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post #16 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Thank you all for the replies. I am going to try to answer as much as I can in order.

I remain calm and never throw or bash stuff together just show irritation and talk at a high but not yelling volume. I am working on it, it is difficult but much better, I usually remain calm and talk normal during most issues and when the verbal abuse starts I can only go so long some of the time and get irritated. I see what you mean but if I walked her out and locked the doors I believe she would throw bricks through the windows.

When things get abusive should I just leave the room immediately?

On the next comment, I agree, I let certain behavior go too long and made the mistake of not following through with ultimatums in the past. After about 5 years I started to not put up with a lot of the stuff going on and things did get much better after that point.

I did love her when we got married and still do, she was my first serious girlfriend and we married at 19 years old so my experience was pretty much nothing. The interesting thing is I grew up in a very supportive family, no verbal or physical abuse from anyone male or female, maybe that is one reason why it hurts so much. Some things I would not say to my enemy but here is my wife saying it to me.

BUT, I think this is part of the problem. Her mother was very verbally and lightly physically abusive with her father sometimes and she had other male figures in her family that I have heard her and sisters talk very badly about. Like accusing them of stealing money (that the guy worked for) from the family. This part I did not know until after being married several years.

You may have a point. She grew up in a poor family that lived in a rich city and her mom went way out of her way to buy things for her, eat out at nice restaurants etc.

I agree with the counseling idea.

Relationship Teacher,
Itís interesting the last year or so I have started making up my mind that when issues happen I am not going to let it ruin my day or change my happiness level and it has worked and helped a lot but obviously still working on this habit. A lot I have learned to ignore but there are certain lines that you just donít cross.

One issue is when we are talking about a subject that could turn into a fight. Sometimes I can stay calm through the whole thing and sometimes it goes this wayÖ We talk about it, she gets irritated, I stay calm and cool, she gets more irritated and I try to calmly explain my point of view and she gets mad, yells and some insults, I try to stay calm, she cuts me off when I try to talk or talks over me and will not consider what I am staying, I stay calm but start increasing my voice and become agitated otherwise she will run right over me like a lawnmower.

Conversations are reasonable sometimes and sometimes they go like above.

Mr. Fisty,

That is interesting and I will look that up. I can definitely see a cycle of ups and downs of the flow of things and situations like this.

I have always been raised with a very gentlemanly attitude and always put her first, putting my own needs first will be difficult, although I can feel myself naturally going that way. I am so tired, so tired of walking on glass not knowing what the next trigger is going to be. This is why I thought about getting separated for a while and just live in peace and not worry about it.

I agree and is the main reason why I have made a lot of effort the last many years to remain as calm as I can and a lot of times I do and it helps but many times it does not matter and will just get worse. Either I walk away or I have to stand up for myself. When I say talk loud I donít mean scream. Like you are talking to someone about 15 or so feet from you, or in a car with a window rolled down.

I can handle tone and anger much better than I can handle the verbal abuse. When the verbal abuse or disrespect starts is when I start to show irritation, although it is getting better and sometimes I am able to remain calm, this usually does not stop her reaction but it does help me not get as stressed or end up with a migraine later that night.

What I donít get about the restaurant is it wasnít a real obvious problem at the time, it wasnít totally clear to me what the issue was until after the fact but I knew she became cold and irritated.

This is a totally anonymous forum, no one knows me, so I have no reason to lie... I do not have any idea what so ever why she would feel that I would not keep her safe. I have always stood up for her with other people that gave her a hard time, with issues in previous jobs, against family members, if we travel I make extra effort to make sure we are protected and prepared, for times when I cannot be with her I stress to her personal safety and awareness. I have always worked hard and made good money, thank God. I am making serious plans all the time for our future so that we are financially taken care of. I care about her emotionally and when she is down or depressed.

For most of our marriage she basically has refused to work other than part time some the first year or two. She did had a health issue about 7 years ago and legitimately couldnít do much for a few years. The last 5 years she has worked at home part time on her own schedule in a very relaxed manner.
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post #17 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 10:50 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

It seems like she was very concerned about not eating that particular food. If she got up to tell a waiter before you had, I am guessing she felt you were not doing your job quickly enough, which was, in her mind, to keep her safe from eating that particular food. Just a guess, as I am obviously not in her head.

You did say she eventually apologized. It is just too bad that it took 2-3 days. Lost time.

To better deal with her anger while remaining calm yourself, I would suggest learning about active listening. It is a way of talking to an angry person that calms them down, helps you understand what they are upset about, and helps them be able to eventually listen to *you*.

3 main ways to do this:

*Repeat their words back to them
*Paraphrase what they said
*Ask an open-ended question

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #18 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 10:56 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Originally Posted by Jonny Be Confused View Post
Well, I guess I still felt love for her and still do now. We came a long way from that point. Looking back I should have left when some of these incidents happened. I am a lot bigger than her so I think she thought she could do whatever she wanted and it would bounce off or something but when you have someone even small they can seriously hurt someone that is not fighting back, I did protect myself though which is why I was never stabbed and not hit in the head with a stick, it did fracture my wrist though.

