Need some marriage advice


#1

The devil must really like me because he seems to be around every corner of my life. In particular my marriage. I have a few issues with my husband which I would like some advice on. First off, let me say, I love him deeply and he is an amazing man who inspires me. However a few things bug me. My current method of telling him to shut up, swearing at him, and arguing isn’t working :shrug:;)so I am asking for suggestions on how to handle this.

He constantly criticizes me. I mean in every aspect of my life. He points out every weakness I have. He constantly brings up stupid little things that are of little consequence. For instance, how I set my glass to close to the edge of the counter, how I missed a piece of dust when cleaning, how his clothes are wrinkled after I laundered them, how I brush my teeth, how I forget things, what’s wrong with my cooking (which really burns me because his mother’s cooking could gag a maggot. She’s no chef but a loving MIL and a wonderful grandmother to our baby). He also calls me illiterate and says that my Master’s degree is a fake one because it was non-thesis. I feel like nothing I do is ever good enough. Those are just a few examples that get repeated over and over on a daily basis. It’s wearing me down. I tried to ignore it but that didn’t work. I don’t want him to continue this in front of our very smart son who is almost 1. Our son thinks his mommy is perfect and I’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Hearing these things on a daily basis is becoming tortuous. I am very sensitive. I grew up riding horses and had instructors yelling insults at me from a very early age. I was numb for years but now I am over sensitive.

Any suggestions on how I can get him to stop.


#2

It sounds like it is quite an issue.

It would first be important to understand that these events are not sole things in and of themselves; they are symptoms of some underlying cause in him; some underlying problem that he either has; or percieves.

No house is perfect; no one is a perfect cook, cleaner and launderer. He has to learn that there will always be imperfections in you; as there will always be in him. It is essential in a marraige for both people to foster a mutual understanding and patience for the "problems" of others.

It would be nice of you to recognise the small things you could do to make living more harmonious; putting a drinking recepticle further from the edge of a table is a good habit anyway.

However; do not feel pressured to be overly critical of yourself or your work; or to strive for an unrealistic or impossible perfection; as this will only tire you out; which will lead to greater conflict.

Perhaps; then a counsellor would be useful in acting as a mediator to understand where he feels you lack; and visa versa - and if both of you have the honesty and effort to make an effort towards remedying small things; it will become easier for you to overlook the minor problems.


#3

You say this man is amazing and inspires you? :shrug:

Sounds like to me there's no R-E-S-P-E-CT left in this marriage. :confused:

Prayers for all.
:gopray2:


#4

Please seek some professional counseling (preferably with your husband, although I doubt he would go).

You're in a very diffucult situation. I hope it gets better

God Bless You.


#5

My girl,

It seems to me that he is jealous of you, insecure, and controling.

He called you illiterate, and put down your Masters. He is trying to knock you down because of what you have accomplished. He either didn't accomplish as much as you, or is jealous of your sucess.

He criticizes everything you do. That is not a normal thing to do when you love someone. I think whenever he puts you down, it makes him feel as like he is better, higher up, and superior to you. Either he was criticised as a child and could never measure up, possibly sexually abused where he had no power, or he never lived up to his own expectations of himself because he set them too high. No matter which, he makes himself feel better by dismissing you and making you less.

He wants you to do everything the way HE wants you to. He is not even seeing you the person anymore. He had no control in his life when he was growing up, so he is going crazy with it now. He forgets how he felt growing up without any control.

He never felt good enough, and now he is repeating what he knows and is comfortable with. You have now become the young him, and he knows nothing he did was good enough, therefore, nothing you do will ever be good enough.

This has nothing at all to do with you, this is all about him dealing with his past.
I fear that as your child grows, he will turn everything from you onto your child.

This has only been my opinion, and I will keep your family in my prayers. But I do hope he will seek therapy, there is no reason this can't be a happy marriage once he sees what he is doing.


#6

That’s called Emotional Abuse…

And Passive Aggressive Behavior.

What on earth is inspring and amazing about him.

That he makes you strive to OCD like perfection?

He either does NOTHING as well as you, and so it’s easier if he complains to you about you, so that you don’t get the idea that YOU are any good at anything…

OR, he’s actually quite advanced, but so lacking in social skills that he is horrified by anyone that can’t meet his standards…

I have found one statement that is a bit argumentative (so up to you) that shuts people up…

Do you feel better about yourself now?

And then when he complains about dinner. I would get up. Take his plate. And in a very sweet voice. Oh, I’m sorry you don’t like it. Scoop his food into the trash. And sit down and keep eating. With a “make your own.” The next day, he would find that I only made dinner for one.

Or, hey, I’m on a roll… I’d get just as annoying.

