Hi, I'll get straight to the point. My husband and I have been married for 7 years now. His first marriage, my second. My husband was working with a female co-worker for over ten years. They obviously have become :buddies". The problem was that I found out that my husband took her out for dinner one night. I had been calling him that evening but he didn't even answer his phone. When he finally confessed this to me about three months later, I was very upset, dissappointed and hurt by him because he was not honest with me. He went on to tell me that she means nothing to him, that she is just a co-sorker who has become somewhat "one of the boys" type of friendship. He dosn't even find her attractive. (She is kind of "manly".) He told me that he would hold the truth from me because I would get the wrong idea about her. He said that he didn't want me thinking that he was having an affair with her. Eventually, I let it go. Then I found out that she was calling him outside of work, for example, when she would go away on holidays, she would call my husband to find out how he was doing. Other times when she would call, my husband would not tell me that it was her calling but a male friend. After being married for seven years and together for ten, I was especially hurt again when I realized that they had been keeping in touch outside of work by phone and who knows what else, behind my back. So I decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. One day, I ran into someone I had met a long time ago, before I had met my husband and so we exchanged numbers. The intention was not for any extra-marital affair but only to see how my husband would react to me having a male friend just as he had a female "friend". Well, he found out and he has not forgiven me since. He lost his mind, literally. He could not stop crying. To this day he thinks that I slept with this guy, which I did not. All I did with this guy was small talk, how are you, weather, things like that. I told my husband I wanted him to feel the same hurt so that he might understand where I was coming from and how hurtful his lies about her were so that he would put a stop to his friendship with her. Well, it's now been about four months later and my husband is still so confused. Confused because he said that I betrayed him, but he will not admit that he had betrayed and hurt me for the past ten years with his secret phone calls from her. One day he tells me he still loves me very much and we'll get through this and the next day he calls me nasty names and tells me he is leaving me. This yo-yoing around has been going on and off now since the incident and it has been literally driving me crazy to the point where I feel like telling him to just leave me already. I have not slept with anyone other than my husband and I have never wanted anyone else and I still don't. I am at my wits end. I have even contemplated suicide because not only is this the issue but the other issue is that after seven years and many different methods of fertility treatments later, I have not been able to concive a child for my husband and I. This is also another issue that I know bothers my husband. I can't stop crying. I can almost predict what the outcome of all this will eventually be and the only one who can make the decision to leave will be my husband because in my heart, I know I can't leave him. If he left me, I would be extremely devastated and will swear off men forever. I just can't wake up in the morning anymore not knowing what's going to happen between my husband and I. Please, if any of you have any suggestions. I would greatly appreciate it.
Hi - I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time, and feeling so desparate about it. I can see where you're coming from.
First off, it does sound, from your side of the story, that your husband is being unreasonable. I say "from your side", because there are always two different perspectives and stories, so I'm reluctant to say anything absolute when I've only heard your perspective. But it definitely feels like there are double-standards going on here.
Does your husband accept there are double-standards, or does he have some reason why what he thinks you did is nothing like what he did?
My personal opinion is that it is OK to have friends of the opposite sex, but only if you are totally open about it. What is damaging is the secrecy. If he was lying it was either because he felt like what he was doing was wrong, or that you would perceive it as wrong. If he'd always been totally honest about it, would you have been OK about his friendship with this woman?
I must say that I don't think your "revenge attack" was particularly helpful to your cause. I totally understand why you did it, he was refusing to understand how unreasonable and hurtful his behaviour was and so it felt like the only way to get him to realise it was to get him to experience it. But you can't improve a relationship by deliberately hurting the other party.
At this stage it may help to ask yourself, "Would I rather be right, or happy?". Accepting more than your share of the blame for a situation may not be fair, but it can put you on course to marital recovery. Repairing a damaged relationship is rarely, if ever, a fair and balanced process - one person usually does (or feels like they are doing) the bulk of the work. It isn't fair, but if you want this to work it's best just to ignore that and focus on doing what will get you to where you want this relationship to be.
I'd suggest that you offer him an unreserved apology for what you did. You can say that you only did it to try and show him how much he was hurting you, but only if you follow that up immediately with "I realise now that was wrong of me, I should not have tried to hurt you, and I really regret that.". Do NOT try to justify your actions at all, just say you were wrong and you're sorry.
I told you this wouldn't be fair! Why should you offer him an unreserved apology if he hasn't apologised or even accepted what he did was wrong? Because if you initiate the apology, that's much more likely to prompt him to apologise too. If you attack him, tell him what he was doing was wrong, how much he's hurting you, he's far more likely to go on the defensive - and then you're fighting about it again, rather than apologising.
Your apology is a means to an end - getting him to accept that what he did was wrong and prompting an apology out of him.
