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10 years ago  ::  Dec 01, 2008 - 5:00PM #1
Posts: 2
My husband and I recently married (10/25/08) after both having been in 20+ yr marriages, and we both have 3 kids each with the youngest one being his 14 yr old son.  IN THIS MARRIAGE I  MUST LIVE BY MANY RULES ONE OF WHICH INCLUDES "GUM CHEWING IS NOT PERMITTED"; IF I'VE BEEN CHEWING GUM AND FORGET TO SPIT IT OUT BEFORE MY HUSBAND PICKS ME UP FROM WORK I AM ORDERED TO SPIT IT OUT.  During our Thanksgiving celebration, my husband left us for a short time while he went to a guitar lesson, and while he was gone, his 14 yr old chose to chew gum in our home.  When I discovered it, I reminded him that we were not permitted to chew gum.  My 25 yr old daughter thought that this was an absurd rule, and although THE 14 yr OLD STATED TO HER THAT HE COULD NOT CHEW GUM IN FRONT OF HIS DAD, my daughter decided that she wanted to see for herself if this was true.  When my husband arrived home, everyone watched to see how he would react.  When he eventually picked up on it, he laughed it off and he did not ask that she spit it out which she later did claiming that she felt uncomfortable.  Two days later, the 14 yr old (who was staying with us over the holiday weekend) decided that he wanted to test his Dad "to see what his Dad would say to him" which is what he later claimed.  My husband allowed for his son to chew the gum in our home.  When I became aware of this, I could not believe that my husband would not permit me to chew gum but was going to allow for his son to do so in our home.  Believing that this was not right, I asked his son to spit the gum out and to please not chew gum in our home.  This caused my husband to become angry with me, and while yelling and cursing at me, he made it very clear that I was not to say anything to his children about anything.  Needless to say, I was very disturbed by what happened, but I later apologized to both the 14 yr old and my husband for speaking out on this matter; my husband never did.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 02, 2008 - 12:03AM #2
Posts: 947
What I find disturbing is that your husband makes rules for you at all.  That's not part of a relationship between adults.  That's controlling.  And if he yelled and cursed at you, let alone did it in front of the kids, that's abusive behavior right there.

One of the warning signs of an abuser is that they do what they can to control you.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 02, 2008 - 3:48PM #3
Posts: 2
THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts with me because I've been feeling very uneasy about this matter.  It's reassuring to know that perhaps my husband has some issues that he needs to work on rather than have me feel guilty for becoming upset as the result of his inappropriate actions.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2008 - 12:53AM #4
Posts: 28
I, too, completely agree that the very fact that he is even laying down "rules" in your marriage over trivial things such as gum chewing is a red flag that he might be potentially abusive.

Please, if you can, try to find someone you can trust to talk to about this, who might be able to help you find the best option. Because people who abuse their partners do not "just stop" the abuse. I have watched many people go through these relationships in my young life (including some family members) and I volunteer for a Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) organization. I have seen far too many cases of women who sincerely believe that "he will change." Trust me, that almost never happens... it almost always just gets worse. You deserve better than that.

IPV comes in many forms. Many people assume that just because he isn't beating you up or leaving marks on your body, that it isn't abuse. This is not true. He doesn't have to even lay a hand on you to be an abuser. The fact that he is trying to control you in even such little ways is not a good sign at all. Also, the fact that he made your daughter so uncomfortable is another bad sign. If he is not treating your children the same way that he treats his own, this might be another bad sign because he is sending you the message that everything that is yours is "beneath" him, and therefore is not as important.

You are a human being who deserves love and respect-- not a marriage of control and mistrust

Also, I have a few questions to ask about this. You don't have to answer on here, but please consider them carefully.

1. Do the rules apply to only you, or is he equally bound to these rules? (Although from what you have mentioned, I think I already know the answer this this.)
If he isn't, then that is another red flag. If he is allowed to do whatever he pleases and yet you have to abide by "his" rules, then this is a means of controlling what you do. This is not healthy, this is abusive.

2. How many of these rules dictate the "little" things that you can and cannot do? Aside from gum chewing, that is?

3. Do any of these rules restrict what people you are able see or speak to, how much time you can spend outside of the home, how much money you have access to, what you can wear, or what you eat?

4. What are the terms of these rules? In other words, if you break these rules, what does he say he will do?

I hope this helps.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2008 - 8:44AM #5
Posts: 2,001
I have a thing about mouth noises and hate chewing gum. I would probably be annoyed if my husband chewed gum because he knows my "issue."  I don't have a rule about it.  It just makes no sense to chew around me if you want me to hang around.  I know it is my issue.  I suppose I could get hypnosis to desensitize me to chewing noises, but so far no one in my life wants to chew so badly that it even comes up much.  My daughter chews gum sometimes and I have learned to endure it for short times.  It is part of my easly irritated makeup, probably part of an anxiety disorder which I have mostly controlled. 

If this was his only issue, then it is just a weird quirk.  If he has lots of rules, then I would be concerned.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2008 - 11:10AM #6
Posts: 2,849
Another issue here- in my eyes- is where does hubby get off “yelling and cursing” at you?  Is that proper husbandly behavior- regardless of the reason for his anger? Gosh, I would think that one would desire to treat one’s life partner with respect and kindness.  And as a life partner, why should you accept “yelling and cursing” as proper treatment?

Now, delvamarvamom makes a valid point; some folks do not care for the sounds of gum chewing.  IF this is the case, hubby can simply request that you and family not chew gum around him as it is bothersome to him.  A valid request that can easily be honored.     

I’m sorry, but until you and hubby can come to terms as to the meaning of

-    husband
-    wife
-    marriage
-    respect
-    life partner
-                    maturity

then there’s really no reason to see him as anything other than abusive co-dweller of your home.  And a controlling one at that. 

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10 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2008 - 2:15PM #7
Posts: 2
I think I would run as fast as I could because this to me is abuse
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9 years ago  ::  Dec 21, 2008 - 11:05AM #8
Posts: 2
Your husband is controlling and possibly narcissistic. Bless You.....You have a long road ahead of you.
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9 years ago  ::  Dec 21, 2008 - 2:04PM #9
Posts: 5,277
If my husband tried to order me around and yelled and screamed at me and tell me what he will "allow" me to do... He'd be dead before he hit the floor.
You are a full grown woman and should not let this bully order you around. 
You are not his child to be ordered around.  You are supposed to be his PARTNER... his EQUAL.
James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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9 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2008 - 10:07AM #10
Posts: 43
Wow, I am amazed by this story.
Perhaps you and your husband would benefit by sitting down, possibly with a third party and having a few long discussions.
nip it in the bud, is my advice.

Love is contagious,
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