Friday, May 9, 2008

Advice for Men: How to Create an Unhappy Marriage

Obviously, overt abuse will do it, as will infidelity, but there are also covert and unthinking ways, to suck the lifeblood and happiness out of any woman. Some of these techniques fall under the category of 'withholding'. So here's my short list for tonight:

1. Stop all fun and romance, and preferably sex as well.

Remember all those good times you had before you got married? The dinner and dancing dates, the parties, the long talks? Well, stop all that immediately.

Remember, she married you so now she's stuck and she's not going anywhere without a whole lot of trouble. Stop courting her and complimenting her. Do not ask her out on a date. She'll be happy watching ESPN with you. Do not buy her flowers or femmy gifts like jewelry and lingerie. Especially avoid going on vacation. Vacation removes the focus of your relationship from her being your maid/gardener/secretary/tax and investment advisor/ and all around girl Friday to having fun together.

2. Let her know how sexy you find other women.

Definitely watch porn. If she objects, be sure to tell her she needs to deal with her insecurity and stop being so controlling.

Ogle other women when you are together.

Comment on the sexiness of movie stars, random women on he street, and your teenage daughter's friends. Letting your wife know how hot you think her girlfriends are is particularly effective. This serves the dual purpose of hurting her sexual confidence while making her uncomfortable having her friends around you, thus isolating her from support systems.

3. Treat her like an employee.

Marriage is primarily getting cheap labor right? Be sure to try to get her to do more and more. Point out frequently how you provide most of the money and how she therefore owes you. This works very well if you have inherited wealth and you do next to nothing. Be sure to flaunt the newest gadget you got while she does without.

If you want to be especially demeaning, tell her to give you a bill for the work she does. This ensures that her loving contributions to the partnership are treated like mere services

4. Don't keep your commitments.

Keeping commitments builds trust and a sense of partnership. Breaking commitments will destroy trust. You don't have to treat a commitment to your wife like a commitment to someone else. It's okay to keep her waiting. It's okay to say you'll do something and then not do it ever. This way you train her to not believe a word you say.

5. Do not listen to her.

If she gets tired of all of the above and tries to talk to you, whatever you do - do not listen or attempt to understand her point of view and feelings.

Immediately ask her:

"Are you blaming me?" or "Are you saying it's my fault?"

This effectively moves the focus from her complaint and puts her on the defensive. She will now try to explain that she is not blaming you and her complaint is lost in the hub-bub.

6. Do not take the initiative to work things through - ever.

Have you heard of the 'time out' technique"? This is a common method couples use to go calm down so they can get back together and work things out. Since you don't want to work things out, you just want her to stop her bitching, you can ask for a time out, but never come back.

Be sure to act like nothing happened the next day. Most problems resolve themselves - NOT!

7. No matter what she says about how unhappy she is or that she may need to end the marriage - do not believe her.

Those are just words, just so much blah, blah, blah. She's probably got PMS or in the older woman, perhaps menopause.

And if you really want to make her crazy, when she finally leaves your neglectful sorry ass to make a life where she is appreciated, cherished and adored, act astonished when you come home to find she has moved out. Tell her you realize how much you love her and that you want to work on the relationship. Then of course, do none of these things.



Anonymous said...

This article describes my spouse to a tee. It is probably the most concise, exact observation of an abusive spouse I've ever read. Thank you so much for sharing what a lot of us live with.

jennie said...

Oh anon, I'm sorry to hear you can relate. But since you do, I appreciate you letting me know this is spot on for you too.

Anonymous said...

egdvzpr I have spent 22 years with my spouse, and suddenly, he is someone I don't know. Doing all the things thar create doubt, insecurity, and the feeling that I am just an obligation. Maybe I should have said, he doesn't do anything anymore to promote any feelings of goodness, that we once had. He freely admits he is depresses and just doesn't care whethwe the sun evencomes up or not. Sas to say the least. What's the amswer? I'm open for ideas.

jennie said...

Sounds like your husband is pretty depressed anon. He may be depressed and emotionally abusive of course. Do you see any of the other indicators of abuse as described by Patricia Evans?

If he is only depressed, but not abusive, I would think that encouraging him to seek treatment for depression is the best thing.

I know how much what a husband *doesn't do* can hurt.

CZBZ said...

Great post, jennie! I'd like to link it to a message board I manage if that's okay.

What you're writing about is so hard for people to see when it's happening to them. Sometimes, we only realize the slow destruction of verbal abuse AFTER the abuse has escalated.

