Let the marital discord begin


New Member
So...husband and I have held it together reasonably well, I'd say, as difficult child 1 has gone into crisis mode and his recent ER visit and psychiatric hospital admittance, but now things are really starting to suck.

husband has been complaining that I won't make phone calls...i.e. I won't call the hospital to check on difficult child because every time I dial the number I find myself choking back tears and can't speak, so I make husband call everytime because he can hold a conversation with them. So, for this, husband is upset with/disappointed in me. husband also wants to get rid of my dog...and with difficult child in the psychiatric hospital, he sees this as prime opportunity to give the dog away, where as I see it as the worst time of all (i.e. I'm already hurting...why do you want to pour salt on an open wound?). So, husband has been constantly laying into me about how we should find a new home for the dog and find it before difficult child gets discharged from the psychiatric hospital.

Anyway...I was holding it together until today. husband has been so disappointed/upset that I won't make phone calls that this morning, after my cup of coffee, I was feeling pretty confident and ready, so I not only called the psychiatric hospital to see how difficult child's night went and morning was going, but I also called the Insurance company to get some more details on our coverage and find out what we needed to do to get a neuropsychologist test done. Here I was trying to do something nice and productive and proactive and please husband and when husband called I told him all about the phone calls and then I was telling him about how simple it sounded to get the neuropsychologist test authorized, we'd just have to find a Dr and he started getting all angry. :frown:

He started saying that "we should wait and have the school do the neuropsychologist testing" And I tried to explain to him that it was the end of the school year and they might not even DO a neuropsychologist test and that if they did, it would be after they've exhausted all other Special Education testing, and does he really think we should wait that long when our son is in crisis and it doesn't sound like they're doing any real testing on him at the hospital and we don't feel comfortable with the diagnosis they're giving him? And he just went off on me and said, "I don't feel like I can talk to you! You're being ridiculous! You're making me so angry. I have to let you go" and he hung up! :frown:

I'm beside myself. I just don't understand. Am I over-reacting here? Our childs only advocate is US and I'm just not comfortable waiting on the school system to *maybe* do an important test months from now when my son obviously needs help now. He complains that I don't make any phone calls and then when I actually do he gets overly mad at me. What on earth did I do wrong here? I am just overcome with sadness today. :frown: difficult child being in the psychiatric hospital has been hard on me and my mood had finally started to pick up and I was finally making it through the day without feeling like I was fighting back tears at every turn and this has definately set me back emotionally.

Ah well...thanks for listening.

Karen & Crew

New Member
No advice...just hugs.

Part of me wonders if this isn't your husband's way of coping...being angry at you keeps him from being angry at himself? I dunno. I just know that's what my husband would do.

Your siggy about your difficult child reminds me of my own difficult child, also 8 y/o...kind hearted, incredibly smart, but has no interest in actually doing any work to prove it


New Member
I'm sorry you're going through this. I also wonder if it it maybe his way of coping, but I hope that works itself out. I hope you get answers soon.


Well-Known Member
Hugs for your heart.

Many men have a hard time coping with their kids being in crisis. Add to that their wives not coping well...well they simply go into overload. Men seem to work on this "fix it" mode. I have always worked with the logic that if they cant hammer it, duct tape it or glue it, they are at a loss. It makes them feel helpless and they dont like feeling that way.


New Member
Janet has a good point. I remember all that turmoil (when I was with their dad), and I think she's right. Men cope really different, and alot of times it the blame game and explosions.

I remember being depressed, and always teary when my difficult child went into the hospital last fall. It took me time to be able to do more than just being on auto-pilot. I don't think you did anything wrong, and it's good that today you felt well enough to try. Stay strong. If you go down, everything does down. :warrior:


New Member
<span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> first i'd like to encourage you to persue the independant neuropsychologist evaluation. they are not given routinely by schools so you can't count on them sending difficult child for one. second, the school looks at impact on education & that's it. it's not thier job to find a more definitive diagnosis for your son.

seems husband's method of coping is by doing. now you went & did so he was left with-nothing to do.

hopefully things will settle down.

</span> </span> </span>

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I guess it's time for you & husband to sit down & talk. Not just react, but talk. Now, while difficult child is still in the hospital.

Calmly explain your concerns about the neuro-pysch evaluation, listen to his point of view & if possible, comprimise.

More importantly, it's time to get on the same page regarding your difficult child.

A marriage is a promise, a commitment - sometimes one partner carries the load while the other is depleted. And it's returned in kind. And most times you work together.

Give yourselves some breathing room, then talk.

Be gentle with yourself.


