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Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

I'm a 27 year old, stay at home mom. I have three young girls that I love very much. I spend all day, everyday cleaning and taking care of my kids, but I also have a husband that can act like a child himself.


He has a good paying job and with it he also has control issues. My husband is not the sensitive type, he does not like it when I express my opinion, if he does not agree. If I am upset about something it usually starts a fight where I get called some pretty horrible things.

I'm not a bad person. I have tried for a very long time to make this work and keep my mouth closed, but it's so hard to not stand up for myself. Yet when I do he turns my phone off. He once even broke my finger trying to get keys out of my hand. I know I should leave, but that's just not a option right now with having nowhere to go. I don't want to be anyone's burden.

By Melissa from Phoenix, AZ

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

I know I should leave, but that's just not a option right now with having nowhere to go. I don't want to be anyone's burden.

I know precisely what you're going through right now. The abuse I received was dished out by an abusive mother and father. There were no child protective services available.

You should not be living under the same roof with an abusive husband. If he broke your finger, what will he do next?

During the day when he's at work use the internet and find the Department of Social Services in your area. There are shelters available for battered women and their children.

Or call 911 and ask them to give you assistance, you are in a very dangerous situation.

Your husband needs counseling for anger management, and you need to leave for your very life and the life of your children.

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

I agree! Get out now. I was married to a verbally abusive man for 20 years. I have been divorced since 1983 and ever since the divorce I have been more hard up financially, but better off emotionally. In fact there was one time when my Mother even chewed him out because of the way he was talking to me.

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

Seek counciling, your insurance might even pay for it. Mine did.

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

He has a good paying job,is controlling,verbally abusive and has broken your finger!You have 3 young girls and think leaving is not an option. Sounds like lots of other women I knew and those reading this now.Your first and most important responsibility is the safety, protection and well being of your daughters. My 1st husband gave me 2 beautiful children, verbal abuse and when he dislocated my jaw I packed what I could, didn't have a plan, packed suitcases, walked out the front door and filed for divorce.

That was back in the early 70's. There weren't any shelters back then but we made it. I pray you will to before it gets worse and it will. Stand up straight,make a plan on where to go, pack your bags, walk out the door and don't look back. God Bless you and your daughters.You 4 deserve much better.

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

Please leave! You are not only endangering yourself, but your children!!! As a mother, your first responsibility is to those girls. There are safe houses for battered women to stay when they leave a relationship. And whether you want to admit it or not-you are a battered woman. And staying with this man is sending a message to your girls that it is OK for a man to treat them the way your husband treats you. I'm sure you don't want them to allow anyone to abuse them-now or in the future. You need to be strong for your girls and no matter how hard it is right now to leave, think of how awful it will be to see them grow up thinking that they are supposed to be some man's punching bag and doormat.

Also, if your husband thinks it's okay to abuse you, verbally and physically, what makes you think he won't start hurting your daughters? Find a way to get out safely, and leave. It may be the hardest thing you'll ever do, but your daughters and you deserve better. Keep us posted on your progress. We care.

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

I have been in this exact same situation (& eventually I left the jerk) but I won't tell you to leave him because that is your decision to make when & if you are ready. I will tell you what worked for me:

(It took me a while to get my self esteem back after being pounded down for so long by his abuse, but once I felt like I was worth something, this is what I did)

When my husband would ridicule me, I would just say back to him in a mildly sarcastic way "Oh, I feel so sorry for you, it's too bad you are stuck with someone as (insert word here: "ugly, fat, bad house keeper, crazy, bad cook" etc) as me... & say it with a great big smile & lots of confidence. This sarcasm & confidence really blew my husband away! But to do this, you have to know your true value as a human being & realize in your mind that you may be "agreeing" with him, but at the same time you are letting him know how ridiculous he sounds when he always complains & gripes about things.

EXAMPLE: Husband says "You stupid idiot, the house looks like crap"... You'd either say "Oh, you poor thing, it's to bad you are stuck with an idiot like me"... Or "Oh, how sad that you have to be married to SUCH a BAD housekeeper"... (& smile)

And of course, you insert the correct amount of sarcasm (not too much, just enough) so he knows you are kind of mocking him & his stupid, negative words.

To do this & to say these things about yourself (in sarcasm) you need to know inside yourself that you are totally worthy & an awesome person & it's HIM with the problem, not you! And you need to do things for yourself to keep your self esteem up. Things like taking B-vitamins to help you not get depressed & maybe taking the kids & going for walks outside in the fresh air. Also, know that in Gods eyes, you are extremely special so keep your spiritual life upper-most in your life!

Before I started coming back at my ex-husband with this sarcasm, I had always just sat meekly by & took his verbal abuse. But once I got my self esteem back together & started these mildly sarcastic come-backs, he didn't know WHAT to think because he knew that whatever he said, that it didn't affect me any more & in fact, that I kind of thought of his negative words as being stupid & slightly "funny" because his negativity was so ridiculous!

So next time he says something like, "You look horrible in that outfit". Just say "Oh, you poor thing, it's too bad you have to be stuck with such a "horrible looking" wife! & be sure you say this with a big smile.

Eventually, after you do this a few times, you WILL be smiling (at lease inside) because you will see how much these comebacks get to him while at the same time, you are showing him how ridiculous his actions are, by "agreeing" with him! Let me know how his works! We are all Praying for you!

---> NOTE: I also did not want to be anybodies "burden" so I didn't tell my family what I was going through. But years later, I know I did the wrong thing by not reaching out to my friends & family for help. I had 2 little ones at the time, & I finally left because I didn't want them to learn "how to be a man" or to marry a man like their father.

My young kids should not grow up thinking that this kind of physical & verbal abuse was "normal" or "correct". (then do the same thing when they grow up) My mother says now (30 years later) that I should have reached out & let my family help me. If you have no family, call the domestic abuse hot line in you area. Eventually they may be able to help you find your own apartment. My ex-husband would break our phone into pieces (3 times) & would take the keys to my car so I could not leave. This was childish behavior on his part!

Believe me, it only gets worse (& more physical) & he will only take advantage of you more & more as time goes on! If you decide to leave, don't warn him, just pack up & leave while he is gone. If you can't do that, have someone with you as a witness so he won't hurt you when you tell him you are leaving & have the kids at a sitters when you do this! (At the time women leave their husbands is the most dangerous!) You will have to get a restraining order & file for temporary custody. The domestic abuse shelter people will help you with this. Also, many domestic abuse shelters have lockers where you can slowly take things you need for you & the kids & store them there. This way you will have the important things for you & the kids if & when you do decide to leave.

