Sasha, my husband and I are both 30 years old. I met him when I was 22. We dated a year, tried long distance, broke-up, and remained friends for years. At 27, we got back together and began a long distance relationship that spanned 2.5 years until I finished my master’s degree. I immigrated to the UK a few months later and we married. Slowly, in living together, everyday stress manifested itself and, as a consequence, my husband’s hidden anger was revealed. Slowly, his critical nature has and continues to have a severe effect on my self worth. He will find a way to criticize the way I cross the street, what I wear, the furniture I buy, the way I behave, my mannerisms and facial expressions. The worst is when there are arguments. If I back him into a corner, he will do and say anything to reverse the blame even resorting to bringing up my daddy issues or my insecurity. The lowest point came a few months ago when he used my past struggles with suicide as an insult. We had an argument over something and I just wanted some peace for a while. I quietly locked myself in the bathroom (it’s the only room with a lock) and tried to calm myself down. He tried to get in and, when I wouldn’t let him, he yelled that he was proud I was so mature and he hoped that I had fun “killing myself.”
I had a beautiful, wonderful friend pass away over Jubilee weekend. I was devastated partly because she was taken suddenly, without warning, and has a small daughter not yet 3 years old. Within 24 hours, my husband started an argument with me because I was “ruining his Jubilee weekend with my moaning over a dead woman.” He later apologized as he usually does with any situation where he lashes out but the damage was done.
I’ve discussed going to a counsellor on numerous occasions but he flatly refuses. He supports the idea that I go on my own but he doesn’t find it helpful because he is a happy person, happy with our relationship, and happy with me (so he says).
We have no children at the moment which would make it easier for me to get out of the marriage but, when does it become too much? When is it time to call it what it is and give up?
The last thing I’d ever want to do is break up a relationship that has the potential to be fixed. I know how complicated relationships can get; I know they take a sh-t tonne of compromise and work; and I know that what works for one couple isn’t necessarily right for another. So I really try to be sensitive to all of these things before giving my make-up or break-up advice.
But T, I need to be straight up with you because your particular situation is as clear as the muther f-cking day - you need to pack it up and leave.
Sure, people fight and sure, they say some really harsh things, but in my opinion your husband has crossed the line. In fact he has sprinted right past what is normal and healthy. What’s come out of his mouth is not only vile, but ferociously controlling and my concern is that you’re starting to confuse all of this for love. This is not love. This is just flat-out dysfunctional.
I know you know that you’re not happy, and I know you know that leaving is the right thing to do, but the thing that’s holding you back, and what holds so many women back in your position, is fear.
T, I need to put this clearly for you: what you are experiencing is not what love is about. So seriously, what do you have to lose by leaving? Nothing. It’s not like you’re walking away from anything special, or blissful or even remotely exceptional. You know?
T, before I sign off today I just want leave you with a book that I’ve encouraged a lot of women to read – click here. I think it will help you gain some insight into your current situation and my hope is that it gives you the courage and strength to move on.
Keep me posted!
And for all of you out there keep your Life + Style questions coming at me here.