Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

There doesn't seem to be a lot of threads on verbally abusive wife's and not a lot of info online.

This was interesting and discouraging to read
Your Verbally Abusive Wife, What Can You Do? - HealthyPlace

I have not been on the forum long but have read some good stuff, especially about the fitness testing.

So I am curious what you all have to say about dealing with a verbally abusive wife.

In my situation about half the time my wife is very cold natured and abrupt, abrasive about things. If we are talking about something that we need to decide on and she wants to do one thing and I want to do another I can try to explain why it is a good idea to do one thing and about 75% of the time she will start to get very cold and abrasive pushing what she wants to do and won't give me a chance to even explain my perspective. I think this is a manipulation tactic and I find it very irritating.

We do have plenty of times were we get along and enjoy being around each other but it seems like those times are getting fewer and farther away. This has been going on for many years.

The main part I am having a hard time dealing with is the attacks and insults she will dish out any time we are in an argument or debate that she is losing. Some times it is light and some times very brutal, insulting my mother that has past away brutal.

For example, I work a side job and my employer gave me a gift card for Christmas. I told them thank you very much. My wife bought a gift card for them that has been sitting in a drawer for weeks, I found it and asked what it was for, she said to give a gift back to the side employer. I said it has been several weeks so I would be embarrassed to give it to them now (Keep in mind I work several hours through the year for free for them) since so much time has passed.

(I took the test by Gary Chapman and the one where you value kind words and affection where the highest, of course )

This devolved into a argument with me stating it was stupid to give the gift so long after the fact to her insulting me in every way possible, I work my butt off constantly to try and provide a better future for us (no kids yet), from insulting me that I am trying to build a business and it is working out great (seriously), to saying I can't provide financially which I do very well, on to insulting my parents and problems that she unfortunately heard about, to insulting my passed away mother. Lines were crossed that should never be crossed. As well as some other things I am leaving out that are hurtful. This type of scenario happens about once a 1/4, but lesser intensity things go on all the time, weekly or bi-weekly.

What scares me is today I am very calm and at peace on once side and thinking of different options like separation or divorce. It is such a shame to throw away 18 years of marriage but 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?

I do not want to get divorced but I also do not want to be 60 years old with a wife that verbally abuses me every time she doesn't get her way or is just in a bad mood.

I am kind of liking the option of getting separated for 3-6 months, just so tired of dealing with constant stress and issues like the one mentioned above I think it would be a nice break to just not have to deal with this stuff all the time, usually about every week or two similar things come up in varying degrees.

When I have brought it up in the past she usually makes suggestions that she knows won't fly like me staying with my dad that doesn't have internet access and she knows good and well that wont work since I work from home many days and deal with our business online. I know she would also be very embarrassed for her friends and family to know we are separated which is the main reason I have not pursued it more in the past when things like this happen.
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post #2 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 11:44 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Same thing about dealing with verbally abusive husbands, detach and protect yourself first. Btw, your own emotional health should come first before her self-image and what she wants to project towards others. You have to learn to prioritize yourself and what in the end will make you fulfilled and content, not her.

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post #3 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 11:47 AM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

I knew this guy who played the stock market, his theory was that when times were bad he would invest more money into stocks and wait for the market to go back up and some how it worked for him, in a conversation i had with him several years ago, i asked if he ever read reports and articles about why a particular company stock was hurting and he basically said he just listened to the Bloomberg or like to get his news...so when a particular stock was hurting he just brought more of it and in the end he lost it all on one stock...Enron. I guess in a round about way you can try to reinvest in a marriage but if you don't think that management team will change then you are better off dumping it and reinvesting in yourself .
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post #4 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 02:44 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Originally Posted by Jonny Be Confused View Post
In my situation about half the time my wife is very cold natured and abrupt, abrasive about things. If we are talking about something that we need to decide on and she wants to do one thing and I want to do another I can try to explain why it is a good idea to do one thing and about 75% of the time she will start to get very cold and abrasive pushing what she wants to do and won't give me a chance to even explain my perspective. I think this is a manipulation tactic and I find it very irritating.

We do have plenty of times were we get along and enjoy being around each other but it seems like those times are getting fewer and farther away. This has been going on for many years.

The main part I am having a hard time dealing with is the attacks and insults she will dish out any time we are in an argument or debate that she is losing. Some times it is light and some times very brutal, insulting my mother that has past away brutal...

