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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5807
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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i have been married since 2005 and we have had our ups and

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i have been married since 2005 and we have had our ups and downs. However i need advice on how to protect my heart against hurtful things that my husband brings up everytime we have an argument. He can bring bring up things that i did or said from 8 yrs ago; or things that i confided in him; like my insecurities. I am now starting to withdrawal and not talk to him the way i used to............¨How can i go about this situation?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your husband is unable to let go of the past and pointing out your insecurities because he feels hurt. That does not necessarily mean he feels hurt by anything you did. But people who feel insecure (often because of being hurt in the past through abuse or trauma) often have trouble letting go of things they feel threaten them. They are "on guard" against anything that makes them feel fear or that makes them experience vulnerabilities.

He may also have a personality issue. A person that brings up things you confide in them is often trying to hurt you. It is meant to make you back off and reject them. This can happen with people who have narcissism or other personality disorders.

What he is doing can also be a form of emotional abuse. Anytime someone says things to you for the purpose of hurting you then you might be emotionally abused.

The best option for helping this situation is to see a therapist. Your husband may have deep seated issues that cannot be resolved between you. A therapist can assess your husband and find out why he might be saying these hurtful things to you. And the therapist can help him see that he needs to change how he communicates his feelings to you.

However, if your husband will not go to therapy, you may want to go without him. You need support and to decide how you can approach this situation.

To protect yourself, you may have to back off emotionally. That is not ideal, but your husband is leaving you little choice at this point. You cannot keep getting hurt by him. Talk with him about how he commutates his feelings to you. Tell him that he has hurt you to the point that you cannot accept his behavior anymore. Ask him about what he is willing to do to change his behavior and stop bringing up the past. If you have already apologized for anything you have said in the past, then ask him why he is not accepting your apology. Those questions might get him to talk about this issue so you can resolve it.

Here are some resources that may help:

Letting Go of Anger: How to Get Your Emotions Under Control by Annie Chapman- for your husband

The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing by Beverly Engel

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

"Kate" he will not go to therapy, at least i suggested the idea to him and he said he would not go. Seems like he does not believe in therapy. I went alone a few times. I tried to talk to him about the above issue but he apologises and then the same thing happens all over. I do not know what to do. Sometimes his behaviour is very juvenile too. e.g i asked him to drive slowly over the bumps in the road because i get very nauseous when he does not brake before stepping on the bump. So when we have an argument or misunderstanding, he will intentionally hit the bumps as if to make me nauseous. I just do not understand this kind of behaviour.

It sounds like he is intentionally being hurtful to you. In that case, he may have a personality disorder and/or be emotionally abusive. If he is unwilling to change, then you may want to try counseling again on your own, this time with another counselor (sometimes you need to go to more than one to find someone you can work with, just as you do with a doctor). You need to decide how you want to deal with your husband's behavior. If he is being abusive, he may leave you no choice but to try separation, at least until he is willing to deal with how he is treating you.

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