It's a mind game. In his little mind he thinks it will scare you enough to shut you up and leave it alone. I was married once too and mine did the SAME THING. After that they start getting scarey, verbally and really emotionally abusive; then it will turn into physical violence all the while it is YOUR fault according to them because YOU pushed them too it. When its over it's over, leave and get on with your life already. Why stick around and suffer through all the BS? Do you like being hurt, depressed, sad and crying all the time because I KNOW you do it whether you admit it or not. When they get to being like that it's not even worth it.
I'm sure there is more to this than him being a jerk. He is sick of arguing. Why do you guys argue? Money. With four children the bills add up fast. Maybe he doesn't feel that the money is going to good use.
So you guys had a rule not to goto bed mad at each other. If that were still in affect you two might hold the world record for days without sleep. I would suggest counseling but that's another added cost.
Recall what he used to do when he was courting you? Did you do stuff during that time that you don't do anymore? Perhaps the love is gone in the relationship. You two might be more like roommates who are sick of each other.
Sometimes you need to sit down and reevaluate the situation. Do you two have the same goals in life? Do you have time to destress after a busy day of work? Maybe you just need to hear that you are still attractive from someone other than your partner (if they even compliment you at all).
There are a number of ways you can come at this problem with a dozen or so answers (some being better than others).
It doesn't sound good. But you don't give any detail, who starts the arguments? How often do you argue? Do you argue about serious issues? Has he done that from the beginning of your marriage or only in recent times?
I'm just skeptical when someone calls the other one a jerk and make it sound like it's all the other person's fault. If you are serious about asking please give a few more details...
maybe he wants to live with only half his assets, and pay you spousal maintenance and child support for the rest of his life.
maybe you should call his bluff one day and tell him, "here are the papers, I already spoke with my attorney, here's a copy, you can go ahead and speak with your attorney, and I don't feel like settling, my attorney is my girlfriend's husband, and he's going to take my case on for free, so we can be in court for as long as it takes, I haven't the slightest incentive to settle." Then just walk into the living room and watch TV or something.
I don't have enough info about how long you've been married or what you're arguing about, etc. But he may be putting it out there as an introduction to what he wants. When you two are not arguing, it would be prudent to ask him sit down & discuss this with you. But please do so in a very non accusatory manner, and be prepared to listen and not debate or argue. You will need to listen & collect information for yourself. You may need to find out if he wants a divorce or if there is something to fix. So just tell him that you have noticed lately that when you 2 have argued that he says this & it has been very alarming to you. And that you would like him to tell you about what that means to him. Only he can answer this question for you.
Then sit back & listen. Don't interrupt NO MATTER HOW HARD IT WILL BE FOR YOU. And it will be.
A threatning attitude is one sign of a controller and a manipulator. He's f***ing up your mind (shortly)