DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I had the biggest blowup argument ever the other day. It got so heated that I was afraid we were going to come to blows. I was trying to get him to talk through an issue. As soon as I didn’t agree with his point, he turned on his heels to storm off. I insisted that he stay and participate in the conversation because he always walks away when we have a disagreement. He stayed reluctantly, but everything escalated.
He didn’t listen to me. We were both screaming at each other. Our daughter was in the room trying to referee the situation. In the end, he screamed expletives at me; I screamed back, and it got super tense. This cannot go on. Later, he told me how upset he was at me for being part of this debate, totally missing his role in it. I am at my wit’s end. What I know is I can’t keep going on like this. And I hate that our teenage daughter has to witness such a hateful interaction between her parents. Help! -- In a Bad Place
DEAR IN A BAD PLACE: Sounds like it’s time for you to bring in professional help. If you and your husband are unable to talk through differences without escalation, you put yourselves and your child into psychological, and possibly physical, danger if you allow things to continue as they are. When people push each other to their limits, sometimes one or both will snap.
I understand why you wanted your husband to stay in the room and continue to spar with you, but it wasn’t the wisest decision to press him to do that. Everybody has a breaking point. You don’t want to push your husband until you both discover where that is.
Instead, ask him to go with you to therapy. Out of respect for each other, your daughter and your marriage, get help now.