Hurt by Husband's Comments

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2004
Hurt by Husband's Comments
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 1:23am

Right now I'm not sure the "happily married" title describes me. I'm not sure where else to post  however. We've been married for 17 years and it's been good for the most part, no major fights or battles. If we argue about something it's usually some small disagreement we get over fairly quickly once we talk about it. We certainly don't always agree and we certainly don't see eye to eye on everthing, but overall it's been pretty good.

There is a couple in our neighborhood we are friends with, Tina and Joey. Tina and I first got to be good friends after we moved here and over time our husbands became friends. Several times over the summer they'd come over on a Friday or Saturday evening and we'd sit out on our deck and talk and have a drink and just shoot the breeze. The last few times, however, both husbands have been insulting their respective wives and laughing about it. Nothing really horribly cruely, just small little jabs as they'd laugh about it. After it first happened, when my husband and I were alone later I explained to him how humiliating that had been. He said they'd just been joking. i said it wasn't funny. I tried to explain the difference about things that were hurtful and what things weren't. I gave him examples--an incident that happened early in our marriage that we both laugh about now is okay to talk about, or something we both find amusing but doesn't embarrass either of us is okay. I have a great sense of humor. But for him to be complaining and making fun of me is just cruel. I asked him to please not do this again. He said he understood and he wouldn't do that the next time.

The next time came and he was worse. I was so humilated by some of the things he said. And to top it off, he then told Tina and Joey that he'd be in trouble with me later as I was upset when he made fun of me the last time. He laughed about it. I was upset and angry, but held my tongue for later. When our friends left I told him how shocked and hurt I was. He went on a tirade claiming he didn't know what he could say and what I'd be upset about so he'd never say anything again. I tried to keep it calm and explain that if he thought I would be embarrassed or humilated, that was something he shouldn't say. He had told them the details of us having sex the day before. That was humilating to me as we don't discuss our sex lives with anyone else so why he suddenly did that was upsetting.  He just used the tired line, "I can't do anything right so I just won't talk any more." I get tired of that. Whenever we discus anything he goes into his "i'm so bad and horrible" routine, waiting for me to tell him how wonderful he is. I just said no, I was not playing that game with him.

Tonight we had some unexpected company--a few relatives he doesn't like much--stopped by for a short while. They live an hour away, but had called and had a change of plans and were in the area. I had a couple of things I needed to give them so asked if they wanted to stop by and pick those things up before they headed home. So they came over. It wasn't going to be along visit, we weren't doing anything, I wanted to see them. I told my husband, when he started complaining about them, that he was free to go to his computer and I'd say he was working or go in our bedroom and watch TV or even go out somewhere. I wasn't trying to tell him he couldn't be here, but, knowing how much he didn't want to see them for even a short time, was trying to give him some options. He said yes, he'd likely go do something on his computer when they arrived.

So they arrived. My husband made the choice to stay sittig in the living room. Talk was civil and all was fine for awhile. And then the taking jabs at me started up. I asked him to please stop. He told the relatives that I'd be mad at him later for saying those things and embarrassing me. I wanted to sink through the floor and be gone. My husband said it was all a joke and in fun. One of the relatives commented that there was usually some degree of truth in those kinds of jokes and that words did hurt other people. That wasn't enough to stop him and he continued. He knows these relatives are polar opposites to him in politics, so he went out of his way to bring politics into the conversation. He started spouting off about one of the presidential candidates he doesn't like. After a few sentences, I asked him to please stop and all of us getting into a political debate probably wasn't the best thing on this night. Then I was telling my relatives about some work-related things and asked for their opinion, as well as my husbands. They listened and my relatives gave their opinion. When I asked my husband his opinion, he said, "Oh, I really never listen to you."

Once the relatives were gone I knew there was no point in discussing this tonight as he'd just get into the "I'll never say anything" and "I'm such an awful person" Eeyore type of routine. I decided to do some reading and have the conversation when I wasn't feel so hurt by him. He brought it up, however, and went through the Eeyore routine anyway. I said I was gong to avoid this discussion as it did no good when he was in this sort of mood.

Later, as our teenage son was with us (and hadn't been there while the relatives were), my husband said, "You're still angry at me." I calmly said that this was not the time or place to discuss any disagreements we had. He sits there a minute and then says something about I'd stay mad at him. Again, this wasn't the place, not in front of our son.

Tomorrow we have somewhere to go together for over an hour in the car without our son. I'm dreading it. I'm tired of this behavior from him. He's an intelligent man and knows what it means to humilate and embarrass someone. What do I do to stop this? I don't say things like this about him. I sing his praises and tell people what a wonderful husband, dad and provider he's been for our family. I wouldn't mind stories about things we find funny that we don't need to keep private (something silly I did, something minor) but to humilate me is getting quite old.

