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My husband and I have been married for 15 years and have two children (14 and 5). We don't communicate very well in our marriage. Whenever he is upset with me, he usually just gives me the silent treatment until he feels better, and then just starts talking to me again without discussing the issues. I usually know there is another episode coming when he starts criticizing everything I do, and getting really irritable. The other day, I tried to show him something I had in my hand, and there was music playing, so I was kind of moving it. He yelled at me and said "I can't see what you're holding when you are moving it.....f@&$%ing idiot". I was just numb after he said that. He will say comments like that, call me a moron, or lazy. I just talked to him about it today and said I didn't like it when he called me names. He told me that he is frustrated with me because he doesn't think I pick up after myself enough, or discipline the kids to either. I feel like our house is pretty clean, but he gets really nitpicky, like if there is any scrap of paper on the floor, or a bowl tips over in the dishwasher and he thinks we're idiots and can't load it correctly. He does help out a lot around the house and cooks dinner, and I work full time +. He just thinks that he is the only one that picks up after himself, and we are being rude to him by being "lazy". He even said the other day, he wishes he had his own house so he would know that he keeps it picked up, and we could live in our own place like a bunch of pigs.

 

One episode that happened several years ago, I'm not sure how to handle. We had been arguing over keeping the house clean (of course). I know he has anxiety and depression, and when he starts feeling anxious he gets onto us about the cleaning. I told him to take a break, and leave for a minute and we would clean the house. When he came back, he had purchased an item that make noise that gives me extreme anxiety (like to the point of leaving the room and having my heart race). He was causing it to make noise in my face, and I started crying. I actually took the kids and stayed somewhere else for the night after that. He justified himself by saying that my not picking up after myself and having the house messy was the same as my anxiety with that item. He had gotten it to show me what he feels like everyday. We made up, but he still has them on our property, just not "out". I told him that I wanted him to get rid of them, and he said "well I want the house picked up too". I'm not sure what to make of all of this. I'm feeling really upset and confused. I love the way that he is when he's not so anxious and picking on me. Please help!

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He does clean, cook and help a lot around the house. I just can't stand the way that he thinks he's the only one..In the past I asked him to go to counseling. He refused so I went by myself. After the episode that happened, I asked him to go again and he went by himself a few times. That seemed to help a lot but he stopped going. :( Everything was going a lot better...he was on an anti anxiety medication but he told me he stopped taking it. That may be why he is starting to get this way again.

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This isn't anxiety on his part, it's verbal abuse. You need see it for what it is and stop justifying how he behaves and speaks to you.

The silent treatment is a form of manipulation and punishment as well, it's toxic and destroys a relationship.

 

He needs anger management classes and you both need marriage counselling.

 

I suggest you tell him that this is a must and it's not an option, otherwise you'll consider divorce.

I doubt anyone would be okay living like this. It sounds terrible.

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He suffers from depression and anxiety, but that is no excuse for such behaviour and surely it must be having an effect on your own mental health. Is he so obsessed with cleanliness that he could have OCD? If so, that's his problem, not yours, but maybe it needs consideration as being the root issue.

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This isn't anxiety on his part, it's verbal abuse. You need see it for what it is and stop justifying how he behaves and speaks to you.

The silent treatment is a form of manipulation and punishment as well, it's toxic and destroys a relationship.

 

He needs anger management classes and you both need marriage counselling.

 

I suggest you tell him that this is a must and it's not an option, otherwise you'll consider divorce.

I doubt anyone would be okay living like this. It sounds terrible.

 

Agree with all of this!

 

This is also very destructive for your kids well being. He is a bully!

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..he was on an anti anxiety medication but he told me he stopped taking it. That may be why he is starting to get this way again.

 

People with mental issues can be trouble - some people see it as a deal breaker. The meds don't always work and there is no guarantee he'll keep taking them.

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Sorry to hear this. Unfortunately you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. You need to pull way back and stop seeking his approve or interaction. You need to make an appointment privately and confidentially with a therapist. (do not tell him or discuss anything with him, it will be used to further degrade you). When there is abuse, never do joint therapy.

