Cybersecurity Expert Gets "Spousehacked"
Dear Amy: I have been married for 25 years. I recently earned my degree in cybersecurity/computer forensics with highest honors.
Recently, we hosted a social event. The topic shifted to problems with our internet provider. My husband was attempting to say we could use another service. I explained to him that we only have one provider in our area, and as usual, he argued with me openly, disregarding what I said.
A male guest restated my point, and my husband took his word for it immediately. I asked why he had a hard time believing me on the matter, and his response was that a cybersecurity degree had “nothing to do with the internet.” I asked him where he thought cybersecurity took precedence, and the male guest laughed. I excused myself from the conversation.
My husband shows no respect for my opinion. I have often told him how his lack of respect hurts me, but to no avail. He simply does not trust what I tell him to be credible.
I realize this lack of validation will not change and in the future I will avoid these topics and pay attention to other people. Is there another way to handle such incidences?
And is this open questioning of educated women by their spouses common?
Dear Disappointed: You didn’t get “mansplained” (where a man explains a woman’s own expertise to her), but “spousehacked.” This is the unfortunately too common, non-gender specific, practice of basically treating a spouse like a piece of cardboard in public.
You assume that your husband doesn’t trust your credibility, but my take on it is that he does trust your credibility, and is threatened by it.
There is a more superficial issue here: Your husband’s rudeness toward you.
In this case, you responded with a sarcastic putdown, but he needs to realize that every time he assails you publicly, his own reputation takes a hit, and this dynamic between you makes others uncomfortable.
It would be easy to change this, but that would depend on your husband being a good champion, instead of a chump. A marriage counselor could help you two to sort this out, but until then I agree that you should avoid his rudeness publicly through avoiding the topic, denying him the opportunity to parade his lack of regard for you.
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers.