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help me carry on with hyper critical husband

(122 Posts)
stuckwithit Tue 19-Jan-10 21:07:47

I've got 3 children and am feeling pretty desperate. Husband is very negative to me. Not physically abusive but he gives me a steady stream of verbal aggression for relatively minor misdiminers (spelling?).

It's been like this for years now, and especially since our second child.

I can't do right, often no matter how hard I try to keep the peace. ofcourse sometimes I fly off the handle when I can't take any more- I'm not perfect but I know he is our of order.

His behaviour could be classsed as verbal/emotional abuse but I'm still determined to save the marriage. I beleive he is a good man underneath and he is a good dad but he is pessimistic,critical and importantly, depressed. He does not except that as to him it's all my fault.

Any one been there/ i know that most people who are open to discuss this have been brave enough to leave their relationship, but really i could do with support on how to keep it together.

thesteelfairy Tue 19-Jan-10 21:12:28

Yes, I left him in the end. He would never change, people like this rarely do.

I know that is not what you want though and even now I still miss my exh sometimes even though our marriage was just awful.

This book might help you, it actually gives advice on how to stay in such a relationship but at the end of the day most people who do say that they chose the harder option and wish they had left The Verbally Abusive Relationship.

poshsinglemum Tue 19-Jan-10 21:16:23

Think carefully about WHY you want to save the marrriage. He sounds like a bully. Do you really want your kids to grow up thinking this is how women are to be treated. Do you want to save the marriage to keep your family togather ort do you actually love him and enjoy his company?

GypsyMoth Tue 19-Jan-10 21:17:57

i left too.....sorry,i could only advise you to do the same

stuckwithit Tue 19-Jan-10 21:19:43

Thanks steelfairy.

Was your husband always like that? I do respect your courage at getting out. I still feel at the moment that he is a loving dad and that maybe things can improve. I guess you have to leave once you're sure that your only real best option for the long term and in some cases this must be very clearand other cases not so clear.

I appreciate your advice.

I have got the book you mention and it has completely changed my view of his behaviour.

AnyFucker Tue 19-Jan-10 21:20:48

I am sorry, but I would not be willing to encourage someone to stay in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship

not just for you (you are a big girl no, I suppose), but for the twisted lessons your children are learning about relationships

my father was verbally abusive, hyper-critical, nasty and demeaning to my mother all my childhood (and remains so, even now)

I hate him, and have very little respect for her, for rolling over and taking it

not what you wanted to hear, I guess, but hey-ho, it was from the heart

stuckwithit Tue 19-Jan-10 21:22:07


Yes I do love him still, although it's hard a lot of the time.

I enjoy his company when he is in a good mood.

chippychippybangbang Tue 19-Jan-10 21:22:58

hi stuckwithit, it will only improve if you take action now. If you leave it, the "steady stream" of abuse will get worse, grind you down and you'll somehow get used to being treated this way and maybe even come to see it as normal.

You say you're desperate - do something then, go for counselling, tell him you've had enough of this horrible behaviour, anything, but don't just put up with it. I feel for you.

stuckwithit Tue 19-Jan-10 21:24:44

respect your view AF, are you speaking from experience?

I do ask myself the same thing too and am weighing everything up.

The kids love him and he loves the kids.

I don't think it's good for the kids to experience either.

dittany Tue 19-Jan-10 21:25:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Tue 19-Jan-10 21:27:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stuckwithit Tue 19-Jan-10 21:27:43


Did go for counselling via GP, but was CBT from a young, fairly inexperienced person who had no idea about this stuff.

I have told my GP tho and she is supportive so it is out in the open.

How can I get better counselling? Esp someone with insight into this?

thesteelfairy Tue 19-Jan-10 21:28:51

He started being like this just after my ds was born. Abusive men apparently often start their antics when their partner is pregnant or just had a child. As though a little switch flicks in their brains that says "well she isn't going anywhere now!". We were together a year before that and I didn't see much sign of it tbh.

Think of this, who is he to tell you off, abuse you, blame you, emotionally hurt you? You are supposed to be his partner in life not his emotional punch bag when things go wrong. He sounds like a "Blamer" to me, classic abusive behaviour. An even better book is this one inside the mind of the angry and controlling man and I also found this one extremely helpful living with the dominator. I needed these books because my ex managed to convince me that it was actually me who had the problem and his behaviours were perfectly normal and acceptable. I used to read these books and see my exh in Black and White in them and still wasn't sure I was being abused shock.

I understand you want to make it work, I really do, I felt that way for 8 years. Is he responsive when you try to discuss this kind of thing with him? How are things otherwise with him. Don't make the mistake of excusing him with saying he is depressed. Is he like this with anyone else? or he does he generally save it up for you, his wife and partner in life? Because if it is only you who is the lucky recipiant then he isn't depressed, he is abusive.

