My wife treats me like a child

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 45-year-old man.  I have been married to my wife for 15 years and we have two children. The first two years were my happiest but since then it has been downhill.  I feel like an abused man but I do not know what is abuse. I have never told anyone about the way I feel but the more I read about women’s abuse I feel it describes my situation at home. I walk on eggshells around my wife because I am tired of hearing her scream abusive insults at me. My self-esteem is shot. I feel I can’t leave her because no one else would want a loser like me. She speaks to me like you wouldn’t even speak to your child. She orders me around and if her friends are around she would say go get this, shut up if I offer an opinion. I feel worse than our pet dog, she treats the dog like human then she wonders why she feels I am no longer attracted to her. I hate her but I cannot  leave her. I feel trapped and dehumanized by my wife. The only thing she has not done is to try to hit me physically.  I am so happy to go to work each day because there is compassion and respect with my colleagues. I believe that’s what keeps me going because some days I feel so down that there seems to be no point. I have tried talking to my wife about the way I feel and she says that I should be a man and stop whining.  I have to leave but I need my children, how can I do this?

Despondent.

Dear despondent,

You seem to be in deep mess right now. You describe the classic sign of someone living in an abusive relationship. While a majority of people in abusive relationships are women there is a small minority of men who experience abuse as well and the effects are the same as it is for women living in abusive relationships. No one deserves to live in an abusive relationship. My advice to you is to get out of the relationship if your wife refuses to respect your feelings or is unwilling to change her behaviour.  I think you need serious counselling to regain your self-esteem.  If you choose to remain in the relationship you have to stand up to your wife and give her an ultimatum to attend counselling or end the marriage. You said you hate your wife and want out of the relationship.  It could be that you hate her  behaviour and not the woman you married.  You’ve lived too long under the weight of this abuse and are now disconnected with your true feeling. You need to stop it now.  How you do that?  Find a counsellor start counselling immediately to bring some perspective on your life and why you are allowing your wife to treat you the way she is, give your wife an ultimatum, tell her in no uncertain terms that you will not tolerate  her behaviour anymore, should there be an incident, call the police and get a police incident report.  If this does not help, ask her to leave the home. Change the locks on the home and she will know that you are serious. This will be upsetting for the children but if they witnessed the way their mom treated you, they will understand. Children understand more than we give then credit for and they are generally fair peoplel.

I know this is a lot of information but what is happening to you is wrong and you do not have to take it anymore. You have to act or you will lose yourself completely as well as your children. Good luck.

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15 responses »

  1. Wow, my soulmate. I cant even go outside without asking my wife if I am allowed to wear these pants, or this shirt, or this jacket, or these shoes. I have just given up. My children are amazed when I go to mum (my wife!!!) and ask permission what to wear. But, if I dont get it right (and there are some amazing rules that seem to change by the season or what fashion is ‘cool’) then I get a 10 minute lecture about why I was so stupid to even think to wear x, or y, or z.

    On the food side… well, most days I am told how to eat. This food you cannot eat alone. You must eat in the same mouth ful with that food. Then when I think I have it correct, a lecture will come out at the table that THIS food can only be enjoyed alone. And how could I even think to ruin the taste with mixing it.

    I have a bad back from a teenage accident. My wife constantly explains to me that my sore back is because I dont drink enough water. When I play tennis with her, through pain, she yells at me because I am limping. I wish for on minute, she could feel the pain I have when I run around. But the pain is better than having her nag at me that I dont play tennnis with her beause I have not drunk enough water and therefore I have chosen to damage our marriage.

    But Despondent, what made me write my comment was what you said… if we tell our wifes how we feel, we are told that we are MEN and we should act like MEN. Which in their mind is saying nothing, being abused, and the abuse is allowed to do it because they are the woman, and they are weak, so they can do what they want and say what they want with no imputation. My wife has explained so, so often to me, when I complain about her being a mother: “YOUUUUUUU ARE BEING A WOMAN. YOU ARE MANNNNNNNN. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE FEEEEEEEEEELINGS. BEEEEEEE A MANNNNNNN!!!!

    Now I am sad. Like you!

    • Your wife has serious control issues and unfortunately you seem to participate in it by allowing her to control your life. What would happen if you say firmly but respectfully that you do not need a mother, you need a wife, an equal adult partner in the relationship? How can you truly love her if she becomes like a mother to you? Many women who may have been controlled as former wives or as children do not know healthy ways of relating to another. They have a need to fix people to get them to do what they feel they should do. There is no trust that the other will do the right thing. This is also lack of respect for you i.e. your wife does not think you are capable of thinking for yourself and therefore she must tell you what to do and how to do it. Sometimes these control issues are so deep that to emerge from them and see them for what they are need professional help to assist in working through the issues. There is also the possibility that once a woman starts mothering a man she stops seeing him in a sexually attractive partner. Many of these relationships in which there are control issues has little sexual activity or forced sexual activity. The people in them are generally unhappy, unfulfilled and need to help themselves to function in a more healthy way or to get out of such relationships.