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

Not Leaving is neglect of yourself and the temple of the Lord which is your body and also abuse of your mind. You are not fit to have children if you will stay in this relationship and put them in danger. I will pray for you to get the courage God gave you to talk to the proper people and get help in leaving. You need to secretly gather your important papers and account numbers etc and have them ready to go to a shelter.

You need counseling for depression. You need to be seeing a therapist and you need to call the cops every time something happens that involves any kind of abuse. Please be careful, he sounds as if he might could kill you, you need to leave now! Blessings to you and please take these words in the loving way they are intended and you need God more than anything but your first priority is to stop thinking of you and start thinking of what you should do for your and your kids future! robyn

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

I was married to a jerk who was verbally abusive to me. Then he started hitting me and pulling my hair and accusing me of all sorts of things. From there he went on to hit my kids and my 80 year old father. You truly need to leave! THANK GOD he left finally (it was my house) I can tell you it will never get any better only worse. He went on to marry another woman three days after our divorce was final and I found out he was in the same pattern with that woman to. He is a worthless BULLY so do yourself a favor and get help getting out of there. Money is not everything either honey. I worried I would not be able to do it, but God took care of me and I have never been happier in my life.

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

I should add to my previous post that whenever I hear young women talk about developing a serious live in relationship of any type, I urge them to keep some money squirreled away where only they know where it is and they are the only ones who can access it. You should also try to get a charge card or debit card so that you can get out in a hurry if you have to. I wish I had done that. When I got divorced I hadn't worked from 1964 until I got divorced in 1983 and it was extremely hard to get a job of any kind with no recent work experience.

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

1. I am concerned that your finger was broken. If you feel that you and your children are in danger, going to a women's shelter or contacting a relative (even if they're far away) to come stay with them is mandatory!

2. I have been happily married for most of my 29 year marriage. However, earlier in our marriage my husband was verbally abusive. I didn't know how to handle it back then, but I do extremely well with him now. Actually, he rarely even tries to be verbally abusive now.

The advice Cyinda gave you is outstanding. When your husband criticizes you must never act upset or as if your feelings are hurt. Inside yourself, don't believe any of the garbage he's saying. As Cyinda said, tell him how sorry your are for him that he has such a stupid wife, etc. Never tell him that you aren't stupid or that he is stupid. Keep your voice calm and not very loud.

When I see that an argument is about to start, I'll tell my husband "It looks as if an argument may start, so I'm going to take a shower (or out to take a walk, walk the dog, go pick up some groceries)." The first few times I did this, my husband was shocked (and had a very disappointed look on his face!). If he said that we needed to discuss the issue, I'd say "Let's discuss it at nine o'clock", or some other definite time in the future. I know you're saying that this wouldn't work for you! True, it won't work if you're both in the car or if the argument has already started, but I found that most other times it does work! Do not give up before you try these methods. However, if you leave the house, be sure to take your keys with you. I've been locked out of the house a few times, but I learned to act as if I thought it was a fun game - and it actually became one!

Frequently letting my husband know that I appreciated, loved and respected him was also helpful. There is absolutely no excuse for verbal abuse, but I do believe that his always having to be right came partly from his lack of self esteem.

If you aren't safe you must leave. If you don't leave, follow our advice. I'm pulling for you!

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March 14, 20100 found this helpful

---> I thought about my earlier post I wanted to add something more:

Be Positive and Happy Inside: When I finally got my self-esteem back & quit being depressed & feeling sorry for myself when my ex-husband would verbally abuse me, & I started pretending to "agree" with him instead, & he knew that when he cut me down, that it no longer bothered me in the least, then surprisingly, my husband started respecting me more. It was the strangest thing! It was like he actually enjoyed seeing me get bummed out when he put me down. So when I started "agreeing" with him about what a "rotten" wife he had (while at the same time "smiling to myself") & he knew that his words did not bother me any more, he wasn't as apt to do it because he wasn't getting sad or negative response from me that he wanted or was used to.

BE PROACTIVE: One time my ex left in his car & took the coil wire off the distributor in my car so I couldn't go anywhere (for no reason, just to be a controlling jerk!) & even though I didn't know anything about cars, I figured that removing one simple wire would be what he did so my car wouldn't run & since we happened to have an identical "parts" car, I took the coil wire off of the extra parts car & put it back on my car & *Presto* my little beater started right up & I drove it to my mom's house with my kids for a short visit.

Anyway, I made sure I came home back after he did & I pretended that nothing was ever wrong with my car. But several weeks later he told me that he thought It was amazing that I figured out to get my car running by myself (& that I was a lot smarter than he thought). The moral of my story is, Be proactive & he will respect you more! About a month later, I overheard my husband telling his friend the story about how I fixed the car that he'd sabotaged & he laughed as he told the story & said "She's a lot more clever than I thought she was". So respect yourself & he will respect you more too!

Tell Others: I made one really bad mistake when I was married to this man. When he was physically abusing me, I never told anyone! I didn't want him to look bad to my family & I didn't want to look stupid for staying with him, so I kept my mouth shut about his physical abuse & the bad thing was, because I never talked about my abuse, none of my friends or his family ever believed me about his abuse when I left him. Do yourself a favor, document your abuse (like your broken finger) in case you ever need it. Also if he gives you marks or bruises, have a friend take pictures in case you ever need documentation.

Document Things: My daughter has a friend who is married to an alcoholic who verbally & physically abuses her... & recently he got into a bar fight & ended up with bruises & marks on his face. The day after his bar fight she was fed up & told him she was going to leave him. So he called the cops on her & told the police that SHE was abusing HIM (so she wouldn't be able to leave him). So they put her in jail. This happened only 2 weeks ago. So learn from her story & document any injuries that you may get in the future! Some day you may need proof! Respect yourself!

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

Please consider the example you are setting for your daughters by meekly staying. Pick and choose from the above advice. Pick a plan you can live with for the rest of your life, and do it!

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

I am concerned that if your husband has control issues that he may be monitoring your emails, computer history and phone calls. Please think this through and erase anything that may lead to more abuse.

Reading through the other responses: YOU must gauge what can be said to your husband. Had my mother uttered any of those responses she would have "gotten it" once again. Only YOU can even guess what his response would be.

You must develop a network. Join the PTA, make friends of your children's playmates' parents....whatever. Do NOT be ashamed to ask for direction, if not help. There are so many programs out there ready to help you, but YOU need to make the first move.

I saw my mother abused for years and did not understand why she did not ask for family to help, as they would have in a New York minute. Our home life was an absolute hell. I finally put my foot down and gave her the ultimatum when I was 19. She could stay and not see me or my 14 year old sister anymore or she could come with us. I told her "poor and happy" or stay and be miserable. She chose, for awhile, the poor and happy.

