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Husband is tribal [Updated!]


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Old 6th February 2019, 5:10 PM   #61
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While raising my kids I always kept in mind (as they got older) what if I wasnít here? Would they be capable of caring for themselves?

Itís useful for anyone to continue to learn and to do better.

Is he willing to learn or does he act as if this is forced into him? In other words - is he willingly trying?
No, I think he is not. He thinks it is the wifeís job to place the food in front of her husband and tell him when to sleep. I am the most worried about him being unwilling to go to sleep on his own. He says he does not need much sleep and that it is okay and I should not worry... but I am really worried, because he depends too much on me when it comes to this.
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Old 6th February 2019, 5:34 PM   #62
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Husband is tribal

What exactly does a man mean when he tells you he is tribal? I mean I have an idea what he means but I am not hundred percent sure.

To give examples. One example I mentioned in my other thread. He thinks I should serve him dinner, tell him when to go to bed because he is tribal and cannot do those things on his own.

Another example. We often have his (very annoying) brother over here because he is tribal and wants him around.

He also mentions tribal in other contexts for example him doing things for his friends, his friends doing things for him.

However it is important for me because he doesnít sleep well. He often stays awake the whole night until you tell him to go to bed. When I fall asleep putting the children to bed and he comes he doesnít wake me up but does household chores (nice isnít it, but I am very worried if he gets enough sleep)... then when I wake in the middle of the night he is still awake...like ďhey, I have been waiting for youď. Then I help him go to sleep.

He says he doesnít need much sleep. Says he is tribal likes to watch and protect us (not that we are much in need of protection in the middle of the night) and cannot go to sleep unless somebody he likes watches the surroundings. Heras ptsd and does progressive muscle relaxation to go to sleep and that makes him feel vulnerable to relax do much.

Asked him to explain tribal for me, but he couldnít.

I mean I have an idea what it means. I guess I am a little tribal too, but could one of the men on this board define it for me please?
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Old 6th February 2019, 5:49 PM   #63
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Honestly? I'm a woman, but I think this 'tribal' thing is an invention to cover for his deficits. Annoying brother aside - does he think it's acceptable to not be able to put himself to bed or use a microwave? Or does he want to be rehabilitated to have functional self care skills?

I know he's seeing a psychologist and they are working on building his capacity to do groceries. But are they also building his capacity to heat his dinner or put himself to bed? What strategies has he been given to start doing this on his own?

Did he ever possess these skills? What was he like when you first met him? What would happen if you went away for a few nights?
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Old 6th February 2019, 5:58 PM   #64
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Actually I think he knows how to use a microwave but he just doesnít use that knowledge. He is actually a great cook... but he does not cook for himself.

I fear he is not working on this with his therapist because he thinks that it is the job of the woman to heat the food for her husband and put it in front of him.

I know he is discussing his trouble sleeping with his therapist but I do not think he discusses me telling him when to go to bed.

When we first met we did not live together. It was not possible because of his job and I am not really sure if he had those skills.
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Old 6th February 2019, 6:01 PM   #65
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I mean I have an idea what it means. I guess I am a little tribal too, but could one of the men on this board define it for me please?
It would seem he's simply expressing that family and friends are important to him.

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Heras ptsd and does progressive muscle relaxation to go to sleep and that makes him feel vulnerable to relax do much.
Is this an official diagnosis or something you're guessing at? He seems to lack some basic functionality...

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Old 6th February 2019, 6:08 PM   #66
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It would seem he's simply expressing that family and friends are important to him.



Is this an official diagnosis or something you're guessing at? He seems to lack some basic functionality...

Mr. Lucky
I interpreted tribal very similar but was interested in others ideas. I thought that we might have some men who see themselves as tribal here.

No, it is an official diagnosis. Would not say he is lacking functionality. For example he does very well in his job.
I am very happy to have him around but watching him to make him eat healthful (instead of nachos, popcorn and muffins which he eats if I do not reheat food for him) and make him sleep stresses me.
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Old 6th February 2019, 6:20 PM   #67
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Actually I think he knows how to use a microwave but he just doesn’t use that knowledge. He is actually a great cook... but he does not cook for himself.

I fear he is not working on this with his therapist because he thinks that it is the job of the woman to heat the food for her husband and put it in front of him.

I know he is discussing his trouble sleeping with his therapist but I do not think he discusses me telling him when to go to bed.

When we first met we did not live together. It was not possible because of his job and I am not really sure if he had those skills.
Ok, so refusing to heat his own dinner is a choice. I will continue with my original advice on my other thread that he should be able to make this choice. Yes, it's unhealthy and no, I wouldn't like it either. But you need to let him make his own choices. As you said earlier, you're not his mother. And he's not 7 years old.

Regarding him going to bed on time, it's fair to assume this has it's roots in PTSD. But have you told him that it's disrupting your own sleep and that you can't continue it? Have you asked him what strategies he's being given by his psych? And have you ever allowed him to have consequences for his actions? Eg, missing sleep for nights in a row?

I know you care for him deeply and he sounds like a good guy overall. But you're enabling him and he won't change while you continue.
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Old 6th February 2019, 6:28 PM   #68
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It may well be true, but she did say early on that he actually didnít see much combat. So, itís possible that the ptsd is actually an incorrect label to what is another problem - anxiety or another neurological problem. Or perhaps, there is another trauma from his childhood that he has not shared. Itís hard to know.

