A common male complaint is the fear the man has of being trapped in his relationship, it leads to a lot of very ugly fighting. He hates her because he feels she has power over him, and she feels equally hostile because (a) she is living with an angry man and she loathes him (b) she loathes herself because she is with such a second rate man. Then both stay in the relationship afraid for different reasons to break up and move on.
The feeling he has that she has power over him, is a carry forward from his relationship with his mother. There is a certain energy that men find difficult to handle from women, a sort of wrap around energy which is not the way it is with men. Those early years of life may have included shame and guilt leaving the boy emotionally impotent to be open and direct with mother. He then has no negotiating skills with women. Issues then get bottled up until they explode.
The boy grows up with many unresolved issues around ‘mother’ (which then equates to all women) and unconsciously feels needy, second rate and terrified on being single and alone.
Not a very flattering picture, but one that has to be acknowledged, at least to himself. By owning it, he will automatically give himself some power, replacing being a victim which may lead to him being more assertive.
Unfortunately if he does nothing he ends up going from one disastrous relationship to another, blaming her for his rotten life .
Ultimately he has to look at what he is afraid of to be rid of this crippling shame.