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p38lightningbolt

Insensitive Spouse

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Three times in the past month my husband has threatened me with wheat contamination! He says that he will hide bread crumbs or wheat flour in my food to "punish" me. I think he does this to control me and upset me. He knows that very little that he can say or do will upset me (I am a very mellow person, while he is wildly mercurial), but he has unfortunately discovered that threatening me in this way will never fail to upset me.

Now, because I don't keep the house perfectly spotless at all times (no, most of the time is NOT good enough for him), he says that he won't be careful about wheat. I was out job prospecting all morning while he was at home with our daughter, and came home to this: There was a slight mess in the kitchen (three pans left over from dinner the night before, and the counters needed to be wiped down), so he intentionally contaminated the counter with wheat pasta and left a huge wheat pasta mess all over the dining room table and floor. "It was a mess anyways," he said. For goodness sake, it wasn't enough that I did all the rest of the dishes, the night before, not to mention that I cooked him dinner. And that I do all the dishes and all the cooking (and all the childcare) every day, regardless of whether I worked all day or not.

Recently, he threatened to contaminate my food on purpose to see what would happen to me, as an "experiment."

I waited a day, until we had both calmed down, and then I calmly confronted him about his gluten threats and told him that it is unacceptable for him to threaten my health under any circumstances, that this amounted to threatened physical abuse. He immediately got very angry and told me that I'm a "crazy f*ing b*tch" and my gluten intolerance is "all in your head." This, when our 2-year-old daughter was standing right next to him. Then he laughed, probably because he has seen enough of my illness to know that that is not true. What the heck am I supposed to do with this man? I don't believe in divorce, and he doesn't believe in counseling.

GRRRR!

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his behavior IS abusive. at the least, I would suggest that YOU go to counseling, and look into how you can cope with it. it's already teaching your child about tolerating abuse.

I'm sorry that you are in a position where you feel that you have to put up with this sort of behavior, no one should have to. :(

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Oh my gosh, I am so sorry you have to go through that! That is absolutely horrible. I am hoping for you and your child's sake that that is not the "norm" and that he doesn't always talk to you like that. However, I know it does happen, and if you need to talk, please feel free to pm me.

Take care.

Gina

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Wow. That is definately abuse. I agree that counseling and/or other steps are necessary. You do not deserve to be treated that way. You aren't his possession, employee, or slave. He has more than crossed the line from being insensitive.

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I agree with Tiffany- his behavior is abusive. Name calling and threats are absolutely abuse, and the fact that he did it in front of your child... that's bad, real bad. His obsessiveness about you having the house spotless 100% of the time is also symptomatic of his problem. To call you horrible names and threaten you, and then laugh... to me, this is unbalanced.

Is your stance against divorce for religious reasons? If so (or even if not) is there someone in your church you can council with about this situation?

And... maybe I'm crossing a line here, but... There all kinds of reasons for divorce. I think many divorced couples could have made it, had they kept at it, had they considered the marriage worth fighting for. But then other divorces are absolutely necessary, for the mental and physical health of one or both people involved!

No one deserves to be belittled, threatened, and called foul names!

-Sarah

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Honestly?

He won't change and you should leave him. Quickly. With your child. If he were to do that intentionally, it would be the same as assaulting you with his hands. That said, try therapy, but I don't think it would work. He's poison the same way gluten is. Sorry to be so blunt, but his behavior is simply ridiculous and intolerable. It is simply not safe to stay in a relationship like that, whether you "agree" with divorce or not.

I hope things improve for you.

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This is a seriously abusive situation. I agree with the post above.

Leave now and take your daughter with you, before either of you experience physical harm to go along with the emotional harm that you have already suffered. It will only go downhill from here. LEAVE NOW. Counseling will only work if the parties are receptive. Divorce or not, you can not stay where you are. Perhaps after a period of separation, his attitude toward joint counseling will change.

You may want to talk about this privately; I'm sending a private message with my contact information.

I'm here if you want to talk.

Peter

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You can not stay in such an unhealthy environment. If he won't get help with counseling, you need to seriously consider what you daughter is being exposed to - what will she consider to be OK in terms of how people treat each other.