Active Member
Our son's troubles have definitely strained our marriage. We have been married 27 years and our son has been a difficult child since he was 15. We realize (as some others pointed out) that we cope differently. I'm an advanced practice nurse, very type A who rushes around "doing" things. Mind you, they are not always the right things, but I definitely do them. lol. My husband's way is to sit back and see how things are going before committing to a course of action.

Neither of us is right or wrong, its just the way we each work. We realized early on that we don't always see eye to eye on what to do with our son. It hasn't gotten easier and in many ways much harder to handle what he is or isn't doing.

However, my husband and I have agreed to disagree. We don't belittle each of our choices. We both do have the same goal as I'm sure you and your husband do also. You are just taking different roads to get there. Sometimes talking it over with a disinterested third party helps.

I wish you the best. Your son is young. Working out a set way of dealing with his problems now will definitely help in the long run. Take care.


Active Member
Men are definitely "fixers". If there's a problem they want to "fix it", and if they can't it drives them nuts. With our difficult children husband's are many times at a loss, they know they can't "fix it" so it makes them angry, and at times have to deny there is a problem. Sorry you and your husband are having troubles dealing with this in a concerted way. As timer lady mentioned, now is the time to deep breath, and calmly sit down together and talk about your difficult child and what you're both thinking and feeling. Then perhaps you can get together on the same page and work as a team.

As someone mentioned, school testing is done from an educational angle, and I don't think I've heard of a case of the school having a neuro-psychiatric testing done. I would go ahead with the neuro-psychiatric test, trying to find out what you're dealing with so you have a better idea what way you should go re treatment, therapy, medications etc.

Hope you can work this out together.


Well-Known Member
Having a difficult child will strain ANY marriage. During a calm moment, sit down with-husband and remind him that you are both on the same team and that you don't want to fight.

Also, I think Kris has a good point, "seems husband's method of coping is by doing. now you went & did so he was left with-nothing to do."

Of course, if you say that to husband you'll dig yourself in deeper :eek:, but it is food for thought.

Hugs and calming thoughts coming your way.



New Member
I think a lot of the men cope that way (not to be stereotypical...but...). Its tough on all of us, but I think that for some men its tough in different ways. Not only is this their child that is going through this, but (when its their son) its their buddy, their little man. We all have expectations for our kiddos (even just to be happy, successful, and productive citizens)and those expectations tend to get blown out of the water for a bit when 'dealing' with our difficult child's. We have to step back and reevaulate our expectations and either change them or just remind ourselves that it may take longer and smaller steps are required. Just like most women I know, we handle being sick better. Most of my friends' husbands/boyfriends are the hugest babies when they are ill.

Try not to take it to hard, but I know where you are coming from as far being emotional. I never used to be emotional, but since difficult child has had his many problem the past year, I cry easily.



member since 1999
Alison - This stuff is really tough on marriages/relationships.

First off, in my humble opinion, the easy stuff. *Any* testing done by the SD is going to be purely based on educational performance and need and will have nothing to do with- medical/psychiatric/neuro issues at the end of the day. SD staff cannot diagnose nor can they prescribe treatment (medications/therapy/etc). Even if they find a need for say physical therapy or occupational therapy, you're still going to have to go to an MD to get a script for SD to provide those services. I would strongly suspect that if you take SD's evaluation to an MD, the MD is going to want to do his/her own evaluation. So it's apples and oranges. Also, being a cynic, SD evaluations are usually far less extensive and far less specific re: needs. I'd trust an independent evaluation by an MD far more than anything any SD ever hands me. But, again, I'm probably beyond cynical at this point. :wink:

The harder stuff. Men are from Mars. Pure simple fact (apologies to the men on the board). As Janet said, most men think they're fixers. I know my own husband is incredibly uncomfortable with anything remotely "emotional" (feelings, etc). Moms, on the other hand, are... well, we're moms. Emotion is part of the picture. Even after nearly divorcing over thank you's behaviors and our inability to find useful help with- him, husband completely wigged out when I had thank you admitted the first time. Sigh... it's a balancing act. Learning how to be gentle with each other, how to communicate without hurting each other's feelings, how to support each other when neither one of you has the strength to breathe practically. Tag team parenting is essential - whoever is closest to the nervous breakdown gets the break and the other one has to carry on. You switch off as needed. Takes practice, communication, and most importantly I think it's vital that you and husband take time for each other, only each other, conversations about politics, sports, weather, flowers, decorating, what*ever*, just anything but parenting and difficult children or even pcs. Remember who Alison and husband are, not as Mom and Dad, but as Alison and husband.

Hang in there.