(Closed) Verbal abuse? Maybe? *Long*

posted 4 years ago in Married Life
Post # 46
1589 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

eggshells15 :  I have what my mum calls the ‘Spanish temper’ (we have Spanish heritage on her side). I get very angry, very quickly, over very little and I take a long time to cool down. Fiance has less of a temper, but is stubborn and hates being wrong so we fight. We’ve had some doozies but one thing we never do is swear at each other or ask each other to leave. The worst we’ve probably said is “stop being a fucking idiot” as opposed to “you are a fucking idiot”.

As someone with anger management issues I can sympathise with your H getting angry but it is on him to find a more appropriate coping strategy, not on you to tiptoe around catering to his every need. Kicking things violently in front of you is NOT OK and is legitimately frightening behaviour, as is yelling at you in front of others.

Coping strategies do exist if he’s willing to work. When I was a teenager dealing with anxiety, OCD and an unsupportive family, I used to throw biscuits at our back fence to calm down. I would also put on some loud metal music and sing along till I felt better. Now I don’t chuck biscuits around but I do boxing classes, play netball where my ‘white line fever’ is allowed and practice mindfulness and visualising your best self instead of going berserk over tiny things. If your H recognises that his behaviour is hurting your marriage and works on anger management strategies, things could be OK, but for your own safety I recommend at least considering an exit plan.

Post # 48
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Usually people don’t realize they’re getting louder, cussing, and getting out of control – but usually if you tell them about it, they’ll immediately stop. The fact that you point out to him that he’s cussing and he still continues, then he’s doing it on purpose.

He obviously has some control over this – as you didn’t mention him doing it to a boss, other family members (except Lynn- his ex), and Brandon -so he’s doing it only to people he feels he has power over.

You need to take that power away. At a time when he’s calm, and apologetic, say “This can’t continue. In the future, when you get angry, raise your voice, or cuss, I’m going to give a signal”. Choose snapping your fingers, or a whistle, or something that stops him from his rant. Then say “20 minutes time out” – so he has to take 20 minutes to calm down and think about what made him so mad. Then he can come discuss it. Hopefully that will help him to stop the anger from ever getting out of control in the first place. See a therapist about it – either he and you together, or if he won’t go, go alone. They will give you other ideas like this that can stop the situation from escallating.

And to answer your question – yes,  this is abuse. Whether you want to call it bullying, or emotional abuse, or verbal abuse – I would call it all of them. It’s not physical abuse -yet – but if he gets angry enough and loses it it could turn physical.

Post # 49
2441 posts
Buzzing bee

He’s having an ego struggle. He knows he’s in the wrong, and he HATES that you are confronting him on this issue and standing your ground. It’s forcing him to see himself for how he really is and it’s making him really uncomfortable. He’s avoiding seeing himself as you see him because that hurts the ego, he’d rather decide that his feelings of anger and frustration are your fault, hence the cold shoulder. 

You’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. But when you stand up to abusers, they ARE going to resent you for it and be angry and treat you as if you’ve done something wrong. Hell, that’s how they keep their victims silent and passive!

Questioning what you’ve done to deserve this is normal, but PLEASE do not give in to that way of thinking. You really have not done anything wrong. Everything you are doing is good – his reaction to you trying to bring about a healthier dynamic proves that he’s an abuser. A reasonable partner would appreciate the things you’ve done in the last few days. The fault is entirely with him. 

Of COURSE he likes to keep his life private, you can’t continue abusing people on your whim if others KNOW what’s going on. Abusers are always very private people – abuse can only flourish in the dark. 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stand your ground. And practice reminding yourself that you don’t CARE how he feels. That is the only way to get out from under the thumb of an abuser. So long as you care what they think of you, they have power over you. You really need to break his hold over you before the baby comes so that the baby isn’t raised under this man’s control. Be strong for your baby!!!

Hugs, I hope involving your pastor will have a good long-term result, but you SHOULD prepare yourself for very intense short-term fallout.

He’s going to act incredibly betrayed and hurt and angry when he discovers you’ve breached the “abuser-victim secrecy pact.” 