My aunt was verbally and psychologically abused - something that I witnessed and we only visited a few times. I never knew if there was any physical abuse but I will say that my uncle had the potential for it. After her children were grown, she got a divorce. When she told her kids, they were livid. And the reason why . . . because she waited so long. She thought she was doing the right thing by staying until the children were grown. Their take on it was that it was miserable for everyone.

You should go for counseling with or without him just to help you think through some of your choices.

Good Luck.

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I know this might be very hard to hear, but even if your husband is not "physically" abusive he IS emotionally/verbally abusive towards you and that is just as bad. Even if your gluten intolerance was "all in your head" (which I am sure it is not) he still would not have the right to come down on you and cuss in front of your child. My suggestion (and mine alone - take it or leave it) would be to get out of the house for awhile. Let him cook dinner, clean up after dinner and take care of the rest of the house maybe then he will appreciate you for YOU and everything you do for him. Believe me YOU DO NOT DESERVE this treatment from anyone, but especially not fromm your husband and your child needs to be the most important thing right now...what if she has Celiac? Will he treat her the same way? I hope not.

My heart is with you.

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Lightening Bolt,

My heart goes out to you. First, I hope that nothing I say makes you sad or upsets you further because I -- along with all the other posters -- only wish for your health and safety.

Your hubby is not insensitive, he's abusive. From what I've seen, your spouse fits all the characteristics of a spouse-abuser, except that he hasn't (I hope) been physically violent. Although, research shows, the verbal abuse many times turns into physical abuse or goes right to murder. Expecting perfection in housekeeping or anything else is a control issue and is abuse. So is the threat about wheat contamination.

I don't believe in divorce either but you must take steps to protect both yourself and your daughter. Options include going to a counselor or minister by yourself for help or leaving with your daughter and going to a relative or friend's house or a women's shelter. If you go to a minister who knows both you and your husband, I would hope that he/she would give you good advice but there are some ministers who agree with the husband in this type of case. If you have a minister like that, don't believe him/her.

If you leave, do not return to the abuser unless he attends and COMPLETES an anger management class.

For online help, try the National Domestic Violence Helpline at www.ndvh.org or 1-800-799-7233. If your spouse can access your computer, I would disable any automatic passwords or signons to this site and find other ways to keep him from your correspondence. The most dangerous time for a victim is when he/she is trying to leave the abuser.

Please, I hope you have a real-life friend or family member to help you and help you get safe. You have my prayers.

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Knowing first hand how difficult it is to leave an abusive relationship, I won't question your reasons for staying BUT that said, perhaps YOU need to question your reasons for staying. He is threatening your health.... I am not sure that "murder by wheat" would stand up in court but you must know that the outcome of injested wheat can be colon cancer as well as other serious illnesses.... I am a survivor of that cancer and a number of other "wheat" related ailments. A threat is a threat... Please, as a survivor of an abusive relationship get some help. You are the victim and you need help both emotional and psychological help. Getting well physically requires you ON A DAILY basis to make decisions about gluten. Getting well emotionally will require the same kind of determination... You need to make some decisions about your relationship with your husband. It is time to do the some soul searching and decide whether being "contaminated" with an abuser is worth the risk. It took me many years to decide that my mental health was as important as my physical health.... and it took me many years to realize that I did not have to be a victim of abuse any longer! The damage of physical abuse is out in the open for all to see but the damage done to your soul by an emotional abuser is just as deadly. Please ask yourself why you stay and PLEASE seek some help!

I guess that since you are putting this out in public, you are seeking advise.... there is lots of that here and if you look at it, NO ONE supports your husband's point of view and ALL suggest that you seek help. If you are looking for support, there are lots of people here supporting you but it is up to you to make a decision about your situation. Sometimes, it is easier to just vent than to actually make the decision to change the situation. I hope that you will know when it is time to stop venting and start taking action.

Cyberprof had some very good advice. I hope that you are able to take a look at it and make some positive decisions about your situation.

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This is absolutely an abusive situation. You have to do what's best for you and your daughter. Do you really want her growing up in this environment? I agree with the other posters - you need to do something like going to counseling or getting out of the house.

