I have always had a difficult relationship with my husband because of his moods & outbursts of anger. Challenging him either results in him getting angrier or he denies it or he says it is all my fault. Over the years, I have become more unassertive & never challenge him because I'm afraid of his temper. I don't think he would be physically violent but he can sustain a mood for a long time & also slams doors and throws things around. Now I have a bigger problem. He has always been jealous of my family & of my close relationship with them & always badmouths them to me about things he doesn't like about them. This last Christmas & Easter were the worst ever. My h was sulky & silent at best & at worst, was downright rude to my sister on many occasions, dismissive towards my Dad & at one point, walked out of the house in the middle of a meal & went for a walk because he told me he couldn't stand being at the table with them any longer. He also said some extremely hurtful things about me to them. They are obviously angry about it & I can see them looking to me to sort things out although they always avoid talking about it out of loyalty to me. I just let things pass with nothing said, in the hope that he will be better next time, and sometimes it is but sometimes it isn't. My husband is from a different, dare I say, lower social class to myself & I sometimes wonder if that is a factor, but it's not an excuse. He has little to do with his own family, except his mother, who he only sees 2-3 times a year. But, he loves trying to make friends with strangers. I can't let this go on. I want to ask my family to visit but don't want them to feel as though they are unwanted & disliked. When I have asked for advice about my marriage before, people always ask why I don't leave him. I don't know either. Partly because I still love him & know that there is a vulnerable side to him & that when he is nice & kind, he is a different, good person. But he seems to have the devil in him too. Partly because I'm Catholic & whilst I know that marriages break down, I feel I must do my best to hold my marriage together. In fact, the thought of a breakup is devastating. But I don't know how to deal with this because he will either deny his behaviour, justify it by saying my family was behaving badly or just lose his temper. Or, just refuse to discuss it, which is another thing he does.
I also should say, there is no way he would ever agree to seeing a relationship counsellor. I have suggested it in the past & he was adamant that there was no way. He did once admit that he had done an Anger Management course but that was many years ago & whatever he learned has got unlearned.