Monthly Archives: November 2016

Abusive Behavior – Men Who Rage, Women Who Love Them – Part 2 of 2

abusivebehaviortmp(Read Part 1 Here)

Are you the husband who rages at his wife?  

Do you yell and fly off the handle when you are stressed?  

Do you curse at your family and call them names?

If you are, I’m worried about you, because I can see the future.  

Years of working with women like your wife have shown me the cycle of what happens almost every single time.  

It usually ends with you being served divorce papers, or your wife shutting down and leaving the marriage physically or emotionally.  

What worries me is that you are most likely justifying your abusive behavior.  

Either because you know your wife can ‘give as good as she gets,’ or because you aren’t nearly as loud or angry or mean as one of your parents, so you tell yourself you are doing ok.  

I really hope you are listening to me now because it is NOT ok.  

I’m writing this because I’m so tired of seeing the damage this kind of anger is doing to families.  I promise you this isn’t going to end well for you.  I can only hope you are really listening to me.  

And here’s the thing: if you are like most of the men I see, you really aren’t a bad guy.  You probably really have turned down all the anger from what you grew up experiencing, and so it seems more acceptable to you.  

But deep down, I know you feel something isn’t right.  

You may feel guilty about the last fight for a day, but then you begin to minimize the damage.  

After all, today everyone seems to have gotten over it, so it must not be too bad.  Your hurtful words and intimidation are leaving deep emotional scars that unfortunately for you aren’t visible.

One woman recently told me she wished her husband actually physically hit her instead of raging because then there would be proof of his abusive behavior.  

There would be no way to spin his way out of it either.  

And she could see the marks and know without a doubt that she was experiencing abuse and it wasn’t all in her head.

You may believe you are doing ok, but if your spouse is intimidated, you are in trouble.  

Your marriage is in trouble.  

Marriages can survive anything except the loss of safety and security.  

If your spouse feels intimidated, she feels unsafe. Period.

Abusive Behavior: it doesn’t have to look like raging.  

It can be intense conversations where you demand your spouse give you something she is unwilling or unable to provide, or there is a threat.  

Most of the times, I eventually get to meet and work with guys like you.  

Here is what I’ve discovered.  Without exception, you are very charming and witty.  

You often appear to be very easy going but in fact, have a very short fuse.  You are often not trying to be mean or controlling, but you have a lot of fear or anxiety, and you want your spouse to relieve the pressure you feel.  

So you make demands, lose your cool, or threaten divorce if you don’t get what you need.

Your wife is worried about your relationship.

She wants so much to feel close to you, but she cannot allow herself to let her guard down. 

You may not have even noticed she is guarded.  

That’s not entirely your lack of sensitivity.  Your wife is used to keeping the peace.  

She doesn’t want you to know how unhappy she really is because she doesn’t want to hurt you.  But trust me on this…she is unhappy.  And she will struggle with these feelings for years.  

Your kids see your angry outbursts, but they may never let you know.  

They are afraid of you too.

Your anger keeps everyone that experiences it at a safe distance.  

Your home should be the safest place in the world for your wife and kids.  

If it isn’t, you aren’t doing your job well enough.  

Raging at your family can feel powerful and good.  Even if you feel like a jerk afterward, there is something very indulgent about letting loose.  

I’m trying to help you see that your behavior has a price tag, and it is probably way more than you are willing to pay.  

If you knew what was coming.  

If you could see what I see.  

So wake up!  Your family is not your emotional punching bag.  

Learn how to control your anger.  Learn what triggers you to fly off the handle and do whatever it takes to stop.  

Invest in counseling for yourself and for your marriage.  You owe that to your family.  If you don’t do this work, your kids will be doing it for years.  You are creating a legacy that will carry on for generations.  

At The Marriage Place, we can help both of you understand just how toxic this dynamic is to both of you and we can help you stop.  

We can show you how to feel safe and cherished with each other again.  

Call us at 972-441-4432 or contact us here.  

PS. Stay tuned for a future post about abusive women and the husbands who love them. We know it works both ways.

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Verbal Abuse,  Part 1 of 2 – Men Who Rage and The Women Who Love Them


abusive behaviorVerbal Abuse – I see it a lot.

I’ve been seeing a lot of clients lately who are married to men who are funny, witty, charming and loving….most of the time. But these men also have a darker side.  

They can be threatening and intimidating.  They can fly off the handle and say hurtful, cruel things to their wives. 

When your husband has a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde side, you live in a world of confusion.  

You long for the gentleness that only others see in your husband.  But because you have witnessed his dark side, you cannot fully let your guard down.  You feel more isolated and alone as the years go by.

I worry about you.  I see someone like you in my office every week.  I get it.  

I know you feel disloyal when you talk about your husband’s temper or fits of rage.  

I know you can go days or weeks or even months without a blow up and so you tell yourself things aren’t so bad.  

I hear how you explain to me how good your life is most of the time.

You tell me what a good provider your husband is and how sweet and generous he can be.  

But I also hear how you cry yourself to sleep on those nights when he exploded over something so innocent you still can’t believe it happened.  

I see you the next morning when you are scared and alone and feel you can’t stay in the marriage another day.

I also know many of you feel guilty because you can rage right along with him.  

You have said hurtful things as well, and your behavior embarrasses you.  

It makes you feel you have no right to point the finger at your husband.

This isn’t going to get any better until you stop minimizing what is happening in your home and make some changes.  

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Minimizing and denying verbal abuse is what feeds this cycle.

I have some good news and some bad news for you.  Are you ready?

The good news is you aren’t crazy.  

You are being abused if your husband calls you names, rages in anger or shuts you down with emotional intimidation.

This isn’t normal fighting that all couples experience.  

This is abusive.

The bad news is you have to clean up your side of this mess.  

If you are participating in the raging, you are also being abusive.  

It isn’t ok to meet aggression with aggression.  

Step 1 in Stopping Verbal Abuse

If you can join the crazy train with your husband, your first job is to stop indulging yourself this way.  

It feels good to unleash all your anger on someone.  

It’s a physical release to slam doors, scream names and insults and throw temper tantrums.  

But you absolutely have to stop.

Walk away when things are getting this intense.  

Your husband may escalate, but you can refuse to join him.

Step 2 in Stopping Verbal Abuse

The second step is to talk to your spouse when things are calm.  

Explain how these fights are causing you distress.  

Tell him you need for him to control himself and you will do a better job of controlling yourself.  

Ask him to come to counseling with you.  If he refuses, that’s ok.  Come anyway.  

You need to learn how to set appropriate limits on your spouse when he is popping his cork.  

You need to learn how to protect yourself and your marriage.

I promise, if you keep doing nothing, your relationship will suffer.  Possibly to the point you can’t recover.  

Relationships can survive anything except the permanent loss of security and safety.  

Every time you have a fight it damages that sense of security for you.  

You will start to detach from your husband.  

I want you to learn how to stop this before it is too late.  

At The Marriage Place, we can help both of you understand just how toxic this dynamic is, and we can help you stop.  

We can show you how to feel safe and cherished with each other again.  

Call us at 972-441-4432 or contact us here.  

You can start feeling better about your relationship as soon as you make the call because you are finally doing something that works.

 

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