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Sunday, October 05, 2008 Betty, Community Member, asks

Q: Are hurtful remarks by a loved one a part of depression?

My spouse makes very cruel and hurtful remarks. When he finally realizes how hurt I am, he says he is "joking" - he didn't mean to hurt me. This is a very long marriage and it's not the first time he has made hurtful comments, but the first time I have gotten a bad report from my doctor and he made painful comments.

 

He has a philosophy of "out for revenge and getting in the last word." I don't know if something happened in his childhood that made him so revengeful. To be this way toward your family that loves you is really sad to me. Last night at our grandson's ballgame, he yelled a totally uncalled for comment to our 7 year old grandson while he was on the field. Our grandson was in tears and said papa's comment "made me sad." My husband's reply, "I did not make him cry, his eyes were just watery (he thinks there is a difference?) "I just want him to do better." This incident has made him unwelcome at any more games because my son and DIL are upset, so if he can't go, I would feel bad going without him.

 

To make matters worse, he couldn't sleep last night and at 4 a.m. he sent an email to our son/DIL that said "y'all told a lie as our grandson was not crying." My son called and said  "dad has lost his mind. I think he has gone crazy. He's not taking his medication. We're not going on vacation with you next month. Cancel the hotel."

 

Tonight he said "that "________" (cursing) won't get any money of mine if you die before me." He was talking about our son. I know he was mad and tomorrow he won't mean a word of it. However, words hurt and you can't take them back. It's not easily forgotten nor forgiven. This evidently is part of his "revenge theory."

 

Is this behavior related to depression or something else? He has a problem with anger but this has gotten better as he has gotten older (believe it or not.)  He does have mental illness in his family and his family is weird. They never call each other.  I know he has had some type of problem since he was little. When in the 8th grade, he told his dad he was not wearing a suit to graduation. He did wear a suit. He once got mad and broke all the glasses in his mother's kitchen. He denies this, but his mother told me about it.

 

He is on medication (Celexa) for depression, two a day. He sees a psychiatrist every six months. The only other medication he takes is Diovan for high blood pressure. My son thinks he is not taking his medication every day. Some times he will go off it for a month or longer just because "I'm sick of taking pills." I normally can tell when he's not taking them, but he swears he is taking them now, faithfully every day. I just don't know if he is or not.

 

Thank you for any insight you can offer. How do I get him to understand his cruel and mean remarks are not "joking"? We are in a very long marriage and I would love for it to last, but I can't have him hurting the rest of the family. I am tired of being so stressed out and I'm at my wit's end. Please help.

 

Betty

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Answers (4)
Betty, Community Member
10/ 9/08 1:44pm

Kathie, I have let him get away with all the name calling, years of verbal abuse and dumm me, stayed and took it...with two sons to hear all of this. I'm surprised they grew up as decent as they are. For some reason, he has a very slow opinion of women. My heart goes out to you.

 

Justme, my husband can't get past the point that "they lied to me" which my son and DIL did not lie to him. He acts just like a child. He doesn't go back to his psychiatrist until March. He frequently lies to his dr. and tells him everything is fine when he is not fine.

 

I was looking forward to the family getting together next month for a wonderful vacation at Thanksgiving, now my son says he is not going and the grandkids aren't going. We have already paid for their hotel for a week. I have not tried to cancel it yet, hoping my son will change his mind. If not, I am going to be totally embarassed to tell my youngest son and DIL why his brother, wife and our grandkids aren't coming. My husband told him this morning that if they all do decide to go, that he is going to "disapear"...he will be out doing his own thing. In other words, ignoring his grandkids and the family. I told him if he did that after I got our son to agree to go, that I would go file for a divorce the following week. He has not going to do this to the rest of the family. He said "good, he will just move to South Dakota where no one can find him." He then proceeded to tell me that I could not make it on my own without his monthly income. He then told me that I was not going any of his retirement income (January we are supposed to sign a form that gives me a certain percentage of his pension if he dies before me.) He then laughed and said he couldn't live without me, and "let's go get something to eat." I don't understand this kind of behavior.  I am not even sure this is at all related to his depression, or if it's just his personality. He is like a Jekyl and Hyde. He has one side I love which has made me stay with him for 41 years, and the other side of him I despise. I will end a 41 year marriage before I let him hurt the rest of my family, esp. the grandchildren. It would be very difficult, but I can make it on my own and I wouldn't be under all this stress. Why can't he just admit that he is wrong?

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kathie, Community Member
10/ 5/08 12:32pm

im getting morte and more undown and depressed every day because of the way he treats me its like he enjoys it and he is always puttin me down he calls me every name under the sun sometimes its like i am invisable i have 2 children and some days i wish i wouldnt wake up. i am not on antidressants i have svt and axiity attacks i am no a loaad of meication also diasipan,verrapimil for my heart and i a range of pain killers,sleeping tablets i feel worthless and i dont hAVE ANY FRIEND THAT I CAN TALK too at all i am no my own all the timeCry

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justme, Community Member
10/ 6/08 4:31pm

I am sorry you are going through this.  When he goes for his next appointment can you talk to his doctor privately? 

 

I do the same thing to my family, and although I haven't been diagnosed I am going to see the doctor soon for depression.  It is very important to me that my significant other talks to the doctor.  He notices more about me then I do about myself.  I can be just flat out mean.  In a way its a good thing most of it is directed towards my fiance, since then I am not hurting our children.  He has to step in and be a buffer between me and our children more often then I want to admit to.

 

I can tell you I really do not mean to say such harsh things.  It almost seems like I can't help it.  Later on when I realize that what I said was uncalled for its so hard to say I am sorry.  I don't want to admit that I could say such hurtful things.  I don't know if your husband feels the same way as I do, but thats why for me my apology tends to be making light of my remarks. 

 

I hope your situation improves.  In a way I do think its best for your son and DIL to keep the kids away from him.  I hope you make a point of spending time with your grandchildren with out him.  Reading your post about brought me to tears because I could hear myself being described in what you were writing.  Best wishes to you.

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Andrea, Community Member
10/15/08 3:23pm

I don't know your husband's age as you did not specify but it sounds like some of the behaviors of dementia. Like the insistance that there was a lie that was clearly not founded in any reality.
 People who develop dementia often develop some pretty nasty behaviors due to the loss of use of tissue in the frontal lobe which controls judgement.
 I am not diagnosing this, I am making a suggestion of something to bring up with the Doctor.
 Also dementia is not always just in the very aged, it can begin as young as the 50's or less depending on the underlyng reason.
 Good luck, I wish you the best.  

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By Betty, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/07/14, First Published: 10/05/08