I am looking for ways to avoid loosing my cool when my husband tries to find fault with something I do. I know that he is verbally abusive, but I want to avoid the confrontations that make me look weak. What can I do so that I can keep our marriage as happy as it usually is? Should I get involved in activities that will make my self value better? What can I do?
My mother used to tell my dad that only people who were actually doing something could make mistakes! They were happily (for the most part) married for 25 years until he died. Some guys just don't realize they're doing that. My husband was soooo bad at correcting everything I did (even nursing my babies, even though HE had never done it!) so I started telling him that since he wasn't around when I tried to do whatever that I had to think for myself so naturally it was done wrong because we all knew I was stupid. He knew I wasn't so he knew I was being sarcastic. After many times of saying that he got the message and is not so critical now. If he reverts back I have to do a refresher course for him. Gotta love um! They can't help it sometimes. (11/02/2009)
I think the majority of the men that are verbally abusive know exactly what they are doing. Anyway, in my experience with my ex-husband, we were married for 19 years. Also other cases of verbal abuse that I have seen the men knew what they were doing. My "ex" did a lot of swearing at me, telling me how stupid I was, Also one of his favorite expressions was "women were only good for one thing and most of them weren't any good at that." My theory was I had made my bed, so I had to lie in it.
My thought is that as long as there is verbal or physical abuse, a relationship isn't happy. When I was married it was always in the back of my mind when he would be yelling and swearing at me that it might turn abusive. I also feel that if a significant other can't treat their mate with respect, concern, and caring there isn't real love. If you don't respect a person how can you love them?
When I talk to young women/girls, I now urge them to keep some money in a place where the significant other doesn't know about it or get to it. That way if they have to get out, they have something to rely on. While I was still working my young boss and I were talking about that and she said at her wedding reception one of the guest advised her to do that, right in front of her husband. She said she already had that, she had her own checking account, debit card, credit cards, and a certain amount of cash set aside, plus her own car in her own name. (11/02/2009)
This is an add on to my comment of yesterday.
I see that redhatterb has really had an abusive husband. Mine isn't like that...just often times correcting me and my actions. It would depend greatly on how he (yours) acts as to how you should handle it. Seems people are labeling almost every negative thing now a days as abusive. Calling names and saying really hurtful things, especially in public, is certainly abusive. If yours is the lesser type you can laugh it away (sometimes) or apologize profusely for making yet another mistake and help him to realize he's "doing it again." Only you know just how "abusive" he truly is. (11/03/2009)
When your husband criticizes you, tell him you aren't working for him, you're working for Jesus! And Jesus loves you! When I do laundry, I pretend it's Jesus' laundry. When I wash dirty dishes, I pretend I'm cleaning them for Jesus. It helps change your perspective. Every job I do, I approach like this and that way it becomes more pleasant. It really doesn't matter what your husband thinks or what he says. As long as we're doing our best for the Lord, that's all that matters! (11/05/2009)
By Lee Taylor
I was married for 27 yrs to a verbally abusive husband. I think my love for him made me overlook how abusive he really was. A person can never go wrong with learning to love themselves and improving their self esteem. Please help yourself. I suggest reading some self help books on improving self esteem, but you may need to see a therapist. If you don't take care of it now, it will only get worse, my dear. (11/05/2009)
After I posted my reply, I went back and read what others have posted to your request. IMHO, this constant criticizing is a form of control. Verbal abuse has control at its heart. It is not right for one person to have control over another. Jesus wouldn't want for us to be door mats.
My husband always made it sound like he was right. he was well-educated and sang in the choir at our church. I always thought he was well meaning. I loved him so very, very much. I loved him maybe even more than myself. As a young mother I had little time to think about it. But I ended up with severe depression and anxiety with panic attacks. It is almost 20 yrs in the past now, but I can more clearly see how my body and mind were trying to survive in spite of what was being thrown at me. After 27 years of his verbal treatment, my body was in its death throws.
I am begging you to not let this situation continue. The fact that you have mentioned it, makes it important enough to require attention from people who care about you and will make recommendations for your welfare. Please take care of yourself first. It you have no YOU, you are not able to help another person...even if he is your husband. Attend to YOURSELF. It is not selfishness.
God Bless you, my friend. (11/05/2009)
The fact that you recognize that your husband is abusive should be an eye opener. He is not going to change. My advise is to get Christian counseling. You can't go wrong with Jesus on your side, whether you decide you should leave or stay and continue to take the abuse (I recommend the first). You deserve better. (11/05/2009)
I discovered, the hard way, that verbal abuse leads to physical abuse. If you want to keep a happy marriage, go see a family counselor, either with him (preferably), or without him. You need a professional to talk to your family doctor or minister can recommend one. My marriage went from verbal abuse to physical abuse and continued for 26 years because I loved him, until I wised up and dumped him.
By Dena Roberts
Sometimes humor works well. My husband is a know-it-all and is very bossy. He's mellowing out. But I still occasionally need to respond to him with a "Yessir, Massah." or a quick military salute, or a mock bow with a deep bend from the waist. (11/05/2009)
Tell your husband that he is not your father, that it is not his job to tell you how to do stuff, you are an adult, you were not brought up the same way he was, everyone does things there own way. These are things I've had to tell my husband because he thinks he has to teach me things. I think it has helped some. Hope it works for you. (11/05/2009)
Catastrophy's right. You really need a safe place to vent your own negative emotions so you can keep your cool with hubby. Most towns have counseling services with fees contingent on income. Or, hopefully, you can find a trustworthy female friend. I'm in the position of not having access to anyone outside the home, so I rely on prayer, and my journal. It's on my computer and my cranky old-fart hubby is technologically helpless, so he can't snoop. (11/07/2009)
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