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Psychological question

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plainpain posted 7/27/2014 14:09 PM

My WH had this Alpha Male issue. If a woman was popular, he had to prove he was the dominant male by attracting her. Often this had little to do with the woman, and more to do with a particular male he happened to see himself in competition with. At one point, he felt like I was that woman, I suppose.

But after we were married, he became very belittling of me in very subtle ways. I wore a black dress to church - he spoke to the woman in front of us who was wearing pink, and said, "Every woman should wear pink". Stupid stuff like that. He didn't really like her, but be felt competitive with her husband. He wanted her to want him and wish her husband was like him.

I don't know why he had to belittle me in the process. Any thoughts on that? He doesn't do it any more, but it still hurts sometimes.

krsplat posted 7/27/2014 16:13 PM

Bullies make themselves feel big by making other people (like you) feel small.

Asshats get ego kibbles from proving they are the "alpha male." He got a thrill both from making himself look smooth and from stroking her ego in front of her husband, who could not reasonably object to having his wife noticed by another man.

I certainly hope he has discontinued! If it still hurts you sometimes, maybe he has more work to do?

plainpain posted 7/27/2014 17:39 PM

I'm not sure it is about him having more work to do, although certainly we both do. We have talked about incidents like that, and he acknowledged them and validated my feelings and apologized. And he definitely does not do it any more. I think the further we get from the A, and the more we are growing, the more glaring those little things become and I wonder how I didn't see it then for what it was. He acknowledges that he abused me and he is very determined to alter all those old behaviours.

I suppose I wonder why he wouldn't have wanted to feel good about having me for a wife - why I didn't make him feel alpha male. Why he wouldn't have wanted other men to want me, and him be the one who "got" me. Why he had to crush me down emotionally. It seemed an important part of it somehow. If I told him I didn't like a woman, he made a point of going out of his way to be friendly to them.

Before we were married he would sometimes be extremely jealous. After we got married, he acted like nobody in the world would be tempted by me in any way. He would tell me I was beautiful when I hadn't showered. When I got dressed up.... zero compliments, and in fact he would compliment other women in front of me. And then he complained that I didn't care about my appearance. I just don't get it.

I'm not sure why it still hurts. Just processing the last 19 years of my life and feeling all kinds of sadness and wasted years and trying to understand after the fact.

BtraydWife posted 7/27/2014 22:39 PM

I don't know but it does very much sound like a bully. That he picked on you and put you down because he knew you well enough to be able to hit all your sensitive spots with his cruel words. That all sounds like someone who feels worthless and insignificant. And feeling that way is common for a WS.

I guess the important thing is that it has stopped completely. It might be good for him to understand that it might help you have faith in his feelings for you if he would go out of his way to compliment you, especially in front of attractive males and females. Not kiss your ass but make his feelings of love for you very public.

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