Just remember, this is a necessary step toward protecting yourself and your baby. His feelings about it are meaningless.

Post # 50
9982 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

duchessgummybunns :  Every single word of your post is wonderful, I’m speechless.  It’s perfect and so true.  + x 1000

Post # 51
3563 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

It is verbal and emotional abuse.  However, putting a label on it isn’t going to change what’s happening here. 

He needs counseling, alone, then you both need counseling together. 

There is no way in hell I’d spend my life with someone I needed to walk on eggshells around, let alone bring a baby into it.  Even if he hasn’t physically abused a person or animal yet, if he’s kicking toys and destroying property in the process of his tantrums, how can you trust that he won’t hurt you, his son, the dog, or a crying newborn that maybe just pooped/peed/threw up on him? I mean, friggin KETCHUP on his finger warranted a angry outburst? He’s got issues. 

Post # 52
1548 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

eggshells15 :  I don’t think it’s your typical verbal abuse but I still think it is a form. I know I would not tolerate it. Your Darling Husband is throwing TANTRUMS like a child! I think you explained it to him the best way any human can, not it’s his turn to step up and make some changes. I would not allow my baby to be exposed to these tantrums.

Post # 53
5816 posts
Bee Keeper

“He has never hit me and I know he never would” At one point in your relationship you never would have believed he could speak so nastily to you either, it’s a slippery slope. 

He’s already physically abused your dog. Major dealbreaking giant red flag. 

He doesn’t have trouble controlling his anger- in front of witnesses. I’m by no means a mental health expert, but it would seem to me that someone who had genuine issues controlling their behaviour wouldn’t be able to go back down from 60 to zero just as quickly if they realized a neighbour or someone else was witnessing his deplorable behaviour. IMO this means that he’s fully aware that he’s treating you unacceptably and that he can control it when he wants to. That’s not to say he still couldn’t benefit from some kind of counselling etc, just that he seems fully cognizant of what he’s doing and is arrogant and nasty about it. 

I wouldn’t let my pets around this ticking timebomb let alone the stepson or a vulnerable new baby. You’re very right to be concerned about how he’ll react to ‘irritants’ surrounding the baby’s arrival, you just have to be concerned enough to take the next steps for everyone’s protection. I think you don’t even fully realize HOW MUCH you’re walking on eggshells- you probbably rationalize that because you occasionally argue back, this indicates he hasn’t made you submissive to his anger. But you under-reacted at the dog’s abuse, under-react when he is disproportionately angered by your stepson, and you’re making sure your pregnancy isn’t an inconvenience or irritant to him. Yikes. 


Post # 55
2314 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - Ruby Princess

Just a thought, abusers usually do not react well to attempts at counselling.

quote from national domestic violence website: “One part of changing may involve an abusive partner willingly attending a certified batterer intervention program that focuses on behavior, reflection and accountability. At the Hotline we don’t recommend couples counseling, anger management, substance abuse programs or mental health treatments for abusers to learn about and deal with their abusive patterns (although oftentimes these can helpfully supplement a batterer intervention program).


Post # 56
30 posts
  • Wedding: June 2017

You did nothing wrong to warrant him to ignore you and your email. The silent treatment is a power thing and also a form of abuse. He has read the email but is choosing to not talk to you to assert his power over you, ‘teach’ you a lesson and is waiting for you to admit you are wrong when you can stand the silence anymore.  

My dad gave my mom the silent treatment all the time, not acknowledging her for days on end at home and in public. It was abuse. I still struggle with not giving my Fiance the ‘silent treatment’ when we get into arguments. I know it is wrong but its what I grew up with so its what I resort to.


Post # 58
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

eggshells15 :  so, i’ve read through everything up to this point and I have to say…I don’t think I agree with your pastor. I’m not saying he’s intentionally misleading you and I certainly don’t want to offend you by not agreeing, but he basically said, “Yes, he’s got anger issues but recovered from mine so you should stay and make sure he recovers from his.” No. Your husband hasn’t taken responsibility, and just because your pastor was willing to change doesn’t mean that one size fits all situations.


