From the U.S.: First of all, I love my husband. We have been married for almost 3 years. We have four daughters (2 are mine and 2 are his) and we have a 1 year old son together. Lately we seem to be fighting a lot and he’s getting more mean each time. He cusses at me, calls me names and says hurtful things. After a few days go by, things go back to normal, but he never really says sorry or takes back what he said. He tells me that I’m mean and rude “all the time” but can’t give me even one example of how. But he uses that as his excuse for the way he acts.
We got in another fight yesterday and he left for the night. He called me names, and said “[email protected]#$ you” to me several times. I don’t know what to do anymore. The only way things get better is if I apologize and take full blame. But I can’t keep doing that since I genuinely don’t think I did anything wrong. When I tell him that I don’t deserve to be talked to like that, he says I deserve what I get. Or he will say I don’t deserve anything.
When we aren’t fighting, he’s an amazing husband and father. When I got pregnant with our son he let me quit my job to stay home with the baby and I love it. If we split up, I’ll have to go back to work and raise the baby alone and I don’t want to do that, or think I even could at this point. Plus, as I said, I do love him. Very much. But what he is doing is abuse. He doesn’t hit me but I don’t feel loved when he acts this way. I’ve tried talking to him and he refuses to talk. I asked if he would go to counseling and he tells me that I’m the only one that needs counseling.
When we aren’t fighting, he is really sweet. Constantly telling me he loves me and the kids and misses me when he’s gone at work. Compliments me even when I know I look awful, and even opens all doors for me and carries everything and basically is the perfect man. Then, as soon as anything whatsoever happens, he turns into a monster.
He is currently not home. He went to his mom’s. He tells his mom when we fight. I don’t share our problems with anyone because I don’t want them to not like him. But he tells his family everything, always making me look bad.
I just want to fix my marriage but i don’t know how.
A: You are correct: What your husband is doing is emotional abuse. However, naming it doesn’t do a thing toward changing it. It only assigns blame when the situation is more complicated than that.
It sounds to me like your husband is struggling. Part of him wants to be a good husband and father and does what he can to show it. But part of him is overwhelmed by the responsibilities he has taken on. When that happens, he loses his temper and retreats to his family of origin instead of working it out with you.
The best thing to do is to get yourselves into couples counseling. My best guess is that the problem is not your fault or his fault. The problem is that the two of you don’t have enough coping skills for managing the stresses that come with raising a big family on one income. Your husband takes his stress out on you. I’m guessing that you find yourself “walking on eggshells” so you don’t set him off. This is going to destroy a good marriage.
If your husband won’t go to therapy, start off by going yourself. Your therapist will help you figure out how to engage your husband’s participation.
I wish you well.