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Feeling depressed - verbal abuse from husband

(37 Posts)
KensalMama Fri 06-May-16 14:26:27

Hi. I have been married for 8 years and my husband is a respected, successful professional. I work part-time from home but earn nowhere near what he does, so I mainly look after our two kids (6 & 3). We're in our mid-forties. He is lovely to everyone except me. When he's stressed, or if I disagree with him, he will insult me. He's careful to never do this in public, but in private, only in the last week, he's called me a cunt, a cancer, a failure, an arsehole and a fuckhead. The current reasons are because I am getting a dog and he's not happy about the breed/ timing of getting it, also because I have had a tendency to hoard in the past while feeling down and now, genuinely due to lack of time (due to kids/ household) have not had a chance to declutter, also he's unhappy about the itinerary of a holiday we're about to have. The irony is, we recently went on a long-haul holiday of a lifetime together and we had a wonderful time, and I was thinking how much I love him, but this last week his verbal abuse has made me feel really depressed and unsure what to do. He is never like that to the kids. He is fair and loving to them. I want to go to counselling, but he's too busy to do that. I'd like to also add that our sex life is non-existent (we've had sex only once since beginning of 2015). Please help me. I want to fix my marriage because we have been happy in the past, and because we have young children who love him. But I cannot take his anger any more, and also worried about repercussions on the kids (who often hear the shouting). We went to counselling years ago, and he just lied about me making it sound it was all my fault. I didn't help my cause by getting upset, crying etc. so the counsellor didn't realise what a Jekyll and Hyde he is. I am at a loss what to do. Thank you.

springydaffs Fri 06-May-16 14:55:44

I was just talking today with a friend about people like this - she said they're nice as pie as long as they're getting their own way. Probably why you had such a good time on your long haul holiday - as long as you're fitting in with his plans all is ok. Actually, more than OK - they couldn't be sweeter.

What you describe is verbal abuse. It is the tip of the iceberg; more is going on underneath.

Your account of counselling sounds very painful (excruciating) because he lied and gaslighted you in front for the therapist - who, sadly, bought it. It is strongly recommended not to go into counselling with an abuser. So good job he's 'too busy' (hmm), really.

The above link is from a domestic abuse organisation. I do think you are being abused in your marriage. The abuse you describe is now against the law. It is very rare for abusers like this to change.

Have a look at the Women's Aid website and read Lundy Bancroft's Why Doe's He Do That: Inside the minds of angry and controlling men.

It is extremely painful to be on the end of abuse like this. It is also very damaging for your children - they do not come out of this unscathed.

I would recommend you do some research around this but DO NOT TELL HIM ABOUT IT. It is really important you don't tell him. In fact, act as though nothing is different - but all the while find out about this so you know what you're dealing with.

I'm so sorry flowers

springydaffs Fri 06-May-16 15:03:13

It might be an idea to record his abuse, if you can.

princessmi12 Fri 06-May-16 15:11:54

Hi Kensal
Abusive words are wrong and you should not tolerate it at all.
Warn him that you would pack up and leave if he did it again!
Having said that I sense that he's not happy about few things like a breed of a dog and holiday planned? Does it mean you decide those things yourself without consulting him? He might see it as a sign of disrespect , that his voice is not being considered and he's being bossed around/left out .Do you think you could make decisions together? Do you think it would help family dynamics?

Costacoffeeplease Fri 06-May-16 15:19:53

If he's not happy about plans then there are other ways to discuss it without calling his wife a cunt etc

I'd be seriously thinking about whether I wanted this to be my future, if I were you op

princessmi12 Fri 06-May-16 15:23:49

Not saying the way he approaches is right at all.Some people just don't know how to voice their frustration in positive and productive way..
Well could be that's how he seen things being dealt with between his parents when growing up.He might not even realise how bad he sounds. OP can you record his outburst and let him listen once he's in good mood and watch his reaction?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 06-May-16 15:24:54


What do you get out of this relationship now?.

Ultimately KM you need to divorce this man. He will stop at nothing to have absolute power and control over you; abuse is all about power and control. Divorcing him as well will not be without its own set of challenges namely his wanting to punish you for actually having the gall in his eyes to leave him. He will likely make all aspects of separation as protracted and difficult as possible. Such men do not let go of their victims easily and they can and do often take years to recover from. It may well be only when you are free of this relationship will you realise the full extent of the abuse you have all suffered at his hands.

Re your comment:-

"I want to fix my marriage because we have been happy in the past, and because we have young children who love him. But I cannot take his anger any more, and also worried about repercussions on the kids (who often hear the shouting)"

You have probably only been happy because you have adapted your own behaviours to suit him therefore he is pleased with you.

