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
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
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
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
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