Every arguement ends with the 'divorce' word

crickersApril 29, 2010

I'm so confused. First I should say, I love my husband very much. He's not perfect but he's a really good and descent man who has overcome much. My concern is that maybe he really doesn't love me anymore. Or maybe he really does, but is just confused himself? I don't want to torture him to stay in a marriage he doesn't want, but I don't want to give up if it's not really me and he's just having some sort of mid-life crises.

We had a rough start, lot's of jealousy and fear of intimacy issues for him. I drank too much back then, had major self-esteem issues, control issues, probably depression too. But we've been together almost 15 years now, and we've overcome most of those issues. Always when we argue now though he threatens divorce. Always afterward he acts like everything is fine, if I question him, he says I should know he didn't mean it, of coarse he loves me. Yet he continues to say it again every single time he gets upset with me. I have to hold my tongue carefully because I get so hurt. If I lose my temper and say "fine if you don't want me then go" I suspect he might follow thru with it just so as not to back down. I know sounds crazy but....

And if I say "oh you don't mean that" he swears up and down to me he does, he convinces me he does, and says things like he's just not happy, would prefer to be alone, he can do better than me. He says childish mean things like "you don't benefit me". He seems unable to express to me what more he wants from me though. He never complains about anything I do, but isn't involved in anything I do either. On a good day he's happy and loving, but wknds especially he seems to just wake up sullen and mad at me. Trying to talk to him about why, makes him even angrier. He acts like he feels cornered then. His eyes dialate, his pitch and volume rises, and I can tell he's having a fight or flight reaction. It's a little scarey actually, and when he's like that he can't hear me anyway, so I back off then, but he just spews insults till he feels 'vented'. I've asked him point blank before, "what more do you want from me?". "Nothing" he says, "then what did I do wrong?" I ask.... "Everything" he says. It's so frustrating....... and honestly I'm scared to death he's going to leave me in a fit of anger, then be so immature as to let his pride stop him from coming back when he realizes it was a mistake.

Sometimes I can get thru to him, calm him down and point out all the good things in his life and he mellows, apologizes, says he didn't mean it, says he loves me then sorta acts like it never happened, and we can have a great day. He seems relieved I guess.

God knows we both have baggage, if he really loves me, I want to do everything in my power to fix whatever this problem is. If he really doesn't love me though, then I'm sad for him. I should let him go. Then again if he's wrong, and it's really just him, or something he's going thru and will get past, then I will have thrown my marriage, my love, my life, everything away for nothing. I'm so scared and confused.

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A very wise (ex) boyfriend of mine once said "never say you're going to leave unless you really are".

Never, ever bring up the D-word. I can understand frustration, and wanting to leave. But once it's on the table it will leave rings once removed. Those rings are hard to remove.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:30PM
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Could he have health issues such as hypoglycemia or manic-depressive stuff starting? If his moods are that erratic, something physical could be happening.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 2:54AM
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Queue up Sweeby lol (she is a member with lots of experience)

Sounds like you got one with mental disorders, hon. I would get to a counselor with experience in manic-depression, bi-polar and (sounds to me like) borderline personality disorders. Uunderstanding these disorders, even if he doesn't have them, can lead you to ways of better communicating so you aren't walking on eggshells.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Thanks Jessy ;-)

I'm so sorry for what you're going through Crickers, and can see why you're so upset. If, as you say, this behavior is new, then it very well could be that something healthwise (either physical or mental, which IMO is also physically-based) is going on and that a visit to his primary care doctor (with advance info. from you of your concerns) would be a good idea. Do you think, in a calm moment, you could ask him if he'd be willing to go?

Marriage counseling might also be a good idea. It's absolutely wrong to throw out 'the D word' in the heat of an argument, and withholding specific information about what you're doing that angers him is completely unproductive.

If you're not doing anything and it's all internal to him, blaming you isn't fair. If you're doing some things that annoy the heck out of him and he's not telling you what they are, how can he expect you'll change them? And if it truly is 'everything' you do that is now rubbing him the wrong way, he owes it to himself and to you to work through his anger and figure out what to do about it.

