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My Dh has a long history of health scares, not the least of which has been 4 MAJOR concussions in adulthood--and who knows how many as a kid?


In the last few years, he has become very different. Angry, a lot. Teases me and the kids (all grown & married) relentlessly and never apologizes for hurt feelings.


Yesterday he got into a big fight with my YD and her cousin on FB. SO EMBARASSING. They were discussing the rioting and just--social anxiety ad doing so in a very Gen X way---they take these things very seriously. Because they ARE. He joined in the discussion and was very disrespectful and rude. I could just envision my militant little niece just losing her mind over how rude he was being. I'm USED to him, and I felt he crossed many lines.


I PM'ed my YD and asked her to just unfriend and block her father from her FB feed as this goes on all the time. He thinks he is right. Always. No matter what the discussion, his ideas are RIGHT.


His brother does not speak to him at all. He's extremely liberal and my DH is very conservative--kind of the epitome of white privilege that doesn't GET that he's super privileged----


I've noticed in the last few years (since the last and worse concussion) that he is much meaner and snarkier. I cannot have a conversation with him that doesn't wind up with him blasting liberals and anyone who doesn't agree with him.


Yesterday I tried to ask him to just take a month off from FB. I said "would you do this for me?" and he said "You don't get it. I'm just kidding. They know that". No, no sir, they DON'T get it. And he doesn't even notice when the g-kids are here and he goes on a rant and next thing you know, the kids have gathered up their families and gone home, rather than subject the grands to his rudeness.


He was NOT like this when we got married. It started after his liver transplant, but got much worse as he got better and began doing high risk activities. Rock climbing, mountaineering, trying to ride a motorcycle. All resulting in really bad concussions.


Yesterday I was ready to pack and leave him. We have not shared a bed or bedroom for 7 years--after that last concussion, he started keeping weird hours and was not respectful of my need to turn out the lights by 10 and GO TO SLEEP. He HAS to have the TV on, or be listening to something all night long--podcasts, whatever. He actually chose a damn TV over a relationship with me.


And no, this is NOT discussable. I try to bring it up and he shuts me down with a "oh, as long as we do what YOU want, it's all good".


I don't think he's completely unaware of this behavior. Last week I was reading on the couch, just immersed in my book and he was doing the crossword and suddenly he says "Sometimes I am a real jerk." I said "Well, that's insightful. And true. What do you plan to do about it?" He sat for a minute and said "Nothing. I literally don't give a flying F what people think of me".


This is NOT the man I married. I don't cover for him and I don't make excuses. He doesn't see that his kids are all embarrassed of him, as am I, and he seems to have no 'heart' as it were.


He's planning to retire sometime in the next 18 months. I am honestly thinking of retiring to a duplex, where I do not have to deal with him.


Yes. I am in therapy. No, he is not. Went for a few months, then his therapist graduated. Won't go back.


I'm not looking for excuses for him, but if his behavior is being caused by the many bangs to the head---maybe he'd be a little less mean.


He's not always this way---but every day, I kind of wonder who is going to get up in the morning.


Normally he travels 3 weeks a month and this hasn't been so apparent to me. But with COVID he's been home all year and it has NOT been pleasant--not by a mile.


Thoughts? I truly respect the opinions of the people on this site.

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Midkid58, I think a lot of couples are having a hard time with this pandemic. Living in close quarters and being shut in the house together for months. It’s not good for anyone. We live in a small ranch house and we don’t plan on moving. My husband is retired and I am still working. I work the overnight shift. When I get home, he will be getting up to start his day. I sleep till 1:30pm so he has all morning till I get up to do what he wants. I am a night person and he is a morning person. I don’t think that will change when I retire. I will still stay up late. I plan on volunteering also. I can’t be around him 24/7. I would go crazy. We each need our own space. I’ll need to get creative when I retire because we live in a small house. It’s not easy.
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I am more than fully aware he is not going to 'get better'.