 

Sadly you are exposing your kids to this and they will suffer as a result. Stop doing this to your children and get them away from him. It your job to protect your children from this not act like his servant. Google and research "abusive relationships", "cycle of violence" and "emotional/verbal abuse". Educate yourself. Get out of the house as much as possible.

 

Work, become financial independent make sure you have a strong network of friends family and people you can turn to. See an attorney to discuss your options regarding divorce and custody. Again Do Not Discuss any of this with him. Act as if things are fine, but pull away and do not answer to him like a slave. In the meantime get your ducks in a row and plan your escape with the help of friends, family attorneys therapists and domestic violence support.

.....f@&$%ing idiot". He will say comments like that, call me a moron, or lazy. he thinks we're idiots
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Anti-anxiety medication should only be taken for a short time along with therapy. Coming off the medication cold turkey, the symptoms are worse than before so this would explain his behavior as of late. The only way to make this work is that he accepts he has a problem and gets help. He needs therapy for the rest of his life...there is no cure and that's the reality of it. He has had this problem before the marriage. You are not the cause, your children are not the cause, nor is your marriage is the cause...the common denominator is him. Since he refuses to deal with it, you have no choice but to give him his wish, and get a divorce / move out.

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You are in an abusive relationship and until you recognize and understand that, nothing much will change in your life. He isn't going to change. Abusers do not change. Sure, he might take some meds, he might even go to therapy for a bit and give you the illusion of change, but as you can see, it's all short lived and then it's back to abuse.

 

It's called the cycle of abuse for a reason. Precisely because it's not always bad and there are moments of good and so on. When he shows you even a little bit of basic decency, your response is like that of a man in a desert dying from thirst. Even the most foul, fetid drop of water tastes as sweet as a pure alpine spring. That's the psychological catch of abuse and the addictive part of abuse. You are so starved for basic decency that every little bit he does seems like a huge deal to you, like finally that promise of a better future will become reality....except it hasn't actually happened in 15 years and is NOT going to happen ever. Abusers are entitled deep down. They do not believe that anything they do is wrong and they'll only pretend improve to keep you hooked. Finding a new victim to work, cook, clean, etc. while getting abused is not easy and you are a proven and well trained victim. Very pliable. Again, this isn't about you, but about themselves, their comfort and convenience.

 

He wants to go live on his own? Let him. Get a pitbull divorce lawyer and kick him out of your life. He isn't just abusing you - your children are growing up in this nightmare as well and do not kid yourself for even one second - this is taking a deep dark toll on them as well. If you don't leave him for your sake, then you owe it to your kids.

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He told me that he is frustrated with me because he doesn't think I pick up after myself enough, or discipline the kids to either.
Well having my husband home 24/7 now that he is retired and does not pick up after himself, I can understand your husband's frustration. When we were first married I threw out all his underwear because he left it on the bedroom floor. (42 years married now)

 

If the only thing he harps on you about is you not picking up after yourself then why in the name that is good don't you pick up after yourself?

 

Its not like he does nothing and expects you to do it all so maybe you could avoid the anxiety he gets from your mess and subsequent anger over it if you just didn't leave stuff out????? Now... calling you names isn't nice and he should stop that even if you do leave things out... there are nicer ways to express your disappointment/anger.

 

Is he on medication for his general anxiety? (you say he quit taking it) If he has then perhaps he ought to go see his doctor and simmer the eff down. Tell him to get back on it because you're not his verbal punching bag. Leave and take the kids with you every time he starts with that shyte. Don't enable it.

 

P.S. I think far too many people call any sort of disagreement that isn't discussed like robots or Stepford Wifery/husbandry as "abusive relationship." This is a frustrated person who doesn't know how to communicate due to his anxiety over something that keeps happening after many (I'm sure) less "abusive' discussions.

