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Husbands mood swings

happysoul posted 11/25/2020 09:09 AM

Hi. New here.
Myself and my husband have been through alot this year in 2020. Due to working from home I discovered he was having an emotional affair with a woman at work (he says there was no substance - he was having fun with it and it went too far)

I read these messages on his work laptop. He was very upset with himself and looked deep within himself as to why he did that and all he could say was that he wasn't serious and hadn't grown up yet and understood his responsibilities in our marriage.

I was deeply hurt because this happened around the time of our first baby and when I found out we had already had our second.

For a week he was perfect. He really made an effort to show me that it was ME he wanted.

Anyway we got back into an argument because he was saying some toxic things and I decided I had enough. Prior to our marriage when we were girlfriend and boyfriend, I had two one night stands on nights out. We were both in uni at the time and not serious about our relationship. At this time he was also messing around with other people and we had a gut feeling about it but didn't talk about it. In fear we would lose each other. It sounds crazy but underneath all this messy ness - we have always had a connection deeper than love.

He said something to me along the lines of 'have you seen yourself, you are ugly without make up. No man would have you' he said it in anger and it caused a huge rage inside me and so I told him that if you think that then you're wrong because I've fucked other people

Naturally that made him mad and question me what I meant. Eventually pulling it out of me what I had done and I confessed. That same night he confessed that he too had sexual relationships with women when we broke up at 18 and when we had got together at 19 (during university)

Its a mess. However we are both healing. We both have past trauma from our upbringing so we haven't always been strong people - its les to us making mistakes

Fast forward at 27 years old we are ready to heal from the past and move forward although my husbands grief is seemingly ymore than mine.

He has mood swings and shuts me out. He acts cold towards me. He has told me that his mind goes to dark places and he can't stop the negativity and the images that he see's in his head

He says he wants to erase it all and continue in this marriage because this is what he wants and loves but its so hard for him to forget what I told him

On the other hand. I deal with things by not dwelling but just blocking out the thoughts and images of what happened. Althouh it can creep up on me and hurt

So we are at a point where we have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. We are both making conscious effort to be kinder to each other and heal from our past mistakes

The way I see it is that we started dating when we were just 13. We grew up together, and kids and teenagers make mistakes. We then made mistakes that as a consequence hurt each other.

Its not something we both want to let go. Our family and each other are important to us both

But whenever something triggers him. He becomes cold, distant, visibly upset and nothing I do.. such as show affection, apologise or continue as normal can fix this until he is ready himself. Which can take all day. On my side it is difficult to go through a day while he is visibly mourning while I have to tend to the kids and try and continue like nothing is wrong

I also feel like because he visibly mourns .. I am unable to grieve or show him what I'm feeling too and so my feelings are put on a back bench

When he comes to terms with how he's feeling. He's very affectionate, understanding and apologises. He tells me to be patient with him and help him get through his darkness.

What can you advise.. or tell me to do. Its very hard at the moment for me

DevastatedDee posted 11/25/2020 09:13 AM

He said something to me along the lines of 'have you seen yourself, you are ugly without make up. No man would have you'

Does he say things like this often? Even saying it once is too much, but is this a pattern?

happysoul posted 11/25/2020 09:18 AM

No he doesn't. I can't remember why we argued that day but it is often in reaction to my toxic behaviour

Its messy and like I said we have had troubled childhoods. Both from a home where the marriage has been incredibly toxic

I believe we exhibit these toxic traits to each other as its all that we have seen growing up

Its not a justification at all
Its something we are both working on to change.

This is an example of something he said which triggered me confessing to him what I had done

But I am too in return incredibly toxic and damaging for him.

Its stupid really as underneath all of this we care deeply for each other and can't see our lives without each other. For this reason we both have to heal and work on our insecurities as people before the marriage can be fixed.

sisoon posted 11/25/2020 10:32 AM

I hope this post raises some questions for you to answer for yourself.

I'm really sorry you have to deal with this, especially with 2 kids so young.

