You talk about his low self esteem, but your don't have any. Maybe since the child he has changed the focus of his attacks, maybe you were raised in a family where this type of abuse was normal, but it isn't. First read the article in the New Era on positive thinking and start counseling STAT to work on your self esteem. Study emotional abuse both understanding why he treats you so bad, but also why you allow it and how to change the dynamics of your relationship. There is no way to get him to change - you can only change you. So start by removing fear and becoming the smart strong capable woman that can stand as an equal partner or can stand on her own.
I have been in the same situation that you are in. At first, I typed this very long answer to your comments. It was very therapeutic. I erased it all and found a few words to sum it all up. Have faith in Heavenly Fathers plan for you, for your son and for your husband. Pray always and ask the right questions, then have faith to follow the answers. The Atonement can heal the wounds from an abusive marriage, allow forgiveness for the choice of divorce, and it is a soothing salve to the woes after divorce.
I'm the one who wrote to Brother Steurer, I don't know if anyone is reading this. I went here hoping for an LDS perspective that would be uplifting and inspiring because whenever a wife felt strongly about something online and the husband felt exactly just as powerful about the opposite, the answer people gave was divorce and separation. I value covenants too much, and I realized that if I left everything would be worse. He would end up taking away my mothering decisions--there's a 100% chance of that if we're separated, my child would be far more stressed harbor and all the negative effects of divorce--so that wouldn't be solved, my family that hates me and wouldn't support me--would be glad to get all the twisted and juicy gossip, I'm terrible at getting jobs and would be perpetually struggled and stressed--he's far better at home management, I would not be able to salvage a single dream, it would be far worse than being a widow, there's no hope of me remarrying in the mid-singles ward from accounts I've heard. No he didn't tell me that--and no that's not low self-esteem talking--that's the reality of the situation. He's not physically abusing me, but I'm pretty sure he's the most stressed out man I've ever met. Yes he has a strong opinion on everything, but his self-esteem is low. We spend a lot of years before children, a lot, I can tell something is really different--I'm pretty sure it's not porn but not being able to cope with the realities of family life. We had children way too late and were way too settled in our ways to adequately deal with this. I was really hoping for advice on how to be a supportive wife and help him not worry so much. Instead it's easy for commenters to say divorce that jerk you don't understand the gospel--this is what Jesus really wants you to do. Steurer, you did fine for not knowing all the details, but I was hoping readers would be a little more mature. I'll be coming back here looking for thoughts up until spring, so I hope no one's all it's too late to late to comment if you've got a good hack up your sleeve.
Emotional abuse doesn’t stop simply by praying and talking to others about the abuse. It stops when the offending partner wants it to stop. So what motivates an abuser to stop? The same things that stop a bully in the playground: fear of losing something they value. In our LDS culture we think that forgiving 70 times 70 means that we “forgive” without accountability to the offender. A dangerous combination that breeds continued abuse. Please remove yourself from his damaging influence before you loose your voice and yourself even further. If he chooses to change, he will and he will demonstrate sustained change for a long period of time until your instinct tells you he has truly changed. Beware of short-lived “change.” This situation is extremely serious, damaging and dangerous to your personal salvation. The longer the abuse is endured, the longer and more painful is the road to healing. Heavenly Father does not require anyone to endure abuse, especially in a celestial marriage. No one. Best wishes
A few thoughts: You teach people how to treat you. If you give in to his unrealistic requests and demands, that will only reinforce his misguided thinking that he's being reasonable. Also, I suggest taking a mini get away just for yourself and let him see what taking care of a child and house is like. Hopefully, he'll start to get a clue. Another option is for him to go back and live with mom and dad because he's clearly not ready to be a husband. Lastly, please don't bring more kids into this until you've seen a consistent pattern of change.
If this is a true story - the wife needs to seek competent legal counsel. As a practicing family law attorney, I have seen this dysfunctional behavior harm not only the target spouse but also the children because they come to believe this is normal. In most of these relationships, the target spouse does not reveal all of the control issues because she becomes conditioned to accept them. Chances are the controlling behavior is coupled with unreported anger outbursts and emotional or physical abuse. Women are generally afraid to report this to their bishop, their visiting teachers or other female support in their ward because they feel responsible and at the same time, humiliated. While I understand the author's gospel perspective, there are many Mormon women who stay too long in marriages that are destructive because it is a "temple marriage." In the meantime, they and their children may be irreparably emotionally damaged. Careful selection of a competent LDS attorney who understands the cultural and religious dimensions as well as the legal aspects of domestic violence - and its precursors should considered.
My husband was like this to an extent. It seemed he was dissatisfied with everything I did or didn't do. I didn't feel good enough. When we decided to divorce, he blamed me. I later found out he had been looking at pornography for a very very long time. If you decide to split up, be prepared for more attacks. It can get ugly and is very painful. I'm grateful it is behind me now, and I am still healing, but I've also been very blessed and I feel free.
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