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Thank you everyone for your responses. I am going to see a counselor and see what I need to do from here. I can't live like this anymore, or have our kids live like this either. And clearly he's not happy, so it's not a good situation for him either. I have thought that same thing....I just need to work on this and pick up after myself better. But that never solves anything. If I keep everything clean, it's onto something else. I chew too loud, or I'm not any fun and don't think of anything to do on the weekend. I feel like I'm in a no-win situation. After our "talk" last night, I clearly see that he feels that everything we do he sees as a lack of respect to him. If we forget to close our mouth one time while we're chewing, we have no manners and don't respect him. If I leave a coffee cup out for too long (even though I'm still drinking it) I don't care about his feelings about a clean house. He thinks we are incapable of learning...which is evidenced by our inability to load a dishwasher in the correct way. I'm starting to see clearly that no matter what, he is going to feel like I am the enemy. I don't want either one of us to feel like that any more. Or our kids to watch that kind of interaction. :( I am so sad about this. I just want a happy home. He just told me that he stopped his medication cold turkey last weekend. He isn't taking any anti-depression or anti-anxiety medication anymore, which I know he needs. I noticed a huge improvement when he was taking it. Little things didn't bother him as much, and he was not as abusive when he spoke to me/us. I did call him out on calling me an f-ing idiot. I asked him how he would feel if I said that to him....he said he wouldn't care if he deserved it (which is a lie), but it bothers me that he thinks there is a justification to say that to anyone. He had just told me about a guy at work that used to harp on everyone and it really wore him down. I told him that he was acting just like that guy.....he said in his case he hadn't done anything to justify it. :/ There's really no arguing any point with him....it's always going to get turned around. Am I wrong to think that I'm not doing anything to justify being called names?

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Your children are innocent and need to be protected from this abuser

 

My advice remains the same as before: https://www.enotalone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=520461&p=6628962&viewfull=1#post6628962

 

08-22-2016,

 

He grew up in an abusive household. He said again that he hates having kids, and that she ruins everything....he went on a tirade about how he works hard for everything and she just trashes the house. I don't want the kids to grow up thinking that this is a normal family....it's so sad and I love them so much.

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Thank you! I think my question was asked more to Thatwasthen...it seemed like maybe they thought I should work more towards picking up after myself and making things better by some of my actions. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. As I was typing out my response it clarified that I feel everyone else was correct. It is abuse. Thank you everyone for helping me realize what is happening.

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Thank you! I think my question was asked more to Thatwasthen...it seemed like maybe they thought I should work more towards picking up after myself and making things better by some of my actions. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. As I was typing out my response it clarified that I feel everyone else was correct. It is abuse. Thank you everyone for helping me realize what is happening.

 

Good luck to you. That behavior is never acceptable. He will not change.

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Thank you everyone for your responses. I am going to see a counselor and see what I need to do from here.
Good because counsellin will help you to stop your enabling him to abuse you. It will also help you to understand that when he tells you something, that you should listen to his feelings and if after doing what he asks, he still finds something to complain or speak to you disrespectfully, then you will know he's beyond changing and knowing that will give you the strength to leave him. To just hear people tell you that you should leave him when you have been with him for so long will do nothing to give the confidence to actually change who you can... that's YOU and what you do about YOUR situation.

 

I can't live like this anymore, or have our kids live like this either.
Saying it and doing it are different...

 

And clearly he's not happy, so it's not a good situation for him either.
Does he know you're not going to put up with it any longer? I doubt it. You have been enabling is cantankerous behaviour for a long time which tells him that you're okay with it. You need to tell him that if he does it again, you're out of there and MEAN it. If he knows you mean it, then he may just wizen up and get the help he needs.

 

I have thought that same thing....I just need to work on this and pick up after myself better.
Yes and if he still has issues with you, then you tell him straight up that you're not going to stand to be belittled and verbally chastise by him again. Period.

 

But that never solves anything. If I keep everything clean, it's onto something else.
It telling though that your opening post is basically about you not picking up, him asking you to and you not doing it so he has to nag yet again.