Growing up with that My sister is married to a controlling abuser. My older brother IS an abuser. I am very happily married, but was engaged to 4 men before that - controlling and abusive. I waited it out and found the man I deserved.

As much as I loved my mother I have a great resentment now for what she subjected her children to. She died one day after turning 53. I raised my sis alone with public assistance and working a full and a part-time job.

Bottom line, honey, we only go through this life once. Make the most of it for you and give your daughters the life that they deserve.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

I am going to be blunt in my response because I cannot tolerate this sort of thing. I really want to know, what you mean by, "having nowhere to go. I don't want to be anyone's burden."? I am sure that somewhere near you are domestic abuse shelters? Go there! There is absolutely no excuse for his behavior, and NONE for you to stay. The way I look at it, you only have a few choices. Stay and put up with it and don't complain or leave with your daughters, no matter where you have to go.

tahloolabelle gave you excellent advice when they said "Reading through the other responses: you must gauge what can be said to your husband. Had my mother uttered any of those responses she would have "gotten it" once again. Only YOU can even guess what his response would be." I heartily agree, because I know that had my friend said to her husband, "Oh, how sad that you have to be married to such a bad housekeeper" and had she smiled when she said it, she would have been beaten. Anything like that could get you killed, if he thinks you are ridiculing him or trying to embarrassing him, so be careful with being sarcastic and flippant with someone like this.

Being positive and happy, like my friend was determined to do, and putting on a "Happy" face" for her two sons, got her nothing. Like you, she did not want to be a burden, though I, and my parents as well, begged her to come stay with us. She stayed though because she had no place to go, and did not want to be a burden, but she ended up being one, financially and mentally, for her parents as they had to pay for her funeral.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

You must go during the day to visit a women's shelter. They will give you advice and guide you out of this situation. If he has broken your finger this is not just verbal abuse this is physical abuse. If you are allowed the checkbook to buy groceries, then start writing $20 over @ Wal-Mart everytime you shop. Throw away the receipt as you leave the store.

Hide the money when you get home in an area that he would never think of looking. (in a pocket of a coat in the back of the closet with a kleenex over the top of the money). It will start you a stash of hidden money for escaping. See if your medical insurance covers you to see a therapist to help talk to you about the abuse you are dealing with. But always say that you are going to try and make yourself better. It can never be about him or he will stop you from going.

Look up the words Narcissistic Personality Disorder and see if he fits this area and if so read about it. Never say it to him. Part of this disorder is not thinking there is anything wrong with them and that you are unable to do anything right or good enough for them. Keep a journal on the computer in a file folder named something that would not interest him like recipes, but make it password protected. Do not write down the password anywhere. make it something that he would not know. Clear your search history on the computer if he looks at can google how to do all of these things.

Learn to not try to provoke him. Pick your battles. if he will break a finger he Will break more. This is not a relationship to stay in and it will not get better. Nno matter how many times he says he is sorry. If he even does say it at all. If there are financial papers at home that you can start making copies of without him knowing that you have touched or moved anything start making those copies now.

Give them to a friend in a taped up box if you have to. They need to be kept out of the home and not in your car. Copy everything! This will help when the time does come that you can seek divorce. And you can do that. if you can only copy a little bit each day then do it.

You and your children do not deserve to live like this. Take it one step at a time. Pack a small bag for you and each of your girls and leave it at a friends house in case you have to leave in a hurry. You must think and plan and KNOW that you can get out of this situation. if you are just 27 years old. Where are your parents? Borrow $100 and seek the advice of an attorney. Let them mail the money to a friend. Start protecting yourself and your children, never feel that you cannot leave because that is what he wants you to think. That is part of the control. Do not stay. It will not get better. You can do this. One step at a time, one day at a time. You are stronger than you think. Keep us posted and be safe.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Dear Melissa. I have been there myself. Trust me, you really do need to leave. What others have said is true, for yourself and your self-esteem, and for your daughters. I carry guilt i work on daily because it took me so long to leave, and the terrible toll and effect it had on my kids. The longer you stay, the harder it will be to get beyond it. There are crisis shelters out there. It may not be the ideal situation, but trust me, it will help you get started. And you have to start somewhere!

Legal help is much better now, but in 1990, when I finally got the nerve to leave, there wasn't enough help, or promised help that never came. Anyway, I ended up packing my kids in the car and traveling cross country, to a state i had never been to and didn't know anyone.... so he wouldn't know where to find us. We went to a shelter, and started a whole new life. The day I hit the road was the scariest, but I knew we had to do it.

I have to say something to Robyn Fed. How dare you talk to Melissa like that? You cannot say that she is not fit to have her children..... unless you've been in this situation, you cannot begin to understand all the dynamics involved. Most of us who are abused, were raised in that environment. There is so much more involved, you can't begin to understand. Yes, she needs the Lord, as we all do. But your method of telling her that will just drive her away. Your condescending and judgemental attitude have got to go. I'm sorry to say, but you need counselling as well, so you can learn how to be more compassionate, and stop judging people. God is the only one who has that right.

Now, Melissa, I too am available, if you would like to talk to someone who has been there. But, please, do leave, now. I know it is scary, but it is the only real choice you have, for you and your daughters' safety and future.

Prayers for you and for strength.


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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Leave him. I know from experience, for your own self respect and your daughters, the longer you stay the worse off your daughter's relationships will be in their future. I went to the women's shelter which helped me and many others tremendously get on our own feet. He can not go there and he can not call there. They help you mentally and they helped you get in the work force.

You meet other women who have had it worse, but it always starts with mental abuse. Please, for your family's sake, and all your friends who love you, leave. The women's shelters have great programs, and know exactly how to help you with your and your kids every need. Contact me if you'd like to talk more about this.

Once you get your self esteem back, you will be angry at the abuse he dished out, and you'll know the red flags to prevent getting involved with another man who thinks he can treat his wife or gf this way.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

You have to leave for your children's sake. I was where you are - my mistake was that I didn't leave til he lashed out at one of the kids. Then I did pack us up and leave. My only regret that I didn't do it sooner. Run now run fast and run hard.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Leave, leave, leave! And take the children with you! This is harsh, I know, but you can be a burden to someone or be dead!

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Please check out this link: http://www.azca  -know-if-im-/top

It's in your state and specifically in your city's area--there is a lot of support out there, but you have to make the first move.

Was also married to an abuser; please remember that there's no question that eventually this will escalate, and chances are also high that it will also turn against your children--especially since--like you--they are females.

Even ,in the slim chance,he does not lash out at your girls in the future, them being raised in an environment in which Dad treats Mom this way and Mom permits it sends them the signal that this is normal and what they can expect as grown women.