When I have brought it up in the past she usually makes suggestions that she knows won't fly like me staying with my dad that doesn't have internet access and she knows good and well that wont work since I work from home many days and deal with our business online. I know she would also be very embarrassed for her friends and family to know we are separated which is the main reason I have not pursued it more in the past when things like this happen.
Sorry you're here, especially for this. Hopefully we can help you out a bit. First, you shouldn't leave the home in a separation; you should make her.

What do you normally say / do when she insults you / your dead mother or otherwise gets verbally abusive? Does she get physical?

Do you hear the people sing / Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people / Who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth / There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end / And the sun will rise...
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post #5 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 02:50 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

How about some marriage counseling so the therapist can help your wife see how destructive her verbal abuse is? She may actually be able to learn some new communication skills and change the way she treats you.

If she refuses to go, then you have some difficult decisions to make.

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post #6 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Kivlor,
That's an interesting perspective about me not leaving, does this fall into the standing up for yourself mentality?

One of my biggest problems is when things get like this I will get mad and talk loud, not yelling but I will try to debate the subject with obvious irritation. One thing I am working on and it is difficult is not to get visually upset when these things happen but I am trying. I never go crazy screaming or throwing things, physically I stay sedentary and just talk loud, like "IF WE DO THIS THEN THIS WILL HAPPEN AND WILL BE MUCH WORSE" I usually remain calm at first for a good part of these issues and then just get irritated and mad at how its going down and how I am being treated and speak with a loud non yelling tone, maybe excitable is a good word?.

She does not get physical anymore but did pretty bad the first 5 years or so of marriage. 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 but I do not think she would have used it. I have never hurt or hit her other than shoving her away from me after severely scratching my neck one time when we were first married, these actions were in response to arguments and her getting mad and throwing a fit nothing like one of us cheating or doing something really major that you might think would instigate this behavior. Thank God she does not get physical anymore, I made it very clear before when it happened the last time that I would not tolerate anything that would put me at harm physically.

The verbal abuse has been going on since we were dating 19 or so years ago.

Here is another example. 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. What started it was she has a food allergy, we went to one of the restaurants that cook on a open grill in front of the table. She asked me to make sure they know she is allergic to a certain food item. I said ok, the waiter was talking to everyone explaining how they do the meal, I let her know I would be certain to let the cook know when he comes out about the allergy so he would make sure to cook the allergen food last and not first, seems logical right? But she got mad and stood up and told the waiter who did not take food orders anyways instead of letting me take care of it. I tried to explain that I was going to tell the cook as soon as he came out because it would be fresh on his mind and we can make sure he is careful since we are watching him cook the food. It wasn't like we went back and forth about who to tell and when just a few words during normal conversation she said tell the waiter and I said it would be better to tell the cook and then boom.

So the entire dinner she gave me the cold shoulder, never made a big deal about it in front of my family or other guests with us but had an obvious attitude. So the next two days she acted rude, abrasive and cold to me, mostly in a passive aggressive manner but it is easy to tell there is a problem and then when we were in private like the room it would get rough, I would bring it up asking what's wrong in a normal fashion and she would proceed to tell me that I am a terrible husband, stupid, worthless, embarrassing to her, blahblahblah. During these times I do not apologize, we had issues like this for a few days and then she apologized and the vacation got back on track. Once things went south in our private conversations I showed irritation and made comments that I would like to enjoy the vacation and not fight or have any problems I.


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Originally Posted by happy as a clam View Post
How about some marriage counseling so the therapist can help your wife see how destructive her verbal abuse is? She may actually be able to learn some new communication skills and change the way she treats you.

If she refuses to go, then you have some difficult decisions to make.
That is something I am planning on suggesting, I don't know if she will. In the past a few times I have said we needed to go to counseling and she would change her attitude pretty quick, I think she knows how she is acting is not right and what a counselor would say.

I am not saying it is all her fault though, I have my problems too but I have made a lot of effort to live peacefully and not fight or have issues all the time. I work hard and provide more than she needs, she does not have to work full time.

Last edited by Jonny Be Confused; 01-15-2016 at 03:14 PM.
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post #7 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 03:38 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Originally Posted by Jonny Be Confused View Post
She does not get physical anymore but did pretty bad the first 5 years or so of marriage. 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 but I do not think she would have used it. I have never hurt or hit her other than shoving her away from me after severely scratching my neck one time when we were first married, these actions were in response to arguments and her getting mad and throwing a fit nothing like one of us cheating or doing something really major that you might think would instigate this behavior. Thank God she does not get physical anymore...
Holy cats... Why did you stay with such an unstable person?


