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verbal abuse.. and sick of it


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I've posted something similar before.. how my husband has a hard work schedule.. suffers from depression.. etc. etc. However, I am sick of making excuses for him and the way he treats me. We have been dealing with this for a few years now.. and its obviously not getting any better.


I understand normal couples have occasional fights and disagreements.. I understand that. Fights about household chores, money, kids, etc. We have all that too however he gets angry and takes it out on me... Let me walk you through yesterday..


Hes working nights and sleeping days. I go out of my way during the day to keep our two year old son, 7 week old baby, and 9 month old puppy as quiet as possible. Yesterday he apparently had a heard time sleeping, woke up around 5pm hungry, tired.. with a headache, and an upset stomach. I get it.


Him- comes down stairs... "Oh dear looks like the dog chewed something again. Why are you giving him plastic to chew." (he chewed up one of my sons bubble containers.)

Me- "yes, I purposely gave him something to chew and leave all over the yard."

Him- "Im hungry whats for dinner?"

Me- If you could hold the baby for a few minutes I will go ahead and start it so we can eat in an hour..

Him- cant wait that long-- need to eat now..

then he goes into bathroom where i Had a permanent marker on the counter when washing my sons hands earlier and forgot it.. but our bathroom stays shut so he couldnt get it anyways..

Him- "Oh look your leaving a permanent marker for you son to draw all over our house with, you just dont think do you?? you have no respect for our house."

Me- walk away and ingore it.. continue with dinner..

then our phone rings.. hospital wants to set up a payment plan from birth.. he hands me the phone cuz he doesnt want to deal with it while im cooking dinner..after phone conversation I say

Me- I would like you to take a message and I can call them back instead of handing me a phone call like that in the middle of a busy time of day. I deal with that stuff during naptime.

Him- "they shouldnt have to call obviously your slacking on the bills just like everything else.."

I cook dinner..he refuses to eat with us.. whatever.. I then go upstairs to change the sheets on my toddlers bed because his diaper leaked during naptime.. then he comes in..

Him- why are you taking those off..

Me- because his diaper leaked.. again..

Him- oh dont worry Ill take these sheets downstairs for you and wash them..

Me- thanks..

Him- oh and why is the basket of clean clothes all over the floor in our bedroom

Me- becasue I havent had time to fold them and needed something out of it earlier for the baby while you were sleeping and it was dark.. when I get a chance i will put them away.. if its bothering you you can do it too

Him- whatever you just cant do anything right now i dont know whats clean or dirty and our room is a mess..

I get kids in bed.. and walk back downstairs.. where he observes a light scratch on our brand new wood floors from the dog earlier.. and after I noticed it I kept the dog off the floors because his nails need to be cut..

Him- What the F*** how does this happen?! we cant have anything nice.. were you not watching everyone today?! Why would you let them take a fork to the floor.. honestly this is ridiculous.. you just dont care.. your useless

Me- calmly explain how the dog was playing with his ball-- scratched the floor and I sent him and ball outside..

Him- yea im sure you did... i was asleep for 5 hours.. and I KNEW you would let something like this happen..

Me- I told you before we put wood floors down that they were going to get scratched.. we have a puppy and young kids.. i warned you and told you if your going to become OCD about it then we need to put carpet down until they are older.

Him- whatever im sick of this.. we cant have anything nice without you or kids ruining everything..


a few hours go by...


i basically ask him what he wants to do.. he continues to blow up and make me feel like crap and blame me for useless things.. i pour my heart out.. tell him how hes making me feel.. he tells me "oh well leave me then" and we dont talk until I go up to him and apologize.. the only apology i get from him will be a quick 'sorry'.. he will never admit that he started all this.. and that a lot of it is him... This happens like once a month.. and im sick of it. Yes.. the other days things seem perfect.. hes a great dad.. and 80% of the time a wonderful husband.. but this behavior is unacceptable. I refuse to be in a relationship where I am talked to like this... I wish more then anything he can just learn to control his temper and we could make this work.. but im loosing hope. And the fact that I tell him I might leave him he just says "do what you have to do"


Is this is anyway normal in a marriage.. am I wrong for seriously considering splitting our family up??

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Yes, if he recognizes his depression, or if it's been addressed before, he should at least give medication a try. For some people it's only temporary.