It is not. Being raised like this will cause them to seek out men with the same mindset as their father--and the cycle of abuse will perpetuate itself to them and their children. You must find it within yourself to have the courage to act, not to wait and hope that it will get better.

Prayers out to you for the strength you need--there is a better life out there for you and your girls.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

I have a cousin who's husband displayed this kind of behavior and one morning he snapped and it escalated to where he tazered her, bound her mouth, arms and ankles with duct tape and raped her in front of their three year old little boy!

Please contact a woman's shelter (they never think or consider you a burden!) for advice and help! DO NOT call from your phone or try to search on your computer for a phone number or address but rather a trusted friends phone or computer or simply look in the good old fashioned paper phone book for the nearest shelter and "run, don't walk" to the nearest shelter with your children!

They will council you as to what is best to do for you and your children's particular situation. They will give you any help you need, including a place to sleep, food and clothing and will even help him if they believe he is truly remorseful and truly willing for help and willing to get counseling to change his ways so that 'maybe' you can be a whole family again. That is really rare to happen though :-(

You 'DO' have a choice and you 'CAN' make it on your own and you 'Need' to do it for your little girls!

Also, if you made this request from your computer and he has access to it please delete the computer 'history' and use a friends computer from now on! Also, contact ThriftyFun and ask them to cancel you from receiving email updates regarding our responses to you on your current email address and give them a friends email address instead so you can check them their instead, okay?

Our hearts are with you! Do the right thing and don't be afraid to make this change! You'll make it and you'll feel better about yourself and your girls will have a much better chance at self esteem, happiness and wholeness!

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

I would suggest you contact the Valley of the Sun United Way Phone No. 602-631-4800. They have free resources that can help you with your situation. You don't deserve to live this way, nor do your children.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Melissa, there is some good advice on this group. Please do get out of that situation ASAP. My local group, ArizonansHelpingArizonans AT can't help with shelter but we can help with clothes and supplies once you are in a shelter. You can email me at galphoenix AT


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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Be sure and get advice from shelters about reporting his behavior to police. It can become an issue in custody claims after the divorce. But it needs to be done in a way that you protect yourself from his backlash until you get to a safe place. Get a prepaid cell phone so you can safely call and get advice. Shelters will help you develop a plan to get away safely. The phone number for the domestic violence hotline is 800-799-7233.

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March 17, 20100 found this helpful

There is a book available called Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood that I think would be of great help to you. It is written for anyone who has self-esteem issues and something called codependency, which means you depend on others for your own happiness. I would highly recommend it to anyone. When I was growing up my dad had little interest in me, and while I knew my mother loved me, she was rarely affectionate to me. As a result I had no self-esteem. When I read this book, though, it was like it was written specifically for me, and it totally changed the way I saw myself. I wish you luck and will keep you in my prayers.

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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

I grew up in this type of home, and believe everyone who says that it WILL escalate. Do not stay for the sake of the children, staying will assure that they will be more scarred than if you leave now. If you feel unable to leave at this time, start empowering yourself. Save money where you can, even if you need a trusted family member to hold it for you or have the bank statements sent to their house.

Document everything-- have a friend take pictures and/or keep track of all bruises, broken bones, and list all incidents in a notebook. Write everything out in detailed letters, and mail them to a friend with instructions NOT to open them--just have them hold onto it for you. When you go to court, an unopened, mailed letter will stand as a legal document (you may want to send a copy so your attorney at the time will know what is in each and every letter, since they will have to be admitted sealed to court. Try to keep track of all your husband's accounts, toys, etc, so you won't be short-changed at settlement time.

You didn't say how long you've been married, but you may now be entitled to half of everything, including some of his future inheritances (like from his parents), any don't neglect to take them--you and the kids may need it down-the-road. If you choose to leave, call the cops to escort you and the kids out. They will keep him from hurting you while you pack up as much as you can and take you to a safe place.

And do not listen to people who tell you to try to make it work. No one else really knows all that you are going through and abusers tell lies to everyone about what really happened. Good luck.

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

I put up with an abusive spouse for 15.5 years before God helped me get away. I had been raised in an abusive home, so didn't know any better until I'd had four children with this so-called man, and he had the support of our so-called pastor - and consequently, most of our church "family." Because he wasn't putting marks on me and my life wasn't physically threatened, the "system" wouldn't help. Apparently they didn't see that my children and I looked like concentration-camp inmates while my so-called husband weighed 385 pounds. :P

The older of my two sons had such emotional issues, he'd accumulated 96 days of detention in one school year. My younger son spent more time in "time out" during gym class than he spent burning off his boundless energy. I had morbid fantasies of taking our butcher knife to the guy, but couldn't bring myself to do it. I considered suicide, but couldn't bring myself to do that, either. My spirit and heart were slowly dying.

Please, please do everything you can to get away from this man before he kills your spirit and that of your children! Even a homeless shelter shared with dozens of others would be better than being brow-beaten every day of your life. A beating doesn't have to be physical to hurt, or even kill.

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May 16, 20100 found this helpful

I have been married to my husband for 3 yrs with a 2 yr old daughter. My husband has landed himself in all kinds of credit card debt, our 2 apartments are in foreclosure, right after we got married. Since then he has played the stock market and lost thousands of dollars which he had to work to repay people. He has been very verbally abusive to me, threatens to quit his job and leave me and my daughter with nothing. Mind you we live in a one studio large apartment and he works from home so I constantly have him in my face. Our last argument was last week when I told him enough is enough and he needs to get an office space, and also I want to know where all the money is going. He screamed at me, took all my jewelry and told me to divorce him already and that he would make sure he quits his job and that we don't to stay in the apartment and will make sure we get kicked out in 3 months.

By morning he stayed up and read about divorce and realized he will have to pay and it doesn't matter what he says or if he quits his job. So he tried to be nice and say we should work things out for our child. I said our child will be ok, once I said that he got angry and called me selfish. In the morning he left for work and said this is all about money. What do I do at this point? He took off of work the whole week but hasn't mentioned the fight and has been nice and calm. What's my next step? I can't take him, and I think he stayed home to watch what I do.

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Unlike most of the replies to your post, i am a man who was verbally and emotionally abused by my (now ex) wife for 4 years.

I noticed that you mentioned that he is the bread winner so you'll have no where to go. I can tell you that that absolutely is not the case. I was the breadwinner and I ended up having to give her almost everything I had to get out of that abusive relationship! I pay for her lawyer and he will pay for yours. I pay alot of money every month for child support, but i don't get to see my children near enough and after a year and a half they still cry when I drop them off!

You, as a woman, and a stay at home mom have him over a barrel. Talk to a lawyer, get a seperation agreement that you can live with (your house! Your kids! And for 3 kids, 32% Of his take home plus half the daycare expenses, plus health insurance!) And the best part about it for you, is that he will be footing the bill for your lawyer! So spare no expense and get the best!

