Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Intermountain West
Re: The leave and cleave dilemia
Suzi: Looks like you need to think real hard about your perceptions and your boundaries.
I can identify somewhat with your husband, but also find some of what you describe to be his actions to you as possibly verbally abusive.
You need to define the boundaries (what is acceptable and non-acceptable) for yourself as it would apply to not only your husband, but your immediate family.
Grounding yourself in your family, while not a necessarily bad thing can create resentment in your marriage.
The first 6 years of my marriage, I often found myself to be an extension of my wife's family - I was the man she came home to after she got sick of hanging out with her family. I could be wrong, but I perceived that there wasn't a private matter between my wife and I that my in-laws didn't know about.
When we moved to Oregon (for a new job), this created a lot of tense, hard feelings between me and the in-laws as they thought I was purposely trying to get my wife away from them.
There was definitely some truth to that, but I also had to provide for my family and help it to define its own boundaries. We lived in Oregon for 8 years. The first two of those (with exception of last few years) were very difficult for us, yet afterwards her and I developed a stronger bond together that I believe was the best possible outcome for our marriage and family, until we moved back closer to our families.
You may have to sit down with your husband (w/o kids) during a quiet time and have a frank discussion on where you marriage is and generate some ideas to that each of you can work on to improve it and come closer together. This is where you and he can set boundaries for the marriage and get a better understanding with each other.
On the other hand, if he is truly being verbally (and that might also mean emotionally) abusive - you both need to get some marriage counseling to get to the bottom of the problem, and if not resolved, maybe grounds for moving on with your life.
When I say this, please don't take personally, or assume I mean that you are responsible for his behaviour:
In any relationship, good or bad - it takes two to tango. If there are some abusive characteristics, the most interesting thing is that it can come from both sides (though not intentionally). The thing is that one's behavior is often demonstrated for all to be seen. while they may get a bad rap from others who observe, there can sometimes be passive aggressive behavior from the other that isn't as easily observed. Both are unacceptable and need to be resolved.
I hope this helps.