Thank you sweetheart for showing me how silly I was to set a glass so close to the edge of the counter. What would I EVER do without you? (then I might close my eyes, and smile really big. And when he asked what that was about, I’d tell him I was imagining life without him)

I have a friend who was quite ill when she met her DH. He took such good care of her. He took over her $$ and paid her bills. He made sure her social calendar wasn’t too hard to deal with. He dealt with her adult kids when they’d call to complain about their lives. She was just too sick to deal with anything. She reveled in it. He must REALLY love her. Right? Well, he really loved controlling her. That’s FOR SURE! Then guess what happened? She got better. And he didn’t have anyone to care for anymore. I mean he could have just loved her, and enjoyed her companionship. But he liked to decide how her money was spent. Whether or not her kids could come visit. And now… well, last I heard, they are headed for divorce. Because, sans illness, she’s a very strong woman. She does not need to be treated like a child. She needs to be loved like a wife!

Edited to add: Therapy is a good idea… especially if you don’t like my SmartA** way of dealing with people. You’re going to need a way to cope with the abuse. I doubt he’s interested in learning how NOT to be abusive.

Wait… I just thought of another… when he complains about dinner, I might offer “oh, that’s too bad, your mother made it… I just thawed it out!”


#7

Wow :( I agree that he is being emotionally/verbally abusive. I would probably say a few things back here and there, like "wow, is there anything I do right?" in a completely serious tone. If he isn't able to get the point and clean up his mouth on his own then it's time for counciling.


#8

The little things - OK you can probably work with him on.

The cooking - offer to split nights cooking - on nights he cooks - he can spice things to his pallette. Or maybe the both of you can take a cooking class together - call it a date night - there are plenty of adult education classes.

Regardless - if he is calling you illiterate with a Masters degree - he has issues and you both need to be in some counseling before the kids start hearing some of these things or before the emotional gets to the point where you lose your self-esteem.

Oh, and this will always shut em up - tell him - yes darling you may have apoint so I have decided I am going back for my PhD - through an online program that includes a thesis.

God bless you.


#9

I feel like a lot of assumptions are being made about my husband that are not fair. I understand that I have only posted a tiny snippet of what he's like so if that's all the info you have been provided I suppose that's the inferences that could be drawn. For the most part, and I assume no marriage is perfect since no one is perfect, he's a great husband. Always striving to make our family closer and better and more faithful. Working hard on all fronts. When I was pregnant I was very ill with morning sickness. I spent many hours on the couch while my husband took on my duties as well as caring for me. Same thing post-partum. He's a super dad and super friend to others. Very easy going and never so much as raises his voice. He's well respected in his field and does amazing work. He helps around the house and the yard. We both work FT so we need to help each other otherwise nothing would get done.

He does however have a bad habit of pointing out all of my mistakes. Believe me I make a lot of them. I don't think striving for perfection is bad however you cannot expect those around you to be quit so perfect. Especially if they've always been that way. I personally am OK with being not as perfect as another person. I'm quite capable of placing my glass further onto the table or counter if I want...I just don't. I do not think he will do this to our child at all but I do worry immensely that our child will mimic this behavior and treat me and/or his own wife like that some day.

I am really not interested in counseling unless it was with a priest. I hardly consider myself a victim of abuse. But, if we do go that route how do I find someone with a solid understanding of marriage? Someone Catholic?

Tuscany, you may have hit on something. When we first started dating I noticed that his father seemed very critical of him. He worked for his father making extremely good money but soon left for another job. I've also noticed that his mother never says anything negative about him at all. Not even as a joke. It's 2 extremes.

I'm an adult and I don't need parenting nor do I need my imperfections exposed. I don't need to be fixed. I've tried similar to some of the suggestions mentioned but they just end up in disagreements. Confronting him and sharing my feelings have not worked. I just need some way to get to him. Some bible quotes may help. I am also going to fast and pray once I am done nursing. Hopefully that's in the next month or 2.

Thank you all for the responses.


#10

It sounds as if this is behavior learned from his father; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It is - as you already know - tremendously unfair to you, and does an injustice to your son; do you really want him thinking that this is how husbands are supposed to speak with their wives?

Counseling is needed, as you seem not to have found the “magic words” that will get through to him; there aren’t any. (I also rather like the suggestion that, the next time he criticizes your cooking, you quietly take his plate and dump the food, sweetly apologizing, and then continuing your meal. But that’s naughty of me…)

I will keep you in my prayers.


#11

No, you know what you tell him?
If he has the balls to say that what you do isnt good enough, then you tell him to do it himself!
if that doesn’t work, seek couseling. How dare he say that his clothes isnt good enough or that your cleaning isnt good enough or that your cooking isnt good enough. next time you hand HIM the duster and tell him to do it so that you wont have to listen to his constant insults.


#12

[quote="BlueShadow123, post:11, topic:212125"]
No, you know what you tell him?
If he has the balls to say that what you do isnt good enough, then you tell him to do it himself!
if that doesn't work, seek couseling. How dare he say that his clothes isnt good enough or that your cleaning isnt good enough or that your cooking isnt good enough. next time you hand HIM the duster and tell him to do it so that you wont have to listen to his constant insults.