We were both in uni at the time and not serious about our relationship.
My belief is that there is no infidelity without explicit commitment. If you both had sex with others pre-committing, I don;t see infidelity.

My W is of a different opinion. She's not happy that I dated someone else after starting to date her. I can understand her POV.

So, were you really uncommitted during that period? Does your H think you were uncommitted?

You've described your H's (possible) response to your having sex with others way back then. How are you responding to his? You don;t mention any feelings other than kids make mistakes (with which I tend to agree).

My advice is to ask for what you want. Honor his way of healing. I know I can go into a funk and be especially uncommunicative until I'm through it.

I suggest the next time he goes dark, ask if there's something you can do to help. If he doesn't tell you what he wants, accept it and let him work it out himself. If you don't like the way he heals, it might be a deal breaker, though. If it's a deal breaker, though, so be it.

What are you doing for your own healing? Do you ask all the questions you want to ask? Does he give you totally honest answers? If not, it's a red flag.

Does he lie about anything - if so, that's a sign he's not committed to doing the work necessary to R.

Do you stifle yourself? Do you show the grief, anger, fear, shame that comes with being betrayed?

What about issues that come up - things that one of you does or doesn't do that other objects to? Do you raise issues and resolve them together? If you don't that's a red flag - resolving issues together is work that is crucial to R and to M.

Your H needs to change from cheater to good partner. An EA is simply not healthy behavior for a married adult. Have either of you considered IC? A good IC can help your H make the necessary changes and help you deal with your feelings.

The1stWife posted 11/26/2020 06:03 AM

You both need some professional counseling so you don’t continue the toxic nature of your childhoods.

OwningItNow posted 11/26/2020 08:31 AM

You don't need MC right now, but you both need IC.

He said something to me along the lines of 'have you seen yourself, you are ugly without make up. No man would have you' he said it in anger and it caused a huge rage inside me

He needs to figure out why he thinks he can abuse you like this, why his emotions justify being cruel.

You need to figure out why you put up with it and stay, still choosing to love someone who abuses you.

You have described the cycle of abuse with him being affectionate in between bouts of abusive behavior. Your kids will see this as their 'troubled childhoods' too unless you both get personal help to learn to react and behave differently. This is how patterns repeat. It will take a lot of intervention and professional help for both of you to learn new habits. I hope you are up to the challenge.

Bigger posted 11/27/2020 07:43 AM

He said something to me along the lines of 'have you seen yourself, you are ugly without make up. No man would have you' he said it in anger and it caused a huge rage inside me and so I told him that if you think that then you're wrong because I've fucked other people

One of the hardest things to do is to change confrontation into negotiations rather than arguments, and then to keep the argument from becoming a fight.
It’s more or less bred into us to fight when confronted, and when we fight we tend to use what we know will cause pain. If he thinks he can get an easy victory calling you ugly he will, just like you sought an easy victory by flaunting your sexual options. I guess both got the expected result – pain – but neither got constructive result.

It takes training and time to learn to deescalate away from pain.
This is not saying avoid conflict but realize that if the goal of the argument is only to “win” then it’s not likely to lead to a positive result. The goal should be to get a result. Like he might have “won” the fight by implying you are ugly, but IMHO he lost the argument – the conflict that led to the fight.

I would suggest the following:
Tell him that you regret having hit out at him about your past sexual experience. You both have a past from pre-relationship and that’s just part of the package. You regret having pulled that up because the only reason for that was to counter his statement and cause him pain. Your past is not something you hide, but the reason you pulled it up now was not a positive one.
But…
Tell him that his comment about your looks cut deep.
Not only that, but comments in that vein can only lead to two things: Pain and a loss of respect. Pain might be recoverable, but if you lose your respect for him then THAT would seriously undermine any basis for a marriage.
Tell him that if he is being truthful when he said that then HE – as some man – wouldn’t want to be with you and that YOU have more respect for yourself than want to be with someone that was ashamed or despised you.
Then ask him if he meant what he said or if it was only to hurt you.

Ask that you both try to resolve conflict rather than escalate it.

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