Facebook Pixel

Emotional Abuse: The Invisible Marriage Killer

By HERWriter
Rate This
Mental Health related image Photo: Photospin - Auremar

Physical and verbal abuse are forms of “visible” abuse. Scars and bruises, raised voices and demeaning and hurtful words are signals to others that something is not quite right in the relationship. It’s also easier for a wife to see and recognize that’s she’s being abused.

Emotional abuse, however, is much more insidious and not quite as visible. Certainly, a wife’s self-esteem and spirit are battered along with her body in the case of physical and verbal abuse, but a husband can kill his wife’s spirit without even raising a hand or voice against her. For this reason, many women don’t even know they’re being abused, or if they do it’s a long and difficult battle not only to work to repair the damage done themselves, but to get the abuser to recognize the harm that he’s done.

What are the signs of mental abuse?

“Emotional abuse is any nonphysical behavior or attitude that controls, intimidates, subjugates, demeans, punishes or isolates another person by using degradation, humiliation or fear” (www.focusonthefamily.com).

“Nonphysical behavior or attitude” can safely be interpreted to mean neglect, invalidating another’s thoughts and feelings, and refusing to acknowledge the needs of the other (whether intentionally or not). Over a period of time, this kind of emotional climate in a marriage can squeeze the life out of a marriage and out of a wife.

There is a difference between experiencing or inflicting emotional hurt and being emotionally abusive—it is important to make this distinction. Abuse is a cycle. It is not a once-in-a-while event that happens and hurts someone else. In many “ordinary” hurtful cases, apologies can be offered if truly sincere and heal the rift that the hurt has caused. Many hurts are unintentional, and if they were, there is (hopefully) remorse on the part of the person who inflicted that hurt, once the anger, frustration, etc., calms down and cooler heads prevail. With emotional abuse there is none of this. Like other forms of abuse, there can be apologies and promises to never do it again, and there is hope in the beginning that behaviors and attitudes will change—often referred to as the “honeymoon phase”—but somewhere in the back of many a wife’s mind, she knows that it’s only a matter of time before the abuser settles back into old routines.

The Profile of an Emotional Abuser

At the heart of an emotionally abusive husband is his need to ultimately be in control. He feels inadequate and harbors distorted beliefs about women and marriage, usually learned from an abusive father or other dominant male influence, or sometime due to lack of decent male role modeling in how to treat women. In many cases, but not all, an emotionally abusive husband can be manipulative and heavy-handed in keeping his wife “under his thumb”. The abusive husband is “self-referenced”, which means he only sees and considers things from his point of view; he deliberately refuses to or is incapable of looking at things from another’s perspective. “Selfish” and “self-referenced” are two different words and can be described this way: the “self-referenced person would give you the shirt off his back, but he doesn’t know you need it. The self-referenced person frequently violates the marriage partnership by acting without thoughtfully considering his partner’s point of view and needs” (Amy Wildman White). The abusive husband is also emotionally dependent on his wife; that is, his feeling of self-worth comes from being married. Most emotionally abusive husbands are unable to look at and examine themselves and why they engage in such spirit-killing behavior against a person they have avowed to love and cherish.

The Profile of an Emotionally Abused Wife

Women who find themselves in an emotionally abusive situation often have low self-esteems even though they may appear confident and in control of everything. An emotionally abused wife “looks to her husband’s acceptance of her as the measure of her worth” (White).

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.

Sources: www.focusonthefamily.com; “The Silent Killer of Christian Marriages” by Amy Wildman White (http://www.safeplaceministries.com/pdf/The Silent Killer of Christian Marriages.pdf)

Add a Comment380 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Tink454)

When you feel safe enough to do this (in a safe place, sure he cannot track the call - find a public place that will let you make the call), consider calling the National Domestic Abuse hotline. 1-800-799-7233. I believe they can help you create an escape plan. They can probably help you find a shelter, but I think it's likely that there will be a waiting list. Don't let him know what you're doing. Leave behind his back. And when you leave, don't let him know where you are. It might take a long time to get out. Don't blame yourself for that. Getting out is very difficult, esp. when you have young children. I'm sorry that you are going through this.