I also think that it would be an excellent idea for you to attend couples counselling together. Whether you do what I suggested within a counselling session or outside, that's up to you. If he refuses to go to counselling, it's still worth going on your own, it'll help level out your emotions, focus on what you really want and how to go about making it happen. Also this can be a trick to get a reluctant husband into counselling; ask him to come along because it would help you and the counsellor if he told the counsellor his perspective on what happened. He's only coming along to do you a favour, to help you. But once he's in the room with you and the counsellor it can be manouevred into a joint counselling session.
Hi, and thank you so much for your help and advice. In regards to apologizing and telling my husband that I had made a mistake, I have told him that many times over but the problem seems to be that he thinks deep down that I slept with this other man. (He has an extreme jealous streak). He can't seem to get that thought out of his mind. This makes me upset too because he knows that I have never done anything to him as far as other men go and for him to place me in bed right away with another man was very hurtful and disrespectful. I have also tried to get him to go to counselling together but he refuses, he says that we will be fine. But we"re not. Every week this seems to bother him and so he emotionally abuses me by calling me names again and telling me he's going to leave me. The most hurtful thing he said to me was that God was not giving us a child because I am a *****. That really killed me inside. As far as him givng me the double standard, yes, you are absolutely correct. I have also mentioned that to him but he just does not want to see it that way. He palys blind. I get the double standard all the time. He has lived this marriage as if he is single. He makes plans with his friends and then he tells me, instead of asking me if it's ok. He talks to females at work but I am not allowed to do the same and if I do he interrogates me with every question you can think of. I am somewhat of an attractive woman and many men have shown, even in front of my husband that they "like" me without me even giving them the time of day. One of his friends of over 20 years even told him that he wishes he had his life. But my husband gets so jealous to the point of insecurity, and again he takes it out on me. As far as the baby thing, well all I've been hearing is how miserable my husband is because he does not have any biological children . Does he even realize how much that hurts me? To be reminded every day about it is torturing me to the point where I am becoming weak and ill. I feel as if my husband is in a bi-polar mode for most of the time. It's been difficult for me to smile at all. I have no friends to talk to. I did go see my doctor for her to refer me to a therapist but all she did was look at me, told me I'm fine, and booked me another appointment to go see her (to talk) about things and that was it. You see, people percieve me as "perfect" and so I don't need any help. But I do. I am at the verge of almost ending my life right now. There has just been too much pain inside me, I wake up crying every day. I can't stop. What hurts me the most is not giving my husband a child and watching his misery about it every day. My conclusion is this, nobody seems to understand what is happening to me because of all this and so I am becoming ill. My husband is too consumed in his misery to even realize the damage he is doing to me and our marriage. I just told him again today that I would be willint to let him go because my only concern is for him to be happy, but he refuses to even hear such a thing. I am torn inside. I feel like I am dying.
You are clearly having a horrible horrible time here, and you have my sympathy.
Jealousy can be a dreadful thing - it eats you up and brings up huge, powerful, negative emotions. It can't be reasoned with and it can make you act irrationally. Coupled with a sense of betrayal, it's pretty lethal.
You felt all this when you found out your husband had been communicating with his female friend and keeping it from you, but you managed to control it and still want to address the problems in your marriage.
It seems your husband is in the throes of an irrational jealousy (you say that, when he's calmer, he does accept that you didn't sleep with this guy?), but he's much less able to cope with and control it than you are. Hence his irrational, jealous side takes over and is still upset that you might have slept with this guy, even when his head might accept that you didn't.
I'm not sure what I can suggest to help this situation. I still think counselling could help him deal with this jealous anger, but you say he's reluctant to go. Many (most?) men seem to have an aversion to the idea of counselling ( I know I did when it was first suggested to me). The only ways I can think of to get him to go would be either
a) to tell him that you genuinely believe the marriage is falling apart, that you cannot live with him the way things are, and that if you don't go to counselling you are thinking of moving out. He'll have to believe he's on the verge of losing his marriage to scare him enough to swallow his preconceived objections and go along to counselling.
b) as I suggested before, go for a couple of sessions on your own, then ask him to come along to one **as a favour to you, to help the counsellor understand both sides of the story**. If he's doing it to help you, rather than to counsel him, he might be more likely to agree.
As for the getting pregnant problem, have you seen a doctor to try and find out if there are any medical reasons you have not had any luck so far?
I really hope you two work it out, but I suspect it's going to be a long journey to get back to where you want to be.
I think sammy is right about (most) men having an issue with going to therapy. (I know I did) Some see that as a weakness, and the last thing a man wants to do is show a weakness... typical gender specific stereotype, unfortunately.
