Traumitized Husband, Wearing Wife

Married 22 years. Found out my husband was abused as a child by siblings in various terrible ways 10 years into our marriage. Own a business together. I’ve seen him reach for all sorts of things, interests, and bad choices to help him avoid dealing with his past – many of which give him more to think and feel bad about. Have 3 teenagers.

I’ve encouraged him to get counseling for years. Did a short time. Did some couples after he had an affair, but the benefits we experience when in some sessions are short-lived when stopped. He is on cell all the time. Since the affair 3 yrs ago – it’s like his mind has to be busy non-stop to avoid thinking of his past. Covid not helping.

We work together – I office, he in the shop so some separation. Temper, outbursts are hard on me and the kids. Work can trigger him – and then I hear it OFTEN. He is on anti-anxiety meds for 4 mos now. Mild improvement, frustrating side effects for him.

C: Hubby is emotionally distraught
T: It’s hard to talk & work with him in this state
F: Acute Stress (when blowing up/venting at me) Tension in my chest/stomach & acid in esophagus
A: I avoid, w/d from him, try not to engage, question myself, long for life enjoyment again
R: Distant relationship

I feel like I have to do things alone – he thinks he wears the weight of the shop b/c he is technician, vicious circle, I want more out of life, I gave up a corporate career for raising our kids and then started this business for/with him, I want something I can control and bring in my own funds again…

Help – been told I live like an abused woman when he cheated, never thought I’d be in this position – was too smart for this – I thought since my parents were divorced… Not sure how to look at this to help me decide what to do anymore, I’m losing hope if he doesn’t get help (no mental coverage for self-employed…).

I’ve tried some mild attempts at coaching – trying to get at the thoughts he has run thru his head…. not sure where to go anymore…