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Hi there!
This is the first time I have posted on a site like this, I'm hoping some of you might be able to identify with my situation, and perhaps offer some support, if not solutions to my problem.

In brief, my husband, for the 8 years of our 8 and a half year marriage, has shouted at me for the slightest little thing, he is also sarcastic and insulting, swears, bangs things around, storms off and slams doors, and on the few occasions I have answered him back at the time, he says it was me who was horrible to him, when all I did, was to politely ask for a little more room in the kitchen to do the washing up, or perhaps I used the last of the butter, or moved his record player off the floor so I could hoover up, or asked the same question twice when I didn't understand him the first time, and he just blows up! No warning, 0 to 90 in a split second and back down again as quickly.

You may wonder why I'm still with him, I wouldn't blame you, but the thing is, when he's not being like this, which is most of the time, I couldn't wish for a kinder, more loving and supportive husband, and once he has calmed down he is usually sorry for the hurt he has caused me, and he has agreed, at my insistence, to go to an anger management councillor, but until that happens he still thinks it's OK to express his anger with sarcasm and disrespect, as long as he doesn't slam doors, and apparently I am the only person in the world who clearly does not understand, that if you are feeling annoyed or angry then it is OK to express that emotion with the level of force and aggression the crime deserves!

I am very depressed this evening, as he has ruined this, and last weekends events, both of which were special occasions, and I am in despair at the thought that I will just end up hating him, and will not be able to find my way back from that.
Reasoning with him after he has calmed down usually just buys me some temporary respite from it, but after 8 years of this, how can I be intimate with him when I don't feel if is safe to be so?

On a very few occasions, feeling backed into a corner, I tried giving him a taste of his own medicine, and I challenged him back, and even shouted at him, and he went beserk! and recently it bordered on a physical assault with me trying to keep him out of a room with him forcing the door to get in at me.
He has never hit me, and says he never would, but to be perfectly honest, I can't be so sure I will not hit him one day, and that is something I would be deeply, deeply ashamed of,
so, I just say nothing and take it like a doormat, and withdraw from him, because quite frankly, I have run out of ideas.

I am not a person lacking in confidence, and I am amongst those people who are bewildered at women who stay with physically violent men, my mother was one of them, and I swore I never would be like her, but my husbands verbal assaults on me hurt every bit as much as a physical blow, I ought to know, as my father started hitting me just before I left home, but it hurts so much more coming from a man who makes you love him with his kindness, and then slaps you in the face with his words.

I feel like I'm on a piece of elastic with my husband bouncing me about all over the place, and the only thing I can do is disengage from him, but what kind of a marriage is it when I do that! Isn't that called passive aggressive? I don't do it to punish him, it's purely instinctive self protection, I veer away when he tries to kiss me and he gets nasty with me about that, and it's all poison to our marriage, which has everything else going for it, we don't have any serious circumstantial problems to complain about!

Oh dear! I feel so down, it's saturday night, and we should be having fun together, well, it has helped me putting my feelings into words, with the hope somebody might be listening, if you can identify with any of this, please get in touch, it would help me so much to not feel as though I was battling all on my own with this.

Thanks for listening

Dustbin ( I'm calling myself that because of all the toxic rubbish my husband tips on to me ) :(
 

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Hi & welcome -

A good read for you "Why Does He Do That?"

Been there; ex was verbally abusive & has a hair-trigger temper. His started in childhood feeling a lack of control as the only child of a domineering Mother. Had to stuff emotions. Got worse playing football very agressively in high school & college.

I always thought I was a "victim" of abuse but I was a "volunteer" in reality because I put up with it for 22 years, until I left because he refused anger management and/or counseling. He was quite "surprised" when I left.

Back to you. I hope you husband follows through with anger management. I hope you don't have to live the rest of your life being abused & I REALLY hope it never gets physical.
 

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It is no small wonder in my eyes that with all the pain out there that so many of us carry around the baggage and $h!t from those formative experiences. Whether it originated in the family from relatives that were in depression, hated their lives, or whatever, from underfunded public schools which do not have the resources/capacity to facilitate healthy socialization, work environments that encourage, competition and ranking (total bs imo), failed relationships, toxic social structures that reinforce retrogressive value systems and class hierarchies, etc, etc. There is no shortage of sources for the anger that seems to rear its provocative head in our lives.

Sorry, a bit of a rant there!

In your case, I would suggest couples counseling first, that way he recognizes himself how destructive his behavior when a neutral party provides constructive observations. It would also hold him to attending, hopefully. Then he may, again hopefully, get the motivation to take a good hard look at his own issues with anger and where its roots lay.

There may be many more of those nights before things get better but if you invest importance in your m, as it sounds like you do, better to try the mc sooner (ASAP!) than later before the demeaning/dehumanizing behavior reaches a point of no return.
 

