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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not even sure I'll be able to explain this, but I really hope someone out there understands my plight.

I was a single mom of two girls for 10 years and I rocked at it. During that time, I only had three short relationships, the longest being 10 months. The first guy was addicted to porn, the next was a functional alcoholic and the last was just plain horrible. He was an alcoholic, pill addict and abuser. He abused me physically, mentally and emotionally. Right after we broke up, I met my current husband. I thought I was through with men and relationships, but he was so sweet and gentle. I married him after five months. We've now been together for almost two years.

Along with him came a little boy who is now five. He's a huge handful who comes with a myriad of issues, including being a spoiled brat. My husband and I work together at a very stressful office. And then there are my two girls, 12 and 13, who at this time aren't contributing much to our stress. They're great.

On top of my stress, I am 38 and have a hormonal imbalance. They say my estrogen is at post-menopausal levels, yet I still have periods and they put me on the pill to help with my moods, hot flashes, etc.

Here's the problem - It seems I suck as a wife. I've only been one once before and it only lasted a year and a half because my ex-husband was never around. He hated being married and we pretty much hated each other, so we divorced after our two girls were born 11 months apart.

So even though I have pretty much mastered parenthood and have started really turning around my stepson's behavior, I can't seem to figure out how to be a good wife.

I do 99% of the work around the house, all the shopping, all the cooking, all the cleaning. He does help with laundry, which I always thank him for. I serve him all the time gladly and without complaining. Even though I work a full-time job, I enjoy serving my husband. I also never withhold sex...he gets it whenever he wants it and I like to think it's good stuff. I tell him I love him all the time, give him a ton of affection, tell him he's handsome, smart, etc. and support him however I can, including letting him go to his friend's house 2-3 nights a week while I watch the kids (he's a nerd who loves video games).

And then...

-I have a horrible time trusting him. He's never done a thing to betray me, yet I fear he'll find someone else. So I've been known to snoop on him (I always admit it and always feel like a jerk for doing it), get jealous when he talks to other women, even when it's totally innocent, get angry when he doesn't agree with me on marital boundaries, etc. (For instance, I don't think he should ever accept another woman's phone number, even if it's just a mother he met at the park who wants to set up play dates with her son.) He completely trusts himself, so I feel he opens doors to emotional affairs developing, but he says that would never happen.

-I get upset about the stupidest things. Like if he corrects the way I wash the dishes or doesn't like a dish I cooked. Or if he complains about my girls. Basically, if he finds fault with me in the least, I lose it.

I would say those are the big two. He says when I get upset about these things, everything stops. I cry and he gets angry and I make it worse by getting angry back and it takes up a whole day. He's right. He doesn't console me anymore...he's sick of it and I don't blame him. I'm sick of it, too.

I'm pretty sure this all stems from my abusive relationship. That boyfriend made it known daily that I wasn't good enough and I was never like this before him. I know I haven't healed from that experience yet. I've seen counselors and have been put on drugs, but nothing helped. I'm a Christian and have sought God and have prayed extensively, but I'm not doing much better. At least once a week I find something to get upset about.

He tells me I'm the best wife ever, but it seems to only be because I take care of him, the house and the kids...not because I love him well. I want nothing more than to be his best friend and love him the way he deserves. To trust him. To never make him feel frustrated about our marriage. The other day he called me Jekyl and Hyde because of my mood swings, but I'm not a monster when I swing downward...I just cry a lot and get defensive. But that name calling hurt quite a bit because all I can think now is "Who the heck would want to be married to Jekyl and Hyde?"

The problem is that I don't know how to solve this. The more I behave like this, the lower my already low self-esteem goes and the more I get defensive when I feel like he's not pleased with me. It's a vicious circle that I have to break if I'm going to stay married. At this point I think he only stays with me because of how well I care for him and his son. He denies that and says he loves me...I'm sure he does...but I guess I don't feel like love is enough to make him want to stay when I act like a lunatic.

Wow, that was long. If anyone took the time to read all that, do you have any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Specializes in addiction? I understand the dependency part. I'm dependent on him, but not the other way around, so I guess it's not co-dependency. But addiction? Neither of us are addicted to anything.

I appreciate your response greatly. I just don't understand your reply.

Also, I've been to four therapists since we started dating. All of them just put me on drugs that didn't work. They couldn't diagnose me with anything, although one said I had a mild case of PTSD from the abusive relationship.
 

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I second the suggestion of counseling. One that doesn't prescribe meds. Yes the trauma you suffered at the hands of your ex is poisoning your life now. You could have some ptsd (I have it so I recognize the symptoms). Lashing out in anger in relation to a trigger is a symptom. Another is paranoia.