All of the laws favor the mother. Take advantage of that fact and don't spend another minute of your life being abused!

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December 10, 20100 found this helpful

I have been verbally abusive to my wife for mor years that I care to think of. I did not see it through my own eyes. I am seeking counseling for my problems and have turned to my faith to not only try to understand my problem but also the pain I caused my wife. The one problem I do see is there is very little info out there about if the abuser does turn his life around that there is room for healing. It seem the vast majority of things out there is written by women who were abused and there husband did not change and there only answer is divorce. Can anyone help me with this?

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December 13, 20100 found this helpful


Please, please copy and paste what you wrote here and submit it as it's own question! I do not have an answer for you but I am certain there will be others here at ThriftyFun that can help give you answers! The only people who will see what you just now posted at this thread are very few but if you submit it as a new question you will most likely get lots of answers! Click on the 'Ask' button in the orange line at the top of this page and simply copy and paste what you wrote here and wrote here so well!

God Bless you for reaching out for answers! And I pray you'll submit your question because I am certain you are not alone in your experience!

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October 1, 20110 found this helpful


I am so sorry, I can relate to this issue. I had the same problem with my Ex-hubby.

At first he was verbally abusive, then it became mental, then it got ugly he then turn into physically abusive. Get some help! I just started blogging and it seems to have help release my anguish that I have been carrying all along. Visit my site.

I also live in AZ, but I am a thousands miles away from my abuser!

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November 11, 20110 found this helpful

I have been married for 11 years now. I have a very sweet daughter who just turned 8 this year. My husband got blind 7 years ago. He's very responsible and even now that his blind he is still our breadwinner. He's a very good father, solid provider and very helpful to others. He is generally a good person.

I am not really sure if he's alcoholic since he can seem to stop drinking whenever he wants. He says that he only choose to drink every night until early morning (with friends at our place) because he has nothing else to do. Being blind he has very limited activity options. I also observed that when he doesn't drink he could barely sleep so he just keeps working until he falls asleep on his chair.

Though, he is generally very kind to other people including to our daughter he's treatment to me is very different. Whenever he is upset or if I fail to do tasks that he asked me to do he would call me names like "stupid, idiot, good for nothing bitch" and would even include my very supportive family with the insults. He would even say that whenever we fight he gets so fucking frustrated that he would imagine killing me over and over again.

I would always plead him to stop but he just keeps going with the insults. Everyday he tells me that I am nothing without him. One time I got really fed up and decided to talk back which caused him to hit me and even spit in face. He wanted us to separate after. I had bruises under my chin and on my arm. Despite of that I still couldn't leave him and even pleaded to reconcile.

We got back together and he still do the insults. I believe the reason why I still chose to stay is because after we fight and whenever I cry because of the insults he would apologize. He even admits that he is verbally abusive. Last night after he insulted me he cried and apologized and said that he knows that I'd been suffering long enough with how he treats me and even promised to do his best to stop all the verbal abuse and love me the way a good wife deserves to be loved.

I love my husband so much. I always tell him to remember that his not the only one who got blind when he did - I also got blind - my better half did.

Sometimes when I's so down and depressed with how he treats me I would ask God to just take all the love that I feel for him so I can finally have the strength to leave and stop my heart from hurting.

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March 3, 20120 found this helpful

First, let me say I am concerned, not just for you; but for your daughters as well. I'm not just a survivor of this type of situation, I am now thriving as is my daughter.

Second, if you choose to do research online on a home computer. Please, each night do a clearing of history, if he has any computer smarts, he can find that history. While you are living with him, it's important for you to be as safe as possible.

Third, you say you have no where to go. I thought that too. Take that leap of faith, know there are people and agencies in your local which can help. The prior posts have given you some resources.

Fourth, if you can't leave for yourself, do for your daughters. No matter what they say now, this can and will affect how they live their lives, it may also affect the type of men they eventually link up with. So you have 3 reasons to leave, your safety, your children's safety and future, and your own self worth. You are down right now, since you say you can't leave, just know it's possible and you can get through possibilities to certainties.

Fifth, get all your important documents (birth certificates, marriage license, school records etc) together in an outside hiding place. If need be, make copies and leave them in place of the originals so he doesn't suspect. Do plastic bags, backpacks or anything else (which you can store with out getting wet) also if possible grab a change of clothes and medications, medical histories or other important papers, for you and each daughter; make sure the hiding place is somewhere that you can get to easily.

It's never easy to make that first step when you are where you are. You've made a big one posting this on here. Now begin to take steps to make you safe as well as your daughters. Show your daughters how strong their mother really is. You can do it. You can survive to thrive. Most importantly, as others have said, leave as soon as possible. The danger is extreme from what you've posted. Do not let your daughters know what you are doing until the time you leave. Again, you can do this.

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April 5, 20170 found this helpful

Dear Melissa,

WOW!! I had actually sat down to reach out for advice on my own issues with my verbal abusive husband and came across your letter and I still have goosebumps from the similarities involved. It was as if someone was literally reading my mind and typing it on the screen. Melissa is also my name and I am a stay at home mom. My husband is very controlling and is constantly tearing me down . I have two girls whom I spend a lot of time with. Honey I didn't know what I was gonna do until I read your piece..I think you and I both know we can't continue to stay in such a complicated mess. We do not deserve to be treated like such animals. I truly believe that their issues with verbal abuse has nothing to do with personal, but moreso with themselves. However it is not fair for us to keep putting ourselves ..AND ESPECIALLY not our children at risk of getting hurt. My phone number is 2147133775. I truly think we we could guide each other in the right direction

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

How do you deal with a spouse that is verbally abusive? My spouse is a good person and I know this, but tends to be a control person and can get verbally abusive when things don't go his way. I am tired. I don't have the strength or courage to fight him. He will never go to counseling so that's not an option, I do love him, but how do I stop the roller coaster?

By Anonymous123


Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

My sister just got out of one I mean like this weekend. Her husband was a good guy in the beginning, but a year after they were married he turned into a monster. She talked to him about the controlling and about the emotional abuse (not letting her see the family and not letting her have a car and so so). Then there were several heartfelt letters on both ends. The man did change for a week and then went back to the same old mean person he was.

I gave her a number to call at it is Legal Aide for all the united states it is 1-888-534-1432 (it is help for those who cannot afford a lawyer, they go by income). Depending on how abusive and if there are children involved the best choice is to stay with a relative first. Especially if is it going to them as well. Has there been marriage counseling about this situation? Maybe he needs help mentally and particularly if he grew up in that kind of home. There are so many things to do. Also, call the County Shelter (the county you live in) you can find there number in the phone book in the government offices section or call the police department and they can give it to you. A lot of the time in these cases you need proof that it is going on.