A neuro visit is being considered, as he does respect our 2 inlaw kids who are Drs, who have maintained from day one of their entry into the family that he is 'not OK'. The slightest bit of pressure from either of them will be believed and taken into consideration.

I have had a couple of serious discussions with him about his lack of filter when talking to people and also the distancing our kids have been practicing with him--he really, really loves the kids and respects their opinions. He has to come to the conclusion he needs to change or else he is going to be real lonely.

Being bunkered down with him for the last 4 months has really opened my eyes to the fact his mood issues are the 'norm'. He's not a mean guy, just a guy who, as my OD said, "Isn't relevant any more. Nobody cares what a nearly 70 yo man has to say. Esp a big, white, privileged male." Hm. I thought that was insightful, really. He talks LOUDLY but no one is listening anymore.

We age out of being 'worth' listening to pretty darn fast. Being a woman, raised in the 50's & 60's, nobody ever listened to me. (Do have any amens on that?) He's starting to feel what I've felt for my whole life--like my voice had no voice.

Things are better now he is going out of the house for work. I am not on high alert all day---and I know what kind of place I'm looking for for retiring. One that has 'his space' as far from mine as humanly possible.

I appreciate the comments. I had to get some outside opinions. While we have not gotten COVID, it's been as if we were sick, stuck inside for weeks on end. I think a lot of people have looked at this and learned a lot--for good or bad.
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TBI...Traumatic Brain Injury.
Look at all the Football players, boxers and other sports players that have had brain injuries concussions over the course of years. It does have an effect on cognitive ability. (great movie on this very subject Will Smith in Concussion)
He is not going or I should say his brain is not going to know the difference between a TBI and "dementia" from other diagnosis. The damage is done. There is no cure for it. The results are the same. The brain will continue to deteriorate .
He should be evaluated by a Neurologist or a Neuropsychologist for a good diagnosis.
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Midkid58, If your DH hasn't changed by now, he's not going to change. We always think we can change our DH but that is not possible. Only you can change. Nobody else. Therapy would help you. It helps me. It helps me change ME, not anyone else. If you don't want a divorce, I would suggest each one of you finding your own space. You are going to need it when he retires and he is home 24/7.
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I think you need to accept the fact that he isn't going to change no matter what an MRI says, from what you say he militantly opposes any attempts to correct his behaviour because he doesn't see anything wrong with it - he's just kidding, he's right and they're wrong, he really doesn't give a d**m what other people think. IMO the only way to avoid spending "the last 20 years of my life scrapping with man" is to avoid the man as much a possible - in an ideal world he would retire to whatever his idea of the ideal home is and you could retire to yours and you would only need to interact at family events and special occasions.
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I've had the joy of having DH out of the house 3/5 days this week and it has helped my anxiety levels tremendously. Still struggling and had to have a 'virtual visit' with my psych doc yesterday, who knows me inside and out--his suggestions were very valuable.

This COVID thing has made me rethink the layout of the 'possible' retirement home--he will need his own spaces and I will need mine.

I am going to suggest an MRI at some point, actually, our SIL and daughter are coming home from his last medical training and DH really admires and listens to Dr Joe, so I think I can get Dr Joe to bring this up with DH and he'll listen.

Sadly, we were one of those 70's couples who got married and had a baby 14 months later and then pretty quickly, 4 more--and we never got to know each other, really.

Not unusual, but hard as we have almost nothing in common.

I'll do some more research and hopefully, get some insight as to why he is such a difficult character at times.