On the hormones is estrogen the only thing you are taking? What about your progesterone and testosterone? All 3 are needed to balance your hormones. I'm on biodentical hormone replacement therapy and without all 3 I'd be a nut case. Seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The therapist who diagnosed me with PTSD gave me some breathing exercises to do, but that was about it. I definitely feel like I have the fight or flight response to everything. If I don't respond in anger or crying, I get in my car and drive to a parking lot where I can cry by myself. My husband doesn't really support counseling, nor does he believe I have PTSD. He seems to think that only happens to people who have suffered severe trauma like war. Since therapy wasn't helping and he wasn't supportive, I just stopped going. I've been relying on yoga to help me, but I wonder if there are some books on controlling PTSD yourself.

They have me on Yasmin for the hormonal imbalance. They (two doctors) say I'm too young to be on hormone replacement therapy.

I'm so tired of not being myself. The sad thing is, my husband has never seen the real me. And it's depressing to think he may never see it.

Thanks so much for your response. Really appreciate it.
 

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Doctors know nothing about hormone replacement therapy. I had to go to a center that specializes in it.

It's sad that your husband doesn't believe in PTSD. I have it from an abusive childhood. It really doesn't take much. A friend of mine has a mild case from her toxic marriage.

There are books you could read. I've read tons. I really like Internal Family Systems therapy and it could work on PTSD. The issue is it really helps to have support while you do the work.

Have you looked into PTSD forums? I was on one for a while. Or maybe chat with others who have survived an abusive relationship. You need support while you try to heal. I couldn't have made it without having others to talk to who understood what I was going through. After some trial runs my favorite was a yahoo group for people with parents like me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I went to an endocrinologist and a GYN and they both said the same thing. I'm either going to insist on hormone replacement next time I go to the GYN or I'm going to spend the money on going to a center.

Thanks for the tips on PTSD support. I don't think my husband wants to admit that A) what I went through was that bad and B) that I could have something that takes so long to heal from. I should mention that his former wife committed suicide. They never figured out the problem, but she was severely depressed and just sort of lost it. I think that's why he hates when I cry and immediately becomes angry, which just triggers my PTSD worse. I think he just keeps hoping I'll snap out of it and "grow up" as he puts it.

I will keep looking for books and will definitely look into the forums. So glad you read my post...good to hear from someone who understands.
 

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I suggested the addiction counselor not because either of you are addicted but because all of what your describing is the result of your past relationships with addicts. Low self esteem. Fretting and paranoia about things that are out of your control, trying to minimize the risk of him leaving by doing lots of stuff and I'd bet tolerating things you shouldn't (playing games 3 nights a week). It's all codependency and someone familiar with addiction will also be familiar with it
 

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Sounds like you base your opinion of yourself on what other people think (ie your husband).

You need to build up your self esteem. Some people do this by developing an interest outside of the house that they can excel at on their own. Like a hobby/sport/club.

Do you do any of these things?
 

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Why is a grown, married man going to friends houses 3 or 4 nights a week? Relationships must be nurtured, spouses need to spend quality time together. Dr. Harley recommends couples spend 15 to 20 hours together, not watching tv either. The time he is playing with friends should be time invested in you. Did he hang out with friends like this when you were dating? The grass grows best where it's watered. No wonder you are feeling insecure.
 

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I'm wishing you the best in regards to getting help as soon as possible. It would be a shame that the ghosts of your relationship pasts, destroy your relationship present. It would be like your Ex getting 1 last win over you.
 

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i'm wondering about that 3-4 nights at a friend's house, too. But aside from that, it sounds like you think your husband is great and you say that he loves you. Keep looking until you find the help that you need. Change counselors if one doesn't work. You need better strategies that work to deal with flying off the cuff at criticisms (although I don't know why your husband needs to criticize your dish -washing).

I wonder, are you making excuses for him and laying it all on yourself, thinking he's right, you're wrong, so it's OK how he behaves. Are you really happy to do all the housework? I wonder if you're taking the blame and feeling like a failure when anyone else would feel the same way.

Sounds like you need to get your hormones under control.
 

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You have to learn to love yourself. That seems to be a problem for you. You have no problem when it comes to taking care of people but you have an inner fear that if you don't take excellent care of them that they will leave. I am not a therapist but it seems to me that the best thing you can do for yourself and your marriage is to become just a tiny bit selfish. Start focusing on you more. It's great to be humble but being humble doesn't mean being a doormat. I am sure your husband does love and appreciate every thing you do but perhaps you are doing all of that for the wrong reasons.

