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Relate counsellor says my husband is emotionally abusive

(73 Posts)
Proseccodreams Fri 07-Aug-20 23:08:04

My husband and I have not been getting on for a long time now and so we have started seeing a Relate counsellor. When I had my one on one session with her and I was describing how my husband talks to me and treats me she said it was emotional abuse and she feared for my safety. I am so confused. I know I am not happy with the way he talks to me including in front of our daughter but I never felt scared before. She said that when a woman tries to leave an emotionally abusive relationship that’s when they’re at the most risk. Is there any way she’s got it wrong, does it have to be the end of the line for us? I had hoped we could work it through but she is adamant things are unlikely to change

OP’s posts: |
SandyY2K Fri 07-Aug-20 23:56:05

The counsellor is probably right about him not changing...especially if he refuses to accept responsibility.

Google the power and control wheel and see if any of it resonates with you.

madroid Sat 08-Aug-20 00:22:28

Do you know much about emotional abuse?

If not, find out. Read up on it as much as you can. There's no rush if you don't feel you are in danger to decide what to do so don't feel pressured into making a decision before you are sure.

Once you educate yourself I predict the scales will fall from your eyes and you will see things very differently yourself.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sat 08-Aug-20 00:43:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JulyBreeze Sat 08-Aug-20 00:45:47

Difficult for us to judge without more detail OP. I have limited faith in Relate counsellors precisely because ours didn't really listen to me when I was telling him my husband was abusive!

How does yr H speak to you, what's the worst thing he's ever said/done? Doesn't matter if it seems "silly", but what's hurt you the most?

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sat 08-Aug-20 00:47:49

Oh FFs I’m so sorry Op! I typed @ and it added your username when I posted, completely defeating the point of my post. I’ve reported it and hope the overnight team can amend or delete. blush. Stupid bloody phone.

Proseccodreams Sat 08-Aug-20 18:32:18

Thanks for sorting that mistake.🙂
Yes he calls me stupid and says I don’t have a brain, says I’m not good at anything. He’ll never apologise after an argument when he says nasty things to me and very rarely says anything nice to me. He calls me things like dummy mummy in front of our daughter but says I just can’t take a joke.
I guess I always thought I could sort things out with him, I’m saying to him at the moment that I am not prepared to let him speak to me like he does anymore and it has to stop. The counsellor says she’s worried I’m not safe. I’ll do some reading up. I just always thought we would be able to work through it

OP’s posts: |
backseatcookers Sat 08-Aug-20 18:39:22

Don't just think of risk in terms of physical violence. You are being emotionally abused to the point you sound like you have lost perspective and don't realise how bad it is. How shocking it is for a man to put down and mock the mother of his child in front of that child.

Remember, you are teaching your daughter what a relationship looks like. So unless you show her this is unacceptable by leaving him, she will go into her teens and adulthood believing it is normal and acceptable for a man to tell her she is stupid and incapable. That it's ok for a man to tell her that and not show her any affection, to say nasty things to her and about her, because she will think this is just how a relationship is.

If you can't leave for your sake then leave for hers.

Cloudfrost Sat 08-Aug-20 19:48:46

All the things u have mentioned can definitely be signs of emotional abuse, but most significantly its a massive red flag of abuse when they turn it on you, that whatever they said was a joke, you misunderstood, they never said that you are imagining things, you are crazy. Best thing you will get out of these people, is I don't remember saying that... Think about it, someone in an emotionally healthy relationship would have a partner who would care that they have hurt you, who would apologise

user1294625849274 Sat 08-Aug-20 19:57:02

Look at the Freedom Programme.

You would probably be safer if you didn't challenge him. By doing so you're tipping him off that he's losing control of you, which is what makes leaving dangerous. Abuse is about power and control; abusers escalate when they feel they're losing control of their target.

user1294625849274 Sat 08-Aug-20 19:58:14

Oh, and you can't "work through it" because his behaviour is deliberate - this is how he wants things to be.

IceCreamSummer20 Sat 08-Aug-20 20:04:16

I don’t think a Relate counsellor is qualified to say - my Ex saw a counselor who suggested I was emotionally abusive - when it was actually Ex and he ramped up the anger towards me as a result. Counselor’s are not qualified unless they have specific training and expertise.

However - a domestic abusive counselor will be able to help you here far better. And it does sound like he has a problem - which could well be emotional abuse as repeated put downs are a real hall mark.

