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Husband's strange behavior
Asked Feb 28, 2007, 11:20 AM
I am eight months pregnant, and have a 2-year old. I have been married for 5 years, and have been with my husband for a total of 10 years. My husband and I have had very few problems in the past, very minor little things.
The past 6 months have been wonderful, though, as we have truly been working together as a team. He has been so thoughtful and helpful, and just plain nice to be around, that it has been the happiest time of my life.
Three weeks ago, his behavior started to change. He became withdrawn, sleepy, and almost hateful to me and our daughter. He shaved, and started complaining about his appearance. I tried to figure out what was wrong by gently asking, suggesting, and trying to be supportive.
I found out that he had dinner with a daughter of a friend right when his moods became strange and neglected to tell me it had been just the two of them. I tried to once again, gently ask about the situation, and he became extremely defensive, saying things like "That's what you always think!" Which seemed a little bizarre to me- I am not like that.
Probably unethical, but I do check his email. He has emailed her several times with career advice. The emails do not appear to be anything but friendly. She has only responded to him twice with thanks for the information. I have checked the cell phone logs, redialed numbers, everything investigative I can think of.
His behavior has yet to change, but he confessed that he is depressed, and he thinks it is because he has not felt very close to me because of the pregnancy. Another time, he said he was depressed because he missed the carefree days of college (we have been out of college for 8 years).
With all of these excuses, I don't know what else to think other than that he has a crush on this person or is having an affair. My father had an affair when I was in college, and I definitely recognize these signs from that experience. I am very worried- with the pregnancy and caring for 2 young children, I am not sure that I am mentally or emotionally equipped to deal with this situation. I would just like it to stop. I can't say anything else to him about it because it just puts him on the defensive, and blaming me for things. It seems like all I can do is wait until I catch him doing something bad, or I know that he has stopped. He'd be a fool to leave me- I take care of everything- bank accounts, retirement plans, medical, etc.
What can I do? I am just praying and trying to remain sane for my little ones. I really feel like my toddler senses things are not right- there have been many temper tantrums since my husband has been acting strangely. HELP! :confused:
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Feb 28, 2007, 12:00 PM
Wow. It is like I am reading about my own life in your question.
My first advice to you, is to please research bi-polar disorder and manic depression. If the first thing you do is think, "No, no way, it wouldn't be that" then you better read on!
My husband and I celebrated our 5th anniversary last July. We have three children; 5 years, 2 years, and 6 months old. His first about of "strange behavior" started while I was pregnant with our second. He became withdrawn, secretive, wouldn't really talk to me, started saying he wanted to go out after work with guys from work, started blaming me for things. After a couple weeks of that it turned into, "I don't know if I really love you", "Are we together just for the kids?", then he started going to strip clubs with those guys from work a few times. It was like a long cycle that took about 6 weeks to complete. By the end of the cycle he had stopped his "going out" and started blaming his problems he has on his childhood, his parents, and that is was no longer anything to do with me.
Then it was just over. He was back to normal, like nothing had ever happened. He made those 6-8 weeks of my life miserable and I told him if something like that ever happened again we were through.
Fast forward to last Oct (06). He flipped again. He was saying the same things as last time. Acting the SAME way. Withdrawn, secretive, saying he wasn't sure if he loved me anymore, couldn't look me in the eyes for days at a time. After about a week of this I said, whatever it is just tell me. Let's get this over with now. He told me for the last 4 years of our marriage he was cheating on me every few months with the same girl.
My stomach dropped, I felt sick to my stomach, like everything I knew about my life had changed.
Let me sum up the rest for you - After he told me this, I told him to see the doctor or I was leaving. I knew something was wrong with him --not because of the cheating, but because of the WAY he was. It was almost even like his physical appearance changed. It was REALLY weird. I thought maybe he had multiple personalities there for a little while.
It turns out he is bi-polar and now takes a high dosage of lithium every day to prevent these fluctuations in moods. I could never tell when he was manic, until I KNEW what it was. Then looking back... it is all clear now. He said he went to her when he was manic.
Apparently what happens is there are stress triggers that bring on an episode of mania and people will do extreme things like cheat, gamble, spend money, etc. That is why I suggest researching (googling) bipolar disorder and manic depression. I started reading some sites and thought wow.. that's him for sure.
Now, this last time he had an episode was triggered because I had a nice sweet 19 year old friend, who in his eyes "needed rescuing". He felt like he needed to take care of her, and kept questioning himself about why he didn't feel he needed to protect me, then he started thinking maybe it's because he doesn't love me.. maybe she was his soul mate, yadda yadda. So that is where our stories relate. But SHE triggered his episode where he ended up telling me he had been cheating with a different (cough, dog) for the last 4 years.
He is one sorry bastard now. We are still together and not a day goes by where I don't remind him of what he has done, but he keeps claiming he was crazy (manic) and doesn't even remember a lot of what he did or how he felt, and says that looking back he just can't believe he ever did those things or was ever like that.
Wow.. I can't believe how much I've written but I feel like perhaps if you knew what happened with me, it would help you with your situation. I hope your situation turns out to be different and perhaps he's having a little crisis he'll get over, but if you think he may possibly have bipolar disorder, please get him seen!
ETA: I also wanted to add that I first noticed him being "strange" again after meeting my 19 yr old friend, when one morning he wanted me to call her and was persistent. He had researched something for her to help her situation and I kept telling him we'd call her after lunch. Well, I went upstairs and he had snuck the phone to our room and called her himself! I checked his email, and he had gotten her email address from my mail client. He sent her an email.. she replied, and apparently they were just chatting back and fourth a couple days. Then after he started becoming really withdrawn again, I saw an email from him to her, saying it was 5am and he was up and couldn't stop thinking about her. It's funny because I remember that morning. He had gotten up, hopped on the computer, told me he was checking something for work and came right back to bed. He was emailing that to her! Ugh.
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Feb 28, 2007, 03:54 PM
That sounds like a probable cause for his behavior. How should I act? How did you act? I am sure if I confronted him with that solution, he would most definitely freak out on me, and I am not sure if I should confront him until I see more of what he is doing.
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