(Closed) Verbal abuse? Maybe? *Long*

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
Post # 62
9988 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

eggshells15 :  I have to be honest, I’m very concerned for you right now.  You’re in an extremely vulnerable position.  He has shown zero remorse so far for how he’s been treating you.  And you are pregnant with his baby right now! 

If you really are going to confront him you must realize you could be lighting the fuse that may cause him to turn physically violent towards you for the first time. It’s not uncommon for verbal abusers to suddenly become physical abusers in a flash.  Especially towards a pregnant partner.  The statistics about this are truly frightening.  He is an insecure and small human being with a warped sense of reality whom you are challenging. 

Please, please be ready to call 911 at a moment’s notice or have someone on standby to come check on you later.  Or do this confronting in a safe, public place.  I’m really scared for you, please be safe.

Think of him as being like a rabid dog.  You can’t reason with him like with a normal person.  He has a serious issue that needs serious help.  You aren’t professionally trained to deal with this.  I left my abuser like I was backing away from a rabid dog.  Very slowly and very carefully.  I NEVER confronted him.  I was lucky and I lived to tell the tale.  But many women don’t.  Please don’t become one of them. 

ETA:  I wrote the above before I went back and saw that you’d spoken to your pastor and also that your husband has now apologized.  I still stand by my words and hope you will stay safe.  I respect your views toward your marriage vows, however, your husband has broken your marriage already by how he has treated you, he has violated the covenant by being so abusive.  Just make sure his apology and remorse are sincere and not just a manipulation to get you back under his control.

Post # 63
6836 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

eggshells15 :  I’ll be honest, I know you’re looking at your text exchange as a positive step, but it really worries me. No where in those texts did he admit that he has a serious problem and is going to take any steps to fix it. It read more like “I’m sorry I yelled but you just make me so mad sometimes.” Not cool. And when you brought up counseling? He didn’t agree. He sidestepped and said you needed to “discuss” it. In my opinion, there’s nothing to discuss. Either get counseling for your anger issues or we’re done. End of. 

Post # 64
1980 posts
Buzzing bee

He has taken no responsibility for his actions at all. He just wants things to go back to normal, so he can sleep in his own bed again.

You can fight for your marriage all you want. But he is the one who needs to change, and respect his vows, not you.

Post # 65
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

You need to issue a strong ultimatum that he go to couples AND individual anger management counseling, and make tangible progress for a period of time, or you’re gone. Don’t “see what he has to say”. Go in there with a plan that he must agree to if he wants to stay in your life. Otherwise he is just going to agree to the bare minimum, keep it up just long enough to make you lose your backbone, and then start treating you like a doormat again. Please!

Post # 66
9988 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

eggshells15 :  Something else I want to mention.  The thing he did to you about the chair.  First of all, why did he send his pregnant wife to pick up the chair in the first place?  He should have picked up the chair, not sent you to do it.  This is something I feel any decent man would do.

Secondly, being mean to a dog?  Are you kidding me?  I can’t even. 

He is a disgusting excuse for a man, just based on these two things alone. 

There, I said it.

Post # 67
363 posts
Helper bee

eggshells15 :  other things to think about – how much time and conversations and thinking and crying and attempt to solve his issues have you been doing? How much has he done? He treats you poorly yet you keep brainstorming solutions, asking him to stop, asking for counseling. All while he drags his feet and only gives enough for you to stay long enough for him to do it again. 

I have not had a relationship where I suggested counseling and the guy resisted where it ever worked out. This man is emotionally and verbally abusing a pregnant woman and doesn’t want to try counseling to stop, he’s doubtful, either because he wants to continue verbal and emotional abuse or he knows that counseling won’t stop it. Many abusers use counseling as a new arena and a new excuse to justify their abuse. 

