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The resentment for my husband builds more and more each day.


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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. 

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It didn't start then. In fact, it had gotten better for at least a year or so after we officially tied the knot. After that, it was so much worse than it was before. Especially the retroactive jealousy. Why he decided that he was going to ruin his life over sexual encounters I had years before I even knew he existed will never make sense to me, but he did. 

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Sorry you are going through this roller coaster.

You mention your husband has a cycle of emotions, is there a regular patter to them? Such as work place goings on, or vacations, or some external trigger?  Is there something between the two of you that starts these cycles? Just trying to get more information, as there is a possibility of Bi-polar (but I'm not a doctor so I won't say more on that).

Does he have friends  or hobbies that gets him out of the home? Aka does he have healthy outlets that he can confide in?

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Guest Anonymous

Does he have depression or just a lack of self-confidence?

Why not try and be as supportive as you can, give some reassurance instead of threatening to divorce him and when he is still sad, just give him some space and do something else?

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Coily said:

Sorry you are going through this roller coaster.

You mention your husband has a cycle of emotions, is there a regular patter to them? Such as work place goings on, or vacations, or some external trigger?  Is there something between the two of you that starts these cycles? Just trying to get more information, as there is a possibility of Bi-polar (but I'm not a doctor so I won't say more on that).

Does he have friends  or hobbies that gets him out of the home? Aka does he have healthy outlets that he can confide in?

It is what it is. But still, I appreciate it. 
He's got a pattern, and it's pretty regular.  

Everything's normal -> emotional trigger -> It all comes to a head, usually in the form of an argument -> He gives me the silent treatment and goes off to mope for 2-3 days -> comes back to love bomb me until things cool back down to normal. 

Rinse and repeat every 3 weeks to a month. 

Last weeks trigger was overhearing some co-workers from another department refer to him as 'the fat one'. Their useless, careless opinions means that I don't find him attractive somehow. 

As for friends and hobbies... Not really. His only friends live about an hour away and he hardly sees them, and his hobby is very home-centric. It doesn't have to be, but since he's got this underlying shame and embarrassment about it he refuses to go out for it (as in, to conventions or hobby shops or meet-ups). 

I thought about the him being somewhere on the OCD spectrum, considering how fixated he is on these reoccurring thoughts, but I dare not say it to him. The last time I suggested that he even had mild depression, he threw a fit .
 

9 minutes ago, Guest Anonymous said:

Does he have depression or just a lack of self-confidence?

Why not try and be as supportive as you can, give some reassurance instead of threatening to divorce him and when he is still sad, just give him some space and do something else?

He's probably depressed and has absolutely no self-confidence.
Also, you say that as if I hadn't been doing exactly that for years up to this point. You can support someone who doesn't respond to it. I'm not going to martyr myself while he refuses to help himself. 

Edited by crypticreflect
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34 minutes ago, crypticreflect said:

He's hellbent on dragging me down into depression with him and I fought tooth and nail to climb out.

Only you can see your physician and get appropriate treatment for your depression/anxiety.

No one can "drag you down into it", particularly since you seem to apply an evil motive to whatever it is that actually bothers you about him.

Your post is quite loaded with hatred and contempt. Is he abusive?

You go on and on and on and on about how you "transformed" yourself and he won't "get help", but you don't really mention what he is doing specifically that makes you despise him this much.

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Just now, Wiseman2 said:

Only you can see your physician and get appropriate treatment for your depression/anxiety.

No one can "drag you down into it", particularly since you seem to apply an evil motive to whatever it is that actually bothers you about him.

Your post is quite loaded with hatred and contempt. Is he abusive?

You go on and on and on and on about how you "transformed" yourself and he won't "get help", but you don't really mention what he is doing specifically that makes you despise him this much.

Yes. He is abusive. The only reason why I wrote my post was because he finally came out and said it yesterday... Then proceeded to stonewall me and sulk instead of talking things out. He may not be able to drag me down with him, but you have to admit that having a husband who blames you for all of his issues is a little bit of a bummer. 

