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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the years progress, I feel like my H is getting grouchier and grouchier. He is 32. We both work FT (a lot of times overtime), we have two young children, so yes our lives are stressful at times. I love him and try to be positive and uplifting around him, despite his bad attitude. It can wear on me at times though. I deal with a chronic illness (not yet given a definitive diagnosis, but actively working with doctors to get one) and despite how I feel 99% of the time, I still try to remain upbeat and positive in our home. If for nothing else, than for our childrens sake. I grew up with a very negative/pessimistic mother and father, always talking about worst case scenarios and teaching me to see the glass half empty. So I am a bit sensitive to this type of thinking and don't really want my children to grow up in the same environment that I did. I am a realist, but I think you can teach your children to be realistic and also be able to find the good in things at the same time.

Anyway - trying to think of what else might be relevant to his attitude: Our sex life is about 1 time a week. I would like it more, but he has not been up for it recently. (Says he is too tired, doesn't have any desire for it more than that.) I am on SSRI's and shocked that my drive is actually going up in recent weeks (probably because I am finally starting to feel a little better) and it has made it apparent that his is tapering off. Is that normal for a 32 year old guy? Maybe his prime years are just behind him at this point? He never initiates. I always do. He tries to turn me down gently or participate, but it's clear when he's not up for it, if you know what I mean. No hard feelings on my part - although I do wish he felt better.

He is about 40lbs overweight. He has always been overweight. Looks-wise, he still looks the same as when we married. I am still very attracted to him and desire him, despite the extra weight. I think he carries it well. He says he wants to lose weight, but never does anything to initiate that like starting a diet or exercising. I don't say anything to him about it, at all.

He often comes home from work, in a bad attitude, doesn't greet us at the door and I usually leave him alone to give him some time to unwind. (I take care of the kids and cook dinner, and he usually comes to join us for dinner after about 20-30 mins of alone time.) Sometimes the negativity drags on into the evening - with him snapping at me or the kids over trivial things all evening like "Why are all these toys out?" (kids are playing with them) "Why are they being so loud tonight?" (kids are laughing or talking to each other at normal levels) or something like that. Hopefully you get my drift.

I usually keep my mouth shut and try to just be nice to him, love him, be affectionate to him and hope he'll come around. Sometimes he does. Sometimes his attitude is too much for me to take and I will just go into another room and do something else for awhile.

Occasionally - if we are out in public and he is really being obnoxious - I will calmly pull him aside and tell him to cut it out. He hates when I do that. I make an effort to do it privately and not to embarass him in any way, and only do it when it's getting drastically out of hand, but he always responds by shutting down completely and being mad at me for awhile. So I have to play my cards wisely - is it better to let him continue to be a sour puss around us or for him to give me the silent treatment?

Here's an example that happened this weekend - we have a few Christmas traditions since starting a family. One of them is that we always take the kids to a local christmas tree display, and allow them to pick out one ornament to buy each year. The kids love this tradition and look forward to it. The store is always super crowded (it's like a tourist destination) and there are thousands of ornaments all over the place for people to purchase. Our kids are well behaved (2.5 and 3.5 years old) and before we went into the store, I discussed the ground rules with both of them - no touching the ornaments or picking anything up, ask mommy or daddy if you want to look at something. My 3.5 year old is old enough to understand and obey, the 2.5 year old needs some reminding at times. While in the store my husband was just being awful. The kids wanted to look at things and asked to see a few ornaments, so I got them down and showed them. Anytime they expressed interest in something, he was hovering and scolding us "Don't let them touch that! They will break it!" and coming up to me "Are you watching them? You should have a better hold on them. You are letting them run wild!" (Which I certainly wasn't, they stayed at my side the entire time and were behaving quite well.) He left to go to the bathroom and left me with the kids for about 10 minutes. While he was gone we had a fine time. The kids asked me to see a few ornaments, I had taken them down and handed them to each of them. He came back to see both kids with ornaments in their hands and went ballistic "I can't leave you alone for a second, can I?! You are letting them grab anything they want! You should be holding their hands, they shouldnt be touching this stuff!" and so on. The kids got upset about his behavior and started crying because they thought they were in trouble. What was a happy time then turned into a scene in the store with two crying kids and a husband visibly irritated. That is when I pulled him aside and quietly told him to shape up. We made it through the store with no problems whatsoever, nothing was broken, the kids behaved great, we bought a couple of ornaments. But his attitude almost ruined the day for me and the kids had I let him take over, know what I mean? I just dont understand why he acts that way sometimes. Everything was under control and there was no reason to act that way. People were staring at me as if I was the worst mother ever due to his comments when my kids were doing nothing wrong.

So...what should I do? Do I call him on a bad attitude, or do I keep my mouth shut? What can I do to help him be a happier person in general? Sometimes the bad attitude is draining.
 

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He is being abusive to you.

Call him on his bad attitude. Do not tolerate it.

Don't keep your mouth shut. This is giving him what he wants.

You will have to train him to cut out the nasty attitude and it will take a while.

My wife and I can both be short tempered and irritable with each other at times. But we both call each other on it and don't tolerate. And we are both getting better with time.
 

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My husband was frequently like this. I have years worth of memories of crying children, appalled silences from bystanders, and awkward apologies to family and friends following my husband causing some sort of scene such as you describe in the ornament store.

In his case, he wasn't getting the life he felt entitled to. At some point in his mind, I became the reason for that and he became actively engaged in perceiving me as the enemy. If there were a choice between giving me the benefit of the doubt about something and me being stupd/evil/wrong/hateful/the enemy, then I was the latter. Always. Even if it was irrational.

