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Marriage Issues...

Three months ago I a gave birth to my second (and last, if I have any say in the matter) child. All throughout my pregnancy my husband and I discussed whether or not this would be our last. My husband said that if it was a girl, he was fine not having anymore children (one boy, one girl). It was, so I got my tubes tied. However, the expectation was that my husband would get fixed as well.

Tubal Ligation is not 100%. I have had two cousins get pregnant after having a tubal done. One got pregnant 3 years after her tubal, the other got pregnant 15(!) years after hers. They lived in different states, so it's not like one doctor screwed 'em both. I got pregnant with both of my kids while on birth control. With the first I was on the pill and the second I was getting the shot (administered by a doctor). I got pregnant with my second child, less than 18 months after having my first child; despite following all instructions with both forms of prevention.

My OB just shrugged when he confirmed my second pregnancy. He said birth control isn't 100% and given my family history he said is seems like mother nature just wants the women in my family to get pregnant. I know TWO women who have had tubals that failed and I absolutely DO NOT want any more children.

My husband is refusing to get a vasectomy. Fine. That's his right. However, I am refusing to have sex until he either gets a vasectomy or he uses a condom. He refuses both. However, he will not explain to me his reasons. It has caused a lot of friction in my marriage and frankly, I'm over it. My life is so overwhelming as it is without my husband being a stubborn ox without explanation. He refuses to discuss it, keeps pushing for sex, and the other day I literally had to knee him in the junk to get away from him. (He kept trying to initiate sex, kept pushing, and wouldn't leave me alone, even thought I told him no MULTIPLE times). He isn't listening or communicating, and I'm just at a loss. He normally isn't like this, so I just don't understand.


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Feb. 5th, 2014 10:22 am (UTC)
Oh wow. I really don't know how to take this post.

Is this genuinely out of character for him? I just can't imagine being with someone for years and to have them suddenly turn around and refuse to discuss sexual basics like *contraception*, or pressure me into sex when I'm worried about a pregnancy risk - let alone ignoring repeated verbal nos and requiring to be physically fought off. I mean. At that point, it's assault, and attempted rape, and I find it hard to see how a relationship can recover from it. Or why any loving partner would do that. It's truly awful.

So yeah... I'm not sure what to say other than that I think you should take this very, very seriously.

Edit: So I looked at your previous posts in this community... you've written about him sexually assaulting you twice before, and then refusing to communicate about it (and about everything else too - from household chores to cheating on you :(). So I'm going to say this is actually totally in character for him, and not an issue you can usefully work on as a couple. Especially since he shows no interest in even trying.

I'm so sorry he's treating you this way. It's abuse, and no one should have to put up with that.

Edited at 2014-02-05 11:00 am (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2014 03:17 pm (UTC)
This thing is just a hot mess and I just don't know what to do about it. Most of the time I feel like it is all my fault. I'm not a sexual person to begin with, no matter how hard I tried, something that has been an issue in our relationship from the beginning. Sometimes he can be such a good guy and sometimes he can be such a jerk. He's like Jekyll and Hyde. Our biggest problem is and has always been, communication. He REFUSES to talk about ANYTHING. He simply walks away.

He has suggested marriage counseling on more than one occasion, but I feel like he needs the shrinking a whole lot more than I do. I think if he would just talk to me like a normal human being, most of our issues would go away.
Feb. 5th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
I would take his suggestion of marriage counseling. That way you can get him to a counselor without blame being put on him or anything. He might discover it helps, and the counselor might suggest separate sessions anyway.

Something definitely needs to be done, and if he already seems open to counseling it might be the right place to start.
Feb. 6th, 2014 10:47 am (UTC)
'Most of the time I feel like it is all my fault.'
It's not your fault that he is abusive towards you, or that he's not interested in communicating 'like a normal human being'. Those are his choices he's making. And you can't make him make other choices, not by trying to pressure him and argue with him, and not by being a perfect sexually submissive wife either.

