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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

My husband calls me a "bloody, gaping vagina" in arguments and has called me "****" several times. He says he does this to get my attention in an argument. He feels like I belittle him all the time and nag him.

Some perspective on both sides: I have made mean comments about his work during fights, like how could anyone stand working with him, etc... I feel like he can be so mean. I have thrown my own things in anger in really big fights. I have told him that I hate him and wanted a divorce during arguments very early on in our marriage so I can see why he would be angry at me. I know he feels like we don't have enough intimate time either. I do feel like I am good about not nagging very much.

He seems to get angry easily and quite often. He also started calling me "retarded/no brain" a couple years ago if I use a word incorrectly or a kitchen utensil improperly. He uses a lot of sarcasm that is hurtful. He curses a lot in an argument (I've asked him to not curse since my ex-husband always preceded being violent with cursing at me). At this point, my self-esteem is below zero. Maybe I really am this terrible to be hit (by my ex) and called **** by my second husband? I no longer know.

This is my husband's first marriage. He says that he is totally committed, is trying to improve himself and wants this to work. We have kids and live far away from family. Our fights seem to get worse as the years go on (married 7 yrs). We try not to fight in front of the kids. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated. He asks me if I am committed to this marriage. I want to say yes, but at this point I'm not sure if that is the right choice. Maybe I am overreacting.


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:06 PM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

Don't think you are over reacting. Just need to realize that you two are not made to be together and it is just a matter or time before you divorce. No man should treat a woman, no less a wife, like that. Why the two of you decided to get married is mind blowing. He must be good in bed or something because his personality sucks.

Many prefer to drown in a pool of their own morality rather than seek the safety of a different morality.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:11 PM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

Using the word "divorce" to threaten, intimidate, or manipulate is childish and almost always backfires.

While he is clearly saying some rather horrid things to you, it seems that you both have made some dire errors in how you've chosen to express your feelings.

Maybe it's time to sit down and agree to push the big reset button. Start communicating like adults and without the threats.

Don't even hint at divorce unless you intend to follow through.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

I have not mentioned divorce in several years. It was early on, but it must have hurt him deeply. I think he still is bitter about it. I've apologized for it when it happened years ago and not said it again. He has said it a few times recently, but I don't hold it against him since I initially opened that can of worms and he doesn't say it often. : ( I agree it seems like we are incompatible personality-wise. We still love each other. He is just so hard to live with, but that doesn't seem like a good enough reason for divorce. I made a mistake in my first marriage and stayed through years of physical abuse. I'm afraid to make the same mistake again. He is not violent, but with him recently calling me a c*nt, I'm just freaked out.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:54 PM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

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...He seems to get angry easily and quite often. He also started calling me "retarded/no brain" a couple years ago if I use a word incorrectly or a kitchen utensil improperly. He uses a lot of sarcasm that is hurtful. He curses a lot in an argument ....
My husband was like this when I first came to TAM, except never cursed at me, but his "sense of humor" was to mock and belittle me (and others) over the same type of thing you mentioned. At first I didn't mind but it definitely started wearing on me over time.

What I did that has helped a lot was to calmly, nicely, tell him things like "I don't think that's funny." and "I feel horrible inside when you say that." I just kept repeating it like a broken record. Also, I never threatened divorce but I would say "I am not happy." or "I don't feel good about our marriage." If he got angry at any of those comments, I said, calmly "I'm just giving you valuable information." or "I'm just letting you know what I'm thinking and feeling." When he said how stupid my thoughts/feeling were I never debated, I just said something like "Well, that's what I think and I am informing you." He still does it some because it's his personality and an ingrained habit, but only about 10% of how he used to, he really is trying.

He also got on medication for pain and depression (he has some health issues) and that really helped with his being so irritable.

Please read this - especially angry outbursts and disrespectful judgments. If you can get your husband to read it too, that would be great. I'd ask at a time when he's saying he's committed, not calling you a bloody vagina... Love Busters
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

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My husband was like this when I first came to TAM, except never cursed at me, but his "sense of humor" was to mock and belittle me (and others) over the same type of thing you mentioned. At first I didn't mind but it definitely started wearing on me over time.