I got counseling by myself when I had an abusicr Boyfriend or Best Friend and it made me relieved and feel better enough to stay w him longer. The counselor didn’t realize I was in an abusive relationship. Also beware- many marriage counselors try to preserve marriages at all costs even if it might risk a life. I had a Boyfriend or Best Friend then fiancé lying to me regularly and cheating on me and a counselor urged us to have love help get us through. After I married him and problems got worse, it took months for him to agree to go to counseling. He would only go to joint counseling when I said I was leaving (and he refused to get individual counseling, which is what was needed BC he had serious issues). The marriage counselor explained to my then-husband that he had so much work to do and has been so wrong to me that I might never get over it and our relationship might never heal even if he did finally work through all his issues and treat me right. The next day, my now-exH said that, “as the counselor had explained, I was acting like a b*tch for no reason.” That was the day I told him it was over. Can’t believe I spent any time trying to coax him into counseling.

That you even are having this discussion (again) to attempt to convince him to get counseling should tell you that he isn’t even willing to easily do that minimum for you.  He yells at you like that and blows up like he does when you’re pregnant and HE should be the one begging to go to counseling. Instead, he continues to treat you that poorly and doesn’t want any new strategy for trying to solve it or for getting help from others for it. He wants it to continue a secret so you both pretend it doesn’t happen. That way, you won’t tell if he hits you. And nobody thinks he’s a bad man bc nobody knows that he is terrorizing his pregnant wife. 

Post # 68
2459 posts
Buzzing bee

In your talk tonight I want you to really try VERY hard to not be emotionally engaged. Do NOT feel that you are responsible for his happiness or for the resolution of this “problem.” If I were you, I would ABSOLUTELY just sit back and let him talk to get a feel for where his mind is. I can tell you right now that he never responded after your text admitting to having broken the secrecy pact because it made him FURIOUS.

But he is an abuser and abusers are manipulative and calculating first, everything else after.

He still thinks he can get you to stay, so he was not going to show you how furious he was in that moment. He’s going to chew on it til he can swallow it and pretend to be fine, then he will text you something calm-sounding. But don’t believe for a moment that he didn’t hate you with a blind fury when he got that text. And he will likely try to throw it in your face tonight as a betrayal.

Don’t go into this expecting ANYTHING other for him to be coldly manipulating the situation with his words – and trying to convince you that actions aren’t important, only the pretty words he is saying in this moment.

If you give in to the words (like you’ve mostly done in the past, like he expects you to) he’ll stay nice until his next tantrum. If you DON’T give in to the words, stay in control, stay emotionally and physically distant, keeping asking what action steps he plans to take, he will either grow cold or grow furious. He won’t be able to maintain his pleasant facade if you resist his manipulation tactics.

Please do not:
– suggest what he should do
– ask or beg him to do it
– defend yourself
– allow him to sleep i nyour bed tonight

– look to see if HE comes up with a real and immediate plan for seeking help for himself
– watch to see if he starts slowly trying to shift blame to you (he will do this once he senses you are emotionally worn down) or if he genuinely owns up to being 100% at fault (as he is) 
– stay emotionally disengaged. He can’t wear you down or trick you with misdirection when you aren’t investing emotionally in the conversation. Try to imagine it’s a business meeting and he is a salesperson with a pitch. Watch everything he does and says but don’t actually be swayed by any of it. 
– stay calm. If you feel yourself slipping, ask for a break or for the conversation to reconvene tomorrow after work.

Also, I’m sorry, but I agree with PP that your pastor is in the wrong for asking you to stay. His case is a truly unique one – he’s the exception to the rule, not the rule. I’m glad you reached out to him so that you now have some sort of support IRL, but I feel very much that you need to leave, at least for a short while.

I want to share a short version of my experience with an abuser, just so you can know to look for a variety of signs… Abusers typically will change their colors to make you think they are improving when really they are just figuring out how to hide better.

When I was 22 I started dating a guy who was 4 years older than me, over a foot taller than me, and 100 lbs heavier than me.

We dated for 1.5 years, during which time he became increasingly emotionally abusive, screaming in my face, calling me horrible names, throwing my phone and other random belongings across the room against the wall, moving very close against me to intimidate me with his body, etc.

I broke up with him at 1.5 years, went radio silent for 3 months after telling him how abusive he was and how I’d finally seen the light and wasn’t going to stand for it anymore.