(I'm certainly not saying I'm a blessing to live with! I just don't want to spend the last 20 years of my life scrapping with man)

I probably should add that as an example he had the world's worst marriage as a "guideline". I never heard his parents say a kind thing to each other all the time they were married. DH expects that as the norm---even still, when he knows I am nothing like his mom.
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Midkid58, I get that you don’t want a divorce. I get that. I have been married 36 years and have no plans of divorcing him either. But you need space. I know of family members who live on the opposite sides of the house from each other. They stay together for financial reasons. They have been married since 1973 and he is a recovering alcoholic.When his mother passes away he will inherit millions. The wife has no plans on leaving her husband. She wants to share in the millions he will be inheriting. The mother is 95 years old. Some people stay out of fear of abandonment and for money reasons. See if you can get your husband checked out by a neurologist. When he retires, oh boy, he will be around you 24/7.
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Midkid, has your hubs ever been to a specialist, like a neurologist? The first thing I thought about after reading your post is CTE, the brain injury made "famous" fairly recently through the NFL and some high-profile cases. However, you can only confirm CTE post-mortem, but there are some behavioral characteristics that may indicate something is going on, and may keep getting worse. I thought about CTE because his personality changes were not immediate to his concussions, like in TBIs (as I understand it). If at all possible can you get him in to see a neurologist? You may have to "plant your flag" in this requirement, the consequence will be up to you to leverage. I'm a practical person and a chronically linear thinker, so I don't think you can do any counseling or psychoanalysis with him until you can know whether he is ABLE to control or change himself. If he can't you will be spending emotional energy and money on something that will not help. If you switched places with him, would you want him to help you when you couldn't realistically help yourself? Only you can answer this question. I'm thinking he must not be working in a career where he interacts with many people or he wouldn't still have a job (I'm an employer myself and wouldn't tolerate it for a minute no matter how long someone worked for me). Lastly, I would consider telling close family on a needs-to-know basis what you are concerned about and how to interact (or not) with him to minimize and de-escalate conflict and hurt feelings. If he adamantly refuses to see a specialist, bigger decisions may have to be made. Some with CTE have become violent, even towards those they know and love. I'm not trying to scare or depress you, I just want you to look further into your future so you can make critical, and better, decisions today for both of your sakes. May you get answers and solutions and gain peace in your heart no matter the outcome.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy/symptoms-causes/syc-20370921
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Midkid,
A therapist had to remind me that it was my husband's condition that made him behave that way. We may not be able to fix it, but 1) There will be good days, and worse days for hubs. A TBI patient is very hard to live with or help.
2) There are techniques that professional caregivers can use to distract, improve mood, and as wives, we can learn to use them.
However, as wives, we cannot do this 24/7! Sometimes, not at all because it is not a wife's role usually to be a therapist/caregiver to our spouses. Keep in mind, that even therapists limit their time to 45-55 min. twice a week. Can we be expected to do more than that?

Your own recovery may take a year + after chemotherapy, because of the chemo fog. During these more difficult times, yes, go outside, clear your head, think kind thoughts. About yourself, and about hubs. And think of some personal ways to help yourself. Do your makeup, moisturizer, do your nails (away from his presence). Feel more beautiful. Anything you are putting off doing for yourself. Be kind to yourself. Have you ever bought yourself some flowers? Sounds too simple, huh?
Disclaimer: Not into the me me me or self self self, but I bet you do neglect your own needs? You can find a balance between self,
self neglect, and helping others. It is ok to relax and do nothing.

It sounds like the whole situation is hopeless. Take heart, that is when God shows up to help you through this.
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Rock climbing and accidents can cause TBIs. You mentioned concussions - did he ever see a neurologist for brain imaging after any of the accidents? That was my first thought.

OTOH, if he lived for these activities, and some do because they're so rewarding, could he be resentful that he can't do these any more and is stuck at home? Resentment can cause a lot of negativity.
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Thank you for not just saying "Divorce him". That's not going to happen.

But we are retiring to a different home and I think a man lair (separate from the house!!!) may be in order.

He's sitting right here next to me, trying to work and I'm going outside!
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Midkid - I think that close proximity without a break has eroded your tolerance and no doubt his irritability is at least in part due to his lack of freedom to go about his life as usual - do consider that after retirement he won't even be working from home so it will be like a never ending weekend from before covid.

I get that divorce or separation is off the table, but maybe a home with a granny suite where he can wallow totally apart from you?
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