I CAN’T LIVE WITH MY HUSBAND’S DOOMSDAY MENTALITY
Q During the past year, as global events have grown ever more tumultuous, my husband has become increasingly obsessed with entering a ‘survival world’. He is convinced that there will be severe food shortages and we will all be competing for our very existence.
While I know things are bad, I am trying to retain some common sense as he insists that we stockpile food and trade money for silver. He won’t let me put the heating on at all and insists that in two years an elite society will make the rest of us cashless.
He is stubborn and will not consider any type of therapy – discussing it only gets him fired up. I am unsure of how much longer I can live with his doomsday mentality; it is making me very stressed and unhappy.
An anonymous reader writes: ‘During the past year, as global events have grown ever more tumultuous, my husband has become increasingly obsessed with entering a “survival world”.’ Stock image used
He insists that we stockpile food and trade money for silver
A I’m so sorry to hear this, it must be very hard for you.
It sounds as if the uncertainty of the past few years has proved too much for your husband and that he is suffering from extreme stress, perhaps even what is sometimes called a nervous or mental breakdown.
It may be that, before all the global troubles, your husband had underlying anxiety, depression or stress at work and was struggling to cope, which is perhaps why he is now in such an extreme state. It is particularly hard that he is resistant to getting the help he clearly needs, but there are still steps you can take to encourage him to seek that support.
Firstly, ring his GP (who I expect is yours, too) and explain his irrational behaviour and the impact it is having on you. I am sure that they will allow you to make an appointment for him. Next, approach your husband as gently as you can, explain that you have arranged a doctor’s appointment because you think his anxiety is upsetting him, and say that you can go with him. I know that he will probably refuse.
It sounds as if he is suffering from extreme stress
However, although it is generally best to avoid confrontation, sometimes you have to be a little firm, so explain that you cannot and will not continue with things as they are.
While it’s easier said than done, I very much hope that this will be enough to get him to see a GP and on the path to receiving more help. It is also essential that you get support.
Unfortunately, you probably have a long road ahead in helping your husband return to a more rational mindset. While I hope it won’t come to it, sadly the stress may prove too much and he may not be able to accept support sufficiently to the point that you can continue in the marriage.
If so, you will need counselling to support you through the difficult decisions that lie ahead. Ask your GP, or try relate.org.uk. Also contact moneyhelper.org.uk; 0800 011 3797 (previously the Money Advice Service) to stop your husband making potentially disastrous financial decisions.
WHY DOES HE KEEP THESE PHOTOS OF HIS EX?
Q Recently, my husband and I were having a clearout of the attic and came across an old photograph album of him travelling with a former girlfriend several years before I knew him. I was quite hurt that my husband seemed so pleased to see it – and hadn’t thrown it away.
The photos were innocent but obviously of them as a couple. I think they stayed friends for a while after they split up, but I know they lost touch later. I can understand why he kept it initially, but when I suggested that we should get rid of it now, as we have been happily married more than 20 years, he refused.
He said that he hadn’t thought about her for years but they had some fun adventures and our teenage children might enjoy having a laugh at seeing him when he was young. I don’t like that idea. Am I being unreasonable?
‘Recently, my husband and I were having a clearout of the attic and came across an old photograph album of him travelling with a former girlfriend several years before I knew him,’ another reader wrote. Stock image used
A To be perfectly honest, you probably are being a little unreasonable. But this comes from insecurity. Asking your husband to throw away a piece of his past is a bit like trying to delete his memories. You can’t control what he thinks or remembers. Experience is what makes us ‘us’.
Your husband’s life up until the point he met you shaped the man you fell in love with. It would be different if he was mooning over the album every night, but in your longer letter you say that isn’t the case. He is probably just remembering what he was like at that age, and I see no harm in him having a good laugh at it with your children. So I wonder why you feel insecure.
You say you have a good marriage but perhaps it needs a little attention and some new adventures together of your own to reignite that spark.