'He has suggested marriage counseling on more than one occasion, but I feel like he needs the shrinking a whole lot more than I do.'
Well... yes. It's true that his behaviour is terrible here, not yours. But 'shrinking' (heh) isn't necessarily about 'improving yourself'. Sometimes it's about getting support and deciding how you want to react to a situation. People-coping-with-awful-behaviour need and deserve professional help just as much as the people actually behaving awfully.

I'm a bit cautious about the idea of you both going to counselling together. Couple's counselling comes from a framework of seeing both parties as contributing to the problem and getting them to work together to fix it - it doesn't necessarily help when the problem is so one-sided as one partner assaulting the other, sometimes it even makes things worse. It's worth thinking about how you'd feel if a counsellor took a mutual sort of approach to what you've experienced. The last thing you want is for someone to reinforce the idea that this is your fault (it isn't).

Regardless of whether you go to counselling together or not, I think you could use some professional help for just you. You can approach it with whatever angle you like - whether what's important to you right now is to find coping mechanisms to deal with his behaviour, or to work towards leaving, or to improve your life outside of your marriage, or anything else. The important thing is that you shouldn't have to live the way you are now. Something's got to change, and unfortunately getting him to just change to be respectful and communicative is really unlikely. And not something you have the power to make happen in any case.
Feb. 14th, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
I agree with a lot of what you've said, but I disagree on your take of couples counseling. It has NOTHING AT ALL to do with BOTH people having a problem, or BEING the problem. It has to do with EITHER, BOTH, or NONE. It's simply counseling the interactions between two people. It's not so specific as to say it's for ONLY situations where BOTH people are the problem, equally. That's just silly.

For example, if someone cheats on their spouse, it's often recommended they go to couples counseling. It's not just for when BOTH parties cheat on the other.

But other than that, I agree with most of your sentiments so far.
Feb. 16th, 2014 10:45 am (UTC)
My comment wasn't perfectly phrased, in terms of both partners contributing. However, there has been a lot written about how couple's counselling can, and commonly does, exacerbate abusive relationships. If the counsellor doesn't spot the abusive dynamic, they can very easily give the abuser more weight, e.g. by concentrating on how the victim is communicating to avoid 'problems' and so on (and abusers are often very good at making their behaviour seem okay to outsiders, even professionals, while making their partner seem unreasonable). Or the abuser may put pressure on the victim to not say stuff that makes him look bad. Basically, regardless of who fucked up, both partners need to go into this process in good faith.

Some examples:

It is important to know that couples’ counseling is generally not appropriate when violence is present in a relationship, in particular chronic or severe violence, and certainly when the violent partner does not fully understand the unacceptable nature of their behavior. The safety of the therapy session encourages open communication, but such communication can be dangerous in a violent relationship and subject the recipient to more violence. Also, couples’ work is based on the agreement of shared respect for another and shared responsibility for the relationship outcome and process. When violence is present, one person has more power than the other, and is taking less responsibility for his or her actions. Until the violent partner gets help to stop their abusive behavior, and until the recipient is able to discover why he or she tolerates such abuse, couples work is likely to harm more than it helps. (Source).

Couple counselling or mediation may sometimes be seen as a way of addressing the issue [of domestic violence]. However, there are some significant problems with this type of approach. Firstly, there is a risk to the woman’s safety: asking her to discuss the violence with the perpetrator present may lead to later reprisal. Secondly, the approach itself assumes that the woman is in some way responsible or capable of altering the perpetrator’s behaviour. Thirdly, it is unlikely to be successful, since the victim will feel unable to disclose her real feelings. Women’s Aid therefore does not support the use of couple counselling or mediation in situations where domestic violence has occurred. Instead, we suggest that abusers who want to try to change their behaviour attend a perpetrator programme. (Source).

