My husband and I have been married for over 10 years. We were married young and have a four year old son. Our relationship has disintegrated to the point that I feel that we are more like roommates than anything else. We seem to argue constantly and he is always finding fault with things I do or say. I have been trying so hard to make things work — I have changed the way I do many things to be more in line with what he wants, but once I change one thing, he seems to move on to harping about something else. He frequently puts me down and calls me names. We rarely have sex and when we do, I get no pleasure from it.
We are both at high levels in our careers, earning great salaries and we both desperately love our son. I try so hard to ignore his verbal attacks, but am starting to get frightened that he just won't change. What can I do to diffuse his anger and get my relationship back on track? Or should I call it quits? I really don't want to get divorced, but am at a loss for how to make things better. — Restless Rachel
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Dear Restless Rachel,
Emotional abuse is never OK, especially when it's coming from your husband so I truly feel for you and your situation. Have you given marriage counseling any thought? It's pretty clear that your husband has some anger management problems, so talking them through with a mediator could do your relationship a lot of good. Since he's taking all his aggression out on you, perhaps you can suggest some ways he can diffuse his anger before he comes home from work. Maybe he can exercise to blow off some steam or have some alone time so he can unwind before he interacts with you and your son.
There's only so much you can do on your end to make this relationship work. It's going to take effort from both of you to make positive changes for your future but if nothing seems to help, you might want to consider a separation. Raising your son in a hostile environment affects him more than you know so hopefully, your husband will be willing to do his part. I wish you luck.