Suspected Infidelity

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We are both in our early thirties and have 2 children. We have a history of not fighting fairly when we disagree. This past year, after our second son was born, my husband began pushing my feelings to the side. Not spending a lot of time at home and the most important thing, ignored my birthday. No "Happy Birthday", card, nothing!!!! He also, has said some really nasty things to me as well, while fighting. Things like "I don't know If I love you anymore", "Bitch", "Your a bad mom", too many things to list actually. All which I feel were unwarranted. Even though he has said sorry, I sometimes feel like I cannot trust him or his intentions for the rest of our marriage. He says I am insecure and should seek therapy and none of this is his fault.

My question is: Is it wrong to blame him for my trust issues? I feel his actions and harsh words have over time caused me not to trust him. Even though he has not given me any proof of infidelity, it is so hard for me to think that it is not possible, based on his actions. Like I don't trust his heart or feelings.

Ben's Answer:

The things your husband are saying to you in anger, are abusive. Emotionally and verbally abusive. I see no reason to have 100% trust in a person that is abusing you. As for infidelity - it's an understandable thing for you to feel insecure about, if your husband is ignoring you and putting you down, and spending a lot of time away from home. (Of course their may be another side to this story, if you're also acting abusively towards him).

A high percentage of domestic abuse occurs when a woman is pregnant. That's when a lot of women find that their husband or boyfriend has suddenly become violent towards them. Doesn't say much for our species I'm afraid.

Guys usually go through a hard time in their marriage when a child is born. Usually it's because they feel replaced by the baby. The baby gets all your love and affection and time, and energy, and the guy feels neglected and hurt. This can turn to bitterness and anger. And in his case, abusive and hurtful behavior towards you. This behavior is not your fault. But clearly, your relationship is in urgent need of help.

You and your husband need to start having some serious heart to heart conversations (without the distraction of the kids), and both of you need to be totally honest about your feelings. I suspect he is not one to open up this way. But he needs to, or your relationship will probably continue to crumble.

If you can't do it on your own, it would be a good idea to see a marital therapist. If he's too resentful to do it for you, maybe he'll do it for the sake of the kids.

Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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