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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let me first start out by saying I have a wonderful and loving husband. He is very thoughtful, caring, and attentive. At the same time he has a very stressful job and probably takes on too much. This causes him to be stressful at home and everyone knows it's easiest to take your stresses of your day out on those you love the most. I understand this and swallow it "with a hard pill". It is hard though and here's where the problem is. When it is hard for me to always swallow it, I bring it to my husband's attention when there is something he did that bothered me or even disappointed me. I can admit I don't always bring it up the best way cause at that point I have reached a boiling point. But most of the time it doesn't matter how I bring it up, he turns it around on me and gets mad at me. How dare I bring up something that is bothering me that he did. How dare I point stuff up just to make him feel like ****. Then he turns it around on me and tells me everything that I do wrong (how, I thought I have been very patient, loving and kind... no one is perfect). So, basically, I can't bring anything up to my husband that is bothering me because he thinks I'm just trying to point out all of his downfalls and becomes a jerk. How do I get around this? What is a relationship if you can't discuss with your partner the things that bother you (and trust me, these are little things and doesn't happen very often). I've always had very open and understanding relationships. I just don't understand this mentality and think if I can't talk to my husband than how is this relationship going to work??

Please, any advice would be extremely helpful. I am at a loss.

Let me add a side note to this. When he does get upset and turn it around on me for mentioning something that bothered me with something as little as expressing my disappointment because while I was working and he was cooking dinner, he didn't tell me dinner was ready when he was almost done with his. I was upset because I thought we were going to eat together, instead, he ate while on the phone and let mine sit there getting cold until I discovered it. When this does happen, we fight, I go read to defuse the situation, he comes in even madder, so in the morning I send him a note expressing it wasn't that big of a deal but he didn't have to offend me he becomes an even bigger jerk. He doesn't see that this is hurting me. I point out where I could have handled it better and apologize and he still wants to treat me bad.
 

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Doesn't sound like he wants to know that he might be part of the problem. Also sounds like he is highly sensitive, and that may stem from having a overly critical parent. As in every time you mention something to him that he doesn't want to deal with or hear, (especially about himself) then it probably triggers feelings of when someone was critical of him.

Most healthy minded people, don't mind being offered constructive criticism and often take that advice and use if for change and to become better. Your husband isn't doing that, he is on the defense. I would suggest you suggest MC to him. He will likely get mad. At that point you tell him, then you will go for IC for yourself and hopefully a professional can give you some advice on how to help the marriage from falling by the wayside.

Also the next time you say something and he goes on the defense, walk away. Tell him this is an important issue to you and you will come back to it later after he has cooled down a bit, and walk out of the room.
 

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Thank you Jamison. That is great advice and exactly what I was afraid of.

You are correct. He is very sensitive and extremely critical of himself. I will work harder to not respond to his over-reacting and just walk away. I hope that this will help him see I'm not trying to criticize him, just wanting to discuss something that is important to me.

I really don’t want it to go as far as seeking a professional but am willing to do what it takes. That would be a huge step for him though. (What is MC and IC?)
 

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Thank you Jamison. That is great advice and exactly what I was afraid of.

You are correct. He is very sensitive and extremely critical of himself. I will work harder to not respond to his over-reacting and just walk away. I hope that this will help him see I'm not trying to criticize him, just wanting to discuss something that is important to me.

I really don’t want it to go as far as seeking a professional but am willing to do what it takes. That would be a huge step for him though. (What is MC and IC?)
MC= Marriage Counseling
IC= Individual Counseling

I hope something works out for you with that. He will likely need some counseling to deal with these critical feelings. He will probably need to learn communication and coping skills.

I agree about walking away. Just shut the conversation down real quick when he gets all defensive, and tell him you can see he isn't in the best frame of mind to talk, but you will talk with him later. Make sure you go back after a bit and ask him if he is ready to talk, that the conversation needs to happen without getting upset from either of you.
 

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Hey there! Early in our relationship, my husband and I would have awful fights. He on the defensive, me on the attack, nothing got resolved, I'd end up apologizing (even though I felt he had been in the wrong!) and so on. A vicious cycle that's tough to break.

The biggest thing that has worked for us is dropping the accusations. Even if your husband straight up excludes you from dinner (which...wow, rude) instead of huffing and demanding "Why did you do that?!" maybe try a new approach. Begin everything you say (when talking about what bothers you) with "I feel..." as in, "I feel like you're trying to hurt my feelings or upset me when you ate without me."

Just setting up your language this way can help a man drop the defensive. Instead of honing in on the action, it will hopefully set the course to him seeing how those actions actually effect you. In turn, it should also help YOU verbalize what exactly you're feeling instead of just anger and frustration (can help you get to the root of why you're bothered, then explain it to him.)