What I did that has helped a lot was to calmly, nicely, tell him things like "I don't think that's funny." and "I feel horrible inside when you say that." I just kept repeating it like a broken record. Also, I never threatened divorce but I would say "I am not happy." or "I don't feel good about our marriage." If he got angry at any of those comments, I said, calmly "I'm just giving you valuable information." or "I'm just letting you know what I'm thinking and feeling." When he said how stupid my thoughts/feeling were I never debated, I just said something like "Well, that's what I think and I am informing you." He still does it some because it's his personality and an ingrained habit, but only about 10% of how he used to, he really is trying.

He also got on medication for pain and depression (he has some health issues) and that really helped with his being so irritable.

Please read this - especially angry outbursts and disrespectful judgments. If you can get your husband to read it too, that would be great. I'd ask at a time when he's saying he's committed, not calling you a bloody vagina... Love Busters
Thank you. This gives me hope. I am reading Love Busters right now. While my husband can be very hurtful and mean, I think that sometimes he doesn't realize how cruel he is being. His personality is very rough around the edges. He says things before thinking how it might hurt the other person.

Fortunately, he does care about our marriage and he wants us to work. He is still very attracted to me so we don't have issues there and he still loves me. Today he asked me to be more affectionate with him and I want to. It's been hard because I am always hurt by something he said and it makes it's difficult for me to open up in the marriage bed though we still do things about once a week. I know it could be a lot better. Lately, I have to drink just so I can be relaxed during intimacy. I want it to be good for him and not let my offended self get in the way. I feel like if we can get over this personality clash, we could have a happy marriage someday. I was worried that I was overreacting about the **** language, and it sounds like I was. Thank you everyone for your comments so far.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:33 PM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:51 PM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

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Originally Posted by katykriger View Post
Thank you. This gives me hope. I am reading Love Busters right now. While my husband can be very hurtful and mean, I think that sometimes he doesn't realize how cruel he is being. His personality is very rough around the edges. He says things before thinking how it might hurt the other person.

Fortunately, he does care about our marriage and he wants us to work. He is still very attracted to me so we don't have issues there and he still loves me. Today he asked me to be more affectionate with him and I want to. It's been hard because I am always hurt by something he said and it makes it's difficult for me to open up in the marriage bed though we still do things about once a week. I know it could be a lot better. Lately, I have to drink just so I can be relaxed during intimacy. I want it to be good for him and not let my offended self get in the way. I feel like if we can get over this personality clash, we could have a happy marriage someday. I was worried that I was overreacting about the **** language, and it sounds like I was. Thank you everyone for your comments so far.
Well I don't know that you were over-reacting. I think it depends on how he said it. Calling someone a **** is pretty serious to many. On the other hand, one of my nicknames at home is ****-runt, and I know it's wrong, but I kind of like it 'cause it rhymes. And it's said with affection. Only inside the house...

When I first read love busters it was very hard because my husband was doing ALL of them to me, except angry outbursts, but while he never yelled at me, he was consistently angry/irritated by everything. I do some love busters too, but not every one in the book, LOL! So at first it actually made me think my marriage was hopeless. I know my husband's not a mean spirited person, but, well, they wrote a book about him! LOL.

I got him to very reluctantly listen to some of the book on audio. And I tried not to be to accusatory.

I think the disrespectful judgments were the hardest for me because they were so relentless, but like you said, he wasn't trying to be mean. And he could hide behind "I'm only joking, lighten up." I felt like I was suddenly asking him to not be who he is after years of acting like I liked that crap.

Anyhow, I think that when he listened to Love Busters he may have seen himself through someone else's eyes for the first time. It has been well over a year and we still struggle, but between that and also the book His Needs Her Needs, I learned so much that has helped us. People will say "Just don't accept that behavior" and I'd be like - what do they mean? The only options I knew were to accept it, blow up and scream at him, or what? Leave? But now I'm able to calmly state my case and if it makes him feel bad to be informed that I don't like being insulted, or don't want to do exactly what he wants, I just let him feel bad. Lord knows I've survived feeling bad for years. He'll make it through. And he really is taking me and my needs seriously for the first time.

