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“Why are you even with me?”

Whenever we argue, my husband threatens divorce. Does he not want me around? 

Our elder believes it’s emotional blackmail, and recommends a long and honest talk.

 

Dear EWC

I need advice. My husband and I have been together four years, married one and a half. It’s always been good. However anytime we get into an argument or disagreement, he will immediately say things like, “Well why do you even live here?” or “Then why are you even with me?”. 

When I try to express my feelings he will often put it off by saying, “you’re just being sensitive” or “Don’t take things so seriously”. For context: our most recent disagreement went like this (I’m going to do my best to describe exactly how it happened so as to not put my POV in favor). My husband could tell I was a little upset. After he asked what was wrong I expressed how I wasn’t upset but I was trying to get dinner cooked and put all the laundry away while he was taking a bath. He asked why I didn’t ask him for help. I replied with, “I didn’t ask for help because I got scared. Because sometimes you get upset when I ask for help.” He immediately got defensive. And accused me of being terrified of him and, “If I’m so terrified of me then why the fuck do you even live here?!” Of course I was immediately hurt by this comment. Does he really not want me around him? Why does he immediately go to this extreme? I don’t know what to do in this situation. I love him but when every argument ends like this it really does make me think about it.

 

Here4U replies

It sounds to me as if your husband is emotionally blackmailing you. 

I believe it is dangerous to a marriage to threaten divorce if one does not really want one. It seems that your husband has fallen into a bad habit of doing this even if he does not use that particular word. He puts the blame on you with his unfounded accusations. I believe that he needs to take a serious look at the way that he argues, as his arguing techniques greatly need improvement.  

I do not believe that these types of threats are healthy to your marriage. You two need to work your problems out, yet how can you, as the communication immediately stops when his only answer to a problem is to accuse you of not wanting to be with him. That is not the way for a couple to reach a solution. 

It is possible that your husband is very insecure and overly sensitive. He seems to be unable to take any criticism at all about him or your marriage. He seems to over-react and blow things out of proportion when you express your true feelings to him. It seems very passive aggressive on his part. As a married couple, you should always feel safe to express your true feelings to each other without the other immediately coming to the conclusion that this means that it is over for you two.

In my opinion, your husband is terrified of losing you and he reacts to this by trying to beat you to the punch. Before you have a chance of saying anything he is already stating that you are so miserable that you are leaving. He does not clarify what he hears you say, nor does he directly ask you if something he does is a deal breaker or ask how you two could work on resolving it. He instead jumps to what would be the worst conclusion for him, which is his fear that you will leave him over it. 

It sounds to me as if he needs constant reassurance of your love and I believe that this is at the root of him constantly saying, “Why are you with me?” I am not suggesting that you should constantly reassure him as I believe that would be unhealthy.

I am not professional in this area; however there are many resources available to you. You could go to: If We Always Threaten Divorce, Is Our Marriage Doomed? It is at:

https://www.thecut.com/2017/06/if-we-always-threaten-divorce-is-our-marriage-doomed.html

you could also go to: Why Threatening Divorce During an Argument Will Harm your Marriage. It is at:

https://www.verywellmind.com/threatening-divorce-during-an-argument-4088210

I would also suggest that you look into counseling as I believe that this is a serious problem and it would probably greatly benefit your husband and your marriage if he knew why he behaves in this manner so that he can work to change it. 

All couples have arguments so it is important how those arguments are handled. I would suggest that you have a long and honest talk with your husband. Be sure it is at a time when you both are calm. Explain to him how it hurts you that his only reaction to arguments is to conclude that you must not want to be with him. Let him know that you want to be able to share your true feelings with him yet his reaction causes you to hold back. I believe that the two of you should come to an agreement that neither one of you will ever say that you should not stay together when you do not mean it. 

Words are powerful and they can be very hurtful when that is their intention. I do not believe that there is any reason that you should continue in this relationship as it is now. I hope that this has been helpful. If you would like advice in the future please feel free to write again. 

I wish you freedom from unfounded accusations and blame.

Article #: 466505

Category: Dating/Relationship

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