Dealing with my husband's lack of desire to do ANYTHING!


Hubby is a 63 yo, basically healthy man. He has lost hearing in his right ear years ago due to an untreated infection. Hearing loss is rampant in his family, and now he is losing the hearing in his left ear. I have to shout at him, even when I am LOOKING at him to get him to respond. He refuses to get his hearing checked. Saw an audiologist 25+ years ago who couldn't help him, so he assumes this more recent loss is the same. We just returned from visiting an out of state daughter and she commented that he seemed a lot worse. Also, he is type 2 diabetic and will not comply with dr's advice. He eats horribly and swigs full sugar soda all day. He seems foggy and out of it all the time. His go-to emotion for EVERYTHING is to be angry, mostly aimed at me b/c he thinks I don't tell him what's going on. Last night I had to remind him of a couple of things that HAVE to be done within the next week and he blew up and me and said "You have become a huge nag. Just calm down." Yes, I had reminded him of these things several times, but due to his poor hearing, I never know if he hears me and "gets" what I am saying. He still works FT, but is beginning to make some huge mistakes at work, and I think they are due to the hearing loss and the fact he has kind of withdrawn into himself, which people with hearing loss can do. If he is home, he is in the bedroom with the TV on so loud you can hear it all over the house. He only watched FoxNews and has become this old curmudgeon. I can't STAND that TV in the room and he knows it. He says it's his room and he can do what he wants. I'm sick of this. Any ideas?? I'm ready to leave him.

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I'm sure this whole situation is going to take a LONG time to resolve itself, if it even does. I have not spoken to my hubby besides a "yes" or "no" since he blew up at me Monday night. I have a bad cold (which he now has) and so I have been babying myself and getting to bed early . I am very, very hurt and right now anything I say to him will be "not nice".
We both had to have complete physicals with specific blood tests done by the 30th of the month. (He "forgot" to tell me, so I asked and by darn, yep, the open enrollment needs to be done ASAP) Did mine this am. He still hasn't scheduled his. If he doesn't get it done in the timeframe he is stuck with the "high cost" plan. I will not remind him again and I will not schedule the appts for him. His dr is notoriously hard to get to see, so good luck to him. He has meds at the pharmacy he NEEDS and they have called and texted him to that effect. He still hasn't picked them up. I won't do it. The days of me being his little servant are OVER. I am going to Washington to tend 4 "difficult" grandkids next week. He is not coming. I am going to take that time to reflect and think, hard.
Yep---we need a smirk emoticon. I'd probably use that a lot!

MidKid, I've been through this occasionally myself. It took me a while to learn to back off, then find a good medium position to provide oversight and assistance needed while also not creating the sense of being too reliant or needy.

(But occasionally I still get advice on how to drive!)

I imagine that for men who are or have been strong and tough all their lives, it's threatening to them to have to rely so much on the "weaker sex" as I think some men still view women. What really frosts me though is when another man is allowed to do something when I've suggested the same solution and been rejected. Of course, I know that these particular men are all smarter and more competent than me. (If we could emoticons, I would use one with a real smirk!)

just remember - you need to be KIND to yourself.

Thanks, GardenArtist...yep I have worn "earplugs" for the past 20 years so I can sleep next to this snoring giant :) I can still hear really well with them in, so they just muffle sound.
I haven't really spoken to him for the last 2 days and he has been home...and he is acting very, very apologetic, tho he never actually apologizes (b/c he's RIGHT all the time, y'know)...I have made myself a little reminder list of some of the best comments from this site. I am thinking three or four times before I say anything to him. I think he "gets" that I was extremely hurt by the curt and thoughtless ways he speaks to me.
I am going to back off from the "nagging". He left for work this morning, forgot his phone (he always comes back home 1-3 times in the am as he routinely forgets something)..I saw that he'd left the phone and a pile of receipts he needs for expense reports sitting in plain sight on the dresser. Normally I would have chased him down and handed them to him, but I restrained myself--and pretty soon he can ambling back in the house and retrieved them. I think he got about halfway to work before he realized. I am pulling back a ton, starting NOW. I am going to treat him like and adult and quit the babying. If he chooses to watch TV until midnight, then I am sleeping downstairs in my own room. No apologies, no comments, just going. And he can stay on top of his meds and his drs appts. I'm done. No reminding, no fussing.
I'm sure a lot of this behavior of fussing him like one of the kids has come from his cancer scare of 10 years ago when he was dxed with Primary Liver Cancer. We lived 10 months waiting for a liver transplant--which he did get and which saved his life. I HAD to baby him for 4 long months of recovery (which he barely remembers). That dynamic stayed on. Then he did 84 weeks of the most hellish form of chemo (to deal with the underlying Hepatitis C which was what caused the cancer). I worked 2 jobs for 3 years to pay for that. He relapsed and the HCV came back. Just this year he did the newest TX for HCV and he is finally clear of the disease. This is really an underlying factor as to why I have been so "fussy" about him. He is truly worth nearly a million bucks in healthcare. So to see him be so cavalier about txing his diabetes makes me furious. BUT, if this is his choice, then it's his choice. I can't be so involved any more. It's literally killing me.
I am grateful for the advice--I'm too close to the situation to think clearly. He can shut me down with a snarky comment and make me feel horrible about myself. I know he is just trying to drive me away so he can watch TV in peace and he really looks at me as a problem, not as a wife. I can't change that, but I can change my outlook. Hopefully, I can. It's pretty ingrained right now!! I think also the fact I did not work this year due to a couple of major surgeries on me that have left me dragging hasn't helped. I dont' interact with another adult on a daily basis. I need to get out of the house, for sure. Thanks again for advice..keep it coming if you think you can add to this and thanks to all who responded. This support has meant a lot to me!!

