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Sex Problems

Feb 21 - I published this 2 days ago & am making this one interactive today - getting mail... Dr. Irene

Updated July 11, 2000

February 19, 2000

I have been looking at your site and reading and would like your opinion on my situation.

One of our main conflict areas is sex.  If I refuse him no matter what the reason, he starts threatening to leave me or take a mistress, stomps around, slams doors, etc. Show him to the door and give him the phone number to a local dating service.  Sometimes he goes on and forces me to have sex. This is rape. He claims I have a problem because I don't want to have sex with him. The way he acts, I think you would have a bigger problem if you wanted intimacy! Most of the time, I give in to keep the peace.  He also often refuses to quit if he gets me into a position that is painful. Not OK. He cannot respect "No" and you don't love yourself enough to demand that he do so.  He is constantly looking at other women and commenting on their physical characteristics (and in front of my small daughter, too).  I've told him that I don't appreciate this, but he thinks it's funny and says that "I didn't say that you look bad. You look OK." Also, he is constantly grabbing at me, even though I've told him to quit it on numerous occasions. You are allowing this junk to continue because you put up with it. You don't have to.

Lately, he's been throwing a lot of tantrums over trivial issues (and not just at me - I don't like to go anywhere with him because he gets mad all out of proportion to whatever "offense" someone did).  I try to stay away from him to avoid setting him off.  I have two small children who are witnessing this whole thing.  He has not been physically abusive, although I am scared of him when he is angry.  He has caused some minor damage/broke things when he is angry.  Last week, he got angry at me because the kids were acting up, and I was trying to correct them.  He screamed at me in front of the kids that I was a bad mother, and that I don't love my kids.  Of course, now they are constantly looking for reassurance from me because of what Daddy said. Is this how you want to raise your kids?

He is constantly criticizing me and making sarcastic comments.  I work full time, and his contribution to the household is maybe cooking one meal a month and the yard work.  Yet, he is quick to complain if I don't do enough around the house (like cook a huge meal for him every night when I get home from work). He's said that he is not going to help, that this is just the way he is. 

He also does not like me to have any friends.  He doesn't say this in so many words, but if I try to get involved in an activity or make friends (besides his friends), he starts running them into the ground and pouting anytime the topic comes up.  So, I try to keep him happy, and work is really the only time that I get out of the house (and I think the only reason this is OK is because I make good money and his greed overrides everything else).

I'm confused because at times, we get along really well, as long as volatile topics like sex are avoided. Too bad you can't divide him up into pieces. But, you can't.
 

Also of note, his father is a violent person although I do not know of any physical abuse to his mother.  He has had several affairs. She is often depressed and has no self confidence whatsoever.   She has no job and rarely leaves the house besides coming to our house.  I don't want to end up like her. You are well on your way...

I am trying to decide where to go from here because his behavior is getting worse, and my children are getting old enough to be affected.  Plus, I am unhappy and don't want be in a marriage like this.  He has also threatened to take the children away if I leave him. 

Should I stand up to his demands?  Do you think I am at risk for physical abuse if I do this?  Do you think that his threats are idle or that he would really follow through? I think you need to throw him out. Do whatever you have to do. Call friends & family, the police and a safe house if necessary. Find a way to do what you have to do.

Should I suggest counseling? He was going through a box of books I had ordered and came across a marriage counseling tape. His statement was that "the only problem around here is that I don't get enough sex."  Counseling will help you not put up with this. In the frame of mind he's in, counseling will not help right now.

Thank you for any advice that you can give me. Good luck to you. Get some help NOW! Dr. Irene

I'd like to read others' comments.

Update July 11, 2000

Hello.  I wrote in an email which you entitled "Sex Problems" in your interactive email section.  I just wanted to thank you for your advice which was to throw him out.  It woke me up.  I found a counselor and also got my husband involved.  He had a psych eval which came out that he has borderline personality disorder and depression.  After researching borderlines on some sites listed on your site, listening to your advice, to my counselor's advice, and finding out just how disconnected my husband really is, I came to the conclusion that I and my kids would be better off if I left him.  We moved out, and I filed for divorce in June. 
 
Anyway, thank you so much for hosting this site.  This was the first place that I found that described my relationship experiences and abuse.  The BPD links and the books listed in your bookshelf section have been invaluable.   Keep up the good work!!!

Wow! And you keep up the good work. I'm really, really sorry you had to file for divorce (I hate that), but you had to do what you had to do. The Big Guy helps those who help themselves; you know the spiel. You can't do the work for two...  I hope he wakes up soon - if not for his own sake, for his kids. 

My very best wishes to you and yours, Dr. Irene

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