Good luck.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 05:42 AM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

I used to live in the UK and once got called the C word by my boss on the office floor. I was shocked, as I'd done nothing to deserve such a hateful word thrown in my face. He was having a bad day and not handling it maturely.

Words CAN hurt. They're meant to. But you can confront in a mature way and cease other communication until he can be cordial.

If you're becoming afraid of him, then that's all the more reason to learn to disengage when his temper flares.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

~ Abraham Maslow
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 06:14 AM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

It sounds to me both of you handle conflict poorly, instead of maturely trying to work thru an issue you instantly try to hurt the other person because you feel hurt. Maybe you two aren't a good couple, some people just bring out the worst in each other, or maybe you've just developed the bad habit of snapping at each other in stead of speaking out emotions.

Tell your husband you are frightened at how your relationship has deteriorated, tell him you want to work at creating a healthy marriage. Create some rules of engagement and penalties if the rules are broken. If he calls you a name, he mops the kitchen floor, if you threaten him with leaving or divorce you scrub the bathtubs, or some other chore, but it has to be done right at that moment. Sounds kind of silly right? What it does is attach consequences to bad behavior, and also forces you into a cooling off period. And if nothing else you may have the cleanest house on the planet.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 06:39 AM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

I think when you start to attack the character of your spouse with hateful, hurtful words than yes, your marriage is in trouble. Do I think people all of a sudden start abusing their spouse this way because they feel the marriage is in trouble, no it's probably just that they have not learned how to properly fight/argue with someone. Conflict resolution is usually something that is learned early on by your parents, but if they had no proper conflict resolution skills, chances are they did not pass on proper conflict resolution skills.

Not having this skill to "fight fair" can cause problems not only in your marriage, it can cause problems in your daily life as you can see with Satya story with her boss. No marriage is conflict free. Arguments and disagreements are inevitable, it's how to you attempt to solve those disagreements that set the tone for the marriage. If name calling is involved than you are not trying to solve a problem you are just attacking each other characters to inflict damage which is not healthy.

I wish I could recommend books on how to help you and your husband to acquire these skills, maybe another posted has read one that has helped their marriage, but you can google tons of resources online that might help. Fixing this problems starts with you, don't let yourself be pulled down to this childish level of name calling. Fight fair, and when your husband begins to talk this way, remind him that you deserve to be talked to with respect and end the argument by walking away. Give respect first, demand it from him by not engaging in unhealthy "fighting".

I wish you all the best. This is one thing my husband and I don't do, we have both learned how to "fight fair", but I had a boyfriend who fought like this and the first time he called me a nasty name he destroyed any feelings i had for him and I left him then and never looked back. He tried to fix the damage to restart the relationship but I was not interested in being with someone who could use those hateful words to hurt me.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 07:03 AM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

OP,
I offer an alternative point of view merely as a means to help you understand however, with the limited amount of knowledge I have about your particular situation this perspective may be completely off. Having said that, I am sometimes referred to as mean and intimidating because I am truthful. At work, some people do not t particularly like to work with me because I tell them when they do something stupid. In my work environment, being stupid can have serious and dangerous repercussions both to the company and to the individual and I have little patience for it. I have no desire to be hurt or killed by another person's stupidity. This is not well received by cognitively challenged individuals. However, there are some who much prefer to work with me and we work very well together.

I see no particular purpose in "sugar coating" responses as we should all be adults and constructive criticism is a part of life. Also, if one truly does not want to be called out then careful thought should be given to what they are saying and/or doing so as to avoid it being necessary. Also, words are our primary means of communication, the way we convey ideas, feelings and so forth. When we feel that our point is being discounted or disregarded altogether, we sometimes use inappropriate words for emphasis in an effort to convey frustration and desperation. They are usually meant to direct the person's attention to our point.

The thing I do find somewhat troubling about your H's behavior is his need to express personal insults that are not related to the matter at hand. It may just be his level of frustration and stem from his own inability to convey his point effectively and he feels the need to "gain the upper hand" by belittling you. In any event, any name that you are called that is not accurate or any undo insult that you are the recipient of is irrelevant and should be viewed as your H's ineptness at presenting his argument.

