Abusive Behavior – Part 2 of 2 – Men Who Rage, Women Who Love Them

Abusive Behavior(Read Part 1, here.)

Are you the husband who rages at his wife?  

Do you yell and fly off the handle when you are stressed?  

Do you curse at your family and call them names?

If you are, I’m worried about you, because I can see the future.  

Years of working with women like your wife have shown me the cycle of what happens almost every single time.  

It usually ends with you being served divorce papers, or your wife shutting down and leaving the marriage physically or emotionally.  

What worries me is that you are most likely justifying your abusive behavior.  

Either because you know your wife can ‘give as good as she gets,’ or because you aren’t nearly as loud or angry or mean as one of your parents, so you tell yourself you are doing ok.  

I really hope you are listening to me now because it is NOT ok.  

I’m writing this because I’m so tired of seeing the damage this kind of anger is doing to families.  I promise you this isn’t going to end well for you.  I can only hope you are really listening to me.  

And here’s the thing: if you are like most of the men I see, you really aren’t a bad guy.  You probably really have turned down all the anger from what you grew up experiencing, and so it seems more acceptable to you.  

But deep down, I know you feel something isn’t right.  

You may feel guilty about the last fight for a day, but then you begin to minimize the damage.  

After all, today everyone seems to have gotten over it, so it must not be too bad.  Your hurtful words and intimidation are leaving deep emotional scars that unfortunately for you aren’t visible.

One woman recently told me she wished her husband actually physically hit her instead of raging because then there would be proof of his abusive behavior.  

There would be no way to spin his way out of it either.  

And she could see the marks and know without a doubt that she was experiencing abuse and it wasn’t all in her head.

You may believe you are doing ok, but if your spouse is intimidated, you are in trouble. 

Your marriage is in trouble.  

Marriages can survive anything except the loss of safety and security.  

If your spouse feels intimidated, she feels unsafe. Period.

Abusive Behavior: it doesn’t have to look like raging.  

It can be intense conversations where you demand your spouse give you something she is unwilling or unable to provide, or there is a threat.  

Most of the times, I eventually get to meet and work with guys like you.  

Here is what I’ve discovered.  Without exception, you are very charming and witty.  

You often appear to be very easy going but in fact, have a very short fuse.  You are often not trying to be mean or controlling, but you have a lot of fear or anxiety, and you want your spouse to relieve the pressure you feel.  

So you make demands, lose your cool, or threaten divorce if you don’t get what you need.

Your wife is worried about your relationship.

She wants so much to feel close to you, but she cannot allow herself to let her guard down. 

You may not have even noticed she is guarded.  

That’s not entirely your lack of sensitivity.  Your wife is used to keeping the peace.  

She doesn’t want you to know how unhappy she really is because she doesn’t want to hurt you.  But trust me on this…she is unhappy.  And she will struggle with these feelings for years.  

Your kids see your angry outbursts, but they may never let you know.  

They are afraid of you too.

Your anger keeps everyone that experiences it at a safe distance.  

Your home should be the safest place in the world for your wife and kids.  

If it isn’t, you aren’t doing your job well enough.  

Raging at your family can feel powerful and good.  Even if you feel like a jerk afterward, there is something very indulgent about letting loose.  

I’m trying to help you see that your behavior has a price tag, and it is probably way more than you are willing to pay.  

If you knew what was coming.  

If you could see what I see.  

So wake up!  Your family is not your emotional punching bag.  

Learn how to control your anger.  Learn what triggers you to fly off the handle and do whatever it takes to stop.  

Invest in counseling for yourself and for your marriage.  You owe that to your family.  If you don’t do this work, your kids will be doing it for years.  You are creating a legacy that will carry on for generations.  

At The Marriage Place, we can help both of you understand just how toxic this dynamic is to both of you 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.  

PS. Stay tuned for a future post about abusive women and the husbands who love them. We know it works both ways.

Why Should I Stay Married?

stay married

Why Should I Stay MarriedMy husband and I are clearing out clutter.  It is a time consuming adventure into the past.  We started by just going through stacks of books and piles of paper trying to sort them into more organized stacks and piles we labeled keep, toss or give away.  

But we get easily sidetracked when we come across a card one of our children wrote us when they were little, or pictures of our boys when they were babies.  

Today we came across some real gems.  

A letter my son, Thomas, wrote me when he was little:

“Mommy, I hope the surjry tomorow goes ok.  Remember, if God wants you to live you will.  Love, Thomas.”

Then there was this: the wedding dress I wore more than 26 years ago.  

why I want to stay married

The most amazing thing is that it still fits!  But just barely.  

And we found many books we read to our kids when they were small–like these from Sandra Boynton.  

Why Should I Stay Married?

So many memories.

Why Should I Stay Married?

But when we got to this book, my husband and I started laughing loudly and we literally recited the entire book from cover to cover from memory! That’s how often we read this to our boys, who are now 19 and 17.  

We talked about how we cherish these books and how we will save them to read to our grandchildren.

And then it hit me.  

What if I had chosen not to stay married, when it seemed hopeless?  

There would be no shared moments of reading these same precious books to our grandkids.  

In fact, there would be very few shared moments with our kids and grandkids at all after divorce.  

And when coming together is forced through some big celebration or ceremony, everyone feels awkward and tense.   

When the boys are married and have their own families, they would have to make the obligatory holiday rounds so they have time with each parent separately.  

Then I wondered how they would feel about a stepmom or a stepdad?  

What if they didn’t get along?  

And what if their wives’ parents were also divorced?  

Now there are four families.  What a mess!  

What a complicated, entangled legacy to leave my kids!

Why I Chose to Stay Married

I stopped in that moment of cleaning out, and I put my hands on my dear husband’s shoulders.

I thanked him for never giving up on us.  

I told him I want to grow old with him and grandparent with him.

I told him I would marry him again.  

Pretty amazing when you consider there was a time I wanted out and was convinced I would never be able to love him again, much less stay married.

But I do love him.  With every fiber in my being.  I love him.

We laugh a lot now.  We have overcome so much.  

We have finally figured out this thing called marriage and discovered it really can be wonderful and passionate and fun.  Even after 26 years.  

There was a time when I viewed my marriage with the same critical eye I’m using on my household clutter.  

Except the marriage almost went into the “throw away” pile.  

I was so unhappy, I couldn’t see what the future would hold for me or my kids if I did divorce their dad.  

Even more unhappiness.  

My marriage was making me unhappy, but divorce wasn’t the answer.  Putting my marriage on hold and getting authentic, honest counseling was what made the difference. I divorced my old marriage and built a new one.

Our marriage almost died from a thousand paper cuts, instead of one big event or trauma.

And it was put back together in the same way.

Small repairs and movements toward each other that over time, created this beautiful marriage we now treasure.

And you know what?

You can stay married, too.

I know this not from books or clinical research, but from my own real life experience.  

Your marriage is worth fighting for even if your spouse is done.  

Divorce is not the easy way out.  

It is a complicated mess especially if you have kids.  

If you want a different legacy for your kids, fight for it.

We know how to help you do that.  Contact us here.

Or call us at (972) 441-4432. 

Fighting for your marriage is exhausting, but the pain of divorce lasts a lifetime.