 

I chew too loud,
So tell him if he doesn't like it to wear ear plugs and lets just have a nice dinner without any fuss.

or I'm not any fun and don't think of anything to do on the weekend.
That is something that you both can work on as a team. You have to say something like "lets look in the paper together to see what's on in our city/town this weekend" or ask HIM to pick something and you'll make the arrangements. If you don't want to leave someone you've been with for a long time, then the two of you need to work together as a team to make it work. If he won't, then you have more confidence yet again to actual leave him instead of taking the word for people on the internet that only know half the story.

 

I feel like I'm in a no-win situation. After our "talk" last night, I clearly see that he feels that everything we do he sees as a lack of respect to him.
Did you clearly tell him that he should write down what he would like to see changed in you and you will do the same and write down what you would like to see changed in him?

 

If we forget to close our mouth one time while we're chewing, we have no manners and don't respect him.
Open mouthed chewing annoys him so why do it then?

If I leave a coffee cup out for too long (even though I'm still drinking it) I don't care about his feelings about a clean house.
Ignore that if you're still drinking a coffee simply say I'm still enjoying it, I'll get to it when I'm done. Simple.

 

He thinks we are incapable of learning...which is evidenced by our inability to load a dishwasher in the correct way.
I'd laugh at that.

 

I'm starting to see clearly that no matter what, he is going to feel like I am the enemy. I don't want either one of us to feel like that any more. Or our kids to watch that kind of interaction. :( I am so sad about this.
Then change you and how you "handle" him or get out now.

 

I just want a happy home.
Go to counselling if he won't go and learn how to stop enabling him to treat you with anything but respect. If he won't... then go.

 

He just told me that he stopped his medication cold turkey last weekend.
That's a problem. Did he tell you why he did that?

 

He isn't taking any anti-depression or anti-anxiety medication anymore, which I know he needs. I noticed a huge improvement when he was taking it. He's likely escalated his bad mood and inability to cope with anything because he's going through withdrawl.

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I get so scared thinking about ending things or starting over. I know it sounds dumb....I've just been with him for so long. I don't want to tear apart a family. It's not healthy though and I realize that. :( :(
Just to add. I think you will need more tools in your emotional arsenal in order to have the confidence and strength to leave him if he continues after you stop enabling his BS. When you are more readily equipped and have the strength/confidence to act if he doesn't change too then you will actually feel like 'starting over.'

 

To leave him when you are in the mind frame you are in now will just have you returning to him in no time at all. To tell you to just leave him when you are scared won't convince you that you should. Oh, it may but odds are that you just leaving without getting your own counselling or outside support are slim. At least go see a lawyer and find out what your rights and obligations are so you have SOME education on the subject of marital severing. The more in your 'strength arsenal' the better.

 

Good luck.

Edited by ThatwasThen
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I get so scared thinking about ending things or starting over. I know it sounds dumb....I've just been with him for so long. I don't want to tear apart a family. It's not healthy though and I realize that. :( :(

 

It is better for your kids not be exposed to this type of abuse. Do you want a son growing up like the father, or worse, your daughter ending up with an abuser like your husband.

 

It will be tough, but once you are away from this type of treatment, you will feel a weight has been lifted by not having someone constantly tearing you down.

Edited by Hollyj
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I will say this again - abuser do not change because deep down they firmly believe they are completely entitled to act the way that they do. Your husband isn't even hiding this attitude from you, he is telling you to your face that in his mind, his abusive behavior is completely justified. You are also seeing that no matter what you do, he will always find something to go after. It's a game designed for you to lose because the goal posts are constantly moving.

 

As for thoughts like fear and starting over....you aren't really starting over anything. You have a job, you have your life, your have your children, your family, your friends. The only change is that the toxic person who has spent 15 years harping that you aren't good enough will be gone. That's not starting over, that's getting rid of a dark cloud that's been raining on your head for years. Once you send him away, you'll find that there is peace, happiness, smiles, relief, joy, pleasure, laughter on the other side. Things you've forgotten exist. Imagine drinking your morning coffee in peace - no nasty comments, no yelling, no "you put the cup in the wrong place." You and your children have been walking on eggshells for way too long. You quite simply deserve better.