July 9, 2016 - 4:39pm
(reply to Tink454)

I was married to a CIA officer who told me he wasn't allowed to go to therapy and that I would put our family in danger if we divorced. After five years of verbal and emotional abuse that tormented me, we had a rough day that ended with pushing me - I was so scared and begged him to let us separate. That's when he told me I wasn't going anywhere, he wasn't going anywhere and the kids weren't going anywhere and that we would never have this conversation again. I left five days later. I had to take my power back, reclaim my life and stop trying to work out something reasonable with someone who is unreasonable. You will not be able to fix him or the marriage, that is going to be his journey but you WILL be able to save the children from growing up in an abusive household and you will be able to teach them how to be healthy and manage their own emotions. I would get out as soon as you can, the rest of these threats will fall and you will be able to take steps to move forward. He is isolating you so that he has more control. He is manipulating you so he has more control. He is arguing with you so he has more control. You aren't trapped but you are being controlled so now is the time to stand up, figure out how to manage a separation, keep you and your kids safe and be done with this. You are young and have an entire life ahead of you - even if moving means going to your parents house or living with a friend, you will be in a safe and healthy environment where you can start to heal. Be gentle with yourself but be strong, you can do this! Keep us updated - hugs to you sweetie, you aren't alone!

July 7, 2016 - 11:29am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to kimromancorle)

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm married for 3 years and I moved to US with my husband 2 years back. I met him in Middle East while he was deployed and we fell in love.
But when I move to US, I found a different person, very distant and without any respond to my emotional needs. I have times when I think the problem is me. But I read the following online "Emotional unkindness is a failure to provide for emotional needs such as encouragement, understanding, respect and compassion. It includes ignoring you when you start a conversation, showing you none or very little attention and no empathy". This is what I pass through. Moreover, he cheated on me with his supervisor and now he threatens me that he won't sign my petition to remove my conditional visa.
I'm so exhausted and tired, I have to even hide continuing my graduate studies so he does not get mad at me.
I love him but I feel I can't continue anymore. I can never say anything.

July 17, 2016 - 10:35pm
EmpowHER Guest


So I am on the outside looking in and I see all of the comments from each individual about emotional abuse. I am actual the emotional abuser and it has taken me a while to admit that. I love my wife hands down. We've been married for about two and a half years now. We've had many arguments and I have said things that even hurt me for doing it.
I would apologize and things would go back to normal. I am getting the help that I need from a licensed therapist and go to both Anger and Stress Management therapy every week. Quite honestly, I don't like the anger that I feel in my heart and it's eating away at me and it's hurting my wife and my boys. My son, flew off the handle at my wife and said horrible things and in that moment...I saw a mini 17 year old version of who I am now. Angry and spitting venom... I love my boys... they should never have to see me lose my cool and yell at their mother. I grew up in a family of yelling and anger...my father would jack my mother up to show strength... then later on in life my mother became angry and broke my father down by controlling all finances within our house. My Dad couldn't stop spending...so he was given an ultimatum...either give me the money or my mother and I along with my brother would leave. So I saw two sides, one very aggressive from my Dad and one very controlling from my Mother.
I do have a problem with control... because I had joined the military to get away from the chaos within my parent's house. Eversince, I have been brought up on discipline and standards...but when I saw my wife for the first time three years ago...something melted away.
She has taught me so much just by being who she is..and I feel horrible for breaking her spirit. Everyday she questions me and claims to want to leave... and everyday I remain quiet...praying for my next therapy session to evolve into the spouse that she deserves and the spouse that she has always wanted. I know it won't happen overnight...but something struck a nerve when I saw my son yell the way that he did... I have to break the cycle.. my children need me... ladies... any help would be greatly appreciated.



June 6, 2016 - 4:18am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Cam, Just wanted to say that it means a lot to me to know that you were able to see your behavior for what it was. I've heard it is rare that the abuser is able to see this. So this step is enormous. It's not enough, but it is so much and it is important. I hope I am not overstepping my boundaries by making a suggestion. You say that every day she questions you and threatens to leave an you remain quiet. What is stopping you from telling her that you are trying? That it is taking time, but you are really trying. You might even have an agreement where she lets you know when your behavior is unacceptable and you change it - or if that is too hard maybe a signal between you. But I do wonder if you being silent might look to her like you not hearing her. And part of changing is hearing her. I hope this is helpful.

