My husband claims that his worst nightmare would be more me to leave him. He admitted this through tears during our first session of couple's counseling, which he hesitantly attended at my behest after I'd gotten fed up with his behaviors for the umpteenth time. Apparently one session was enough for him, because he would not go back.
We've been together for 11 years, married for 4. I'm in my late 20s. He's in his early 30s.
I don't need to go on and on about how much I love him, how great he is when he isn't being 'like that' etc. I'm sure most of you have heard it all a dozen times. But I will say this - Marriage is not an institution I'd go frivolously into and it's not one I'd leave unless there was literally no other option. But goddamn if he hasn't had me considering serving those papers at least once a month. He was my forth serious boyfriend. I was his second girlfriend ever. The problems didn't really start until around 2 years into our exclusivity. He'd tell me often that 'he wasn't like this before' and that only I could make him this jealous. I never found it flattering, but then again I don't think he ever intended for it to be. Ever since then we've fallen into a cycle, fueled by his fragile ego and inability to work on himself.
My husband has good qualities. Lots of them. I wouldn't have married him if he didn't, but they've all become steadily overshadowed by the giant raincloud of self-hatred. Defeatism and fatalism. It's so odd, he's like a pendulum that swings between deep loathing for himself and an almost narcissistic grandiosity. He convinces himself that he's entitled to things he didn't work for, but once he realizes it he flagellates himself until he's mental gore. And I'm expected to whip out the mop and hot cocoa to clean up his mess and soothe his soul. Because that's what I'm supposed to be, right? His therapist. His sexy therapist. There is to sitting down and thinking things through with this man. If he thinks it, it is true.
He doesn't grasp the reality of Thoughts and Feelings =/= Fact. Any and all thoughts, so long as they're negative, are true and that's the end of the story. He believes himself to be repulsive and impossible to love? Guess what, I get punished for it. Without even talking to me, he assumes that I look at him with 'disgust' in my eyes, and that I'd sooner run to another woman or a fictional character just to be away from him. When I feel insecure about my body, then it means I do not want to share myself sexually with him, therefore I hate him. If I don't memorize the minutia of his hobby, then that means I find him a pathetic manchild who needs to grow up. So on and so forth. You get the idea.
There is no winning with this man.
And I know there shouldn't be any 'winning', since this isn't a competition... But you know what I mean. Nothing I do is ever enough. There are always caveats and stipulations. And when I'm lacking, it means I hate my husband. Of course, I know that's not true. I know I love my husband. And deep down he knows I do as well... But he needs a scapegoat. An out. He needs something to project feelings he can handle onto. That person is me, since we're the closest and all.
I just... I feel so overwhelmed. Whenever I bring up separation or divorce he goes on the defensive, calling me out for wanting to 'abandon our vows' and give up on him so easily. But, he must know this has been years and years in the making, right? I can't spend the last bastion of my youth with some sad sack that blames all of his failings on me. I've tried to help him in the past, but there's only so much I can do as an outside entity. I'm his wife. Not his therapist, mother, security blanket or teacher. When I felt I had problems that needed to get sorted and addressed I seeked out a therapist. 5 years later, I graduated from said therapy and walked out a significantly more stable person. He was there the entire way to watch me transform in real time, yet he absolutely refuses any sort of mental health counseling himself. I haven't given him the 'therapy or I leave' ultimatum, since ultimatums are unfair... But Dear Lord am I close to it.
I want this to work out, and I know he does too. We both want to start a family, but I told him that I am not procreating with a man who can't regulate his emotions or take responsibility for his actions. Of course, that sent him into a downswing but at this point I don't care. He's hellbent on dragging me down into depression with him and I fought tooth and nail to climb out. I am not going to be his miserable company.
That said, I would want to understand him better.