Sasha Answers: How my marriage has changed
I could use your help/advice. My husband and I met when we were 18, got married at 25 and had kids at 29. We are now 34 and as you can imagine we have both changed a lot as we've grown up over the last 16 years. Prior to having kids, we were pretty independent of each other, however since kids have arrived, in my opinion, that changes. If he's out late and wants to sleep in the next day, that affects me. If he's doing things that I feel are harmful to the kids, like smoking weed almost every day, that is an issue. If he's often not around, it becomes a problem. As a result, I've been communicating my feelings about some of his actions and it hasn't gone well. I can understand that from his point of view there were 11 years of doing whatever he wanted and now he doesn't appreciate the change. But from my point of view, everything about my life has changed in the last 5 years so he might need to make some adjustments as well.
The result is that our relationship has become downright frosty over the last 5 years. He frequently tells me to "F*** off" or calls me the B word, even though I've repeatedly told him that I view that as disrespectful and that I expect him to stop. He has also gotten physical with me on two occasions: on one he grabbed my arm forcefully and pulled me away from my phone because I was going to call someone because he was yelling so much; on the second he woke me up, tore the blankets off of me and dragged me out of the bed by the ankles.
Outside of our relationship, everyone would describe me as a positive, driven individual; at home I often get drawn into yelling matches which I know I shouldn't do. What I'm trying to decide is if I try to work this out or leave. Thanks F
Read your letter back to yourself, but this time imagine it was written by your best friend. Think about how sad you would feel if she had to go home to that every day; how angry you would be that her children had to witness their mother being disrespected like that; how devastated you would be to hear that she was ripped out of her bed by her ankles onto the floor. Would you want her to stay in a relationship like that? Would you help her get out?
F, what I’m asking is that you take that outside perspective on your relationship right now – emotionally remove yourself so that you can see what your marriage has turned into, and more importantly, what your marriage is turning YOU into. It's time to stop the happy act, and realize that your marriage has taken a very bad and potentially dangerous turn.
Your husband, plain and simple, is massively f-cking up the marriage, so I would suggest that the two of you go to couples counselling to see if there is even anything salvageable here. I don’t know every detail of what’s going on, but he obviously has anger issues, maybe even a drug problem, so all of that needs to be addressed head on. F, if he refuses to go, well, then I think you need to really ask yourself what you're doing in this relationship.
Most importantly, right now you need to find a safe place and a person to talk openly and honestly about the things that have been going on. (I will send you a private email with a good one in your city.)
Thanks for writing in and keep me posted! xx Keep your LIFE + STYLE questions coming to firstname.lastname@example.org