Everyone deserves a second chance especially if they are trying to change. If there's no change after talking over and over again there may never be any change. I am not anyone who has a degree in this stuff, but I have lived through it as a young child and then with my sister. I wish you well. If you know the things that are setting your spouse off, don't walk on egg shells, but tweak a change in style. I will stay posted if you need any more help or advice. I go to this website everyday, if you need to get a hold of me leave another post with the same anonymous123. Bless you and your spouse. (06/25/2007)

By Michelle, From OH

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

If he isn't willing to admit there is a problem then you have two choices.

Chose to die in the abuse

Or chose to LIVE. Do you have children? If you do, then you have an obligation to get out. If you don't then it's your choice whether or not you get out. But abusers are abusers, whether they abuse alcohol, drugs, women, animals or whatever, they will and can not get help until they are ready.

Hey, you can love many things, but you don't have to like or put up with them. I love Oreo's, really love them. But I can't eat them (I've had gastric bypass and that is the main reason) because I will not stop eating them, so I don't eat them. I used to love a man that abused me, verbally, and one time physically (while 7 months pregnant), but I decided that I loved my unborn baby and myself more than him. See, I live with myself, all the time, there is no escaping me, so my choices for my life will always be right here, in front of me. But the choices that I make externally are not in front of me (if I chose to make them that way).

Life is about choice, choice to do with what we are dealt, how we deal is what shows our true character. If you believe that you are the most important (children aside, if they are any) person in your life, than you need to leave and never look back. Most marital vows are based on the Bible, and no where do I see that is says "in verbal abuse or worse".

If you are a believer, than I would talk with a local pastor (if you don't have one) they have tremendous resources for situations like yours. (06/25/2007)

By michawnpita

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

I also was involved in a verbally abusive relationship. Only being married to this man for 4 years, (we're both elderly) he changed after the first year and half. I told him I was leaving, he begged me to stay and that he would change, he did change for awhile, then back to same old stuff. The clincher was one day he stood in the door way of the room where I was (no way to exit). He had a gun to his head, then he moved it to his throat. I talked him into putting the gun away, he left the doorway and went into our outdoor camper.

Meantime I went to the pastor's house across the street, we called the sheriff and they came, got him to surrender the gun (finding 4 other guns in his possession) and took him to a mental ward of the nearest hospital. I was very fortunate to have many church friends who came to my rescue who supplied $ and help to load all my belongings into a U-Haul and leave. He was released to his brother, long enough for me to leave the area. He filed divorce papers on me, claiming it was all my fault. I had tried to get him to a counselor, but no luck. Well I am now safe, back in the area where my children live. Thankful that he and I are still alive. (06/25/2007)

By czechlady

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

Thank you all for the support. I posted to this site because I have no friends or family to turn to. I need all the support and advise I can get. For years I believed he would change and then one day I knew he wouldn't, but I still see the good person inside that I know he can be. That has kept me with him for the 20 years we have been married. I have 3 kids (all grown).

Yesterday he threw a tantrum because the place where I am employed is closing and the owner decided to stay open an additional 2 weeks longer than he had planned. This means if I want to get unemployment I have to stay till the store actually closes. We just sold our house and are trying to move, so this upset him. Like I had anything to do with it. He never wanted me to keep this job anyway, to him it's not a "real" job. ( I have no benefits), but I like this job and that's why I have stayed.

So now I am "trailer park trash" and always will be. (I used to live in a trailer park when he met me) and that the kids and I have continually "screwed" him over. Later that night he said he was sorry for getting upset, but never apologized for what he said. He doesn't think he did anything wrong.
How do you get up the strength and courage to stand up to someone after being told or led to believe that you aren't important?

By Anonymous123

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

It is a difficult situation. The fact that you are asking, means it bothers you and you really want some help. No one should have to put up with verbal abuse, it is damaging to your self esteem and damaging to your marriage. You say that your husband will not even consider counseling (I'm assuming you've asked) means that he doesn't see it as a problem. Is it possible for you to get counseling for yourself? It may help you make decisions about your relationship and ways that can help you cope. You can check with community centers for sliding scale counseling sessions. Also, a pastor or priest may be able to help and at least give you somewhere to vent.

The important thing is to continue thinking the opposite of what he is telling you when he is being abusive. If he tells you you are stupid, say to yourself, I am intelligent. If he tells you that you can't do anything right, say to yourself, I am competent. It really makes a difference to do this, it changes your posture and helps to undo the damage of his words.

Another thing you can do is calmly tell him, when he is being nice, how much it hurts you when he talks to you that way. He probably feels bad about it once he is done with his tirades, but for your peace of mind, this needs to stop.

I'm sure you love him or you wouldn't still be in the relationship. It's a serious thing to end a relationship. You could consider a trial separation until he was willing to go to counseling. Sometimes men need a wake up call.

Take good care of yourself and let us know what you decide to do.

Susan from ThriftyFun (06/26/2007)

By ThriftyFun

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

You say he is really a good guy inside. I can identify. My husband is like that. He grew up in a family that was so dysfunctional he won't even talk about them. Our first year he was wonderful. His kids kept saying, "Boy, Daddy sure has cleaned up his language since he married you." But several things have happened. We have been through some tough things like really low income, stressed kids, and major illness. For 15 years I have been totally exhausted because of cardiomyopathy, so he has taken over much of the housekeeping as well as his long hours of work.

He would be most abusive in public, and my friends would ask if he had ever hit me. Another thing that changed was, I learned to say, "I didn't deserve that comment." To my great surprise, he started agreeing with me. In our second year of marriage, he received Christ as his personal savior, and the children soon followed. I can't say it's all been perfect, but there are times when he is so loving that I see deep into his soul. We never had counseling.

The kids are grown up and happy adults. It has been 26 years this coming October, and I am so glad I stuck with it. I have gone from being hypersensitive to quite tough, and I have come to know his ways so that I know when to tell him to knock it off. I have learned not to respond in anger. Our lives have both been richer for the learning. I don't know if this is your situation, but if it is, try it out. All I know is we are greatly blessed (even if I can't take him out in public). (06/26/2007)

By Coreen

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

Honey get out now. This man is going to go from verbal abuse to physical in a blink of an eye. Don't just sit there and wait for it to happen, cause believe me it will. (06/26/2007)

By Tupelo granmom

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

Remove yourself from his presence. Don't say anything. Just leave. If you can leave in the car for a while, do it. If not, go to another part of the house or go outside. Just don't stay where you can hear it. Even a dog will get the message after a while. (06/26/2007)

By wallflower

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

I'm so sorry. I've been through the same situation. My mama told me that people do to you only what you allow them to do. Get counseling, even if he doesn't want to go and I will definitely pray for you sweetie. (06/26/2007)

By Sharon

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

I am currently divorcing a "nice" guy that was also periodically verbally abusive. We've been married almost 18 years. I'm doing this mainly because I realized I no longer could see me though anyone's, but his eyes. Even though I would fight back, tell him he was wrong and hurtful I hadn't realized how much I had come to believe these things he said to me.

