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Hi there! I hope to be of some assistance to you... I am sorry that you are facing this tough dilemma right now. It sounds as if his insecurity is being taken out on you and your family, and you don't deserve to be the victim of his issues.
They say that when people show us who they are, we should believe them. Also, behavior is an important guage to read when dealing with someone who you are in a partnership with. He may have grand intentions and a good heart, but unless the behavior is acceptable and consistent with his intentions, it matters not a bit. "You are only a doormat as long as you lay there", I once heard. It may be time to get up and reconnect with your power, and stop tolerating any of this unacceptable treatment.
Your observation about his father is very telling; we absorb the beliefs and behaviors of our parents in a huge amount. They teach us how to treat others. A lot of this is done unconsciously and is just innate; with work, we can overcome the recordings on these tapes... but we have to want to. Only you know if he is defending his behavior as appropriate and if he is unwilling to consider your viewpoint and feelings, or if he truly cares and wants to be able to compromise and work the issue through. Sadly, the only person we can ever change is ourselves... and if the person we are involved with has become a stranger who you no longer recognize, getting some help can be useful... but, if you've tried this to no avail, it just may be that the relationship is unequal and unhealthy for you both.
Do you think it is past the point of help?
I see that you are typing... I will wait for your reply! :-)
I have pulled back from him and not 'reacting' which is what he is wanting me to do. At some point we will talk and I just don't have much faith that he will see what he is doing or admit to it. I do think deep down he doesn't feel good enough or insecure. When we do talk I would like to know what do say so that he understands the seriousness of the situation. I do not want to get divorced as we have small children and I do not want to put them through that. As my stepdaughter said to me this morning... when my parents are here (her step parents) he is really nice but when they come he acts like a jerk. It is very obvious.. He is not very close with his family and we are with mine so it may be that he can't handle that. His family mistreats me and he won't stand up for me... It's a mess... I am holding my ground... I am not crying, staying positive and happy for the kids but inside it hurts so much. That is what he wants which is sick to me...where do I go from here when we finally do talk? how do I communicate what boundaries I should have? what should my boundaries be... so hard to put all these feelings in to words.
You will have to analyze your own expectations for how you want to be treated. When he is being nasty, call him out on it. Tell him that you expect him to be respectful of your parents, and that although he may feel threatened by their connection with you and feel somewhat powerless when they are around, that you expect him to put his own self-centeredness aside and act as an adult. You have to demand that this behavior will not be tolerated, and that it is a deal-breaker and something that you now must address. The children are absorbing his behavior, and your parents don't deserve this at all.
It will take confidence on your part, and strength, and for you to hold firm to your expectations. If he cannot agree to take his focus off of himself and the insecurity he feels, you might have to separate in order for him to see what he would be missing.
Of course, finding a therapist who can help him delve into the reasons his insecurity is being triggered would be ideal. There are good ones out there; it may be time to try again?
I see that you are offline; I hope that you found this chat to be somewhat helpful. You can reply or follow up at anytime and I will try to reply back as soon as I can. Hang in there; we teach people how to treat us, so don't allow this to continue. You have every right to be happy, and to have a happy family.
Opps hit the accept button instead of reply... still there?
Just an update. We worked things out after putting up my boundaries. We have an happy happy home now, loving, supportive, head of the household... everything I hoped he would be. It was work but we did it together and have an very great marriage!!! One of the main reasons for our problems was the fact I was raising his daughter who had major problems and was causing major problems. After me saying I can't raise her anymore because she was hurting our other children we just took her to a psychiatrist who diagnosed her as bipolar. She was taken to the ER for cutting herself and suicidal thoughts... She is finally getting the help she needs, is no longer in our house to cause all of this tension and we are very close to her but now she lives at her mother's house. It was a hard decision but was tearing our family apart. Her mother was undoing everything we were trying to do so we had to let her go live with her. Her mother is also bipolar and impossible to deal with. Now that Katelyn, my stepdaughter is 13 she sees what is going on... She wants help, medication and her mother has been reported to Social Services twice now in the last couple of weeks. Anyhow.. just thought I would give you an update. We truly have a beautiful, loving, respectful marriage all while helping Katelyn at the same time....