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Selfish husband

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  • #433034
    Lily Margarette
    Participant

    My husband is selfish. He can never put himself in any one elses position but his own. He’s insensitive and doesn’t think before he speaks. He’s a man child who throws his toys out the pram when he doesn’t get his own way and can be verbally abusive and a bully to me. He can only be nice for a few weeks at a time. Then he goes right back to how he was. Our kids aren’t particularly close to him for all the above reasons, yet he blames me and them for it, never himself. We had an appointment with my son’s school soon to meet his new teachers and see his classroom. It’s called a ‘family’ meet. I told him about this three weeks ago and he said he’d leave work early that day. He told me this morning he won’t be able to make it now because he didn’t ask his manager, now the manager has booked meetings which can’t be moved…ok I thought, being honest I’m angry because he’s not been organised, but work is work..I told him it can’t be helped and kept my feelings to myself.

    But…. later today I get a text telling me he’s arranged a weekend away next month with his mates. On the weekend of our daughter’s religious presentation, which is his religion, and is a very family orientated thing. There’s a big party afterwards. I’m fuming tbh…it’s been in the calendar for months. He said all his mates can make it, that he’s the only one with an issue…I’m really angry now. He said ‘fine..i can’t do that weekend now I’ll cancel’ He now wants the weekend after…when I’m working and I need him to look after the kids.

    Now it’s me causing problems apparently. The sulking will begin, the slamming doors and being rude.

    How do I handle this? Please don’t suggest couples therapy. I’ve spoken to a counsellor and was told couples therapy won’t work when someone is verbally and emotionally abusive like he is, he holds grudges and is extremely charming. He has narcissistic tendencies. He recently went to therapy on his own, and he’s been ten times worse. It’s like his ego has inflated.

    How do I keep my cool? And shall I just tell him I’ll go.on my own to the family even for a quite life? Even though I think my daughter will be upset considering everyone else will be there with their families…

     

     

     

     

     

    #433039
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette:

    Welcome back to the forums. I am sorry that you are still suffering.

    My husband is selfish… He’s insensitive… He’s… verbally abusive and a bully… verbally and emotionally abusive… He has narcissistic tendencies“- We communicated back in Sept 2021. You were very unhappily married for 11 years at the time, a stay at home mom with 3 kids, having terrible relationships with your husband and with his family. We talked about you leaving your husband and staying with your family of origin, while legally separating from him, but you said that your family wasn’t able to accommodate you and your kids.

    Back in Sept, 2021, you shared (I am adding the boldface feature selectively to the quotes): “I’m a full-time housewife and don’t feel as if I could cope financially if I were to split up from my husband. I used to work before I had kids but that was 10 years ago, and feel completely terrified of ‘going out to work’ again. I’ve tried various things to help me, taking online courses, even starting freelance work for a little bit, but I felt out of my depth and scared of failing. I think feeling dependent on him makes me feel trapped in a very unhappy situation“.

    In Feb,  2022, you shared: “I do feel so incredibly regretful that I never had a proper career set up for myself. I’m educated and always worked (but nothing leading to a specific career), but when I had kids I gave all that up. I’m completely stuck in a rut because I can’t see me ever being able to be independent and having a job anymore. I’m so envious of working mothers because they have the confidence to work. I don’t even know what work I would do as I’m 44 now. I’m getting on. I don’t feel I have any skills to give. I feel lost”.

    Your last words before posting today, were on Feb 15, 2022: “I would like help in being able to build my self-esteem in order to sort myself put with earning money. I think if I did this I wouldn’t feel so trapped and helpless. The problem is I have no idea how to do this.”

    Two years and 3 months later (today), you shared: “”I’m fuming… I’m really angry now… Now it’s me causing problems apparently. The sulking will begin, the slamming doors and being rude“-

    – I think that your fear (feeling completely terrified, scared of failing) together with the feeling-belief of helplessness/ powerlessness results in you feeling doomed to be trapped and stuck forevermore (trapped in a very unhappy situation, completely stuck in a rut, trapped and helpless), and that makes you ANGRY.

    The function of anger is to fight yourself out of a trap (to solve problems), but when the anger doesn’t serve its purpose day after day, month after month, year after year, and you remain trapped, problems unsolved, what happens to the anger?

    It doesn’t go away, it lies right under the surface and whenever it gets triggered, it erupts like lava out of a volcano, an overreaction to the events that trigger it.

    Psychology today/ learned helplessness: “Learned helplessness occurs when an individual continuously faces a negative, uncontrollable situation and stops trying to change their circumstances, even when they have the ability to do so… The perception that one cannot control the situation essentially elicits a passive response to the harm that is occurring”, passive and angry?

    How do I handle this?… How do I keep my cool?“- calm yourself today, one moment, one day at a time, and prepare to exit the trap: look for resources to free yourself from your very unhappy marriage. Believe that it is possible. Can you?

    anita

     

    #433064
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Lily Margarette

    I’m sorry to hear that you are in an abusive relationship. It sounds like you are kind of done with the relationship and getting to the point of considering how to leave it. Would you agree?