Once I realized this, I gave him many many chances to change, chances he said he wanted, but the behavior is part of who they are in most cases, I've come to find out. It became a choice between accepting the reality of the situation and what that meant to my present and future emotional well being or leaving and learning to like myself again.

I obviously chose the latter and while the split was not fun, I have hope today that I can unlearned all of the lessons he "didn't mean to" teach me. Since I can't advise you what to do, I thought I'd share my story with you in hopes that you may see something that helps.
Good luck to you. (06/26/2007)

By cashman67

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

Verbally abusive means that you aren't loved.

Do you really want to stay with someone who doesn't love you?

If he were a good man, he'd tell you how he feels.

He's not good. Not for you, anyway. Probably not for anyone until he grows up and learns to shut his mouth. This may never happen.

You deserve someone better. Save your money for the time when you can get a divorce. It may take a couple of years, but that's your goal. (06/27/2007)

By cookwie

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

You need to start thinking about you and not him. My parents have been married for 37 years and my father is very verbally abusive to my mom. When I was growing I remember wishing that my mom would take us and leave so that we would not have to hear or go through this anymore. To this day my father is still abusive to my mom and it drives me crazy. You may not think that it affects your kids since they are grown, but it does. My father has started being verbally abusive to mine and my brothers kids now and that I will not tolerate. You need to leave and if you ask your kids I bet they would say the same thing, I know my brother and I would do anything that we had to get my mom out if she would agree to leave my dad. God bless and good luck. (06/27/2007)

By barfydoogin

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

First, know that you aren't alone. Second, even if your husband doesn't hit you, he's still abusing you. Verbal abuse is battering without fists. It's the way that a man controls the woman in his life on many levels, including financial, if he controls the money. There is plenty of help in every state for battered women, and make no mistake, your husband is battering you emotionally.

I suggest you seek counseling for yourself. That will help you empower yourself over your husband's bad behavior. Reaching outside of your home for help is the first step to sanity. You can change yourself, but don't expect to change your husband. It rarely happens. Try to step outside of your comfort zone and seek help from people who understand Battered Women's Syndrome. I grew up in a home with a father who was abusive on every level, physical, sexual, and verbal/emotional. Verbal abuse can be one of the worst forms of abuse to a woman and her children, regardless of their ages.

You can find help everywhere. Call your local battered women's helpline. If you can't find a local number, try this website which is the National Domestic Violence organization or call their hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). They can direct you local help, if that's what you want.

Best wishes to you and please take care of yourself. (06/28/2007)

By sylviecyn

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

Dear Anon,- I think you have a lot of strength and courage to have stayed with him through all of this. You might also try looking up ACOA, Adult Children of Alcoholics on the internet. It's like Alcoholics Anonymous, only for adult children of alcoholics. Many ACOAs learned early to just be quiet and clean up other people's messes for them. We're all concerned about your safety. I hope you find help and I hope you find what's best for you. Good luck to you. (06/29/2007)

By Jantoo

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

This is such a powerful topic and I wish to send a hug out to everyone who has responded and two hugs to every one who has been a victim of this. I was the victim of spousal verbal and physical abuse for 29 years. I can relate to what has been said here.

Everywhere I looked for answers, they were asking me to do something that I didn't have the courage to do. I even got the answers that if I didn't have the courage to stand up for myself, I deserved everything I got. Nothing was fitting, but I knew there must be an answer. I discovered finally that no one can hurt us unless we allow it. Physical pain yes, but everyone knows that.

I learned to let my husband own his own actions. It was his choice whether or not to be loud and offensive. My choice whether or not to be hurt over it. It took awhile and it taught me to be responsible for my own actions as well. The pain is not in the action itself, but in how you feel about it.

What I learned was about taking my own power. Not power over others, but power over my own experience. There is so much wisdom in that and you have to find it for yourself. Otherwise if you just leave him, you can be pretty sure that the next man you find is likely to manifest the same actions. People treat us the way we ask to be treated. This is largely subconscious.

I agree Anon that your husband is a good man. He abuses because he is lost and hurting. And it's the only way he knows. You perhaps accept that abuse for the same reason. Discover your own inherent goodness and dignity and no one will ever be able to take that away from you.

You are all so wonderful. (07/06/2007)

By Sheraone

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

Okay. I had an epiphany last November when I read "Stop Walking on Egg Shells" by Mason. I searched the web frequently and finally concluded that I, a male, was a victim of long term verbal abuse. I ordered and read the books by Evans and could relate 100%. Though I found it difficult to admit, I knew from what I was reading that I had been in a verbally abusive relationship for years. I have been married for 27 years and am planning on leaving on July 1st, for my sake only. I have been beaten verbally for years. This story may seem weird because I was the main breadwinner, the work and community leader, brimming with confidence. Verbal abuse picks away at your esteem slowly.

My wife, the verbal abuser was raised by an extremely abusive father, so it isn't really her fault, but I need to get out for my sake. My wife demanded and did not receive respect from our children. You see, she was verbally abusive to them. I used to try to keep peace and support my domestic partner because we were a team. She berated the kids when I was at work. I wasn't aware of all of the stunts because I was at work earning our keep. My son committed suicide a few years back and I fear now that one of the contributing factors and there were many was low self esteem, which is a by product of verbal abuse. My daughter is married and living in another state. She doesn't want to see her mother at all. It is unbelievable how common the abused stories are.

My daughter and I talk about our experiences. My wife has this loving all caring type of personality when out in public, but was able to turn it around at home when no one else was watching. It would be confusing to us and unbelievable to any one who had not experienced this wrath first hand. Her scars from childhood abuse were just well hidden in public. She was abusive to me on occasion at home and more frequently to the kids when no one else was around.

The sad thing is that it was sporadic or varied so you never knew when it would come. We were always on edge. She could be loving one minute and a beast the next. I loved my children unconditionally. They did not feel loved by their mother. I found this to be very sad. It was almost like she had a dual personality. I tried so hard to keep her happy, but I could never do enough. If I made a lot of money, she spent more and needed more. If I worked in the basement, the upstairs needed to be painted. She was taught by her father to always find flaws. Well, this she was very good at.

