My husband has a history of not coping well with stress and so do I


I’ve been wanting to ask this question for quite some time, but have had difficulty even figuring out how to express / explain the question.

My husband and I have been married 9 years. We recently decided to sell our house and move to Mexico. He plans to teach English as a second language. I plan on starting an online business.

Before my husband and I got married, he was married to his first wife for 27 years. His first wife was a miserable person and went out of her way to be negative and blame him for everything. He eventually left and got remarried to someone who was worse. That only lasted 3 to 4 years.

When we first started dating, I noticed he definitely didn’t deal with stress well and he would often end up ranting / yelling about minor problems for hours. Sometimes it would last well into the night, which deprived us of sleep and made our emotions worse. Because the topics were so ridiculous and varied, I kind of assumed it was stress related and he would figure out that having these extreme emotional episodes was counterproductive. Eventually about 3 years ago I told him that I would have to leave if he was going to be like that. Since that time he started meditating and has worked on himself a lot but he does still have episodes of extreme emotional turmoil, during which time he always repeats himself over and over, insists he’s right, tells me I’m wrong and basically is inconsolable for hours until he figures out how to calm down.

Here is my question. Sharing a house with someone when they are having that kind of emotional extreme isn’t easy for me. It used to be much more extreme. I wasn’t able to be physically out of his immediate presence or get any space from his ranting. He would simply follow me wherever I went including getting in the car with me. Several times when he was working (he is now retired) he wouldn’t go to work unless i stayed on the phone with him. He would obsessively call / text / message for hours. If I didn’t respond he might do something like come home early.

It’s true that we have had a lot of significant issues to deal with during our marriage including, lack of work / income for extended periods of time, moving to a different state to find employment, living with relatives while we got on our feet financially, the death of his mother, trying to help his mentally handicapped brother, many other things that didn’t feel comfortable at the time.

Here’s the thing: I know I’m supposed to take responsibility for my emotions. His behavior isn’t to be seen as good or bad but simply what is. The circumstances of health challenges, loss of loved ones, etc are just what they are and I am the one telling myself a story about them, making them feel bad to me. And that isn’t productive. I do get it in theory.

However, in practice, when my husband starts ranting, not making sense, insisting he’s right, not letting me sleep, being inconsolable, etc I am not able to view it as neutral. It brings up memories of stuff that I am still not able to resolve emotionally.

Can you please help me run some models to see how to view this situation more productively? I could really use some clarity.

Thanks,

K