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He's Selfish, Disrespectful And Irresponsible

Question:

I have been with my husband for 5 years. We have a 3 year old daughter together. We have really great times together but we also have super bad times. He is very verbal with me. Most of the time I cannot view my opinion or even just say something is bothering me in fear that a huge fight will happen, usually just him yelling, calling me names & threatening a divorce. He spends a lot of money on what I think are stupid things. We live at home with his parents temporarily until we find a place. But instead of saving he spends. Like golf clubs, a new car. I supposedly have no say in it cause it’s his money. So if I tell him please don’t get that car. I wanna get a house & move out of here. He says we will. Don’t worry about what I’m spending MY money on. All my bills will be paid. Yeah, here at his parents he has none. I want to have things like a house. I drive an old used car & I’m the one who halls our daughter around 99% of the time. He has has 6 or 7 cars since we’ve been together. I have had 2 only because the first one just stop running. I cant afford a car payment cause I pay too much for day care. He doesn’t help me with day care. He says cause he’s got other bills that he doesn’t have money to help me. We have separate accounts because of his spending problems. I just really need advise from someone who doesn’t know either of us. He disrespects me all the time in front of our friends. Somehow everything is always my fault, or at least leads to someway of making it my fault. He’s selfish, disrespectful and irresponsible. I really doesn’t know what to do. I can’t tell him that in fear of a divorce or him screaming at me or throwing something. I don’t want to live like that but I don’t want to end our marriage and our family if it can be saved. Please help me

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Answer:

When you say, “He’s selfish, disrespectful and irresponsible…I don’t want to live like that but I don’t want to end our marriage and our family if it can be saved”, well, it is hard to get clearer about your issue than this sort of statement. So, congratulations on your clear understanding because that is actually an accomplishment. You can’t figure out what you need to do before you understand what is wrong. The key outstanding question in your description above will be your deciding whether the marriage can be saved. This is going to come down to how much selfishness, disrespectfulness and irresponsibility you can take from him and still feel okay about yourself and your situation. It is not a question of whether the marriage can endure; it is more a question of how much disrespect you will put up with before it becomes better to leave than to stay.

It seems clear enough that you’ve asked him to behave better and more thoughtfully on various occasions in the past with little success; if he is to change how he relates to you you’re going to have to try different ways of interacting with him. Perhaps you will have to learn to be more assertive with him, not backing down, not giving in, and not letting him off the hook when he does something selfish (all the while, doing your level best to communicate rationally, and to not raise your voice or become whiny). Any attempts you make to assert your needs will likely be met with resistance, however. It seems that he escalates and threatens whenever you push him for something because he knows that this will shut you down. You can expect that the more firmly you advocate for respectful thoughtful treatment, the more you will be yelled at and threatened with divorce. You will need to be ready for this.

This man knows your fears and uses them to keep you down. Your challenge is to stop being afraid, or to at least stop letting your fears keep you paralyzed. When you stop allowing yourself to be paralyzed with fear, he stops having leverage over you and the power dynamic within your relationship will necessarily change. When you find your gentle but persistently firm voice and stop responding to his threats he will either start giving ground and behaving better, or he will escalate ever further until it is truly dangerous to live with him. I hope that he is wise enough to learn how to compromise some, because it is clear you don’t want to leave this marriage. If it becomes necessary to leave him in order to preserve your self-respect or safety, I hope you will find the courage to do so, however. There is life after divorce, and it can be sweet. At least, sweeter than your present experience seems to be. Good luck.

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    The writer states that she wants to save the family if she can. This is not a family. She needs to get out and hope that her children don't become pathetic losers like their dad. A real man would not want his family living with his mommy and daddy. And he wouldn't belittle the mother of his children. I grew up in a abusive family and it makes me sick how women will put up with this and use the "keeping the family together" as an excuse to stay.

  • Anonymous-2

    get out

  • not confused any more

    It can be VERY confusing when you can't belance your priority of family over what seems wrong in your "spouse". BUT do not get trapped in the idea that keeping your family "together" is better. It is really important to get away from constant, grinding abuse, it confuses the HELL out of the victim. You are not the bad one, the stupid one, or the dumb one.. HE is. Find a way, try hard, get lots of help, make calls from a friends house, and get away... I've done it the tortured way, and I tell you, it is FABULOUS on the other side, and this is after i have been taken to court 38 times in 2.5 years. Stupid, stupid man, clever me for leaving. I hated doing it then, but I'm SO glad I did now. Get away from bad men, cut ties, live well, and NEVER spend time with people like him again. Make yourself a promise, learn your pattern, speak to a domestic violence counsellor and do whatever you can to move on and away from him. Your kids might perpetuate your contact, but who cares? Your contact with him should end. Be free, feel happy, it CAN happen if you let it.

  • Anonymous-3

    you're right !

  • Anonymous-4

    Hi all,

    Yes i'm sorry to add a definative negetive outcome, but you have no marriage in the true sense and sooner or later you'll come to realize that fact. No amount of wishing and tolerance and sacrifice will alter the fact that the fundemental qualities nessessary for a good relationship are not present in your husband, nor will be unless he turns into someone other than who he currently is. This person is not capeable of providing you and your children with what you must have.

    I'm so sorry for your grief, i've been through it. Respect yourself, trust your good common sense and back it with action. For a person to gain emotional maturity, it takes a lot of education and some big wake up calls, but always present is their want to grow and learn, and their need to be a fair and just person. If this level of integrity is not present within a man at his age, it is highly unlikely it ever will be, irrelevant of the situation or the spouse.

    The one note i have always remembered after leaving all bad relationships behind me but especially the one i fought so hard for with my ex partner was this..it rings in my mind forever and stops all my headaches and i always know what to do when i hear it...'this person is not a real friend' ' i can Trust in one thing in this person with no doubt.. he does not have my best interests in his heart'. 'I can count on this man.. to endlessly dissapoint, betray, deceive and hurt me and those i love'.

    Best of luck dear, i'm sorry for your loss. Get a divorce.

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