My husband and I have been married for almost 3 years. We have two kids
together and I have two that are not his. Four children between ages of 2
and 7. Very stressful, but I live for my children!
My husband really
sounds like a lot of these abusers! Calls me awful names, breaks
anything in sight, threatens to leave, never leaves, threatens to kick me
and my kids (not ours) out, throws away my clothes, drinks a lot of beer and goes
nuts, but says he has no alcohol problem, on and on, etc. All of this
happens in front of the children.
The cycle seems to
be: if we haven't had sex as much as he wants, he thinks he can do and say
anything because he has to have sex-- so basically he thinks its my
punishment for withholding! During the active abuse stage of the cycle he vows he'll continue his behavior until he
gets what he wants, then during his calm stage he realizes he wrong and
vows to control himself.
Lets not leave out
the fact that he has trouble holding a job, but people on the outside love
him! They think he is wonderful! He attempted suicide one night in a hotel
room because I feel asleep and didn't have sex with him. He spent a night
in a mental hospital because of the suicide attempt! My husband is very
selfish and would threaten to kill himself as a child if he did not get
his way! I feel like he still hasn't grown up and he has a problem with
control and with anger!
I am aware of the
abuse - I was abused as a child, physically and mentally, so believe me I
know this is wrong - but when do you draw the line? It would hurt the our
kids so bad to loose their father but It would be better for my kids! When
does fighting to keep the family together become co-dependent and foolish?
We have tried counseling with no luck! Can people change? I mean
really change?? Or is that part of my co-dependency? I've put up with this
for almost four years and I need some advice! I don't know that I love him
anymore or If I'm just really angry at him for all of this turmoil.
I've been put up with a lot of hell and I am not too emotionally
available! But I don't want to be selfish and take dad away! Help please!
I am really lost!!!!!!! Betty
You are accurate in
your observation that your husband becomes abusive - when the child inside
does not get the sex he thinks he should get.
Minimally, you are describing
the angry sex-addict. He lets sex run him. He not only thinks that you owe
him sex, which you do not, he thinks he needs it, which he does not. He
needs food, air, water, shelter... He would like sex, but he doesn't need
I think you both
may have forgotten that sex is not a "service" one spouse provides
other. In a relationship that works, provision of requested sexual
services may be a chapter, but not the whole story. Sex is about love and
intimacy, and giving and mutuality. In case we need definitions,
"mutuality" refers to each partner giving to the other.
Mutuality assumes a two-way relationship. You guys are
nowhere near there. Sexually or otherwise.
I suggest a 12-Step Program for
your husband for sex addiction - as well as treatment for his anger.
codependent? You bet! Are you angry with him? You bet! You can't not be! Do you love him? Who knows, especially since "love" is one of the most misunderstood words we
toss around. Are you selfish in thinking of taking dad away? Depends
which two kids you ask.
Where to draw
the line? I don't know where you draw the line, for each line is a
personal choice with many elements weighing on it, but I
would have drawn the line: at being unwilling to be a sex machine; at
being unwilling to have my children witness out-of-control behavior; at
being unwilling to have my children taught how to be abusive; at having
them watch their mother be abused; at feeling there are "secrets" that
I don't want outsiders to know about; at name-calling or any other form
of disrespect towards myself.
What to do? I
don't know what you will choose to do. I would have left long ago, but
that's me. There are an infinite number of places to go between putting up
with it and divorcing him.
You owe him nothing, certainly not sex. You are being disrespected if you
are expected to share your body in the absence of emotional mutuality.
As far as I am concerned, your husband broke his marital vows long ago.
You have absolutely no control over his behavior. Nothing you do has any
bearing on what he does, though he would have you think otherwise. A
12-Step program would have him practice total sexual abstinence.
Treatment for abuse is aimed at stopping the abuse. You are advised to say
something like "knock it
off" and walk away, refusing to engage in any dramatics.
Disengaging from these antics will bring you peace, at most. That may be
enough for you.
Abused people are counseled not to put up with abuse, and to leave the
partner if the abuse continues. There is really no other way to stop
abuse that is within your control. Leaving is the slap-in-the-face
wake-up call many abusers need in order to hear any sound outside of
their own ego. Being left often leads to the abuser seeking treatment,
if that is what the spouse demands. Treatment is typically
People change only when they really, really want to.
It seems to me that
you need to ask yourself what you want. What are your limits.
What are you willing to put up with, or not put up with? These decisions
are personal choices. You have the right to choose whatever options feel
right for you.
the time to sit with yourself and figure out what you want. Don't act
until you know where you want to
go. Get some counseling. Try a support group too. Good
luck, Dr. Irene