AnyFucker Tue 19-Jan-10 21:31:31

stuckwithit, I am speaking from 18 years of experience of watching my mother get steadily ground down further and further, get hooked on drugs for anxiety and anti-depressants and make a pretty good attempt at smoking herself half to death

I find it quite difficult to have a preoper relationship with her now...and don't even have one with my father

my Dad did do the same to us kids too

I would not live with this myself, I would not be looking for ways of how I had to change to handle him and I would not like to let my kids see it happening

and if you think they don't notice most of are misguided

stuckwithit Tue 19-Jan-10 21:32:30

thanks. will get next book too.

I do try to block his verbal abuse and atfirst this strategy was powerful and gave him insight but lately his response would be to tell me that i'm being aggressive or shouting if I told him to stop (even when not shouting). So i'm loosing heart with blocking.

I am so desperate. My children are my focus in this really.

thesteelfairy Tue 19-Jan-10 21:35:11

Ah yes, stop shouting, stop being aggressive, refusing to engage with you until you are talking and behaving in the way he deems acceptable, does he do that too? He is adapting to your tactics of dealing with his abuse in order to be able to continue.

chippychippybangbang Tue 19-Jan-10 21:35:44

Deep down can you see yourself with him in 20 or 30 years? How do you imagine you'll be then if he carries on this way. Listen to AF, she speaks a lot of sense.

For any of us who've been there, we really want to help those who still are, because it really sucks and you do not need to live like this.

chippychippybangbang Tue 19-Jan-10 21:36:51

the accusing you of shouting one is such a classic..

stuckwithit Tue 19-Jan-10 21:39:15

AF, your experience is heart wrenching and thanks for telling me.

I completely agree that kids notice the whole thing.

I'm struggling but maybe not to the extent that your mum was.

I'm at the stage of trying to cope and making up my mind about the long term. I greatly value all your help I really do as I can't to talk to anyone else really (other than I've told GP).

chippychippybangbang Tue 19-Jan-10 21:41:38

Is there anyone in RL you can confide in? Doesn't actually need to be a close friend, often an acquaintance can really come into their own and a bit of distance can help too.

I bet more people are aware of this than you realise (it's amazing how perceptive people can be), and would be more than happy to help you.

AnyFucker Tue 19-Jan-10 21:43:41

you see, all the time I was growing up, my mother had us kids to focus on

now we are grown and flown the nest, she is stuck with someone who continues to take his bile and bitterness out on her

you see, she lost the strength to leave or stop him from doing it a long, long time ago

I think that is what will happen to you, stuckwithit, if you let it

you are desperate, have tried some strategies to deal with it and are already discarding them, you call yourself "stuckwithit" as if you see your life mapped out in front of you with an abuser...

I am sorry

thesteelfairy Tue 19-Jan-10 21:44:00

Isn't it just chippy? I used to be bursting with rage as I tried to moderate my voice in order not to be found aggressive or shouty and get myself heard.

AF I actually had a nervous breakdown myself after only 8 years of this kind of thing, the only reason I am not on medication is that I am intolerant of it. I can't stand the idea of my daughter feeling about me the way you do towards your other because I didn't sort out this situation sooner sad.

stuckwithit Tue 19-Jan-10 21:44:00

I do see us still together in 20 or 30 years, although when it gets on top of me ofcourse I question that.

Best way to deal with someone who is accusing you of shouting?

sometimes when I have brought it up he has been open for discussion and shown some insight, although not so much in last couple of months.

ItsGraceAgain Tue 19-Jan-10 21:44:01

On 'my' other forum, I regularly help to guide men like your husband, whose wives have recently left them. Their eagerness to improve is genuine and touching - they make rapid changes, get fitter, revive their social lives, take their meds, become involved fathers and regret taking their wives for granted.

Frustratingly, nearly all of them refused to go to counselling when their wives suggested it. They only wake up when the wife has taken as much as she can stand, and kicked him out hmm

On this basis, I'd recommend making it utterly, starkly clear that he is GOING unless he fixes himself within, let's say, nine months (average time for 'my guys). Write him a list; they can be very dense about these things. You may need to actually serve separation papers to make your point.

You might want to show him a couple of the threads, if you think they demonstrate what you're aiming for!
Current 'improvers':

Good luck ...

ItsGraceAgain Tue 19-Jan-10 21:46:43

Sorry, I forgot to add: This is abuse, whether or not there's a fixable reason behind it. It would be reasonable of you to end the relationship because of it. I'm just accepting your belief that he can change, and trying to work with that

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