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Why is my husband being so nasty?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 April 2010) 17 Answers - (Newest, 27 August 2011)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Hi there Agony Aunts and Uncles. My Agony is my husband who keeps telling me I have 'large saggy breasts' and also that my upper lip and face is looking 'old and haggard'. I am feeling so down and so I decided to get a boob job done. The doctor told me (I am 44) that my breasts are not really bad at all but it's my choice if I want an operation. The doctor advised me to give up smoking which I tried hard to do (apparently if you smoke it increases the risk of scarring after the surgery) but life with my husband is so stressful I managed to reduce the smoking but not stop altogether.

Anyway my husband came with me to the appointment and I admitted I haven't completely stopped smoking and my husband just shouted at me in front of the doctor. I was so emabarrassed and hurt I just started crying and the doctor didn't know where to look. The doctor was quite understanding and said I have done well to cut down on the smoking but need to stop altogether before having the op.

Why is my husband being so nasty? We've been together for 20 years and have a teenage son. He has always been a difficult man with a temper and we have had a lot of fights but this is really getting me down. He tells me I am thick, he criticises my parenting and these comments about my 'large saggy breasts' really really hurt me. I am thinking of leaving him or having an affair. Has anyone else experienced this and what is the best thing to do?? I work as a nurse so I need to keep my wits about me at work but the other day I cried on and off all day at work just thinking of his comments. He himself is no oil painting but I don't comment about his shortcomings so how does he feel able to speak about my body in this way? He said I should stop using the sunbed as it is making my face haggard!!

I would really appreciate some support and advice. He is a few years older than me and he seems to be only interested in our son but not interested in me at all. I just find myself in tears half my life is spent in tears at his angry comments. At other times he can be nice and he pays the bills and looks after the finances etc .. but emotionally I feel as though he is destroying me. Thanks for reading this.

View related questions: affair, at work, breasts

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 August 2011):

Hi there-

I read your posting and it spoke to me because my husband is the same way. He has been calling me horrible names as of late, such as a bitch and a c**t. I am horrified that he speaks to me this way, and I am leaving him today. For so long I was worried about how it would look to others that our marriage was ending. We are in the public eye quite a bit (he works with the gov't in Chicago) and from the outside I really worked to keep the "happy couple" image. I see now that he has no respect for me and never wil. I believe the same rings true to you also, if the respect is not there by now I do not believe it wil ever be.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 August 2011):

try to imagine Your life without him for a moment... how does it feel??????

NICE right..?

peaceful...?

why not to go for it...?

after breast operation whats going to be next,nose job ...etc

U cant please him ...You never will.....

the choice is Yours.....why waste Your life like that.....

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A female reader, Shez50 Australia +, writes (16 August 2011):

OMG,,, I really feel for you,,, I have been in your situation; in and out of a relationship with my childrens father for 25 years, "oh yes" sad but true,,, but it gets better,,,read on, I have put up with his; abusive, sarcastic, agressive, insulting, lieing, drunkin behaviour then left him again,,, years later married him,,, now his behaviour is slowly starting up again,,, after leaving him the first few times,,, my self esteem, my person, and my sole deteriated more and more, i isolated myself from the world,,, with 2 kids to raise on my own, I did anything I could to avoid going out even to the shops,,, I realised i was getting worse by the day, until I stood my ground determand to LIVE again, I signed up for tafe, chose any course it really didnt matter, i just knew I had to forse myself to get out there,,, it took every inch of my being to do this, I was terrified, strickened with absolute fear but I did it. Now history is repeating itself after 2 years of marriage,,, I am now looking around for my own place again,,, I dont know why I put up with his crap, i guess one would describe me as somewhat insaine.

So my message to you dear is,,,

he is not going to change,

he will always be this way unless you take a stand,

ask yourself why you think you deserve to be treated this way,

allow him to own his own behaviour,,,

it is his behaviour not yours,,,

stand up walk out the door, then,,,

take time out from any future relationships until you find yourself again,

live life to your fullest potential,

love and be kind to yourself,

it is YOU time now,,,

Great things will start to happen if you Trust and have faith in yourself,,,

GOOD LUCK!!!

Shez50

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A female reader, naughty girl United Kingdom +, writes (3 April 2010):

Your husband has lower self esteem than you. he thinks its in his best interests to make you feel worthless. Ultimately your self esteem is your responsibility. Start building a life without him. Join clubs, start a hobby, start up a new project. Get out and meet new people and have intersts that don't involve him. He may see you emotionally move away from him and try to make ammends. If he doesn't or if your still not happy I would suggest you leave him. Leave in a kind and caring manor. Life is too short to waste it feeling miserable and low.

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A female reader, Miamine United Kingdom +, writes (2 April 2010):

Miamine agony auntTell the plastic surgeon what is going on in your marriage... He will not do the operation if he thinks you are being forced. He will also be able to refer you to counselling where they can help you regain some of the confidence that your husband has destroyed...

YOU MUST LEAVE THIS MARRIAGE... IT WILL NEVER GET BETTER, THIS MAN IS DESTROYING YOU.. HAPPINESS IS OUT THERE AS SOON AS YOU SET YOURSELF FREE...

