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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH and I have been trying to work on our communication problems for the first time in years. He suddenly came to the conclusion that the women in my family beat around the bush in conversations because the ability to disagree with our partners was beaten out of us. This is mostly true. My grandpa beat my grandma who in turn taught my mom to "not cause any trouble" b/c when my mom disagreed with my dad and her 2nd husband she was beaten who taught us to manipulate our way around the issue or just hope it would go away so we wouldn't be beat. Not a single female member of my family has the capability to just outright disagree without this massive fear of horrible retribution- we were long ago trained out of that.<br><br>
Here's my issue- I still can't disagree with DH- he won't hear of it. He told me today that I could disagree with him b/c he would never beat me. I know that- I have spent years trying to get him to hit me, it's never gonna happen- he will not hit me. Great, i guess I got lucky there. However, when I dare to disagree with him I get, "You're making yourself look stupid.", "You don;t know what you are talking about.", "It's never going to happen." (for if I dare to have an idea about an action he doesn't agree with.) and similar comments. He really believes that he is being supportive because he doesn't <i>beat</i> me. I don;t see how calling everything that comes out of my mouth stupid is supporting me.<br><br>
I already have massive personality issues due to the years of abuse and my resultant mental illness. Telling me that I don't matter really doesn't help the situation any. He gives me crap b/c I can't work due to mental disability- I've never been able to work, he knew that before we ever started seeing each other but it matters now all of a sudden? I'm not even allowed to name my babies because I'll give them some "freakish hippy name" so he and my mother named my son and already have the names for the next baby picked out- my opinion doesn't count, I'm just the incubator. I feel like every ounce of me that's left after all the other crap is fading away so I can be what he decides I "should" be.<br><br>
Leaving is really not an option at the moment. I really need to learn how to stand up for myself. I just don't know where to start. He may consider counselling but only if I go back into treatment and start showing enough "improvement" first. ( I plan on goign back into treatment after the baby is born- I'm six weeks from my EDD with a high-needs toddler, no transportaion and we just moved about 2 weeks ago. It's just been too much for me to try to find a suitable therapist and childcare on top of everything else I have to do.) I am glad that he is at least trying to work on our issues, this is a huge improvement from a few months ago. I'm just tired of being treated like I know absolutely nothing about anything when I make a huge point of educating myself and finding someone who can explain concepts I have trouble with to me so I CAN understand. It's bad enough living with a disability- society in general doesn't believe that I am capable of anything I guess I just expected more from my partner.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamaChel</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">He may consider counselling but only if I go back into treatment and start showing enough "improvement" first.</div>
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Wow. I'm so angry for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
Maybe I'm misunderstanding. but I have to say that I'm not sure how openly berating you whenever you have an idea or an opinion qualifies as him working on your issues. That's really just taking the hitting out of the beating... beating your spirit down with words instead of fists.<br><br>
It seems to me that you do need counseling, mama. That should definitely be the priority - not couples counseling. Your husband obviously needs counseling, as well, for his major control issues, but don't expend any energy worrying about him. Worry about you. You need to get your sense of self-worth in place so that you can get to a place where you can stand up and tell your dh, "I won't be spoken to that way. I deserve better than that." Because you <b>DO</b> deserve so much better. You just need to know it and be able to convey it. Is there a women's shelter close by? I don't mean to leave, but they should be able to point you in the right direction for counseling services so that will take a little work out of the process of finding a therapist... Maybe they will know of someone very close so you can get there ASAP.<br><br>
Take care of yourself. And congrats on the coming little one. Maybe the first stand you can take for yourself (and for your children - they should NOT grow up seeing their mother treated this way) is naming this baby.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Good for you that you have recognized the cycle of abuse, and good for you that you're looking into counseling. It seems you have alot to contend with and your doing it !<br><br>
I don't know what the nature of your mental disability is. But something concerns me.. Your dh came into this relationship fully aware of your disability, but how wil he react when/if you do go to counseling and show improvement? It sounds to me like your dh IS abusive. Abuse comes in more forms than physical, and can be equally harmful. Right now he doesn't have to harm you physically to have control over you. He can knock you down verbally and never leave a scratch. This has to be tremendously stressful for you. But what will happen when you no longer allow him to treat you this way? When you have shown "improvement", and can disagree with him with conviction and confidence, how will he react?<br><br>
I've been sitting here wondering if I should hit the send button. You have so much going on right now, I don't want to be negative. I know you need suport. But I think your dh has some control issues, and I'm afraid for you because I don't think this need for him to control will go away if and when you get the help you need.<br><br>
It has to be so difficult to let others control you in this way. I hope that you can get the help you need and i'm sending you strong supportive vibes.<br><br>
B.A.
 

