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One Side Of The Story

Question:

Where do I begin? I suspect that my husband has a host of psychological problems. The most damaging to our relationship is his distortion and exaggeration of the truth, particularly when talking about my behavior. He claims I yell when I don’t, he exaggerates my body language, tone of voice, hostility level, etc. He is so frustrating to talk to I would like to scream at him, but I do not. He claims that because of my behavior, I need psychological help. I believe that I am in reasonable psychological health. He overreacts to many things and I believe he’s never matured. His relationship with his mother is more like a husband/wife and I feel like I’ve married the two of them. They treat each other like children, both very needy. I am not a needy person. He’s very compulsive, obsessive about some things, self centered, insecure, blames, I guess I could go on and on. He’s very willing to have discussions but they end up like an emotional tennis match. No yelling or outbursts or anger, but draining. We both want to work on our marriage but I am so emotionally tired of dealing with him and our conversations only focus on how all of this upsets him. What can I do, if anything, until we can get into counseling? I’m exhausted.

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Answer:

I’m sure you are exhausted. I’m exhausted just thinking about what you’re going through. Still – the first rule of marital therapy is “don’t agree to hear one partner without the other one there to defend him/herself”. I’m sure all you’ve said is true from your own perspective. I’m also sure that had your husband also written to me, that he’d describe you in a similarly negative fashion. I’m not suggesting that you don’t have legitimate complaints – not at all. Only that what you are describing is only half the story.

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p> A marriage is a bridge between two different people with two different personalities. When it works, that bridge helps each partner to find ways to honor the idiosyncrasies of the other. Right now your bridge is in tatters and you’re attacking one another. I think the single most important thing you can do for your marriage right now is to get the two of you into marital counseling ASAP. It will be difficult for you to do the other things that will need to be done to help repair the marriage (like not putting the other one down) without an impartial third party helping you to keep from attacking one another (AKA defending ones’ self).

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    Does your husband have ADHD? Look into this.

  • Anonymous-2

    I seem to have the same problem. though the situation is in reverse, i am the husband and my wife seems to have the problem. but as i pick apart the ongoings it seems we both have to same problems of exaggeration as well as attacking each other, though we do go to counseling next week, but in the mean time we have been trying various exercises from marital help books which seem to help so i would recommend them to you in the mean time as well.

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