Please stop by my home page today and notice the new video I posted. Each week until my new book is released, I’ll be posting a short teaching from The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope. Please tell you friends and others who you think might benefit.
Today I’m answering a question I’ve received in various forms throughout the past few weeks.
Question: I’ve been married for 25 years to an emotionally and verbally abusive man. I feel angry and bitter toward him for the way he treats me yet he still expects me to be loving and affectionate with him, especially in bed. I can’t do it. What does God expect me to do?
Answer: No one likes feeling like an object. Husbands sometimes complain to me that they feel that their wives treat them like a paycheck. Wives complain that they don’t feel like a loved person, but merely a sexual object or a slave. Marriage is the most sacred and intimate relationship we have apart from our relationship with God. When one person (or both people) continually disrespects, mistreats or lies to the other, intimacy is broken. It can be rebuilt, but not without genuine repentance and hard work.
From what you say, it sounds as if your husband believes he’s entitled to the benefits of married life (sexual intimacy, your affection and love, not to mention normal care) without having to do his part. He doesn’t seem to understand that having a good and loving relationship requires two people to interact with one another with kindness and respect. His emotionally abusive behavior is driving you further away from him. Does he just want sex from you? Or true intimacy? Marriage was created by God as a loving partnership, not simply a safe place for a man to have his sexual needs met, although that is one of the blessings of a loving marriage.
The Bible calls us to love, not hate. That command includes our enemies. But what does Biblical love look like towards your husband right now? Biblical love isn’t necessarily feelings of affection or warmth, but actions that are directed toward another person’s long term best interests. Therefore you’ll have to ask yourself, “Is it in your husband’s long term best interest to be sexually available to him so that his sexual needs are met?” Perhaps, but that won’t address your relationship problem. It is just a solution to his sexual frustration.
Another way to look at this situation is to determine if it is in your husband’s best interests to let him experience the felt consequences of broken intimacy and tell him that when he treats you disrespectfully, you’re too angry to feel warmth and affection towards him. When he’s not sorry he treats you that way, it makes it impossible for you to feel affectionate toward him. You need to have a calm conversation with him regarding how things are. Here’s a sample of something you might say.
I know you get very frustrated when I’m not responsive to your sexual needs. You want me to be sexual with you and enjoy our physical relationship, but the way you treat me much of the time makes me feel angry and hurt. When you call me names or degrade me in front of the children, the last thing I feel like doing is being warm and affectionate towards you. If you want genuine intimacy and affection, you will need to work on changing the way you treat me. Wouldn’t you rather have someone who wants to get close and affectionate with you rather than someone who is just doing her duty?
Most men I talk with want closeness with their wives. Men find the touch channel easier than the talk channel. Share that you don’t want to be just an object he uses when he’s sexually frustrated, but a person he loves, and right now he doesn’t treat you like he loves you. This may help him see the impact of his behavior, not only on you, but on him.
But hear this: God did not create Eve as a body for Adam to use, but a person to love and share life with. That is straight from the heart of God.
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My husband never got it. The day I buried my grandson he demanded sex. I cried through the entire thing. After it was over he turned over, had a cigarette and went to sleep. I needed to be held. I cried the entire night. To him he is owed sex no matter what he did. This is on the list of reasons that I filed for legal seperation. His behavior since them has resulted in a PPO and the wording being upgraged to divorce.
I have in the past had sex with my husband because I felt obligated or I didn’t want to give him reason to stray with his eyes. I ended up feeling like I just was checking out emotionally, mentally, spiritually from the experience. I noticed that I didn’t feel loved or cared for and sometimes he had even just lied to me or had been mean, but I felt so obligated. He wasn’t that pushy, just a bit whiny and maybe a little manipulative, but I really could have stood up and left the situation. I am saying all this to say that I believe I have practically given myself PTSD from this situation. It got to the point that I would feel nauseous or even cry. My body was telling me that it was not okay anymore to try to separate myself so that I could do something I didn’t agree with. I hope that any of you reading this will know that while we are called to be Godly wives, we must be careful not to be doing damage to ourselves.
I feel exactly the way you do. My body wants to say no. But im being accused as a user if i don’t give what he wants.
Omg, same! That’s my husband’s MO. That all I do is use him. Yet, I work, take care of the kids, the house and all of his needs. I’m sick of it, so now I refuse and of course, it’s made things worse.
This is absolutely brilliant. I am a pastoral counselor and I am often asked this issue. And I love the response and how you have handled it. BRAVO for letting God speak through you in such a wonderful way!!!!
I physically become ill in this sitiation every time. When i tell my husband how i feel in this situation he calls me a baby and says im unforgiving and just want an excuse to hold a grudge and to not be a godly wife. I just continually pray for Gods presence.
I makes me physically ill to hear how uncaring your spouse is towards you.
Kelly, my husband used to say the same thing. I was just unforgiving, or I was acting “tit for tat” if you know that saying. He used to say I just had a chip on my shoulder. No amt of telling him he was killing my soul and I wasn’t withholding out of revenge would help him to understand.
I’m so glad I’m not the only one. This morning my husband wanted to do it, and when he realized it want happening he got so mad. I let him know I was truly hoping for an apology. That he had humiliated me the day before infront of his parents by yelling that u needed to be a better wife m…and that I knew how to do this (thru more sex) telling him this didn’t make him feel remorseful for his rudeness, he just yelled at me. Said he felt like kicking me I. The f-info head and that he is never satisfied. I want to leave him…but I know I’m afraid to because he starts to act psychotic when I do try. He has not been physically abusive…just verbal. As a wife am I wrong to not want to have sex with a man that yells at me and has anger issues regardless of whether it is my husband?
To start, you aren’t his wife anymore. You are an object, an employee of his desires. I know what the bible says, it says God is Love and that is the only part I take as valid. Do not stay with a man he treats you like garbage because when you do, you are accepting that you are in fact garbage and that is the reason he continues to treat you that way. Seek help, there plenty of organizations ready to help you and legally keep him away from you. Do not suffer anymore, God opens doors for us all the time but we are so comfortable with pain that we refuse to open them. Please find a way to get out of that, no one should be this unhappy. Sending love your way, Carolina
I get mad when i dont get sex i work on the road to provide for my family and im only home maybe 1 day a week and all i hear is all i want is sex from her am i in the wrong for getting mad about it i ask for videos and pics sometimes and she gets mad about that
you are an idiot sir, spend some time with your wife, love on her, help her clean the kitchen, bring her a rose. Then you will get what you want and she will want it too. It has nothing to do with how hard you work for the family, that is great but how do you treat her on a personal level, it does not have to be big huge things. Goodness.
No…. you are not wrong!
He is abusive! It needs to stop ✋
All of you ladies comments are very helpful. Thanks I am going through a rough time in my marriage with no one to talk to about it. My husband wants sex all the time and I don’t. He doesn’t seem to care if I am in pain tired or irritated. I am at the point where I want to separate. I am starting to hate sex all I can do is think about how mean he is to me when we’re having sex. It is just so hard for me to get into the mood. He never compliments me I feel that I don’t get the right type of respectful gentle attention from him I don’t know what to do but I am tired of feeling pressured to have sex with someone so aggressive and verbally and mentally abusive to me.
Get out safely!
Get advice from your local
woman’s shelter…..so you understand the steps
of leaving without getting harmed.
Seriously, these abusers only get worse with time!!
