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Discussion:
my husband is a jerk!
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Well, i just wanted to vent for a moment. last night my husband, some friends and i were hanging out and having fun.
But my husband started being a real JERK and started making fun of me infront of them! it was so awful he kept saying REALLY mean stuff and laughing like it was a joke. I tried to play it off and laugh and then i tried joking with him how he was joking with me and he just kept getting more rude! i even said please stop, and he didnt. he dosent understand whats "to far". when my husband went to get some stuff our friends said " im going to go home, i forgot how rude your husband was" I talked to him after and he did his same "oh sorry baby" but he will do it again next time we go out. he knows its rude!! i dont know if he just wants me to feel stupid in front of people or what??? i hate being called stupid or fat or worthless but its even worse when he does it with people around! he really confuses me because he says a lot of rude stuff and acts like its a joke but he says the same stuff and is serious when we are alone together. do you think this could be his sneaky way of telling me how he feels with people around???
Posted on 02/19/08, 10:58 am
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Reply #1 - 02/19/08  11:25am
" I'm so sorry that he was that way to, apparently repeatedly! You don't deserve that.

What I am about to say is NOT AN EXCUSE... but a possible insight, which if he could overcome, well... it might shed some light into it from a different angle.

While your husband sounds like a real tool, it sounds to me like he has some social anxiety and self esteem issues of his own. He doesn't know how to act and be comfortable with himself in the social atmosphere, and so he shifts the focus off of his insecurities, exploits yours, and attempts humor in order to mask his own lameness... and then it back fires because people think he is a jerk (rightfully) which then reinforces his social insecurity... and its a cycle that spins out of control and the people he loves get hurt... namely you.
My question is... do you think that he is sorry? I mean, even though he is a jerk, do you believe that he loves you and doesn't really want to hurt you? Or is he otherwise and insensitive prick who just apologizes to appease you?
Its not ok, what he did, and if I'm right, I'm suspecting it is totally unconcious. If he is at all open and with potential for growth would be better determined by you than me, but if you deem him so... you might subtly say something to him at the right time, like when he is apologizing for such a situation, that you understand that he only does it because of his own anxiety, and that you know that the things he said, while they may hurt, aren't true. (Even if you might really feel they are to some degree)... As you strengthen your own self image, no one can attack it successfully. The 4 agreements is a great book which covers this. If someone calls me fat, it may hurt me to know that they have said a hurtful thing, but it doesn't really hurt me personally, it more makes me feel bad for them for being a vicious person. That is because I know I'm not fat. Conversely, if I think I am fat... I have to examine what they have said in light of what truth I may align with it. If there is truth, I can chose to take what they say, discard the hurtfulness of it by again feeling more sorry for them for their malicious character, and focus on what I am going to do about the fact that I agree with them. As I work on my improving my own health and body image, I empower myself and diffuse future attacks in the same vein. But if I just hang out feeling the hurt and using it to further continue to hurt myself, being the victim and licking my wounds... well then I empower them more than myself, and I make my own self image dependant on the acceptance of others. So I try to take any criticism, whether it comes in the form of kindness or cruelty, and measure it with my own standard of "how much truth do i find here"... and address the truthes and discard the rest. Then I can be thankful for even the negative feedback, because I learned how to turn it around and benefit from it. This, in my estimation, makes me a survivor of the attack rather than a victim of it. We can't control whether we get attacked sometimes, but we can control what we do with it... and of course, if attacks are repetitive, we can choose to disassociate from the source. "
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Reply #2 - 02/19/08  11:31am
" the things he says are true and sometimes even facts that are true. like i have hearing problems and he calls me deaf.i have stretch mareks and he makes fun of that (from when i was prego) things like that "
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Reply #3 - 02/19/08  5:38pm
" What do you mean "his sneaky way of telling you how he feels"? He isn't being sneaky at all. He's being all upfront and honest and pretty damn brutal about it. I do not care how much of what he says is true, it is cruel to say it in an attempt to scorn you, even if he is laughing when he does it. Does it constitute abuse? I don't know enough to tell you the truth. The only person who can answer that is you. Does it feel like abuse? Have you told him, in so many words, that this hurts your feelings? If you have - great. If you haven't - get to it. The next time he does it - get up and walk out of the room. Do not tolerate it. Not for one moment. I don't care if you are in public or at home, there is no difference.

