Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Is this emotional manipulation?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6

    Is this emotional manipulation?

    My husband and I have been married for almost seven years, and I am miserable lately. The first five years of our marriage were awful, and I can't move past them because I am worried he's going to resume his behaviors. If his mood is off when he comes home from work, I get a knot in my chest; I try to do everything perfectly or at least consistently; he doesn't say anything, but I try not to give him the opportunity to!

    He used to be so angry all the time when he came home from work; he'd complain constantly about everything, including how stupid, etc. women were (he had a bad job with a female boss). When I'd try to talk about my day, he would obviously quit listening and get angry if I called him on it. He was always accusing me of being angry (I could be sitting in front of the TV, and he'd walk in a room and ask why I was so angry) or he'd ask almost incessantly what was wrong. I'd tell him nothing, but he'd ask again five minutes later. I felt like I was always defending myself and it was frustrating. He doesn't control my finances, but when I made less money (we're even now), he would 'joke' about how expensive wives were, how when he was single he used to have lots of money, and complain that for some reason, since being married, he couldn't save money. He tells me I'm responsible for how he feels, though yesterday he tried to say he meant my happiness made him happy, and that was all he meant by that. So far as sex goes, if I didn't want to have it, something was wrong with me; he suggested I see a therapist; now, we don't have it unless I initiate it. I've told him many times things I like and don't like; he continues to do what I don't like. He suggested I was weird for not liking somethings because he previous girlfriends had.

    Talking to him is impossible if it has to do with how I feel. Used to, he would get angry or he would claim not to remember anything ("I never said that...."). Or, as more recently, if I tell him I'm unhappy, he'll start crying and get close to hysterical. A few days ago, after two years of keeping it to myself, I told him I was unhappy, and the next thing I know, he's telling me when I leave him, just please do it quickly because he couldn't stand for me to drag it out. He starting crying immediately, "I can't believe you said that you're unhappy", ran out of the room at one point.

    A few years ago, we got into a big fight where I admitted I wanted to leave. He alternated between completely stopping the behaviors above (and I didn't mention any of them to him, he stopped on his own) to telling me to go on and leave. He ran out of the house one day, and was crying out beside the barn, just staring into space, acting like he couldn't hear me asking him to come inside. One night, it escalated into a huge fight, where he went in the bedroom, got a handgun and threatened to kill himself if I left. I stayed, and I have been numb inside for the last two years.

    I have a new job, and I make decent money, enough that I'm not dependent. The behaviors have pretty much stopped (and did about the exact time I got this position), except he'll challenge me sometimes, sort of questioning my intelligence; he sometimes does this by turning conversations around or shifting their topics, only to conclude he was right and I was wrong; if I get upset, it's because I'm just like his grandmother, always right and can't tell her anything. Also, he wants me to justify my time at the office (I set my own schedule); if I get irritated, he'll tell me not to get defensive, he's only asking a simple question. On the other hand, he never yells, he never gets mad anymore, he says I love you a lot, always thank you for what I cook. Why do I feel like I'm still walking on eggshells? How do I move past my resentment, justfied or not? I'm sitting at my office right now, thinking to myself I need to leave so that I get home from work before he does or else.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator agent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    England
    Age
    37
    Posts
    10,472
    Gender
    Female
    Do you want to stay married to him?

    Seriously, it doesn't matter that he has been "better" lately, what matters is that his behaviour has ingrained a fear into you.

    Do you want to live like this?

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    190
    Yes, it is emotional abuse. You have had to learn and behave how to act so that he is - at the least - stable.

    If you don't want to live like that, then don't. Make a plan and leave. This isn't a normal two way street relationship.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,659
    for 5 years you accepted being dependent on him and "miserable".

    He didn't know you were miserable, he can't experience your misery and he can't make the past up to you.

    He's acting now as he did then, because you taught him this is the behavior you considerable acceptable by staying around.

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member Stella Sleepwalks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    England
    Age
    37
    Posts
    1,186
    Gender
    Female
    I've just exited a relationship where I was having to act like the perfect woman..... Even though he refused to actually treat me like the perfect woman!