That is exactly what I’m told!! That I’m just withholding sex to get back at him. That I’m holding a grudge. That I’m unforgiving… he just wants the sex – not make love or even gives 2 sh*ts if I’m enjoying it or not. It’s just the satisfying of his needs 🙁 last night I didn’t want to have sex and I refused him. He responded with how he’s done wite and wants to find my own apartment. If no kids were involed and I had money… he wouldn’t have to ask twice. It’s awful to feel trapped and having to stay in a relationship when you have no other options
i have experienced the same thing as these ladies. after reading leslie’s books, i realized that not having sex with my husband due to a loss of intimacy is a natural consequence for his emotional and mental abuse. thank you leslie for teaching us the real truth of god’s word. i have been taught in churches that i have to have sex with my husband, it is my duty. but when is it my husbands duty to love and care for me, so that i can have a great sex life too? why aren’t women allowed to have great sex lives or even say that they want a great sex life? why doesn’t the church talk about women’s sexual needs and desires. why is it that our sexual needs are based on feelings. physically i also have needs, but it can’t be satisfied if i am being beat up mentally and emotionally by my husband. to me it seems that this lie, is just another way for men to control women and have their way. and i am tired of it. i will boldly say… i like sex and i am not ashamed and i am sick of all of this hypocrisy and lies coming from the church pulpit. it’s not right.
I’m glad you like sex Janet. That’s the way God has designed our bodies to work. Yet something as wonderful as the sexual relationship can also be used to hurt people and for purely selfish purposes. That’s why God protected something he created as wonderful as sex to be experienced within the bonds of a loving, committed relationship – marriage. Marriage isn’t a legal contract (although that’s a part of it) but a living, organic relationship. When the relationship is seriously broken, the sex life is usually broken too. Then it deteriorates into a selfish use of another’s body for personal gratification – never God’s intent for this wonderful pleasure.
3 years later but your comment is still so relevant and important. I just finished reading a “Christian gender roles” blog and the advice given was alarming. It completely lacked compassion,respect or any type of love for the wifes role in the relationship. Your comment “When the relationship is seriously broken, the sex life is usually broken too. Then it deteriorates into a selfish use of another’s body for personal gratification – never God’s intent for this wonderful pleasure.” is so important for a woman dealing with mistreatment and guilt. That gem of advice could possibly help them realize that you can’t sex some problems away.
I just read that article myself. I was disturbed by his thought process. We all have a right to interpret God’s word as our heart hears it, but that was the most cold selfish and controlling view on sexual relations within marriage I have ever read!
So I’m reading everyone’s comments, but no solutions or end results? 🙁 who got divorced? Who worked things out? …. I work a job, but provides very little for me to move out on my own… my husband has just gradually gotten more condecending, rude, mean, hurtful over the past 2 years… last May we got in some dumb argument over nothing, but he took it to the next level, ending with him grabbing me by the back of my hair, throwing me to the floor while telling me he was “putting me back in my place” -I ask, how does one go to wanting to have sex with that person after that?! Certainly not me. .. last night, after a nice evening out together (which I’m just trying to work on that part right now), I didn’t want to give in to sex and then he told me that he was “done with me” & wants me to move out. We are married with 4 kids still at home. TBH, if I had the money, I’d respond “fine” and leave. We’ve been married 20 years – that’s honestly 10 years too long for me.
I’m so sorry that happened to you!! A man should NEVER put a hand on you!!!
It’s abuse! If he has resorted to physical & mental abuse, it will continue to escalate. I work with an abuse counselor and she said that a man who abuses a woman is rarely if ever reformed.
Please contact your local woman’s shelter. They will help you with information. They know the system and they know abuse.
My husband threw an object at me and of course I called the police. I was shocked and dismayed after 37 years of marriage, he would throw something at me!!! The police found him at the local diner. He was going to have a nice breakfast. They apprehended him, put him in jail for 3 days and they court ordered him to not come back on the property for 3 months.
Write everything down.
Especially, the hair pulling. It’s abusive and illegal behavior!! He needs consequences!!
I think I have PTSD from being manipulated into having sex with my husband whenever he wanted it, for 7 years. The thought of him even touching me gives me so much anxiety that I can make myself cry if I think about it enough. I could tell story after story about his pouting and stonewalling if he didn’t get it when he wanted it. Finally, one night after my son got ill right before his 6th birthday, I asked my husband to please go sleep in the spare room so that he would be well, in the event that I got sick too. One of us needed to be well enough to do our son’s birthday party. He did as I asked…and never came back. That was 5 years ago and we have not had sex since. I have been very confused by my feelings about this; it was such a huge relief, but I have felt guilty because I worry that God will be upset with me for not fulfilling my “wifely duties”. After reading this and the comments, I feel better and more at peace. I long for a healthy sexual relationship, but I would rather be celibate than ever have him touch me again.
That is understandable when you have felt more like a body than a partner. My soon to be ex hurt me every time he touched me. If I said anything about it, asking him to be more gentle or using lotion more frequently, I was rejecting him. I couldn’t enjoy sex because I was defending myself from pain. In more recent years I have battled MS and Fibromyalgia,it was even difficult to be touched at all. Being hugged too tightly makes my arms ache more than they already do. It takes away from the pleasure and comfort it should be. We had far more problems than this, but it was too the point when I would tighten up when he came in the room. I really didn’t want him to come to bed if I were awake.
I think God has answered my prayer by leading me to your blog and seeing this question. I just finished writing in my journal about my confusion on this very subject. My husband of 31 years is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: fairly nice one day and then turning cruel at the least provocation. I tell him he’s like a porcupine – I never know when he’ll shake and wound me with his barbs. He’s hurt me for years with insults, demeaning statements, indifference, a ‘I’ll show her’ attitude, and constant criticisms. The latest blow up at me was the final straw and I moved into a spare bedroom, which filled me with confusion and conflicts over where this was the right thing to do. But if he acts so disgusted at me for who I am, why should I provide him with sex…? My real problem is that I am absolutely unable to communicate this with him verbally – he actually makes me stutter. I guess I’ll write the note to him with your advice above and leave it where he’ll find it. My other fear is that if I take this step, he may take the further step of either a legal separation or a divorce. But this hasn’t been a marriage for years; I’ve felt utterly abandoned so many times by this man (and it’s ‘all my fault’, of course…). But I just can’t go back to the status quo.
I have been married to an emotionally abusive man for 6 years and now separated for 4 months. I have 2 small children (ages 3 and 4). I’ve been in counseling for over a year now dealing with depression and a host of other issues that go along with living in a toxic marriage…that Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde thing really messes with your head! The past 4 months away from my husband have been incredibly healing for me, my relationship with the Lord has grown so much and I am learning to trust Him more day by day, He is my strength and my song! Before I left my husband I was talking with my counselor about my fears, one of them specifically being “What if my husband leaves me or files for divorce?” My counselor then asked me what the worst scenario would be…and while I actually struggled to answer the question he correctly pointed out that if my husband left me it would be hard but the absolute worst thing ever would be if nothing ever changed and I spent the rest of my life married to a man who thought that it was okay for me to be used, degraded, and treated like his property. Take the steps that you need to take for your own safety and sanity, writing that letter may help open his eyes but if nothing else, it will give you a strong steady voice. Sending love and support!!
Leslie, I have been reading your blog for over a year now but did not read it over the summer while my husband could possibly see my history. You, along with my counselor have been a godsend. But your blogs are always there, even between counseling sessions to reassure me that i am not crazy.