We wound up getting back together and he was REALLY good – like choir boy good – for about 8 months. Then, instead of outburts, he begane to withdraw emotionally to “get at me.” That way, he could abuse me, but there was nothing concrete I could point at to show him being in the wrong. So any time I did something he didn’t like (like your chair incident) he would “teach me a lesson” by withdrawing instead of throwing a tantrum.

When they realize they can get back at you in ways other than outbursts, it opens up a whole new world for them. They can withhold emotion from you for forEVER, and there’s nothing you can do. If you complain about the distance, then you’re just unhappy and unpleasable – why are you always complaining? Then the gaslighting begins. There’s nothing concrete for you to point at, and so you beging to feel like you’re going insane and start to rely on their version of reality more and more. It’s incredibly easy to fall for if you don’t know what to look for.

I lasted through another 1.5 years (8 months after the choir boy act started to slip) before leaving for good. 

This is your chance to not waste any more of your life with someone who is most likely never ever going to be able to be the loving healthy partner you deserve. 

Post # 69
363 posts
Helper bee

duchessgummybunns :  so much helpful insight. And it matches w my own experience. Once I stopped scrambling to solve things and please my abusive exBF in conversations, it was like he lost his mind. He came to my apt one time, and got livid as per usual, I just sat there. He screamed even more. I was crying, but talked as though I wasn’t. Asked him calmly what was bothering him. He was screaming that he thought we were a team but that I wasn’t a true partner and turned against him like everybody else. No clue what he wa talking about. I Didn’t try to say it wasn’t true and didn’t try to solve it. I just sat there and occasionally asked him more questions. He started yelling, storming up and down the hall, hitting the wall, saying he would’ve beat me long ago if I were a guy. I eventually went to sleep in my room to get away from him.

But, OP should also be careful w changing her reaction (as you say) – when I woke up in the middle of the night, my exBF had a huge kitchen knife (my kitchen knife) that I can only assume he meant to use on me. And there’s nothing I could have done to stop it. It’s much better just to leave as soon as she can realize that she needs to. OP, please tell girlfriends and your family what’s happening and have an escape plan just in case. I did. 

Post # 70
4246 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

To be honest I do not see this as a step in the right direction.  Your husband is all words.  Not action.  Plus like others have said not once did he admit he has a problem or that he is willing to fix it.  He is telling you what you want to hear as his wife and in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  He thinks that will bring you back.

I, like others it sounds like, remain concerned for you.  I know you value your marriage vows and I completely understand that.  The majority of us understand the value you place on your marriage vows.  The issue is not something you can “fight” for though.  This is his battle and his choice.  If he chooses that he values you and his unborn child, he will find help and get help.  If he doesn’t that tells you that he will never get better and you need to kick him out.

Frankly I think you might need some physical separation from him right now too.  Get him out of there so you can really process this on your own.  Give him time to fix himself.  If he comes back and he is still all words words words you have your answer unfortunately.  If he is making a conscious effort to get better, then there is hope.  I do not agree with your pastor either.  Sure he is relating your experience to his alcoholism, but I don’t think he is focusing on the most important part here — your safety as well as your unborn child’s safety.  In his case he CHOSE to get help.  I have my doubts that your husband will do the same….

Post # 72
9988 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

duchessgummybunns :  My abuser did the “good boy” act for about 8 months at a time as well.  They do it so they can regain control.  We mistake it for sincerity and love and start to relax and feel they’ve really changed.  And that’s when they strike again.  The common Cycle of Abuse.  In my opinion and from my experience if a man has that in him it is who he really is.  There’s no cure that I’ve ever seen besides just being lucky enough to get away with your body and soul intact and starting over.  My abuser abused the woman before me and he abused the woman after me.  I wasn’t special, even though I tried everything in the book and had high hopes he would change.

eggshells15 :  I know you think your case is special and different, I felt that way, too.  It’s sad but you’re caught in this trap and you can’t see it.  It may go on for years.  But I will tell you something.  The man I am married to now, and we’ve been together over 5 years and married for almost 4 years, has never once yelled at me or cursed at me or made me feel the least bit afraid of him.  It just is not in him to treat anyone that way, not woman or animal or child.  He is a truly good human being, a strong and loving man.  He is kind and patient with me and with everyone.  Is he perfect?  No, far from it.  But when he gets frustrated or angry about something he never takes it out on anyone else.  That is the key difference.  He handles his anger in a healthy and mature way because he learned healthy skills early on.  I had to learn healthy skills later in life but I learned them before I ever met him.

