Reader Married To Sketchy writes,
My husband and I have been married nearly 9 years and we have one beautiful 22 month old boy and I am 6 months pregnant with a girl. We have been seeing a marriage counselor for a year and although we have had our rough patches, things seemed to be okay.
In February, my grandpa died. The day he died my husband got drunk and became angry about me not being okay with him pursuing other women. He first accused me of not wanting to have sex with him (partially true: for a bit during my first trimester, I felt kind of repulsed by him, then as I was rounding the second trimester, and as my sex drive revved up I had slight bleeding and was told no sex for three weeks). I reminded him of the doctor's orders for no sex. Then he said he was afraid to have sex with me because of the bleeding, and in general due to the pregnancy.
I was upset. I didn't feel betrayed however until the next evening when I wanted to continue the conversation. I asked him if he had someone in mind. He said nothing. I began to realize that he had made a few offhand remarks about a new coworker of his, so I asked him if he wanted to have sex with her. Silence. The next reasonable step was to ask him if he was having sex with her and he responded, "I'd get fired having sex with my co-worker!"
In all of this I was seeking a specific type of response which would validate my role as his wife and his appreciation for me in that role. ("I'd never do that to you" or "you are the only woman for me"). So much for my expectations being met on that front.
After that point, things got worse. He started hiding his phone after I demanded to see it. I would never go through it, but was hoping he'd hand it over just so I could have peace of mind. Then we agreed it would be best for our son and my pregnancy if he stayed at a friend's for a while.
A while has since turned into an indefinite separation. He comes home a couple days a week to play with our son but usually spends most of his time badgering me about various things I did or didn't do to meet his expectations. (A constant problem with us has been his unattainable expectations, which has morphed over the years into chronic emotional and financial abuse).
He did eventually deny and still denies having an affair even though every fiber of my being is screaming otherwise. I put my foot down and said that if he wanted to come home, he needs to meet these expectations:
- He doesn't drink at home. If he wants to drink, fine, just don't bring it home. (His badgering turns to bullying when he drinks).
- He add me to his checking/savings account. At the very least, if anything happened to him that left him incapacitated or worse, I would have no access to money to feed our family.
- We both seek independent counseling.
He chose to deny me those conditions and continues to state that we "just don't get along." My question: Is this separation an honest answer to our problems? I feel like we need to at least try a little harder rather than throw in the towel considering the situation and what's at stake, and the only sense I can make out of his reasoning for not wanting to try, is that his attention is with another woman. I don't want to obsess over this, I just need transparency.
I get so many questions like this, from women whose husbands want their cake and to eat it too (although to be fair, your husband doesn't even seem to want his cake; he does however want you to be a full time parent while he is the semi-dad who swings by sometimes to play with your kid and berate you). I wish I ever got one with the gender reversed. Here's how it would read:
Dear Dr. Psych Mom, My wife won't have sex with me and gets angry that I'm not cool with her banging other dudes. She gets mean when she drinks and she hides her phone and her money from me. I am with our child all the time, and sometimes she comes over during the week to play with him; when she does, she's often nasty to me. What should I do?
What would you advise this guy to do? What would you advise a female friend in your same situation to do? This guy is obviously troubled and likely had a childhood where someone berated him (or his mom in his presence) the way he berates you. He is treating you like the enemy and expecting you to put up with nastiness, infidelity, shiftiness, and all manner of BS. Although I don't usually say that people need access to partners' phones, it is obvious to me that your husband is hiding correspondence (or more) with women from you.
Do you want your son to grow up being emotionally and financially abusive to his wife? If not, then get out now. A separation or divorce agreement would be far better for you than this horrible set up. In the case of divorce, your husband would have to be transparent about his finances, and he would also be free to see other women, and you would be free of his awful, mean, abusive presence during the couple days that he deigns to see his own kids.
Please get out. You deserve so much better than this. I also recommend you start individual counseling to explore why you are even asking me this question. It is likely that when growing up, you saw some sort of toxic, enabling, verbally abusive scenario where one person dominated the other, and thus you have not, until recently, truly realized how horrific a situation you are currently in.
Good luck, and till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Also Read About Narcissists.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.