The Best Option?

Avatar for anxiouslady3498
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2013
The Best Option?
Fri, 07-19-2013 - 8:23pm

Background: I've been married to my husband for almost 4 years and we have a beautiful 2 year old son. My husband was the first man I was really involved with, as I am pretty shy. Since he was the first guy I've ever really dated, I had a steep learning curve in intimate relationships to navigate and I've made a lot of mistakes. We dated for a year before we were engaged and I really enjoyed dating him. When he proposed, if I am honest with myself, I wasn't ready. But I felt like I couldn't say no (this is a pertual problem, I have virtually no backbone). So we got married. I did all the work to plan the wedding and was exhausted by the end. I felt like I couldn't open up to him or ask for help. Clearly this is unhealthy behavior but I was young and really didn't understand how unhealthy. We got pregnant immediately (an accident) for lack of communication. I don't remember at what point he went from sweet guy to crazy adult tantrum guy, but it seemed gradual. And then I was dealing with someone who was screaming at me that all our problems were my fault. And because of my lack of self confidence, I took all of that on and promised to change. Of course that was the wrong approach and didn't work out at all. We bought a condo together (dumb) without really communicating. Finally after a knock down drag out fight (figuratively), we started seeing a counselor. The counselor pegged him as controlling and suggested I become more assertive (I can't say that's not valid). We spent a 1.5 years in counseling. After that, we felt we had made such progress, we stopped. We agreed to have another child. We started moving forward. And then adult tantrum guy came back. And I pushed back and told him that behavior wasn't acceptable. Then he backed off. But even at that point, we weren't really communicating. We weren't really opening up to each other. In all of this mess, there is also the extended family concerns. I got upset with him in front of his sister. I don't usually get visibly upset, but I was frustrated with him and I just lost it. I apologized to him and his sister. Since then he decided he won't go around my family. He won't talk to them. He won't go to family functions. This isn't the first time this has happened. When my son was younger, he got into an argument with my brother and refused to go around the family for over 2 years. I feel like I'm pulled in two and I feel like I can't share a part of myself with him because he refuses to be a part of it.

So, after all that, we are still together. We communicate as roommates and are civil. I appreciate the company (sometimes). He is a good father. He wants to spend time with our son and he wants to be there for him because his own father wasn't. He's smart and he makes good money (but then, so do I). And I want to get to be with my son every day. But I don't feel like I have a partner. I don't feel like I have any support from him. I feel like I'm putting my life on hold. Every decision I make is intentionally shortsighted because I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm waiting for him to leave, I'm waiting for the next temper tantrum. I know I can't change him. And I'm working to change me. I guess my question is, how do I know if its worth it to stay with him? If you'd had a similar experience, what did you do and why?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Fri, 07-19-2013 - 9:36pm


Wow I was married to a controlling man with a mental illness and he would throw many tantrums.. It took me 9 years and alot of soul searching and uncovering my own demons before I left him for good.. It wasnt easy and I was labeled as a battered woman and my husband as a controlling sociopath... What I did was attend counseling and got alot of support in womens groups and relied on family and friends.. I started to slowly detach from my ex and although it felt like an eternity I just kept moving forward because I vowed I would leave him one day no matter what.. At that point it was either him or me.. I know that sounds dramatic but that is the way I felt.. You are right these types rarely change and so yes I also changed me. I got empowered and I got stronger but not to engage in my ex;es sickness but to lift me and my low self esteem and my self worth.. well after I became stronger and at that point didnt care about ex anymore. I just wanted to be free and out of the victim mode so I left ex and went onto having a pretty good life without him.. Dont get me wrong it wasnt as easy as I am saying but its doable.. Dr.Phil says what is worse than staying in a bad relationship for 10 years? Staying in a bad relationship for ten years and one day......

You sound like you can survive on your own with your children. Your Hubby can still be the best dad but if he is making a worse husband then why do you need that?? There is someone out there who will be treating you with love and respect because what you even have no  as just a room mate why is that acceptable to you? I would rather be alone than be with a sick person.....

You will sort it all out as you have come this far but make sure you get emotional support and a good lawyer and some good friends...

Good Luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sat, 07-20-2013 - 9:25am

No, it's NOT worth it to stay with him.  His being a "good father" has nothing to do with anything......and being a lousy husband is actually being a BAD father.......because your children see your interaction (or lack of it) with him, and they will grow up thinking this is normal behavior in a marriage.  And it 's NOT.  Eventually, his anger and lack of control will be directed to the children, too.  He has problems, and nothing or no one is going to fix him.  Your problems are common.....lack of self respect, lack of self esteem, and taking blame for everything that's gone wrong in your marriage.  You need to learn that you deserve respect, and that you're worth more than you've ever gotten from him.  Someone else quoted Dr.Phil.......and I will too.  Children are better off being FROM a broken home than living IN a broken home, and your home is broken, for sure. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2009
Sat, 07-20-2013 - 2:50pm
I was married to a controlling guy and it took me many years to get hold of myself and divorce. He didnt like it , well , such guys dont like anything anyway! My only options were to either stay and be miserable for the last years of my life or move out and be happy for the rest of my life even if it meant to be single. He tried all the possible ways to keep me as I was a good convinience to him but I had figured out that I didnt want to be a convinience to him but a spouse with equal rights, dignity in a marriage that was fulfilling. Becoming single again after being married for a while is a scary thought but its just a fear that is just that -- a fear but they are not necesarily real. Coming to you,its not worth staying with him.This facade of a marriage in which you are alone, isnt going to go too far. He is a controlling man who is going to control you and your life and end up being treated like a child with no self esteem. Walk away if you want to keep your dignity in place as his behavior / personality is going to ruin you gradually.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 07-20-2013 - 5:23pm

So what is his plan--that he will never visit with your family for the rest of the time you are together?  Sounds pretty childish to me.  My 2nd DH was one of those temper tantrum guys cause he has bipolar disorder.  We were married 5 yrs before I decided that I really had to get divorced but we were always thinking about it--even before our 1st anniv.  It was very unpleasant.  I remember my best friend saying to me "do you want to live the rest of your life like this?" and I just knew I couldn't.  Of course we didn't have kids together so at least that part was easier.  I don't really have to see him and only talk to him occasionally.  Ironically now when we have to talk he is very easy to get along with.  He is sorry taht he messed up the marriage and he knows it was his fault that we're not together.  But I would never go back even though I haven't had a BF in the 5 yrs since the divorce.  It's just a lot less stressful not to have to worry about his moods.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Tue, 07-23-2013 - 2:22pm

Many people come here before they have even set foot in a counselors office. You on the other hand have already been there and done that to the tune of 1.5 years. Sounds like you got to the heart of the problem, and he went back to his old ways, Even after 3-D printing yourself a new backbone, he still does not come around and respect you. He is really showing you that in the end he doesn't care if you are in his life or not. You already know 100% you cannot go on like this, so it comes down to who blinks first.

So you made a rookie mistake, most of us here have made them and learned from them. You will do the same.