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A female reader, Miamine United Kingdom +, writes (2 April 2010):

Miamine agony auntHas anyone else experienced this and what is the best thing to do??

Never experienced it, but have seen it often.. this is serious Domestic abuse... Abuse is not only punches and kicks, but shouting, criticising and destroying your self-confidence is something that can feel 10x worse than being hit.

Please take a look at this website.. this is explains what abuse is, what he is doing to you and how you can fight back and escape it.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

PS: The doctor dosen't want to do the operation, not because of your smoking, but because he knows your being forced, he's trying to buy you some time to think. Please contact your somebody who can help you with your partners cruelty and anger.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (2 April 2010):

Tisha-1 agony auntOh god, you have to leave. "Fuck off" and "bitch"? Anger management problems? You have to leave and take your son with you.

http://www.womensaid.org.uk/

They might have some useful resources for you on that website.

One comment I have about these alterations to your body. Surgery can be dangerous and tanning beds certainly are. Why are you modifying your body and risking your health to placate a man who will not be pleased, no matter what you do? This is wishful thinking.

Take better care of yourself, for you and your son's sake.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 April 2010):

hi i feel for you.I am a nurse too and my husband is very nasty too.it does affect your work and self esteem.

i tell my husband to own his anger and behaviour but it does not work.

my husband is all smiles for others but just put downs for me.

i am seriously wanting to leave.

Tell your husband off when he puts u down.

do not listen to him as he is only doing it to make himself feel better

good luck

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A female reader, Moo's Mum New Zealand +, writes (2 April 2010):

Moo's Mum agony auntI agree with everything the other aunts and uncles have said but I just wanted to add, please do stop using the sun bed. Those things are sooooooo bad for you. You and I have the same skin and hair type and we are always the highest risk for skin cancer and sun beds have been proven to accelerate cancers.

Take care best wishes.

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A male reader, CaringGuy United Kingdom + , writes (2 April 2010):

Don't have an affair. Don't allow this man the satisfaction of being able to blame you in court. You have some great responses that will be more helpful than mine because I will draw your attention to two points only.

1 - The Doctor said there was nothing wrong with you. Your husband said there was. = Medical man Vs Abusive husband. The doctor is the one to listen to. There' nothing wrong.

2 - A man who says he only married you for a child is about a step above the lowest.

Leave him.

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A female reader, natasia United Kingdom +, writes (1 April 2010):

natasia agony auntI'm so sorry. Yes, he is a difficult man with a temper problem, but stopping excusing him for a moment - his behaviour towards you is so exhausting and demeaning and disorientating because it is emotional abuse.

You have to decide what level of abuse you are prepared to put up with. You won't change him - once a man has started calling you a b*tch you have pretty much lost his respect forever. I guess maybe some men are able to change/re-evaluate their lives/behaviour and control their worst impulses - but I doubt yr husband can. His difficult nature has even been recognised at work - he can't be trusted to deal with other people.

Of course you know his comments about yr body are pretty much rubbish, but I know it still hurts, and over time, you can start to feel as unattractive as he is saying you are.

My advice is: if you have it in you, leave him, or, as you say, find another man who will behave properly and decently. You really shouldn't waste yr life on this man. Your son must also see what is happening, and it is a terrible example for him.

And don't even consider having an operation for him. No.

Only you can stand up for yourself here, I'm afraid. Nobody can come along and make him be nice. You have to live with his nastiness, or remove yourself from him.

Good luck and don't listen to any of his nonsense xx

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2010):

Hi, this is the original poster here. Thank you for your answers - I appreciate it. My husband has many issues and has always had a bad temper and always resorts to swearing and shouting and calling me a 'bi*ch' in arguments. He suffers from impotence which he blames on me for my body. I am a size 12, just how he likes it and I go to the gym a lot and am really really fit and trim. Other people, including my doctor, have actually told me that my breasts look fine. I have used the sunbed a lot, partly for him cos he likes the tanned look and I also dye my hair blonde but my natural look is quite fair skinned and red/auburn haired. He has a temper problem which was noticed at work so he was kept to desk duties (he is a policeman). I sometimes think he only married me to have a child and since our child is born even though he is now a teenager my husband seems to care only about him. When I have mentioned to him that his comments hurt me he tells me to 'fuck off' and calls me a 'bitch'.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (1 April 2010):

Tisha-1 agony auntHave you stopped him when he's said something like that to you, and told him simply, "That hurts me so much to hear you say something like that to me. It really cuts me deeply. Why are you saying that awful thing to me?" If you have, I'd be very curious to hear his response. Especially if you ask it everytime he says something nasty and cutting to you.

I noticed your age, and had a thought for you to ponder. One of our friends said one day that he knew he was old not when HE turned 50, but when his wife turned 50. That made me really angry for a moment but I thought about what he said, and I think something like that might be going on here.

