My husband is very angry and nothing I do is right.

Started by

He is in his final stages of COPD and Emphasema. This is really hard!


Honeybunny, COPD seems to affect people that way. Life is hard when you can't breathe and aren't getting enough oxygen to the brain and other tissues. It is the only thing I can think of that makes people become so angry and mean to people around. I know it is hard to be around. He's not the person you used to know. Tell us a bit more about him and how long it has been. Do you have any help at all? Is he on hospice?
Have you considered Palliative Care or Hospice Care. They can be of tremendous help in times like this.
I read the caption you wrote: My husband is very angry and nothing I do is right. I have known a few people who have had this type of issue that can be debilitating and difficult. Some deal with it for decades and others have the onset of it suddenly. Either way, its difficult. Anything difficult creates either frustration or anger, so do not take it personally. I do not think it is directed towards you. It's just a release of pain, imho.

If you are there and engaged in your husband's health needs, you are doing nothing wrong. You are doing everything right by taking care of anything he needs, even if it just holding his hand or reading something new. Best of Wishes.
I understand how hard this is. I helped my (then) husband care for his father, who was living with us when he was dying from cancer and emphysema from decades of heavy smoking. His anoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) would alter his personality and bring out the worst - and I was his favorite target.

He would accuse me of being a witch and putting a spell on his wife, saying I did that so she wouldn't listen to him or obey his (irrational) commands. He actually called me into his room one day and told me to take the spell off her, and then, we'd be ok again. So I went out and tapped my MIL on the shoulder, and when she looked at me, I wiggled my fingers at her and said, "BOOGA DA BOOGIE!" - she looked at me like I'd lost my mind. I told her I was taking the spell off. Went back and told him I'd done it and he said we were friends again. The next day, it was something else and I was the target again. He alternated between loving me and hating me, depending on how bad his anoxia was that day. He called me a whore, said I only married his son for his money (uh....right - that's why we were both working 2 jobs, right?), and one day, threatened to shoot me because I was sick with strep throat and his wife did me the favor of walking my daughter to school. Later, he would hug me, tell me he loved me, and that I was an angel for letting them move in and taking care of them.

I guess my point is....try to hang in there. I know it's hard. He's sick, in pain, and probably confused much of the time. Try to get a break with some respite care if you can.
He's angry because he's in the final stages of COPD. So given that the only thing that would stop his anger is not being where he is, and that there is absolutely nothing you can do about that, it is true to say that "nothing you do is right."

Really and truly, it's not you. It's him. This is a terrible time for both of you. Don't make yourself feel worse by believing that if you only try hard enough, or say the right words to him, you can make it all better and he'll show his appreciation. He might miss all you do for him if you didn't do it, and I'm sure he knows that too, but that doesn't mean he's able to express it when he's overwhelmed by feeling ill and afraid.
The only thing you can do is disengage and just let the hurtful things go by. keep quiet, don't argue or try and contradict or defend yourself. it is a very unhappy situation for you and unlikely to change so try ad get some respite and take care of yourself.
This is a situation where a small dose of morphine is prescribed. This makes the feeling of distress from not being able to breath and lessens the anxiety.
Many people are opposed to using this powerful drug but if you are both prepared to try and the Dr agrees it will greatly improve your husbands quality of life.
I agree with Veronica. If your husband has end-stage COPD, addiction is not something to worry about. Morphine may help make him comfortable. Many doctors are uneasy about prescribing it, but hospice believes in making the last days of life as comfortable as possible.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support