Jekyll and Hyde
Q: From the night we stepped into the house from our reception, my husband of eight years has been like Jekyll and Hyde. He has called me vulgar names, he doesn't see to my needs, and I found out that he views pornography on TV. He won't even acknowledge my constant efforts to communicate with him, telling me that we don't have a problem. I even wrote him a note, but all he did was to set it back on my desk. When I asked him if he read it, he simply said, "Yes, I read all of it." He is still involved with pornography, now on his cell phone. He is constantly saying I love you, but calling me slut or not even talking to me is not love! He has no respect for me, and when we're home together, all he does is sit in his room watching TV and eating. Now I don't want to talk anymore. I don't know what to do. -- Valerie, 57
Dr. Susan: Your husband must have figured he was getting a comfortable deal when he married you. Needs of your own? Complaints? Who knew women needed to be paid attention to after the wedding?! I may be kidding, but he clearly isn't. There is no excuse for the emotional abuse you describe. I'm not necessarily counting the pornography, as that's a whole other issue. Many marriages manage to jog along happily even though the husband indulges in the easy arousal of pornography. But your husband calls you vulgar names and won't respond to constant requests to talk about what's upsetting you. That's abuse, plain and simple. He wants things his own way and sees no reason to give you any of what you want. It's unlikely he'd consider counseling, but you could try. Beyond that, this doesn't sound like a relationship you are going to be able to save. That's always
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.