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    My husband and I have been together for 16 years, married for almost 14.

    We fight about the same thing over and over again.  I work full-time at one job and also as an adjunct clinical instructor (additional 10 hrs per week).  We have two children 11 and 8 (youngest has ADHD, dyslexia and dysgraphia).  Both of our children are very active after school.  I take them to all of their activities, unless I just can’t be in two places at once or I am physically not home.  If I am being honest, I am not the best housekeeper ever, I don’t do well in the planning department and often do things last minute.

    I have recently tried hard to be more organized, wanting to start this school year off right.  I talked to both of the kids as to how we are going to handle things.  I had my oldest organize her bag and her sports bag.

    This is the example of where my problems lies; My husband who up until this point was not very interested in how the 11yo organized her things said that the way we did it was wrong, he made her change everything (she is really anxious about school this year because she is going into middle school). He kept saying that how I had it was stupid and that it didn’t make any sense.  I know that this seems small but it makes me feel very insignificant, like my thoughts, plans and opinion doesn’t matter.  This is only one example.  He says that he is smarter and that I do things that don’t make any sense.  It is like he always has to fight until I say he is right.  The biggest fights are when I don’t give in and I say that I am not stupid, that I feel like I don’t matter.  I just get so fed up and start yelling and taking everything out on him and sometimes the kids.  He often times says that he doesn’t know why he married me and that I am worse than his ex-wife.  I just feel really sad about all of this. I think that he loves me, because he says that if he didn’t he wouldn’t stay.  I love him, things used to be different….I wish that they could go back the way they were when we first met.

    I am just at a loss, I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to not be angry, which he says is why he is such a jerk to me.  The old you are a jerk to me so I will be the same back to you.  We are just going around and around again.  Not sure where to go from here.

    Thanks for listening.


    Dear Kate:

    For the marriage to work out, your husband needs to stop acting disrespectfully toward you, which is what he is doing. Telling you that you are stupid is disrespectful. You did communicate to him clearly and calmly that his comments are problematic, before you “get so fed up and start yelling and taking everything out on him and sometimes the kids”, correct?

    It will be tough to fit the time for couple therapy for the two of you. It will also be an expense none of you want to handle, I am thinking. Will that motivate him to correct his behavior?

    Of course, it is very important that you no longer take your anger out on the kids, it being that the youngest already suffers from ADHD and the oldest is anxious about starting middle school. This very fact, I would think, should motivate your husband to stop acting disrespectfully toward you, stop doing what he is doing that is contributing to mistreating his own children.


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