Is my spouse verbally abusive or controlling? I've reached the end of my rope.

5 years ago
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After this weekend I decided it might help me if I started sharing the things my other half says to me that I question whether or not are abusive and/or controlling.  It’s really hard because he does have some good qualities and I tend, at times, to let those overshadow what I suspect are the not-so-good qualities.  I’m made to think that these things happen because of me.  In fact, I’ve been told “if you would just listen to what I tell you” or “if you would do what I tell you” or (and this one makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck) “if you wouldn’t talk back all the time”…..

 I work full time and he’s retired.  Just an FYI.

Regarding “his van” that I will refer to:  we stupidly have FOUR vehicles and three of them “are his”.  The one that he considers mine doesn’t run.  So, I drive “his van” to and from work, etc.  He often inspects it after I come home to see if I parked “someplace stupid”.  Or looks in the window and might see an object, like a toy I picked up at a garage sale and he’ll YELL “what the hell is that in MY VAN?”

I’d love to highlight some of the biggies from the past, but this has been going on for such a long, long time so I’m just going to start with this past weekend.  And the following is kind of mild by comparison.

I go to the grocery store in our small village to pick up a couple supplies.  He tells me (actually, barked it at me) to get some mouse traps, which I do.  But they are a bit different from the glue traps I usually get.  I come home with the stuff and he opens the traps:

Him:  “What the fuck are these?”

Me:  “They’re glue traps; this is all they had.”

Him: “These aren’t the ones I like!  You can drive MY VAN all the way (it was 10 miles, over a month ago, and if he wasn’t acting so crazy I might’ve thought this part was funny) to see Bill Clinton, but you can’t fucking drive 3 miles down the road to get the right traps?  I don’t want to mess with this shit you brought home.”

I put the traps out after he slung the packaging across the kitchen counter and stomped back to his man cave. 

That night, the trap caught THREE mice at once. 

I get up at 5 a.m. and see wriggling mice and hear squeaking and this upsets me.  I hate the glue traps and would rather use the humane ones.  Mind you, I’m not hollering, but I say through his man cave door (and I did not wake him) “would you please come get these mice?  It’s really bothering me how they are struggling and I don’t want to look at them.”

He flies through the door and YELLS “you want to be a farmer but you won’t pick up mice?”  (actually, I do pick stuff up…I pick up the snakes he won’t touch that get caught in our chicken netting.  And he wants me to pick up the carcasses that the cats leave because he doesn’t want to touch them.)

Then he yells “You make me do all the dirty work yet won’t buy the traps I want!!”  I get kinda ticked and say (not yell) “what kind of man are you?? (I probably shouldn’t have said anything, but this blew my mind, the total lack of chivalry).  He yells back what kind of woman are YOU!!?? 

 Me:  “You really hate me, don’t you?”

Him:  “My attitude is poisoned toward you.  You are just like your Aunt Betty and your Mother.  You talk back.  You want to be some independent shit all the time just like them.  You always question what I'm doing and tell me I should do it different (honestly to GOD, I don't do this - he actually does this to me, so this made me feel like I was in the Twightlight Zone). You better just leave me the fuck alone for awhile because I am really pissed off at you right now.”

While I was typing this I was thinking he really didn't sound that bad and I probably should have used a different example, but I wanted to start with this weekend and moving forward. I really could use some constructive feedback/criticism. 


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