I am reading this blog in September and so appreciate it. It articulated exactly how i felt and you have validated me. It is the first time I have seen or heard anything about this. Thank you so much.
I mentioned this website to the head of my church’s womens ministry and she now has it listed as a resource for women.
Thanks for everything!
Sex is a marital duty and had NOTHING he did affected that. Withholding sex is a sin, so if I did I was not better then him. These are the lies I believed when I was married to my abuser. These lies led to many, many nights of me preforming when I didn’t want to and disassociating when I did preform. In order to protect myself I would black out emotionally every time. I have now learned that this was nothing short of marital rape and am trying to heal.
Rising, This distortion of scripture has entrapped many of us. Sex is suppose to be a gift, not a duty. I know I had many occasions when my body was being used, but my spirit and heart didn’t come back until it was over and I laid there crying. I pray for the healing you need along with you and for what has been taken from you.
My husband is similar. Sex is a duty that I owe to him no matter what, although he verbally and physically assaults me. Today, (like many other days after treating me like an animal) he expects the full intimacy package, which I now refuse to give because I will not allow him to emotionally rape me anymore. Now he threatens to go to the prostitutes or getting himself a mistress. I just said: ‘your choice’. Soon after he expects me to iron his shirt for him to go to work with, I kindly declined, as I feel this is a complete lack of respect. Now he is expecting me to come up with my half share of the rent by the end of the month. I personally don’t care anymore what a pastor would say in my case. I know and Lord knows this is W.R.O.N.G
I praise God that He is opening my eyes. We have a long 10 year history of abuse, we have 2 children. I am still suffering from indecision, underachievement and I blame myself sometimes because I have a very dirty past and my husband uses it to justify his behaviour. But one day, this will all stop. Jesus died for us to enjoy life.
I’m glad I came across this web site. I’m not sure what God wants me to do either. I feel like I’m just another one of my husbands belongings. We are both Christians so I don’t want to leave him. I used to be a happy positive person and now I’m depressed and feel like I’m losing my mind. My husband was going to counseling for PTSD (from Vietnam) but decided that he doesn’t need counseling anymore because he says it’s under control now. He says that God told him that he doesn’t have the problems that the psychologists have pinned on him. He’s also said that God told him he doesn’t need to go to church. He says very mean things to me like I’m really a negative person, crazy, and that other people can’t stand to be around me. If something makes me cry like my cats dying (2 16 year old cats died within 2 days),like after he yells at me, or if I’m concerned about someone (like when my brother had a heart attack), he tells me to stop it and smile and that I’m being emotionally out of control. When my cats died, he moved into the spare room because he said he couldn’t be around someone who cried over animals. I didn’t feel like sex and that made him mad. He has refused to go to marriage counseling and is very angry that I have gone to counseling myself. I don’t know how much longer I will be able to go because he gets so angry saying that I shouldn’t need to talk to anyone about anything. He says the counselor doesn’t care about me and only wants to make money. To me, the sessions are a reality check. The counselor told me that I am in an abusive relationship and why haven’t I asked him to move out (the house was mine). As a Christian, I don’t want to end the relationship. I have also suggested that we talk to the pastor at church as he respects him, but he says that our marriage is none of anyone else’s business. When I tell him that he hurts my feelings with the things he says to me, he just says that no he hasn’t said anything wrong and that the problem is all mine and my perceptions are all screwed up.`Other times he just says “I don’t care about your feelings because they are all negative.” He also likes to flirt with attractive young women and it’s hurtful when I’m with him because it’s like I don’t exist. He tries to find excuses to touch them like to admire their earrings or necklace. He tries to find excuses to get a phone number from some of them. He used to flirt a lot with the young women at church but slowed it down when he started getting disapproving looks from others. He got mad and called them busy bodies. He was going to see one particular woman at her home and sometimes lied to me about being there. He said he wasn’t doing anything wrong since they didn’t have sex although they sometimes talked about it but he said he wasn’t his fault because she was the one to always bring it up. Anyway, I’m glad to get this off my chest.
I would encourage you to listen to your counselor. Your husband is emotionally and verbally abusive and it would be helpful for you to speak up for yourself, put some boundaries and consequences in place. If he doesn’t care about your feelings and doesn’t want to care for you, how can you have a relationship with him? You said you don’t want to end the relationship but what relationship? I’m not saying end the marriage, but I am saying that the relationship you have is one that is lop sided – he wants to make all the rules for you to live by – don’t talk, don’t feel, don’t need anything from me but let me live at your house and have sex with you whenever I want. What kind of relationship is that?
I wanted to write an update. Things continued to get worse. I just continued to tell him how much he was hurting me with the things he was doing. Things came to a head when he told me that he thought I was demonic and that he didn’t love me and couldn’t care less about my feelings. All physical relations stopped and he moved into the spare room. Shortly after that he blew up because I bought a magazine (he said all money in the household was his) and I was wasting his money. He said he wanted a divorce. I said that would probably be best since he refused counseling. I found out later that he had been involved with another woman for awhile. After the divorce was final he still hadn’t moved out and I told him that it was time for him to move on. He got angry and said he would move out when he was ready. Turns out the other woman dumped him. I accidentally saw a letter he was writing her and it looked like he was putting a lot of his fantasy fetish requests on her, (the same ones he tried to get me to do). He probably scared her off. I got some friends from church to help me serve him with an eviction notice and told him if he didn’t move out when I specified, the police could remove him. He did leave but trashed the house- tore out flooring , removed light fixtures, wall coverings, every little item that was bought during the marriage. Dug up trees and plants from the yard. Stole jewelry and other items that he had given me and sold them. I was told it was all illegal but I figured it was better to just let him do it rather than tie him up in court and have to deal with him longer. Anyway he is gone- moved to another state. The nightmares and anxiety attacks are slowly going away. I was left with some other health problems brought on by the stress but they are also beginning to improve. I have many wonderful supportive friends in my church. Even some of his friends have contacted me with concern that I am ok because they thought there was something a little “off” about him and his story about the divorce didn‘t seem right. I wanted to let you know this all had a happy ending.
I’m so glad you’re safe and that you are starting to heal and that the body of Christ is surrounding you with love.
I know this was written quite some time ago, but I was so glad to read that you followed through with making him leave. I’m sorry you went through such a miserable time, but so very glad to hear that your day’s are getting brighter!!
Just wanted to send you a Big Hug!!
God Bless You!
I am comforted and heartbroken all at the same time while reading these posts that depict the relationship I am in with my husband of 20 yrs. Consequences and boundaries have been suggested by our counseler in the past, for emotionally destructive and jealous anger behavior, resulting in even more (sexual) anger and frustration; blaming me saying that if I would submit in bed he would ” behave” better , (note: It’s not only the Quantity of sex, but Quality- according to his liking). I am tired of being responsible for someone else’s deposition! It’s exhausting!
I feel the same way he has an abusive.mouth me but want sex from me.when i. Have neuropathy he wants his way.all the time very selfish
I am in tears reading this. I am trying to figure out what to do. All above is my story over again. Dearest Jesus, I lean on you with no understanding. Please help me. I will follow wherever you lead me. Give me your strength, wisdom, and discernment on what to do. Thank you ms. Leslie for this website. It was something I needed to see and read. If you can give me more scriptures I can reflect on. I have been praying very hard for my husband who is also a Christian. I do love him and have no bitterness or anger just sadness that our marriage could be great if he knew how to show love. ps. Jesus said that I am belle and he is the beast. So. There is hope. Always hope jesus can do anything including raising the dead.
