I'm sorry that you were. Glad it's over for you now.
No one's ever told me I'm not nice to my wife, except for her. I HAVE been told that she's been mean to me, but I've ignored that. I've asked my own wife lately, "What makes me an emotional abuser?" And she'll reply, "You're just so controlling", and she brings up a time when she went to a city bar with a friend, and that friend's work friends (who were all eight years older than my wife, divorced, and looking for men, according to my wife). A bunch of ridiculous pictures ended up on Facebook, which may not seem like a huge deal, but we have kids, and we're active in church, and here's the thing--I'm not imposing my values on her, we both sort of frown on parents getting drunk in bars until closing time. And pictures on Facebook? Sorry, that's just childish--it was a 35 year old that posted them.
If that seems judgmental, that's another topic, but I promise that my wife and I agree on this. What happened was, she ended up in someone else's car, so she was sort of forced to go along that night. Totally understandable, but whenever she went out with that friend again, I'd be like, "Is it just you two, or are you going out with her work friends"?
That friend of hers is totally cool, and I encourage my wife to go see her, just like I encourage her to see her other friends, because I know she gets lonely as a stay-at-home mom.
So this is the example I've been given the last couple of times I've asked how I'm controlling.
But even this complaint of hers is twofold--it's not just about that night. It seems to be more about my hypocrisy, because earlier in our marriage I wanted to go out with my friends nearly twice a month. I mean, she's right, that was ridiculous, immature behavior for a husband, but I've outgrown that nonsense by now. Even my own family called me out on that, and basically said, "Grow up. You're a father now". I was only 23, 24 years old, but I made a choice to be a man early and I wasn't acting like one. But even when we got to the point where I wanted to see my two closest friends on a monthly or every-other-month basis, I was always accused of "choosing them over her".
Here's what I think is really going on: I will, at times, exhibit abusive behavior (as we all do). And so does she. I think she has an uncanny knack for dwelling on these instances (she has an amazing memory regarding my mistakes), and she's extrapolated those instances out to say, "Here's how my husband is". But what I really think I am is just sort of a crappy husband--a bad listener, doesn't try real hard to serve my wife, etc.
Thanks for the links--they seem exactly what I'm looking for. I was much more worried yesterday about being an abuser than today, because I talked to a couple of people and they don't think I was, and they made some good points. Still going to look into this further, and I'm going to see a counselor. I'm not letting myself off the hook quite yet, because that's exactly what an abuser WOULD do, I think. And thank you for the comments, I'm really glad I stumbled across this forum. I would welcome any other insight.