You're right to be concerned. Now you need to tackle the problem...
Having worked through your issues in the past, I suspect you'll know how to best approach this one.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 11:37AM
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I SO feel for you. What you have described is, in my opinion, emotional abuse. I hope you're not offended by this, but is there any possibility he is taking some kind of drug that you don't know about? The sudden shifts in behavior made me wonder. My own husband has struggled for years with substance abuse (he is sober right now, thank God), and he used to throw the divorce word around a lot when we were arguing. It was so infuriating that I just HAD to call his bluff. I answered back "well, if that is what you want...." After a couple of times of me saying that, I haven't heard it in a long time.
I agree with the above posters, you do need to find some help for yourself to deal with this. You deserve better...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 10:23AM
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I'd question that too Vicki.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 10:09PM
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It's emotional abuse. Do some Googling and read up on emotional abuse. Go seek counselling.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 8:13AM
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Thanks for all the responses, he has me reassured a bit now, which is nothing new, we've gone back and forth so much lately. We went out of town with my family for several days to see my son on leave from the Marine Corps. Oorah! I was nervous about having some incident in front of my parents/son, but we had a really nice time and drove 6 hours home just he and I, talking about "us" all the way. We talked about the possibility that his unhappiness might be more due to his thinking, than me. I asked him about the possibility he could be having sugar/health (he drinks way too much Dr. Peppers) issues or even a mid-life crises of sorts. He said it was possible, he said again he really does love me. We talked about pressure at work. He's torn to either move on for more money or stay with his boss of 26 years who helped get him here. I let him know it was okay with me if he wanted to stay where he's at (which I think he wants) I also told him I trust him, and if he wants to move on, I understand it's risky and things could go bad fast at a younger newer company. We we're able to discuss these subjects and more fairly calmly, very unusual for us. I would say he was alot less defensive. Maybe I was extra careful of the way I put things. I noticed often he interupts me with a reply that isn't really applicable to what I was trying to say. I think lots of times he gets so defensive because he thinks I'm attacking him, he reads things in to what I'm saying. This time I didn't respond to what he said and then repeated what I said. It seemed to help, and we stayed on subject better. He said one thing he's never said before, he said maybe he's just immature, and when he gets mad he can't stop himself from saying the very thing I asked him not to say anymore. I wasn't a total wimp with him either, I made it clear something had to give, because he was convincing me he didn't love me.

It can't be drugs because his job requires regular testing, when I said mostly on wknds I might have thrown yall off. I meant it seems like when he's confronted with the idea of spending the day with me ie: mostly wknds. Although I don't see him in the morning during the week. And throwing around the D word, I would say is not new, but gradually became more and more often until now every disagreement turns into something huge and ends with it. Being so emotional is new, reacting over the top is not new either but him seeming to be out of control is new.
I do agree it's emotional abuse and have been doing some reading. Part of the long drive we talked about what emotional abuse was, he almost got mad but then seemed to understand and acted ashamed. I told him he was forcing me to prepare for my future if we divorce. He adamantly claimed he didn't really mean it, doesn't want that. I really think maybe he's just hurting too. Here's some background I know is pertinent.

He's 48, I'm 49. Both of his parents were alcoholics, his mother drank a fifth a day. His father drank everyday but worked as a welder, changed jobs often, he was a little guy, infamous for being hard to get along with. He was very domineering over his wife too, she could be extremely violent when she drank, she died when she was 54. His father moved in with us when he got cancer of the larnx, we cared for him 8 mos until he died 7 yrs ago. It's all so sad.... and obviously left scars on my husband. He doesn't drink at all, never has. There's more that's probably pertinent. He was previously married for 14 years, had a son, and says thought they were happy. They had a nice home. He says he kissed her good-bye one morning to go on a wknd fishing trip and when he returned he called the police to report he had been robbed by the "moving-company burglers" he'd been seeing on the news. The cop told him to check his closet. His clothes was all she left.... She moved in with her boyfriend who she's married to now. We married 5 years later, it's been 12 now.
Lol I read what I've wrote and wonder "What the #@% was I thinking!" I'm kidding sorta...... I have my share of baggage and issues too, I'm just tired of typing now.... how convenient right? Although I think these things should'nt be and don't have to be, a part of him/us, they are.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 3:50PM
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"I noticed often he interupts me with a reply that isn't really applicable to what I was trying to say. I think lots of times he gets so defensive because he thinks I'm attacking him, he reads things in to what I'm saying. This time I didn't respond to what he said and then repeated what I said. It seemed to help, and we stayed on subject better"

Crickers -- Has he had his hearing tested recently? All of these behaviors you mention can be caused by a loss of hearing -- which is not at all unusual in older men. If he mishears you, he'll respond inappropriately. If he's not hearing you at full volume, it's easy to interrupt or talk over you. When someone has to repeat things to be heard, there are subtle changes in one's tone of voice that add an 'edge' and take out some of the original (nice) tone. I suspect there are also 'tone distortions' that happen with hearing loss that lead people to 'hear' an 'attack' tone that simply isn't there.

I know he's not that old -- Neither is my husband, but you'd never be able to tell that from a hearing test. And he honestly thinks his hearing is just fine, despite regular comments from other family members and a hearing test that shows otherwise...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 4:13PM
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