I have been married to a verbally and emotionally abusive husband for almost a decade now. I feel so sad and heart-broken every time he starts the name calling when things don’t go his way. I am afraid that my daughters will think it’s OK for them to be subjected to such an awful behavior from other men. I don’t feel like performing my wifely duties when he is abusive. I am so glad I am sharing my story since I have been suppressing my feelings and feeling depressed lately. But I know that All things work together to those who love God and who are the called according to His purpose. Amen and praise God.
What if your husband does nothing but ask and ask even when kids are in the room or awake while I tell him daily to wait then I get exhausted at the end of the day from HIM asking me.. I just want a friendship again like before I dnt want sex every night some nights I dont want to hear about sex and I just want to talk normal and not hear him go mmm that ass or mmm my woman is sexy yeah it’s flattering but it’s every second (no lie) when he’s around that’s all he does is talk about sex and touches me inappropriately infront of our kids.. What do I do with this situation? I’ve looked and looked and can’t afford a therapist to help I just want my friend back and not this sex monster.. We use to have sex every week at least 4 times a day and 3 times a week or more we had our kids still sex was frequent I’ve been depressed and told him I don’t want it until another night and that I just want him to just be like before to get sex where we lay we cuddle and it happens now all he does is sex sex sex sex in public with kids or without at reunions with our families… I just do not know what to do but I dnt want to divorce him I love him so so much and I knkw he’s still in there the friend I’ve been searching for… Help please please I need it I do not know what to do :'(
I too have been with a verbally abusive man for over 20 years. He got worse after we were married. He has made up stories about affairs.he says he believes I have had over the years. I know he only uses these lies as a way to justify his abusive behavior. I have even agreed to do a lie detector test to prove my innocence. He keepsaid putting off booking the test because he knows I’m innocent. We have 2 kids and I keep saying I want out but I never make that 1st step. I used to pray daily God would deliver my husband from the demons that dwell within him. Now my prayers have changed as a I ask God for strength to help me leave. My kids deserve better. I deserve better.
Rose your story is exactly my story.
Thank you for addressing this difficult topic. My husband feels like a “paycheck” instead of a partner, and this has led him to say some terrible things to me, about me and about my 3 oldest children (12,15 and 16), who are his stepkids. Comments about my weight, how he’d never marry me again, how he will make sure that our children (twins – age 6) will never marry a woman with children from a previous marriage… It goes on and on and on. Name calling, eye rolls, lots of anger. It is a terribly hard situation. I stay home, as one of our twins is recovering from a brain injury; and my husband is angry that I cannot financially contribute.
In all fairness, my sex dive is relatively low. But it is NOT non-existent. However, the daily barrage of anger and general nonacceptance towards my older boys makes me want to avoid his attempts at intimacy at all costs.
I’m so sad that my kids do not experience and witness a marriage as it was intended. I hate how I feel towards my husband. I understand some of his anger, but resent him for it.
I have been reading this whole thread. I have been crying thinking whole time. It’s the most accurate website I have ever found describing what I deal with and what I feel and have been going through. My husband has been mentally abusive about our entire marriage. My situation right now is just very hard. I just can’t get our right now. It’s hard to explain. We are in the farming community but we are not “rich” farmers meaning we are smaller farmers and don”t own much land. If we did, we could always make money but we are having a VERY difficult time right now. There’s no money for rent at all for another place. Without me leaving my husband will NEVER get it. And truthfully I should not be the one to leave because my kids shouldn’t have to move in to some dinky little place that is not home to them. He should leave but because of the family farm situation etc. on his side, it just is a VERY weird awkward situation. No one knows about him. He is so nice and charming and polite and good to everyone else, that he has everyone fooled to his behavior to me and the kids. Just here the past few days he has been in a terrible “mood” and he is catty about “sorry that he wants sex with me all the time!” I responded tonight “why do you always think you should have sex all you want” but I don’t deserve to get what I need?” He DID NOT answer and just changed the subject saying ” so what is on your agenda tomorrow? ” NEVER EVER can talk about anything truly seriously unless he’s yelling something he needs or is insulting and etc. Never ever connected emotionally at all. Sex to him is just that. He NEEDS it. I get no love and affection and meaningful attention that is about ME during the day at all. I could go on and on and on about tons of stuff but right now I just keep thinking ” how could I REALLY get things to change? ” If I can tell and explain and PROVE I guess to one of his siblings, he probably would probably go off of the deep end! He’s never been physically abusive but you always see these terrible things that happen in good families and think, “could that happen here? Is this what happens in these 60 minute stories where NO ONE saw it coming?” When you say, ” What the hell?! ” I don’t feel loved AT all. He may be decently nice, like not overly just kind of mediocre part of the time, just enough to try to keep me around and get what he wants, but he has been ongoing with this since almost forever, so sometimes doesn’t matter. There’s so much more to say but that is all I can say right now. I just wanted to get this out. Thanks for listening. Thanks everyone for sharing. It doesn’t make it all better because we ALL deserve better but it is still comforting to know I am not the only one who knows what this is like. Try to KEEP the faith. I have been married for almost 3 decades and I have older children out of the home already, and a bit younger ones at home but since my daughter has been dating her boyfriend who she patiently prayed for and waited for, and who I am SOOOOO thankful to God for providing and because he is like the most perfect guy that a human can be and doing everything Christianly and is super communicator and shows love so well and is just everything a Christian mother could have prayed and hoped for, exactly the kind of guy I needed to pick, and seeing it all transpire and knowing they will probably be married next year, and wanting so badly for us to have changed and doing better and being the way we should be, it has just made it all come to the forefront. I cry like every single day now. I did before but it is getting so much worse. I’m sorry this was so long. But thanks for reading.
I too have read this entire thread over the course of today, and I actually smiled to know that I’m not the only one that goes through this either. We aren’t married but have a 3 and 5 year old together, and I recently found out that I’m 3 months pregnant. The one time in6 months I give in and that happens. I think he planned it even using protection. He has been verbally abusive for most of our relationship but in the beginning it was more like jealously and he always apologized and would tell me how much he loved me. Now the past year it’s turned into yelling, horrible name calling, and threatening to kick the kids and I out all the time. I’m a stay at home mom and don’t have the finances to leave him or I would’ve a year ago. He tells me I give nothing to our relationship, and he works hard to provide for this family, and makes me feel guilty for not having sex with him when he wants it, but he actually believes that making love is the only way to show your partner you love them. He will do little things for me and be really sweet for a couple days and then want sex. If I don’t give it to him he yells that he gives everything to me, I do t love him, I don’t find him attractive, he hates me, the kids and I need to find a place to live, and a lot of other hateful, cruel, name calling.
2 nights ago he asked me about my ex husband. I said, why do you want to know about him? He’s in my past and we weren’t married very long. He didn’t say another word and went to bed. When I got into bed later that night he asked me if my ex was black. I laughed at the bizarre question and said no as I chuckled and and where the heck did that come from? He got up out of bed yelling and slamming doors on the house while our kids slept, and went to the other room yelling that I was a….. Let’s just say a person that sleeps with black men. I can’t repeat what he said because I am not racist. I was so hurt, and he has not talked to me since, except to be polite about the kids. I am so miserable and hurt and he doesn’t seem to care. He wants sex all the time and he should get it regardless how mean and cruel he is to me.