You have had good advice here. Any hint of abuse and you need to go yourself to an expert in this area and work it through yourself - and decide what to do. The freedom programme is very good. It is not a good idea to tackle him or to go to couples therapy.

willowmelangell Sat 08-Aug-20 20:28:53

I am glad you had that one to one. I am concerned that he went to the sessions to try and re-enforce his idea that you are the problem.
You are not the problem.
Any man who speaks to his wife in such a disgusting way is the problem. It is so unlikely that he will change his rigid mindset. The belittling, the putting you down, telling you that you are a dummy? Horrible words. Deliberately designed to keep you small, confused, compliant and always trying to please.
If a teacher of your dd called her dummy or stupid or useless what would you do? You would charge up to the school and bring down the wrath of almighty hellfire to put that teacher straight!
Your 'D'H is teaching your dd it is ok to speak like that to someone he is supposed to love. Very warped and twisted.
You cannot fix him. Relate cannot fix him.
Maybe think about how nice and freeing it would be for you and dd if you both did not have this sneering, dominating, mood controlling, fun sucker out of your lives?

BlogTheBlogger Sat 08-Aug-20 20:31:19

Does he know the counselor has this opinion? And is HE going to have one-to-one sessions too (so he can hopefully be shown what he is doing)?

Proseccodreams Sat 08-Aug-20 23:10:36

No I haven’t told him, she warned me against it. God this is all so frightening. I think I need to do some reading up about it. He has just spent this evening telling me how I’m wasting money we don’t have by going to Relate. It’s all such a mess I don’t know what to do. Do you think I should confide in some friends?

OP’s posts: |
Greenbks Sat 08-Aug-20 23:16:41

Hi op, what do your friends /family think of him? Or does he hide these comments towards you from them?

heartache590 Sat 08-Aug-20 23:36:48

I would be careful on any external advice. Your instincts are a better bet. He clearly sounds off, but people follow a pattern.

If you label someone a racist who isnt, they will say 'no I am not'. If you say that is a classic sign of a racist then they are damned either way off the accusation. He needs to take responsibility, but that might involve not using the label 'abuser' on him to get the desirable result of a changed man. I dont believe anyone other than a clinical psychiatrist is qualified to call someone an abuser.

heartache590 Sat 08-Aug-20 23:39:57

I should add. It is the behaviour that is abusive, not the person. The same theory applies to children behaviour etc. It isnt a coincedence that statistically 'abusers' were abuse victims.

Proseccodreams Sat 08-Aug-20 23:42:15

Honestly I think they see changes in me. A lot of friends have backed off. My friends don’t seem to warm to him but he can be shy, he doesn’t try particularly with them most of the time and says I have made him lose his confidence .....

OP’s posts: |
Proseccodreams Sat 08-Aug-20 23:43:57

I do think he’s a troubled person, I think he suffers from a bit of depression too. I don’t think he’s a bad person he’s just a bit messed up on the inside

OP’s posts: |
gottastopeatingchocolate Sat 08-Aug-20 23:46:55

Hi, OP.
Relationship counselling doesn't work where there is abuse.

Can you Google your local domestic abuse charity? Give them a call and talk it through with them.

Google "Why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft. There is a free pdf download. See how much it resonates with you.

Proseccodreams Sat 08-Aug-20 23:48:15

Can I just say thank you so much everyone for taking the time to reply to my post and discuss it with me, it’s so nice to be able to talk freely x

OP’s posts: |
Proseccodreams Sat 08-Aug-20 23:48:58

Ok thanks will take a look

OP’s posts: |
katy1213 Sun 09-Aug-20 00:03:20

I doubt he'll change. Do you want to spend your life with someone 'messed up on the inside?"

PeppersYellow Sun 09-Aug-20 00:10:37

Maybe he's manipulating your friends into not being friends with you by making them feel uncomfortable? It does sound like abuse but as another poster said I'd be wary of what the counsellor said as they don't always get it right. If you have ever challenged him on the way he talks to you then how has he reacted? Not saying that you should challenge just that if you are in fear of his reaction it may mean you're scared of him and you should seriously consider that. Of course he doesn't want to go to Relate as at some point he will have to take responsibility for his behaviour instead of blaming everything on you. I don't think he will change. You might however and for the worst if this carries on. You might have your confidence knocked big time. He's belittling you to make himself feel better which is a totally shitty thing to do.

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