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I don't believe in divorce, either--except in situations like yours. This man is seriously abusive, and I wouldn't think you would want your daughter to grow up thinking that this is what a marriage should--or could--be like. You are better off alone than with a man like him, and your daughter is better off without a father than with one like him. In my eyes, your husband ended the marriage the moment he threatened you.

You MUST get yourself away from this monster as soon as possible, before he harms you or your daughter. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR HIM TO THREATEN YOU OR SWEAR AT YOU.

PLEASE GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN. If it isn't gluten, it'll be something even more deadly.

And you'd better make sure he can't read this thread--if you signed up for email notification of replies to this thread, please change that immediately. If he has access to your email, he might read this and take his anger out on you.

You need to start documenting every threat. I think it is important that he not ever have unsupervised custody of your daughter.

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I am truly sorry you have to deal with this right now, but I agree you need to be in a safe space.

His passive-aggressive and aggressive actions are posing risks to your physical health, not to mention that of your emotional and mental well being.

You need to remove yourself from this situation. You cannot compromise your health, nor that of your child.

You are not blowing this out of proportions, this is not in your head.

Please feel free to pm me if I can be of any help.

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I suffered at the hands of an abusive father for years. He abused my mother, me, and my brother. He hit us, but what hurt the worst was the verbal abuse. He was also an alcoholic and had multiple affairs.

About 6 years ago, my mother finally got up the nerve to leave him. He told her that he had Parkinson's and she had to stay and take care of him because he was sick. She talked to his doctor and found out that he had been diagnosed more than 5 years previously, and just hadn't told anyone. Since he was almost always drunk or hung over, no one really noticed how shaky he always was.

Well, my mom didn't leave him, and from what I hear, he is deteriorating quickly. He uses a 4-prong cane to get around, and will probably be using a walker by the end of the year. He is only 63 years old. Unfortunately for her, Parkinson's isn't fatal. She may very well spend the next 15 years taking care of him and changing his diapers. I can only hope that something else kills him before she is too old to be able to live her life for herself.

I remember telling her when I was 7 years old that she should leave him because he was hurting all of us. She said that she had to stay with him until my brother and I were grown up because it was always better for a child to grow up with 2 parents who were together. As far as I know, she didn't have any religious reasons for staying with him, she was staying because she thought she was doing what was best for us.

Keep this in mind, it is NEVER better to subject your child to abuse (even second-hand) than to leave. Also, knowing how ready he is to threaten you, do you feel comfortable leaving your child alone with him? Would you be able/willing to stand up to him if he threatened her?

We don't know your personal reasons for not believing in divorce. But, please, take a look at this website.

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hi there lightning bolt. i'm new here and maybe it's not my place to say, but i never seem to be good at minding my tongue. :rolleyes:

when i was growing up, my father was emotionally manipulative and abusive. verbally, and occasionally physically. it got worse as i got older. sometimes it was only rage towards my mother and sometimes it was turned on me.

my mom would tell me that she was going to leave and i would get so happy that we would finally be away from all the hurt. the fear... the anger and the dysfunction. she never did leave and get me out of there.

it took me 10 years of therapy to undo the hurt and the mess in my head from growing up and feeling inferior, unloved and ineffectual. 10 years.

what your husband is doing is definitely abuse. you have your reasons and we all have to respect you... but even though i don't know you i am completely sure that you deserve so much more... and i have NO doubt that your daughter does. girls learn to choose men based on what they witness growing up.

hang in there... and keep us posted.

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I agree with Tiffany- his behavior is abusive. Name calling and threats are absolutely abuse, and the fact that he did it in front of your child... that's bad, real bad. His obsessiveness about you having the house spotless 100% of the time is also symptomatic of his problem. To call you horrible names and threaten you, and then laugh... to me, this is unbalanced.

Is your stance against divorce for religious reasons? If so (or even if not) is there someone in your church you can council with about this situation?

And... maybe I'm crossing a line here, but... There all kinds of reasons for divorce. I think many divorced couples could have made it, had they kept at it, had they considered the marriage worth fighting for. But then other divorces are absolutely necessary, for the mental and physical health of one or both people involved!