While I'm not entitled to much, but I'd like to think I've deserved the right to be proud of how much I've grown up. 

Also, the title of the thread is literally "The resentment for my husband builds more and more each day." Contempt kinda comes with the territory. Also, I mentioned 'transforming' twice, and he literally will not get help. He's convinced that he doesn't need it. I another reply I mentioned how he got mad at me when I suggested that he had mild depression. 

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3 minutes ago, crypticreflect said:

Yes. He is abusive.

Ok. Then contact an attorney and discuss your options for divorce. There's no point complaining or trying to fix and change someone who you state is abusive.

You're not his mother or psychiatrist and if he doesn't want to get help, unfortunately that's his prerogative.

You need to leave, not procreate. It's that simple.

Diatribes and dissertations about his defects won't help you as much as getting yourself together and leaving.

Edited by Wiseman2
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1 minute ago, Wiseman2 said:

Ok. Then contact an attorney and discuss your options for divorce. There's no point complaining or trying to fix and change someone who you state is abusive. You need to leave, not procreate. It's that simple.

/thread

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This sounds awful and I'm really sorry that you feel ultimatum are unfair. 

I went through a lot of years of bad relationships (not just romantic) because I always felt I had to accept people for how they are and love them for who they are. 

After a lot of my own self work, I realize this was a mistake. Yes people are who they are... but I don't have to tolerate bad behavior. I owe that to myself foremost and above EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.

It's your hub's job to control and fix himself. If he is fat, unhappy, has low esteem. Well guess what...  he is the only one that help him.

I would absolutely let him know

I love him

I will stand by him

but he must help himself 

the silent treatment, self hate, jealousy, and emotional manipulation MUST STOP.

Don't be a martyr to his victim. At some point what you aren't changing, you are accepting. And until he understands how unacceptable his actions are as a normal, healthy, loving partner, nothing will change.

it is not unfair to hold a standard for your treatment, life, marriage etc. 

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16 minutes ago, crypticreflect said:

verything's normal -> emotional trigger -> It all comes to a head, usually in the form of an argument -> He gives me the silent treatment and goes off to mope for 2-3 days -> comes back to love bomb me until things cool back down to normal. 

Does the argument revolve around the trigger, or does he make at about everything else? I've seen the latter quite a few times, definitely needs to find an outlet other than you.

20 minutes ago, crypticreflect said:

As for friends and hobbies... Not really. His only friends live about an hour away and he hardly sees them, and his hobby is very home-centric. It doesn't have to be, but since he's got this underlying shame and embarrassment about it he refuses to go out for it (as in, to conventions or hobby shops or meet-ups). 

What have you done to help him go out and explore more locally? It's a heavy burden for you, but if he can gain some confidence he'll venture out on his own more, and have friends to vent to.

When the cycle started did his body/self image change as well? It maybe a minor thing, but do you call him handsome regularly?

I do not think it's fair that he uses your relationship as a bludgeon for his insecurities, but maybe there are some tools there you can use to get him to help himself. Hopefully he will find some professional help, but it sounds like he has a stigma attached to it.

 

 

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He doesn't want "support", he wants a scapegoat. A dog to kick.

I would give him a choice (not an ultimatum); he can choose to get professional help for his depression and self image issues or he can choose to do nothing and lose his wife.

I sat my husband down and had a discussion when our marriage took a downward turn. I simply told him if things continued the way they had been I didn't hold much hope our marriage would survive. He told me he loved me and didn't want to lose me and he would do whatever it took to save our marriage. So we BOTH took steps to improve things. His response motivated me to try harder too. He knew I meant what I'd said.

If your husband chooses to continue in this path he needs to know there are real consequences. Empty threats will do nothing. You have to be prepared to follow through.

Life is too short and precious for EITHER of you to spend it miserable.