June 15, 2016 - 2:27pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

My husband was not given the choice of divorcing me by the state early in our marriage after I was diagnosed as bi polar and schizo effective two years into our marriage. The navy did not bother to inform him of my illness being at sea on submarines as he was and the state assigned a guardianship by the time he returned that made getting a divorce so expensive, as a returning Auto Plant worker he could never afford the yearly payment which would have been more than if he had worked double shifts, every day of every year which was not legal.. HE was handed the guardianship the second day he was home at his work gate discovering just why I was sent to his fathers by my mother the year before after he refused to Reenlist as his father and most the community wanted him to do instead of come home from his military leave and disrupt everyones life that had hired in in the last two years after the company started rehiring from the rescession. Since he had gone into the navy about a week before he was du=e to be laid off in 1979 he was coming home from the navy with a Honorable discharge in May 1985< He had been granted liberty to come home five days before his actual discharge date since he had not been out of the boats for leave or R and R for three and a half years, We knew by talking to the Base Phsycologist on Kings Bay he was suffering from extreme exhaustion especially after his new chief the refit prior to his last patrol had wanted to spend time in a nearby state park with his Bride of just over a year from Scotland and his two month old son after they came in from Holy Lock. He stuck my husband with standing Nuclear weapons security, His watch and my husbands own watch in Missil Control center. as well as what was termed tiger team for ships maintenance because my husband had refused to reenlist In favor of going back to the Plant he was on a military leave from.

My husband was on Duty from Revalee Monday morning at six AM to Saturday evening at around 7 PM without rest or sleep as required by the Regs. He finally collapsed around 7 pm as far as any one could tell. When the Bus pulled into Group on may 24th. he expected me to be waiting with the other wives at 4 am until he started his discharge out process that was supposed to start at 0600. With his PTEP exams. The start of his debriefs and out prossesing warnings concerning his TS rate, The start of three days of medical and phsyc exams His first stop was dispersing to purchase the Plan ticket home on the redeye at 1230 AM on Memorial day morning and after getting his travel pay he was lucky there was still one seat in first class available. and he purchased it, had the seat confirmed as his. Received the pay he was duye which surprised him. They had not told him he had been given his second class crow as of nine months before and had been getting the pay and allowances for it for seven months. He had not been to any dispersing in that time to get me any thing but the allowances but by that time I was at his fathers and the navy just held them until his return with his pay. I was using an inheritance from my father to buy what I needed. I had traded his Blazer off on a new 1984 firebird thinking he would like it coming home and was paying for it out of the Inheritance. And the Night before memorial day hee got his first trast of Reagun's great society when he was buped of the flight along with a bunch of other military traveling under orders to allow several South Carolina Politicians to go to the 500 along with selected family and staff. His Brother who was going with his Fiance into the yards had extended for 18 months and he called us telling his father, mother and I not to expect him at 6 am he was going to be coming home by driving a Horizon The airlines made a one way rental for since the next flight he could get was in five days. The Air Force Travel officer even had to have a federal permit issued to give him the right to drive since his state permit had expired two years before and he was not given a chance by the navy to replace it.

He pulled in 20 hours latter with two steel Thermoses he filled with Coffee Over 16000 in one check he could not cash, and what remained of his travel pay the three times his fare the Airlines gave him for bumping him while he traveled under his discharge orders. His father said what did he have to raise such a stink about his betters getting to go to the front of the line. His youngest brother said we better not mention that any one was considered his betters because we would probably lose our teeth if we said someone had more rights than him based on their family, social or political connections. I found myself caught between my husband and his father with his connections in the community Starting with that note that met hi\m on his fathers door the morning of his arrival, to leave me alone and take the sofa. He expected the same greeting he saw other husbands get from their wives five days prior I was to stay out of sight the first week he was home to give his father and his friends a chance to convince him to go back to the military and reenlist even with his mental problems from exhaustion they felt he could be waivered back in.

