Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Tired and emotionally drained

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Are these sort of marital problems normal? I feel like I am going crazy! My husband was in the military for many years, so I know tidiness must be order of the day, but I feel like my husband is controlling, in a freakish way. Worst part is I have nobody to talk to, so not sure if these problems I am facing are just part of normal marital issues or something bigger. Is it normal if he gets really upset over stupid things? Like I laid my spoon on an old piece of towel on the counter versus a new piece of paper towel. He doesn't want me to lay the spoon directly on the counter it has to be on a paper. He doesn't want me to eat potato chips on the couch. He's upset if I leave half a drawer open. He gets pissed off if I walk in the bedroom wearing shoes I used to go out earlier, but then our dogs are free to walk about in the bedroom! If I get pissed off because of his requests, he gets more pissed off and then says he tried to say it nicely.

Lately though, I get really mad and slam the door in hopes that he notices how angry he makes me and would make it stop, but so far no method seems to work to make him stop. He always come up with something new. Today he said I should just leave. He says this all the time, but I am getting tired of hearing it and am thinking to leave for real. He has a history of getting into fights with his ex girlfriends as well. When he worked I thought it was stress, so I closed an eye on it. Now, that we both work at home and there's no real stress triggers, I think it's just the way he is. I am tired of fighting. Also, the more I try to comply to his requests, the more he comes up with newer ones.

Once in one of our biggest fights, I was helping my grandma peel tomatoes and my dad told him 'Aren't you going to help them out?" my husband got really mad for this remark. He refused to eat dinner with my family for 3 days. My dad was upset from his reaction and a big fight erupted. My husband told my dad " Be careful or I am going to break your last teeth." I never forgot those words.

There was also a time I thought he was cheating on me, but he denied everything even though I found an e-mail that took me to a picture of a girl and then found a condom in his wallet. He swore the e-mail he created it for his boss who had an affair with that girl and that the condom was there since we moved and he put it there months earlier and forgot about it. This was like 10 years ago.

The only reason I think am I still with him is I feel responsible to adhere to our marriage and I love our dogs. Even though we make peace every time, there's always another fight around the corner and my husband thinks it's normal and all couples go through them, but I'm starting to think differently and feel exhausted not sure if I need a break or to leave for good.

I will be going to Italy in 10 days to visit my family and I am thinking maybe this is a good time to leave. Yet, I worry about how he will be able to live financially since I bring most of the money with my business. He would be left with a high mortgage.I watch dogs as a business and he doesn't like it even though it helps us survive. He doesn't lift a finger to help me and if I need to ask for help like watch a dog 5 minutes while I use the restroom it's like who knows what I am asking him. I also have a hard time thinking about leaving my dogs. How can people divorce and leave children, when I can't even cope with leaving my dogs? It must be terrible tough.

We have been married almost 16 years, I was very young back then (21) and even though we would fight over stupid things, I could get over it. Now, my blood pressure raises high. Maybe, I feel I am old enough and deserve more respect. Maybe I got tired of it. Maybe I feel I deserve better.  He never really hit me or anything, even though at times he acted as if  he would and when he's very angry sometimes I feel like I must not react too much or it could escalate too much. I know tomorrow he will come to me to say he is sorry. He'll likely say he was stressed because I got a dog to watch in our home (and he didn't want me to) and it disrupts our routine. He accused me earlier of taking this dog not because we need money but because I am too weak to say no to the client. Yet, these dogs are what allow us to work at home and pay our bills.

When I met him, I remember the first time we fought it was over something stupid. I remember though I was surprised at how stupid it was. It was raining and I was holding the umbrella and he got mad that I wasn't holding it well. With his ex, he risked one leaving him because he told her she drove badly. Another one because he got pissed off at her for not listening to him on how to fix the computer. I have always known to be patient and understanding and I think that was what has saved our marriage. Today though, I am feeling how suppressed my behaviors are around him and how free and happy I feel when I travel without him. I think he is having a big effect on my self esteem. I started noticing I often swallow when I talk to him. I think it's a sign of me being nervous. His reactions at times scare me. I have a hard time admitting this. My mom once told me I am a saint to stand him. Our fights are about once a month, but I have daily "invitations" from him to fight but generally ignore them to maintain peace of I guess I reach a point where I just can no longer take it. I need help to understand what is happening and how I should cope with this, sorry if it's long. I think if I must leave him now is the time as I will have support from my family in Italy. Thank you for your time."

Answer
Hi Mary,

I did not have to read the whole letter to know that the issue s with your husband.  He is controlling and overbearing His demand are unreasonable.  My advice is to quietly make plans to leave..  IO say quietly because these men especially if they have Post Traumatic Stress from the military can become violent.  Even men who were not in the military can become violent when the world they created gets broken.

So make plans, and before it escalates to violence, go.  There are probably women's centers in the area  they can help you if you need information or a safe place to go to.

God luck,

Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship

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Tom Blair

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Questions related to strengthening and saving relationships and marriages. Sexual relationship questions. Published author.

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Neural Linguistic Practitioner Hypnotherapist Sexual Relationship Coach Internationally read author. Retired Educator All relationships are based on having certain needs being met. Healthy relationships are ones where there is a mutual meeting of these needs. Respect, honesty, communication are just some of those needs When those needs and others are not being met, the relationship will fall into disrepair. Together we will identify those needs and work to correct the imbalance. It is not too late, love can be rekindled. And it can last a life time.

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Neural Linguistic Practitioner Hypnotherapist Sexual Relationship Coach Internationally read author. Retired Educator

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