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post #8 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 03:43 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Holy cats... Why did you stay with such an unstable person?
Seriously!

OP be careful when it comes to leaving this woman (which you should) violent people like that can get worse when they feel their control leaving. Yes, she's not physical now but you know she can go there and actually leaving could result in even worse abuse.

Tell people who can support you, have people there when you or her move out, even call the police to be there if you have no one else and this would be the time I would suggest a VAR, to make sure she doesn't say you did anything you didn't.

Get all your stuff together, money and important papers, and call a lawyer about who should leave and how it should be done to protect you best.
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post #9 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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.
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post #10 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 04:12 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Kivlor,
That's an interesting perspective about me not leaving, does this fall into the standing up for yourself mentality?
No, some jurisdictions consider leaving abandonment, and in a Divorce it could hurt you. You should know your local laws before moving out, so I always start with: Don't, make them instead.

Quote:
One of my biggest problems is when things get like this I will get mad and talk loud, not yelling but I will try to debate the subject with obvious irritation. One thing I am working on and it is difficult is not to get visually upset when these things happen but I am trying. I never go crazy screaming or throwing things, physically I stay sedentary and just talk loud, like "IF WE DO THIS THEN THIS WILL HAPPEN AND WILL BE MUCH WORSE" I usually remain calm at first for a good part of these issues and then just get irritated and mad at how its going down and how I am being treated and speak with a loud non yelling tone, maybe excitable is a good word?.
Work on that some more. You're going in the right direction. Personally, I'm a fan of taking someone by the hand, walking them out the door, and saying "You're not going to speak to me (or about my mom) like this. Come in when you're ready to treat me like a person and apologize". Then lock the door. Politely and firmly, no yelling or screaming or crying.

Quote:
She does not get physical anymore but did pretty bad the first 5 years or so of marriage. 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 but I do not think she would have used it. I have never hurt or hit her other than shoving her away from me after severely scratching my neck one time when we were first married, these actions were in response to arguments and her getting mad and throwing a fit nothing like one of us cheating or doing something really major that you might think would instigate this behavior. Thank God she does not get physical anymore, I made it very clear before when it happened the last time that I would not tolerate anything that would put me at harm physically.
Wow. Just, wow. Personally, I think the section in bold is part of the problem. I'd have knocked her out cold. Violence begets violence, and women shouldn't be immune. It's too late now though.

At least she's not physical anymore. Do you mind telling me, why did you stay with someone who tried to stab you?

Quote:
The verbal abuse has been going on since we were dating 19 or so years ago.
I thought as much. It will continue until she understands that this is unacceptable behavior. What convinced you to marry your wife, someone who was physically and verbally abusive to you?

Did you grow up with women who treated you like this? (Ie mom, aunts, cousins, etc?)

You both should get into counseling.

Do you hear the people sing / Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people / Who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth / There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end / And the sun will rise...
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post #11 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 04:39 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Your wife sounds like a toddler having tantrums. Do her parents treat her like a princess and she is used to getting her way about everything? It sure sounds like it.

This is what I would do in your situation: Print off divorce papers on-line and fill them out. Hand a copy to her. Then you tell her that she has ONE chance to work on the marriage, and by that you mean that she starts individual counseling for her anger and marriage counseling with you to work on your communication skills. If she refuses either, then tell her you will be filing the divorce petition the very next day - AND THEN DO IT!!

If she doesn't agree to your terms, she doesn't value you or your marriage, so you know where you stand and what you have to do.
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post #12 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 05:01 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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Your wife sounds like a toddler having tantrums. Do her parents treat her like a princess and she is used to getting her way about everything? It sure sounds like it.

This is what I would do in your situation: Print off divorce papers on-line and fill them out. Hand a copy to her. Then you tell her that she has ONE chance to work on the marriage, and by that you mean that she starts individual counseling for her anger and marriage counseling with you to work on your communication skills. If she refuses either, then tell her you will be filing the divorce petition the very next day - AND THEN DO IT!!

If she doesn't agree to your terms, she doesn't value you or your marriage, so you know where you stand and what you have to do.
That may have been the right thing 15 years ago. He's let it go this long, I'd say it's worth his time to get counseling for both of them first.

Do you hear the people sing / Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people / Who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth / There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end / And the sun will rise...
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post #13 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 05:16 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

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So I am curious what you all have to say about dealing with a verbally abusive wife.
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.
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post #14 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 06:00 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Buddy, seriously, whether it is through arguments or not, having self control is a sign of mental and emotional maturity. Lack of impulse control is a major problem.