You are being abused and you are right to think about the repercussions on your children because they being damaged by his abuse of you as their mother. I would also think that your children do not so much love him so much as live in fear of him and his outbursts too; they may well wonder when they will be the target of his verbal violence. They see you unhappy and perhaps even blame themselves. They see your reactions to your H also, you as well as he send them mixed messages. They see their dad being nice to them but shout at you their mum; another lot of mixed and damaging messages.

You cannot fix your marriage because there is really nothing that can be fixed; he verbally abuses you and your children hear it as well. You cannot fully protect them from his verbal abuse of you; they hear it, pick up on all the bad vibes and see all the unspoken reactions and aftermath as well. He thinks he is doing nothing wrong here and feels entitled to act as he does. Such men like yours hate women, all of them. Such men also do not change. Like many abusive men as well they can be plausible to those in the outside world but its an act they cannot keep up indefinitely. Some of your friends may well have their own suspicions about him.

What do you yourself want to teach your children about relationships, surely not this example that they are currently being shown. They in turn are being abused too. You cannot afford to let your children learn that yes this is how adults behave in relationships. They could go onto repeat this themselves within their own relationships as adults.

Counselling with an abusive man as you have seen is a complete and utter waste of time. No more joint counselling, its never ever recommended where there is abuse of any type within the relationship. Even if these men do attend the sessions they can and do manipulate the counsellor to make it out to be your fault. That is also what happened here.

I would second the recommendations to contact Womens Aid on 0808 2000 247 and the Lundy Bancroft book. Keep safe and make plans to leave him; WA can and will help you here in that respect.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 06-May-16 15:28:09


Have a close look at his own relationship with both his parents and his parents relationship overall. That will likely give you clues as well. I think your H's abusive behaviour is deeply ingrained and learnt from his own parents; we after all learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents. What did your parents teach you?.

KensalMama Fri 06-May-16 15:29:13

Hi, everyone, I cannot leave him, I have nowhere to go (parents are dead) plus our children are very young. I don't want to uproot them. I don't even really want to end the marriage, because I would rather we sorted things out and learnt how to communicate. But he always says it's my fault, never acknowledges anything, today he said I am "unmanageable"!?! I am disheartened to read the first response on the thread, according to which even cancelling would not help.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 06-May-16 15:43:46


Re your comment:-
"I don't even really want to end the marriage, because I would rather we sorted things out and learnt how to communicate"

No, no and no. That way madness lies.

Do not subscribe to the mistaken idea that abuse is related to "misunderstandings" or lack of communication. This is not about a lack of communication or misunderstanding. If discussion and compromise could help in any way most domestic violence situations would be long ago resolved because victims of abuse "discuss and compromise" constantly. On a wider level mediation assumes both parties will cooperate to make agreements work; the victim has always 'cooperated' with the abuser; the abuser never cooperates. You've always co-operated with him, he has never done that.

You are perfectly capable of communicating; the problem here is that your H does not want to listen to you at all and basically sees you as a possession to mistreat as he sees fit. You are a non person to him and in turn your children see his abuse of you as their mother. It is very damaging for them to see, particularly for your elder child who is far more aware.

This man is perfectly capable of communicating with other people but he chooses to be abusive to you. He enjoys the power and control he has over you. He hates your very being and likely hates all women to boot.

The other respondents are correct; joint counselling will not help and you will simply repeat what happened last time. No decent counsellor worth their salt would ever see the two of you in the same room together due to the verbal abuse he metes out towards you. You would never get any say in any joint counselling session.

You can and should leave him, there is no good reason at all to stay within this and you are married to this person. You are these children's primary carer and you are not as powerless as you think you are. Seeking legal advice re the finances and children would be a good start for you; knowledge after all is power. Take some power for your own self back for your sake as well as your children's.

princessmi12 Fri 06-May-16 15:44:49

Sorry just had to comment on sex aspect..
How does anyone get to a situation when there's no sex for a month let alone years and still can consider relationship to be happy. Looks like parents partnership to me instead of relationship between man and a woman..
OP have you tried everything he likes to get situation better? Do you even know what he likes??

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 06-May-16 15:46:07

By the way KM, he is really all those things he describes of you. That behaviour is called projecting and is one of many tactics employed by the abusive man to control and subjugate their victims (the plural is deliberate).

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 06-May-16 15:50:04

"OP have you tried everything he likes to get situation better? Do you even know what he likes??"


The lack of sex is the tip of a bloody huge iceberg.

He does not care about the OP, he just wants to put the boot into her at any and any given opportunity. Her children are also hearing him verbally abuse her as well.