    It sounds like what he wants is to schedule some time to himself which is a fair ask. However, his behaviour isn’t fair. I would schedule some time for himself on a different day that suits you both. It is really difficult to schedule time for yourself with children and both parents working.

    It sounds like the individual therapy has identified problems that he sees in the relationship. So he feels validated in how he is behaving.

    Wishing you all the best! ❤️🙏

    #433086
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    I am sorry that you are still suffering and feeling trapped in your situation. However, I am happy to hear that you did find a job:

    He now wants the weekend after…when I’m working and I need him to look after the kids.

    Because the last time you wrote, you felt terrified of going out to work again, after having been a stay-at-home mom for more than 10 years. So congratulations on that! Is it a part-time or a full-time job? How are you satisfied with it?

    Unfortunately, it seems your husband does have narcissistic tendencies, and such people have very little chance of changing. The fact that therapy didn’t help at all proves it:

    He recently went to therapy on his own, and he’s been ten times worse. It’s like his ego has inflated.

    So therapy only strengthened his ego. That’s what happens a lot when a narcissist – who is typically charming and very convincing – goes to an inexperienced therapist. The therapist gets charmed away too! And they tend to believe the narcissist, i.e. the abuser, not the victim.

    How do I handle this? Please don’t suggest couples therapy

    Yeah, definitely couple’s therapy wouldn’t make sense, first because he might equally charm away the therapist. And secondly, if he believes there is no problem with him but tends to blame you (or the children) – then therapy makes no sense, because he doesn’t want to change, neither does he see the need to change.

    I think the only long-term solution, unfortunately, would be to separate from him. But I know that with 3 underage children, it might seem overwhelming.

    But you don’t need to do it all at once. You might even wait till your children are older, while in the meanwhile you are slowly preparing to stand on your own two feet again. It seems you already made the first step: you found a job. So you have broken through that barrier that you felt 2 years ago. Which is amazing!

    How is your self-confidence at this point? Do you think you would be able to separate from your husband and organize a separate life from him, or it still seems very scary?

    In terms of day-to-day life, try not to expect too much from him. For example, don’t count that he’d be there for all of the school appointments. With his character, there is a high chance that he “forgets” or double books things or just follows his own needs and wants, without considering you and the children. So, try to accept (temporarily, of course) that this is his character and don’t expect too much from him. Don’t be disappointed if he lets you down.

    But also, you can put your foot down and demand that he be there for certain occasions, when you absolutely want him there, or when it would be very impractical to organize child care etc. or example. Such might be e.g. your daughter’s religious presentation, or the weekend when you need to work and you don’t have anybody to take care of the kids.

    He might throw temper tantrums and blame you for ruining his outing with his buddies, but you can remain cool about it, because you know it’s not your fault and that him being there on those occasions is an absolute must. So have him do what he promised, even if he is fuming about it and “hates” you for it.

    So try to be less emotional and more pragmatical about it: let go if it’s not a big deal, and insist that he keeps his promise if it is a big deal and him bailing out would cause problems. Have those boundaries clear in your mind: what you can and what you absolutely don’t want to tolerate. And play according to those rules (your own rules).

    I know it hurts to have a husband like that, and to have to treat him like an unruly child. But if you accept that this is who he is and stop hoping for something different, then perhaps you can proceed to really separate from him, slowly but surely. Methodically. Strategically. By looking for the best exit strategy – for you and your children.

    What do you think?

     

    #433087
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    a correction in this paragraph:

    But also, you can put your foot down and demand that he be there for certain occasions, when you absolutely want him there, or when it would be very impractical to organize child care etc. Such might be e.g. your daughter’s religious presentation, or the weekend when you need to work and you don’t have anybody to take care of the kids.

    #433190
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette:

    My husband is selfish. He can never put himself in any one else’s position but his own…   I kept my feelings to myself. But.. later today…on the weekend of our daughter’s religious presentation… I’m fuming… I’m really angry now… Now.. the sulking will begin, the slamming doors and being rude… How do I keep my cool? ..my daughter will be upset considering everyone else will be there with their families..”

    – You asked how do you keep your cool because you can put yourself in your 3 children’s shoes (ages 14, 11 and 8, this coming September), and you know how damaging expressed anger in the home is to children, your own children, more damaging than a father not showing up to a religious presentation. Your job, as a mother, is indeed to keep the home as calm as possible because this is what your children need.

    Therefore, for as long as you live with your husband in the home, please see to it that your children are not threatened by slamming doors and rude voices and words. Perhaps you can see a medical doctors for a prescription to help you keep calm at this time, temporarily, for now?

    Thank you for caring to keep your cool, this is what a good mother does.

    anita

    #433191
    anita
    Participant

    I want to add: it shouldn’t be about you and your husband, about who is right, and who is wrong. It should be about the mental health of the children the two of you brought into the world. And so, for as long as you are living with your husband, do keep your cool, every day.

    anita

    #433612
    anita
    Participant

    How are you,  Lily Margarette?

    anita

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