Sent: Monday, August 23, 1999 9:41 PM
Subject: E-Mail Advice
I've been married to an emotionally distant, controlling and verbally
abusive man for eight months. I knew this going into the relationship ,
but was to insecure and afraid to call things off. Have
you had enough yet? He regularly calls me "retard, shit stain,
stupid little face" etc. If I am not home, he pages me until I call
back. He often gives me the silent treatment when I have disappointed
him. He gets disappointed easily. For example, if he told me to go to
the post office and I didn't, then I will be punished by his look of disappointment
and no conversation for an hour. Why are you putting
up with this? If he does speak, it is to tell me what a disappointment
I am. Have you told him what a disappointment he is?
It seems so easy to see that he is
abusive when I write the things he says, Then write
them down all the time! but when it is actually happening, I feel
like I am an idiot for not doing the little things he asked me to do. Pay attention. The more you pay attention to how you
automatically react to his prompts, the better you will get at noticing
when it is going on in the present. Your self-awareness will give you the
opportunity to change your behavior - and tell him to knock it off!
What causes someone to be verbally abusive? I think
you need to spend your time worrying about yourself right now...not
To complicate matters, I have a very good friend (male) who I am able to
talk to about what is going on. Our relationship is totally physically
platonic, but emotionally I feel something that I do not share with my
husband. He has expressed to me that he cares for me and that I don't
deserve this. You don't deserve this. He has
also expressed that if I were not married, things would be different
between us. But you are married. However, he
too is involved with someone, although he is not married. From his
description of his girlfriend, she sounds to be very physically and
emotionally abusive. So what. You are back to
focusing on other people...
I have been "friends"
with this guy for two years and have always felt a physical and emotional
attraction, but because he was living with his girlfriend, and I was
engaged, I never acted on it or told him about it. He says the nicest and
sweetest things to me. I feel like I can not trust my own judgment. How can you when you didn't trust yourself enough not to
marry your husband? How can you when you didn't trust yourself enough to
let your "friend" know that you were interested in him?
I am very unhappily married, and
would be even without the knowledge of my friends existence. Of course! Your husband is horrible towards you! But
seeing how I can actually talk and laugh with a guy makes my
marriage seem even more miserable. I really need some objective advice. I
know I shouldn't leave my marriage for this guy, and I am afraid that even
if I did, he would not leave his relationship.
Leaving an unhappy marriage for another love interest happens all too
often. It is not a good idea because instead of having one set of
difficult feelings to process, now you have more. It would be a bad idea
for you in particular since you are too focused on other people and not on
I feel like I should be trying to
improve things with my husband, but he will not talk about anything. I
have expressed to him that I am unhappy and that I thought it might help
to go to counseling. He absolutely refuses. You
cannot make him go. Accept that and do what you must for your own welfare.
Just to give you more insight into
him, he is very good looking and very athletic. When he comes home from
the gym or from a run, he'll ask "Why were so many women looking at
me?" I have told him that this does not make me feel good, yet he
persists on doing it. He persists because you fall
for it and get upset. Why do you want to be with a man who wants you to
feel jealous and insecure?
He is an only child. His mother
seems to be a hypochondriac, always telling me of some illness she has.
Does this have any bearing on him as an adult? Who
cares. Spend your time and energy on yourself... Why do YOU want to be
with a man who wants you to feel jealous and insecure?
Thanks for your time.
You want objective advice? Here goes: If you are
unhappy and have asked your husband to go into counseling with you and he
will not, then go alone. If you continue to be unhappy because he will not
stop his put downs, leave. But don't leave to fall into somebody else's
arms. Spend some time hugging
yourself. When the smoke clears, you may have a better sense of who you
are and who you want to be with.
Regards, Dr. Irene