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Wow, you are in a very unequal relationship, some people might even say emotionally abusive. On the other hand, you have very clear needs that you can state clearly to your husband.<br><br>
1. You want to name the baby, with his input. "Hippy name"? So what. This is a reasonable thing to want. If you are having a hospital birth, ask your healthcare provider for the birth certificate forms to be given to YOU.<br><br>
2. When he disagrees with you, you want him to say "I disagree with you" instead of making statements about you (that you "are making yourself look stupid" or whatever.) Let him disagree with what you say, not put you down for saying it.<br><br>
3. You want your work as a SAHM recognized as work, even though it is not paid work. If you had no disability and you did this work, it would still be work. Hard work!<br><br>
If you have a documented disability, you could receive disability payments from the state. If you already do receive them, you know that you get docked the state payments in the amount of your wages from whatever job you have! This is why some disabled folks wind up working under the table. This should all be clear to your husband. He needs to stop bugging you about the paid work issue.<br><br>
If your dh won't go to counseling, you go. The counselor will help you stick up for yourself. If she doesn't do that, find another counselor.<br><br>
Someone here at MDC had a thread discussing the book Non-Violent Communication. That would be a good book for you and your dh to read. Here's a link to the first chapter of the book where it is posted online:<br><br><a href="http://www.cnvc.org/bookchap.htm" target="_blank">http://www.cnvc.org/bookchap.htm</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. It has always been my intention to go back into counselling- if he wants to go fine, but I need to go for myself. There are at least 2 CMH clinics in my area, I just need to find the one that won't try to force medication on me- I will not take it. I also need to find a therapist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy- that's what I respond best to. I just need to take some time and rest- this move and all the stuff that goes with a move really took more out of me than I anticipated. DH didn't really help much at all- I did all the planning, arranging, packing, etc. He loaded and helped unload the truck.<br><br>
I do recieve disability payments, it's a very small amount but I get it monthly. This is relatively new. I never qualified before the last time I tried to work. He does acknowledge most days how hard it is for me to SAH and take care of everything- even if I were able to work we would never be able to afford child care for the kids. I think he just expected everything to be perfect and it's not. In his mind he did his part by moving us and now I'm not holding up my end of the bargain by being the perfect wife- never mind the fact that some days I am incapable of anything more than meeting the very basic needs of my son.<br><br>
I'm just now starting to see how controlling he is- he tries to control my thought, opinions, what I should and should not like. I'm at the point where I really pick my battles- somethings are just not worth the time and energy to argue over. He needs to learn that compromise doesn't always mean me giving into what he wants. (he will say the same about me.)<br><br><br>
This is not the first time this issues has come up- I almost left him in Jan and I did leave for 2 months while pg with my son. This time I have no where to go and really no way of supporting my kids once we get there. As long as he is willing to try I am willing to stay, this has just been a nasty couple of days.<br><br>
When I am in treatment I can articulate my needs in a more coherent manner and he'll at least listen if he disagrees with me. I can't always control my thoughts/actions but with counselling I can recognize some patterns of behavior that I don't see by myself. I know this, he knows this I still don't see how he thinks belittling me helps the situation any.<br><br>
Before I paint him out to be completely evil- he DID help me to realize that I am not a whore and I am worth something other than sex. He also supported me through my addiction issues and the decision to persue behavioral therapy instead of medication. Now I need to learn to stand up for myself and he needs to learn that he doesn't know everything about how the world works.<br><br>
Thanks again. You've given me some more things to think about. Please don't feel bad if you thought you sounded negative- I need to see different perspectives and you are not the first to point out how emotionally abusive the control factor is.
 

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IMO, you are in an abusive relationship~~ emotional and verbal abuse is *still* abuse. Please just do a web search on verbal abuse, and you will see that trying to control a person's thoughts, or discrediting a person's opinions is abuse. You do have a right to your opinion. He may not ever realize that he is doing this to you.
 
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