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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I were married five months ago after dating for five years. During the time that I have known him, he has always been critical. However, I thought I could deal with it..

After we got married, things got much worse. My husband began to criticize me for EVERYTHING i did. Some examples are: yelling at me for "walking too loud", not washing the dishes "correctly", for "talking too loud", for "being lazy", not folding his clothes the right way, not cooking the right way, for "banging my fork against my plate", and even for sighing. The list is far too long, but he literally criticizes me for everything I do. I have tried to talk to him about it but he just says that I'm "being dramatic" and he starts screaming at me and calling me a "stupid C****".

He also is completely unwilling to listen to anything I say and is never there for me emotionally. If I come home from school (im a full time grad student) and try to discuss my frustrations when I've had a bad day, he asks me why I am "yelling" and to be quiet. I know that I am not yelling, but if I say anything that he deems negative, he shuts down and walks away or turns the tv up and ignores me. The only time that he listens to me is if I basically act like the world is perfect and dont say anything "negative".

I have lost all of my friends because I am so depressed that I just don't want to talk to anyone. Even on the rare occasion that I invite them over, they refuse my invitation because they do not like him. I have had many people in my life witness our interactions and tell me that they think he is highly critical of myself and everyone around him.

We tried going to therapy but it didnt seem to help. Three therapists have told him that he tries to rationalize my feelings and if he would not react to situations the way I do, that he rejects my feelings. Basically, they told him that he needs to work on being more empathetic and putting himself in my shoes. He became defensive and refused to go back to therapy, even though every therapist we have seen has also pointed out some mistakes I was making as well.

At this point, I do not know what to do. I feel like I'm losing my mind because everytime I try to talk to him he just shuts me out. And on the rare occasion that he apologizes to me he just says "I'm sorry, drop it and shut up".

It has gotten to the point that I dont even know if I love him anymore. We don't have fun and we have zero intimacy in our relationship. When we try to be intimate, he criticizes the way I am "performing".

I don't want to get a divorce but I don't know what to do. And what is even more frustrating is that I am in my last semester of grad school for counseling psychology! I understand the mechanisms behind his behavior..I understand that he is highly self critical and that he projects his criticism onto everything in his environment, which is a result of his father being very critical of him when he was growing up..but when I try to resolve the situation he just calls me stupid and won't listen.

Any advice?
 

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Some people relax once they are married and let all of their warts show. His example of marriage is his father. He's become his father. There is nothing you can do. He is who he is. This is not going to get any better. It will probably get worse as time goes on.

He sounds a lot like my ex-husband. Believe me putting up with this makes no sense.

You can only change yourself and direct your own life. So take care of yourself.

Advice?

Divorce is probably your best choice here.
 

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Going into the field of counseling you know the cardinal rule. You cannot make someone help themselves. They have to be willing to put the effort into it.

Perhaps if he is forced to realize what he risks losing by not dealing with his issues (you leaving), he'll find the courage and impetus to confront his issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree. The first step is that he needs to gain awareness of his behavior. He is detached from his behavior, probably as a defense mechanism. I know that his outward criticism is just a projection of his inner self criticism but helping him to gain insight into that is a completely different task. I am going to try to find a therapist that works well with defensive clients..preferably one with more education and experience than I currently have. Thanks for your reply.
 

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You're studying psychology - so what are your theories as to why you decided to be with him and then put up with this behavior? Why do you think you'd not want to get a divorce, even though you doubt you love him, and he treats you like crap?

I doubt I'm rarely helpful when I read stories such as this because I can tell you, if someone dared call me a stupid c*nt, my bag would be packed and I'd be gone. Let alone everything else you have written.
 

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OK - I know you asked for ladies to help, but FWIW...

I would usually advise (humbly) that you look at both your communication styles, Core Needs etc. But you're studying this field so you know about this stuff.

It's a case of 'physician(!) heal thyself'.

Leave. Now. This is abuse and you should not stand for it. get this straight. HE has the problem and you have tried to help and HE is rejecting all advice.

He's done his dust, as we say in Oz.

Go and get happy!!
 

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Some people relax once they are married and let all of their warts show. His example of marriage is his father. He's become his father. There is nothing you can do. He is who he is. This is not going to get any better. It will probably get worse as time goes on.

He sounds a lot like my ex-husband. Believe me putting up with this makes no sense.

You can only change yourself and direct your own life. So take care of yourself.

Advice?

Divorce is probably your best choice here.
:iagree:
I was in a 6 year abusive relationship myself. After 6 years I finally left and I'm glad I did, best decision I have made for myself ever. If there is anything else I could have done differently, it would have been to leave the second I knew something was wrong with our relationship.

I was young, naive, and got sucked into the cycle. I know better now. I'm sure you know better as well, but are just unsure about what to do. Just remember that the you cannot force change on him, and the likelihood is great that he will not change his current attitude. I thought my exH would change...I hoped that for 6 years... never happened. It got worse and worse. I finally wo"manned" it up and made my choice. Sometimes you gotta make a choice. It may not be an easy or desirable choice, but you have to do it for your own happiness and well-being.

I think you should sit down and reevaluate the situation, and think about the steps you need to take to be in a better place--physically, mentally, and emotionally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you,
most of you have been helpful. However, please notice that I asked for advice and not to be evaulated based on my decision to marry my husband despite his behavior, as if doing so is indicative of some inherent flaw within myself. My theories as to why I married him?...I believe in love, I beleive that love is the highest of all powers in this world and I believed (like so many of us out there) that love could concor all... The fact that I am one semester from becoming a therapist does not remove me from humanity and the qualities and deficiencies that go along with being human...even if I know better.

I also believe that part of me wants to "heal" him. I understand his attachment injuries and unresolved childhood pain and from the stand point of someone who still cares about him, I think part of me wants to heal those injuries..even though he doesnt really deserve my help.

In any case, in the future, unless you have something constructive so say, please do not say anything. It seems apparent that some individuals go on forums such as these becuase they have their own unresolved issues or sore egos and simply want to project their inner self contempt onto others. This is a forum for support, not increasing the injuries of others so lets all use a little empathy. :)

To the rest of you, thank you for your empathy and support. I really appreciate it.
 

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We're all flawed - comes with the territory of being human. I didn't mean any offense to you. Simply trying to spark you to think about it differently, the focus being on you rather than him. That's the thing when visiting a public forum, you're going to get a joe bloggs with an opinion replying.

You asked for advice and mine would be to leave. This is what I'd say to a friend. It's not often I say that on these forums, I'm all for people trying to work things out but your title alone "emotionally abusive and destructive marriage" says to me, leave.

You deserve to live a happy life, and to be loved in return.

Apologies if my initial post came across as harsh, it wasn't my intention.
 

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These people on here are right. Unfortunately you can't really help him, he has to help himself. He probably thinks you are the one to love him despite all his problems (and he KNOWS he has serious problems) because you were with him for 5 years. Now he is really letting it all hang out because he thinks you are in it for the long haul, and he can treat you however he wants.

Respect for you on becoming a counselor...but it's different when you have to live with it vs. just helping people as your profession. Living with him for too long and taking all this crap will eventually grind you down, destroy your belief in love, and take away the very thing that makes you able to be a counselor.

His type is very attracted to someone like you. You are probably very empathetic, gentle, and caring. Trust me he will suck the life out of you so bad you will not even recognize yourself. Calling you a stupid c**t will only escalate into smacking you around. That's textbook.

Take it from someone who has been there. Get out as soon as you're ready. Hopefully that won't be too late. As my mother said to me, "You'll leave when you've had enough pain."

Good Luck
 
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