What about the OP in all this, she is the one who has been on the receiving end of her Hs abuse for many years (and perhaps even from the early days of their relationship, who knows). Why would she want to have sex with this person at all given his verbal abuse of her?.

princessmi12 Fri 06-May-16 15:52:31

Well I think OP wants to have sex otherwise she wouldn't have mention it
And if she wants to then she should do something about it..its that simple

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 06-May-16 15:54:41

The lack of sex is a symptom of the overall poor state of the relationship, not the cause. His verbal abuse of the OP is the main issue here and she is not the only one being affected by that.

Kr1stina Fri 06-May-16 15:56:52

Princess mi , you wrote
Not saying the way he approaches is right at all.Some people just don't know how to voice their frustration in positive and productive way

How do you think this man has been able to become a respected successful professional if he acts like this at work ?

How is he able to communicate reasonably when there are others around but not when he is alone with his wife ?

Why doesn't he act like this with his children ?

princessmi12 Fri 06-May-16 15:59:23

I didn't say its the cause of the state of relationship.
Can we please let Op answer if she concerned with the lack of sex .I don't like to read between lines and assume things

n0ne Fri 06-May-16 16:02:55

Hey, not to hijack thread but I have a happy marriage with very little sex (like, 4-5 times a year?) We're simply too tired with full-time jobs, long commutes and a 3yo. Not everyone needs to be at it like rabbits.

That being said, OP is clearly unhappy with the lack of sex and her H is verbally abusing her. OP - I think you need to go to counselling alone to work out what's happening in an objective way and where you go from here.

ImperialBlether Fri 06-May-16 16:03:27

You really are throwing away your life if you think you're going to stay with him. He is incredibly abusive and your children are aware of this already. You do know that he will move on to tell the children those things about you, don't you? They won't respect you if their dad is so utterly disrespectful.

First you need to record him without him knowing. This is evidence to show anyone who argues with you and says he's a normal guy that he isn't. You will need this evidence if he is charming with others. I would record him and send the recording by email to a newly made email address.

Think of your children - how would you feel if they married someone like this? Without your own mother to help you, you have to parent yourself.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 06-May-16 16:05:31

Never ever have joint counselling with an abuser.
As you found out in the past it is actually very damaging for the victim.

Please do contact Womens Aid and have a chat with them about all of this.
They will help you to see things more clearly. 0808 2000 247

Of course you can leave the marriage.
This is YOUR life too.
If the DC overhear any of his rantings and name calling, can you imagine what lessons it will teach them for future relationships.

He IS abusive.
He will not change.
So it's up to you to take charge of your situation and change it for the better.

princessmi12 Fri 06-May-16 16:05:48

Because a lot of people behave with partner/spouse in a different way than with the rest of family/friends/colleagues around them.
This behaviour could be deep-rooted, almost subconscious model of relationship he witnessed between his parents and projects onto his wife in grown up life .

Jan45 Fri 06-May-16 16:06:56

So sad to read, you'd rather stay and be abused and let you kids see it and hear it and turn out the same than actually do anything about it.

You keep referring to we, there is no we, he does not want to change, he likes abusing you or else he wouldn't do it, funny how he can control himself around everyone else bar you, makes me so angry that women are putting up with this crap thinking it's for the good of the children, it isn't, it's harming them emotionally, don't be surprised if your son grown up exactly the same and your daughter cows down and looks for men who are aggressive, just like their dad.

You can do something about it, as long as you stay, he will continue and probably get worse as he grows older. You know the right thing to do.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 06-May-16 16:11:04


What do you make of the verbal abuse this man metes out towards the OP?. Abuse is not about a lack of communication or misunderstanding, its about having power and control over their intended victim in this case the OP.

Many abusive men are plausible to those in the outside world; these people however, do not see what he is like to the OP. Abuse also thrives on secrecy, I daresay that KM cannot talk at all openly to any of her friends about what is happening at home.

I have already stated that this behaviour is deeply rooted within his own psyche and that such men do not change.

princessmi12 Fri 06-May-16 16:17:34

Well I already said verbal abuse should not be tolerated.
If I was in OP shoes Id try to gain financial independence first of all so if situation intolerable, I could leave and start new life without worrying that I have nowhere to go. Funnily enough, this might actually help OP's Dh to respect her more and behave more respectfully.
At the moment he knows she's dependent on him and would not leave..and this enables his appalling behaviour

Jan45 Fri 06-May-16 16:28:05

Princess, someone doesn't turn nasty because they feel they have the person in a vulnerable position, you are either a nasty bastard or you are not, it has feck all to do with the OP being dependant on him, he's just a nasty little shit.

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