Verbal abuse is very difficult, and each harsh word from the one you love can put undermining chinks in the integrity of the relationship. It's very hard on a marriage when love and support only seem to work one way. I know this very well, and my own marriage suffered for it (compounded by the fact that I handled it the wrong way.) It's particularly hard when your partner is unwilling to recognize what it's doing to you.


It's good that you seem to recognize the difference between an occasional tiff/fight, as learning the difference can help you move past blaming yourself. If you've searched your soul, and found you've been as kind as you can reasonably be, and he's still not budging, I would recommend counseling. Perhaps if a third party advises him of his depression, he'll be willing to try it. Obviously, the work schedule is problematic, but there may still be a way. Maybe you're not doing everything right, but you don't have to. You can only try your best, and if you are, you have every right to expect your spouse to do the same.

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Hi Supermom, My heart breaks for you.


You said, "Is this is anyway normal in a marriage.." NO this is not normal!

You said, "am I wrong for seriously considering splitting our family up??" I never recommend splitting up...but in your case?


He has depression... oh poor boy. Everyone who watches TV is depressed, (they tell me I am so I must be), but they don't act like big dopey heads.

Stop making excuses for him. Sure there are depressed persons in the world...and they end up divorced if they refuse to get help.



Tell him you are not his daughter and you expect him to talk to you respectfully.


If he refuses he must leave. Tell him to send his paycheck by mail or you will serve him.

If he stands down...he must change and get help...on his own.

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I agree. The depression isnt an excuse to talk to me the way he does. I know for a fact he would NEVER talk to his boss or coworkers that way. So if he can control it to keep a job.. he should be able to bite his tongue to keep his wife and family if we are really that important to him.


I know something drastic needs to happen.. and its up to me to make it happen to make him realize whats going on. In his mind (and partily in mine too) he thinks I am the one to leave. The house, the cars, etc. are in his name.. and all my family and friends live in another state. So if we were to split up I would most likely go back there to be near them. However.. right now I just dont have the will power to pack up all our stuff.. get a moving truck and move 13 hours away with young children..


I would love if I could kick him out.. make him leave for a while.. and give everyone time to adjust and work this out before just packing up and moving.. how does one make that happen?? Do I have any rights to the house..


The hardest part for me.. is when I leave.. I would of course get child support etc.. but I would be taking my boys from a big three story house... yard.. their own rooms.. to a small apartment.. we would be going from living off my husbands 100k a year to basically ends meat.. I would go from being able to stay home with them to having to put them in daycare so I could work as well to provide for my boys.. thats the part that kills me.


I know its not right for them to see this behavior.. and as they get older they will be more aware. I know they dont need material things like a big house.. etc to be successful and everything. but it really just breaks me heart to think of putting them in daycare to work.. but i guess you do what you gotta do right

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If you really want to go I would contact a lawyer before you leave where you are. Just because things are in HIS name does not mean you are not entitled to them as his wife. You are right, it does not matter what his issues are he has no excuse to talk that way.


Have you tried marriage counseling?

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Is this really true?


If it really is, he's 80% wonderful and this happens like once a month you are in the wrong section. You need the "how do I stop being an ungrateful wife" section.


And yes, it is very normal in most marriages to have situations like and yes you are 100% wrong for considering splitting it over something like this. When you live for years with the %20 version of him, have tried everything in your power to save your marriage and it failed, then you can consider splitting up your marriage. Can I ask if you are also a stay at home mom?

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Just saw your other post. It seems to me you are looking for support and encouragement to go ahead and go through with it not actual advice. Sorry I can't do that but there's plenty of that around.


PS: There are only a few things that are more devastating to a child's raising than divorce and being raised without a father. What you are describing doesn't even compare to what you are about to put your kids through.

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In this day and age they do not have to be raised without a father. A Lot of fathers get shared custody, heck my father even got visitation in 1973 and he was diagnosed with severe mental illness and had tried to murder my mother. Sure divorce hurts but teaching a child to believe they are not worthy of respect and to teach a child how to not treat others with respect is not helpful either. OP if YOU feel you are being verbally abused than I would not minimize what you feel and just "put up" with it. Address it, go to counseling, communicate with him about how this makes you feel. Try for the sake of your children and your marriage but be proactive about getting the respect growing between you and your husband. Sure it is best to have both parents in your life and I fully support a father's right to parent his children provided the parent is fit (and that includes mother or father), but not at the expense of having your self worth extinguished.