[/quote]

You know, I don't always agree with you, but in this case, I think you're dead on right.

OP, has your husband ever talked to you about his relationship with his dad and how it made him feel? If so, remind him that he's doing the same to you.

Also, another good thing to do if you can, is to either video tape or voice record him during these criticizing times. Maybe he just doesn't have a clue that he is doing this and if he saw or heard himself would be embarrassed and work at changing his behavior.

I know that I have patiently had to correct my husband every time he compared me to other women who have been and are in his life (like his sisters), reminding him that I am not them so there is no need to compare and that though I could, I never, not even in my mind, compare him to anyone but himself and what he's told me he wants to be like (and the example he wants to set). It's been quite a road, but now his comparisons are very rare and usually arise during high stress times (don't most of the fights happen then). I was always one to let others walk all over me, but when I learned what a holy marriage is suppose to be, and what fighting fair is suppose to be as well as what is healthy communication I made sure that I helped teach him and remind him when he strays. It's only by God's Grace that I have this strength.

I never realized how good this was until my husband (and some of his family) have expressed how impressed they are that I can stick to the topic at hand, forgive, apologize for my part, and move on since they were never taught that (hubby's family never apologized nor forgave growing up, so how could hubby know what it's like if he never witnessed it and never witnessed it in those outside of his family).


#13

#14

woah, theres two people named littleme

except one has a space in their name and they both signed up on different dates


#15

I had to look twice. Wow another "Little Me" :thumbsup:


#16

I would have never guessed!! I can change my name up a bit so that we aren’t confused as each other. Your call :slight_smile: :smiley:

I thought about this quit hard last night. I really don’t think I am abused at all. Criticized over minor things, yes. I have no clue why my husband does this when I have shared how it makes me feel.

I find this advice a bit more of what I would expect coming from a secular forum. But then again maybe I am missing something:confused:


#17

Yes, you are missing something - the way your husband is treating you is completely contrary to Scripture. As far as how to find a counselor - take your parish bulletin - look in it- there are a probably a bunch that advertise right in it - start calling. If not ask your priest - he probably has a few on speed dial.

Here is the Scripture I mean (It is a TRUE look at Ephesians - not just the first phrase- it is one thing for the man to be the spiritual head of the household however that comes with responsibility - he must love his Bride as Christ loves the Church and the Bride must love her Bridegroom as the Church loves Christ- it is not about subourning to every want and need - that is a Fundamentalist view):

Ephesians 5:22-33: Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

(**NOTE -- Here Paul compares the sacrament of marriage between a man and a wife with the relationship Christ has with His Church - That they are one, and not separate entities.  That is why Jesus said in Luke 10:16 - "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."  People who reject the teachings of the Church because of their personal opinions would do well to remember this- they aren't just rejecting what the Pope says;  they are rejecting what Jesus says.)

#18

LM:

I am a bit like your husband. I do find myself being over critical of my kids and wife in a similar fashion. Just last night there were about 3 things in the span of about 30 minutes where I thought she made a poor choice/ didn’t do something in the most effecient or most logical way…and I commented on all of them. None of them were very important and my criticism only served to make her feel small. I should have kept my mouth shut (but that is hard for me to do :slight_smile:

Here is my suggesting for trying to change his behavior. When he makes a critical comment about something like missing some small spot of dirt after you have cleaned…do this. Go up to him and hold his hand or place your hand on his shoulder and say calmly and sincerely, “When you point out the small dust I have missed after I have worked very hard trying to make the house clean for you and the kids, I feel unappreciated.”

Basically it is a formula where you offer critism by pointing out his specific behavior, the situation in which it occurs, and how you feel about it. “When you do A, in situation B, I feel C” It is an excellent way to express your feelings in a constructive manner that is much more likely to yield the sort of response you want…better than the response you will likely get if you go with “if I am not doing it right, then you do it yourself !!” Trust me on that one, I know from experience.

Do it everytime you feel his is overly critical and see if his behavior slowly starts to change. (Notice we are addressing his behavior and not his character make up here, which is a hugely important distinction).


#19

Do it everytime you feel his is overly critical and see if his behavior slowly starts to change. (Notice we are addressing his behavior and not his character make up here, which is a hugely important distinction).

Rico brings up an important distinction so you will need to make that distinction through counseling and communication.


#20

Why don’t for one day you keep a pad of paper with you. When he says something like this write down the time and the comment. At the end of the day show it to him. Be kind about it. Start off with what he does right and what you love about him. Then say something like “I know a lot of these comments are habit and you don’t think about them before you speak but I don’t think you realize how often you are critical of me.”

You might also write down when he compliments you. He might just be brushing you off as too sensitive about what he says. We tend to forget we pass on criticism more than compliments.

Or you can do what my mother would advise: “Kill him with kindness.” Make a point of complimenting him as much as possible. Be genuine about it. You might be surprise that after a little while he starts returning the favor.

Good luck and I hope this helps.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.