For practically every day of the 14 years we’ve been married my husband has told me that he’d have been better off without me. He’d have travelled, have taken up hobbies, have a better job and be so much better off. I’ve taken it as a joke, or banter, and shrugged it off, or asked him what he wants us to do to make things better. I’ve suggested holidays to nice places and encouraged him to follow his dreams. All he does is say it’s no good and that it’s my fault. I realised the other day – my birthday, when yet again he didn’t give me a card or a present – that maybe I’ve had enough.
I think you’ve had more than enough. What you’re in is not a marriage, where loving couples support and care for each other, but an abusive relationship, where one member tries to make themselves feel superior by making the other feel inferior. He thrives on your misery because he thinks it says he has one advantage – that he’s better than you. But he isn’t. He might have a case if you’d prevented him from doing the things he wanted – if you’d refused to go to the places he wanted, stopped him following hobbies, stepped in and banned a new job. If you had been obstructive he’d still be responsible for his own shortcomings. But you’ve done none of this – quite the opposite. Did you know the 15th anniversary gift is crystal? I’d say this marriage is more than chipped. Give him one more chance. Make an appointment at relate.org.uk and take the discussion to someone who can let both of you express your feelings and listen to the other. Maybe he’ll come, and mend his ways. Or you’ll go on your own, and move on.