Your husband right now is digging deep into the manipulative act he so desperately wants you to believe.  But he will make you pay for all of this.  He’s allowing you to think you have some power right now.  But inside he’s seething.  And he will explode again.  My abuser was my Prince Charming for months on end and everything I could have ever wanted him to be.  He cried real tears.  He was romantic and loving and humble.  We went for counseling.  We went to Christian counseling.  He promised, he begged, he did everything to make me believe in him again.  And I fell for it, over and over again.  But, finally, I saw the truth that what he was doing was not out of his control, not at all.  It dawned on me that he could control himself around his male friends and around his employer and co-workers and around our neighbors.  He just strategically chose me as his victim for his own sick stress relief.  And it got much, much worse over the years.  It started out as a wonderful, romantic, fantasy relationship.  He was gorgeous, the man of my dreams.  Until he showed me his true colors.  I was so shocked but didn’t want to believe it. 

Now I know when that ugliness is inside a man it is who he is and it’s the opposite of what you want in a husband.  A husband is supposed to protect you.  Not harm you. 

It took me so long to see the truth.  I finally got away because I realized that one day he would snap again and possibly even accidentally kill me, and I could not let that happen to the mother of my son. 

Post # 73
363 posts
Helper bee

eggshells15 :  please pay special attention to everything that sunfire said. Realize how sad it is that he’s treated you as badly as he has for as long as he has and you are so surprised and pleased that he’s set up counseling on his own. He’s been so bad that you’re excited for crumbs.

“He asked me if I would support him if he went to counseling because he said he wanted to. He provided a list of counselors in the area and said he had called a few places to make sure insurance would cover it. To me, it was honestly a huge step, because he’s never called places before…ended up he has an appointment set up for Friday night”

My ex did that too when he thought I was going to leave him. At first, he just finally admitted he needed counseling. I thought it was an amazing breakthrough. Once, he even kept from blowing up for 3 whole months. But he eventually kept yelling and blowing up at me. When his behavior didn’t change in the long-term and I told him I was leaving, he found a new counselor and begged me to do counseling, set up an appt himself. OP, this is just the cycle of abuse – read up on it more if you can. Emotional and verbal abusers aren’t awful 100% of the time or nobody would ever date them. But why not wait to be w someone who is absolutely never that awful? Counseling w emotional abusers often backfires. Especially when you’re already married to them. I personally have never seen or heard of any evidence that domestically emotional/verbally abusive men can be fully rehabilitated and stop.

Sunfire :  yes. Everything you said.

Post # 74
5845 posts
Bee Keeper

Sunfire :  “My abuser did the “good boy” act for about 8 months at a time as well.  They do it so they can regain control.  We mistake it for sincerity and love and start to relax and feel they’ve really changed.”

This is exactly my fear when reading OP’s latest update. 

Post # 75
942 posts
Busy bee

Can’t offer much, but just wanted to say that my dad is like that too…0 to 60 when things don’t go his way on me and my mom. Now that I live mostly outside it’s my mom who has it worse. He would get mad for every little thing, especially things that he has said once and it didn’t work out (like the chair incident in your case). My mom is quick-tempered herself but puts up with him, he would cuss a lot at her (in front of me too) and she would just keep quiet and take it. The times when she got mad back at him he flipped and gave her the cold shoulder for weeks – he’s always winning all the arguments. I hated the dynamics in my family and I’m afraid it has rubbed some on me (I’m fairly quick tempered too).

Definitely seek anger management counselling…perhaps the stress of you being pregnant is causing him to flip out at every little thing (even though he’s not the one carrying the baby!). Maybe work out a plan that helps everyone to calm down each time he’s feeling out of control? Good luck! 

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