From a woman in the U.S.: Do I have a right to be upset? I bought box hair color as usual a few days ago. My husband decided he wanted me to go to a salon, which I never do, and he agreed to the cost. I enjoyed the experience for a change. Two days later he tells me he bought another guitar when I went to the salon. I was fine with it, it’s his money. In his excitement over the new guitar, he commented that his guitar was cheaper than my salon visit and, unlike my color, will last forever.
I was very upset he had to throw that into the conversation as I am the frugal one always trying to save money and he spends every penny on many expensive impulse things and is usually unhappy again within a few weeks. His comment really dug deep with me as it was his idea I go to the salon. Now he isn’t speaking to me because I got upset. In his usual answer, he said whatever, don’t talk to me, it was just an analogy.
This scenario is one of many similar scenarios. He makes what I consider snide comments that hurt me then shuts me down when it upsets me. He never apologizes for anything and I usually have to apologize so he will speak to me again. He is a truck driver and this conversation and most are usually over the phone so he doesn’t answer my calls or texts after getting angry. Am I wrong feeling upset?
His mother has the same personality and hasn’t spoken to us in 3 years because, in her words to me, nobody is good enough to be with her son but her. She manipulates her husband and controls everything he does and has distanced him from even his own family. I have likened her behavior to a narcissist or someone with obsessive compulsive personality disorder. My husband seems to be heading down the same path within the last few years. Thank you for any response.
What is of concern to me is that the incident with the salon is only the latest of “many similar scenarios.” Of course you have a right to be upset. I suspect that the salon incident triggered your feelings about many times you have been put down and controlled. You have a right to more respect.
You are only 54 years old so I’m assuming your husband is a similar age. He’s not going to be on the road forever. I worry that when he retires and is home more, you will be subjected to even more disrespect. It may be that he learned this behavior from his mother but no one is making him continue it. That’s his choice.
I’m sure there are many reasons that you two have stayed together. But maybe you’ve had enough of being treated so badly. I hope you will consider seeing a couples counselor together to work on making a more respectful and equal relationship. A sign of hope for me is that your husband did marry you (and stayed married) in spite of his mother’s opinion. He may not realize that he has adopted his mother’s way of being married and just how hurtful it is to you.
If he won’t go to counseling, I hope you will consider going yourself. It’s not unusual for one member of a couple to get counseling started.
You may have many decades of marriage ahead. I think it’s worth getting some counseling to see if you can make those years happier for you.
I wish you well. Dr. Marie
My Husband’s Words Hurt
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). My Husband’s Words Hurt. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/11/27/my-husbands-words-hurt/
Last updated: 25 Nov 2019 (Originally: 27 Nov 2019) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 25 Nov 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.