Help! Caregver/wife scared of her spouse

I apologize in advance as I have no idea which category to put this post. My husband continues to verbally assault me and then says it was an “outburst” and he can’t control them. I know this cannot be true because he has controlled them before. He has also tried to idntify triggers successfully. He’s twice my size and could very easily physically hurt me. I have a physical disability and my muscles coontract and spasm especially under stresd. I don’t know what to do. I can’t live like this but unfortunately cannot afford to live alone. He claims zero accountability. He could have tried counseling after the first one or two. Or he could have come here. Please help!

Thank you.
Scared Wife

General category is a great category as it’s the one most used, you did well Kim! Living with someone who had a SAH is often like being on a merry go round and it either goes to slow or way to fast, especially in the first few years. I’ve had a few outbursts since I popped my pipe. Never being one that had outbursts before, it wasn’t fun. In hindsight they’ve always been related to stress or medication one of my doctors put me on, or pain. The meds were the worse of the cause for me, one I was put on I actually told BH to move out! It took a long time for me to say “brain burn” and I was patting that area. The back of my brain felt like a volcano was erupting and I felt I would hurt BH. BH was livid and told me to be very careful of what I said, I held fast to what I said. Fortunately BH being the person they are was able to calm down and said they would if I’d come mow the grass. I asked if BH would still cook for me and in the end we were both laughing a little. That was a horrible day and I still had the appointment with one of my doctors and went off on them for not knowing why I was on a medication. I stopped all of them that day, all of them - the allergy meds, the med that was causing the issue and the heart med. I don’t recommend doing that and the following weekend was the worse. I have never taken the med that caused my brain to burn and have not gone back on my heart med. I feel better for it. Apparently the heart med was one I shouldn’t have gone back on after I ruptured due to my vasospasms I think it was, can’t recall now.

I do know how to control behavior, heck I taught those skills for a very long time. It doesn’t mean I can always apply them to myself now. Just last year I was way to stressed and threw a cussin to a trades woman who was tossing drywall mud out a window. The neurologist wrote a prescription for those times as they affect all my issues.

So look at the side effects of his meds if he is on any, it may very well be one of the rare side effects. Talk to his doctors, he is just a year out or so does he have a Neurologist yet? My earliest melt down was to our drunk neighbor who was teasing our new dog. BH called the Neurosurgeon and back in I went, got my MRI/A and seems I was still having vasospasms, it resulted in my second procedure as my coils had compacted. If he had an endovascular procedure and not a craniotomy, that could be the culprit.

It is very hard for men to agree to go to a therapist. We have been raised in a society that think men shouldn’t need to ask for help as it shows they are weak, which we know is poppycock. The strongest people I know are the ones able to ask for help when they need it. I once responded to a very bad domestic violence situation and the man asked if I thought he was a “real man”. He didn’t like my reply when I said real men don’t beat their wives. Another DV situation and the wife was accusing her husband when it ended up being her who was the abuser. I would tell you the same advice I always gave to women, if he goes off, do not follow him around the house talking. Let him go to another room or you go to another room, you really need to separate yourself. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, if the one who is getting madder by the minute, do not bait or feed their anger more, remove yourself. Wait until the situation has calmed down and then wait some more before trying to communicate. It is for your own safety.

While he may not be open to going to a therapist, you can. There may be a support group you can go to, look for either a TBI support group for caregivers or a Stroke support group for caregivers as either may be accessible for you. There aren’t many support groups for caregivers for SAH so we have to find what’s available in the area we reside. Ben’s Friends also has an online Caregivers Support group the link is on our home page. Also please keep your phone with you, call 911 if need be and let the police help.

Remember his healing isn’t done by any means, this takes years, not months or days.

Thank you for responding. While I like your choice of ride metaphor, I find things more like the Space Mountain roller coaster. It’ s all in the dark and you have no idea if it’s going to go backwards, stop or go up or down. He has a neurologist who recommended a sleep study, which he chose to prolong claiming the Dr. was not helpful and a sleep study would show nothing. He finally scheduled it and only last week cancelled it. He also had neuropsych scheduled for November and cancelled that too. He is taking an antidepressant which is supposed to help with sleep but it isn’t. He’s not sleeping nor is he drinking water or eating regularly like he was. He talks about wishing he was dead constantly and how nobody is doing anything to help him. He expects a quick fix NOW. I try to calmly explain that any of these things will take time. I found the neuro art which he seemed interested in yet hasn’t tried yet. He does have a counselor he will be contacting Monday. I know nothing about them only that he was matched based on an app.

Last night I did try to walk away however the situation required both of our dogs too and the nighttime routine and my yorkie got scared from his yellling and I had to intervene. Both dogs were scared and as a Dog Mom it was my responsibility to keep them calm and safe. I honestly had no idea what he was going to do. He was putting Pax’s belly band on aggressively and I asked him to please be gentler or I could do it. Though I was trying calm, he was still reeling. Instead of taking a moment himself, and asking me to finish, he continued acting aggressively. I was completely shaken. I didn’t even feel safe once I was in he bedroom and he was downstairs. I had no idea what I’d come down to in the morning.

