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Dear Sugar,

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.

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GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Time for some marriage counseling.
BahiraMalika BahiraMalika 8 years
I second what The Missus said. Have you ever read a book called,"Why Men Marry Bitches"? It's got a lot of great advice about being confident in yourself. Don't let him just insult and you put you down. Don't constantly feel like you need to keep making changes for him. If you ever have to make a change for him, and he does appreciate it, put him in his place. Don't let him insult you without you fighting back. Be a strong and confident woman. If you treat yourself as a woman who deserves respect and as a woman who won't take any crap, then he'll respect that. But if you treat yourself as a doormat and just go along with his crap, then he'll think he can continue on treating you like crap. Just show him you won't put up with it.
BahiraMalika BahiraMalika 8 years
I second what The Missus said.Have you ever read a book called,"Why Men Marry Bitches"? It's got a lot of great advice about being confident in yourself. Don't let him just insult and you put you down. Don't constantly feel like you need to keep making changes for him. If you ever have to make a change for him, and he does appreciate it, put him in his place. Don't let him insult you without you fighting back. Be a strong and confident woman. If you treat yourself as a woman who deserves respect and as a woman who won't take any crap, then he'll respect that. But if you treat yourself as a doormat and just go along with his crap, then he'll think he can continue on treating you like crap. Just show him you won't put up with it.
aeschere aeschere 8 years
i'm sorry that you have to be in this situation... the others give really great advice. i'd go to marriage counseling. i'm really worried about your son in this marriage though.. is he around when your husband acts this way? i grew up with my father berating my mother and i can tell you it's not fun to see your mother get emotionally abused all of the time. it affects EVERYTHING. think about what is best for your son too, please.
TheMissus TheMissus 8 years
Restless Rachel... Have you had to do more changing and compromising in this relationship? If so, you need to tell him to step up to the plate, quit criticizing you and start respecting you. Otherwise, it is time to call it a "day." Why go home to someone each day if all they do is make you miserable? I'm sorry, but life is too short to spend it in fear or unhappy. Start working with the laws of attraction in life... Tell yourself, "I deserve to be happy today. I will accept nothing but respect from the people around me. If they refuse to give it, then I don't need them."
TheMissus TheMissus 8 years
Restless Rachel... Have you had to do more changing and compromising in this relationship? If so, you need to tell him to step up to the plate, quit criticizing you and start respecting you. Otherwise, it is time to call it a "day."Why go home to someone each day if all they do is make you miserable? I'm sorry, but life is too short to spend it in fear or unhappy. Start working with the laws of attraction in life... Tell yourself, "I deserve to be happy today. I will accept nothing but respect from the people around me. If they refuse to give it, then I don't need them."
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 8 years
I dont think anyone on here can tell you if you should keep trying or give up. Thats something you need to figure out. If you feel like there might be some chance at making it better, then keep fighting. If you are to the point where the relationship is exhausting and only wears you down then its probably time to move on. Im sure you have tried to talk to him about it, but it sounds like he is not very concerned, so I would suggest getting some marraige counceling, as these kind of issues usually go much deeper than just what we see on the surface. Maybe there is something going on in his life that he feels he cant talk to you about. Im not excusing his behavior, but alot of times how someone acts in a relationship isnt simply actions, but a reaction (to the other person). Are you welcoming to him when he comes home from work? Or do you immediatly go into all the things he needs to get done? Are you still as attentive to him as before you had children? Or do you spend your time with your son and let your husband do his own thing? It sounds like there is some serious disconnect going on, and the only way to fix it is to ask yourself what you can do. If you honestly feel that you have done everything you can to fix this, and hes just not there anymore, then it is probably time to move on.
eggya eggya 8 years
women should always try to show their husbands respect and appreciation (even if he doesn't "deserve" it). in return husbands should shower their wives with love. we're wired by nature a certain way and we need to compromise and work at doing what the opposite sex desires in order to make relationships work. good luck.
almost-famous almost-famous 8 years
Geez.. Well, I didn't have to read ALL of the issue here, because this was just something here.First and foremost, I used to believe in the "male menapuase", but this guy is a serious jerk. Whenever there's a marriage, there will always be an issue or two, but there should NEVER be one like this! A man is suppose to love and honor his wife, he should not be doing this. Youre caught up in the traditional way of what a woman should do, and she's "suppose" to love her husband regardless. Even if he puts you down all the time. I believe you should start ignoring his bickering and start loving yourself. If you feel you need to get a divorce then so be it. But if I were you, I would of got one when I changed one thing and he started comnplaining about something else.
almost-famous almost-famous 8 years
Geez.. Well, I didn't have to read ALL of the issue here, because this was just something here. First and foremost, I used to believe in the "male menapuase", but this guy is a serious jerk. Whenever there's a marriage, there will always be an issue or two, but there should NEVER be one like this! A man is suppose to love and honor his wife, he should not be doing this. Youre caught up in the traditional way of what a woman should do, and she's "suppose" to love her husband regardless. Even if he puts you down all the time. I believe you should start ignoring his bickering and start loving yourself. If you feel you need to get a divorce then so be it. But if I were you, I would of got one when I changed one thing and he started comnplaining about something else.
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