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

6 answers | Last updated: Sep 13, 2016
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 Answers

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.


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.

Community Answers

Aligar answered...

Not sure there is much you can do for him. But do something for yourself. Take a break. My husband is nice to everyone but me. Sometimes he is so mean. But is it the amount of illnesses that they face? They know that they're not the same anymore. How about help from a church or support group. You aren't alone.

Ca-claire answered...

I would discuss this anger with your husband's physician. If it is a personality change, it can be a sign of other conditions which may be affecting your husband. So many things can cause a personality change - 'silent' stroke, Parkinson's, heart disease, to name a few. If your husband is also physically lashing out, in addition to being angry - get help NOW.

Geri4699 answered...

Is your husband on any medications for his COPD? If not, his difficulty breathing could be making him miserable and you as well. I have COPD but a combination of Spiriva and Advair help me live a relatively normal life.

A fellow caregiver answered...

He is on medications for his COPD, but has trouble accepting his condition and making the best of things. He is not physically abusive, but his attitude is a downer.

Haynesmarley answered...

My husband has COPD,he is still driving. He wont take medicine for his condition.He can go from one room to the next in our house and has to stop to rest. I can not have a conversation with him. It will turn into him being emotionally abusive. He resents that I have always tried to exercise and take care of myself. He throws in my face that I will lose everything when he dies. I am stupid to hear him talk. He is making me unhappy..I check his oxygen and it is 83 most of the time.