Facebook Pixel

Relationship advices Join this Group

Is this emotional abuse?

By December 3, 2015 - 3:16am

I know there have been similar posts to mine and I've read some of the articles, but I need a bit of insight into my own situation. I've been married for 23 years. My husband is 47 and I'm a year younger. We have a daughter of 20. I knew when I married my husband that he was opinionated and likes to be right and have things done "right", but over the years I have realised that he is also intolerant of anyone not doing things his way and also not keen to do things differently for the people he shares his life with. A friend of mine has said that he is a control freak and that the way he speaks to me sometimes is tantamount to emotional abuse.
As a Christian, he has an issue with secular music and will not listen to it because he says God told him not to. As a Christian myself, I have always been selective about the type of music I listen to, so I try to stick to classical musicians or those who are more "moral" in nature. However, he becomes angry if he hears me singing a secular song or when a while back I updated my SD card for my car music and included a couple of secular artists. He was in fact quite aggressively angry, saying he would not have "that" music in his car (I use his car as he has a motorbike but we share it on weekends etc.) My issue is that he is happy to read secular novels and watch movies that contain foul language etc. He says it's not the same thing. He doesn't have a short fuse... he has a detonator button and when he is angry he raises his voice at people and becomes very aggressive. Although he has never actually struck me, I often get the feeling that he is controlling himself with great difficulty and he has manhandled me in the past which is frightening enough. He did once punch a wall in frustration with me (I was 7 months pregnant and my sleeping pattern was haywire). I didn't want to go to sleep at 9pm when he did one night and thought I'd read a bit in the lounge. He objected to that first of all and then to the fact that the bedroom wasn't dark because light from the lounge was coming through the fanlight above the door. Things escalated and after literally screaming at me he smashed his fist into a wall (and broke his hand). I am a hyper-sensitive person and I like to use the illustration of how when I was at school and a teacher shouted at her class two doors down, I would cry. So when my husband clenches his teeth and fists and shouts at me I shut down. He always says I shouldn't make an issue of the volume when what he is saying is the point. I can't "hear" when someone gets aggressive so what they are saying is meaningless - all I can hear and feel is their anger and my fear. He loses his temper when it doesn't suit him to pay to attention to our dog (who can be demanding in that department). He has smashed things in our home in anger. He will shove the dog away and get really irritated which the dog can't understand as just 10 minutes ago he was happy to pet him.
He has on occasion raised his voice at me and others in public and embarrassed me. However, he seems to be careful about his behaviour in front of certain people. His boss, our pastor, etc.
He becomes angry when I move his bits and pieces out of our living area when I'm tidying. He has accused me of "packing him away", as though he didn't have a place in our home.
I managed to convince him to go to counselling with me to someone outside of our church circle. He now seems to be resentful because the counsellor is highlighting areas of his behaviour that are not acceptable and he is complaining that he's being picked on. He is a consummate arguer and because I battle to separate logic from emotion, he usually has the last word and I feel gagged because I can't put my concerns across effectively which frustrates me terribly. He also has the ability to blow up, say his piece and then act as though nothing happened, then wonders why there is utter devastation all around him (emotionally). He also seems to employ manipulation because when I say anything such as I feel that he is being unreasonably aggressive in a situation, he will say, "Oh yes... it's always me... because you're perfect", (something I have never claimed to be). He also likes to accuse me of being like my mother - which always goes down well with a woman...
I am always walking on eggshells lately and yet still seem to say or do the wrong things.
Any advice?

By December 29, 2015 - 5:39pm

Yes. He is abusive, verbally and emotionally. His need for control and utter disrespect for you and your concerns/wishes/etc. is a glaring sign. There is a cycle to this, it starts with frustration, tension, an episode (exploding anger) and then a quiet or honeymoon period. Then it starts again, often times the cycle shortens as time goes on - also note that 99% of all physical abuse begins with verbal and emotional. Part of this is learning how to manage communications (using 'I' statements, clearly stating what you will and will not do and being able to deflect 'teasers' that are said in order to get you to engage in an argument, etc.) and part of this is deciding what you will and will not tolerate. Healthy relationships aren't full of demands, irrational arguments, embarrassment, duplicity (the secular music argument vs. books/movies), etc. And they certainly aren't full of fear, feeling controlled or gagged and put downs. I think you are wise (!!) to get into counseling and I would stick with it no matter what his feedback is b/c it's always going to be 'something' - I left a husband of 10 years when my children were 7 and 4 years old and it was the best thing I've ever done. The children are now 27 and 24 and I'm thankful that I said 'no' and got out. I have written articles/info/etc. if you are interested and I want you to know that you aren't crazy and you aren't alone. We are all here and it's hard as heck but you are already on the road to recovery because you are addressing his behavior. Yeah you! Hugs:)

December 29, 2015 - 5:39pm

Group Leader

Related Topics


Having problems with relationship is normal. But you don't need to feel alone. Come join this group,express your problem and get possible solution.


This Group is Open to all EmpowHER.com members