Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/emotional abuse

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Question
We have been married for 12 years and have three children.  Our marriage has been in conflict for a long time.  My husband calls me names and refuses to apologize and if I tell him my feelings are hurt, he says I deserve it. I want to visit my family 1500 miles away and he told me if I fly there I can STAY there, because he wants to drive. I know that I am very sensitive and subject to crying when we argue. I grew up w/ an alcoholic father who criticized me a lot too.  I do not want to act like a victim, but I would like to ask if his behavior sounds like emotional abuse.  He says our troubles are mostly my fault.  If I disagree w/ him he says I am oppositional and dismisses my concerns.  I do not have a friendship w/ him and feel like he really doesn't like me. I am not perfect but I do not call him names or talk disrespectfully to him. I feel very alone and unloved by the person who should defend my self-esteem and care about my feelings most. I feel like he tries to get me to change, like exercise more, and if I don't he holds it against me.  How do I communicate better with him so he takes me seriously? thank you for your help

Answer
Hold your ground on the "no name-calling" rule. He sounds abusive, and you should not let him get away with it. Have an agreement there will be no name-calling, and that you will work hard to get rid of anger in your relationship. You could get support for this by seeing a counselor together.  

Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship

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Daniel Keeran, MSW

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I can answer questions about issues arising in marriage: conflict, communication, listening, anger, verbal abuse, household responsibilities, infidelity, addiction/substance abuse, pornography, physical abuse, time spent together, finances, in-laws, death of a spouse or child, separation and divorce, problem-solving and much more. FREE PDF DOWNLOAD "Counseling In A Book" http://www.ctihalifax.com/images/CounselingInABook.pdf

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I have over 30 years as a counselor for couples experiencing difficulties. I have been a counselor for over 30 years in private practice and hospital settings. For deeper understanding and healing childhood experiences affecting adult life and relationships with self and others see the reader-friendly source http://www.amazon.com/Effective-Counseling-Skills-therapeutic-statements/dp/1442177993

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"Effective Counseling Skills: the practical wording of therapeutic statements and processes" at http://tinyurl.com/yen574x and "Loss and Grief Counseling Skills" at http://tinyurl.com/35da8ov

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MA (University of Kentucky), MSW (Kent School of Social Work)

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