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1 hour ago, crypticreflect said:

Everything's normal -> emotional trigger -> It all comes to a head, usually in the form of an argument -> He gives me the silent treatment and goes off to mope for 2-3 days -> comes back to love bomb me until things cool back down to normal. 

^You do realize that you just described the cycle of abuse, right? It doesn't matter that you know what triggered the abuse and that it's not you, the problem is that YOU will always be his punching bag for as long as you keep staying with him.

No, he is not going to get better and you are not going to fix him. Being who he is actually works for him just fine. Something that you probably cannot relate to or understand. He is manipulating you and abusing you ten times before breakfast and you seem to be both well aware, but also in denial. Victims of abuse invariably think that either they can control it, are in control, or are somehow good people who can fix and manage the abuser. None of that is correct and the abuser is always in complete control and will never stop or change.

Your beliefs about marriage are not an excuse or a reason to keep staying in an abusive relationship. Neither are his tantrums and accusations. You don't need his permission or approval to file for divorce and it's not something you should be threatening. YOU need to make that decision for yourself that you've had enough of the abuse, that you will not put up with it anymore and then go talk to a divorce lawyer and let them get that going. Marital vows do not include "until I beat you to death and destroy you as a human being", which is what abusers do to their partners who are foolish enough to keep sticking around.

You will never drag him up to your level, but he will drag you down to his.

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All the negativity & guilt trips, yes, it IS dragging you down 😕 . Is now affecting YOUR well being.

Nothing really you can do.. as you've tried to deal with him for years.

He is lost in himself and cannot get a grip and properly manage to be a good partner.

But, nothing you can do for him.  This is just how he is. with his underlying jealousy - as you mentioned, making you feel guilt due to YOUR past?  Yah, thats not right.

 

I have walked away to a similar situation- where my ex was irate for over 2 yrs and I said enough!  I was done with it all.. he had done me in for long enough.

I left (with the kids) and parents help one night, when he was at work.  

We can only tolerate so much pressure, belittling, etc before we realize we're mentally/emotionally damaged ( as my therapist said, 'exhausted'.)

Get yourself out of this, for your own well being, you know this is how it needs to be.

you can't 'fix' him.  he is not of right mind... so, save yourself.

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Marriage only works if both parties are willing to fix the problems, in every means possible, when they come up.

That doesn't mean you allow yourself to be treated badly over and over and live with years of abuse.

It means, your husband continues going to marriage counselling, as well as personal counselling for the issues he clearly has.

The sign that you need to give up and start looking for a lawyer, is when your spouse refuses to get help, and refuses to continue trying to work on the marriage and his issues through counselling.

You have literally hit a dead end.

There is no way to repair things from here on end. Your only reasonable choice is to now look for a divorce lawyer.

 

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3 hours ago, crypticreflect said:

since ultimatums are unfair

Why? Ultimatums are not punishments. They are self respect and showing a person what you will, or will no longer accept.

He needs to get help. Your marriage is continuing to be toxic. The only solution is for him to get counselling.

Letting him know that this is the only solution, or the marriage is over, is reasonable.

You are giving him a choice, and you are also voicing how unhappy you are, (to the point of breaking).

The reason why this man does not take you seriously and refuses to actually get help to fix things, is because you keep bending and don't actually follow through on what you are saying.

He needs to understand that you have reached a point now where this is the only choice that will save your marriage...thus, ultimatum.

 

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Guest Anonymous

He is suffering from low self-esteem and depression.

Is he really abusive to you each week? Does he repeatedly abuse you?

Keep track of all the abuse he does to you on a weekly basis. Confront. Get help.

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I know full well how depression can make the person view things falsely. My first husband suffered from depression. It's like they are living in an alternate universe where they perceive negativity, usually mostly from their partner, where there is none.

