The Case of the Hysterical Husband

I've been married for two years to a guy I've been close friends with for nearly 10. We even had a brief fling several years back that ended badly (because I was an idiot). He handled it very maturely and managed to remain a good and supportive friend. Three years ago, I realized that I was in love with him and needed him in my life. So I told him. He moved in with me, we got married—it was wonderful! The best sex I've ever had and all that.

Now, all of a sudden, conflict. I thought that since he put up with my crap all these years and still found me endearing, we would get along perfectly, as we always had.

One night a couple months ago, we had been out with friends and I got pretty drunk. I displayed my usual biting sense of humor, and suddenly he's totally offended and throws a tantrum about what an asshole I am. Until then, I had no idea he was even capable of getting mad at me. It threw me for a loop. Since then, he's picked numerous nasty fights with me over the most confounding things.

Normally, he's super sweet and considerate and doesn't complain about much. I've tried discussing the issue and how much it distresses me, and he agrees that it's not normal or healthy the way he blows up and that there's some hidden aggression that he can't seem to place. He seems comfortable talking about it and trying to work it out, but nothing changes. The sex is still fabulous, and I'm beyond grateful to him for helping me take care of my child and otherwise being a decent partner and a good friend, but I can't take much more fighting.

I do have a big sarcastic mouth and think I deserve a good tongue-lashing every now and then, but I can't handle a grown man having outright temper tantrums. How can I get him to behave rationally and tell me when he has a problem with me and not wait until it blows up like a time bomb? Is it worth it to even try? He says he loves me and can't bear the thought of losing me, but what's a girl to do? Therapy, right? Not in the budget. I'm beginning to think that falling in love is for suckers.


Thinking you'll have an argument- free existence while living with another human being is unrealistic. It sounds like this guy was on his very best behavior during the honeymoon stage of your relationship. This in itself is not unusual; most of us hold off revealing the ugly truth for as long as possible. I certainly wasn't in any rush to let my boyfriend hear me fart or have him realize that my legs weren't naturally hairless. But after a while, I cut one while he was in the room and, for once, didn't blame the cat. And yeah, every now and again I let the leg foliage run a little free. In turn, he doesn't shave most weekends and I know more about his pornography preferences than I care to. (Cartoon characters getting it on; I suppose it could be worse. . . . )

Your honeymoon just lasted a little longer than most, and what he was keeping inside was way worse than a little gassiness. Not to mention a lot scarier. Having been on the receiving end of a battering boyfriend, insane, hysterical fits of rage are a deal breaker for me. I get physically ill when someone behaves that way in my presence.

I know some people can just shrug that kind of shit off, but it doesn't sound like you're one of them. And yeah, maybe you're a pain in the ass, but he should point that out calmly, not throw a frothing, screaming fit. You already have one child. Do you really want to be married to another?

I noticed that you said therapy would be great but it's just not in the budget. Think of it this way—therapy can be pricey, but it's cheaper than a divorce and two separate apartments.

Free advice! Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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