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The unclean, verbally abusive, husband

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My husband is great, not perfect, but a really great guy. I love him very much. My issue with him is that he refuses to help clean the house unless I ask and when I ask, he completely becomes verbally abusive.

This has been a problem throughout our marriage. I've tried talking to him and asking him why he won't just chip in; why he won't just help. He responds by saying I'm to demanding, controlling and smothering; if I just leave him alone and let him clean on his own time, then he would. So, I've gone for WEEKS without saying a word to him, just allowing him to come around to clean whenever he feels like it. The result, I end up cleaning up after him and me 100% of the time. THEN I start asking him for help again, I point out how I've said nothing and he's done nothing. That's when I become "stupid; dumb; annoying,etc."

It's so hurtful and frustrating. I'm not asking him to do a spring cleaning job, just clean up after himself and help a little around the house. I know his name calling and belittling is to get me to leave him alone, but it's getting to the point that I just don't know what to do. In almost every other area he is a complete gentlemen, sweet and fun, but I didn't sign up to marry a slob or a verbally abusive guy.

The unclean, verbally abusive, husband

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I've been married 6 years, two young kids, have the same issue as you. It's really hard when you feel someone you love doesn't respect you, and with name calling because your asking for him to help, or just pick up after himself and be an adult, it's probably what it feels like. Thats how it feels to me. I find that when I break it down like that to him, it's not just a mess and words, it's being disrespectful to me and what we have as a family, it tends to help get the point across. Though I haven't been able to fix my situation with that. The choice is keep putting up with it, or if you don't want to the rest of your life, leave. Go to counseling to help learn how to communicate effectively to each other and understand where the other is coming from. Just wanted you to know your not alone with this problem and it sucks.

The unclean, verbally abusive, husband

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(It doesn't *FEEL* like it, it *is*. And 'a point got across' is as 'a point got across' then gets *acted according to*. If not, it's known as humouring or fobbing-off. The choice is not solely between dumping or lumping, there are 'stations' in between.))

I'll break it right down for you, ABRA B, since you obviously need and would appreciate that whilst your head's still spinning with all the verbal battering:

'Great guys' don't systematically refuse, least of all via hostility and disgusting, highly wounding intent to insult atop the impact of the insults themselves, to do their share of keeping clean the home they themselves live in and contribute dirt and mess to, nor simultaneously claim fair intent with their mouths despite systematic disproof to the hilt subsequently via their still-inactive feet. In the context of an up-close-and-personal relationship, he's an over-entitled ...person whom just happens to express it most noticeably when it comes to the nitty-gritty of basic, daily, personal responsibility, sense of basic fairness and justice, and a need to show he cares in a way which he knows would register with and mean something to *you*, in whose interests it is to keep sweet.

A problem THROUGHOUT your marriage, you say?

Housework, tidying at least, is a DAILY thing. Therefore, DAILY throughout your marriage this man not only says with his feet 'scr*w you!', i.e., batters your heart and mind with total absence of basic care, thoughtfulness, consideration, empathy..., but also peppers it with making it formal via how he dares address and treat you of all precious people verbally, and to a FAR LESSER extent can be 'sweet and fun'.

Well, he'd make a good enough ACQUAINTANCE, then, wouldn't he.

(What would he have you believe he'd do if you weren't around? Live in muck and squalor and batter his own reflection in the mirror whenever it got too much?)

No 'gentleman' would undo in such an undeniable way his 'great guy' image so readily, easily and, more to the point and pity, needlessly and unacceptably as all that in front of his Number One Fan. Being a gentleman is an attitude setting, meaning, it expresses wherever HE expresses. So the reality is, he IS CAPABLE OF ACTING 'like a gentleman' (in superficial ways) when it suits him yet more often capable of unleashing his real, brass-tacks character when it suits him, and in the face of nothing that could even remotely be called provocation. (OCCASIONALLY asking your rowboat partner to (reference years of prior, systematic refusal) do an ATOMIC FRACTION, ACTUALLY of their own, fair share of rowing is not 'provocation'.)

So he's not very 'sweet and fun' whenever (daily) you need him to put his ACTUAL money where his mouth is, is he. Maybe he's only sweet and fun whenever *you're* sweet and fun (i.e. because and while you're blinkering yourself and backburning), and, whenever you're not (definition of 'not' - expecting a tiny bit of rowing)? - "Scr*w you, b**ch!".

(Oh, and don't believe that BS about his going to work every day being 'for you', either. If you weren't around or didn't exist, he would not suddenly cease going to work or giving it his best.)

We can't even assume he has bottled-up resentment in him, what with the fact you said 'throughout my marriage'. So it's not that.

So - long-term refusal to do his fair OR ANY share (= abusive behaviour) + verbal abusiveness - that is TWO, DISTINCTLY SEPARATE, MAJOR WAYS in which he treats you like anywhere between dirt on his shoe and his hired, personal skivvy.

That's not love, that's Cupboard Love...and (as you're finding out) a wee pebble in your shoe that after days, weeks, years feels just like and does as much damage, psychologically, as a huge shard of glass...coupled with an highly chauvinistic attitude towards all women, but especially the one he thinks is his 'prisoner'. So must we presume that only a NON-prisoner would get basic, human-to-human respect, then?

Now you know what to do or what to *sincerely* threaten full intent to do "if".

New mantra: (Save for children and other dependants, i.e. true 'prisoners' -) people treat you only as badly as you LET them.

That's right. You DIDN'T sign up to marry a slob *and* verbally abusive guy (punch in real stomach, punch in mental stomach, what's the bleedin' difference). You signed up for a lifetime with what he at the crucial time managed to convince you was a gentleman - a nice, decent, *genuinely*, at least 90% of the time, caring guy. I'd say you got the other way round, wouldn't you?

You married an act. A conditional one, at that. However, he can always choose to prove you (and I) WRONG on that score, can't he, big boy like him.

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