Looking at his history, I rather suspect that there is a pattern of intolerance and self centredness in his dealings with other people.
We humans only indulge in behaviour that brings reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do. Like a child, he is going to have to learn to accept boundaries.
Here is the clue to sorting things out. When you are faced with non-co-operation – give him choices, and make sure he understands the consequences of his choice – and always follow through.
Your husband needs to be confronted with unacceptability of his behavior, and made to understand while you care for him, his behaviour towards you is unacceptable and has to change.
He also needs to understand that any continuation of offensive or dismissive behavior will have unpleasant consequences. They need to be spelled out to him very clearly, with clear emphasis on the fact that they will apply immediately. Now these might be , for example, if you want us to stay together, we go to marriage counselling. If you don’t show me – not talk about it, but show me some affection and love, you can do your own washing and cooking. I’m not here just to look after you.”
Finally, I strongly suggest that you change to a form of therapy called Cognitive BehavioralTherapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.
It will help you begin to see how you can begin to assert yourself – even after all this time
CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.
These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.
If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,
the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.
Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.
Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.
Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.
Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:
If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here: