Question: Dear Luise: HELP my Marriage is in Jeopardy! I think I’m married to a narcissistic, emotionally abusive man. We’ve been together for 6 years now, married for 4 and share a 3 year-old son together. Problems arose from the start after a terrible accident caused me to be bedridden for three months while pregnant. His anger and frustrations with me drive him out of the house while I sulk and cry and wonder again what I’ve done wrong. I financially support our family as he continues to pursue his own dreams in life without any consideration of mine. When I try to approach him on the subject he accuses me of being greedy and self-centered. Why can’t he see how I feel? We have separated many times and then reconciled and at the last minute I dropped my court case last June for support and custody. I’ve taken him back and my family hates to see the sadness he reflects upon me. Yet I’m so scared to be alone and that fear in itself keeps me with him. Is it time to call it quits, not just for myself but also for my little, 3 year-old son, who will reap the consequences of our constant separations? Is there any hope left for us or is there such a thing as being totally incompatible. P.
Answer: Dear P.: Life can bring us many lessons. You may be learning about giving and the fact that it is part of a balanced concept that includes receiving. Your accident required that your husband step up to the plate. That’s not necessarily an easy assignment for someone who is on a free ride.
Of course couples can be incompatible. You can love someone deeply that you can’t live with. Living together in harmony is an art form. Some people are mature enough to value developing it and others just aren’t there yet or even interested in getting there.
For your husband to see how you feel, he has to care how you feel. He may not have matured to the place where that is a consideration for him. You would probably benefit from no longer asking yourself why he does what he does. It is time to focus your energy on your own growth and development…for instance, why do you fear being alone? You are already alone to all intents and purposes.
It sounds like your indecision is causing you acute distress. There is no perfect solution to an imperfect situation. Whatever you do, stay or go…there will be blessings and consequences that go with it. That’s life.
You have a child to raise and you need to get on with it. Your marriage isn’t viable and it is clear to everyone except yourself that you and your husband don’t have the raw materials to turn it into a working premise. To your family, that is probably glaringly apparent but you are the one who has to face that fact and move on. You are still seeing your marriage as “in jeopardy” when you really don’t have one. Giving up too soon is cowardly but hanging on too long is also cowardly. It’s time. Blessings, Luise