Your husband, in your texts that you outlined, did not agree to counseling. He agreed to discussing counseling. You do not need to go together, at least not at first. You need to see a counselor ALONE first, who can more aptly tell you if this is abuse proper, or borderline, or an undiagnosed medical issue, etc. 

He did not propose any type of remedy for the situation, you did. He didn’t say, “I’m sorry for how I act; I know it’s wrong and I am going to talk to our pastor/a counselor/etc.” YOU said you were willing to whatever he needs, etc. 

Sorry girl–I don’t think the right call is to just go home and hash it out. Like I said in my first post, it could be abusive behavior or it could be literally a disorder, but the fact is that (TO ME) it doesn’t seem like he’s acutely aware and remorseful of his actions and is taking responsibility. It seems that he just doesn’t like being in trouble. You have pointed out to him on numerous occasions his behavior, in no uncertain terms, and he still chooses to act this way. He still chooses not to seek help. He will still choose–I promise–not to go to counseling after some bargaining with you. “Let me have X amount of time to prove to you that I want to be better.” Then nothing will change, and he’ll have an excuse, and you’ll have already convinced yourself again that it’s okay because he tried, or whatever. No bueno


Also: super sorry if any of what I wrote sounds harsh; it is a sensitive issue for me and I just don’t want your situation to get worse by trying to be strong and stay at home when it’s not a good situation.

Post # 59
362 posts
Helper bee

eggshells15 :  I dated an emotionally and verbally abusive man for almost 5yrs. This issue is not yours to fix and is likely unfixable. Your advice from your pastor could get you seriously hurt or worse. Please look up online the escalation of abuse, signs of abuse, red flags of escalation. You often do not have a choice to get out before it gets worse bc it gets worse sooo quickly. My exbf went from breaking things or punching walls while yelling occasionally then, one night, all of a sudden, after I broke up w him but he was staying w me, he had a huge kitchen knife pulled out. Love and your marriage are not the primary concerns- your life and your child should be. These are not “fights” and it’s likely not an emotional or mood disorder beyond narcisstic abuse. My ex claimed he was depressed for years, but I’ve had best friends who have suffered from depression and who are bipolar- none have ever treated anyone the way your husband treats you. Even if it is a disease requiring treatment, leave him to get treatment or not but you shouldn’t stick around to let him inflict abuse on you in the meanwhile. All children involved will either learn these behaviors themselves or learn to accept them from others.  

>”You can mark my words on this, Todd…and take it for what it’s worth to you, I will not stand by and continue to be talked to like that. If you continue down this destructive path of talking to me like I’m a piece of garbage, I will one day be gone and you will wonder what happened and where I am…I won’t be there anymore and I will NOT come back. I deserve more than that. I know that, my family and friends know that, God knows that, but I’m not sure you know that.”

I was going to give my verbally abusive ex 1 year to improve. Then I realized that he’d already had 4 years of continuously choosing to be foul to me. You don’t even need to give warnings like this. How could you live and be married to someone who doesn’t already know this and hope for nobody to ever treat you this poorly? How do you teach a grown man who claims to love you to treat you w compassion? You don’t. You stay or you don’t.

You “will one day be gone”? Exactly when is that? What will it take? What is bad enough? Does he need to hit you? Does he need to stress you out so bad it impacts the baby (which must already be happening)? do you really think that you “deserve more” when you continue to take this treatment from him day in and day out? Sadly, this statement is a bluff so long as you stay w him.

Why not tell him to fix himself from afar? Because you know in your heart that he won’t. You are trying to “fix it,” but your husband is actually the problem here and you can’t “fix him.” He’s got you not telling your parents or anybody but his ex what he does to you. Until today, you didn’t even feel comfortable telling your spiritual leader and were scared that your husband would be upset that you talked to your priest about his extremely poor treatment of you. This is abuse. You are protecting your husband at the cost of yourself, your baby, his son, and your pet. Although there is sadness at a relationship ending, the freedom from toxicity and abuse is beyond liberating and joyful. 

Post # 60
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016 - Hunting Hill Mansion

People don’t change. I’d be gone. 

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