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Living With An Emotional Abuser

I have lived with my emotionally abusive spouse William, for the past 18 years.  Like many others I stay because of financial commitments, one son still living at home, my pet dogs and my age.  Things became so bad a little while ago, that I told him I could not see us staying together if he did not seek help for his outbursts of rage.  To give him his due, he did get himself a course of psychotherapy - but little has changed, perhaps only the length of time between explosions.

Thank goodness I have my son, we support and defend each other at such times, I also have other family members not too far away who are aware of how he can be.  The trouble is that living with somebody like this changes your own personality in a negative way.   I had a miserable weekend, with us having an argument on Sunday night, and hostile communication between us all day on Monday.  I still feel so anti-him today,  I just cannot seem to shrug it off at the moment, even though I did phone my sister and off-load this morning. 

I think most people would regard an abusive marriage as one where there is physical violence, unfortunately that is not true.  A while ago I began writing it all down, including my feelings of anger and distress, it is now turning into a book, which in itself is a form of therapy for me. 

nino34 nino34 56-60, F 13 Responses May 4, 2010

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my boyfriend of 6 yearsm abused me physically. He blames me for it that I irritated him so much that he had to do this. I only wanted his emotional support cos i was recently diagnosed with a life threatening disease. He abused me in the lowest phase of my life.

It all just seems so petty when you try to explain to an outsider about what is going on and how you feel - I am not even sure the abusers even knowingly do this - its just who they are....



It is so exhausting to scream enlessly in a vacuum....

I'm one of them......

Women continue to live with emotional abusive partner for fear of social, emotional and financial reasons. I too continue to do so,.. even though the thought comes to the mind that why I shoould realize this and still continue to suffer till the rest of my life. Will I never be free?

Well, as a male, I also live with an abuser. Yes,she is very cruel with her words... She says the cruelest things about me and my kids ( previous marriage). She blames me for her for her feelings, but never once takes accountability...she says she apologizes, but I have not once heard her say sorry. So I too am at the end of my rope...be strong do what you need to for yourself, life is too short.

Thank you for taking the time to talk about your situation, as obviously emotional abuse is not exclusively restricted to men towards women. I hope that by talking about our personal circumstances, we may not only find strength for ourselves, but hopefully obtain a better understanding of our 'fractured' partners/spouses.

I have been married to my second husband for just about ten years! He has become financially controlling and at times physically to my daughter (his step daughter) and I. He acts angry towards us and then in a great mood with his family and friends. He threatens now to take my daughter off of his car and health insurance. Stopped paying for her college. He puts me down in front of my youngest whom I have only visitation rights with because I moved 3 hours away 12 years ago to be with my now husband, my kids noticed that he is way out of control especially when he claims he can do whatever he wants it is his home too. He said if we all left he is not afraid of being alone. I've slept on the couch since November of '07 because he knows I was sexually abused as a child for years but he seems not to care when he talks dirty to me. I am afraid to leave. I have PTSD/ anxiety and depression issues too. I only feel the strongest when he pushes me to get angry. I'm pathetic right now in front of my kids because I stay for now. He is so controlling but I do not have money. Dont know what to do. Help!

I am sorry that things are so desperate for you at this moment. Since writing my original article the tables have turned drastically for me. I sleep separately from him,have learned to stand up for myself, and have made sure that all our friends and work colleagues know what he is really like. That has not been so hard to do either because emotional bullys usually give themselves away anyway. I am now so much happier because I feel I am more in control. He may not change, but I have, and I am much more empowered as a consequence. I have learnt to meditate and become much more spiritual, this has led me to become calmer. Now if he "Goes off on one", I am better able to tell him that his behaviour is wrong and I will not accept it; rather than screaming and shouting back at him, which I used to do. This has even led to him apologising. Unfortunately, however the old behaviour does eventually creep back again. Try to understand that it is HIM who has the problem, not you. I wish you luck whatever you eventually decide to do.

I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 18 YEARS. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT MY HUSBAND LOVES ME AND OUR THREE CHILDREN, BUT LOVE DOESNT FIX EVERYTHING.

