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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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my husband is irritable with me a lot. I grew up in a mentally

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my husband is irritable with me a lot. I grew up in a mentally abusive home so this makes me anxious. I often feel like I am one of those women that stay and always make excuses for their mate. what should i do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like you have tried taking many steps to help your marriage and yourself in this situation. It seems your husband is not making that much effort. That makes it hard for you to fix the problem since you are doing this alone when it should be the two of you working together. And it sounds like your husband is repeating some of the experience you had as a child going through mental abuse. That is going to make the situation worse for you.


If your husband refuses to work on this with you, then you have a few choices. One, you can stay and try to work with what you have. Two, you can leave the marriage.


If you decide to stay, keep going to counseling. The support and insight your therapist can offer is exactly what you need right now. Therapy can help you overcome the effects of the mental abuse you suffered as a child and help you learn to cope with your husband's difficult behavior. Talk to your therapist about you feeling like the wife that makes excuses for her husband. This is an important feeling since it says that you feel that you are covering for his poor choices and his treatment of you. Working on this point can help you get to the bottom of the feelings you have about your husband and your marriage. This will help you get a clearer picture of what to do about your marriage.


If you chose to leave your marriage, make one last attempt to work with your husband. Tell him how you feel and that you are concerned that your marriage is over. Then ask him again to work on this with you. If he still shows no motivation or concern, then you know you will have to make the choice yourself. Consider a separation before you think about divorce. This will give you a chance to see how living apart works and if your husband is motivated at all to repair your marriage. And be sure you spend time in therapy working on the process of leaving the marriage. Take your time and take it slow.


Here are some books that may help you with your choices:


Should I Stay Or Go? : How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage by Lee Raffel


Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum


How to Know If It's Time to Go: A 10-Step Reality Test for Your Marriage by Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman


You can find these on or your local library may have them for you.


I hope this has helped you,

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