I like what you said about BH telling you to mow the lawn and both getting a kick out of it later. I’ve tried being funny with little bargains with him however he no longer responds to my attempts at humor, taking things the wrong way and harbouring feelings until the dam bursts. I am in counseling and communicate with a stroke survivor who does a weekly youtube show. He has been very helpful and supportive. He had an aneurysm rupture and a massive stroke which left him completely paralyzed and mute. He is 13 years out and has such a great philosophy on mindset whivh I am desperately trying to follow.

I will look into Ben’s Friends and do have non emergency police on speed dial, sadly. He is extremely apologetic now however we are back to square one of the verbal outburst pattern and I no longer believe his apologies. I have heard them too many times. This may sound callous but that’s not my intent. I am back in my protective cocoon where I need to feel safe again. I do know that rebuilding will take much time and do not put any parameters on it. He is convinced he is broken and has no future. I affirm his reality as that is where he is in his grief process. I have reminded him that I haven’t gone anywhere and don’t intend to.

Thank you for everything. Perspective and sharing from experience are always appreciated!

I am no doctor. It sounds like your spouse is suffering from depression his medication might need to be adjusted or added to. If possible maybe you could go/ talk to his doctor that prescribes that medication. His outbursts are not uncommon for SAH patients. Healing brains take so much time. I’M sorry your afraid as a caregiver myself i feel so many different emotions it is overwhelming at times.
The caregiver forum on bens friends is not frequented by many people. I wish it was i also could use the support. Good wishes.


Thank you for your response! He definitely is depressed. He expresses and internalises it as frustration, fear, inadequacy and everything in between). He no longer has insurance (his doing. I mediated the phone conversation as soon as was necessary. He cancelled it recently. New policy in effect in Jan). I’m going to strongly encourage Psychiatrist (I see one myself and he knows how easy they are) to monitor his meds. In my opinion also as a Psychologist, he likely needs to try at least one cocktail. I have had many before my current one. Hopefully by seeing me doing it first hand might help him see that it’s nothing to be embarassed about. He has never judged me nor would I judge him? We shall see.

You do not sound “callous”. You sound realistic to me. You have to protect yourself.

We have dogs as well and I am 100% positive if I was ever handling one in an aggressive manner BH would probably take a 2x4 to me! Just Friday the young man that is mowing our yard said Nina tried to bite him. She has never, ever been aggressive in the ten years we’ve had them. I sent the clip to BH and when he went to get his monthly check, BH gave him a stern talking to, very stern. The dogs were laying in the driveway and I was in another part of the yard, so I didn’t see him come in. Seems he had swung the grass trimmer at her. He told BH he uses an electric trimmer and he took his finger off the trigger so it was off. He is fortunate that our Boxer mix, Ohana, didn’t go for him. I always put the dogs inside when he comes I hear the mower as this is what he usually does, now I have to tell him to text me before he gets out of his truck.

I get your Space Mountain metaphor and it pains me that you have to go through that type of daily experience. I do like to read that you are taking care of yourself as much as possible. I have a deep respect for caregivers because of BH I guess. I don’t believe I would be as far as I am without the encouragement of BH. It took BH a long time to remove the “restraints” due to fear, but we eventually worked things out with the help of my Neurosurgeon and Dr. Gary, the Psychologist I went to for psych tests. I had no affect for several years but when I did get my emotions back I was frustrated most of the time with everyone because of the restrictions they put on me. I kept telling everyone “I no baby” My speech was really bad until my stent I’s still not what it once was. I ended up being my parents caregiver in the last stages of their lives, it isn’t easy by any means and I do admire you as well as @Spousecaregiver.

Since he keeps canceling appointments maybe he has a friend or family member who can tell him to go in a different way than you. My Dad had multiple ischemic strokes and TIA’s and he had SLE. He had to have a B-12 shot on a monthly basis and would refuse them every now and again. Mom would call me and tell me to tell Dad to take his shot as his moods would get out of control. We lived in different States but he would get on the phone no matter his mood and I’d say something like “Dang Daddy, you’re as moody as Mom, you need your B-12 shot”. Mom said he always had her give it to him as soon as we hung up. LOL

Way before my rupture, the PCP I had thought I must be depressed due to my employment and put me on an antidepressant. She was the type of doctor that always had me see her every week or two when she or another doctor put me on a new med. the antidepressant actually made me depressed and she stopped it immediately. But I agree with you both, seems he needs something different.

I asked BH about the Caregiver group, seems no one is posting much on there. If no one posts then it can’t be active can it? People other than Moderators need to make a group active in my opinion. So please post and see what replies you get there. I also know we have several caregivers that post here and I hope more come on and tell you how they got their partners to cooperate with medical appointments and leveled out their moods.

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I am very verbal now and wasn’t before. It was way worse when I first came home but it’s been almost a year and my patience is pretty much depleted. I get angry over the stupidest stuff and try as I might I still lose it sometimes. But at my house I am the female who is smaller, my husband is a big guy with huge hands lol. He tells me you need to shut up or I’m going to punch you in the eye but he would never and that’s our playful way of letting me know I’m losing it. And for us that’s much better than him telling me to try to calm down because I would definitely lose it. Good luck and I hope your fear isn’t from past issues, if not then you may want to step away and go to a women’s shelter.

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Thanks for posting and welcome again! Don’t you ever wonder why people tell others to calm down when they obviously can’t? Boggles the mind sometimes. BH tell me “volume” and that tells me I’m speaking way too loud😂

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