As sammy suggested, seek some counseling on your own. Have a few sessions of your own, tell your husband that you feel as if the marriage is on the rocks (because that is how you feel, correct?) and ask him to please come with you, to support you.
My situation is quite different, but the same stereotype bothered me until I realized how much I needed therapy/counseling for my own issues combined with the issues regarding the marriage. I can't remember if I asked my wife or if she asked me, but I knew that I needed help and that I wasn't able to find the answers I was looking for by myself.
Check with your primary care physician or better yet, you OB doc about the pregnancy issues. Could be simple, might be complex.... but at the very least you'll be looking for the answers. (Perhaps the stress/concerns regarding the pregnancy issues can also be brought up in counseling. That's a great way to break the ice to fill your husband in on exactly the way you feel, and a therapist can validate both of your feelings regarding this issue.)
Thank you once again for responding. It means a great deal to me knowing that there is actually someone out there who cares to take the time to write a few words of hope. I realize that I need counselling and I do plan to get it soon as I really feel that I am falling apart, and also, if I don't "fix" myself first, I will not have the strength anymore to help my husband, or our marriage. Yes, when he is calm, he is like a teddy bear with me. He is kind and sweet towards me, until something triggers his negative emotions again, which again, is just about once every week. He definitely needs to do something about his jealousy. I just told him today, as a matter of fact that I cannot go on like this, it is killing me inside, and if it would make him happy to find himself someone who could fullfill his wish and possibly make him happy in every way, then I think he should go. His response to that was "Do you actually think that I would accept the idea of you sleeping with another man? It would even kill me if I saw you at the mall holding hands with another man. It's out of the question. I am not leaving you, get that idea out of your head, we will be fine." Yes, I will definitely try to get him to go to counselling with me. As far as babies go, I have been through seven years of fertility treatments, IUI"s, IVF"S, Donor Eggs, etc., to no avail. The only thing I got out of that was an extremely rare tumor in my breast of which I had to have removed right away. You see it is so rare that there is no cure for it, no chemotherapy, no radiation, nothing that can be done for it. It's called Pyloid's Tumour. (Not sure if I spelt it correctly). I was fortunate enough that it was benign, but I have been told that it can come back and if it does, it could come back malignant and I would only have approximately three years to live. I am supposed to be living a calm peaceful, stress-free life to prevent it from coming back.( As ill as this may sound, the way I have been feeling, I sometimes wish that I would get it again, only malignant, so that my husband could go on with his life and be happy) The specialist told me that it was most likely caused from all of the fertility drugs, pills, needles, that I have taken for the past seven years. I have also undergone surgery and numerous examinations to check my reproductive system (uterus, fallopian tubes, you name it), and what was found was that I have a partially white uterus, possibly caused by poor blood circulation from something called Raynaud's Syndrome, also my "villa" are damaged. There is nothing that can be done. We even looked into surrogacy but we don't have $50,000.00 for that, so that is out of the question. We have decided now to look into adoption. I am having a difficult time looking for a legitimate adoption agency as I have heard so many stories about agencies that just take your money and really don't do anything for you. I'm sure I will find one though. I hope that this road will bring us success and final happiness, not only in our marriage but that it will also end this misery and heartache that has fallen upon my husband and I. Thank You once again for your advice. Just talking to someone, (even though it's on a computer screen), really is helping me to become stronger. Once again, Thank You.
You said it above, and I've seen it in action. You are no good to the family if you aren't working on yourself. You are in a pickle, and I am sorry about all of the medical issues that go on top of this. None of that is helping matters, and really... some things are just out of our control. The problem with that is, we need to accept that. Knowing that we cannot control other people and other peoples actions/thoughts/reactions made that easier for both my wife and myself. It became a new reality.
Adoptions can be tricky and probably very trying as well. (Like you said, finding a reputable agency, the waiting.... etc.) I was adopted. I filled the needs/wants of my parents and in return I got all of the love I needed to grow. I am truly thankful for that.
Back to your health. You health, both physical and mental is important. Your husbands as well. What you need to do is take the lead regarding yourself. Patience is a necessity, and being patient may help in regards to your husband finding the help he needs. It sounds like he is jealous and angry, but doesn't want to let you go. I'd guess the not wanting to let you go is a good thing. Now he needs to want to get help for the jealousy and any personal issues he has. As I mentioned in my previous post, the gender specific stereo-type of being a man can get in the way here big time. Patience.....
Keep venting on here in the mean time, and please look into counseling for yourself. Depending on where you live, there are probably a number of affordable options to receiving the therapy you need. Focus and patience, but being persistant is the key.
