Moody, dramatic husband

I am living with my husband overseas in an intentional community. Our roles here involve working on the farm, in workshops and caring for people we are living with.

My husband has experienced depression, and is currently on medication. Both of his parents are alcoholics and varying degrees of depression and anxiety.

I have recently realized (consciously, although I think subconsciously I've known for some time) that I am enabling him. He has such low self esteem and confidence in himself, and in wanting him to develop confidence I have got in the habit of protecting him from situations he may fail in.

I will always take the phone when he calls, repeatedly, to ask for advice and sometimes leave what I am doing to help him. I will 'hang around' when he is with people who can be difficult, just in case something happens that he will need help with. I often find articles, books and podcasts on self help topics and ask that he reads/listens to them, only to get angry and, admittedly manipulative when he doesn't.

Although I am trying to take a step back and let him deal with things himself, I am finding really difficult when living with and caring for people. In one way it's been helpful living here - everyone knows everyone's business, so there's no 'covering up' for bad moods, inability to communicate effectively or inappropriate behaviour.

On the other hand, being friends with and living with the people I am also working with and for is proving difficult. I am looking for some strategies that will enable me to do this, while at the same time ensuring the continuing care of the people we live with.

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May 14, 2010
New Tips and Tools
by: Don Carter

Hi! I have some free audio resources available called Dealing with Difficult People Series. Each program has about 6 or 7 minutes of tips followed by guided meditation for hypnotic rehearsal using the tips.

The more you listen to each program the more you find yourself dealing better with such listen at least 3 times per week. There is even one for "The Moody Person".

Here's the link, just copy and paste it to your browser:


Apr 28, 2010
strategies for keeping peace or strategies for recovery?
by: mxkx

"I am looking for some strategies that will enable me to do this, while at the same time ensuring the continuing care of the people we live with."

With the issues you described, I honestly do not see how it could be possible. Maybe someone else here will be able to come up with some good suggestions, but I'm personally at a loss and kind of scratching my head a little because it seems like you're asking how to "keep the peace" while still initiating change for everyone.

I'm being treated for codependency. For me, your story struck some chords. The last sentence though really rang a bell. When I first came to this website, that was pretty much my question too. "How do I make sure everyone gets happier without rocking the boat?"

Now days though I immediately recognize the fault in that kind of logic. When I ask that question, I'm asking how I can control the situation. And the reality is that I can NOT control the situation. I can't control other people. I can only control myself. Because of this, there's no way for me or anyone else to predict the actions of others and there's no "formula" to ensuring I never upset them. That was actually one of the most relieving concepts I have learned, because it lifts so much weight off my shoulders. I have a hard time believing it's true sometimes, but it IS and it makes such perfect sense to me, a lot more than ideas like that I "make" people angry.

Regardless, in that situation if it was possible I would personally seek out counseling. The way I see it is I may not be able to control my husband or the people I live with but I can at least make sure I'm in good emotional and mental shape myself, with the right tools to handle the situation and make decisions about it. One of the things I love about counseling is that it is like a psychological and behavioral tune up. It doesn't matter what your problem is or who you are, chances are you will walk away from counseling with a better coping tool of some sort, be it better communication skills or even a more in depth understanding of your emotions and better control over your behavior.

Best wishes to you on this brave new journey. :)

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