For example instead of saying “You watch TV instead of helping me work“ you could say “I have got so much work to do. Would you mind helping me with this job right now?“?

Dunno. We have got four kids and a lot of work. I am very fortunate with my Vet because he actually likes helping and typically does what you ask of him... and often we have the other kind of problem, because he cleans everything and it annoys me a lot because I think a home with kids doesn’t need that standards of cleanness... but what I noticed is he doesn’t like it when you tell him things like “stop being lazy“... well he might help you, but moves very slowly, dicks around, must read the news on his cell phone before he lifts a finger and when I complain he is like “Why are you complaining? I AM helping you“.

What works well when I ask him to do a job:

“Hubby, would you mind vacuuming the floor this morning before ten o clock“ or “Hubby vacuum the floor right now“. I am not sure if this because he has ptsd or because he is a man but it works much better if you give him a time.

But when I say “You watch TV and the floor is not vacuumed“ it annoys him and I think it hurts his feelings. Having said that we typically have the other kind of problem. He thinks I am unclean and spends to much time cleaning.

You say your Vet breaks promises. Mine does too and it took me a while before I realized that he did not plan to let me down but he was afraid and unable to talk with me about this. For example he promised to take us to a place but didn’t and I was mad at him but he just grinned and nodded when I told him + joked around. That made me even angrier.
Today I realize that there was something he could not tell me and it was “I am deeply afraid of that place but I cannot tell you because that would make me feel unmanly. I promised to takeout there because I really wanted to and it would have meant so much for me to see you + the kids happy... but then I could not. Please dont be mad at me. I have tried my best“. I have talked to other Vets who had the same kind of behaviour and quite a few of them told me they do not tell there spouse if they are afraid of/triggered by something. As time went by he became better with communicating and also better with keeping his promises... because number one reasons he did not keep a promise was he was afraid or feeling physically unwell... but it took me a long time to realize because never did he show it. You cannot read his face, probably the same for many vets.
I am not saying he is afraid but it might be something to consider. For example my vet sometimes feels so afraid all he can do is play with his cell phone, or polish his shoes but it took years until he was really able to talk about this. Iris also ossicle your guy might forget about things... or maybe he really is just a giant flake. Who knows?

Right now we are in lockdown where we live because of the coronavirus... but I will not force him to go out after that. I think it will take a time again after that until he goes places again.

Hope it was a bit helpful and I am sorry if it does not apply.
I really appreciate your response. I’ve been away from my husband this weekend, visiting family, and taking the opportunity to do a lot of reflecting on our situation. What I’ve concluded is that I may be reacting To what I think are his intentions and taking his behavior way too personally, and I need to learn to be more generous in my assumptions. I’m going to try really hard to talk back gently to my own fear, which is that I’m not being appreciated or respected aka loved.
I am so glad you responded with what I interpret as encouragement to be kinder to my husband and trust that he really is doing his best. Thank you and happy new year to you as well ❤️
 

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
You are very welcome. I have discussed this (talking to my Vet) with other man and other vets and others on this board and it has helped me a lot understand him better... including @Friday and @Freida who happen to be Vets. May be they have something to add too.
 
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