My husband had another episode the other day. Everything was going fine until something triggered his mood again. I asked him what had happened when everything was going so well. He told me he was watching something on tv that triggered his "monster mode" to come out again. I asked him what it was and he said he didn't want to talk about it and told me to forget it. In the meantime, because of that incident, I now have an 8 by 4 inch deep bruise on my arm, another on my leg, another on my back. He was calling me all sorts of names, he threw absolutely everything in my face, even things that have nothing to do with the reason. This happened the day before Mother's day and so he went on about how it was going to be Fathers' day next month and that he was not a father, ( as if I don't feel guilty enough about that to begin with). The next day, I was not speaking to him. He tried to apologize but I told him that I cannot go on like this. Him continuing this "garbage" every single week is really taking it's tole on our marriage and on me. His responce to that was "Well next time I'm like that, leave the house for a bit til I cool down." To me that told me that this will be going on for quite some time. Something that I know I will definitely not put up with. I told him we need to see a marriage counsellor or even a therapist and so he told me that they have this service through his work where they will pay and provide you with a marriage cousellor. He said he was going to look into it. That was a few days ago. So far he has not done anything and we continue gong "down the drain." I have come to the conclusion of asking myself if this marriage is really worth saving. He has and still continues to say things to me that are extremely hurtfull. During his last episode he told me that he hated me. When I asked him a few days later if he meant it, he told me he was just speaking out of anger. His actions to me tell me that he means it. I ask myself how and why am I staying with someone who hurts me so much in just about every way. My heart tells me to hang in there, it will all subside one day. I hang in there because unfortunately for me, I still love him very much, ( he used to be such a nice guy),and on top of that, I am not a quitter. I try my best to make things better and when I see that I am not getting anywhere, then I give up. I was previously married before where my ex kept me literally locked up in my own home. (I was not given a key to my own house, so I couldn't leave.) Ex told me that if he let me out, someone would take me away from him. He was also crazy jealous to the point where I could not sleep in the same bed with him. We slept seperately for ten years before I finally decided to leave. Ex told me he would have been happy to go on like that as long as he didn't have to see me married to another man. He was a kook. Even after our divorce, he would still wear his wedding band and continue to refer to me as his wife in front of people. I look at my life with these two men and wonder what it is all about. I realized that I did not and do not deserve the treatment I get. I am seriously considering leaving my husband as the thought of continuing on like this for the rest of whatever life I have left, is unacceptable. I have no friends, my family lives in another province. I can't speak to my mother about it as she has suffered three cancers now and is not well. I don't want to add to her stress. I will give my husband two more weeks to arrange something with a marriage counsellor, and if he dosn't come through, I will. If my husband refuses to work things out, if he is going to continue to have these extremely damaging "episodes", then I will throw in the towel and say "Good-Bye."
I appreciate your tenacity, (you not being a quitter) but I think you need to take a real good look at this relationship.... and from a completely different perspective. Not being a quitter in sports and even in life is a beautiful thing, but in an abusive relationship it is simply ridiculous. The abuse continues, and you continue to stay.... in reality, you've quit already. You've quit on the idea that you deserve better. You quit on the idea that living an abuse free life is wonderful.... the only thing you're really holding on to and not quitting on is he will change. (If something on T.V. set him off this violently, what is going to happen when you say the wrong thing?)
I'm no doctor, but it is obvious that this guy has anger issues in a big, big way. Who knows whats going on in his head, and until he gets himself some help, real help from a team of medical/psychological professionals, he isn't going to be any better. He's just not. Marriage and or couples therapy isn't a bad thing, but I don't think you start there. There are 2 issues.... his behavior and you accepting it. (I am sorry if this sounds a bit harsh....)
This is your second abusive relationship. I'd suggest that your self esteem and self worth have been compromised, not once but twice. Each time, things get a bit more difficult to handle, but yet you stick in there hoping for the best. I'd suggest you find a counselor/therapist to address your issues. You know that this relationship is not healthy. You do not have the qualifications or skills to help this man with his problems, let alone yours at this point. Your health has to mean something to you, and you deserve better than this.
You can give him two weeks if you wish, but a lot of horrible things can happen in a minute. Multiply that by 2 weeks worth of minutes and that is what you set yourself up for. You have alternatives, and I suggest you take a real good look at all of them. Nobody deserves to be treated this way.... you deserve a life free of abuse. Life is difficult enough, and don't make excuses for this guy or yourself for that matter. You can only be in control of you. If YOU do not remove yourself from this situation, and if YOU do not seek help, YOU will only have yourself to blame.
I wish you luck and hope that you take all things into consideration. ALL THINGS..... get my drift?
Hello, and thank you once again for responding. I realize that you are absolutely right about my situation. I will take your advice ( and no, you were not being harsh, just honest), and I appreciate your help. I hope for the best. Thank you once again.
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