Either way, if you are concerned OP, you should consider an assessment. And, you are right to be concerned... some of this may well be typical husband/wife stuff, but some of this seems to be more than that...

Your husband is very fortunate to have such an understanding and caring wife. Good luck to you.
There's varying scales of Ptsd, too. I had PTSD for nearly 10 years and it wasn't from combat or physical trauma. It was from emotional stuff.
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Old 6th February 2019, 6:37 PM   #69
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Ok, so refusing to heat his own dinner is a choice. I will continue with my original advice on my other thread that he should be able to make this choice. Yes, it's unhealthy and no, I wouldn't like it either. But you need to let him make his own choices. As you said earlier, you're not his mother. And he's not 7 years old.

Regarding him going to bed on time, it's fair to assume this has it's roots in PTSD. But have you told him that it's disrupting your own sleep and that you can't continue it? Have you asked him what strategies he's being given by his psych? And have you ever allowed him to have consequences for his actions? Eg, missing sleep for nights in a row?

I know you care for him deeply and he sounds like a good guy overall. But you're enabling him and he won't change while you continue.
He says he doesn’t need sleep only coffee. Of course he is joking but it shows how he thinks about this.
Actually he used to have really bad trouble falling asleep, that was really bad... then he learned about progressive muscle relaxation and it helped but it scared him so much because it makes him feel very vulnerable and he never did progressive muscle relaxation without me or another loved one watching... and without that it is difficult for him to get sleep.
I am encouraging to do muscle relaxation on his own. If I am asleep he can just lay nextzo me and do this... but he doesn’t want to.

Same with mirtazapine (a relaxing antidepressant which helps you sleep) he only took it when somebody was watching. I think he was feeling vulnerable. He is not on mirtazapine anymore.
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Old 6th February 2019, 6:45 PM   #70
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He says he doesnít need sleep only coffee. Of course he is joking but it shows how he thinks about this.
Actually he used to have really bad trouble falling asleep, that was really bad... then he learned about progressive muscle relaxation and it helped but it scared him so much because it makes him feel very vulnerable and he never did progressive muscle relaxation without me or another loved one watching... and without that it is difficult for him to get sleep.
I am encouraging to do muscle relaxation on his own. If I am asleep he can just lay nextzo me and do this... but he doesnít want to.

Same with mirtazapine (a relaxing antidepressant which helps you sleep) he only took it when somebody was watching. I think he was feeling vulnerable. He is not on mirtazapine anymore.
So, back to the psychologist and your responses. Have you asked what strategies he's being given to overcome this? Have you told him what impact it has on you? Have you told him that you can't keep doing this forever and it's affecting your feelings about the marriage?
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Old 6th February 2019, 6:46 PM   #71
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That sleep stuff is PTSD. I was always unable to sleep at night from when I was young. To drop off to sleep, I tried to hit it right when my dad in the next room turned in for the night but was still awake, which was only about a 10-minute window because he dropped off fast. I felt I needed him awake to fall asleep. I heard things and even saw a ghost once. And I slept with someone until my sister got married (mostly my Mom since the older sister was mean), so that complicated things as well. Wasn't used to it. Got my own room at 12. It helped a lot when I got a "clock radio" and could listen to music softly and tune out some of the things I felt I was hearing. But still hard to fall asleep.

As an adult, I had the same problems but would use alcohol to help relax and fall asleep. Then a person convinced me I should sleep with the lights on in the house if that's what it took and not to feel bad about it, that he did the same thing in his big old house. And so I stopped feeling like a baby and did it, and that really helped except that i always read true crime and horror, which was counterproductive! But it was the road to recovery for me.

Then I got PTSD and I had just gotten a dog, thank goodness. That helped. Though it was mainly me protecting her at first. And during the Gulf War, the first televised war, I was watching or recording 24/7 and got in the habit of leaving the TV on so I would wake up when there were updates by the generals. I knew that the tv flickering could be seen if anyone was outside through the curtains and think I was awake, and that gave me a lot more security and I have slept with the TV on ever since, to this day, just down real low, but up enough to drown out white noise, creaks, etc though I'm real used to that in this house now. Plus still have dogs.

I would suggest a dog, but you have one. If it's a small dog, maybe get a big dog that he feels protected by more. Anyway, dogs are pack animals and need another dog to feel safe themselves.

Any chance you could set an alert on his cellphone or smartwatch that tells him when to go to bed or get Alexa to tell him? I think Alexa might freak him out. Freaks me out. Too invasive. But something like that.
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Old 6th February 2019, 6:48 PM   #72
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Support dog is an excellent idea.
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Old 7th February 2019, 5:30 AM   #73
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OP, what are you doing here? You're husband obviously has mental issues and should be under the care of a professional on a regular basis. Get him into a psychologist and neurologist asap, and stop getting advice here.
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Old 7th February 2019, 9:54 AM   #74
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Like a previous poster, I also thought your husband is kinda cute :-) He obviously is good at his job and also helps around the house and manages your household finance. He just doesnít want to follow a routine when heís on his own (like you said, he had no problem making dinner for your kids and putting them to bed). I donít see why you canít ask him to set an alarm for dinner time and bedtime; a smart watch would be even better! Does he also eat junk food as meals while traveling for work? Who reminds him to go to sleep while traveling for work?
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:28 AM   #75
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I fear he is not working on this with his therapist because he thinks that it is the job of the woman to heat the food for her husband and put it in front of him.

Or it could be that he equates you serving his food with love.
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