No one deserves to be belittled, threatened, and called foul names!

-Sarah

I would even take it a step further and say that not only is he abusing you, but your daughter as well by doing that in front of her.

Abuse is a deal-breaker, in my book.

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Wow, for the sake of your child don't stay in a marriage where there is abuse. Do you want to model that that sort of thing is acceptable to her? She'll end up in the same or worse!

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Wow, thank you everyone for your concern. I'm fine, really. They are just threats. Still not okay, I know, but he's only like that about 5% of the time, and most of the time he's a really good dad. My daughter loves him and he is good with her most of the time. It would be really hard for me to walk away from that.

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I'm so glad you are okay!

What is your cutoff for when abuse is not okay? 10% of the time? 50% of the time?

It's so easy to look the other way, find the positive and emphasize that--but what is the limit for the really really bad stuff (like abuse)?

In my book, there is NO acceptable amount for that kind of behavior. And there are not excuses.

You say that your husband is good with your daughter "most of the time?" So that mean that there are times when he is NOT good with her?

Is she going to come to you someday and say, "Mommy, why did you put me in a situation with him where he hurt me? Why did you let this happen?"

Good husbands do not threaten their wives, swear at them, or call them names. EVER.

Good fathers are NEVER not good with their daughters. EVER.

Yes, it is going to be very hard for you to walk away from that. But it will be harder for your daughter to see her mother being hurt by her father. And reading between the lines, it sounds like your husband occasionally loses control where your daughter is concerned. Trust me, it is harder for your daughter to grow up living with an abusive father than it would be for you to leave him.

But you need to start thinking about protecting yourself legally before you leave him. You need to see a lawyer NOW, without your husband knowing, or he will turn the tables on you and get custody.

2 friends of mine have gone through this, and a 3rd is just going through this now. Men like this are surprisingly common. (And 2 of those men are physicians!) In each case, it took the child getting hurt before the mom "woke up" and got herself and the children out.

In each case, it started like you describe, with the husband being a total jerk 5% of the time. In each case, no matter what the wife tried, it didn't get better--it got worse. Much, much worse. In one case, my friend was poisoned before she realized how bad it could be. She still doesn't know how or why.

One of them moved across the country when her husband got a new job. One month after they'd moved, on New Year's Eve, he told her he was leaving her for another woman, and that he wanted custody. This, after years of the same kind of abuse you are describing. Luckily, she had documented the abuse, and the school district had noticed some of it, so not only did he not get custody, but one of their daughters actually refuses to see him.

Andeach one of my friends told me that this is SO common (NOT normal, just common) that there ARE many organizations set up across the country to help women like you.

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Wow, thank you everyone for your concern. I'm fine, really. They are just threats. Still not okay, I know, but he's only like that about 5% of the time, and most of the time he's a really good dad. My daughter loves him and he is good with her most of the time. It would be really hard for me to walk away from that.

i'm so glad to see you back here and posting. it's good to see you are fine. i know you may have your reasons to stay, but please, try to think about what this may do to your daughter down the road.

none of us are in your position and i refuse to judge, but i know that in my own personal experience both with my father and with my ex that ANY amount of threat or aggression in any measure is NOT acceptable and should not be tolerated. AND it always gets worse.

like i said, it took me 10 years to sort through my grief and pain. 10 years of trying to find a jerk like my dad to love me -- to give me the love he didn't -- instead of going and finding a kind and sweet and sensitive guy... like my hubby. 10 years is a long time to spend digging yourself out of a hole that you didn't dig in the first place.

be strong and good luck. hopefully he will pull his head out of his rear and never treat you that way again. you deserve better.

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my dad never physically abused me. it was all verbal/emotional. things were often not good enough for him, and meeting his expectations (regardless of the fact they were neither stated nor attainable) was all that mattered. it has taken years (I'm 29) to best put into perspective the full effect that has had on me, and to realize that there is absolutely no way to erase the baggage that it has left me carrying. all I can do is use those lessons in my life to my advantage now. but even so, those fears, those concerns will always be with me, will always be a challenge, and will always be something that I have to work through that other people don't. just because of 'threats'.

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