Perhaps it's time to take the approach that doctors do with recalcitrant patients. Instead of reminding him, encouraging him, back off entirely and let him fend for himself.

Get a pair of ear protectors from Lowe's or Home Depot (I know, they're not all that comfortable) so you don't have to hear the tv, and leave him to himself.

He's made it clear he doesn't want to be reminded, so let him live on his own terms while you think about how you want to live and whether or not it's with him for the rest of your life. I'm not saying leave him, but just back off for a while and let him realize you're not there to be his verbal punching bag.

He isn't going to take care of himself until HE decides he wants to live in a more healthy manner. And if he IS on a self destructive bent, other than getting professional help, I don't know what you can do. But sometimes just letting him figure that out for himself and realize you're not going to pamper him could bring him to his senses.

Country mouse...
Bam, right on topic. I DO love this guy--we have been to hell and back (mostly with his health issues, which I really didn't get into, due to space...) and YES I want him in once piece and I want him as healthy as he can be. I am certain my SIL was as "calm" as he was b/c this is his FIL, not his own father. AND as a dr, he sees worse and has to grow that thick skin. I appreciated him being completely professional with my hubby.

I have grown conditioned over the years to take all the stress and "issues" of raising a large family (5 kids) entirely upon myself, mostly due to the fact hubby has always traveled and when he came home, he would NOT deal with any family upset or stresses. So I got them all by default. Not complaining, saying it like it is. I cannot talk to this man in a way he understands. He is an engineer. He fixes problems for a living. I have (or am) a problem, he tells me how to fix it and won't talk anymore about it. Period.
I think I will write him a letter and leave it for him. He can peruse it at his own time and maybe reading something will help. I did that just once before as it was something had to change or I was leaving. It got better for a little while, but old habits.....Gorlin, I am probably trying to not make him sound like some kind of monster...he's not. We're just in the rut that is making me so sad. AND I do not want to watch him die by inches simply b/c he's too "busy" to take care of himself. I am also super sick today with a cold I brought home from sick grandkids and that is coloring how I feel.

Mm. SIL is right, you know. Well, you do know, I know that. Maybe here is what SIL doesn't know:

you would prefer it if your husband were not blind as well as deaf
you would rather he did not have to have his feet amputated
you were kind of hoping that he and you, once you've completed your careers and your family-raising, might have some time left over for yourselves
it is hard to see someone you love going on taking risks because he has lost heart when it comes to improving his health

And all of this is not because you are a selfish nag. It is because he is your husband and you love him, and you would like him to be around in more or less one piece for a while yet.

If you had ten husbands a day to work with, maybe you could be as relaxed about non-compliance as SIL is. And in fact has to be, because otherwise the frustration would be intolerable. But as it is…

When you've packed and are ready to set off, leave a letter with your husband explaining why you care what happens to him. He can think about that while you're away, and you'll have got it off your chest so you can enjoy the time off.

PS I won't drink low-calorie soft drinks either. I think they're revolting. But there's always good old water!

I feel your pain. It is none of my business but, it sounds to me like u r making excuses for him being disrespectful to u. If he is does not have a medical issue that would cause him not to consider your feelings, what is the excuse? It appears u are modifying you behaved but he is unwilling to modify his. Hmmmmm

Thanks for supporting comments;
Yes, we have marital problems: me. Well, that's how he feels. We did counseling once and the therapist (and 82 yo man) blamed everything on me. Literally. I walked out of the last session and never went back. What a joke. I have a personal therapist that I see, Hubby asks why do I need one and I said "She is the person who has kept me in this marriage for almost 40 years. I PAY her to listen to me, that's how desperate I am to have someone validate that I am not crazy." No response from him.
No doubt hubs is depressed. He's lost a lot of the abilities to do the things he used to love, sports being the main one. He had a liver transplant 9 years ago...has been given a 2nd chance at life and so his not dealing with his diabetes just makes me angry. His kidneys are compromised by the antirejection meds he takes, which makes controlling the diabetes so much more important.
I do ALL the shopping, ALL the cooking, but he eats out a LOT. The travel. He doesn't make good choices. He will NOT drink "fake sugar" drinks.
He will NOT walk for exercise. Exercise is hiking. Nothing else counts.
This past week we were with my daughter and her hubby in Houston, SIL is a GI fellow. He spoke to hubby very directly about his lack of care of his diabetes. Hubby got mad at ME for mentioning his issues with SIL. SIL says he is the typical non-compliant patient, and said he will change when and if he wants to, but not to hold my breath. Very discouraging. SIL isn't emotionally invested, so when he talked to my hubs he was very direct and very clinical. Other than just being angry with me, the discussion was a bust. SIL even offered to write him a prescription for a new med that will aid the one he takes currently (that makes him VERY sick) and he declined. SIL just shrugged his shoulders and said "Welcome to my typical day at work. 80% of my patients are non-compliant. You can give them info and meds, but most won't follow through. B* is no exception."

Why are you always so tense?

Gotta love that question. I DON'T KNOW I CAN'T IMAGINE WHYD'YA THINK????

Oh Midkid, I'm sorry. I have no idea what you could do. Keep a wall diary and write everything he needs to know on that and try to train him to read it? It hasn't exactly worked for me, but now if anything goes wrong at least I can just assume a beatific expression and say "sorry, but it's in the diary."

Trouble is, you care what becomes of your husband which isn't a problem for me - not that I don't care about exSO, but we're going our separate ways anyway in an amicable fashion so his health won't be my concern. All I can say is, enjoy the break, take the chance to relax, and when you get back see if you can't work out a way to let him be responsible for himself.

But the mess, the noise, the apathy - aaaarrrrgggh. Feel for you. Hugs.

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