I remember once he blew up at me (full on screaming) for putting his insulated plastic cups in the microwave when I knew full well it would ruin them and was only doing it to be a b!tch to him. The problem was, that I had never microwaved those cups - hadn't even considered it. But in his mind, something was wrong (failing seals on the cups) so therefore I must be not only responsible for it, but actively being malicious. (Seriously, he thinks I'm out to get him and that all I can come up with is damaging the seals on some six year old Tervis mugs?!?! I wasn't sure whether to be more offended by his outburst or by the fact he obviously didn't think I could come up with anything more devious - and, you know, actually harmful - if I really were out to get him. Seriously?) Completely irrational.

And yes, he was having an affair the entire time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yikes. My H has never gone as far as to accuse me of doing things maliciously. Although, he does speak down to me as if I am stupid or careless at times.

He's not like this 100% of the time, FTR.

I don't know how he would be carrying out any kind of affair. We share phones and computers and we are together 24/7. He's never off on his own doing anything wierd and he works in an office that is 100% male (seriously...not a single female).
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you spend time together away from the children?

If so, how much time per week?

How is you sex life?
Sex is about once a week. Like I said - I want more, but I don't think he's up for it. Usually he lets me know he's too tired, or when we try to go for it anyway (I guess he feels guilty turning me down?) then it's obvious he's not really into it and I let it go. I prefer quality over quantity.

We do make an effort do have date nights - both on our own and spending time with our mutual friends. I'd say we get out maybe 2-3 times a month alone? We also spend about an hour each evening alone after the kids go to bed. His mood is always good when we are out alone together.
 

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Yikes. My H has never gone as far as to accuse me of doing things maliciously. Although, he does speak down to me as if I am stupid or careless at times.

He's not like this 100% of the time, FTR.

I don't know how he would be carrying out any kind of affair. We share phones and computers and we are together 24/7. He's never off on his own doing anything wierd and he works in an office that is 100% male (seriously...not a single female).
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If you have 100% ruled out an affair, even an online EA, then you may be looking at a case of him feeling dissatisfied with himself and/or his life and projecting the cause of that onto you. You can meet his top emotional needs to the best of your abilities, and you can set boundaries regarding the behavior you will and will not tolerate from him and enforce those boundaries with consequences you deem appropriate. Beyond that, it's up to him to find happiness within himself. You can help, but you can't do it for him.
 

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Is he depressed? That might account for his extreme irritability with your kids, inability to do anything about his weight and his low sex drive. I'd say once a week for a 32 year old man is pretty low. My husband is 40 and easily up for it 4-5 times a week when he's not depressed/sick/resentful about something.

You need to protect your children from this kind of nastiness. I would not be able to accept the kind of behaviour you describe in the ornament store towards my children. I would be telling him to be nice to them or stay home, if he couldn't.

But you do need to find the root cause/s of his moods and low sex-drive. Depression seems like a very likely culprit.
 

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I would think that he is uptight about things. If I were you I would ask him to see a doctor about it, sometimes a simple medication like xanax or something like that will take the edge off. It could be medically driven too who knows but its a great place to start to sort it out, he may feel better and as a result, you might all be happier. gl2u
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My husband does not see the doctor as regularly as he should. I have asked him repeatedly to go (I even found us a new practice that I think he would like) and he says he will make the appt, but never does.

Do I think he's depressed or has low T? Probably. But I know I cannot force him to follow up with a doctor about it. I speak to him lovingly and ask him to consider taking care of himself by making the appointment. I want to see him happier and I want to see him enjoying his life and feeling better - and losing the attitude. But he's got to get to his own rock bottom before he will understand that he needs to do something about it. I know that I had to....and nothing anyone said or did prior to that motivated me to seek my own treatment. I had to do it for myself.

Another example from last night -

We had sat down a couple of days ago to discuss the remainder of our christmas shopping, and the budget we were willing to put towards it. We agreed on a spending amount mutually, no fighting there.

This weekend, we have planned to get family portraits done. I had discussed with him that I would like to buy myself a new sweater for the pictures (we do these every year, and we usually wear coordinating outfits - totally dorky, but it's my one time of the year to get portraits done so I like to do it). H never really cares about the outfits or the poses or whatever - and I dont expect him to - but he goes along with it to make me happy, which I appreciate. Anyway - yesterday during my lunch break at work, I went shopping and spent $50 on two new sweaters, one for myself and one for my son.

I got home with the kids in the evening before he did. I was busy getting the kids settled and getting dinner started when he walked in from work. He did his usual routine of going to the bedroom to change his clothes, and I guess he saw my shopping bag laying on the bed as soon as he went into our bedroom. He stopped dead in his tracks, came out to the kitchen with the $50 reciept in his hand "What are these clothes you bought? Why did you buy these - we didn't agree on this for our christmas budget! You always do this, you always spend all of the money without any care in the world!"

I calmly explained to him that they were not christmas gifts, they were clothes for our portrait session and that I told him a week ago I was planning to buy these things. And also, I am aware of what money we have (and dont have) and that we had the $50 to spend and no harm was done. (Keep in mind that I work just as hard and make almost identical salary to him, so it's not like I don't contribute to the household financially....and we are not so bad off that $50 would make or break us.) He still ranted and raved at me, and finally I looked at him and said "Please calm down. Is this really what you want to discuss the moment you walk in from work? Please say Hi to your children, they have been waiting to see you all day. None of us appreciate your negative attitude the minute you walk into the door. I would have liked to have said Hi to you first, too, before you stormed in here to yell at me. You and I can discuss this issue later in private."

Maybe not the best approach. He rolled his eyes at me, walked out of the kitchen and went to spend time with the kids (where he was nice and pleasant with them) and by the time I got dinner on the table, he had dropped the attitude, so I didn't bother bringing it back up again and forcing an apology.

I just dont know what to do to get him to snap out of it sometimes.
 
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