Like Father Like Son

Money issues and more

Dear Positive Way, I have been married for 6 years and have 2 girls (2 and 5). I am writing you because my husband and I are currently fighting. It seems like we are always doing this even on our honeymoon. My husband does not support his family. We are currently living in my parent’s condo that was supposed to be rental property, but they have let us live there rent free for about three years. We lost our dream home because he got behind in the payments. My parents also gave us $30,000.00 to put down on the house and we were only in there for about 18 months. We don’t communicate and everything is separate; he wants separate bank accounts, he buys groceries separately and even has his own separate P.O. Box. He also has an issue with his temper. He has pushed me during an argument and has yelled at me in front of our children because he didn’t agree with how I was disciplining my oldest daughter. His parents have a poor relationship. In the whole 6 years we have been married, I have not seen his father hold a conversation with his mother or show any type of affection. He has physically abused her in the past. I am so scared. He says I overreact when I confront him about the “abuse”- he says it is not abuse. Granted it doesn’t happen on a regular basis, just when he becomes very upset. Am I overreacting? By the way, his parents are 55 years- old and are barely getting by financially because of bad investments or poor handling with money. Could this be a cycle?  Signed, junebug.

Fear my husband’s behavior

Dear junebug, you ask two very important questions and paint a very troubling picture of your marital relationship and your husband’s behaviors.  I will address your two questions and offer some additional thoughts for your consideration.

  1. “Am I overreacting?”  Our response is an emphatic “no.”  You are not overreacting.  In fact, you may be under-reacting.  “He has pushed me during an argument…” is abusive behavior.  The controlling and deceptive behaviors over money and issues of temper are classic symptoms of what some experts would term to be an abusive relationship.  Abuse is insidious as it works its evil spell on the abused individual.  The abuser will, of course, deny that it is abusive.  Some, in fact, may think that it is normal treatment.Please read the materials about abuse on our site:   You should also immediately avail yourself of professional assistance.  Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or your local domestic violence center to talk with someone about it.  They will help you assess your situation and provide assistance to you and your children.  Do it for the children and yourself.Hiding money and who knows what else while not providing for his family is not acceptable parental our spousal behavior.2.          “Could this be a cycle?”  Our response is an emphatic “yes.”  We learn most of our life behaviors from our home environment.  Our parents are our teachers.  Unless individuals take action to learn a different set of principles, values and behaviors that those of their parents, they will perpetuate what their parents have taught them.If you ever want to make an estimate of how a youth will turn out later in life, take a look at their parents.  If they are financially irresponsible, the son or daughter is likely to be financially irresponsible.  If the son or daughter is not given affection, they are likely to be ignorant of how to be affectionate.  Unless your husband is taught different behaviors he is unlikely to change.  He is in dire need of counseling and teaching in both of these areas at least.  You would also benefit from counseling as a way of stopping your role as a victim and participant in this relationship.If you want to break the cycle so your daughters don’t perpetuate the problems, you must take the lead and get the help you need to stop the behaviors now.  What you are teaching them, whether you realize it or not, is that it is okay to tolerate the way you are being treated.  You need to set boundaries.

Recognize that we are not experts in abuse and such matters cannot be handled with just an email or printed information.  This is something that calls out for professional assistance.  They are the ones who can give you the immediate professional guidance that you need.

Change for the better

It is in your hands to set boundaries and set out to change the situation for the better.  Here is a  link to a useful article but we do think that this is a case where you will greatly benefit from professional counseling and assistance.