      • I was married for 21 years, and was constantly told how it was my fault for everything. She told me it was my fault that she had gained so much weight, among several other things that was my fault. Recently, my new wife looked her up on facebook, and showed me her pictures. I wrote her a message, ” When we were married, you told me that it was all my fault that you had gained so much weight. We have been divorced for 5 years, i have lost nearly 60 pounds, and your fatter than ever. Who are you blaming now?”

      • Thanks for your comments. As you see the proof is in the pudding. It was easy for her to blame you for all her problems and that is because she was so unhappy with herself and did not love herself very much and wanted to make you as miserable as she. I am glad you are in a new relationship, lost some pounds and know that you were not to be blamed.

  2. My god, this was my life!!! — I seperated this year, (waiting on divorce now) because of this, was married 17 years. Here’s the deal though, the abuse and controlling does not stop, even after seperation (because of the kids). My soon to be ex-wife need a guy that is unatainable by 99.9% of decent guys out there. I failed, I am loser and I am totally irresponsible in her eyes.. but trust me.. I am a very nice guy!! — just like 99.9% of us out here. Thsi web site made me cry.. but it made me realize that I am not alone.

    • No you are not alone my friend. I do wish that you have a very happy holidays. Better days are ahead, just love yourself, the more you love yourself, the better you will feel and the stronger you will be. Take care.

  3. Ok just a question I am married now and and have kids and I just feel like evry certain times of the year my wife just changes and becomes sombody else everything could be wonderfdul for months and I start to feel so good about my life with her and my family then one out the blue she turns in to sombody else she starts treatin me like a child and always yelling and conplaining about everything she stops trustin me and starts bein very contolling and mean I try to hold it in but usally I end up breaking and go off this is crazy it happens every year more than once so I end up packing and just leaving but I end up back then things seem ok for awile I can’t do it know more it really takes a toll on my feelings for her and I just don’t know what to do to stop this I meen she seems like she cares and loves me to death the she don’t at all and is really meen about I can’t keep goin up and down any suggestions

  4. Women only honor and respect men who are in authority, their natural God-given positions. And then, there are some women who are just plain abusive: physically, verbally and mentally. You cannot stay married to this type of woman. A woman who wants to castrate you verbally and put you down, you can never be attracted to this woman. And the truth is, she is not attracted to you, either. A woman can never love a man she does not respect, and if you don’t work to provide for her or stand up to defend her and the children, no woman will ever respect a man like that. But if you are doing all you can, and she is berating you, putting you down, etc., it is because she does not respect you for some unknown reason. You are the only one allowing this to happen! Leave her! Tell her you are out of there! Get a divorce, and get your manhood back, and some peace in your heart. Even King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived said that it is better to stay on the rooftop than to live with a continual nagging woman! And he had 700 wives!
    Leave her for your own mental sanity and peace of mind. Let her see how it feels to live all by herself without you….no, forget that. You should not even bother yourself even with that…just leave her entirely alone. And if there are children involved, you can still be the best father you can be to them, you have rights. But you don’t have to allow this woman to destroy your manhood!

    • Thanks for your comments. I agree with most of what you said except the fact that men have a natural right to rule. You need to move into the 21st century. Men and women are like two wings of a bird. They are equal. However, no one should endure abuse. Abuse is wrong where ever it shows its ugly head.

  5. She treats you like a child? I would consider that to be several levels higher than being treated like a dog, like my wife does. My wife does not talk to me anymore, she yells to me. Right now I am extremely depressed. I pray for death (mine, not hers) constantly. I can’t imagine what it is that I could have done to deserve this. I would be very happy to be raised to the level of a human being in her eyes; even if it’s a child. Death, please come quickly.

    • Is death the only answer? How about finding someone who really love and cares about you. Break free and live your life. Even though it might seem difficult at first once you are out of the abusive relationship you will feel a weight lifted. If this is not an option then put your foot down and say enough is enough.

    • No people don’t change!
      they change how they lie,cheat and steal but people never change IMO people are only good if their heart is good. You can’t teach a bad person to be good. They are never interested in changing. They blame and finger point and its never there fault. If they can except that they are at fault then maybe the can change. But you can’t make a devil into an angel. People are bad for one reason somebody made them that way. Some people can take being abused and say I’m never going to treat anyone like that, then other people only know how to feel better by making other people feel bad that’s the cycle of abuse wether its physical mental or sexual. So not everyone can change

  6. If this was a woman’s story every word of advice would be to leave. Our society is so one sided favoring women trust me I know what your going through I’m tired of always being the bad guy because my wife can’t handle her emotions and I’m responsible for her feelings then she gets away with belittling me.
    If your kids are watching you go through this and they are old enough to understand how she makes you miserable then for your own sanity leave her! It’s passed the point of working it out if she treats the dog better than you let her dog pay her bills and leave before you regret all your life wasted with somebody that has no respect for you I would rather be alone than miserable with some one who threats me like sh*t

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