Husband is Abusive, Dislikes Signs of Affection

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

For the last twelve years my husband has refused to kiss at all. He has always said he thinks kissing, breasts, etc. are disgusting. He is physically, emotionally and verbally abusive to me. Initially I thought he was just shy and inexperienced, when we first got married, due to the fact I was his first relationship. He looks at women but also gay men look at him when we are out. He has told me about certain coworkers who are gay. His former hairdresser is gay. It’s hard for me not ignore this. Is it normal among men in most societies to not like kissing, etc.? I’m a fit, health-conscious, attentive wife and mother. His abusiveness has increased – he has erupted three times since December. We have children so I have to find a resolution, or at least some answers to better understand his nature and what course of action is best. I have only tolerated our relationship this far for the sake of our kids and believing that perhaps my husband is struggling with gay feelings. I highly respect your expert advice and experience. Thank you.

A: You are very courageous to identify and begin asking some tough questions about your marriage and family. While it would be beyond the scope of this response to comment on whether your husband is struggling with gay feelings, I think we can look at what you have presented and reflect it back to you.

  • He is physically abusive
  • He is verbally abusive
  • Your body is repulsive to him
  • He is emotionally abusive
  • He pays attention to others when he should be paying attention to you
  • His ability to restrain his behavior has recently gotten worse
  • You are worried for your children

These conditions alone warrant immediate attention. I would highly recommend the two of you seeing a couples therapist. If your husband isn’t willing I would recommend you going on your own. Check the find help tab at the top of the page. Don’t wait to do this. Everything about your letter suggests that this will get worse before it gets better. Try to go with your husband, but if he isn’t willing – please go for yourself and you children.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Feb 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Husband is Abusive, Dislikes Signs of Affection. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/01/husband-is-abusive-dislikes-signs-of-affection/