I will heed the advise posted above if it comes to that.
I know a woman who was like your wife. She too was married to a guy who was a lot bigger than she. One day in an argument, she picked up a phone (one of those old land-line phones) and hit him in the head. He fell over dead. She's doing a lot of years in prison.

It's probably true that if she uses her hands, she cannot hurt you much if at all. But smaller people will often use weapons... anything close by that they can grab.

Can she change? She has to want to change. There are things that you can do, like just walk away from her when she starts to yell/argue. Tell her that you will not participate in an angry exchange.

The only reason that I'm not telling you that you need to get away from her asap is that you ways it's been over 10 years since the last time she tried to hurt you physically. But you need to be careful. If she is upset enough, that behavior can come back.

You need to get a counselor because you clearly have no idea how to handle this situation. Leaving is probably your best bet.

You also need to see an attorney, without telling her, to know what your rights are. For example if you move out of your home, is that considered abandonment? What are the criteria for abandonment in your state? You need to find that out.
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post #19 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 11:55 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

You need a lawyer first of all. There is a lot of advice, but see a professional.
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post #20 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 12:12 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

You're a battered husband! I am so sorry. Can you document at least some of what she did?

I wouldn't be worried about abandonment just getting away from her. She's crazy. You will need counselling to help you recover.
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post #21 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 12:25 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Have you read Love Busters by Willard Harley? You can read about what they are on his website, Marriage Builders, and also buy the book there.

Perhaps you and your wife can read it together. When I read some of my own behaviors in it, I was more motivated to work on them, because I realized that I could very well be killing my husband's love for me, and he would be justified in leaving me someday if I kill his love with love busting behaviors. My husband has also been able to identify his love busting behaviors that have pushed me away over the years, and he is he is working on himself too.

If your wife sees herself on paper, and realizes that her behaviors are not going unnoticed, and are very serious, causing you to stop loving her someday, she might be motivated to get help to change.
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post #22 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 07:51 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Originally Posted by Relationship Teacher View Post
Emotional abuse may only be received, not given (theoretical statement).

It really comes down to whether or not you want to be happy. When you desire happiness, you no longer let your attention be dominated by negativity. In time, you may learn to no longer accept verbal abuse as negative. If my partner says anything remotely "negative" it is because she is suffering. Instead of me feeling victimized, I see the cause of it and can be empathetic. By not receiving negativity, it disallows individuals to remain in a negative emotional state. Humans function by attempting to match energies. The giver of negativity will expect the negative reception, meaning you will match her energy. If you don't receive negativity, she will be forced to match you.
While this is true in theory, happiness also involves surrounding yourself with people who bring you joy, not suck it from you.

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post #23 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 07:54 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife


Are you familiar with the Karpman Drama Triangle?

Part of your problem is that you are stuck in it...with her. Find your way to the center to see things more clearly.

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post #24 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 10:01 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Jon, the behaviors you describe -- i.e., verbal and physical abuse, controlling behavior, easily triggered temper tantrums, drama seeking, lack of impulse control, low empathy, and always being "The Victim" -- are classic warning signs for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Importantly, I'm not suggesting your W has full-blown BPD but, rather, that she may exhibit moderate to strong traits of it.

I caution that BPD is not something a person "has" or "doesn't have." Instead, it is a "spectrum" disorder, which means every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all BPD traits to some degree (albeit at a low level if the person is healthy). At issue, then, is not whether your W exhibits BPD traits. Of course she does. We all do.

Rather, at issue is whether she exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., is on the upper end of the BPD spectrum). Not having met her, I cannot answer that question. I nonetheless believe you can spot any strong BPD warning signs that are present if you take a little time to learn which behaviors are on the list. They are not difficult to spot because there is nothing subtle about behaviors such as always being "The Victim," lack of impulse control, and temper tantrums.

Originally Posted by Jonny Be Confused View Post
Tried to stab me once, tried to run a car into another car head on once, tried to hit me in the head with a stick once, Threw large items that could seriously hurt someone several times, grab a gun in a threatening manner once....
Intense, inappropriate anger is one of the nine defining traits for BPD. If your W is a BPDer (i.e., has strong BPD traits), she carries enormous anger inside from early childhood. You therefore don't have to do a thing to CREATE the anger. Rather, you only have to do or say some minor thing that TRIGGERS a release of the anger that is already there.

This is why a BPDer can burst into a rage in only ten seconds. Moreover, BPDers have very weak control over their emotions. Indeed, the key defining characteristic of BPD is the inability to regulate one's own emotions because a BPDer's emotional development typically is frozen at age 3 or 4. As @karole stated, your W "like a toddler having tantrums" if she has strong BPD traits.

Because BPDers have little control over their emotions, the physical abuse of a spouse or partner has been found to be strongly associated with BPD. One of the first studies showing that link is a 1993 hospital study of spousal batterers. It found that nearly all of them have a personality disorder and half of them have BPD. See Roger Melton's summary of that study at 50% of Batterers are BPDers. Similarly, a 2008 study and a 2012 study find a strong association between violence and BPD.