That first morning had his mother begging that she did not need the police there to investigate why my husband murdered his father, on his first day home, just please don't start things with defiance his first day home in 12 years of not setting foot in his fathers home. THe Company would not start him back for at leastr 2 weeks just go reinstate as his father wanted I would still be there when he came home. The Companys HR director was a friend of his fathers and had my husband put on second shift from 3;30 to 3;30 that after noon still in his salt and pepper uniforms in his old department and having to get him some loaner coveralls He was again walking through the door at 4 am to the same note to again be yanked off his fathers sofa an hour later to a much different response than the day before sounding like WW3 was starting in his fathers living room as his father was yelling he did not need me to go find a place to live. He could turn his rental in and we would tell him what he was driving now, just hit the bricks and find a place to move into. He did not need a paper or House or apartment finder there were signs all over the place for them and he should just learn to eat when the opportunity presented, he could stay drinking coffee until he had everything ready for me to see, His mother was screaming to come help he's going to murder his father. He had him trapped with one hand against the ceiling telling them if I was not standing in front of him in one minute. he was going to think I was being kept as a prisoner to force him to do things he did not want to do and he would use his fathers body as a wreaking bar until he found which room I was in. He had not had any thing to eat in five days other than coffee, he needed to deposite his pay and allowances in a bank and where was his blazer. I told him that it was traded on the Firebird and that made him really unhappy after five minutes behind the wheel saying he felt like his rear was on the road. The first stop was the Liscence branch where after looking at the manual for five minutes till he was called to take the test it took less than three for him to ace it and get his new permit.

Everyone looked at him like he was some kind of enhanced computer> The next stop was breakfast where he grabed a paper and several house and apartment finders then he sat down with mke and asked why things were the way they were after the way he had had to leave me three and a half years before. he said he thought I would be happy to see him. I said I just was not expecting to find out over not getting his flight he was willing to cause a near riot in South Carolina, and then being woke up two days in a row because he was willing to kill his own father for getting in the way of what he wanted in the first 30 days to return to the plant. They were just doing what they felt was best for all and my husband said, they, meaning his father and his country club friends who were nothing but useless. until they needed him to be what t6hey wanted, He said His father had evenb used the term his betters hadn't he. I was siutting there crying saying yes, couldn't he just think of a way to keep evberyone happy for a while , I told my husband the reason I was there was I did not want him murdering his father over not getting his way. Everyone just wanted him to be understanding and nice about the disruptions him and other military returnees were causing. HE said again a bunch of silver spooned god wannabes. I guess I knew right then that there was going to be problems What I saw that morning still haunts me, all because he did not get the greeting he should have had that first morning.

The Next day after choosing a three bedroom ranch a mile from his work gate to rent we had collected the keys, Got him Civilian work cloths. He was keeping his boon dockers to work in, He said the blazer was at least useful not that low Firebird and he did not have payments on the blazer. He had discovered the second day the state was never letting him get a divorce from me even though two years latter he tried. He was puting in his shift preference without care for family, position or needs of the person he was going to send to the job on second shift only that person had less than six months to his nearly ten years seniority. He did not even care that she was a very pretty girl that had been a homecoming queen nine months before and had many that wanted him to back off to allow her to keep her social life intact Many of my husbands cooworkers turned themselves inside out to gain her favor even married men. She thought my husband gay since he did not even like her. My husband felt she thought she was some pricess that only had to bat her lasjhes at men to get what she wanted. To years later I still did not know why she had no effect with my husband when she just about made every other man in the plant her lap dog. my husband just did not like her manipulations getting men to do her job while she went and spent the day with her boyfriend. My husband just told her to get out of his way he had better things than to think she was special and get puppy eyed for her, He already had a wife that was very pretty but an Ice queen that he had learned his lesson over.

After I told him that third day home there was not going to be a sex life unless he cooperated and let the girl stay on days and did not use his senioriry to disrupt the lives of others the next two years.

I would start our life then as well as a famillly We could plan for and have the honeymoon we never had then.

Two years later and a Group Trip to Rome that was planed as our honeymoon trip I was again begging my husband to wait until after we came home from Rome to take a vacation so the same girl could go and Marryt her Fiance' there. I was that time swearing on my bible that anby time, any way and any where he wanted his vacation after I came back from The trip to Rome he was paying for me to go on I would be both a willing Travel companion and sex partner as well as pay him back the 4000 that was none refundable or he was going and to hell with what we wanted. I was even telling him if he went everyone going would make the trip absolutely miserable for him.

Couldn't he just wait two weeks and decide what he wanted to do instead for his vacation and time out of the plant. I was sure he could figure something out to do instead of anger his father and everyone else going.