I’m also 43 so I feel even worse about starting over on my own.
Our situation seems so similar!
I’ve been in an abusive marriage for 23 years now. Sometimes physical, but mostly verbal & emotional abuse. We have a beautiful daughter together that is now 22 years old. She has heard and seen things that a child should never have to endure. She has met a great guy that treats her like a princess. I have tried to instill in her that the way her dad treats me is not acceptable and that she should never let a man treat her the way her dad has treated me. The land we live on is the land he grew up on. I’ve left him several times but he stalks me and ends up tricking me to come back to home to him every time. I have nowhere to go and no money to do it with. Even if I did, I feel that I would not have a life because he would harass me, stalk me, & threaten me. He has pulled a gun on me a few times. He has also threatened to kill himself numurous times. Scary situation!
Look up narcissist personality disorder. I would like to know what your opinion is on it. Cathysunshine1@icloud.com email me and let me know your opinion.
Hello, I am not sure if my case apply to this, but, for example last night my husband and I were planning to have a romantic night, we have two children under age of 2, so I took a nap to be more relax for our night, when I wake up my husband have bath the babies, but then he start yelling at me and because he was stress for taking care of our children for an hour and saying that he was doing me a favor of taking care of the kids, making a big deal of the situation, that I don’t help him. So I was
Not in the mood to perform, he left to work next day and call me
Saying that he is very upset and sad because I di not want to have sex with him and I told him that free him yelling at me and making me feel that the kids are only my responsibility I was not in the mood, I remind him that there are his kids too.
I currently feel so sad and angry most of the times. My husband says many times that his love for me has diminished (and frankly, my love for him also). We constantly argue and I don’t feel like he is a reasonable person. Many time I don’t understand him. He says hurtful comments and when I am not with him, I feel at peace. When he is around, I feel a terrible pain on my neck and my heart beats really fast…Yet he expects for me to have sex with him.
We have had bad fights, so bad that they become physical. For example, there was this one time that he was trying to help cut the nails of our cats, but he was holding the cat on a wrong way, and the cat scratched him. He became so furious that he stood up, started shouting, threw the kitchen garbage bin over and the garbage was spilled; and then he slammed the door of our bedroom so hard that the clothes Iron that we had hanged behind the door fell on top of the dresser and broke the decorations.
Another example was when he was saying really hurtful things to me, even things that are lies. I felt so upset that I threw a cup of water to him and slapped him in the face once. He then slapped me in the face over 12 times, so hard that he broke the earrings that I was wearing and I almost fainted. He then grabbed my face and told me that he would do it again if necessary. My nose was swollen for almost a month. He wanted to have sex a week after that, and I did, but I really didn’t feel like it.
Another time we were having sex, and I really felt like he was just using me for his needs, showing no emotion about me and I felt hurt. So I asked him to stop. He didn’t want me to do that, but I stopped because he wasn’t even saying nice things at the moment. Afterwards he became so upset. He hit my head with his head against the closet door. He started to shout in the middle of the night, he thew himself on the floor and then he wanted to smash his guitar against the floor, but I didn’t let him. He then wanted to break everything around him. I felt terrified, I was crying and asking him to calm down. The next day he just says sorry and expects things to be normal.
These are just a few examples of things that happen between us almost every week or every two weeks. Then he says sorry. He also says that all marriages have problems, but I feel so unhappy. I don’t know if all marriages have to go through this because it’s too much for me. He also says that because we have less sex than before, he is unable to be a nicer person.
Barbara I am so sorry you shouldn’t be treated like that. I’m praying for you!!!!
Thank you Maryg
Barbara, I’m reading your story and it’s horrifying. You have to call the police on him, because he is a monster when looses control, trust me he will think twice before he tries again to disrespect you.
Thank you Tati. I am tired of him having this type of anger blasts constantly and then pretending as if they wouldn’t have happened afterwards. I am just afraid to call the police on him because I don’t want to make a scene worst than what it already is and make a statement in the neighborhood. I once called the police on him and they arrested him. He felt so offended and humiliated that he left the house for 8 months and went to live with his parents. After a while I decided to forgive him and we moved to another place. I was hoping that he would change. His changes have been minimal… So I am just giving him some time, again, hoping that he will modify, especially now that I am pregnant at the moment. If he is not going to modify this blasts of anger that he has, after the baby is born; I am definitely thinking about calling the police on him again.
This QA is from many years ago, I don’t know if anyone will respond. I’m desperate and willing to try. I have tried the above approach, which is wonderful advise. Except my husbands usually response is “ you are controlling me by withholding sex. Nothing I say or do gets him to see otherwise. He has also stated sex to him is like a reset much like a injured child who still comfort nurses to feel better. If he has had a bad day, if he has said something mean and hurtful to me and wants to make up. iIm just at a lost. I feel guilty and sad but at the same time bitter and angry over the idea of sex with such an angry man.
I don’t think he wants to see any differently or then he would need to change. By the way, By saying no to sex you are not controlling him, but you are trying to control how your body is used or abused. I think it’s insightful that he says sex is his comfort blanket, reset button he calls it. And I think you can understand that it makes him feel better to have sex with you if he’s had a bad day or wants to make up, but what about your reset button? What if you need him to apologize first or stop doing it? Is he willing to care about your reset button too or is just about his?
He’s a narcissist look it up. I have studied NPD for four years I know all the signs there tactics there lies.
My fiance admits he doesn’t care, and only wants sex. I made the mistake of conceiving children out of wedlock to the man I was engaged to. He called off our engagement and calls me horrible things. I was horrible at the beginning of our relationship. I was only 21 and in an abusive household where I was living, so I mistreated him. Now at 26, I have changed almost entirely, and treat him… well, I don’t really treat him any way. He wants me to leave him alone. All of the time, unless he wants to bless me with a conversation in which he just ignores me when I start talking. He expects at the very least oral everyday. I don’t understand how a grown man can think that is a reasonable request.
We have twin two-year-olds, and I am pregnant with our third and when our kids go to bed sometimes I just want to relax. Most of the time I do, and I’m sure any sane person would sympathize with that. But he has become very entitled and uses how I was in the past like I “owe” him and he gets to judge when I am worthy of his love and affection again. I recently found God, and He and Jesus are what keep me together, but like I say during prayer, lacking romantic love is a huge darkness in my life. But I’m trapped with these kids. It is bad enough that I live in sin, but I won’t take my children away from their father. I am home with the kids and am terrified he will just decide to leave me one day and I will suddenly have nothing, especially because we are not married. But I want to raise my children myself, and accept that sacrifice.
But especially ever since I found God, I am repulsed by having sexual contact with him. The last time we had sex I shut the lights off so I could cry in silence while I did what he wanted me to, apologizing to God for yet again having sex outside of marriage and conceiving three of His innocent babies in sin. I have no other choice, or else he will leave me and I will truly lose everything. I have been sexually abused in the past and it is bringing back horrible feelings. I don’t know how to stop it, and talking to him about it will lead absolutely no where. I’m so hopeless with this. I’m not looking for advice, I just needed to let this out. I have no friends- he made me drop all of my friends, and criticizes any new friend I make so much I just stop associating with them to save the argument. I have no family- he drove me away from them too. I have a feeling he’s always been this way, but uses my mistreatment of him early on as leverage against me. There is no way someone can flip so much. I’m so lost, I can only look to God for so much. I already have a relationship where I talk and talk and receive no reply. I mean no disrespect to God, He does answer me in magnificent ways and has since the first day I started praying. But I need emotional and physical contact with someone. My boys and God are the only things that keep me going and holding back the tears. I wish I could love the life God gave me, but I’m ready to be with him and bored of this world. I do not mean suicide, but I mean I accept that I will leave this earth one day. I was scared to before, I saw this earth as my home. But I realize this is not my home. So I will raise my boys, try my best, and repent for my sins until he calls me home.