If you go to any message board where people are talking about experience with abusive relationships, you'll find a lot of absolutely terrifying stories about how much worse it got after joint counselling, especially counselling that isn't abuse-specific. It's a specific form of treatment, it doesn't work for every kind of problem.
Feb. 16th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
my comment was strictly on the generalized theory behind couples counseling.

i know more about abusive relationships than i'd like. my son's father was violent & abusive, & i left when i was only 3 months pregnant with my son. however, it took me 7 months after that, of his stalking & torment & harassment before i had the courage to get a restraining order. wasn't until i had my son, and i allowed him to come to the hospital out of fear of what would happen if i didn't... and he got himself kicked out for being aggressive & yelling & threatening me while holding my 3 day old newborn baby. the cops were called on him, as well as CPS, & the cops convinced me it was more dangerous to NOT get an RO. so, i did. & every year, i renewed it, until just this last year, my lawyer got me a PERMANENT, LIFETIME restraining order. which is not easy to get, or common. that is how dangerous he is. it took me 4 months after the abuse started to get out. which is VERY quickly compared to most abusive situations.

the problem is that now i live in fear for his other victims, and it's become almost an obsession. abusive relationships leave scars and damage for life, that only some can be erased. some, you just have to live with.

i agree that marriage counseling should not be considered when either party is abusive or violent. the reality is, 99 percent of those people cannot change. which means their partner will ALWAYS be in danger, while with them. it's much better to get the hell out & be safe.

to the OP... if you want to email me, my email is Lo419@aol.com. if you need any advice or support from someone who has been in a relatable situation. feel free, i would be more than happy to help.
Feb. 5th, 2014 03:32 pm (UTC)
Get help or get out.

I'm sorry, I know that's not the most helpful of comments, but those are the only two responses I can see as being appropriate. His actions indicate a gross disrespect for you and your personal autonomy, and that is NOT a personality you want around your children. Or your vajayjay. Or you.

Your husband's presumptuous actions are completely unacceptable and you have every right to demand he change. Either he stops acting that way or he is shown the door.
Feb. 6th, 2014 06:26 pm (UTC)
I agree with this.

It's hard when you've been together for many years and have children, but sometimes leaving is the only/best option. He should not put the burden of contraception completely on you and he should NOT ever (ever ever ever ever ever!) attempt to coerce you into sex. That's not him being bratty or persistent or annoying or uncommunicative, that's him being violent. That's attempted rape.

I don't know if counselling will help, OP. Maybe a counsellor might help you deal with your issues individually, but therapy might not "fix" your marriage by making him more reasonable/open to listening and communicating. He doesn't listen or communicate because he doesn't care what you want or think. He cares about what he wants. That might never change.

I recommend you leave, OP. He might never change and you and your children deserve better.
Feb. 5th, 2014 08:25 pm (UTC)
I know that this is hard to hear, but this is a classic form of abuse.

Sexually assaulting you, refusing to engage in safe sex with contraceptives, making you feel devalued because of your sex drive, not communicating, withdrawing... those are serious forms of abuse.


Please, if its possible, get in touch with counsellors in your area. If you can get couple's counselling, that's icing on the cake, but I think you seriously need to focus on how to make yourself and your children safe.
Feb. 5th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
I agree with above posters. This man sounds like an abuser, and his Jekyll/Hyde pattern you mention is a very typical one for abusers. My advice would be to look for a safe way out of the relationship.

No one should ever, ever continue to push you for sex after you say no. No one should ever push you to consent under duress by blaming you for your lack of desire. It is not your fault, OP. You communicated your needs and his options clearly in this situation and he responded with sexual assault. It would be one thing if this was totally out of character, but from previous posts, it doesn't sound like the first time he's disrespected your boundaries or tried to coerce your consent. I've been with/around men who treat women in this way. They very, very rarely even genuinely try to change, especially if they can find others who will put up with/justify their behaviour. (They pretend to try a LOT in their Jekyll periods, in my experience. And things just stay the same or get worse.)

