She can’t even bring herself to look at me without wincing. I’ll admit I’m not perfect, but I can’t continue to stay in a house where I’m not loved, needed or respected. During the past year I’ve completely buried myself in work. I’ve told my boss that I’m up for all the hours and projects he wants to throw at me.
I’ve done weekends, nights and even Christmas Day. Yes, I’ve earned an absolute fortune, but is my snarling wife sympathetic or grateful? Is she heck. All she ever says is that I’m a loser and I make her sick. Apparently I’m untidy, annoying and completely useless in bed. She claims I make Mr Bean look like George Clooney. A few weeks ago I suffered terrible chest pains while driving the car. I honestly thought that I was having a heart attack and I swear I saw a look of hope on her face. I begged her to take the wheel and drive me to A&E, but she complained she had shopping to do and insisted I get the bus, on my own, instead.
As it turned out, I only had severe indigestion, but her lack of care and concern has stayed with me. We no longer have sex. She hasn’t smiled at me in two years, although I know that she is the life and soul of the party when she goes out with her mates. I’m always being told how funny she is (you could have fooled me). Any time I’ve tried to make the effort with chocolates, wine or a weekend away in a hotel, she’s always thrown my efforts right back in my face. I hate to sound so down, but my life really is horrible. How can she bear to be so nasty towards me when all I’ve done is strive to be the best husband I can? Even her own parents secretly tell me they’re ashamed of the way she kicks me around.
T SAYS: Insist on a heart-to-heart and lay your cards on the table. Explain that you have had enough of being pushed around. You are a human being with feelings and needs. Insults and ingratitude don’t simply run off your back. Tell your wife that she hurts you every time she slags you off and takes you for granted.
How would she like it if you started being vile towards her? If you’re determined to save this marriage, then tell her there has to be a fresh start. Is she willing to see things from your point of view and start again? What can you both do to make your marriage happy and workable? Could relationship counselling through Relate be an option? I wonder if she might be suffering from some form of depression that requires medical attention. What do her parents think about that? Could her mother gently suggest she sees her GP for a check-up? Ultimately, however, you cannot allow yourself to be anyone’s punch bag. If she really can’t stand you and you dread every waking day, then you’ll have to make plans to move on. No one could ever accuse you of not trying your hardest.