The unfixable man

This letter…wow.

Three months ago, my wife and I had a calm disagreement over whether we should start a family. A few nights later, I replayed the conversation in my mind and got extremely angry about it. I went into the bathroom, flushed her birth control pills down the toilet, left the empty case on the counter, and then went back to bed. When I woke up in the morning, I was ashamed of myself, but I knew she had already seen what I’d done. She never confronted me about it but has displayed strange behavior since then. She is unusually quiet and acts withdrawn. Her body language has changed, and although we still have sex regularly, it is different than it was before. In addition, she is constantly taking phone calls in private and leaving the house on superfluous errands. I realize I made a mistake, but I don’t think it’s fair that she continues to punish me for it by avoiding me. I want to ask my wife for us both to give up our smartphones and share one car so we can work on our communication. I don’t want to fall into the same trap of doing something rash and then regretting it later. How can I talk to my wife calmly about her behavior?


He’s either not at all self-aware, or is nastily devious. He simultaneously tries to claim they had a calm disagreement, and that he got extremely angry about it, after days of seething apparently, and then made a bold declaration that he was going to defy her will and get her pregnant whether she likes it or not. There’s nothing strange about her behavior; she is quite aware of the message he sent, and knows that her husband is no longer trustworthy. What he thinks will fix it is if he takes away more things from her, and talks to her calmly. We all know where “calm” takes you with this guy.

I can believe this is a real letter. I’ve known of too many people who are that good at compartmentalizing and have that totally selfish perspective.


  1. lakitha tolbert says

    Oh hell no! This is classic abusive relationship stuff! After that first confession, I question anything he else he’s said about their relationship! I’m pretty certain those conversations weren’t “calm”, and that he has no interest in working on their communication. He wants to dictate to her how she should behave towards him, because he doesn’t like being reminded by her behavior that he did something horrible.

    He lives with her, and can “communicate” with her at anytime. There’s no need to strip her of her ability to travel, or communicate with other people, but he wants permission to do it though. He absolutely cannot be trusted around her and she definitely needs to GTFO, and DTMFA! She may in fact be making arrangements to do so already, hence the secrecy.

  2. says

    It’s worth clicking the link to the article PZ links to. “Prudence” is way more charitable than I would have been, advising him to apologize and reconcile with his wife. IMO any man who pulls something like this deserves to spend the rest of his life alone. He’s only one step short of becoming a sex offender in my mind.

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I doubt He could try starting with calmly [literally that is] saying

    I was rash in throwing away you Birth control pills. I regret my actions, and would really like to learn how to be better than that

    1) acknowledge being rash
    2) express wanting to get past it
    3) do not expect a way to make HER:
    – think you a good person
    – think SHE is wrong.
    4) accept you are wrong and she is right.
    5) relationships take work continually, aren’t simply a Nirvana the couple moves into without effort to remain.
    .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.
    thank you for letting me get long winded

  4. wzrd1 says

    So, he “discussed” something, then after, “seething” after being ever so calm. Yeah, OK and I’m a major deity, everyone throw money and don’t ask what god needs with a starship.
    He then rejected her rejection of not becoming pregnancy, as apparently, he thinks he owns her body and medication. Autonomy is nothing to him, as he further proves by wanting “both of us” to give up cell phones and one vehicle, which I’m sure he’ll always drive, after dropping her off at work.
    That dude bought a bunch of weather balloons, filled them with helium and soared right to the summit of Mount Stupid and made certain that his wife and the entire planet witnessed his underachievement in personhood.
    Yeah, he simply has to be the incel that he is at heart and live and die alone, lamented. He is weapons grade toxic!

  5. says

    Like I said, he’s only one step short of a sex offender conviction. What if instead of throwing the pills away he swapped them out for fakes, or something like that? Not much different from some dude slipping a roofie into a lady’s drink in a bar.

  6. wzrd1 says

    Wow, my dyslexia is playing up! pregnancy is, of course pregnant and my spell slacker changed unlamented into lamented unnoticed.
    My last sentence stands as stated, he actually does sound like an incel that conned a woman into marrying him and now his true nature has become apparent. She really should bail out now, as eventually, such weapons grade idiocy will escalate into physical violence.

  7. redwood says

    What an ass that guy is. Why is it that it always seems to be men who never outgrow their infantile desire to control others?

