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I am terrified because I think my relationship is in the process of dying, and I don't know how to stop it. I can't afford MC right now. I may be losing my job.

Two months ago I wouldn't have written this, but these past months have been horrid. Few days have gone by without a crisis between us. He is really stressed out about work, really unhappy, so that's part of it. But he brings all that home and is also extremely controlling in, as someone here said, an unhealthy way. He's always controlling, but I think the work stress has made him worse.

At first I tried to talk through our crises, to work them out, but that infuriated him and he would run away (or actually drive away) for hours. I sought advice here, and people suggested I stop talking when he was clearly getting upset. So I did (I was surprisingly successful at that because I had so many opportunities to practice in short succession). So he hasn't had to run away anymore and things have been surface calmer (still many problems, I just don't engage anymore).

The problem is this: I'm feeling over the course of this that my heart is dying in my chest. I am exerting extreme control over my emotions to stay surface calm and not provoke him. Often I am choking down a lot of pain and frustration. I have little mantras in my head "Say nothing... say nothing" that I chant silently when trying to control myself.

I feel unsupported and unloved. I feel my needs are not being met. He can roll his eyes and tear into me about the way I'm cooking dinner but I can't tell him that he's making me feel disrespected. He can have a temper tantrum and throw something against a wall near my head, but I can't tell him how that makes me feel without provoking a worse temper tantrum. He can refuse to listen to my work crisis after I spent considerable time listening to his the night before (just before he blew up and threw something in the vicinity of my head).

The thing is... I think he's oblivious, actually. Right after blowing up about dinner he reverts to normal, and while I'm struggling to control my frustration at him he has forgotten about it. Right after throwing something near my head, he asked if I wanted to watch the TV news. Right after refusing to listen to me about my work crisis, he asked if I wanted to watch a funny video he had just seen.

I don't get it. The only thing I do know is that I'm really hurting, can't talk about it without him blowing up, and am starting to feel ... well nothing except a desire for self preservation. Tonight as I struggled to calm down and sleep after him refusing to listen to my work problem, I found myself reciting a new mantra: "I might lose my job... I might lose my job..." as in... I better not make him too angry because I don't want him to leave me because I need the combined income just now. :(

This is terrible. I feel horrible and ashamed about that mantra - but it's honestly what popped into my head...

I know he's going through a hard time, and I'm supposed to be strong for him. I need to be the better person, but it's killing something in me. Will that something grow again if... when... his stressors go away? I don't know.

Caro
 

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Being strong doesn't mean walking on egg shells or dodging missiles. My wife can get really nasty but she's got a legitimate diagnosis for mental health issues. Even so, I've told her I can sympathize with her problems, I can be patient, tolerant, forgiving, and strong. I've got a couple lines. Civility is one and assault is another. She doesn't have to act loving all the time but I'll be treated like a human being. Nobody assaults me or threatens to and gets away with it. We all have stress. I've been a cop and a soldier 31 years. I understand stress. Stressed or not, I'm responsible for my actions and so is your husband. If he can't control his violent outbursts, he needs to be institutionalized. Next time he does something ugly and then asks if you want to watch TV with him, tell him he's hurt you and hell no, you don't want to sit next to him and pretend he didn't. There are two sorts of people in this world I endeavor to not offend....those with access to my gastro-intestinal tract and those with access to my money. As an aside, just about any major religious organization has an abundance of marriage counselors you and your husband can access without charge. My wife and I took advantage of one through a local SDA church. The woman had a Phd in psychology and a host of other credentials. She was great! Her services were worth thousands but we weren't charged at all. We gave a donation to the church to help support the program but we weren't asked to and we certainly didn't have to.
 

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Go through this forum and seek out all of the stories of wives leaving the marriage for EXACTLY the same reasons as you (there are thousands). Make sure they include the part about the husband not realizing it and being FLOORED when they find out. Be sure you include stories where it is obvious the marriage is over and the wife is gone for good.

Print them. Hand them to him. Have him read them. Then hand him yours, and when he's finished reading it, tell him it's you and you have one step out the door.

If he doesn't show improvement and a desire to change IMMEDIATELY, put a shot across his bow. Leave and go dark. Hit him with the divorce papers while you're gone (they can be taken back).

I haven't started any threads on the subject, but I have posted A LOT about how my wife's kick to the nuts got me to change immediately. Unfortunately for my marriage, that kick came too late and my wife had already checked out, never to return.

If you want to fix it, you need to scare the crap out of him. Talking will do nothing. You've tried that already, right? He knows what his issues are, but there have been no consequences. Show him the consequences.

If you want to leave, just leave. It's probably best anyhow (you will get plenty of "he's an abuser and abusers never change" posts soon). But if you want to fix your marriage, you need to tear it down first. Make him REALLY think it's over. It'll be hard, but it's the ONLY way to do it.
 

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I better not make him too angry because I don't want him to leave me because I need the combined income just now.
Bulls.h.i.t! You're making excuses. MAKE HIM angry. Then grab that bag and leave like we just talked about. He'll get the message. Loud and clear. No kids? You don't need ANY income to leave him. You can come back. You need to make him know what he's doing to his marriage. I told you it will be hard. There is no easy way out of this. If you want to fix it, get mean.
 

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Being the target for missiles is not acceptable no matter what the stree level of the partner. If he is working and that job is filled with stress he needs to convay that to you so you understand BUT he needs to listen to you and the strees you feel in your life. As a married couple this is the way it works, we lean on each other. But you now need to point out the issue. When he throws a tempt fit he needs to see that it unacceptable do do this. By acting as if nothing has occured he will not improve. Be positive and refusde to sit and let it go, Tell him your not going to sit there with him after he nearly hit you in temper. Remeber its the same as if he threw a punch and missed. At some point he will fail to miss and you may well be looking at a hospital say or worse . You need to so being understanding and become a more forceful person.
 

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Go through this forum and seek out all of the stories of wives leaving the marriage for EXACTLY the same reasons as you (there are thousands). Make sure they include the part about the husband not realizing it and being FLOORED when they find out. Be sure you include stories where it is obvious the marriage is over and the wife is gone for good.

Print them. Hand them to him. Have him read them. Then hand him yours, and when he's finished reading it, tell him it's you and you have one step out the door.

If he doesn't show improvement and a desire to change IMMEDIATELY, put a shot across his bow. Leave and go dark. Hit him with the divorce papers while you're gone (they can be taken back).

I haven't started any threads on the subject, but I have posted A LOT about how my wife's kick to the nuts got me to change immediately. Unfortunately for my marriage, that kick came too late and my wife had already checked out, never to return.

If you want to fix it, you need to scare the crap out of him. Talking will do nothing. You've tried that already, right? He knows what his issues are, but there have been no consequences. Show him the consequences.

If you want to leave, just leave. It's probably best anyhow (you will get plenty of "he's an abuser and abusers never change" posts soon). But if you want to fix your marriage, you need to tear it down first. Make him REALLY think it's over. It'll be hard, but it's the ONLY way to do it.
If he is throwing things at you, or barely missing you, I'd suggest this also.
 
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