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EMERALD i would love it if you gave a little more insight into your relationship and how you found the courage to leave after 22 years. you will know why after you read my reponse to dustbin.

DUSTBIN, i am in the same boat as you are. I am fed up with my husband raging fits I am ready to end this marriage over it. My husband cannot understand why I do not desire him as a married woman should (he believes I do not have a sex drive) that is not true I have a raging sex drive, just not for him. What person want to be intimate with someone after they haved hurled hurtful, forceful and very, very, very, very angry words at you. I told my 17 year old son it is a shame I have to leave a marriage because another human being does not know how to speak to you. What is funny as hell (not really funny, actually quite sad) my husband demands to be respected by me and the children, and if i cursed at him the way he does to me there will be hell to pay.

Sorry I have no answer, i know i need to leave, but Im afraid of putting the kids through the turmoil of a divorce. And i know im not helping them by staying with an abuser. If any TMI family members can chime in...im listening.
 

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EMERALD i would love it if you gave a little more insight into your relationship and how you found the courage to leave after 22 years. you will know why after you read my reponse to dustbin.

DUSTBIN, i am in the same boat as you are. I am fed up with my husband raging fits I am ready to end this marriage over it. My husband cannot understand why I do not desire him as a married woman should (he believes I do not have a sex drive) that is not true I have a raging sex drive, just not for him. What person want to be intimate with someone after they haved hurled hurtful, forceful and very, very, very, very angry words at you. I told my 17 year old son it is a shame I have to leave a marriage because another human being does not know how to speak to you. What is funny as hell (not really funny, actually quite sad) my husband demands to be respected by me and the children, and if i cursed at him the way he does to me there will be hell to pay.

Sorry I have no answer, i know i need to leave, but Im afraid of putting the kids through the turmoil of a divorce. And i know im not helping them by staying with an abuser. If any TMI family members can chime in...im listening.
Hardest thing I ever did - leave.

The verbal abuse was hurled at our children but not as bad because they were scared. I also protected them as much as possible.

Time went by & I fell out of love of course.

My plan was to leave when the children (2) left for college.

I had threatened to leave many times over 22 yrs.

When my youngest left for college, I rented an apartment, sat him down, told him why I was leaving, left & never looked back.
 

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i know i need to leave, but Im afraid of putting the kids through the turmoil of a divorce. And i know im not helping them by staying with an abuser.
Please reconsider your stance to stay for the kids. You are teaching them that once they say "I do" that they then MUST TAKE whatever cr*p their spouse throws at them (words or fists).

Show them how to live with dignity.
Show them how to parent with dignity.
Show them how to treat others by example.
Show them that they must look after themselves and REQUIRE respect in their own relationships.
 

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I dealt with TWO verbally abusive husbands...the second, who started out so much better than the first, was the worst. He criticized everything about me: my clothes, my underwear, my hair, my makeup, my cooking, my cleaning, my driving, my parenting, my interests. EVERYTHING. He was totally negative about EVERYTHING, hated everyone, and was getting more and more nasty to my daughter. I was an empty shell of myself, and I walked on eggshells constantly, felt like I was always ducking. I would walk into the house after work and he would give me looks like I was dog crap he scraped off his shoe. My breaking point came when he said something really horrible in front of my daugher, said to me but aimed at her. At that moment I knew I was done. I got out.

This website was very helpful to me:

Welcome to Dr. Irene's Verbal Abuse Site|Dr. Irene's Verbal Abuse (Site)!

I hope you find the strength to get out, I know firsthand what a horrible example this is for children.
 

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Okay, I have typed this opinion in MANY threads, it seems to be like a plague. BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER with some NARCISSISTIC TENDENCIES. He runs hot and cold. Rages for no apparent reasons. Will blame YOU for the rants. Won't let you fight back. Do you walk on eggshells due to his mood of the moment?

Basically, this man is a bully and a coward and you have every right to get the hell out of dodge. He is not going to change. I was raised by one of these bullies. My childhood was hell and I spent years on therapy over it. Who calls their six year old daughter a c*********? When my dad pulled up in the driveway after work, us kids would actually run and hide because he would stomp in complaining about traffic, the weather, you name it. He would look for things to yell at us about.

So yes, I can relate. Try not to let him damage your soul. Don't let him isolate you from friends and family. Every time you "let things go just to shut him up" your resentment will grow until it's overwhelming.

I'm glad you came here and reached out. That means you see the problem and you know who to blame. My mother still thinks there is hope for my father. STUPID STUPID STUPID. Take care of yourself. This self-hating monster will take you down with him only if you let him.

Keep us posted on what is going on okay?
 

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I feel so grateful for your support and insight ladies, and to WEBELONG2GETHER for showing me that this behaviour is steryotipical, and not just my husband's reaction to me.