  8. unclefrogy says

    I am kind of surprised that he did not wake up a couple days later and find a note on her pillow
    don’t bother looking or ever hoping to get me back because it’s all over now and you can bet on that!
    uncle frogy

  9. wzrd1 says

    @redwood, for anyone wanting to control others, well, let them join the military and once they have sufficient rank, they can direct all of the men marching about to their heart’s content.
    Trust me, that shit gets old really, really quickly. Although, if one times an order to turn, things can get fairly entertaining, as the formation turns into a mess due to an obstruction.

  10. dianne says

    All I can say is that I hope the secretive conversations and odd errands are her arranging her escape and that she implements soon. It’s not very subtle at all that he’s trying to trap her. The whole “start a family” discussion was probably about him trying to get her pregnant so she would be stuck with him, unable to avoid contact due to the shared offspring. She needs to leave. Right now.

  11. says

    Yeah, I think and I hope she’s making arrangements to leave him.
    Unplanned parenthood is a major way for abusers to gain control over their victim’s life for decades, especially with family courts more often than not putting “the kid having a father” way above “the woman not being abused and controlled”.

  12. says

    @#9, redwood

    Why is it that it always seems to be men who never outgrow their infantile desire to control others?

    It isn’t always, but it most commonly is, and it’s because our culture refuses to punish them for it and will happily condemn the victim, while at the same time if the victim complies the abuser is “rewarded”. (And our culture usually presents male victims as deserving it for letting women control them.) Thankfully Prudence appears to know what’s what, but I suspect she cut him too much slack in the answer — this is appalling behavior, and this guy needs, at a minimum, a separation from his wife while he’s in therapy, and honestly were I a judge I’d consider it, all by itself, as grounds for a divorce. He’s just done such serious damage to his relationship that he’d have to be an absolute paragon in every other way to make it worth salvaging the marriage, so why not dissolve it right away?

    (Oh, and also: as pointed out in Why Does He Do That?, no matter how much an abuser may claim that they “lost control”, somehow they always manage to destroy the victim’s possessions. It’s significant that this guy didn’t get really angry while alone and smash his phone or a plate or something, which would still be a bad sign for his self-control but not abusive. He destroyed something of hers, which was a symbol of her autonomy.)

  13. kalmera says

    @9 People who can’t control themselves try to control others. The toxic part of Toxic Masculinity is the need to control people. Like the vicar said we do reward it. No one ever gets mad at the person rocking the boat, they blame the person trying to steady the boat for failing to stabilize it. My brother has anger issues that have destroyed every relationship he has, but its always everyone elses fault for not doing it his way.

  14. trollofreason says

    Oof. That was a creepy read. I didn’t know that I’d be reminded that I have hackles this morning, but here I am.

  15. komarov says

    “””I want to ask my wife for us both to give up our smartphones and share one car so we can work on our communication.”””

    Trans.: “I want to isolate my partner and make them more dependent on me.”

    Here’s your red flag, sir. Please carry it with you at all times.

    I wish that woman a safe and speedy exit. More so since the flagbearer evidently has picked up on her apparent plans, too.

  16. Rich Woods says

    She is unusually quiet and acts withdrawn. Her body language has changed, and although we still have sex regularly, it is different than it was before.

    Yeah, I bet the sex is only happening because she’s afraid of the consequences otherwise, and she knows she’ll be long gone before her cycle returns to normal.

  17. brightmoon says

    Been there . Yeah she should kick that trash to the curb . Just got off youtube where some former Jehovah’s Witness was complaining about how she wasn’t allowed to divorce a violent husband while in the religion. Apparently not only that but that wives are expected to be obedient. Now I know why she’s a former JW. All entitled men act the same . They throw temper tantrums if they can’t get their way . They scream , corral , destroy or hit until you comply

  18. gijoel says

    If he wants kids that badly why doesn’t he leave her and find a woman who wants kids as much as he does. He should also calmly tell his new paramour what every thing he did in his last marriage and give them a good hour head start.

    Actually he should move to snake island and leave the world’s female population alone. I’m a bit tired so I hope my sarcasm is showing.

  19. says

    Yeah. He would have come home to a nice, clean house devoid of yours truly. But then again, he’d be wondering just why oh why did his wife leave such a great guy like him… =/

  20. jefrir says

    I strongly suspect Prudence is easier on him than he deserves because he’s trying not to clue the guy in to the fact that his wife is leaving him, and so provoke increased violence or control.

  21. mnb0 says

    “How can I talk to my wife calmly about her behavior?”
    Simple – get a vasectomy first.
    </bad joke>

  22. Lyn M: Totally Knows What This Nym Means says

    i keep wondering why he wrote in to Prudie. Did he expect validation, that everyone would see what a prince he is and he could tell the wife about that?