"His Big Mouth is Costing Us Our Marriage": Can This Marriage Be Saved?
Her Turn, continued
"The first time it happened we'd just become engaged and were dinner guests of my friend Susan. When Norman asked her to pass the salt, she said her chicken didn't need seasoning. He strongly disagreed, but Susan ordered Norman to eat the chicken without salt. They went back and forth for a ridiculous amount of time, as I turned crimson. 'You could've eaten the chicken to be polite,' I fumed afterward. But Norman was unapologetic: 'Susan was trying to push me around, and I won't be pushed.' I never talked to Susan again. I was too embarrassed to call her, and she never got in touch with me.
"In retrospect, this incident was a red flag, but I married him anyway. Living together was an adjustment. Little habits of Norman's annoy me, like the way he lets his hair get too long between cuts, puts dirty dishes in the dishwasher without rinsing them first and leaves his razor stubble in the bathroom sink. If I complain, he says I'm nagging him.
"Our biggest problem by far, though, is his big mouth. We recently attended a party where a guest disagreed with him about a political issue. The guy held his own against Norman, but then his daughter jumped into the fray. She was no match for my husband and his harangue reduced her to tears. She ran from the room, sobbing hysterically, while the other guests stared. 'You bullied her mercilessly,' I said afterward in the car. 'And you humiliated me and made everyone else uncomfortable.' But Norman felt not a shred of remorse. 'I can say anything I want,' he said flatly. 'If she's going to get into the ring, she has to take what comes at her.'
"That was the last straw. If Norman doesn't care enough about me to hold his tongue, then I can't stay married to him."