Hey Lex, you said you are not looking for advice but I’d encourage you to do what a lot of 26 year old single moms have to do and get a job or go back to school, or educate yourself on line so that you can move on from this man who treats you like an object to use. Are you involved in a church? Do you have family that can help you?? You’re saying you have no other choices, but that’s not true. You have lots of choices, but problem is none of them are easy. They all involve struggle and pain. But one you get freedom and dignity and the other you do not. You have to decide but you do have a choice.
Your post made me cry because i feel the same way. Everyday i thank god for tbe life he gave me then i beg him to take me to heaven until i fall asleep. And some days i sleep all day. My boyfriend ignores me, insults me, had me put in jail for a crime i didnt do, never listens to me, denys me sex but gets mad when i dont initiate if he is in the mood like im a mind reader. I dont have fanily or friends either. I used to like myself now i feel worthless and like the best days of my life passed years ago and I’m so ready for God to take me home.
Listen to me. Look up narcissist. Study it that’s exactly what your man is. I’ve prayed so much and I feel god gave me the wisdom to find out how to deal with narcissist personality disorder.
Leslie. I needed this post tonight. I’ve said exactly what you’ve suggested to my husband. I told him when I’m yelled at, and cussed at, especially in front of our children, I can not feel intimate or want to have sex. He says it is very wrong of me to expect kindness in return for sex. He said me expecting kindness before giving sex is actually psychologically abusing him. He said sex should not have expectations and he will be nice once he gets what he wants. Which is never true. Is there any advice you’d have on how to respond to that? Am I wrong? Am I being abusive by expecting kindness to be intimate?
I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m going through something kind of similar. One thing that I have been reading about that stands out to me when reading your situation are the verses in 1 Corinthians 7:3 – 5. I believe Leslie Vernick also covers this. I believe I read this in one of her articles a few days ago I’ll need to look for it but a more recent read in my history is Sexual Intimacy and the Rights over a Spouse’s Body in Marriage on desiringgod.org and also another article on this site is When the Sex Should Stop. To give you an idea here is a passage from the latter article, “If the husband says give me sex because the bible says so … if he quotes this verse, trying to convince his wife into sex when she doesn’t want to, he is opposing the very theology that’s foundational to it. He is making a self-fulfilling demand — something Paul has eliminated in 1 Corinthians 7:4. How? Because the husband’s body is under the authority of his wife.”
You can have your husband read these. They are essentially saying that though he has authority over your body you have authority over his and in order for intimacy/sex to be fulfilled both spouses need to be in agreement and have other needs met (thus your need for his emotional abuse to stop which should never exist in a marriage in the first place – his response to you is abusive and displays a disregard and selfishness towards you. I hope this helps.
Look up narcissist. No one ever tells us about this until we learn the hard way. God did not put us on this earth to be abused.
This hit home for me, I’m crying. I feel like I tell him that the way he treats me is the reason I don’t feel affectionate or sexual. He doesn’t like to talk about anything hard to talk about. I feel he can dish it, but not take it. I honestly wonder if he knows how disrespectful he is to me, because he will want to have sex in the evening, but gives me a guilt trip when I say no. It’s at the point where if I’m not into sex I dread him coming near me because I know the guilt trip is coming. It’s stressful. He feels if I don’t have sex with him whenever he wants it then I don’t love him. I don’t know how to break the cycle. But I’m feeling more distant and depressed. I guess that is why I sought this article, I want things to be good and positive. I feel desperate for it.
Niki I was in a marriage for 26 years and my husband verbally emotionally physically mentally abused me I didn’t know what was going on in the beginning he treated me like gold as time went on we where married he finally trapped me he Changed the gate or the above that I wrote also I found out he cheated for me talk bad about me lied constantly blamed me for everything.devalued everything I did. . He played mind games. I thought I was having a nervous break down. I prayed for gods help. One day I was told my husband is a narcissist. I looked it up. It was like they where writing about him. Please look up narcissist personality disorder. If you need any questions I am here to help. I’ve studied this personality disorder for four years not by choice. I was forced to because I had to learn what my husband was really mad up of. You are gonna be beside yourself when you read about this disorder you will probably think they know your husband. Contact me at email@example.com there are narcissist recovery groups out there to help you get through this. If you need any questions I will be more than happy to answer them.
Hi Leslie, years ago we were in counseling with you, great to find your writing today and sign up for your newsletter. We are now involved in divorce proceedings, the Lord knows my future, and my hurtful past!
Mark 3:24-25 – If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
Good to hear from you. Glad you are here. You will find good support here. You might also want to check out some of my short video’s on YOUTUBE.
Reading these comments a lot of women are abused. If your husband will not respect your body and demands sex or is making you feel pressured or guilty this is rape. Seeing these comments makes me want to encourage women to leave these husband’s. Marriage is not just sex. And if your husband thinks he deserves sex just because he is doing something he should be doing like taking care of the family then it’s time for a divorce. Sex is a very special and intimate relationship for the two of you. And both people should feel good and safe and loved by each other. Reading these comments has really opened my eyes about how horrible and selfish a lot of men are. We should be uplifting these women to find better lives for themselves. Not to just deal with these abusive husband’s. Most of these men won’t respect them even if they talked to them because they already don’t respect them in the first place. These are toxic relationships let’s build all these women up to leave these men.
I’m in a similar situation except my husband suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in September 2019. It took him 14 months to recover to the point where he could work again. Unfortunately because his physical body recovered so quickly he has decided he doesn’t need cognitive therapy at all. He is insistent that his agitation and anger are because I won’t have sex with him. We are in marriage counseling but I feel hopeless. He doesn’t seem to understand that communication is needed to make a marriage work. He thinks everything can be solved with sex. We have been married for 21 years.
Praying is wonderful but it won’t make him not have narcissist personality disorder. I’ve prayed got down on my knees and what I got out of it I feel. God took the vail from my eyes and showed me what my husband really is. Cathysunshine1@icloud.com if you want to know more. No disrespect to this website but us women have to face reality and stop staring down the problem and find a solution and learn about NPD. So many people have this disorder.
My husband wants sex but he devalue me, verbally abuse me, cheats on me lies to me constantly, I’m embarrassed to say he’s a 100% narcissist. There’s no cure for narcissist personality disorder. They don’t value anyone but themselves. I’ve studied NPD for four years. There’s no talking to them in there minds there always right and blame everything on everyone else. I’ve tried for 36 years to fix my marriage but there comes a time to face the fact.
I’m very late to this but I’ve read all your comments and I’m literally crying right now. Why are all you beautiful ladies putting up with this treatment? This isn’t what marriage is. Marriage is a loving partnership. God did not put women here for men to use and abuse as they see fit. God put you here to be a partner for your husband and he has to love you.