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I think what you mean is it's not right to be verbally abused. In marriage or not in marriage. Is it normal to have some form of verbal abuse in every marriage? Yes, very much so. And it's rarely one person that's the sole cause for it. It's a communication issue on both parts, which is what this is all about.


Once again I think people without qualifications use terms they shouldn't be using and are applying it at will without actually knowing the real story. You have no idea if what's taking place is verbal abuse. Or emotional abuse and verbal abuse. Cause and effect. You don't know both sides of the story.


If he's asked her to perform a task over and over and over and she refuses repeatedly and he deems it's irresponsible...than that is a form of abuse to him. He's responding with verbal abuse. They have communication issues.


"Me- becasue I havent had time to fold them and needed something out of it earlier for the baby while you were sleeping and it was dark.. when I get a chance i will put them away.. if its bothering you you can do it too"


He's the working husband.

She's the housewife.


They both have very hard jobs. Her husband feels like she's not taking care of the house. She feels like she's doing enough. We don't really know who is right. But in this situation, the traditional marriage, it's the equivalent of him coming up short on bills every month and when she complains about it from the view point of a housewife, he responds with: "if you don't like it you can get a job".


She might have something to complain about at that point.

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OK now we are making some grounds in some respects. Yes, I do believe a communication break down is at the route of it and of course there is always more than one person in the mix. Of course they have to learn how to communicate respectfully and effectively again.


Baring that they can not do that or one party does not want to do that there are other options.

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OK now we are making some grounds in some respects. Yes, I do believe a communication break down is at the route of it and of course there is always more than one person in the mix. Of course they have to learn how to communicate respectfully and effectively again.


Baring that they can not do that or one party does not want to do that there are other options.


When someone responds with something that may be considered verbal abuse, because of a valid reason, or because of emotional abuse, that to me is a communication issue. And there is always two sides to this story. From what I read he's not calling her names for no reason, but he's not pleased with her work. Whether or not he's nitpicking, and this is his way of dealing with it(which I agree, would be considered a problem) or if it's her not keeping up with her end of the bargain, we just don't know without knowing what the original agreement was between the two of them and hearing both sides of the story.


Which is why I feel like she's not here for help. She's complaining. She has told us nothing about the agreement between them and has not admitted any faults at all(which is always the first sign of someone throwing the blame, looking for support not help and not taking a look at themselves).


In my house what he's doing might be considered nitpicking. Because I would have never had those types of expectations from my spouse to begin with but I also do not make 100k a year. I let some things slide. In my friend's house, who has always been OCD about having his house spotless and clean since before he got engaged, that would be considered her not keeping up her end of the bargain and SHE WORKS TOO. If she wants a "re-negotiation", then try to re-negotiate.


Is she making excuses about the basket of clothes on the floor when she could have done something about it and is a repeated event? Has she made reasonable effort to keep the floors from getting scratched(cut the dog's nails, keep an eye on the kids) or did she not even try? Or is it really impossible and he is really being unreasonable? How can one know? I cannot condone any kind of divorce advice based on situations like this. If you want that, bring your husband to ENA and let us all hear both sides of the story.

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^^ The thing is people can vent or complain if they want. If that is what she wants to do that is ok too, that is what sites are for. However eNA does not encourage couples to have slug fests on the forum and the threads are shut down and the people are banned. So telling her to bring her husband on is not cool.

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Well I would hope it not to be a slug fest. Not sure why you are expecting that. And don't worry I highly doubt that will happen. My point is, you cannot play marriage councilor with one person, and you should not play divorce councilor with one person either. Her venting is one thing. Encouraging separation based on one what is clearly on person's viewpoint and leaves a lot of questions unanswered to begin with is just not right. Personally I won't participate in that unless I have some very clear evidence of one person's wrong doing. Cheating, violence, molestation, etc.

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Thank you both for you input. Victoria I completely agree with you. In this day and age children don't NEED a father-- and people should not be talked to this way.


Of course.. I would love for things to work out. Im not complaining that hes frustrated, or angry. Its perfectly normal to feel that way at times.. but to speak to someone that is suppose to be your partner.. your team player.. your best friend.. and to say things like "your useless, you dont care about our children, you do nothing right, you don't think" he is contasntly saying things to make me feel shameful, or to find some way to blame me... yes I think this classifies as verbal abuse, and nope sorry I dont care if he has a job or what he can find a better way to communicate his needs. And then when I pour my heart out and make him aware that im hanging on by a string.. for him to basically say "oh well i dont care do what you need to do" doesnt make my choice much easier..