Not until I seriously said I wanted a divorce, in a calm discussion when we weren't fighting, did he take me seriously. I told him I was no longer going to live like that anymore. He went to the psychiatrist and went on meds for 2 years and it was wonderful. After that successful period, he decided to go off the meds and got worse than before, and I eventually divorced him.

I have a feeling if your husband was pressed to do the same or lose you, since he couldn't even continue to attend more than 1 counseling session with you, that he'd stop treatment at some point, too.

He won't help himself, so no, you shouldn't sacrifice your happiness to stay with someone abusive.

You say you've been together 11 years and he's your 4th serious relationship, yet you were likely, what, 18 or 19 when you began dating him? 

It's time for you to find out who you are solo without a man. Take time to gain happiness without a man. Ironically, only then will you be prepared to make a wiser decision as a more mature adult, for choosing a decent future partner.

 

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He's not interested in therapy, he's not interested in improving his behavior, he's not accountable for his actions, he doesn't care enough about your feelings to change anything that is upsetting you.

Nothing to save here.

Every day you stay with him is one less day you'll be spending during the rest of your life being happy and satisfied and maybe even meeting a guy that cares enough about your feelings to do something to make your life that much better.

 

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37 minutes ago, gamon said:

He's not interested in therapy, he's not interested in improving his behavior, he's not accountable for his actions, he doesn't care enough about your feelings to change anything that is upsetting you.

Nothing to save here.

Every day you stay with him is one less day you'll be spending during the rest of your life being happy and satisfied and maybe even meeting a guy that cares enough about your feelings to do something to make your life that much better.

 

^ I second this post.  He's too self-absorbed to care about how you feel and this will NOT magically go away. It will get worse. What you see is what you get.  You now need to decide if you want to continue living the rest of your life like this, or if you want to live a life free of abuse, anger, control and resentment.  Choice is yours.

Personally, I would serve him with divorce papers so fast he won't know what hit him, but that's just me.

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Just wanted to add that so so so many people around the world suffer from depression, anxiety, have low self esteem and so much worse than that and yet....they do not turn on their partner and use them as a punching bag. They are not abusers.

Abusers are a special breed and I will emphasize again that no, they do not change or get better. The very core reason they abuse you is because deep down they feel entitled to. Sure, they might go to therapy for awhile and even take some meds if you press hard enough or actually leave them, but....at the end of the day it's all a game, a manipulation to get you to settle down and stay so that they can abuse you and control you some more down the road. Make no mistake about it - their rage or self pity or whatever they throw at you, has nothing to do with caring - it is all about control and getting you back under their control by any means necessary.

OP, I really hope that you find it in you to leave sooner rather than later and that you do cut him out of your life like the cancer that he is. He doesn't deserve your sympathy and understanding. You, however, do need to learn to take care of you. 

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From a man's perspective:

He is afraid.  Afraid of many things but mostly having a professional tell him he is broken and not good enough for you.  It's like having a lump under your arm and know it isn't good but you are afraid to go to the doctor and actually be told you have a tumor.  The tumor is still there and growing but not going allows yourself to continue the lie.  He knows this isn't right but he keeps lying to himself that it isn't that bad.

  He is in a cycle he cannot get out of by himself.  I do not like ultimatums but in this case I agree with bolt that you need to sit him down and tell him that you don't see any way the marriage can survive unless he gets help.  Then it becomes his choice not yours.

The thing about men as you know they don't like to ask for directions, now multiply that a thousand times by admitting they need to see a therapist.  He needs to fear losing you more than his fear of therapy.  It is that simple.

It is easy for us to say "Divorce him"  "You can do way better"  "You are young and will find the right guy to start your family"  But the thing is we aren't in love with him like you are.  Are you close to the end of your rope?  Yes you are but you still love him even if you aren't in love with him as much as you used to be.

  I think the marriage is worth the effort and for nothing else to allow you to walk away with no regrets knowing you tried all you could to save it.

If you came here for permission to leave him the consensus would be yes you have every right to file for divorce.  

Lost

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