Men Who Rage and The Women Who Love Them – Verbal Abuse,  Part 1 of 2

verbal abuseVerbal Abuse – I see it a lot.

I’ve been seeing a lot of clients lately who are married to men who are funny, witty, charming and loving….most of the time.  But these men also have a darker side.  

They can be threatening and intimidating.  They can fly off the handle and say hurtful, cruel things to their wives. 

When your husband has a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde side, you live in a world of confusion.  

You long for the gentleness that only others see in your husband.  But because you have witnessed his dark side, you cannot fully let your guard down.  You feel more isolated and alone as the years go by.

I worry about you.  I see someone like you in my office every week.  I get it.  

I know you feel disloyal when you talk about your husband’s temper or fits of rage.  

I know you can go days or weeks or even months without a blow up, and so you tell yourself things aren’t so bad.  

I hear how you explain to me how good your life is most of the time.

You tell me what a good provider your husband is and how sweet and generous he can be.  

But I also hear how you cry yourself to sleep on those nights when he exploded over something so innocent you still can’t believe it happened.  

I see you the next morning when you are scared and alone and feel you can’t stay in the marriage another day.

I also know many of you feel guilty because you can rage right along with him.  

You have said hurtful things as well, and your behavior embarrasses you.  

It makes you feel you have no right to point the finger at your husband.

This isn’t going to get any better until you stop minimizing what is happening in your home and make some changes.  

Minimizing and denying verbal abuse is what feeds this cycle.

I have some good news and some bad news for you.  Are you ready?

The good news is you aren’t crazy.  

You are being abused if your husband calls you names, rages in anger or shuts you down with emotional intimidation.

This isn’t normal fighting that all couples experience.  

This is abusive.

The bad news is you have to clean up your side of this mess.  

If you are participating in the raging, you are also being abusive.  

It isn’t ok to meet aggression with aggression.  

Step 1 in Stopping Verbal Abuse

If you can join the crazy train with your husband, your first job is to stop indulging yourself this way.  

It feels good to unleash all your anger on someone.  

It’s a physical release to slam doors, scream names and insults and throw temper tantrums.  

But you absolutely have to stop.

Walk away when things are getting this intense.  

Your husband may escalate but you can refuse to join him.

Step 2 in Stopping Verbal Abuse

The second step is to talk to your spouse when things are calm.  

Explain how these fights are causing you distress.  

Tell him you need for him to control himself and you will do a better job of controlling yourself.  

Ask him to come to counseling with you.  If he refuses, that’s ok.  Come anyway.  

You need to learn how to set appropriate limits on your spouse when he is popping his cork.  

You need to learn how to protect yourself and your marriage.

I promise, if you keep doing nothing, your relationship will suffer.  Possibly to the point you can’t recover.  

Relationships can survive anything except the permanent loss of security and safety.  

Every time you have a fight it damages that sense of security for you.  

You will start to detach from your husband.  

I want you to learn how to stop this before it is too late.  

At Engage With Love, we can help both of you understand just how toxic this dynamic is, and we can help you stop.  

We can show you how to feel safe and cherished with each other again.  

Call us at 972-441-4432 or contact us here.  

You can start feeling better about your relationship as soon as you make the call because you are finally doing something that works.

 

4 thoughts on “Men Who Rage and The Women Who Love Them – Verbal Abuse,  Part 1 of 2

  1. Kim, I’ve been through this kind of thing from the husband’s side. It’s a difficult situation to find yourself in. You know that your wife is hypersensitive (hyperreactive?) and finds it difficult to recover from any marital argument, even those that she initiates. So, on the one hand, you have to try to exercise an unusual level of self-control in avoiding these arguments. But this itself has a problematic consequence. Your wife then senses that you are “walking on eggshells” around her and this can cause a loss of attraction from her side – she might begin to long for someone who is more assertive and dominant. It’s a difficult catch-22 situation that you have to finesse and I expect that most men would fail in what is a losing game. A man who fails will be labelled either abusive or unmasculine or both, even if, with a different woman, he would be considered a loving and good-natured man. Who you marry matters.

    • Hi Mark. You are right, it is a difficult situation and that is why it’s critical that you manage it appropriately so that it doesn’t continue to spiral downward. It’s a toxic dynamic and it’s damaging not only to the marriage but also to any children in the home who listen and learn from your examples and who do doubt unknowingly take these experiences to their own relationships. Walking on eggshells isn’t the answer nor is joining in on the rage. If you’d like to talk through this in more detail, I would encourage you to consider calling the office and setting up a time for a free consultation with one of our coaches. Regards, Kim

  2. I echo you Mark. In following some of the steps I have read, walking away or taking a break from the argument or refusing to show anger, I am demeaned. I am told or seen as weak, or abandoning her (her parents divorced due to an affair when she was younger). I am compared to husbands of her friends and in some cases she’s right in that my strengths are not up to par with what she craves (and deserves). When I’ve walked away she has said things like, “I wish I could be like you and just walk away or not care or pick and choose when to talk.” Too much more to post, but you’re not alone, and I plan to call Kim’s office very soon.

    • Hi Blake, I do hope you will call soon. It’s awful to feel like you’re in a no-win situation. The truth though is that there are things you can do that don’t compromise your dignity and still will help to diffuse or eliminate the hostile situations.

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