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Emotional Abuse: The Invisible Marriage Killer

By HERWriter
 
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Emotional Abuse: The Invisible Marriage Killer Photo: Photospin - Auremar

Unlike a man, who typically finds his identity through work, and academic or athletic achievement, “[a] woman’s identity is often based on her relationships” (White) this makes her vulnerable to abusive relationships.

One of the most common characteristics of an emotionally abused woman is that she is unable to enjoy sexual experiences with her husband. This is due to the deterioration of the trust and the lack of friendship and intimacy over the time of the relationship. Add on top of this societies’, her husbands’ and the church’s views that she’s not a good wife if she doesn’t meet her husband’s sexual needs and she may feel perpetually trapped in her marriage. What many people (including counselors and pastors) fail to realize is that “[t]he wife in these situations experiences intercourse as an indignity, almost as rape, because the physical and the deeply personal, loving aspects of sex…[i]ntimacy and trust, which lay the necessary foundation for a woman to respond sexually, have been removed from the relationship” (White) and she is left to emotionally detach herself from the situation just to survive—at the cost of her soul and spirit.

Call to Action

It’s time to lift the veil from these situations and recognize how much a person’s soul and spirit can be damaged without physical and verbal abuse. Abuse doesn’t have to come in the form of acting out a form of punishment, or lashing out with temper and words. Abuse can also be withholding affection, or never saying a kind word. It takes a strong woman to stand up against what everyone is telling her is her duty and recognize that this kind of situation is not okay, and to talk about it until somebody listens.

If you believe you are in an emotionally abusive marriage—which can take many forms to keep a wife dependant on a husband (a virtual prisoner in her own house)—or you’re not even sure if what you’re experiencing is emotional abuse, please join us in the Marital Discovery and Recovery group and share your story.

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

This is my story for the past 7years and it takes a toll on you you try your best to keep things all together when inside your falling apart in more ways than one ive left 7 times and have been back with my husband for the past 6 or 7 months started my own buisiness on my hubbies schedule just to keep the peace and still be able to give to others and help others and to keep my sanity .Its a up n down slope all the time lately its control of where Im going and where and with who and gas for the one car after or if ill get the car at all .Ive been given vehicles but my hubby will drive them and wreck them in some way so were down to one car and its taking a toll on me .Everyone feels my hubby is a deterance and his control over me is so hard this time to walk away I feel trapped his parents want me to stay because im good for him but there son is so controlling and ive prayed for deliverance ive done everything I can but its never enough or good enough

October 10, 2017 - 5:21am
(reply to Anonymous)

You are so right, this does take a toll on you and it yes, it makes you feel trapped but you have more power than you know. Sounds like it's time to leave the cycle of control and abuse once and for all. You've done it before so you know you can do it, it's time to get your peace back. Of COURSE his parents want you to stay, you are taking care of him and that is their concern = but it's not your job to give up your life and happiness for him or them or anyone else for that matter. Once you stop the madness you will realize how much you have been managing and can put some of this time back into taking good care of you. Stay strong, you've got this and we've got you - we are all here together, sending you a big hug.

October 11, 2017 - 11:11am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to kimromancorle)

Ty so much Im planning a safety plan as we speak what makes it hard is hes doing the honeymoon side as we speak to .Im keeping the peace and being careful .Im so exhausted ty for the hugs they always help.Im scared and feeling so tired.Its so draining

October 13, 2017 - 4:03am
(reply to Anonymous)

You are in a cycle - first there is the honeymoon period where everything is fine, then tension builds and things get 'prickly' and then there is an incident and eruption. And then there is calm and it's back to the honeymoon phase. This doesn't go away and usually shortens in time so you are SMART to get going. I know you are tired, it IS exhausting but stay the path, you are doing great! I can send you some added resources if it would help, email me at kimromancorle@me.com. And stay safe, that is the most important thing to focus on is keeping you safe, sending you HUGS:)))

October 13, 2017 - 4:48am

Hello I'm new to the group ok my husband and I have been married for 1 year and 5 months, He's always been controlling, we barely get along we argue a lot and starting to be emotionally and verbally abusive with me now, He call me fat, lazy a follower and he have called me bitches and hoes before, I'm just to a point now that I'm tired I can't take it no more. Everyone I talk with he's say I'm following them he don't go around my family, it's like we're going in two different ways, I barely wanna have sex I cry afterwards I just very emotional most of the time now,I'm just hurt that i feel like I'm gonna have to walk away from a man that I've loved most of my life he's my kids father, I'm just lost someone please help.

