When marital PTSD has one guy wanting to fight for a hopeless cause, or when a bully needs a very public lesson, check in with Hey Daddy.
My husband of less than two years wants a divorce. He blames me for the circumstances that led to his decision, and while I know there were mistakes on my part, I feel he played a role in this too, and we just need counseling. He doesn’t see it that way.
We rushed down to get married the day it became legal. We had only been dating less than a year, and while things were definitely serious and marriage was worth considering, we didn’t know all we needed to know about each other yet to make a lifetime commitment.
I can be overly sensitive, take too long to make decisions, and afraid of conflict. He hates that. I cry when upset. He hates that more. But from the beginning, even things totally beyond my control became triggers for him to lash out. He was insensitive at best, mean at worst, and never willing to look at his own actions or shortcomings.
To me, marriage is forever. How can I get him to work it out?
Pretty Tired, Sick & Depressed
What you’re describing is abuse. Even if he never lifts a finger against you physically, psychological damage is being done. Your husband has you believing that your natural reactions are faults, and has you blaming yourself for inherent aspects of your personality. That’s not good.
He definitely plays a role in your marital issues, because he’s your husband, not an innocent bystander, and because he exacerbates whatever problems there are with inappropriate attacks. But don’t focus on him. Focus on what you can do.
Your instinct for counseling is a good one, though maybe with a tweak in your case. It sounds like he may be uncooperative and unwilling to say the least. Go to counseling anyway. Read your Hey Daddy letter out loud when you get there. All a professional needs to know to start helping you is there.
For your wellbeing, “Marriage is forever” can’t mean “stuck no matter what.” I like where your head is about divorce in general, though. Too many couples jump at a “final solution” without trying to resolve problems. Even a brief separation can lead to healing for some of those guys.
In your case, though, his desire for a divorce may be exactly what’s needed for you.
It seems everyone is offended by everything these days, but how do I handle and what do I say to someone who is seriously being an offensive bully – without making a scene?
Hey U R Tacky
First make sure that you’re not being overly sensitive to what may just be someone else’s opinion. You’ve heard opinions are like assholes: Everyone has one, and only a few people if any want to see it. Sometimes showing yours just leaves two of them out for all to see.
Still, it’s your call. If someone is disparaging others based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical condition, among others, making a scene may be your best move. First consider that the offender might be uninformed. Ask, “Do you know how that sounds?” or “Do you really mean that?” If they clearly do and continue, go ahead and give them something to remember about it if you feel like you’re the best person for the job.
Remember to keep calm and speak for yourself: “I find your bullying rude at best, mean and worst, and totally unnecessary. Keep your bigoted opinions to yourself, or take it somewhere else.”
Daddy loves his boys. He knows the answers you need, and you’re going to get them. Reach out with your burning questions via our editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Hey, Daddy” in the subject line. Warning: Advice in this column is intended for entertainment and novelty. Proceed at your own risk. If you’re in trouble, ask a professional for help.