Btw, look for resources to help you leave someone that highly unstable since she never worked on her issues, her behavior is still there, lying beneath the surface waiting for a trigger to set her off again.

You should look up the cycle of abuse and realize that you are a victim and do not be ashamed. You were manipulated and her actions cause or help further reinforce your response to her in unhealthy manners.

One will stay a victim due to one's own mental traps such as you prioritizing her over yourself and her wants.

It should be your own well-being over others.

Please do some research on cycle of abuse again. There is a reason why it is called a cycle and why you are constantly in that position to be abused.

The goal is never the marriage, but your safety and mental health.

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post #15 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 07:06 PM
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Re: Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Be Confused View Post
One of my biggest problems is when things get like this I will get mad and talk loud, not yelling but I will try to debate the subject with obvious irritation. One thing I am working on and it is difficult is not to get visually upset when these things happen but I am trying. I never go crazy screaming or throwing things, physically I stay sedentary and just talk loud, like "IF WE DO THIS THEN THIS WILL HAPPEN AND WILL BE MUCH WORSE" I usually remain calm at first for a good part of these issues and then just get irritated and mad at how its going down and how I am being treated and speak with a loud non yelling tone, maybe excitable is a good word?.
Any emotional reaction like this is likely to escalate the conflict. Try to remain calm.

Instead of defending yourself or trying to reason with her, listen to what she is saying. Try to hear what is bothering her, and not just her tone of voice or her angry words.

Quote:
She does not get physical anymore but did pretty bad the first 5 years or so of marriage. 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 but I do not think she would have used it. I have never hurt or hit her other than shoving her away from me after severely scratching my neck one time when we were first married, these actions were in response to arguments and her getting mad and throwing a fit nothing like one of us cheating or doing something really major that you might think would instigate this behavior. Thank God she does not get physical anymore, I made it very clear before when it happened the last time that I would not tolerate anything that would put me at harm physically.
I can certainly see this being a dealbreaker. I am glad it is in the past.

Quote:
Here is another example. 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. What started it was she has a food allergy, we went to one of the restaurants that cook on a open grill in front of the table. She asked me to make sure they know she is allergic to a certain food item. I said ok, the waiter was talking to everyone explaining how they do the meal, I let her know I would be certain to let the cook know when he comes out about the allergy so he would make sure to cook the allergen food last and not first, seems logical right? But she got mad and stood up and told the waiter who did not take food orders anyways instead of letting me take care of it. I tried to explain that I was going to tell the cook as soon as he came out because it would be fresh on his mind and we can make sure he is careful since we are watching him cook the food. It wasn't like we went back and forth about who to tell and when just a few words during normal conversation she said tell the waiter and I said it would be better to tell the cook and then boom.
She did not trust you to keep her safe. She felt she had to do it herself.

Why would she feel that way about you? Does she feel you have disappointed her in that way many times in the past?

Quote:
So the entire dinner she gave me the cold shoulder, never made a big deal about it in front of my family or other guests with us but had an obvious attitude. So the next two days she acted rude, abrasive and cold to me, mostly in a passive aggressive manner but it is easy to tell there is a problem and then when we were in private like the room it would get rough, I would bring it up asking what's wrong in a normal fashion and she would proceed to tell me that I am a terrible husband, stupid, worthless, embarrassing to her, blahblahblah. During these times I do not apologize, we had issues like this for a few days and then she apologized and the vacation got back on track. Once things went south in our private conversations I showed irritation and made comments that I would like to enjoy the vacation and not fight or have any problems
I think using active listening would be helpful. Basically you just repeat her words back to her, or paraphrase, or ask her an open-ended question.

"Wife, it really upset you that I did not talk to the waiter right away about your shellfish concerns. You felt you could not trust me to keep you safe? You had to do it yourself?"

"I can see why that would upset you. You were counting on me, and I disappointed you. How do you think we could handle something like this better the next time?"

Quote:
That is something I am planning on suggesting, I don't know if she will. In the past a few times I have said we needed to go to counseling and she would change her attitude pretty quick, I think she knows how she is acting is not right and what a counselor would say.

I am not saying it is all her fault though, I have my problems too but I have made a lot of effort to live peacefully and not fight or have issues all the time. I work hard and provide more than she needs, she does not have to work full time.
Does she work at all? Could she start?

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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