FOR THE BIGGEST PART OF OUR MARRIAGE HE WAS EMOTIONALLY AND VERBALLY ABUSIVE. AND THEN THERE WERE MANY TIMES THAT HE WAS PHYSICALLY ABUSIVE. WE HAVE THREE BEAUTIFULL SONS(17,13 & 11). OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS HE HASNT BEEN AS BAD, BUT THERE WERE STILL ISSUES. THEN THE LAST YEAR HE BECAME VERY ILL AND BATTLED THYROID CANCER. HE WAS DOING MUCH BETTER, BUT AN EPISODE A MONTH AGO WHERE HE LOST HIS TEMPER AND PUSHED MY SON CAUSED ME TO KICK HIM OUT OF THE HOUSE. HE APPOLOGIZED AND SAID HE HAS BEEN TRYING TO DO BETTER. THEN HE OFFERED TO CHECK INTO A BEHAVIOR HEALTH HOSPITAL IF WE WOULD GIVE HIM ONE MORE CHANCE. THE CHILDREN AND I AGREED TO GIVE HIM ONE MORE CHANCE, AND I TRIED, BUT I JUST COULDNT MAKE MYSELF WARM UP TO HIM AND ALL I THOUGHT ABOUT WAS A DIVORCE.

YESTERDAY I FILED FOR A DIVORCE. I JUST HOPE I AM DOING THE RIGHT THING. MY QUESTIONS IS: HE IS FINALLY TRYING TO CHANGE AND HE LOVES ALL OF US, BUT AM I BEING SELFISH? I FEEL LIKE SO MUCH DAMAGE WAS DONE FOR SO LONG THAT AFTER 18 YEARS, IT JUST A LITTLE TO LATE.

Uh....so what do you need here....just a friend or some advice. My advice is to kick his *** out or leave yourself. You won't live high on the hog, but you will survive and have a chance to be happy. You stay, you know what to expect.These things almost always escalate. The more he does, the more he thinks he can get away with.



Do your self a favor....find someone who loves you for being you and leave this dirtball in the dust.!

I am in a similar situation. The funny thing about the emotional abuse is that it sort of creeps up on you, you don't realize what is happening until it reaches a critical stage and then it is too late undo all of the damage that is already been done to you. I spend weeks with stony silence and then he will just explode with rage for no reason at all. Today his rage was over my offer to make lunch....really? I apparently enraged him by asking what he would like too many times because he would not answer me...it is all about control, control over the most minute things..like me cooking lunch??? Really! I feel your pain. I want to leave but we are self employed and the economy has taken a huge toll on our business. Most of our assets are in real estate and we can't even sell right now and I feel trapped. How I crave for normal relationships with people, relationships that involve mutual decisions and meeting my emotional & physical needs as well. Emotional abuse is almost worse than physical because people can see bruises, they emphasize with that, they understand that is abuse but the emotional stuff is invisible, sometimes you are not even sure if it happened. (((HUGS))) to all of my sisters in this situation.

I have been married to an emotional abuser for almost 30 years. After finally getting up the courage to ask for a separation a few years ago, he stopped drinking, and stopped abusing for a couple of years. After the drinking started back up, the abuse started to begin again, but this time, mainly against my son, who's now 19. He seems to have gotten the message that it's not OK with me, but has focused his sights on our son. He is now 19, not working or going to school, and we have recently found out that he is burning himself. My husband thinks that we just need to "get tougher'. I am just about ready to leave. My husband is good to me now, but it breaks my heart to see how he treats his son, not to mention how wearing it is to be married to a depressive alcoholic. Please, anyone in this kind of situation, GET OUT!!! The more years that go by the harder it is, and you're just robbing yourself of happiness. I'm trying to get up the courage to take the first step. Hopefully very soon.

it's really encouraging to read and hear from other women in a similar situation as mine. i'm trying to find inner strength to live through this, i want to know what the right thing is, how to still be whole/complete in this marriage. my husbands verbal abuse is eroding my sense of self worth, my confidence, my identity. it saddens me that i might be 'less' of a person at the end of this.

depression is hard to resist. trying to keep active with hobbies, trying to keep 'alive', to feel 'alive' still.



i also find it really sad that my husband is missing out on the opportunity to have a wife who can support him, believe in him, love on him etc. because the more he abuses me the more i resent him inside. it is such a waste and a shame to miss out on the love of a good woman.

I am in an emotionally abusive marriage also, already feel like giving up.. but have been holding on because he is deployed and i am pregnant... want to at least TRY counseling. But I doubt I will love him again, after all he is putting me through, especially being pregnant.. I don't know if it's worth trying... Just don't know when I should leave.

I am in an emotionally abusive marriage also, already feel like giving up.. but have been holding on because he is deployed and i am pregnant... want to at least TRY counseling. But I doubt I will love him again, after all he is putting me through, especially being pregnant.. I don't know if it's worth trying... Just don't know when I should leave.