If you are wondering if this rises to the level of abuse, take a look at my journal. There is a list of 65 Red Flags there to help you sort it all out.

Stay strong, Val "
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Reply #4 - 02/19/08  6:25pm
" oh man are we twins or something? Or are there many man like ours out there, my husband of 15 years is exactly the same, and man like that are called ARSHOLES, i hate your husband and mostly mine, my husband called me all sorts treated me like if i didn't exist until now, and i am 10 years younger than him, how sick they think they are the best crap around, they have to make us feel like shit, dont take his crap, but i tell you something i tried divorcing him but he wont leave he is like a sand in the palm of my hands now, he is afraid of being without me. WHY, you will find that out if you stay with your husband its because they are COWARDS. "
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Reply #5 - 02/19/08  9:02pm
" I'm sorry, but social anxiety or not, when he apologizes and then repeats the behavior again and again he obviously doesn't want to change it. Has he attempted any help in changing this behavior? What would he say if you suggested it? That could give you a real signal as to if this is abuse or not. If he is serious about not wanting to continue to hurt your feelings and is willing to seek therapy for his actions, then it could simply be a social anxiety that there are effective treatments for. If he turns it back on you and says that it is your problem, that you're too sensitive or that you can't handle the "truth," then it is outright abuse. "
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Reply #6 - 02/19/08  9:31pm
" You are being emotionally abused. Emotional abuse is hell. In fact, I think it is worse than physical abuse. It turns one upside down and sometimes one doesn't know what is right and what is wrong after all is said and done.

The reason he laughs around friends is because he knows that what he is doing to you is wrong. He is deliberately covering his emotional abuse with laughter in an effort to make it seem like he is just playing around. This way, if you complain, he can say that you are taking things the wrong way and don't know how to take a joke. DON'T BUY INTO IT.

AND it doesn't matter if what he says is true...if it hurts you, it is still emotional abuse. You don't deserve to be belittled at any time.

Chances are, however, that he will not recognize that what he is doing is abusive. He sounds like a selfish person who doesn't really love you(this is not a statement against you). If he did love you, he wouldn't want to hurt you. In fact, he would do whatever he could to keep from hurting you. I know. After 2 failed marriages, I have found that kind of man. There are wonderful men out there who will love you for who you are, as you are. You ARE LOVABLE. YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE. Don't forget that. "
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Reply #7 - 02/20/08  10:06am
" I think i agree with that, i really dont think he loves me, seriously... im starting to wonder why i thought he ever loved me

thank you everyone for listening and giving me advice. god bless "
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Reply #8 - 02/13/12  10:15pm
" Hi Nina34, I understand what you are going through, I know your post is from 2008, I wonder if anything has changed, are you two still married? Did he change? My husband can be such a jerk, a counselor said he makes wisecracks to hide his insecurities too. "
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Reply #9 - 02/14/12  10:38am
" I'm in the camp that says he's an abuser and that's why he does it...and that yes--he knows he's doing wrong.

From what I've heard, its really common for abusers to "jokingly" abuse their victims in public (or around friends). For some targets, these instances hurt even more than the physical violence they've received...because of the sense of shame and humiliation.

I watched an interview with one woman who had had her ribs broken and her shoulder dislocated--and she still maintained the "worst abuse" she'd ever experienced was when her husband had made lude comments and jokes to her in front of her friends...and he wouldn't stop. She started crying during the interview as she described what he had been saying and how he had treated her...and how her friends felt uncomfortable and left.

This kind of abuse acts in many ways. For one thing, it gives the abuser some sick justification if he gets a smile, a laugh, or even an avoiding glance from others. It says to him "others will not stop me if I abuse this person, in public or in private." For another thing, it isolates the target--the target would learn not to want to be in social situations anymore, with the abuser, and so might avoid going out and socializing. The target's friends might get uncomfortable and leave.

Also, he's battering your self worth by saying these things about you and revealing your shames to others. This kind of abuse is supposed to confuse the target into thinking that she is undesirable and that she deserves bad treatment and should stay with him.

This is abuse. It doesn't matter if its conscious or not, but I believe it IS. And you don't deserve it.

He's a jerk and you deserve better. "

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