I appreciate your ability to write about verbal abuse AND your willingness to share your experience with others.


jennie said...

CZ, I'm glad if other people find my experience of value so please link away. It has taken a while for me to recognize and feel how much what he doesn't do has slowly eroded my feelings of love for him.

Withholding is sneaky and insidious. To be treated as if you simply do not exist feels awful.

Anonymous said...

What you said about the advantages to a man of having inherited wealth...very interesting.

Ladies, I know a woman (and I swear I am not that woman, just a horrified onlooker) who has been married 15 years to a man who is the offspring of a wealthy family.

She does 80% of the work keeping the family going. Her husband sleeps, jogs, doesnt clean up after himself. He has no job and the big family secret is hiding from everyone that he isnt working. They have two children and the kids are borderline out of control.

I witnessed this woman ask permission to eat crunchy breakfast cereal then realized I was present, looked ashamed and said the noise of the cereal being chewed irritated her husband.

I was so shocked that I nearly passed out.

The household is paid for by the mother in law. So, if this woman divorces, she will get nothing, because under the community property laws of our state, only earned income is community property. Inherited wealth remains the property of the heir--in this case the sleepy husband.

It is my guess that the wealthy family needed to get this man respectably married. No girl from a rich family would have put up with this crap. She could have afforded a top notch divorce lawyer and flown the coop early on.

But my friend, who grew up in a lower middle class family, didnt have the equivalent financial clout to defend herself. And, she lacks boundaries because when 15 years old, she was raped and her parents never got her counseling for it, making her an untreated trauma case.

So, ladies, if you are in modest circumstances and some wealthy family is willing, perhaps even eager for you to marry their very careful to pause and ask yourself---why?

It may be they want someone hard working, middle class work ethic who will make thier otherwise unmarriageable son look good and not have the financial or legal resources to fight out a harsh divorce.

And its always good to ask whose input wins out concerning childraising. The wealthy side of the family? All too often that answer is yes.


jennie said...


Wow, how sad that she thinks she has to ask permission to eat crunchy cereal.

Yes, there are some cases where the community property laws can be very unfair for the spouse who entered the marriage without separate property. In my case, my husband earns zero income by working while the money I have earned by working part time is all I have. In a divorce, he is entitled to one-half of everything I have earned, even though his assets are vastly greater than mine. So basically what's his is his and one-half of what's mine is his too.

Money can be used to exert power over another person if one is inclined to do so. This phenomenon is not confined to the wealthy however. A wealthy partner will only use that wealth for control if that is his or her orientation towards the relationship.

I am not so sure that a woman with her own wealth wouldn't put up with what your friend has. When a person is subject to emotional abuse, the psychological debilitation can create immense self doubt and a sense of powerlessness on many levels. Sometimes even women who are supporting their dead broke husbands find it difficult to leave. Once the decision is made to leave however, there is no doubt that money can make that easier.

Has your friend consulted with a lawyer? She would still get child support if she divorced him and for a marriage of 15 years, very likely some alimony I would think.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. I have no idea whether she has consulted with a lawyer or not.

Part of the trap is, she and her mother were financially ambitious. I think her mother lived in terror of a poverty stricken old age in a nursing home. Her own mother had been treated horribly in one.

So the weird thing is, my friend's mother ferociously defended the sleepy son in law. She was desperate for her daughter to 'marry up.'

Might add, I helped out another Thanksgiving, and the day after, came downstairs. My friend was sleeping on the couch, in the clothes she wore the previous night.

I walked into the kitchen, the husband was putting some wine bottles away. He made a juvenile sexual innuendo at me. I suspected he'd not been laid the previous night. After all, he is well rested, my friend does all the work. Its guaranteed desire discrepancy.

When she joined us for breakfast, she had changed into PJ's and a bathrobe, and cheerily announced she had been sleeping on the couch because she had had a belly ache.

She has some money of her own, but its chump change, compared with what the inlaws have. If she had the guts to ditch them all (even her children are unpleasant) and walk away, she'd have options. But she's probably like a prisoner who has been serving hard time and is demoralized.

I dont go to their house anymore. I have to recall she is an untreated rape victim. She is intelligent but in denial. And she is probably taking RX medication to deal with it all.

The two boys will become problems for thier room--mates and future girlfriends unless a miracle takes place.

Again, if invited to marry money, hire a private detective and do a background check. And wait several years before having children. If you are treated disrespectfully, you want to be able to leave--pronto.

Anonymous said...

Jennie? I just found your blog. I have been reading for hours. Are you still here? Please let me know.

Thanks; Lizzie

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