Just an update, after writing my post to you last night I had an extremely ugly scene with H, but this time it was me shouting at him, which is a pretty rare thing, I wanted him to know how it felt to be on the receiving end, I even shouted at him at point blank range and asked him how that felt, as he is still insisting that doing that kind of thing is better than bottling it up, and talking things over when we have both calmed down, ( my preferred method of dealing with issues ) is unnatural, and apparently I am the only person in the world who behaves like this, but he is prepared to go to the anger management councellor, because despite thinking I am unnatural, he can see his rages are having a devastating effect on our marriage.
The weird thing is, is that my H loves me very deeply and cherishes our marriage, but can't seem to help himself from abusing it, is he mental?

As for giving him a taste of his own medicine, it makes me feel worse because this kind of behaviour is not who I am, however, I felt as an act of desperation, that shock tactics were the only option open to me, and the only thing he might understand.
He was very sorry this a.m and he gave me a hug, which I really couldn't stomach to be honest.
I am not ready to leave this man yet, especially as he is prepared to get councelling, and yes, couple councelling is on the cards, and he knows that.

I will keep an eye out for other posts on this situation, to see how you cope.

Thanks again for sharing

Dustbin
 

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In my own experience, leaving was the only option. The only thing that changes with an abuser is that they get progressively worse.
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I am currently going thru a similar situation but it is my wife (she fits the bill of having narcissistic personality disorder, angry all the time at the entire world and do not critique anything targeting her.......unless you are a fast runner!).

It took us 8 years to reach a breaking point where we had the big fight and talked divorce. She blamed me for everything in the relationship, kids behavior, and everybody else in our life. Even found out she was having multiple EAs and dreaming of the better life with them.

I figured I needed counseling to deal with this and then began working on me......advice and reading from TAM. Focusing on if we indeed divorce I will be ready and be a better person/man. BTW, we have 6 kids.

You are not ready to leave your husband, I am also not ready to leave my wife. For this reason I have been working hard on myself....which she has noticed big time.

While it has been a rollercoaster ride since the summer, I can say our situation has improved greatly. She has realized I am in a better place, I feel much better about myself physically and mentally and I am willing to leave the marriage if needed. She has changed as she is not so disrespectful and sarcastic in her comments on a daily basis (more weekly than daily now). She has even sought me out for affection (rarely done in the past) so I know she is softening a lot over her old ways.

Consequently, even though most people tell me to leave, I feel there is a chance....at least if I try this one last time and it does not work I can look back and say I gave it my all.

Does your husband truly love you? Would he be devastated if he lost you? Then there may be hope.

Let me suggest:

--Counseling (looks good as it sounds like both of you will go).
--Working on yourself (focus on yourself physically and mentally, many good posts here on TAM and books to read on the subject).
--Give him some space so hopefully he can work on his issues.

Wish you luck in your situation!:)
 

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Because he's agreed to anger management classes, you might find it helpful to share this article with him: Fair Fighting: How to Fight Fair When Emotions are High

I was in several abusive relationships many years ago, and one of the men did attend anger management classes, which is where some of the techniques in that article came from.

The best way I've found to cope with someone else's explosive temper is to NOT cope with it. I absolutely will not tolerate it under any conditions. The moment something like that begins, I say something like, "Your behavior is out of line and I won't take part." I drive somewhere like a park or shopping mall and leave them alone for as long as I think it will take them to cool off. I do not say where I am going or how long I will be. If they ask, I say, "I am not talking to you while you're this angry."

I believe this works well because abusive behavior is all about getting control. My response utterly prevents them from succeeding, but it also doesn't try to control them. Coming back too early can lead to problems, though, if the person hasn't cooled down enough. It's important to stay gone until they've had a chance to go through ALL of their thoughts over the "I'm mad at the trigger. I'm going to sulk and pout over it. Now I'm mad that she left me sulking and pouting. I'll sulk and pout about that too."

You may also find it helpful to let your husband know he has a choice to be "right" or to be happy. He can be "right" or he can have a good marriage, but he can't do both.

You said you've always felt befuddled by women who stay in abusive relationships. They stay for the exact same reason. "When it's good, it's really good." It's an emotional roller coaster. I once thought that made sense, but now I see that the "but he is so good when he's not doing that" is a way to bull$h*t yourself. It comes from a part of you that's afraid you don't deserve better and if you leave, you'll find proof that your fear is valid. It's like saying, "He's a good husband when he's not molesting our child." Allowing himself to hurt others DOES make him toxic to a relationship no matter what other qualities he has.

The kind of rage you're talking about is an addictive behavior. It produces adrenaline rushes that get the rageaholic "high." By taking part, you're enabling him to achieve that high.
 

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Yes, I can relate. However, there were no good moments. It was always bad. We tried making good moments, but I will not let anyone tear me down. Our vacations backfired as he left me alone for hours and overnight. I immediately went in a defensive mode. I will not have anyone rule my life ever. I went as far as MC and the therapist told me to leave the marriage and that my ex h was an idiot.