If he has been nasty and awful your entire marriage, then this is only him continuing the verbal abuse, but if this is recently getting worse, I wonder if it isn't him hitting his mid-life crisis and taking it out on you. Becoming angry with you rather than facing his own ungraceful aging, saggy bits and lessening of perceived masculinity. He doesn't know what to do with it, so he's taking it out on you.

I'm not saying that this is the case here, but there might be something going on internally that he is coping with by cutting you down. It's not HIM getting older that's the problem, he subconsciously thinks, it's YOU.

Having an affair won't solve this, nor will having cosmetic surgery, as DrPsych explained so beautifully. He will just find something else to try to damage you with. If this is just the continuing abuse, then you should consider leaving him if he does refuse counseling/anger management/therapy to try to resolve this.

I think DrPsych wrote a great answer and I think you should follow her advice.

Nurture yourself, take care of yourself, because you are the example your teenage son will emulate when it's time for him to be in a relationship. If he sees that it's okay to cut Mom apart everyday, then that's what he'll do to his wife.

I think what may be happening here is the straws are finally reaching the breaking point on the camel's back. You may just have had enough of this and you are so stressed you can't tolerate any more. The affair is a nice revenge fantasy but it's not going to fix what's wrong here. You've got a lot of work ahead of you and you'll have to be brave and recognize that you are worth more than a few wrinkles and sags and deserve to be treated with respect. Don't stand for it any more.

There's another wonderful aunt here who has written great answers on this topic and I would encourage you to read her column to find her messages of strength and support. I haven't seen her on here in a while but she really does give advice I think would speak to you. http://www.dearcupid.org/people/country_woman

I wish you good mental health and great courage. Keep us posted.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2010):

This sounds like an abusive relationship to me, he's being controlling and using verbal language to hurt you and have power over you. I am very serious. Check out this link to see the power and control wheel (I've worked with domestic violence victims, and we use this as a tool for women to become aware).

I agree with the others, that you need to stand up for yourself and set new boundaries. You shouldn't do something you don't want to do. If he doesn't change and doesn't respect you enough to understand your point of view and that you are hurt by his comments, you need to rethink what's important to you. Whether you want to continue to put up with his behavior, or whether you are willing to leave your comfort zone and either stand up for yourself until he stops or just leave him.

It's tough but I wish you the best. You definitely have worth of your own and you don't need negative people bringing you down. Women are women, we age and we are always beautiful.

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A female reader, Tata-marie101 United Kingdom +, writes (1 April 2010):

Tata-marie101 agony auntHeyy

I know what you are thinking ?? nd yess i am only a teenager but my parents got divorced 5 years ago and my dad was the Exact same way and my mum ended up having an affair and that just made things worse i rember all the arruments all the tears fears and pain :'( so that is why i want to help you my father was only intrested in my brother no one else and it hurts i know

my mum eventually got found out and got divorced from my dad which was the best decission of her life

i quote her at this point ' if i could go back i would change how i did things but i would never once change the outcome'

so i think for the best when someone treats you like this you walk out with your son it is the best for you and your son becouse one day he could turn on your son and i know what you are sayin no he would never do anything like that but he might ....

when someone is like that with you just go its accutually a form of mental abuse

now please i beg you and do whats right and divorce him before it gets any worse you dont need to change yourself for anyone including your husband

xxx

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A female reader, DrPsych United Kingdom +, writes (1 April 2010):

DrPsych agony auntBeing a nurse you have to think about what advice you would give to one of your patient's coming to you and telling you the about the same problem. Don't have an affair, but stop accepting this situation so passively. This man is eroding your self esteem using verbal abuse - it is a form of domestic violence. He may not be beating you up, but he is doing a fine job with those harsh words. I would say give up smoking for your health, not because you want cosmetic surgery. But I don't need to lecture you about that...you are a nurse! If this man is destroying you, it is because you are letting him. You have to learn to stand up for yourself. Changing aspects of your body will not cure your marriage...he will find other things to pick on. He picks away to keep you feeling bad - he may feel insecure about losing you and thinks this is the only way to hang onto you. I appreciate you have a child together, but at the end of the day nothing is worth making yourself miserable over. Stop thinking about cosmetic procedures and start thinking about your long-term future. You need to have a full and frank conversation with your husband about respect and his need for counselling/ anger management. You should make it clear that if he doesn't accept you for who you are then there is a front door he should walk through and not come back. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating and sleeping properly will sort out your body, not a surgeon's knife. Your personal happiness is under your control but you have to find the personal strength not to keep taking this verbal punishment off a deeply inadequate man. If you don't do it for you, think about what lessons about adult relationships are being learned by your teenager growing up amongst this mess.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2010):

Im sorry to hear about all the stuff that he is saying to you and I feel terribly sorry for you, I truly do. Maybe you should sit down and talk to him about it calmly or try seeing a marrige therapist. If you want to know why he is saying these things, sit down and be serious and say, "Really, what is bothering you so much about me and saying these horrible comments about my appearence?" A husband should not be putting his wife down like that and since he is, something is really bothering him or he is just a prick. I am truly sorry for you and I hope I have given you some options on what to do with your problem.

If you need more advice, just write me back or however this thing works:)

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