There is nothing like being married to an asshole. Unfortunately, this "asshole gene" runs deep in all men, even in me.
Before we go any further, I just want to throw a disclaimer out there. This blog topic is about understanding and painting a picture. I have a perspective from the point of view of myself (a rather recursive statement) and that doesn't mean that other perspectives are not also valid. In this post, I'm generalizing men and women to delineate insights into why husbands are assholes and how to address it if you so choose to do so.
At the source of the asshole behavior, there is pain perhaps, trauma and confusion of the highest degree. It's like we are wounded animals, emotionally speaking. We're unable to socially express how we feel as young boys, which is prescribed by how we are socialized. Think about it, all the movies, tv shows watched, and books you have read where men are depicted. Do those depictions of men support the notion that men who cry are desirable? On top of this socialization, we reinforce these social characteristics among ourselves in our own groups. The unspoken rule among men (unless we are very close friends), is if you express any sort of emotion in the form of tears, you are weak. That is tantamount to a death sentence. You will be ridiculed, harassed and razzed to death among other men. Not only that, but girls/women won't necessarily find you to be desirable either and thus we are labeled beta male providers.
This idea, of how boys/men are socialized makes us confused about our feelings. We are handicapped; unable to address pain or "feelings". Even typing the word "feelings" as a man it's like opening pandora's box and I believe myself to have a better grip on the subject. Nevertheless we muddle on, learning to ignore and suppress our feelings. Like all things suppressed or under pressure things are bound to explosively erupt. This is the anger we display. The yelling, the fighting, abuse, breaking stuff, name calling, just "insert the asshole behavior here".
Another disclaimer: I'm not condoning it or sympathizing with asshole behavior especially if it becomes destructive or abusive. Nor do I think anyone who is being abused should accept it. I'm just analyzing this behavior based on my training and experience.
Okay, so the solution. What shall I do, if my husband is an asshole? Assuming you there is no abuse or destructive behavior in your home and you want to stay in the relationship... He has to be able to trust you with his emotions. This is by no means and easy feat especially for someone who can barely say the word, "feelings" let alone talk about and understand them. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all to solving this issue. However, there are some things you can try depending on the asshole husband.
- Disarm him by loving him almost like a child (not treating him like a child) there is a difference. Show him (don't just tell him) it's okay to be angry, hurt and upset, but not to be mean spirited about it. It's NOT okay to for him to yell and scream at you.
- Show him that emotions are health to express and that his emotions are safe with you if he should feel the need to cry. If you ever get him to this point, you can never ridicule or embarrass him about his emotions out of your own anger or need to exact revenge. If you do, he will never trust you again and the wall will be impenetrable.
- Share your experience with our online marriage support group. There are people there who have other perspectives that might serve you well there. It's free.
Be well and good luck!