Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.


Like many of our “good” conversations, my husband and I talked for over three hours last night.

I went to bed at 3:30am, tired of course, but also daring to hope that MAYBE we opened discussion on a basic problem in our marriage. Expectations cause us a LOT of damage – a lot of hurt feelings,…a lot of abuse.

From what I gathered last night, usually when I behave in a way he doesn’t expect, he sucks it up. Counts it as one of the “little things” that, at the time, he chooses to ignore.

Typically, I will continue to behave in this unapproved-of-fashion. At some point, this “little thing” causes him to become very angry. To explode and unload on me all his anger, frustration, and disappointments – maybe only about the one “little thing” but maybe because of many “little things” he’s kept bottled in.

The big event may be triggered by the original “little thing” or it may be triggered by something else I do or say.

Usually, I’m caught completely off guard by what feels to me like an attack. I feel violently attacked by some “little thing” that is just me being me. I feel attacked for being me.

In fact, I am being attacked for being other than what he expects me to be.

So where did all of these “expectations” come from? Does it matter where they came from? Do we need to sit on Freud’s couch and recount every morsel of “what my parent did and how I internalized it” in order to effect any change?

Is it enough for him to know that some of his expectations cannot and will not be accepted (by me)?

The knot in my stomach says this problem won’t go away that easily. Really, that question made me sick to my stomach, but instead of throwing up, the tears spurt out instead.

So no, I don’t think it’s going to be that easy.