I swore to what he wanted and even signed it in front of a notary not expecting what trap he had laid for me and everyone else . For what he planed when we returned even though we had come back with a nice pair of Tuscan boots as a peace offering and a number of suggestions to tropical vacations I felt were just as nice as Rome the next January I was just begging by the time he took me by my arm and shoved me on the bus 45 minutes after we landed from Rome. For just six months and no disrupotions at work about his seniority rights and we could start the life I had promised then. He said that I was not capable of keeping my word, I had not been additive to the household and just used him for what he could supply> I was crying I just got off a twenty hour flight and he's going to set back over 100 other vacations by three weeks because he was using my promise as a gun to everyones head Why could he just use one of our suggestions and do that in January, He threw a bunch of times in my face to the suggested places and asked who he had to kill to get someplace like I was thinking. There was nothing tropical available for reservations in January or February, So we strarted suggesting places like the gulf coast, Florida or Texas or even Vegas we could drive to in January. I said wouldn't it be worth not making everyone upset he was not giving in a way he had options for. He Went to the Amtrack terminal and bought a one way ticket for me when he asked if that was my final offer. I said yes he just could not disrupt the plans other people had because he was needed to do what everyone needed. A One way ticket to my mother in Norfolk with the 20000 He said he would put evertything else into storage for me to pick up after the divorce was final and a letter to my mother telling her he had no use for a wife that did not want to be anything but a backstabber and the guardianship he wanted her to take over.

The Whole trip I felt it was so unfair my husband would not even listen or try to see things any way but his, start our lives together even if he just stayed home in January for three weeks that was one of the suggestions from his father after he said he was not ice skating across country or risking trapped in a winter storm to go someplace just barely warmer than the mid west and Vegas held no interest for him as did Florida. There was nothing we could think of to fill what he wanted except leaving the day we flew in on a western road trip to camp and stay in places that there was no plans for except his grandfathers outside cheyann Wyoming and that was because his grandparents had not seen him in 15 years.

For 24 years from 1985 to 2009 we tried to get him to see things our way, There were court orders srtoping him from doing as he pleased from 1887 right after the Rome trip. to 1999 when he was getting violent with even deputies that came to just take him into custody and make him work out of a jail instead of fly out with me to Bavaria for the Millinials Even after trying to convince hi9m it was simple math, he could stay and rune in a double shift the parts bank it would take five other men and women to rune in a single shift, that he should stay and work instead of go to Bavaria.; When his fathers friend on the Bench sent four deputies to take hiom into custody to keep the peace without resorting to charges being filed or a judgment rendered Just from the 23rd Of December 1999 to the eighth of January to have three days after we flew in on his 45th birthday on the 5th to try and figure out something we could offer as the replacement for the Milliniall holiday> He was not in any kind of forgiving mood hurting everyone that stood in his way. Getting Resignations from the sheriff, His local union president, and the friend on the bench put under investigation and then Arrested and imprisoned. WE actual had to radically change the plans for our return after finding out he had involved the ACLU and secured his release for false imprisonment even though it was to keep him from causing massive problems in other plans and until 2009 when we were tossed around like rag dolls and he tried to strangle his father to death over taking his passport and canceling his berth on the orient express to let a younger man take his 4 month pregnant bride on a honeymoon of a lifetime. We had planed a trip and vacation as the first in 34 years on ST Criox for the first five weeks of the year then let him choose a time to make up for the holidays soon after our return also the first since 34 years before that we would celebrate with him without someone looking like the hulk smashed them>< HE however let depression kill his Immune system just because he had felt like we were keeping him as a slave since 1987 and would not find joy in any thing. unless he was allowed time off and sex. I Intended that ST criox would be that tiume but HE Developed a MRSA abcseess in his spine at L4L5 causing him to nearly loose his life first on the table three times while they fused his spine and removed his backbone from a partially severed spinal cord in October. Even after he had me and his father arrested and serve three months in County for acting as false agents in the canceling of the Orient express trip I still had hopes to get him to consider the ST Criox trip I had actually worked hard to procure to replace the orient express.

