My husband calls me names and threatens to beat me. I’m tired of all this. We have been married for 25 years, but it’s only recently that he started behaving this way. He shouts at me over nothing and hurls abusive words. Our two children are in college. I don’t want to move out. Where would I go after all these years? What could be happening to him?
When one’s spouse begins to behave in an abnormal way there must be something bothering them, some underlying issue that manifest itself outwardly like it’s happening now to your husband. He changed his behaviour recently, meaning that is not who he is. There is obviously something that has triggered this and this is what you need to find out.
There is every possibility that your man is stressed; maybe he is experiencing a lot of pressure from his workplace, trying hard to beat deadlines or work under difficult conditions. Probably he has been given a notice or fears being laid off if the company is downsising. Men tend to think they can handle everything and want to be in control, so they rarely share their problem, but instead keep it inside.
After all “Mwanaume ni effort,” they say. But the danger with this is that it normally does explode outward and those that are near and dear to him bear the most brunt of that explosion. Age is also a factor that could be at play here.
He could be going through some mid-life crisis where he is looking over his shoulder and wondering what he has achieved in life, while looking ahead and fearing about his retirement. Aging in itself can also make a man behave in a funny way. With two children in college, there is also the possibility of financial pressure.
Men bear the burden of provision and want to provide for their families and so whenever they find themselves in a situation that they are not able to, they react. So, you need to know what is actually happening to your man. Don’t assume even though by now you might be aware of some of the reasons he is behaving the way he is.
Don’t tell him that you know he is behaving the way he is. Instead make your observation and ask him what it could be that is bothering him. Look back to when he started behaving this way? What had happened?
What does he often complain about? When does he go off the handle? What topics when brought up causes him to flare? Being aware of this, you will know what to say and how to say it, and you will also be more compassionate towards him and not judge him for his misdemeanour. If he refuses to talk then suggest to him that you seek professional help.