Posted by: Jane | 2004/01/09

Crave Respect too!!<br>Crave Repect Too!!

Hi there,

I have a similar problem to Tears. We have been married for two years and we abuse each other verbaly every so often. He says hurtful things to me and I will say hurtful things back. It always starts off with a temper tantrum, over something that has made him angry, and builds up from there. I feel very insecure in this marriage, but I would like to make it work. But I don't know how to make things better for us.

I really do love the man, and when he is not fighting with me, he is a wonderful husband.

Has anyone got some advice for me?
Thank you

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Our expert says:
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Dear Jane,
As usual, some excellent advice from our good readers here. And Tear No More --- congratulations on the progress you're making ! You have such obviously good reasons for a higher self-respect ; and you've noiced some key things. For instance, in the discussion with him, concentrating on the area where you're a world expert, namely yourself and your feelings ("I feel X when Y happens") rather than telling him what he does, or should do, or how he feels. It's more accurate, and more tactically successful.
Jane, it sounds as if, rather than you being any sort of lazy SA b***, he is being a much more typical whinging SA b******. I wonder whether it was a major injury to his self-esteem when he had to retire early for health reasons, and become a man doing the housework ? I wonder whether he has continuing fears about his health, which anxieties easily get turned into anger directed at the only easily available target, you ?
Is it possible he might consider, if you encouraged him, entering into some marriage counselling, to sort this out ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Jane | 2004/01/09

Hi there lady nina,

Thanks for your reply. You make it sound so easy, but I know it is not. It is difficult to change, especially if your are on the wrong side of 45! I am not making excuses, but I don't think that I could change for the better. It seems such a monumental task, and I don't have the energy...... I can see where this is heading now. I want to have a happy marriage, but I don't want to change, so that it can become one. You have helped me to understand, I am the root of the problem. I will have to think about this long and hard and find a solution. Sometimes it helps to talk to strangers.

Thanks for your time and for listerning or rather reading about me!!


Reply to Jane
Posted by: lady nina | 2004/01/09

hi there

i'm sure most of us battles with self esteem to one extent or another .
it's a long long road and not a destination
i hink it started the day i decided that i don't deserve to be called names - the day i told myself i don't want my kids growing up hearing mom called names all the time, i wanted their love and respect above all.
i actually met someone who treated me like a decent person and wow was i amazed at how wonderful i felt
i realized only i can stop it because as long as i allow it it will carry on, i drew a list of my strenghts and weaknesses and started doing something about my weaknesses - it's a long and hard battle but each step forward it wonderful

take care girl you are not alone


Reply to lady nina
Posted by: Jane | 2004/01/09

Hi Tears,

I am pleased that you have made a good start and are sharing this with me. It is just, when I try to tell hubby how I feel (eg insecure) he tells me not to be so childish and to grow up. So now I am hesitant to try that route again.

I don't know how to improve low self esteem . Last Saturday he called me : "a stupid lazy South African bitch" because I said I would not varnish doors or repair broken tiles in the house. I consider this to be a man's job. Bisides, which I work from 8 to 5 all week and half days on Sat. He is retired, and is at home all day! He retired early for health reasons. He does do the ordanairy housework and shopping and some nights he will cook for us too. I can do all the housework too no problem, but don't want to vanish and paint and stuff like that. Am I being stupid and childish about this?

I am just so confused about everything right now! In spite of it all, I am not prepared to give up on my marriage.

Tears, keep you head up, and keep trying.


Reply to Jane
Posted by: Tears | 2004/01/09

Hi Jane,

I have been thinking about this.

FINE, in the ideal world, our men would treat us like princesses, will whisper sweet nothings in our ears the whole day, will never shout or get irritated etc. BUT this is reality. And they, too have to face stressful expectations at work, financial problems etc etc. I’m not shifting blame or looking for an excuse to cover up what I wrote yesterday.

So, last night, I tried something different. Instead of getting home, watching TV (following the same boring routine) , I prepared a romantic picnic on the lounge floor with music, candles, Wine & Pizza. I sat down with him, and told him exactly how I feel, even though I’ve done it 100’s of times, last night I approached him different: “You know, I feel…” instead of “You shouldn’t & you mustn’t…”

I told him, that when we fight like that, it really physically hurts inside me. Like I’m being stabbed. He said that he feels like that too. I also say & do things that hurt him. We are likely to have fights again and again, but if I can at least try to stop saying hurtful things and rather say something like, I love you every time I wanted to say something awful, I might feel better.

About a low self esteem, yes. I do have one. But no one else is gonna fix it for me. I’ll have to do it myself. I have to stop looking for excuses and join the gym, loose weight, wear make-up, look after my feet & nails, do effort with my hair and maybe then I’ll feel like a princess, and won’t be dependant on my bf to say it to me b4 I believe it.

We can make this work, but we’ll have to stay strong, even when we want to give in.

Tears no more!

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