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"How normal is it for my husband to have fantasies of my sisters and even of my mother?"

How normal is it for my husband to have fantasies of my sisters and even of my mother. He's been telling me these fantasies for eight years and every time I tried to tell him it hurts that he tells me these things he say that that's how men are. I feel ashamed that I allowed him to do this for many years and know that I want him to stop his upset at me. For many years I had a very low self-esteem and didn't feel woman enough for him. I felt like a doll, all he did was put the face and the name. He doesn't know how he has hurt me. Why I changed my way of thinking after all this time was that he threw a plate at me and I ended up needing 10 stitches on my arm. Now he blames me and doesn't want to go to counseling. What can I do to better our relationship because we have two daughters and after he's told me time after time to leave I took his word and now that he knows I want to leave he thinks it's not time for me to leave, that we should wait another five to ten years for the girls to grow up. My daughters are 9 and 8 years old. I'm twenty-eight. Can you please advise on what is best I do? Since I did tell him my feelings toward him of not loving him any more. I want to know if it's me not understanding his fantasies like he says they're normal. I always told him how I felt since day one that he shared his dreams with me. He thinks this will be good for us so we wont get bored. It's just that even now he thinks the same way of my friends. This is not love or is it? Thank you.

Hi. Well, I don't think it's either kind or normal for a husband to tell his wife that he is having fantasies about her sisters, and even her mother! That sounds more like cruelty to me, as well as deeply unbalanced. Yes, men do have occasional fantasies, and other women can appeal to them, as women can see an attractive man and have a sense of appeal or appreciation - that's normal. BUT - a healthy, kind, caring man in a marriage or relationship does not tell his partner about it, nor does it go on for years and years. Nor does he torture her with it, or try to convince her it's ok when she tells him it hurts her. A healthy, caring man would say: "IF THIS HURTS YOU, I'LL NOT DO IT."

Because I believe that we create our own reality, your low sense of self worth as a woman has drawn to you this kind of abusive man. That still doesn't make it ok. However, for you to create a different reality and relationship for yourself, you must change that belief about yourself and come to value yourself deeply. I invite you to read the Laws of the Universe found on this site, and pay especial attention and work with the formula for changing the core beliefs one has. Very very important for you to do this. Your belief that you aren't good enough is a false belief. You ARE good enough. But for that to operate in your life, and create better things for you, you have to believe it, and feel it.

Because you have such low self esteem, you have given your power over to this man in a tremendously unhealthy way. For him to attack you and cause you physical harm by throwing a plate at you when you challenge his dominant and unhealthy set up is TOTALLY unacceptable. That's abuse, make no mistakes about that - and you are definitely caught in an abusive cycle. In an abusive cycle, the man abuses you, talks you out of what you know to be right, asks you to stay when you know you need to go, is very persuasive when he's trying to keep you as a victim in his life, and then you, playing the role of victim and, having given your power away, allow yourself to believe him and don't trust your own gut instincts and truth about what you need and what's going on. Then, like any abusive person, when you begin to show some strength and thinking on your own and begin to make decisions, he starts to back down and does his best to manipulate you into staying so that he can continue to have it stay the way he wants or needs it to be. That is how bullies operate. They are basically deeply troubled and insecure and feel inadequate, and so they try to compensate for that by making others feel powerless and inadequate. By continuing to tell you about his fantasies, he is playing on your sense of inadequacy to keep you feeling that way so you will remain powerless and under his control. Which you have, up to this point, done. Since you feel inadequate anyway, your issues and his, in this way have matched.

When abusers are challenged, or threatened, often they back down and begin to try to convince you to stay in an abusive situation for their own sake. He has needed someone to be cruel to, and stronger than, basically, and he doesn't want to lose that. You have needed to or agreed to be treated cruelly because you haven't believed you deserve anything better. Not a healthy situation, is it? He isn't caring about your needs - or the needs of his daughters, I don't think. If one cares about one's wife and daughters, one doesn't present a traumatic role model of a father or husband who hurts his wife. Physically, or otherwise. Do you want your daughters to grow up with that kind of image of what marriage is, and what they can expect from a man? This guy needs some serious therapy. He is still just trying to keep his own sense of security intact, and he gets that by keeping you in a victimized position. HOWEVER, you can't be in a victimized or abusive situation unless you believe that's what you deserve and therefore on some level agree to be in it. You are creating it along with him. You need to develop your own inner power and trust in yourself, in who you are and what you know to be right. Otherwise, this trauma and dysfunction will continue in your life, and in the life of your children, since that will be their model for what life is, and you will be like a leaf blown about by any wind that blows.

So, the question you need to ask yourself is: "Do I choose to keep creating and being in this kind of situation?"

If the answer is "NO," then get out of it, and begin to heal yourself from the unloving attitudes and beliefs you have carried around about yourself. If you don't love and value yourself, you will draw to you a partner who won't either.

Blessings, Ayal

351. "A friend keeps expressing interest in a relationship and then withdraws again"

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