Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.
I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing in your marriage. Remember that actions speak louder than words. Love is a verb and requires actions rather than simply words. It does not sound as if your husband has been showing you love for quite some time. It sounds as if it is time for you to "renegotiate your contract" with your husband. A first step is to let him know how you feel about him, along with a frank talk with him explaining that this arrangement is no longer acceptable and outlining what you need from him. It may be that he is suffering from depression, or that he has been enabled by his parents and perhaps you, to not have to pull his fair share of a relationship. Either way, this relationship does not sound healthy at all. What you have described may or may not fit the definition of emotional abuse depending on what type of criticism he engages in; either way it is certainly disrespectful. You may find the following website helpful to clarify about abuse: http://www.ndvh.org/get-educated/?gclid=CL-cjOXYr6MCFQpknAodkXxg6g
One thing I would add is that it seems that you have been doing quite a bit of emotional work about this relationship. In order for this to be a healthy relationship, we would expect your partner to do a relatively equal amount of emotional work (if you balance it out over time). This may be one way to evaluate if someone is committed to a relationship and to changing in order to make the relationship work. You deserve someone who will put the work into the relationship as well, since it takes two people to make it work. Also, I definitely believe in trusting your gut. It is often a very good indicator of red flags that should not be ignored. Feelings of love tend to be very irrational, while the gut is a good barometer of danger, both physical and emotional.
While you can't change his behavior, you can begin to be clear with him that you will no longer accept these behaviors. You can set boundaries where you can in not listening and walking away when he becomes critical of you. It can be a difficult balance to judge whether it is better to stay in an unhealthy marriage or to end the marriage. This is a decision only you can make. In the meantime, you may want to work on issues in your therapy in order to get some support for yourself, build up your self esteem, help you to set boundaries, and take good care of yourself. In the meantime, be sure to take care of yourself through healthy eating, exercise, rest and reaching out to supportive people in your life. I hope this is helpful.
Thank you for clarifying. The behaviors that you are describing certainly sound like emotional abuse. Abusers will generally attempt to control and isolate their victim in order to have more power in the relationship. The more isolated and vulnerable you become, the more this gives him power over you (think of the school yard bully). You do not deserve this type of treatment. You have the right to take steps to take care of yourself and to be treated with respect and caring. Please discuss this with your therapist in order to get help in setting limits and forming a plan to move forward either with or without your husband. Please let me know if I can help further.