My husband calls me a freak

A letter writer’s husband is teasing her because of her size, and the joke isn’t funny any more.

It’s time for a serious conversation, says our elder.

Dear EWC

My husband is teasing me to the point of making me sad. I am very self-conscious about my height (or lack of it). I am very wee, standing at only 4ft 9in, and I am also very thin, weighing 85lb. I have been this size since puberty. I met my husband soon after I came to Canada from Ireland, and we married within a year of meeting. In the beginning he would call me “cute stuff” or the like. His nickname for me has always been “mini”. I am ok with the nickname; I don’t mind. Recently my husband has been making jokes about my wee size constantly. He teased me last week because I shop for clothes in the girls’ department. I always have and he knows it; I am too small for most women’s petite sizes. It seems just recently he has been making my size a joke, almost to the point of cruelty. He has called me a “freak”; he teases me almost daily. He recently called me a leprechaun, and thought it was funny because I’m Irish. Please help me with some advice.

Phil replies

I understand your consternation and hope I can help you.  Please hear what I have to say and then do what needs to be done.

I believe, like you probably do, that your husband was fully aware of your size prior to marrying you. He obviously felt you attractive or he wouldn’t have gone further. I suspect that his attraction for you has nothing to do with his constant baiting of you.

Continually, or even occasionally, berating another while knowing that it hurts is truly abuse. It is similar to physically harming you and should be stopped. I hope that he doesn’t do it with the intention of permanently scarring you but red flags do exist. I doubt that you would call him “fatty” if he is overweight or “”beak nose” if his nose is large. You don’t because you know it would trouble him, and rightly so.

If you haven’t already done so you must have a serious one-on-one session with him to discuss what is bothering you. You need to tell him that his words, while jests to him, are hurtful to you and he must stop doing as he has done. If he believes you to be serious and you must make him do that, he will stop the troubling words. If he tells you that you can’t take a joke say that it is beyond the joking period, it is purely and simply painful.

This should be, in most cases, enough for him to stop. If he truly cares he will stop but if he refuses to do so you and he have serious issues not yet raised.

Actually you might suggest counseling for you two as a means of bringing you and your wishes closer together. I suspect that he will cooperate but, if not, you must address further, more serious problems. Do it now and see what answers you get.

Letter #: 430157
Category: Marriage

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