Emotional Abuse: An Open Letter To My Husband

I am asking for something major: to try, with an open mind, over a number of days, to consider if you are emotionally abusive.

Just consider it. Read the books I got you. Try to think them over from an outside perspective, from my perspective, or from the kids' perspective. Just open yourself to the possibility that you have inherited the dysfunction you grew up with.

Maybe you will see things you feel you need to change. If after careful consideration you feel you do not need to change, maybe we'll decide we each think the other is crazy and can't see eye to eye. And then we have decisions to make. Either way we can both stop being miserable.

You have always treated little ones with sweetness. You are very good with perfect little people who have no opinions of their own. But experience says one day, our toddler will let you down like her teenage siblings. She'll get a cavity at the dentist, or close the car door too loud, or wear makeup you don’t like. And you'll start making her feel worthless.

All the kids fear you. You destroyed your son’s self esteem. All he ever wanted was to be like you and every day you tell him how he's not good enough. Everyone in this house hides from you. YOUR CHILDREN LITERALLY HIDE FROM YOU. Is that the Dad you wanted to be? Do you remember? I do. And I think the man you were would be disgusted.

You are a coward. You make the people who love you most hurt in small, mean, cowardly ways. You undermine. You mumble. You insinuate. You are a bully.

You scrutinize every grocery receipt, count how many yogurts your daughter ate, time how long the kids shower, guilt trip them over having to pay their doctor and dental bills. What does it serve to make your son feel bad over how much cereal he ate? 

Somehow we've deteriorated to the point where when you come in the room I cringe. Everything in me tightens, and I can't relax until you are gone.

You offered last week to buy me a Corvette. I DON'T WANT THINGS. All I ever wanted from you was your love, acceptance, and sweetness. The obsession with money is YOUR crazy. That is the crazy from your childhood and your programming and it has nothing to do with me. If I want stuff, I can get stuff on my own. What I really wanted from you was to share, to be connected. I'm sorry you can’t believe or understand that.

If you are willing to sincerely try, we have a chance. If you have no intention of trying, I need you to own that.




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