I hate my husband — now what?

BY PENDA HONEYGHAN

Monday, October 15, 2018

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EVERY couple experiences tough days — when tempers flare and they are even repelled by the very sight of their significant other. And while these feelings go away for most, others struggle to identify how they really feel about their partners.

But how do you determine whether you're just going through a rough patch or the issue is more serious?

“If you use the word 'hate' it means you have extreme hostility towards the person, which is not a positive sign. If the utterance is made during an argument [that may be a heat-of-the-moment experience]. If, however, the relationship is characterised by physical, verbal and emotional abuse then it would not be surprising to hear cries of pain and hurt expressed by utterances of 'I hate you', 'I despise you', 'I resent you',” counsellor Wayne Powell explained.

It's a situation three women we spoke to — Marie, a 32-year-old teacher; Antoinette, a 40-year-old cosmetologist; and Liana, a 28-year-old stay-at-home mom can relate to well.

“My husband hasn't worked for two years so all of the burden is on me,” Marie said. “When I come home after a long day and the house is still a mess and he and the children are there waiting for me to make dinner the resentment just builds, and I'm about to snap.”

For Antoinette, it was her husband cheating and siring another child outside the marriage that cemented her hate for him.

“I did everything for him — built him up, supported him, stood by him, and that was the thanks I got. The very sight of him makes me nauseous,” she said of the man she's now living separately from.

Liana said the animosity in her marriage is mutual — she hates him for the fact that he wanted a large family and she now has four children under eight, and he resents her because she “complains too much”.

“I'm in a serious state of depression, among other things, and I know I take it out on the kids because this is not how I imagined my life. But I've popped out a baby almost every year since I was 20, and frankly I am tired and I hate my life.”

Powell said whatever the reason for the hurt, the hurting partner may act upon the feelings of anger and do something destructive and out of character.

“Her intention is sending a message to her partner that, 'You don't care and love me, you make me feel devalued and un-needed,” he said, explaining that this becomes her way of getting her partner's attention and expressing how she feels.

Powell said when a partner feels this way the issue should be resolved between them or within a closed group.

“When the relationship reaches this toxic level where utterances of “I hate you” replace “I love you”, then something is seriously wrong and professional intervention is recommended. If no compromise can be made, then the therapist might encourage finding an amicable solution to work it off,” Powell reasoned.

— Penda Honeyghan

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