We went on a dream vacation to a nice resort in the Bahamas and had a great time overall but about three days were terrible.
Likewise, my BPDer exW would sabotage several days of our most wonderful vacations. The reason is that, although BPDers crave intimacy just like nearly every adult does, they cannot tolerate it for very long because they quickly start to feel "controlled" and suffocated by your strong personality. Because BPDers have a weak, fragile sense of who they are, they quickly start to feel like they are losing themselves into the strong personalities of their partners.

The result is that it is common for BPDers to start the very WORST fights -- to push you away so as to give them breathing space -- immediately after the very BEST of times. My BPDer exW, for example, typically would start a fight -- over absolutely nothings at all -- right after a great weekend or intimate evening or in the middle of a great vacation.

She would proceed to tell me that I am a terrible husband, stupid, worthless, embarrassing to her.
If she is a BPDer (i.e., has strong BPD traits), this devaluation behavior is to be expected. Because BPDers are emotionally unstable, they will flip -- in only ten seconds -- between Jekyll (adoring you) and Hyde (devaluing, or even hating, you). As is true for very young children, BPDers don't see the middle ground between those polar extremes because they are too emotionally immature to handle ambiguities and strong conflicting feelings toward their loved ones. The resulting behavior is called "black-white thinking," which I describe at one of the links provided below.

[Marriage counseling] is something I am planning on suggesting.
If your W's BPD traits are at a low to moderate level, MC may prove helpful. If they are at a strong level, however, MC likely will be a total waste of time. Although many MCs are excellent at teaching simple communication skills, a BPDer's issues go far beyond the lack of such skills. When BPD traits are strong and persistent, what is needed is several years (at least) of intensive individual therapy to teach her the emotional skills she had no opportunity to learn in childhood. But, sadly, it is rare for a BPDer to be willing to work hard in such a therapy program.

What can someone do to fix this kind of problem or does it get to a point to where there is nothing that can fix it?
If she has strong and persistent BPD traits, she is the only person who can address it by learning how to manage those traits. Because that learning process is strictly an "inside job," there is nothing you can do to help her if she is not strongly self-motivated to work hard in therapy.

I therefore suggest you take a quick look at my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs to see if most sound very familiar. If so, I would suggest you also read my more detailed description of them at my posts in Rebel's Thread. If that description rings many bells, I would be glad to join the other respondents in discussing them with you.

I also would suggest you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two all by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you're dealing with. Importantly, this should be a psychologist who has never treated or seen your W. That way, you are assured he is ethically bound to protect only YOUR best interests, not hers.

Significantly, learning to spot these warning signs will NOT enable you to diagnose your exGF's issues. Only a professional can do that. Yet, like learning warning signs for stroke and heart attack, learning those for BPD may help you avoid prolonging a very painful situation. Take care, Jon.
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post #25 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 10:21 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Uptown got to this before I did (as I continue projecting my experience onto others ) She might be a BPD person and as such nothing you can do is going to "fix" it. YOU decide to deal with it or not. There is no good choice. Either path will require a lot to protect your emotional health. Also, while BPD might be an explanation it is not an excuse. I echo the "see a professional" advise.
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post #26 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 06:14 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Three things. First, read the book No More Mr Nice Guy. You need to re-educate yourself about what normal behavior (on your part) looks like. PLEASE read it; you will be amazed.

Second, learn to control yourself. You admit that you escalate. So STOP. You KNOW what's coming if you stand up to her and try to out-argue her. So stop interacting. You've got the brains to do this. Just stop.

Third, WHEN she raises her voice, you need to change the dynamics. How? By refusing to participate. Avoiding abuse 101: If you raise your voice at me, I will leave the room for 20 minutes; we'll try to discuss this later when we can do it without raising voices. And then LEAVE THE ROOM. If she tries to pick up where she left off when you return, turn right back around and leave for an hour. If she does it again, leave the house and go for a walk or a drive. If she does it again, go stay somewhere else for the night. If she does it again the next day, go stay somewhere else for TWO nights. Then three. Then four. Show her that you will no longer participate in blame-throwing, voice-raising, nonproductive spats - when she is ready to talk to you as a civilized person, you will be more than happy to do so; until then, you will not be participating with her, period. TEACH her how to treat you.

And I echo the responses to look into the signs of BPD.
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post #27 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 05:15 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

If your not happy move on. At least there's no kids involved. Kids really complicate things.
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post #28 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 06:24 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

OP... Are you still here? You've gotten some great advice... Just wondering if you're following any of it.
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post #29 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 07:00 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Fortunately, since you have no kids, this is simple. Divorce her.

Always remember the LD motto: "Sex isn't important!!!"
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post #30 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 01:56 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

[QUOTE=Jonny Be Confused;14678241]Well, I guess I still felt love for her and still do now. We came a long way from that point. Looking back I should have left when some of these incidents happened. I am a lot bigger than her so I think she thought she could do whatever she wanted and it would bounce off or something but when you have someone even small they can seriously hurt someone that is not fighting back, I did protect myself though which is why I was never stabbed and not hit in the head with a stick, it did fracture my wrist though.

I will heed the advise posted above if it comes to that.[/QUOTE

You are joking,right?
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