My husband is an engineer; I barely, and working hard at it, only finished three years at the university, so I never graduated in my field. He is now studying toward a graduate degree, and sometimes makes fun of me because I am not at his academic level. He thinks I am ignorant and that, compared to him, I don’t amount to much….

He uses his position to put down those who didn’t have the opportunity to study that he had. It hurts me that he makes fun of me and says that if I hadn’t crossed his path, he would have married someone on his own level. I cry a lot about that, and at times I’m sorry I married him. I would have rather married a street sweeper who loved and respected me and didn’t make fun of me.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for telling us your story. We are so sorry for all the emotional pain that your husband inflicts on you through the cruel words that he says to you. On the inside, he is an extremely insecure man who feels inferior to other people who he works with, or maybe to the other students in his classes. His insecurity has caused him to put you down so that he can feel superior to at least one person. Unfortunately that person is you.

Don’t believe the harsh words that he says to you! Refuse to argue with him. Walk out of the room when he begins to put you down. Let your mind take you to another place where you begin to think about the good things in your life. The Apostle Paul gave us a great antidote for the poison that your husband is trying to give to you. He said, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”(1)

Your husband’s insecurity has led to a weakness in his character. He is lacking the important qualities of kindness, compassion, empathy, and humility, none of which can be acquired through formal education. He apparently believes that with an advanced degree he doesn’t need good character.

A graduate education does take persistence and dedication, but it doesn’t make your husband superior to those around him. An academic degree proves that he has acquired a significant amount of knowledge about one specific area of life, but he may be completely ignorant about everything else. His insecurity has kept him from realizing this truth.

You don’t say whether or not you have children. If you do, and those children are hearing their father berate their mother, this is an extremely unhealthy example for them to follow. They will grow up to be arrogant adults who have difficulty with their relationships.

We highly recommend professional counseling. Your husband needs to understand that his insecurity is destructive to your marriage, and has probably damaged other relationships in his life.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles
1 Php 4:8