I ended up leaving after 2 years. The demands and expectations were too high with nothing in return. It was an unhealthy way to live, plus he is a serial cheater and always unfaithful. I could not do everything and be fulfilled in life. I was the breadwinner and paid all the bills, cooked all the meals, cleaned the house and took care of the baby. It was never good enough for my ex h. I was always told how worthless I was amongst much worse accusations.

My ex h had a woman move in just 3 days after I left. I'm not quite sure why she puts up with his crap. He's so much worse now then when we were married. Maybe because she allows it? He still is unfaithful and his wife is the breadwinner. They've been together 18-19 years now.

Honestly, I could never live like that again. I remarried and my husband is wonderful. Not once in the last 13 years has he raised his voice at me. It's peaceful and the children are happy too.
 

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Dustbin -

I believe people can change with help - be it self-help, therapy, education, etc.

Believe it or not, my ex has changed! not completely into Mr. Nice & Calm but is mellowing. My leaving had a life-changing effect on him. He went on the "divorce diet" so his self-esteem improved, went to counseling & my daughter (in college) who lives with him "reports" that he is much nicer.

He also has a "does not take any sh*t girlfriend so the dynamics keep him in check.

My "victim mentality" when I was with him "enabled" him to be abusive.

I'm glad you blew up at your husband!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all, and to KathyBatesel, what you were suggesting about disengaging, leaving the house etc, I did this from the very first time he blew up, I told him it was totally unacceptable, I even made him cry on one occasion after I returned and demanded an apology in an extremely forceful way, but without resorting to sarcasm and insults, I remember feeling very pleased with myself for the way I had handled it, and as he didn't blow for another 6 months, I thought he'd got it through his head that I was not somebody he could walk all over, but of course he has been doing it intermittently ever since, and reasoning with him, however forcefully I do it, has made little difference, although H says how would I know, as I can't count the times he didn't do it, because he didn't do it, and i wouldn't have noticed, and I can see some logic in that, however I am no longer investing in the why's, and I'm giving the responsibility for change to him.

And to Gunthar, yes he does truly love me, and is deeply committed to the marriage, I have never been in any doubt about that, and I am encouraged by you Emerald, that people can change, I know my H is serious about changing, and I also know that he is not practiced on how to relate in any other way than the way he does now, and he believes all couples shout and swear, and if you knew his friends you'd understand that he sees their awful behaviour to each other as normal, whereas I do not.
I have given H many strategies for dealing with his temper, but I am hopeful if he hears this from an outsider then he will be more willing to take these strategies on board, and practice doing things differently till they become embeded, however if he doesn't, and I don't think he's trying then I'll give him the push.

I have left many a relationship in the past, and it has been my sad experience, that the men I have known continue to love me years after the split, and continue to kick themselves up their backsides for not taking me seriously enough at the time, one of you ladies on here said that their H was surprised when she left, I can really relate to this, and I can only conclude that some people won't change as long as the status quo isn't directly hurting them, but when it is, then they are prepared for a change, but it is usually too late by then.

I don't want to lose this marriage, but my H knows I will go if he doesn't show willing, he also knows I am now operating on a zero tolerance approach, but no, I will not operate as a victim for an easy life, and therefore enable him, which means me challenging every little mean comment he comes out with, failing that I'll send him to live with some of his friends, and let them shout at him for a change, or I'll just move out and see what happens.
 

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One thing I have found true is that as long as a person believes something that makes it "ok" for them to have a certain behavior, they'll keep resorting to it. Lasting change happens only when they stop believing that and believing something else instead.

Your husband would do well to start thinking in terms of "no matter what anyone else does, I absolutely will never let myself treat my wife badly."
 

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So how are things now? Is counseling working? How about Anger Management? I am on the same boat with my Husband and would love some advice.
 

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Me too...(over a number of years)

Please count me in!! :smthumbup:

I often wondered about what's considered "normal" in men when they're under "stress" (emotional, physical, mental etc) and "he" says things "he" doesn't necessarily mean...
 

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I can see some logic in that, however I am no longer investing in the why's, and I'm giving the responsibility for change to him.

he also knows I am now operating on a zero tolerance approach, I'll just move out and see what happens.
Good for you.

I understand where you are coming from.

My h has many virtues and he does love me and so do I etc etc..But it DOES cross my mind if I ought to leave every time he gets this childish "meltdown" and throws me horrendous ABUSE.

Perhaps, that is HIS coping mechanism (whatever reasons).

He doesn't seem to realize this hugely negative aspect cancels out all the other positive aspects about him. I also knew that he engaged in Long-Term A largely due to his own perception of anger about me. He agreed to go on a long-term therapy on his own as well as MC.

I doubt I would put up with this type of behaviour.
 
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