That surgery and illness put an end to any hope I had to find a peace about any thing. For the nextr two years trying to keep his father happy and not signing him out of rehab to come home for the holidays The Day we went to visit him after Christmas and take him three new sweat outfits to wear he actualty said did we know what he got for his Christmas, He started throwing day old hard tatter totes and hot dogs at us saying that was what his fare was while we had Turkey Dressing Green bean casseroil he got nothing of what he had paid for out of his disability His mother fixed another turkey and cut it up to take to him after the New year as a hoped peace offering. In 2012 he was not throwing tater tots at us but stainless steel bed pans and urinals the bed pan knocking his father out He did not even ask to come home in 2012 because his father said don't even start on them. HE would be told when where and how he would be allowed to have any thing even after he came home Tings started flying at that point Then after getting transferred to the Regional mental health for anger control issues concerning his returning home on February 5th 2013, We had Expected his release on the eighth He was sent hoime with a Insurance voucher by taxi on the worst possible evening to have a peaceful return. The Taxi Driver helped him get up the outside steps and get the door key from the hide a key and he let himself in and Grabbed his cane and was standing right outside my bedroom door and when I went out after getting dressed to go to a Blackj tie Dimnner that evening witjh my husbands parenyts and his fathers best friend I stepped out into my husbands chest? and his first statement was good I was ready to go out, I looked nice, He only had sweats that fit after losing over a 100 pounds where were we going.

I was instantly trying to get him to think of what he was saying. I told him I had a promise to keep that evening to his father and He was not invited, I said that there had toi be a way to get him to understand he hadf not been a part of the community or famlily life in so long and the hell he had caused about not getting what he wanted that We had to work with him to get him included in any thing, He looked at me and said did I think he cared after the hundreds of promises made and broken to him about sex, about holidays, About vacations That he cared even a little about any promise I had made to his father that evening. Because I was going to keep every promise to him I had made since our wedding before the first was kept to his father or my snob hill friends. I was truly terrified by that point. I knew the first was my promise of a sex life was the major one broken followed by vacations and holidays he had wanted to go to Europe on or spend at home. But instead was made to work another year without a break until he developed MRSA. I was Trying to even offer a 100 for a 4 hour wait until after the dinner was over and we could meet him any where he chose to start a conversation into resentments, responsibilities to the surrounding community and his family and then having a bigger group like we planed for that talk on Saturday> HE told me the dinner for me was not happening The onlyt arm I was going to be seen on that evening was his or I was not leaving the house to go any where with his father and best friend. As for what he was allowed we had no say in the matter because he was the final judge and arbiter over what , were and how he was allowed any thing under the roof he had sweated, for, bent his back over and sometimes his blood, Everything under it was under his rule for I could go out in what I was not going to wear since he had also paid for that I could go in my skin since I had not earned it as his wife. I WAs backing across the room knowing my situation was deadly. That any one that even thought of interfering was also in the way and would be eliminated, I said I was not asking for two years, Not asking any longer for his cooperation over decades. I was not asking for months or days, Just four hours to try and reach an understanding that has failed to impress for 31 years I said after that I would go back to my mothers if she would allow it other wise I did not know who to count on. MY husband said he was done with my trying to nergotiate what he should have done on the morning of May 28th 1985. He did not owe any one then or now his respect or his life. HE was taking what was his by right and by earning it, in supplying my life with nothing returned, Not even his own family, because my terms were always with more strings than he was going to pull> I thought running next door would help get me help to stoip him from doing what he was thinking of, I took off in my heels and my Gown was suddenly torn to shreds as well as my underwear. I was piv]cking up what was left crying couldn't we just stop right there and think what he was going to do next, I said I could get him into major trouble.

HE said go ahead he had something I had to consider after he was done, I got up crying and hurting a bit later bruised feeling like I had been pulled apart, Bleeding a little from his forcing his way into me. Then he threw the cordless to me and said the number was 911, don't clean up, for a rape kit, don't pick any thing up for scene photos. HE said and think on my journals the proof that was the abuse we has=d done to him for decades, keeping him working without time off. Without any hope for a home life. How much had I extorted from him over 31 years in keeping me as a wife. How much I had defrauded him put of a marital life over the decades using that guardianship as the excuss. Now3 hew was a cripple and there were no other women that would even look at him as a man> I have on female friend who despises what we did with my husbands rights and she would take him and run if he was free. She would have decades ago. . I have suggested they could start a long term affair and I would not say a word as early as 1992> She says my husband is to honorable to risk having a family he could not claim with her.

