(Closed) My DH is a jerk, and I don't know what to do

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
3992 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Step 1 – tell him all this

Step 2 – counseling for you and for him and togther. If he refuses, say refusal is not an option.

Step 3 – this is if he refuses counseling or nothing changes – you leave.


 I made a vow to be with Darling Husband until one of us died, and to be painfully honest, I  have occasionally wished that Darling Husband would get in some accident or something so that  I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore. My BFF has urged me to consider my  future happiness, but I feel like I have no right to do that. I feel  like my happiness does not matter. I have a duty to stay with my Darling Husband, no matter  what.

Post # 4
1293 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

@mrshunnybunches:  I don’t think it’s right to stay with someone out of pity. When I read your comment about wishing your Darling Husband would get in an accident, I could feel my heart stop. That is not a normal thing to wish on someone you love (or anyone else, really). Yes, you did commit to this man for life. But was he always this way, or has he recently changed?

I think counseling is a great idea if you are both willing and committed to making the relationship work. But if it’s already so far gone that you wish he was *gulp* dead so that you could leave him? Then I’d say it’s best to just leave him now so you don’t become even more resentful, unhappy, and bitter. The rest of your life is a long time to be in a situation you loathe.  

Post # 5
733 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@mrshunnybunches: First: YOUR HAPPINESS MATTERS. You have got to start believing that. Your long-term happiness and well-being is vastly more important IMO than vows you took based on infatuation and incomplete information, so if the only reason you are staying in this relationship is duty, please reconsider.

And let’s examine the concept of “duty.” Look at it this way: what is your relationship as it’s currently formulated providing your husband? The comfort to avoid actually dealing with his low self-esteem and learning how to get close to people? There is no honor in being someone’s crutch.

If I were you, at the very least I would demand that my husband seek consistent therapy for an extended period of time. If things didn’t improve, I would probably cut my losses. I’m so sorry that you’re struggling with this, OP. 

Post # 6
2376 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

You can’t change someone and you know that.  You’ve been trying to make him change for 4 years, and you continue to bash your head against the wall.  He doesn’t want to change.  He doesn’t need to – he pushes everyone away, but he’s convinced that you can’t leave.  So he can do whatever he wants, without consequence. 

Your happiness DOES matter.  You are no less important than he is.  If you are so miserable that you’re wishing for something bad to happen just so you can get out, that’s no way to live. 

I understand that you promised to stay for the rest of your lives, I get that.  But I personally would never want someone to stay with me just because they said words in front of an officiant.  I would never allow him to stay if I knew he didn’t love me.

Post # 7
7421 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You have to talk to him openly about how you feel. Maybe a third party (therapist or religious counselor) can help you guys come to a resolution. If he refuses to get help, then you have got your answer. Everyone deserves to be happy. I wouldn’t stay in relationship like that. It’s toxic, you will only grow resentful. Thats not healthy for anyone.

Post # 8
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m going to agree with everything that’s been said here already, but why would you marry someone you barely knew?

Post # 9
1846 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

That’s so sad! But in all honestly to go from dating to married in under a year is just not enough time IMO.. Did you know any of these things before you married him? Did any of your friends and family try to caution you before the wedding?

I agree with pp.. Either counseling or you leave. I couldnt stay in a relationship like that, and just because you’re married doesn’t mean you should feel forced to either.. If he’s not willing to change his attitude, then that would be it for me.

Post # 10
1421 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley

I was with someone very, very similar to this prior to Fiance.  I stayed around because I felt bad about the idea of crushing him.  Finally leaving him was the best day of my life (so far).  I felt so free.  I am so much happier.


I was not married, so I’m sure this is a lot harder for you… Best of luck.  But what I can tell you is that you will feel so free when you are rid of this pain that you’ll wonder how you ever stayed!

Post # 11
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@Glasgowbound:  I completely agree. Normally I’m not one for ultimatums, but you cannot and should not sacrifice your happiness for the rest of your life while meanwhile your guy refuses to even agree to attend counseling with you. I would simply make the appointment, tell him when it is, and tell him that if he wants to continue this marriage he WILL be there, that it’s a non-negotiable for you. While it’s admirable to take your wedding vows so seriously, because not enough people do, you don’t deserve to spend the rest of your life being punished for a mistake you made in your early 20s.

Post # 13
4496 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Whoa… you have wished he would be in an accident?! Do you even still love him?? If not then I think there is a simple solution to this problem

Post # 14
491 posts
Helper bee

I’m sorry you’re going through this.


I would make sure you make the effort to continue hanging out with your friends, without Darling Husband. I realize you don’t want to divorce, but if things should come to that you will need someone to turn to.  If Darling Husband doesn’t want to be without you, tell him that he can act like a nice person or not come along. 


I would tell him he has two options. Counciling and an effort to change, or divorce. You seem to be attached to the idea that marriage is a contract and that you have a duty to stay. Maybe this is just the law student in me, but it doesn’t sound like he is fulfilling his duty to you. As part of his vows, I imagine he said something about caring for your or respecting respecting you. He has breached that duty and it’s unfair for him to expect you to abide by the vows if he won’t do the same. 

Post # 15
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Counseling is a good idea.

I would also see your friends separately from him.  I know you said he gets depressed, etc, but you need to have an open conversation about why you are seeing them separately and stick to your guns that it is important to you that you see them.  Your friends, if they love you, will still see your Darling Husband sometimes.  (I have two friends, one engaged and one on the way to men I don’t care for.  We compromise and do “gals night” frequently and don’t bring together the whole group as often.)  He ought to see counseling for his co-dependency, self-esteem, belittling, etc.

And encourage him to finish college!  That might help his self-esteem.

Post # 16
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

As I see it, there are three possible outcomes from this situation:

1. You stay in your marriage, nothing changes, and you and your Darling Husband live lonely, bitter, unhappy lives. He grows increasingly depressed, insecure, and critical of others as he ages; you struggle to maintain friendships and become even more isolated than you already are, growing more and more resentful of the person you spend all of your time with.

2. You leave your husband.

3. Your husband agrees to seek treatment for his issues, perhaps goes back to school, and generally does the hard, painful, work of growing up and learning to treat other people decently.

You can’t force him to change, but if you want to save your marriage and, more to the point, make it a marriage worth saving, you need to invest in yourself first. Exercise, take care of your appearance, and devote time to your hobbies and interests (or take up a new one). Seek counseling if you think you would benefit from it. If your Darling Husband tries to undermine you, do not reward him with attention. The only way you are going to convince him to seek help and get his life in order is by renegotiating your relationship so that you have most of the power.

Reach out to your friends and spend time with them. Leave your husband at home unless he explicitly agrees not to be critical/snarky/judgmental. If he starts putting people down (this includes you!), tell him he’s out of line and it’s time for you to go home, and don’t take him with you the next time.

As your husband realizes that you are less and less dependent on him for your emotional satisfaction and less interested in spending time with him/putting his wants before your own, he will fight to try to regain control of the relationship. At some point, you need to sit down and get everything on the table: the future you see for the two of you if things don’t change; that he needs help; that if he doesn’t change you will either leave him or be bitterly unhappy all of your days. If he refuses to get help you have to walk. Maybe once you’ve moved out and he truly thinks he’s going to lose you he’ll go to counseling and work on his issues; maybe he won’t. But you aren’t making him happy now, and it’s not your duty to enable your husband to be miserable his whole life and be miserable alongside him.

Finally, are you thinking of having kids? Because he sounds like a crap dad, and if you have children with him sooner or later your obligations to them are going to conflict with your obligations to him.

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