If I ever felt I was reaching a point where personal insults were my next level of persuasion in an argument or if I became the recipient of same I would just desist in my attempt to converse with that individual realizing that there is no effective way to convey my point to them. Agree to disagree in other words. This is very problematic in a marriage because it is impossible to disassociate from someone with whom you have vowed to spend your life.

To your question, is the marriage salvageable I can only say that it may be if you and your H can begin to have real communication. If all of your conversations revert to arguing and name calling then little is being accomplished except to build resentment and division between you. I would sit him down and open an honest dialog wherein you tell him that engaging in name calling and threats is counterproductive and that you will not participate. If he is unwilling or unable to engage in that type of communication then it may not be salvageable.

Peace and long life
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 07:24 AM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

He is who he is. He has always been who he is and he always will be.

He will dish out everything you accept but make no mistake, you had and will have nothing to so with it. Your problem is you pick bad men. he wont change so get on with your life and get counseling to find out why you accept inferior men in your life. Your picker is bad.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

We do handle conflict very poorly and immaturely, there is no doubt. Looking back, I never saw my parents fight or yell at each other. Not one time. I obviously have no clue how to handle conflict in a loving, appropriate manner and I think I dragged my husband down with me. Every argument felt like a personal attack to me, when that probably was not the case at all. I reacted with mean words and he started doing the same. Seven years later and you can imagine our arguments are not pretty.

I think his personality type does not mesh well with mine, but we knew that going into the marriage. We thought we could make it work because we really loved each other despite our differences. I really don't want to end our marriage at this point if there is any hope of saving it. Several of the comments here give me hope that we can change the way we handle conflict, starting with myself. I've spoken with him and he is all for doing whatever it takes to fix things in our relationship. He even said he would read through the Love Busters book with me. Thank goodness that he is so willing to try to make things work. I agree my "picker" was broken, but I think in this case perhaps it can end happily if we can get over the immature arguing and personal attacks.

My husband is amazing in so many other areas. For example, he is super helpful with the kids. Never hesitates to change diapers, feed them or take them to the store just so I can get a break. I can't remember the last time I had to fill up my car with gas or take out the trash. If he sees that I'm overwhelmed, he will offer to cook dinner and almost always puts the older kiddos to bed to help me out. He is very considerate and kind in many areas. It's just the social/communication aspect where we have such difficulty. He is brutally honest and many things NoChoice said remind me exactly of my husband. He does get labeled mean because he is blunt and does not "sugarcoat" anything. He has little patience for stupidity both at home and at work.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 05:25 PM
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Re: Is this marriage salvageable? Need advice.

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Originally Posted by katykriger View Post
My husband calls me a "bloody, gaping vagina" in arguments and has called me "****" several times. He says he does this to get my attention in an argument. He feels like I belittle him all the time and nag him.

Some perspective on both sides: I have made mean comments about his work during fights, like how could anyone stand working with him, etc... I feel like he can be so mean. I have thrown my own things in anger in really big fights. I have told him that I hate him and wanted a divorce during arguments very early on in our marriage so I can see why he would be angry at me. I know he feels like we don't have enough intimate time either. I do feel like I am good about not nagging very much.

He seems to get angry easily and quite often. He also started calling me "retarded/no brain" a couple years ago if I use a word incorrectly or a kitchen utensil improperly. He uses a lot of sarcasm that is hurtful. He curses a lot in an argument (I've asked him to not curse since my ex-husband always preceded being violent with cursing at me). At this point, my self-esteem is below zero. Maybe I really am this terrible to be hit (by my ex) and called **** by my second husband? I no longer know.

This is my husband's first marriage. He says that he is totally committed, is trying to improve himself and wants this to work. We have kids and live far away from family. Our fights seem to get worse as the years go on (married 7 yrs). We try not to fight in front of the kids. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated. He asks me if I am committed to this marriage. I want to say yes, but at this point I'm not sure if that is the right choice. Maybe I am overreacting.
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