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30 Jun 2005

fighting with husband
Please could you give me your advice.

Last night hubby and I had an argument. He said to me “when did you become brain dead” I replied “when did you become so rude”. My sister is staying with us for a few days and this happened in front of her. I was SO embarrassed. I cannot believe that dh is so rude to me and that he humiliated me. He insulted me- that was bad enough, but the fact that he has done it in front of my sister makes it worse. After that when my sister was out the room, he said to me “so why are you acid” meaning why do I seem miffed. I could not believe my ears! I said, “you must be joking- after what you said to me you think I should be just fine?”. He said “what did I say wrong”. Now that made me the hell in!! Does he actually mean to say that it is okay in his books to call me names- to insult his wife and humiliate her in public, to verbally abuse me- never mind the mental abuse that has occurred since I now feel emotional trauma about the whole incident. Does he honestly believe that I have no right to be ‘acid’ about his calling me brain dead? No way. I feel perfectly justified.

We hardly ever argue, but he’s started up twice with me last night. We have a baby daughter who is 2 months old. But we aren’t under major stress with the baby as we have reliable help so we both get ‘down’ time. We even get time to spend alone together.

The other incident last night (before the ‘brain dead’ incident), concerned our daughter. He had been playing with her on the sofa, and we know to keep her tightly wrapped in the lounge as it is very cold in that room. He didn’t have a blanket over her. Eventually she started crying uncontrollably- completely inconsolable.. I said to him it’s because she’s cold, we just need to warm her up. Recently she has been suffering form constipation, and the paediatrician has given her stuff for it. He went off his rocker slightly (again in front of my sister), started swearing, “it’s because she can’t f-ing sh*t…you’d better take her back to the f-ing paediatrician tomorrow and I don’t want to hear any more cr*p stories about this f-ing sh*t”. He just went on and on like that, all the time holding our daughter and trying to suss her. She was still crying and I knew it was because she was cold. It just hurt me so much firstly because he was doing it in front of our child, secondly because it was in front of my sister (who’ll now go home and happily spread the news far and wide that my home life is not what it seems), but thirdly because he actually said right out that this problem was MINE and I hadn’t done enough to try and rectify the situation. Again, I felt humiliated, but I am exceedingly angry at him. I can’t believe he thinks this is alright. It’s not.

I know some people will think that I am over-reacting, but I don’t think I am. I grew up in an abusive home- mentally as well as physically. I have come to terms with all that stuff, but one of the results of it is that I now have clearly defined personal boundaries. Do not trespass on my boundaries. This includes my wanting to be treated with respect at all times.

Now we haven’t spoken to each other since last night- except when my sister is around because I don’t want her to think we have major problems. I have twice now thought of taking our baby and running away with her, but I do love him. He is not abusive in any other way, but I feel that this is enough abuse. It is not okay with me that he disrespects me- ever, whether its in public or in private. It is not okay with me that he slams me (verbally) and blames me for our daughter’s constipation. It is not okay that he makes me out to be a bad mother- in front of my sister too. It is not okay that he continues to shout and swear in front of our baby. None of this is okay.

I don’t know what to do, I am very very very angry but I am also sad. We have had discussions like this before, and he agrees that he has a lot of work to do on himself (I know I am not perfect either), but that’s where it ends. I don’t know what next. I am not prepared to live a mediocre life- I want complete happiness with a well adjusted child and a happy marriage.

I am not looking for someone to say I am right and he is wrong- I want to know how I should handle this situation- we can’t go on not talking to each other, but I get so emotional that I can’t talk to him. I just end up crying uncontrollably, and that does neither of us any good. He has also said before in arguments that I come out looking like the perfect one and he’s “always the mean b*st*rd”. Well if the shoe fits…


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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Firstly, when someone is awfully rude to you in front of others, it's Them who ought to feel embarrassed for what they did, not you. Whatever the reason ( is there some kind of tension involving your sister which might have stirred these incidents up ? ) he's obviously being unreasonable, like blaming you because an infant is constipated.
You are not over-reacint in finding these events objectionable, or in setting reasonable boundaries and expecting to be treated with respect. But it's not a disaster and doesn't mean that you're both doomed to increasingly hurtful exchanges.
Suely the two of you need to get involved in marriage counselling ? He may be entirely sincere when he recognizes he has misbehaved and when he promises to work on improving --- but he probably doesn't know how to work on it and reverts to habit.
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