September 17, 2017 - 8:19pm
(reply to Patrice Macllen)

When we are in turmoil it can feel like we've lost our way. We often stay in these toxic relationships b/c we think it'll get better, we can adapt to end the craziness, and 'be more understanding'. If you have children with this man, he's even more poisonous to them b/c they are learning how to behave by listening to him and watching how he treats you. As a Mom, you have the chance to make a change and give them a life free of this manipulation and abuse. It's normal to grieve the loss of a relationship, and your sadness is understandable but this is not a healthy and loving relationship - it's a pattern and it's dangerous and it's destructive. No one ever deserves to be treated like that. I'm sorry this is so hard for you but the sooner you move on, the sooner you will heal. Contact a therapist, social services, and legal help and get going. You will be ok, we are all here with you. Hugs.

September 18, 2017 - 10:27am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I'm in tears over reading all these comments. It seems that each one had a bit of my story. My domestic partner has outrageous emotional outbursts. Sometimes I'm afraid of him. He has same attitude w my younger daughter and it hurts but if I say anything about him being unfair he continues for months. If he gets mad he stops talking to me for a month or longer. He sleeps on the couch, doesn't want to help w expenses pays rent but gets angry to do so. He is angry at me for 3 weeks out of the month. Does not communicate, if there's an engagement/event he does not inform me and on the day off he gets angry because I don't remember. Gets angry if I go out w friends accompanied by our kids and claims I'm crazy over thinking he is mad. Upon my return he slams doors or once again stops talking to me. It's so much work to keep him content that I just don't know or want to do so. I'm exhausted !! We are on vacation and he got separate beds and kept smirking on his bed. He slammed car doors over me not knowing where we were heading but once again he neglected to inform me where we were heading to. Don't know what to do anymore!!!

September 1, 2017 - 10:02pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I was in an emotionally, physically, sexually abusive marriage for 18 years. It has been 9 years since I left and started to recover. I am still recovering and I get so frustrated that it seems to be taking forever. Any advice to speed it up?

What you said about “self-referenced” that explains to me how he thought. I could just never figure it out as I was so confused. Your discussion on sexual intercourse, it was an indignity to my soul and spirt. It was forced, not mutual, and all about him.

September 1, 2017 - 4:23pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Don't try to force yourself to speed up the recovery process. It takes however long it takes. For some that's a few years; for others it's longer. 

I'm 7 years out of my marriage and when someone told me that research had shown it would take about 5 years back when I first separated from him, I thought that was an eternity and still tried to find a new loving relationship, even though emotionally, I was nowhere near ready. 

As I look back on it, it doesn't seem like that long at all. It takes a long time to get healthy, to get all that toxicity out of your mind. I'm not entirely sure it will be completely gone. It may be something you have to deal with the rest of your life. 

Try not to be discouraged if those moments still come up. It's all part of the process. Be patient with yourself. :-)

September 25, 2017 - 2:08pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Don't try to force yourself to speed up the recovery process. It takes however long it takes. For some that's a few years; for others it's longer. 

I'm 7 years out of my marriage and when someone told me that research had shown it would take about 5 years back when I first separated from him, I thought that was an eternity and still tried to find a new loving relationship, even though emotionally, I was nowhere near ready. 

As I look back on it, it doesn't seem like that long at all. It takes a long time to get healthy, to get all that toxicity out of your mind. I'm not entirely sure it will be completely gone. It may be something you have to deal with the rest of your life. 

Try not to be discouraged if those moments still come up. It's all part of the process. Be patient with yourself. :-)

September 25, 2017 - 2:07pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.