My 80-year-old husband has a personality change at least once a month. I love him, but I can’t deal with him anymore. Is divorce the right answer?

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He doesn't get physically mean, but emotionally I can't take it anymore. Thinking of a legal separation and wondered if this is the answer. I love him dearly, but he has a jaekel/hyde personality.............oh, and he is great to everyone else when he gets in these moods.

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Every so often my husband (age 60) gets weirdly menstrual and nothing I say or do suits him. Sometimes I think it's that he lets things build up either at work or something I'm doing that is bugging him, and instead of talking to me he just blows up and then it just escalates from there. My question to you would be, is this behavior something that you've been putting up with all your married life? If it's something new, then maybe it's time to have him seen by a doctor to see if there's something else going on physically or mentally. But if this is old behavior that you're just tired of, then that needs to be addressed to. If you've been putting up with his behavior all this time, then it's YOU that's changed the parameters of the marriage so you need to talk to him. But getting a separation to me is not right either way unless he's beating the crap out of you that is. For us, I used to put up with my husband blowing up at me then I'd walk on egg shells for days. But about 10 years ago I stopped doing that. The egg shell thing was growing thin, so I changed my reaction to his bad behavior and in turn he changed. Turned out he wasn't happy with that way of doing things either. Win win.
to naheaton : it has escalated in the last 5 years, he didn't totally retire until 75. I just can't handle the vibes when he is in his moods. I have heard of the male mentral cycl thing also, could be. I am 78 and know I am on my last lap of this side of life, would like to go out happy and in peace. I know he loves me, just a sad way to show it. Could be a control issue.
Maybe it's time for an ultimatum. Either he seeks help from a doctor to find out what's going on, or you're taking a leave of absence to a warm balmy climate for a few weeks. I have learned though, you gotta be able to back up any threats you make.
Maybe instead of the whole ultimatum thing, you should ask him what he's so angry about. He's probably not happy either.
Divorce or separation seems pretty extreme if you haven't tried other remedies first. You should each see your doctors for a complete evaluation. If either of you is clinically depressed, for example, that should be addressed.

Then I would suggest couples counseling. If he refused, spell out very clearly the degree of your unhappiness and the possible consequnces if things don't improve. Then go to counseling by yourself. You deserve professional objective advice to understand what your options are in dealing with this unacceptable behavior, and support while you make changes to your reactions.

I am not totally opposed to divorce, even for people who have been married a long time. But it should be a last resort, when all other efforts have not succeeded. Make the other efforts first. I think you will be more satisfied with whatever the outcome is than if you have not tried.

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