    I got blamed for absoluely everything. Since the split I have wrestled with my emotions, because I don't think he knew what he was doing to an extent - I'm probably still making excuses. My ex was unstable with his emotions too - no suicide attempts or threats, but the crying was frequent. I still worry about him.

    You still feel like you're walking on egg shells because deep down you know he'll never change. This is only a lapse in his behaviour. I have been there, it doesn't last long. He probably knows you were/ are close to leaving and so now the roles have reversed somewhat - its now him being on his best behaviour - he's on eggshells too.

    Do some soul searching and see what you think is left in your relationship.

    Can you do any more?

    Can he do any more?

    If both answers are no........

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Crazyaboutdogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    56
    Posts
    25,633
    Gender
    Female
    Originally Posted by Excalibur
    for 5 years you accepted being dependent on him and "miserable".

    He didn't know you were miserable, he can't experience your misery and he can't make the past up to you.

    He's acting now as he did then, because you taught him this is the behavior you considerable acceptable by staying around.

    That is really oversimplifying things. This guy is a classic emotional abuser and no matter how much you try to talk things through, it doesn't help, because the words get twisted and manipulated. History always gets re-written with emotional abusers. Has he ever gone to counselling? Have both of you thought about couples counselling? Have you ever gone to counselling? It is far better to be single than to walk on eggshells around him. Emotional abusers and passive aggressive people (like your husband) typically trade one strategy for another...it helps keep the "victim" off guard and questionning whether they may have misinterpreted things. So, while he may have cleaned up his act in some areas, he basically just shifted strategies and is still abusing you.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator agent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    England
    Age
    37
    Posts
    10,472
    Gender
    Female
    He's acting now as he did then, because you taught him this is the behavior you considerable acceptable by staying around.
    He's not a dog, he wasn't trained.

    But he's definitely got the OP in a bad place in her head.

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6

    Is this emotional manipulation?

    I'm trying desperately to get in touch with a marriage counselor suggested by a friend, but with it being a holiday weekend, I haven't been able to reach her. I come home from work this afternoon, and ask him how his day was: "I got through it."And he sighs. He looks like somebody just ran over our dog; he decided to take a bath at 5 in the afternoon. I asked if he was feeling sick: "Well, not really sick, just bad." I should never have said anything to him (I told him I'm having trouble getting over our past, I'm not happy, I'm not in love with him right now, but I want to see a counselor and fix this)-- he's going to torture me until I tell him everything is ok. This is why I never bring up how I feel....

    I'm not in love with him anymore.... I'm not sure I know what that feels like. But I am afraid that I am blowing things out of proportion, that I'm going to regret it if I leave and that all of this is in my head. I don't know why I suddenly realized I was unhappy; probably work stress, I suppose.

    Is his reaction normal? Why aren't we talking? Why aren't we trying to figure out how to make things better? Why is he acting like the wounded one?!!!

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Crazyaboutdogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    56
    Posts
    25,633
    Gender
    Female
    Emotional abusers always act like the wounded one...that is part of the manipulation tactic...the purpose is to get the other side to feel guilty. Emotional abusers prey on the goodwill and kind heart of their partner. This is what he is doing to you. He is trying to make you feel guilty in order to deflect all the blame on to you. I would suggest you read up on emotional abuse. Check out this website: link removed and this website: link removed

  11. #10
    Platinum Member karvala's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2,898
    Labelling him as emotionally abusive is fine as far as it goes (although all such labelling is problematic in my view, but that's a different discussion), but it doesn't necessarily solve the problem: "he's an evil monster, you're good, you should leave him, end of story". If you want to leave, and that's it, then good for you, nobody will blame you (certainly not me), and fair enough.

    If you're not so sure, though, then it may be helpful to understand why he is like he is, and it sounds to me as though this is a guy on the edge of sanity, and deeply, deeply unhappy with himself, which he projects onto just about anything he can, and a guy struggling to understand himself, you and the world around him. He's struggling to survive with whatever haunts him, and he certainly needs professional help, that much is clear, and you shouldn't stay with him unless he gets it, for your own sake. And the situation needs complete honesty on both sides, and if you decide you want to make a go of it still (and like I say, I wouldn't blame you if you don't), an amnesty as far as possible on past crimes. You may benefit from counselling of your own as well.

    I'm sorry you've had to go through this.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •