How do you deal with anger from a husband with COPD? He refuses counseling.

A fellow caregiver asked...

My 65 year old husband with COPD is angry about everything. I cannot do anything that pleases him. He refuses to go to therapy or counseling.

Expert Answer

Linda Adler is the director of Pathfinders Medical in Palo Alto, California. She has dedicated her professional life to helping patients and their families find optimal ways to deal with medical challenges. She has worked in all facets of the medical establishment, including primary care, research, and policy settings at UCSF, Stanford, and Kaiser Permanente. Her current focus at Pathfinders includes crisis management, mediation, and advocacy.

Hello,

If your husband refuses to change his behavior (and if there aren't medical issues that are creating this), then perhaps you can look at some ways you can change your response to his actions?

There's not doubt that it's unfair for you to have to take responsibility for one more thing, given that you're probably already exhausted from caring for him. But that said, your emotional well-being is extremely important here, so I wonder if you'd consider taking some time to speak with a counselor about steps you can take to reduce the stress his behavior creates for you? There may be some relatively simple ways you can change your response to this dynamic that provide you some relief from the impact that his actions are having on you.

I wish you the best of luck.