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He's not your typical abuser. He is suffering from a mental illness and to just randomly tell someone that they should leave without giving a remedy is negligent IMO.

 

Yes... she should leave him if he doesn't change after she stops enabling his verbal, not physical, abuse. He can change or at the very least he has a better chance of changing if he's not withdrawing from his meds and he sees that she is no longer going to put up with the verbal dysfunction.

 

If he was physical with her and hadn't just gone of his meds and she learned about codependency and enabling and nothing changed, then yes, get away and don't go back.

 

I will say this again: Just telling someone to leave someone who hasn't yet the tools to leave is futile at best. This is not a life or death situation so there is plenty of time for her to get her ducks in a row and seek out the support she is going to need in order to stay gone.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Op: If you're going to leave you need to load up on support systems, your own emotional health and knowledge of your rights and obligations first. I have a feeling he's not going to leave the marital home willingly so you best look into things so you are prepared. The very least you should do (after being together and having a family for so long) is to ask him to see a therapist of his own or you're out of there because you're so unhappy. If he won't get help for his mental illness, then get working on honing your tools so you can leave with confidence.

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He's not your typical abuser. He is suffering from a mental illness and to just randomly tell someone that they should leave without giving a remedy is negligent IMO.

 

Yes... she should leave him if he doesn't change after she stops enabling his verbal, not physical, abuse. He can change or at the very least he has a better chance of changing if he's not withdrawing from his meds and he sees that she is no longer going to put up with the verbal dysfunction.

 

If he was physical with her and hadn't just gone of his meds and she learned about codependency and enabling and nothing changed, then yes, get away and don't go back.

 

I will say this again: Just telling someone to leave someone who hasn't yet the tools to leave is futile at best. This is not a life or death situation so there is plenty of time for her to get her ducks in a row and seek out the support she is going to need in order to stay gone.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Op: If you're going to leave you need to load up on support systems, your own emotional health and knowledge of your rights and obligations first. I have a feeling he's not going to leave the marital home willingly so you best look into things so you are prepared. The very least you should do (after being together and having a family for so long) is to ask him to see a therapist of his own or you're out of there because you're so unhappy. If he won't get help for his mental illness, then get working on honing your tools so you can leave with confidence.

 

This sounds like it has been going on for years. I highly doubt he will accept any responsibility. I think she should remove herself and kids from this environment.

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I’m going to show my azz here but I feel called to briefly share my own experience.

 

I have been guilty of abusive behavior toward my oldest child. Verbal/emotional and even borderline physical aggression to a 13 year old. I am in no way proud of this, it’s not how I was raised and there is no excuse for it.

 

When circumstances of significant import became operable (in my case a visit from the department of children’s services, perhaps in your husband’s case a brief but firm and clear discussion of your boundaries and the consequences if he doesn’t get on board?) I was able to seek help and begin to make changes. Through therapy and a total assumption of responsibility for my actions I completely eliminated any name-calling, yelling/screaming, and physical discipline from my parenting. I learned loving and direct parenting techniques to replace my sick and ignorant ones. I was able to “take a chill pill” about my son’s grades, which is where my illness chose to manifest. Your husband’s dysfunction seems to have keyed in on tidiness and manners...but it sounds very similar to my underlying issues.

 

Though I can’t change what happened, I have, over the years, earned my son’s trust back and today we enjoy a very loving relationship. I am not on any medications and my family life is now a source of energy and joy rather than a drain on my peace or a cause for frustration. (Don’t get me wrong raising two kids as a single dad still has its hair raising moments though, lol! I just learned how to deal with them in more healthy ways.)

 

Of course we’re all just internet strangers to you...and what I say may have little bearing in your situation. Still, I felt obligated to be a voice that communication and behavioral problems CAN be addressed if the person(s) involved wants to change...

 

Nothing but love to you and yours, I wish you luck as you navigate this stage of your marriage!

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