My husband respects me. He never demands or expects sex even though my body belongs to him. He cares about me and if I have a headache or if I’m too tired or whatever, he respects me and waits until I feel better. He doesn’t expect me to do anything in bed that makes me uncomfortable, he doesn’t pressure me if I’m just not in the mood. Or if I’m not in the mood, he’ll make my favorite dinner and put on my favorite tv show to make me happy so I’ll get in the mood easier. He’ll rub my feet or tell me about silly things he found online to make me laugh. That’s what a husband does for his wife. You ladies deserve that too.
When we disagree, he never raises his voice or calls me names, we talk about our disagreement. I defer to him of course, because he’s the head of the home, but he always listens to me and respects what I say. Many times he goes with what I say because he values my opinions. You ladies deserve that too.
Please ladies, don’t allow this anymore. This isn’t what God wants for you. It’s not too late to demand respect and better treatment from your husband. There’s nothing in the bible that says you have to allow your husband to abuse you. Do what you have to do to be safe, even if it’s leaving him. I know divorce is not good, but God does not want this for you and He wants you to be loved and happy.
Wow. Your comment really hit me. In a good way. I want what you have. Not this sham of a marriage he conned me into a year ago. Even if I never get remarried, I can’t keep wasting my time and hope on someone who in all honesty will never become half the man he should be. Especially at his age. I’m happy for you to have found one of the few truly good men. Thanks for your perspective.
Sadly, I’m finding myself in the same position as the many other comments. My husband is very successful at making me feel ugly, worthless, stupid, and much more. But, he expects sex when he wants and it is usually in the same position that he likes(does nothing for me). Then, follows up with,” that’s not fair to you. I’ll take care of it tonight.” He NEVER follows through with his promise. Two days later the morning repeats itself again and says the same thing again. I’m so tired of living like this.
I find myself going through the same as many of these comments, years of being put down, and nothing I do is ever good enough, he refuses to help me with parenting our children, very attached to his work and his cell phone. He is here after work but for the most part it is like he’s in his own world all the time and it doesn’t feel like he’s apart of our world! I for years have put up with his negative attitude and feeling so alone.but this past year he has started to be mean to our children , he cusses at them, puts them down, says everything is his and he can take it all away, told us if we want to leave we can all walk because even the car is his. He broke my 10 year old daughters door down because she locked it after he kicked her basketball over our house out of anger, He has no respect for me, tells me to shut up, yet he still wants sex. Many times I have done it and cried after. But I am to the point to where I cannot anymore my body is telling me no. Literally 4-5 days a week he is being negative about something or angry about something. He puts me down for being a Christian because he is not a believer anymore, he doesn’t believe in counseling, he seriously thinks he does nothing wrong and that if I want my emotional need met I need to meet his sexual need first. He will be nice for 1-2 days and expect sex and when he doesn’t get it he’s rude again. If I cave he will be nice a day after and then we are right back in this cycle. He is a good worker and provides for our family but he seems to think that’s all he has to do and is entitled to sex because he provides! This is giving me so much anxiety every night!! I have been looking for therapy for myself but I don’t have a babysitter for my 4 children.
Should not have to stay in abusive relationship. Fast and pray about it. God to change your spouse or provide a way out. Get away to yourself. Go to family member or something and get away from situation. Pray for God to intervene and tell you what to do.
My comment to all is love, respect, giving is two-way street. No one has right to manipulate, guilt trip. Honestly, Bible 1 Peter says if husband mistreats wife, prayers are hindered, and same if reverse is true. My advice is if you can’t talk about it and work it out, maybe get away to yourself for a little while. Go to family member or someone. Fast, pray, seek God what to do. This is most important. Pray for God to deal with spouse. Temporary separation may be best until can work problems out. Pray for God to intervene. God bless you all. Will all be in my prayers
My husband is a good guy. He would give anyone the shirt off his back and he was always great with our three kids. However, today is our 21st anniversary and I’m fighting myself with the thoughts of divorce which have been off and on for years. I just can’t take his manipulations and emotional abuse any longer. He swears he is changing but I have heard this so many times. I don’t believe a word he says. He’s constantly harassing me about everything – good, bad, real or imagined. He’s always indirectly accusing me of cheating (which I never have). He never lets up on any subject good or bad to the point where I beg him to leave me alone or take it down a notch or just give me a minute. If say I need a minute and walk off, he follows me (all around the house, to the bathroom (where he will then shut the door and stand in front of it so i have no alternative but to ‘talk’ to him about whatever subject he’s irate about at the moment), or outside around the house, etc.. When we were first together, he made me give up my friends and distanced me from my family. I had to call him each lunch hour and on my way home. I always had to explain why I was late getting home from work (there had to be something going on regardless of the fact that I work an hour from home and traffic, people come in the office last minute, etc which doesn’t matter cause i was up to something, I had to be). I wasn’t allowed to socialize at all. If my parents aske for me to visit, he would be offended because he wasn’t invited. You get the idea. He has just recently gotten to accept that I should be allowed to visit with friends (of which i have 2) or go see my parents. How thoughtful. Nevermind the fact that he always finds a way to still sabotage it whether it is starting an argument the night before or deciding he has to go to the ER 10 minutes before i leave (which he did last month after days of telling him just to go but he waits until I am bout to leave and then decides he has to go but he doesn’t see there is a problem with that at all and that was after the night before him berating me that I told him explicitly to NOT go to the doctor which DID NOT HAPPEN). He’s always making me pay for things that others say or do. My BIL loves drama so he’s always telling my hubby about some messed up thing someone else did. He will then come home all worked up and I have to be accused or berated for something someone else did. Well, I’m sorry that someone else’s wife gave a BJ to a cop to get the guy out of trouble but why are you yelling at me like I did it or would ever do something like that all the while yelling that he knows that i’d never do anything like that but still berating me for it anyways. But, no matter, I pay. His brother tells about a friend who is getting divorced because the wife cheated. Yep, he will come up with some way to tie it in to me accusing me (without directly accusing). 2 weeks ago, he came in irate about the trash cans. I usually sit outside from 30-60 minutes in the driveway to get just some time to myself (which I never have, it’s 10 hours at work with 2 hours total drive time then home to 3 kids and him and a butt-load of farm animals). I also say that I am a smoker so I hack stuff up occasionally but my sinuses have been just terrible this spring but he KNOWS this. But it doesn’t matter. He goes outside after I come in (he will often check on my snot I’ve spit out, check my underwear after I’ve taken it off from working all day, etc). So, he goes out and there was a good chunk of snot I spat out on the ground by the trashcans. So, he comes in irate about what i was doing at the trash cans (where i normally sit). The trash cans are askew (it was trash day the next day and my FIL moved the cans, I didn’t) but there were hand prints on the lid, gravel messed up all around and wads of a white substance, snot or SOMETHING. Then he starts in about his brother who lives 2 doors down. So, in true fashion, he starts (indirectly) accusing me of screwing his brother at the trashcans. I did end up going back out later to throw one last bag of trash out and put both hands down on the lid. I had an a-ha moment that I shared with him. There are hand prints because i put my hands on the lid to push the trash down which didn’t even realize i ever do but, boom, did it unconsciously). When i finally get him calmed down from that, he starts in that there is a black coat out at the trashcan. He KNOWS it wasn’t there before and it has to be his brother’s (we allow my FIL and BIL who both live next door to use our trash service). He then goes irate again at it has to be his brother’s coat and when did he put it there because it