My kids tiptoed because they never knew when she would fly off the handle. I was always careful with my words because she was always looking to cause an argument. I tried to avoid the confrontation so I blame myself for being an enabler. Abusers know what they are doing. They want power not love. They are carrying a lot of anger from youth.

As I am detaching emotionally, my wife has become the sweetest kindest person you would ever want to meet. She shows signs of not being able to control her emotions on occasion, but she seems very aware and able to control her anger most of the time. As I prepare to leave, she is becoming the kindest most caring individual with a sensitive side. I believe that she is setting the trap and ready to play the role of a great victim. I am hurting and almost emotionally dead inside. I tried so hard and so long to make this relationship work. I was never perfect and always accepted 100% responsibility for my 50% of the relationship. Even the best workers get tired after a while.

Thus, I am leaving on July 1. I am finding hard to get ready because of the time spent together, but abusers know the procedure too well. They have been working at power and control all the time. Her father is a constant companion. They talk on the phone two to three times per day. The way she tells it, she was just showing the kids how to respect her parents the way the Bible says she should. The kids take was that she would neglect us in a minute to attend to a sliver in her parents hand. She appeared to frequently choose her parents over her kids.

I was hurt personally by the actions associated with the choices. Now her dad thinks he is dying and he may well be. She attends to his every need like a good child should. She has never confronted him about the abuse. She will demonstrate loyalty and take her father's abuse to his grave. He will not be found out. I know she will crash once he is gone. She will then be able to acknowledge the abuse from childhood. She is starting to like the healing therapy. She is in counseling right now. I am disappointed that the main offender is getting away scott free and I have been given the legacy from the abuse to live with for 27 years.

As I said, I rambled because I am venting and it hurts. The culprit is escaping without consequence and the doting husband who was and is a great father has tolerated a life of abuse and has woken up and is ready to leave. Wish me luck as I prepare.

I have seen her spin from bully to victim way too often and now I am so spent that I only have enough strength left to take care of myself. I need to leave and heal in order to live a happy life. I model happiness and live it, but it is hard to swim when you are carrying an anchor. This hard working man felt like he had to raise three children. Now the children are grown. One is dead and the oldest is married.

I want a partner and don't want to continue to raise a third child. I am truly sorry for her inner pain and was ready to listen and accept for 27 years. Now I am afraid that it is too late. I am sorry and farewell.

I will be very fair during separation and divorce as I want nothing materially. I want the memories and the fun from our kids. Take your material possessions and win. You will have your own epiphany one day and you will be able to admit your abuse, apologize to your daughter and me. Only then will you be able to look yourself in the mirror and declare that you are starting to heal.

Good luck with your journey and I wish you all the best. It isn't always the guys who abuse. There is a generation of girls who were verbally abused by their father or mother and were never allowed to grow up. If you recognize yourself in the above, male or female, get help early. I have lived an unnecessary life of extra pain as the husband of an abuser. Please get help early for yourself, your spouse and your children. We all function better when we have had the opportunity to heal from the pain. Wise too late. (05/21/2008)

By Hurting

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

It took going to a therapist to get up the courage to take action. Last straw was him choking me in front of 1 and 2 year old boys. We dated 4 years and were married for 13 years. I married for better or worse. He refused counseling or medicine. Our family now knows peace and quiet and happiness. Best thing I ever did. (07/15/2008)

By Verbally/Physically Abused

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

All of these stories which I have read have described the situation that I lived in. My wife is a bully and control freak. Yet like a lot of the comments she is well known in the community and heavily involved in our church. Yet behind closed doors she is a verbal monster who has no problem cutting you down to size and uses the Bible to do it, and like a lot of your commentators no one believes me. It is like living in a episode of the Twilight Zone. I finally left because I could not take it anymore. (09/25/2008)

By Kenneth

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

It's funny that I'm going to give advice when I'm in the same situation. The advice I have is already well known:

Seek counseling or outside advice (this is usually expensive). It is usually okay to do this for a little while without your spouses knowledge, but at some point you should let your spouse know. Doing anything behind a spouses back can cause mistrust.

Learn good communication skills. Problems occur when feelings are bottled up or one or both spouses feel ignored. Without proper communication skills, when trying to talk about feelings or problems, it tends to escalate into arguments. Try not to use the word "you". Using "you" tends to be an aggressive word and makes the other person defensive. Example "You do this, You don't do that, I hate it when you." A better way would be to remove "you" and say something more like "I do not like it when I am yelled at, or I do not like it when this happens". It is obvious they do the yelling so it doesn't need to be stated and by removing you, you are expressing your feelings without blame. Let your spouse know your feelings, but word it as best as you can so that it is neutral, not offensive or defensive in nature.

If you both agree there are issues, sit down and make goals on how to resolve them and stick to them. This will probably be awkward as it is new and exposes weaknesses in the marriage but if you both try, it can get better.

If you feel you can't confront your spouse verbally, then try writing a short note to jot down some easily discussed feelings, get the ball rolling on discussing problems you both have that aren't threatening to anyone. For example I feel we need to spend more time together. It doesn't blame any one, but is a problem and you both should be able to work on it without getting too upset.

Remember it takes 2 and you are most likely not all that innocent either so listen to what they have to say and remember, they may not know how to communicate properly either so when they use an aggressive tone, do your best to not retaliate when this happens. Give it time. Over time and discussing problems and seeing your calm example, the other person tends to calm down and not feel the need to be as verbally aggressive.

By Mike

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

To all of us that are living with a partner husband or spouse that abuses us, this is an awesome website to learn how to empower ourselves. I have been reading the comments on this website for the last 2 days and my heart truly goes out to everyone. I use to really love my husband. Now I have come to the point where I can't even stand to look at him. What was I ever thinking that I could change him to how he was 10 years ago, that he would be truly sorry for all the horrible situations he has brought into my life.

I'm not a counselor. I'm a mum and a wife trying to do the best I can. If I had a dollar for every time he abused me when he was drunk I would be a millionaire by now, he has said sorry more times. Then I have hot dinners, the abuse never stops. Each week it's a different issue and depending what's going on in his life at the time. I have my first counseling appointment next week. I hope that I will find that last little bit of courage I need to leave and never look back.

My children are victims of his abuse and I am the only one that can help them and show them a happier life, the words Respect, Honor, and Love are not words these abusers know, all they know how to do is to belittle us and abuse us time and time again, To anyone trying to leave keep reading all the comments on this site it will only make you stronger. (08/04/2009)

By ngati20

Dealing with a Verbally Abusive Spouse

Sorry to say this, but you and your kids are living in a broken home. I was in the same situation. I grabbed my kids and left. Now my kids and I don't live in a broken home any longer because I fixed it. (02/13/2010)

By cett

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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