Am I in a verbally abusive relationship? Do I need to get out?
I am trying to decide if my husband is verbally abusive or if I am overreacting due to abuse and severe bullying which occured during my own childhood. I wonder if he is simply the wrong person for me or if I have unreasonable expectations and wrong perceptions. I simply don't know if I should leave or if therapy will help. I am in my late twenties and we don't have any children. I need to know if there is hope or if I should just give up. When is a relationship good enough? Due to my history of childhood abuse and bullying, I feel that I cannot trust my perceptions and feelings.
I am trying to figure out if I have too high expectations when it comes to relationships or if my relationship is actually and objectively bad. My husband thinks I have completely unrealistic expectations, that I criticize him too much, and that I have to stop thinking that there is some perfect soulmate for me out there. I am kind of confused, because I feel misunderstood and sometimes disrespected in the relationship. I just don't know if the things he does or says are completly out of line and inappropriate, or if I'm simply too sensitive. I often feel that he is a total jerk to me,but I don't really know if I'm being unfair....I also don't know if we're simply too different to make things work....
Here is a bit of background: We met 11 years ago in Europe and have been through many ups and downs. We were ďbroken upĒ for two years. I broke it off because I felt disrespected. We got back together two years ago and got engaged and moved in together. I do love him a lot. I feel very attached and close to him. Very dependent actually (emotionally) He is my family and my only rock, especially since I am not close at all to my own family. (family history of constant verbal, emotional and physical abuse and lots of other problems) They live in Europe and I moved out as soon as I could. I try to keep my distance and itís working for me, I think, but it makes me very needy in relationships because my partner is the only family I have. Due to my childhood problems, I might be bringing a lot of issues into our relationship, which might make it hard for me to act functional in any relationship. As a child, I had no friends, but I now have a large social network and a few close friends. I don't feel that my childhood issues are affecting my friendships, but I think that they still do affect my marriage. I feel I could not survive without him, despite the fact that money is not a big problem in my life. I often feel trapped and no longer free. This is the only relationship I've ever had.
First, here are the things I love about him: He makes me feel safe. When he is nice, he can be extremely sweet and compliments me, he often says I love you, he is very reliable (when he says sth he does it), he cares about the environment, animal and human rights, and is generally nice to strangers and the few friends he has (although he seems to be rude to his mother), we have some common interests and can do activities together, I find him attractive, we went though a lot of things together, we also have similar family backgrounds, he doesn't have any problems related to addiction. There is no physical or sexual abuse and he has never cheated on me.
Here are the problems: I find his sense of humor and constant teasing very hurtful. I wonder if it's abuse or bullying or if I'm overreacting. He knows that it hurts me, but he can't help it. He can't stop making fun of the people he's close to. For example, he makes fun of my weight even though I'm definitely not overweight. I gained five pouds recently and since then he makes a stupid joke every time he sees me eating something. He teases me when I blush (even in public) or feel embarrassed. I often feel little respect from him, I feel he treats me like a child, it seems he always wants to be right, I can never have a deep conversation with him, I feel he doesnít ever respect my point of view if it differs from his, I feel in discussions that he is sometimes condescending (he attacks my beliefs, knowledge, intelligence, weight, and most of all ďthe dreamerĒ in me. He criticizes that I am too emotional and not pragmatic/down to earth enough)
He is not very compassionate in general.
He calls me too sensitive, but I donít know how to change that about myself. I would like to learn how to control my feelings though.
I feel little interest, support and compassion from him about my chronic medical condition (nothing life-threatening, but I am often in pain)
He can be a bit sadistic and seems to target my insecurities.
He can be extremely rude. He uses a lot of vulgar language, which embarrasses me.
I feel that he has little ambition, which makes me wonder if I will have to be the only breadwinner one day
I feel infantilized and that he does not really see me like a woman
He often gets extremely annoyed, irritated, and angry with me
He sweats the small stuff, I sweat the big stuff
I feel he is a bit egoistic and cheao. For example, he hates to share food. We split everything 50/50 and he would never give me some food that belongs to him.
Also, he is almost too honest sometimes, which can be a good thing, but unfortunately he keeps telling me when he is attracted to women he sees in magazines. He describes them in rude ways to me, which I find gross. Is he just a pig or do many men do that?
The meaning of marriage seems to be different for us
I feel like we can never do anything spontaneous
I find it sad that he is so anti-social and doesnít seem to enjoy spending time with people. We have no common friends.
He is often extremely rational and does not believe in anything spiritual. I am very different in that way.
We cannot have any intellectual conversations about my passions/art
I feel that he often objectifies women. He seems to be obsessed with pornography.
I am not my best self when I am with him. I feel needy, scared, depressed, dependent, trapped, disillusioned.
I constantly feel upset about some of the things he says.
He doesnít appreciate my sense of humor. In fact he claims, I have none.
I donít really know who he is. He keeps changing his mind about things all the time. He is very hard to follow and is easily influenced by things. There is no core to his identity, I find.
He does do some things for me sometimes, but complains about it and gets very annoyed. I am dependent on him for a lot of things, which is my fault (I often ask him to help me move stuff in the house or install things, plus Iím terrible at handling my finances and taxes)
We have lots of fights about money.
Also, I am absolutely terrified of being alone, especially since I have no family. I have a lot of single friends and they are miserable.
Is there any hope at all and if not how could I ever survive being on my own?