MomResponds #926 – His Harshness Really Hurts Me
Question: Dear Luise: I have been married for 7 years. I have 3 kids with my husband and we love each other but every time we sit to talk we end up arguing about trusting each other in regards to what we plan to do with our money in the future, how much does he have saved and how much do I have saved because we both work and receive separate incomes. We both feel like we’re lying to each other because there is no trust. We both cheated on each other, we both took money out of the joint savings account without telling each other but that’s in the past and we have come a long way. I guess that is the reason we cannot trust each other. We even tried separating many times but just can’t seem to separate more than a month because we both miss each other so fast. We end up apologizing to each other and we end getting back together again. The reason I’m sending this message is because there is one difference between us that really bothers me. It’s the fact that even if I try talking with him and try to solve things and trust him again, he’s the one who open’s up the past and tries to manipulate me by making me feel like I’m disrespecting him and raising my voice when I’m actually not but I guess he wants to make me feel bad so I wouldn’t remind him of what he did to me even though he tells me what I did to him. I at least admit it and tell him that’s the past but now we’re talking about the future. He changes the subject by telling me I’m talking too loud and he doesn’t want to talk to a big mouth like me and tells me that he can’t live with me any longer, (which he doesn’t mean.) He makes it a big deal when it’s not. I tried asking him to go see a marriage counselor together but he always makes excuses like he doesn’t have time but he does and I guess he just doesn’t want to go. What should I do? I love him but he won’t meet me half way in anything. I can’t put up with his problems anymore. He hurts me when he talks to me harshly and I don’t think he cares about my feelings. Please give me helpful advice. R.
Answer Dear: R.: Marriage can be a place to grow up. Most of us are kids when we marry and then find ourselves with kids long before we become adults.
You have been open and honest with each other about your dishonest behavior. That’s unusual and heartening. Talking about issues is something some men don’t feel comfortable doing and they often come to marriage without that skill or any interest in developing it. Your husband doesn’t like to enter into discussions, which, of course is where you need to go to work on your differences. You don’t keep you cool and raise your voice, which can’t help but make things worse. I’m sure you hurt him when you talk to him harshly, as well. These are characteristics in your personalities that slow down progress and contribute to your continued struggle.
You have had a difficult beginning with a lot of instability on both of your parts. However, you have a lot going on that is viable and strong or you wouldn’t still be together. And you have three kids.
The right marriage counselor could be very useful in sorting this out. I have no idea why guys fight the idea but many of them do.
Some married couples don’t combine their money and some don’t even live together on a permanent basis. What would you like? What would work? Look at the whole thing with an eye to keeping your marriage in tact while removing the pressure. There are married people who buy a duplex and live separately, side-by-side, with separate mortgages or rent payments and separate bank accounts. Neither of you want a divorce, yet co-existence seems to agitate you…so get creative. What works for others may not work for you. Look closely…and yes, you will have to talk whether he wants to or not! Just don’t shout …whether you want to or not. OK?
If you are both stuck in being right there’s probably no hope…but if you can grow up to the place where you can set that kind of childishness aside, I think you have something worth saving. It may not be easy or come quickly but the way you are living now isn’t easy, either, and it’s getting you nowhere.
Gentleness, patience and mutual understanding, (if you are both willing to go there), are going to get you through this, not harshness, accusation and closed mindedness. I personally think you can make it. Blessings, Luise