Sorry so long. I'm just hurt by all of this and wish I didn't have to spend the day with him tomorrow. I usually look forward to weekends and being together, but not tonight. I dread even going to bed (even though he'll simply be asleep). I feel so hurt by everything I don't want to be near him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 9:54pm
I believe there is much truth to what you say - but I have to wonder at the immaturity of dealing with the situation. I ALWAYS tell my hubby exactly what I need/want/etc in our r/ship in a very direct manner. Of course, he doesn't appreciate that and tells me it ruins the "romance" of things. We treat the other as we would want to be treated, unfortunately in some cases they want to be treated differently than we do :smileyhappy:
To the OP,

When my husband does this joking/jabbing thing, I just ask him "what are you hoping to accomplish?" Is it just to get a laugh? So you will sacrifice our marital happiness, just to get a laugh? Or my feelings? Is that the goal? (because we both know it's the end result). Typically this stops it for a while...but it rears it's ugly head now and then. It's not harsh and it's not consistent.

If my husband did the Eeyore routine then I would say, of course you can't say WHATEVER you want, WHENEVER you want...what are you a teenager? Why have you not learned this yet? Maybe you should seek a counselor about that self esteem issue you clearly have going on...

And when he tells you that is really *itchy of you, then you can say, "see? See how the way we talk to each other matters?"



iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2012
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 5:31pm

Speaking as a married dad/father who has been accused of the same thing and quite honestly, GUILTY AS CHARGED, I understand your husbands ranting.  Before anyone bashes my reply I simply said "understand" but in no way am I saying it is justified behaviour. 

I will give you my reasoning but please do not think of my problems as your husbands problems.  It is up to you and your intepretation to determine the apllicability of my response to your husband/marriage.

When I have done it to my wife, initially I didn't realize I was doing it to her.  After analyzing why I did it, I realized that it came from a deep sense of frutration with her inability to consider much less even listen to issues I had with our marriage and sex life.  I was constantly neglected, rejected, and felt dejected!  With no alternatives I thought suggestive comments made to friends and/or family, would wake her up to the fact that I was extremely unhappy.  This only served to increase the divide between us and made it worse.

Fast forward to present day, things are still not great.  There is no intamacy of any kind!  Sex is routine on a good day!  Every now and then I still cal her out, sometimes on accident but others because I am still so frustrated with the marriage. 

Does it make it right? NO

Do I still love her for some unexplicable reason? You bet your sweet ass I do! 

Every now and then I see a flash of the woman I married/dated and in that moment when she is playful, flirtatious, happy, smiling.......I am truly happy!

I guess the moral you can take from this is that there is something definitely upsetting your husband.  My advice is for you to analyze every comment he has made.  Is there something he needs or wants that he is not getting from you? Do not do yourself a disservice...BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF!

I hope this helps you!

Avatar for ribrit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 4:41pm

Your dh is the one who looks bad, not you. Everyone knows he is being awful. And just tell him so next time.



Personally, I would be tempted to start talking about his inability to perform in bed or something, while acting all loving and concerned about it..or anything else I could come up with to embarass him. Hopefully, he would run from the room and never come out again.


He seems to be getting great joy out of abusing you. And this is abuse. And everyone else who witnesses this sees him as an abuser.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 2:27pm

<<One of the relatives commented that there was usually some degree of truth in those kinds of jokes and that words did hurt other people. >>

 Welcome to the board.  I'm so sorry that it's not a good situation that's brought you here, but the advice given is right on.  The phrase I copied from your post above took me back a few years during my first marriage (which ended after 25 years) .  My ex used to do this to me and my friends noticed it, but weren't impressed.  One of my friends said once, "When MY dh picks on me, it's all in good fun, but when YOUR dh did it, it was just cruel."  They just thought he was a jerk (which obviously he was).  This is part of emotional abuse (which I suffered for years).  It is NOT to be accepted and it appears your dh isn't HEARING you.  I totally agree with Rosie that if it doesn't stop...counseling may be in order.  I have a new dh who picks on me, but only in the privacy of our home and I laugh along with him because I CAN be "kind of a blonde" from time to time and yes...I AM a disaster in the kitchen.  lol 

IS this something that's just started to happen recently? 

Avatar for hugss
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2010
Sun, 09-23-2012 - 11:34am
Welcome to the board :smileywink:

Yikes on this happening so sorry :smileysad:
I agree with RoseAnn .. if he is not listening what you discuss with him ..
Take it to the next level & seek out some counseling.
Hopefully that might help him realize how serious you are about this.
Good luck & please let us know how things are going :smileyhappy:

Avatar for mrosie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2000
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 10:51am

Welcome to the board. I'm sorry that something so upsetting is what brought you here. I hope that we can provide some insight.

It sounds like this is something that has happened rather suddenly. He didn't previously make these jokes at your expense from the way you describe it?

Since you have made efforts to talk calmly with him and he has not only disregarded your requests that he tone down the humiliating jokes but has turned it around to him feeling bad, I think it's time to take this to the next level.

Have you ever considered talking to a counselor? DH and I found that when we went to counseling, the counselor didn't so much talk to us as let us talk to one another and pointed out where our communication could be more effective. In your case, that might help your DH to hear how he is sounding to a 3rd party. He won't be able to claim that you are being oversensitive or attacking him for no reason.

I hope that you can find a way to mend this and get back on the right path. And I hope you'll post back to let us know how things are going!