Just one night a week let him cook while you read a book or take a hot bath. Why does he go to a friends 3 or 4 nights a week? Perhaps it is because he is afraid of upsetting you and he is sticking his head in the sand so to speak. Avoiding confrontation. Personally, my husband used to do the same thing that you are doing. Accuse me all the time, plunder through my stuff.. the outcome was not good. Jealousy and insecurity can destroy an otherwise great marriage. My advice to you would be to stop focusing so hard on your husband and focus more on yourself. Join a gym, find a hobby that you love. Encourage your H to do more with you around the house and have fun doing it. Like cooking a meal together.. ask him to run you a hot bath and light some candles for you.

As for the hormones.. that has nothing to do with the snooping. The mood swings yes.. but the snooping is all on you and something you need to work on not doing anymore. My H and I have been through heck and back and we are doing so much better and so happy now. We still have problems but we respect each other. I think and this is just my opinion.. but I think if you started respecting yourself more and working on your self esteem-you would see a great improvement in your marriage. Trust is not earned as they say. It is given until it is broken. If that trust is broken-you have to make a conscience effort to give it again if you choose forgive and stay with. I honestly don't see how anyone can "earn" trust when you can never fully know a person. A lot of people would criticize me for that.. but that is what I know. Trusting someone doesn't come from them earning it-it comes from a conscience effort to give it and a feeling of security with one self that if that trust is broken you will not die on the spot.. You will survive and thrive again eventually. It is about inner strength. Something you need to work on. You seem like a wonderful person. Don't be so hard on yourself. Lighten up and enjoy life more. Enjoy your husband and your children. You only have one life to live, so stop worrying about what you are doing wrong and what may or may not happen and focus on all of the good things in your life. A wonderful man, beautiful children and btw, most 5 year olds are precocious and with the right guidance you and your H can raise a very loving strong young man.

As for the hormone imbalance, I am going through it too. Running, watching my diet and weight training does miracles for it. Take vitamins as well. Check your B12 and your D levels. Those are very important to feeling well. It only takes 45 min a day about 5 days a week and alternate between cardio and weights each day. Rest for 2 days with no excersize and I cannot stress enough about the vitamins and eating healthy. It's all about your attitude in life and if you see the glass half empty or half full. Good luck hon.
 

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I would seek help from a psychiatrist. I have bipolar disorder and it took some time, trial, and error before I found the right medication that worked for me. Some meds I tried actually made me feel worse. It takes time and patience, but it is worth the effort to control the mood swings.
 

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Well.. Mine might not be the popular reply but it sounds like your husband is a push over (NG). Sounds like you test him, he has no boundaries and lets your "hamster" loose all over him and then you feel bad about it. It sounds like you are running the marriage and starting to get tired of it. Pretty common. Break up with "bad boys" and find ""nice guy" and then become miserable.
 

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What brings you to these conclusions?
Bad guy to nice guy:
She went from abusive, addicted *******s (don't blame her) to a guy who has a spoiled kid and plays video games. I have been there. My wife stopped dating a "bad boy" and then came to me since I was a "nice guy". It is pretty normal and I have heard it a hundred times.

Husband not dominate:
She admits in her first message she takes care of him. His son was spoiled. Now I assume this was his doing and I am "reading between the lines" since I don't personally know. She seems to be doing all the work in the marriage. From her first post it sounds like she has a fourth kid living with her. I also get a very submissive vibe from her writing.

She isn't a failure as this situation is surprisingly common. Unfortunately her problem is a little harder to resolve. Us Nice Guys seek help once the marriage starts to go down the tubes. She is being a great wife and trying to give him everything he could want, so he probably doesn't see the problems. MMSL would be my recommendation to get for him but usually it doesn't have as much affect when coming from the wife as it does when husbands are the one seeking it out. This would help in setting boundaries in his marriage and with his son and what consequences are for crossing that boundary. She would still have FULL input in the marriage but she would finally be a mother and wife and not the caretaker for everyone.
 

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MMSL: Married Man Sex Life

I sense she WANTS to be submissive but can't because she is running everything. It happened to me. My wife was always "make a damn decision". It didn't dawn on me till MMSL and others what she meant. She is Manager over a few hundred people and she didn't want to be a manager at home too. It was to(o) tiring.
 

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You sound like a great wife. The issues are not with your marriage, but with yourself. You have severe insecurities and low self- esteem. That's why you are excessevily jealous, you don't think you are worthy of your husband. You view any other woman as a threat because you think they are better than you. You feel very hurt at his smallest criticism because it brings up the thought "oh, I'm good for nothing". This is highly detrimental to any relationship..low self-esteem is not attractive.
Good news is, with psychiatric help, you can overcome these issues. Start asap. There is a beautiful, smart and confident woman deep down there, beneath the rugged layers of abuse and heartbreaks.
 
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