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RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Hi, My husbands previous marriage was a very abusive one.

Resolved Question:

My husband's previous marriage was a very abusive one. Apparently his ex wife was severely mentally abusive towards him. They have been apart for approx 9 years. The basics of my problem is this: he is horrible to me, rude, ignorant, picks on petty things that I do and makes a big issue out of them - a bit difficult to explain but appears he is doing to me what he says she did to him. We had a baby, she will be two in May, she wasn't planned and yes it has put a strain on things. I believe he is down and would benefit from seeing a doctor. I have said this in the past but he gets very defensive as his ex used to say this to him all the time (hence the doubt as to whether she was the main 'abuser' in their relationship). I have had to get help from the docs and am now on medication as I am close to a nervous breakdown (according to the doc). How can I try and convince him to see a doc without him getting on the defensive and then refusing point blank to even consider it - I haven't told him I'm seeing the doc or on medication as he will just see it as that I have admitted that it's me and it's not him. Thank you. Samantha.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  RealSupport replied 5 years ago. :

This is not easy for sure. :

Even more considering you have a very young baby ad the very same patterns in his previous marriage where there was an abusive dynamics. :

Samantha. In every relationship, marital issues depend on both partners. One could be the abuser but the other has to play a role enabling, setting boundaries, coping assertively, withdrawing. etc. :

In this case he has serious issues leading to the end of previous marriage so it is obvious he is carrying such issues with him into your relationship. :

When people do not work on personal or past marital issues, they bring them into new relationship perpetuating the same patterns. :

having unplanned baby has been a real trigger here adding to the stress and making things harder but also making evident the issues he needs to work on himself and the problems in the communication-relationship that require attention. :

Right now it is not only about you two, but about the baby. Everything you do will continue to literally shape her personality and life. :

Any form of abuse or mistreatment must be confronted and ended, it is just unacceptable for it to co-exist in a marriage even less with children present. :

I do not think it is realistic to expect him not getting defensive whenever any of these core issues get discussed or even mentioned, considering the seriousness they involve. :

So setting of clear boundaries here is essential. :

he needs to hold accountability for his own words, feelings and actions otherwise the situation-marriage would be hopeless. :

Without accountability and basic respect and caring there is nothing healthy that could develop from it. :

Anybody in your shoes would feel depressed or develop anxiety or any other mental health problem as a consequence of the abuse present there. medication is not the solution to it. :

But to work on coping with these issues and finding solutions. Psychological counseling appears necessary for you to cope and for him to work on his personal issues creating and fueling the marital ones. :

it is wise you have taken the initiative to get support -again medication is not ideal but psychological help- and trying to motivate him to do it too. But if he remains reluctant to even acknowledge he has problems from the past and is being abusive now towards you and do the baby, then you would need to reassess your priorities... :

and define your core needs and expectations here for you and the baby too, and invite him to do the same promoting an open and honest dialogue. couples counseling could be the way to engage in it, but if he refuses to work on thing,s, again, it would be hopeless. :

Please focus on taking good care of yourself and the baby, then on modeling the very assertive behaviors you need and want him to present and set boundaries around what is acceptable and what is not. :

Consider individual psychological counseling for you and always remember that this personal and marital work is necessary for the baby well-being too, that her presence must me a priority number one and reason good enough for your husband to star taking responsibility and doing something about these issues with the right professional support. :

Hope it helps.

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