It's a simple step that can yield pretty great results. And MC can also be a great help in learning better ways to communicate.

Best of luck, my dear! You can do it! :)
 
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You need to search for the victim triangle on this forum. It's enlightening.

My take on this is your husband is playing the victim, taking any minor thing you say and turning it into an attack on him. You want to help him (rescuer) but he's always attacking you ( he needs somebody to be a persecutor just to get through the day).

Everyone doesn't agree that it's easier to take stress out on those close to you. Your friends can help you relieve stress by talking about your day with them or pouring drinks or whatever but your family and friends are not your metaphorical punching bag.

You need help dealing with this relationship.
 

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Hi OP. What your husband is doing is a very cruel method of control. If you approach him about anything he does not want to deal with he will rip into you. A sane husband will just say, "Look I can't deal with this right now, can we talk about it later when we're not all charged up?"

His lashing out at you is a way to get you to Shut Up.

When he says, "How dare you point things out to me and make me feel like crap" what he's really saying is Shut Up.

When he turns it around to attack a litany of your sins, what he's really saying is Shut Up.

And when he withdraws and punishes you by leaving your dinner out cold, he's saying Shut Up.

And eventually after this happens enough times, when you find yourself feeling bothered or disappointed, you will tremble at the thought of bringing it up for fear of being stabbed in the heart all over again. You are being conditioned to Shut Up.

According to everything I've read, it will get worse - the disappointments and the pain. Hell, I just caught my husband having an EA on Facebook, and he basically wiped his feet all over me. What he was saying to me is Shut Up. So now I'm leaving, getting my crap together and moving on.

You have a right to a voice and feelings and opinions and dignity. I can recommend a book "Why Does He Do That?"
 

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Let me first start out by saying I have a wonderful and loving husband. He is very thoughtful, caring, and attentive. At the same time he has a very stressful job and probably takes on too much. This causes him to be stressful at home and everyone knows it's easiest to take your stresses of your day out on those you love the most. I understand this and swallow it "with a hard pill". It is hard though and here's where the problem is. When it is hard for me to always swallow it, I bring it to my husband's attention when there is something he did that bothered me or even disappointed me. I can admit I don't always bring it up the best way cause at that point I have reached a boiling point. But most of the time it doesn't matter how I bring it up, he turns it around on me and gets mad at me. How dare I bring up something that is bothering me that he did. How dare I point stuff up just to make him feel like ****. Then he turns it around on me and tells me everything that I do wrong (how, I thought I have been very patient, loving and kind... no one is perfect). So, basically, I can't bring anything up to my husband that is bothering me because he thinks I'm just trying to point out all of his downfalls and becomes a jerk. How do I get around this? What is a relationship if you can't discuss with your partner the things that bother you (and trust me, these are little things and doesn't happen very often). I've always had very open and understanding relationships. I just don't understand this mentality and think if I can't talk to my husband than how is this relationship going to work??

Please, any advice would be extremely helpful. I am at a loss.

Let me add a side note to this. When he does get upset and turn it around on me for mentioning something that bothered me with something as little as expressing my disappointment because while I was working and he was cooking dinner, he didn't tell me dinner was ready when he was almost done with his. I was upset because I thought we were going to eat together, instead, he ate while on the phone and let mine sit there getting cold until I discovered it. When this does happen, we fight, I go read to defuse the situation, he comes in even madder, so in the morning I send him a note expressing it wasn't that big of a deal but he didn't have to offend me he becomes an even bigger jerk. He doesn't see that this is hurting me. I point out where I could have handled it better and apologize and he still wants to treat me bad.
I would love to know the answer. My wife freaks out if she only is thinking I might criticize her for anything :(

Would you describe him as emotionally mature? In other words, does he know how to identify his emotions, and be aware of them? Or does he deny them all the time?

Can he say "I am sad" "I am so jealous" etc.?
 

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wow wow wow that you have to walk on eggshells and censor any critical thought for fear that your husband will go ballistic for just simply asserting yourself.

your husband had some nerve not letting you know that dinner was ready. did he think you were a mind reader? that is the normal thing to do. I do that every single night. I make dinner, then call to my family, "dinner is ready."

if this is something that he's going to blow a cork on and raise to defcon 5, then I'd worry about having kids with him. he needs to deal with his anger issues, and you need to figure out how to not get sucked into his sick cycle of blaming you.

i like the idea of walking away, and making, "I" statements.
 

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I think your husband is emotionaly abusive to you. Not only does he completely disregard your feelings, but he goes out of his way to be cruel to you.

How old are you two?
How long have you been married?
 

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Goodwife, how do you come across when you voice your problem?
My wife is very rude and snaps a me like I was a bad dog that just crapped on the rug. Of course I'm not going to smile and ask for more, or address the problem when treated in such a rude manner.
 
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