wasn’t there before. I had to have seen him and my saying that I did not was not true (he didn’t say I lied, just insistent that I had to have seen him). So that goes on for a bit and he is getting pissed at me because I’m very nonchalant about it. He finally storms out and goes to talk to his dad (and this was about 1am by this time). He comes back about 15 minutes later happy as a lark acting like nothing had ever been said. His dad told him he was the one that put the coat out hours before. He’s all happy and fine and gee, he just must not have noticed it. Funny. No apology, no nothing, just pretended it didn’t even happen. When I pointed out at the accusation and horrible treatment, he seemed so offended and that isn’t what he meant at all. I went to bed but he decided he wanted to make me understand that he didn’t mean anything bad and starts then harassing me about it and then again about the trash cans. I refuse to engage and try to sleep. Eventually he lets me sleep because he got pissed off that I refused to engage him and he stormed out of the house. He then comes and wakes me up at 3:30am with ice cold hands. Again, starting in like I was having sex with someone at the trashcans blah blah. I ignore him and finally get back to sleep to get up at 6 for work (and, of course, the usual trying to turn me over, pulling off the covers, stealing my pillows trying to get me to engage). When i left for work that morning, I saw he put the trail cameral up and had it pointed directly where i was sitting. I never said a word on it and still haven’t. Just a few days ago, he threw my phone at me waking me up, yelling at me that I was the one that told him to put up the trail cameras (we live in the country and we had something getting some of the cats). He wakes me up to yell at me that I took a picture of a pallet wall I was making and yelling about the cameras. Apparently, the picture of my pallet wall that I took was in the direction of where the camera was put at that time (he had moved it from by the trash cans and I honestly had no clue where it was). He accepts my explanation that I took a picture of the pallets so i can look at it to get an idea of what i might want to do with it (it was just a makeshift 2 pallet wall that I was messing around with). When he seemed OK with that explanation (not happy but he dropped it) he then picks up my phone and throws it again at me about a “secure folder” that is on my phone. Everyone has the stupid secure folder. I clicked the link on the phone and showed him that it was asking me to set up the folder and if I were using it , it wouldn’t be asking me to set it up. Eventually he dropped it. It’s this type of stuff constantly. For the last 20 years, these things usually took place with enough space between them (once a month or so) – enough time for me to be angry then get over it before it happened again. Since Christmas night when we got home and he started a fight, it is this stuff daily, multiple times a day. I love him. He really is a good guy. I truly believe that all this is out of fear rather than narcissistic tendancies but he is constantly harassing me then yelling at me that i won’t talk (i just completely shut down from his constantly being at me) daily if not multiple times a day. Ok, i can understand that behavior in the beginning because he had been engaged and she did cheat on him with his brother BUT THAT IS NOT ME. It never has been and why am I still paying for that 20 years later? I’ve never given any reason for him to think such things about me. And my favorite, when I do manage to be able to talk and share my feelings, totally dismissed. I say this is how you treat me, this is what you do and he just turns it all around saying that I treat him badly too. That we both treat each other badly so we just both need to stop. He doesn’t accept his bahavior and either turns it on to me to make it sound like he only harasses me because I’ve acted X way or that his brother has messed with his head or any excuse other than it’s just him. He apologizes for his behavior, swears that he is changed and doing things to change. OK. Yes, I freely admit that I have gotten in a terrible habit of exploding and I have a bad temper. I am on constant alert, waiting for the ball to drop, never knowing what subject he is going to pick. But he says he’s sorry for how he has treated me and that is over. The amazing thing is he will literally start harassing me over the fact that he doesn’t want to harass me. I just can’t reconcile the good guy I know he is with the emotional manipulation and abuse that he expresses to me. He is now having issues with our children who are 14, 13 and 11. They now come to my defense (especially my 14 yr old). My kids should not be protecting me from their father. But then he decides to be sweet. He will treat me like a goddess with everything that I don’t want. I don’t want you to mess up my cleaning routing. I don’t want you to make me some food item because I’m not hungry, etc. If i say no to any of it though, he takes it as a personal attack. That I don’t want it because i am simply mad at him and not because i just may not want something. If he wants to offer it, i have to take it. If he wants to touch me, I have to allow it. If he wants to have sex with me then I have to allow him because we are married. That I am being horrible for withholding affection out of spite. He pretends to acknowledge when I say I am not withholding anything and certainly not out of spite but rather I am so angry and hurt. I don’t have the capacity to give him affection and when I’m angry, don’t touch me. Don’t any body touch me, even my kids. I can’t stand it. He knows this and he uses it. I told him just last night that I wasn’t going to allow him to egg me in to an argument. I was nice and calm and I warned him numerous times. He just keeps starting in. It may not be on the exact subject I asked him to stop harassing me about but it’s related. So if he is griping at me about sex and I finally get him to stop, he will then make a comment about something about sex he saw on TV or some random thing our teenager said, something that is related but technically not the subject. It’s like when you are a kid and you hold your finger just centimeters from someone and say “you can’t get mad, i’m not touching you”. But sex, as many have mentioned above, has always been a sore subject. He has had some issues with his lower regions due to medical complications from a botched surgery a few years go. So, he was complaining and when he asked me for sex, i begrudgingly said ok. I couldn’t kiss him. I laid there like a stiff board. He knew exactly how I felt and if he had paid attention, he’d have caught me crying twice. I just allowed him to do whatever he wanted so he would be happy and just leave me along. The next day, he starts griping at me because I didn’t kiss him and how could i not kiss him. Do i not love him enough to even muster kissing during sex? I paused, took a deep breath and told him how it felt for him to be on top of me, the crying, everything and he’s complaining about me not kissing him. He put his head down and fains sadness but about 20 minutes later, he comes back and starts talking to me about how maybe I should be open to getting a toy or doing butt stuff and maybe that would help me be in the mood. That if he is using a toy, he isn’t technically touching me so it should be OK and I should be able to enjoy myself that way. What?!?!?!? I tell you that i felt violated and your answer to that is a vibrator?
Wow, that is a lot. I’m sorry. lol I just can’t take it any more. He is doing some steps to change. He now says it is OK to go see my family or friends. I don’t call him at work any more and he doesn’t message me every 5 minutes and he is talking to a pastor. But the behavior is all still there, the harassment and manipulation. He gets angry at me because i don’t believe him and tell him so. When i try to explain how I feel and how all this is too little too late, he tells me that isn’t the real me talking. He knows the real me and that I don’t want to be without him, I just want things good again which is exactly what he wants so we both need to forget the past and everything that happened and start fresh now. Ok, that’s well and good but, as I remind him, when past behavior is currently happening, i cannot just forget it. So I’m the bad guy because I am just done. I can’t do it. I don’t even care if he has changed or does change. But, can someone tell me this all sounds abusive? I think it does. My 2 friends say it is but to me, it’s normal. I mean, he checks my phone, car, underwear, clothes, he’ll point cameras where he knows i sit, etc. I just can’t take it any more. I want to leave but then he starts in and i forget how bad it is and he must be right, it really must be my fault or I’m doing something to cause it. My head, knowing this is abuse, fights with my heart that just says he’s a scared little boy. But if I haven’t been able to “fix” him or mend his heart at all after 20 years, it isn’t going to happen no matter how much he touts he loves me and he’s the only one for me and I for him. Help. Am I making this up? Am I insane? Do i really have the strength to leave or just wait 7 more years until my youngest is out of the house and try to make it as best for them as I can in the meantime? I’m so sure then I’m so lost and I just want to cry.