Fam­ily dilem­mas

Woman (UK) - - Contents -

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.

Suzie says:

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.

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