Negative, Reactive, and Defensive
I’ve been married for 23 years and we have two kids—14 and 9 years old. I have been going to therapy to deal with my emotionally abusive mother. I feel like therapy has opened my eyes to a lot of things and I’m starting to think that I have an emotionally abusive husband too.
I’m wondering if I married my husband because he reminds me of my mother. He’s very negative, likes to give me the silent treatment when he’s mad, he’s very reactive and defensive, and he’s passive-aggressive and authoritarian. His actions have alienated our children too—our son doesn’t want to be around him and our daughter is afraid of him.
There were some red flags even before we got married. My husband is 10 years older than me and he has some health issues. I told him I wanted him to get healthier so we could have a long life together. He agreed but never made the effort. He has claimed to quit smoking at least three times but I always catch him smoking. I hate that he’s lying and to me, and it’s just more proof that he’s an emotionally abusive husband.
I have fallen out of love with him. He doesn’t care enough about himself or me or our kids to take care of himself. We just signed a lease on a house. I can’t afford it on my own but if I could I would send him home to his momma. He senses something because sometimes he cries and asks me to forgive him. I told him I don’t know how much more I can take.
He’s started being nicer to our kids but it’s too little too late. I just don’t care about him anymore and I wish I could feel love for him again, but I think I married him because at the time I thought his negativity and emotional abuse were normal. I somehow wanted an emotionally abusive husband! Now, I’m wondering if I can ever love him again. Will we be able to make our marriage work?
Psychic Kallista ext. 9623 responds:
You have been incredibly strong in a very difficult situation for many years. You deserve to feel proud of yourself, for you are doing exactly the right thing in going to therapy to help you deal with your emotionally abusive mother. Now you have made the connection that your marriage is continuing the pattern set by your hurtful mother, but you are in the process of breaking that pattern now. While I disagree that you somehow “wanted” an emotionally abusive husband, because you most certainly did not want this, it is understandable that you found his hurtfulness familiar and therefore normal. Now you’re seeing how much you deserve love, respect, happiness, and to feel safe, and that your husband cannot, and will not, give you these things.
The atmosphere in your home is rife with anxiety, dread, and fear. It feels like you are going to leave him and the misery he is causing everyone. You have an amazing capacity to love the unlovable, but to continue tolerating the intolerable will only create deeper pain. It is a favorite tactic of abusers to repeatedly cry and beg for forgiveness, only to resume their abusive behavior. If this man were going to change, he would have done so during the last 23 years.
If you choose to leave him, and it looks like you will, please do not so much as hint at your decision until you have everything in place to do so. A lawyer will help you understand your power and the steps you need to take to protect yourself, your kids, and your finances. It would be best if you were not staying under the same roof with him when he learns you are really ending things. He can be vengeful and cruel. While these types of decisions are not easy to make, you will be much happier when you are free of your emotionally abusive husband.
You will have the opportunity to fall in love and marry again—this time to a man who will be a much better match and far more evolved and loving. Please know that our love psychics stand ready to assist you in your process of building a happy new life for you and your children.
May you be ever blessed,
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