January 26, 2019 - 5:47pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)


It's taking time but things seem to be taking a turn for the better. I am doing extensive therapy and trying to be much more supportive. If I find myself getting angry I quickly excuse myself and go listen to music for a few minutes. I have a hard time with paying attention to what she is saying when angry and call me crazy but it helps to calm the anger inside. I ask myself what I am really mad about and truth be told it's something that is bothering me. I want to uplift my wife not tear her down so I'd rather say something nice and calming or when in a disagreement cool my jets and speak assertively but not with aggression...I've also been doing a lot of listening and what she wants from me is support. Not financially, but just support so if she chooses a project or needs help with knitting or simply wants my presence then I give her that wholeheartedly. In the end, I find myself learning and seeing how interesting she is and how much I love her and took her for granted. Can you imagine me knitting...lol I'd rather be fishing but I can count dozens of times she's followed me to the lake with no complaints...lol and so in turn I can watch her knit and she is really good at it... All I do is go to Joanne's and buy more and more yarn...what's happening to me...am I evolving ? My therapist told me to just be present in the marriage and I was offended. Not really understanding what she meant because I thought financial security was the backbone to hold and mend everything together. So I'm in a good place just peeling back layers and layers of what's within me. I hope I can change ladies thank you for your support.


July 3, 2016 - 8:12am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Oh, Cam, that post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this. Yes, you are evolving! It's wonderful that you're being so supportive- and learning to knit! It's interesting that you say you thought financial security would heal everything. In my marriage, he kept using finances as an excuse for his behavior, yet he could have dealt with financial concerns in a respectful way. I know someone else whose husband used financial issues as an excuse to leave the marriage recently. Maybe this is a common thread with men. It would be understandable, since they are brought up to believe that their job is to provide financial security to the family. But if a woman is being put down, no amount of financial security will make that okay. Everyone needs respect and emotional support from a partner, male or female. Thank you for listening, for having the patience to stop and walk away, to get to the bottom of why you are angry, and for sharing this with us.

July 4, 2016 - 5:43am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Your comments has my eyes dripping tears. I have 3 children under age 8 and to visualize them treating me the way my ...no the creature I married (I stopped claiming him as my husband...since he isn't my husband...he's the guy I married because a husband is a totally different concept)...treated me.

I have left and I have been there for him...but moving closer to his dying father has made him go back on all positive progress he has had. This saddens me. Your comments show me how hard it is for abusers to see what they do. I stopped trying to understand...then I read your comments. I am now going to figure out how my son and daughters can have a positive relationship with a man other than their father because they have already seen him treat me horribly and the damage is done. My daughter hit me yesterday. She is four. My son deliberately disrespects me and his grandmother underminded me almost permanently.

One thing I will advise you on is this: you will never have power over anyone and still have respect or feel in control. You focus your time trying to control what you ultimately can never control (everything but yourself). When you realize that your only source of power is the power YOU EXERCISE OVER YOURSELF, YOU WILL ALWAYS REMAIN POWERLESS. YOUR POWER AND CONTROL only resides over YOURSELF and animals. People are not animals. Women and children are not in your realm of control...they are not animals. So when you hurt them, they may make choices either because they love you or through your controlling behavior, they accepted your lie that you control them. Every time they realize what you did to them was soley based on your selfishness, it makes love smaller...especially in your life. You know why? Because in YOUR life, you chose CONTROL over LOVE to give to.them.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is NOT rude. Love is NOT boastful. Love is NOT proud. LOVE does not hold record of wrongs. Love my friend does not hurt you either. So when you hurt your lo ed ones, you show them how much less love you want to give to them. You may not realize how much love they have for you but you need to realize that hirting them in any form teaches them anger. Anger is NOT the opposite of love...love doesn't cause anger. Your anger is a symptom of a hurt or pain you still have that needs addressing. If you yourself were treated in the way you treat your wife and other loved ones, you may have been narcissistically abused. Today you can release your anger when you connect to your pain and relieve that pain. Whatever you yourself did in the past...guess what. TODAY is your gift. Don't waste it on any negative past. Bring your positives into your present. Think on this :-) you have today every 24 hours you still breathing :-) if your wife is still there ...they still love you. So don't waste today. Love them back. Start loving again. And sit back and relax. God got you too...

June 10, 2016 - 9:32am
(reply to Anonymous)

This is wonderfully written and touches my heart. Thank you for sharing this truth and knowledge.
God bless!

June 10, 2016 - 12:09pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

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.