I realize this advice is drastic, but it seems like the situation you're in and the ones you've been in are drastic, too. And this is a process that could take small steps and time. But I think that finding help/support and getting out are very good options.
Feb. 6th, 2014 01:00 am (UTC)
I hate to say this, but it needs to be said. You've been asking advice about this relationship since it's fruition. You've never been happy with him. I doubt counseling will help the situation. Consider help for just yourself. You are in a classic pattern of abuse and need to GET OUT.

Edit: I'd like to also ask why you bother asking advice when you never take it?

Edited at 2014-02-06 01:11 am (UTC)
Feb. 6th, 2014 07:06 am (UTC)
This. After reading all the past posts, I don't feel OP listens to anything helpful :(
Feb. 6th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
What would you think if one of your friends told you this? If she had to fight off her partner because he wouldn't take "no" for an answer? Would you think her partner was completely out of line/would you consider this attempted rape and assault?

Your husband being stubborn over refusing a vasectomy is secondary to him pressuring you into sex and not respecting you when you say "no". I also re-read your previous posts that Scien linked and it seems to be a recurring theme - he is constantly pushing you into sex and sexually harassing you. Your previous posts all have a similar pattern and years later, it doesn't seem like anything has improved? He is clearly not listening to you or acting on his words.

I'm not really sure what else to say apart from - this is unacceptable. It's abusive. I don't know how many comments you need to see from different people to believe it, but it is. I agree with Scien, he IS "normally like this", and I don't see it improving. He knows his behaviour upsets you and he doesn't care. He's not being stubborn - he doesn't care. I'm worried that his abusive behaviour has sucked you in to the extent that you can't see that he's even doing it, but as an outsider, I can certainly see that what he's doing is wrong.
Feb. 6th, 2014 03:01 am (UTC)
Yep, this. OP really, really needs to take this community's advice to heart this time. Also, she really needs to re-read her previous posts, because this whole relationship is obviously an abusive mess. :/
Feb. 6th, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
Seriously, I read all of the previous posts just now and I'm actually really angry. There are so many warning signs and red flags, but this really jumped out at me - "but there's one thing that is really, really making me upset and he just won't stop... no matter how much I yell, scream, try to talk to him, or cry. He always, ALWAYS has to be groping me when we're together.". This was 2009. 4-5 years later, he's still the same. This is so wrong I don't even know where to begin.
Feb. 6th, 2014 05:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, it disturbs me as well. And on top of it, there are TWO posts about his groping problem. :/
Feb. 6th, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
My OB was telling me a story about a woman who got pregnant 10 years after her tubal. Apparently it's not all that uncommon (he started to give me the technical details but got interrupted). I'm grateful I didn't pick that as our method although 10 years or so I shouldn't be able to get pregnant (but you never know!)

That behavior is really unacceptable from your husband. I'm reading your comments below and I'm going to second that marriage counseling is a good idea. For one thing, you're going to have a therapist in your corner reinforcing that this behavior is not ok. You need that. Secondly, this is a great segue into him getting individual counseling himself. And honestly...I think you could benefit from some counseling yourself. You need a safe place to discuss the things going on and how you feel about them.
Feb. 6th, 2014 11:25 am (UTC)
My first serious boyfriend had to a problem with not accepting no for a answer. I too felt guilty, and thought the problem was me. I too thought he was really great outside of his disrespect of my boundaries.
How great he is when he's not trying to force sex on you doesn't matter. Good people don't force others to have sex with them. No exceptions.

Do you want your other children growing up to believe that it's alright for others to treat them like an object without their consent even for a moment? Do you want your children to think that it is ever acceptable to treat other people like objects without that person's consent? Because you're children are going to pick up on this in some way, even if you think they won't.

The problem isn't you. It's him. Your children deserve better. You deserve better.
Feb. 9th, 2014 12:45 am (UTC)
Stop the madness! Get out of this relationship asap... It is 100% abusive and NOT healthy for your kids. I bet your sex drive is perfectly fine but he is destroying it because of his actions.
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