Yes your right we obviously dont communicate. I know this is a problem. However, hes is not willing to admit that to fix things!


Growing in- I have to disagree with some of the things you say. Yes you dont know both sides.. yes there can be things I am doing to contribute at times. I'm well aware. But I am sorry-- for someone to come out of bed and start a day that way and to accuse me of giving my son a fork to scrape on the flooor is just insane and obvious that he likes to say to just say it. He could have eaisly said "good afternoon, i had a hard time sleeping give me some alone time." or "did you notice the dog chewed something outside again, maybe we need to better check the yard for toys."


I have no problem getting a job. I am a very career oriented person and I am currently putting my career on hold to raise our children until they enter kindergarten. Plus for me to work I would only be bringing in a small amount after childcare expenses. So its just not worth it. I am currently working on my masters degree, and have a small occasional/ part time job outside the home. Also two days a week I have an extra two year old all day that I watch to bring in extra cash. So yes-- he works crazy hours.. brings in most of the money.. I respect that.. I respect his need to sleep during the day.. I do household chores.. I cook.. our house is vacuumed and mopped everyday.. im a bit ocd about keeping it clean so thats really not an issue. However-- I do not feel that because he has a higher paying job then me he does not have to do laundry or help around the house. Yes I will get to laundry when it needs to be done.. however for him to make comments about it not being done is inappropriate, and he is more then welcome to fold it himself. Especially when he is in our bedroom sleeping all day-- and i can only put laundry away in there after he wakes up.


He suffers from depression... hes been in and out of counseling.. on and off medications.. I have been very patient and dealing with being his 'punching bag' for a long time. I refuse to let me kids learn that this is okay.. and I will be the one to break the cycle so they dont talk to their wives this way. I of course want the best for everyone-- most importantly my children. Divorce is that last thing I want to do-- but obviously thats why I am here. I am at a breaking point and no longer know what to do.

I wish more then ever he can find a way to better cope with anger/ stress/ frustration. But sadly thats an everyday part of life.. and if he cant find a healthier way to handle it.. then I have no other choice


I think yes-- maybe part of the reason I am here is to vent. But more so to see if its normal for someone to be talked to like this.... I believe people will treat you as you allow it-- and I dont want to allow it anymore.. but I dont WANT a divorce. I am stuck in a hard place.

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Wow i missed a lot at lunch.


Dear Growing, Your kidding right?


Her husband said..."Him- What the F*** how does this happen?! we cant have anything nice.. were you not watching everyone today?! Why would you let them take a fork to the floor.. honestly this is ridiculous.. you just dont care.. your useless"


What a terrifying moment to be caught in! (Just hearing this makes me want to hurt this coward.)


Super, Do not water this down! It will get worse!

Don't you dare think this is about you.

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Thanks Lester. I dont think its about me.. no worries.


I just dont think its normal for someone to feel like they have to walk on eggshells in their own home because they never know what kind of mood 'daddy' is in, and what he might find to get mad about that day. Like honestly? finding a marker in the bathroom is something to have a hissy fit about.. I dont think so.

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I think he long overdue for a correction. Unfortunately, he may not change but you can't live like this.


Many husbands fall into ownership roles with their wives. You can’t change him but you can threaten to leave if he does not change. This many times does the trick.


Secretly read Gary Smalley's "For better or best" it's counterpart "if only he knew" opened my eyes to the torture I was putting my wife through. I changed.

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I am not kidding at all. It's absolutely unethical to get into someone's marriage and make judgments on one person's viewpoint alone when giving marriage or divorce advice especially when the only thing that's going on is communication issues. Very likely on both parts.


Supermom, I figured you would. Like I said, I already came away with the fact that you wanna leave and you were not here looking for a fair analysis, but rather support to leave. You wanna leave, leave. You have a mind of your own. But do understand that you are just as much as fault as he is for the reason your marriage is at the point it is. Of that I am certain.


Somehow however, I just need to warn you, you are fooling yourself in that children do not NEED a father. That is a lie. I speak from experience. You should Google "kids raised without a father" and do some research on the effects of it. You may think that what you are doing is protecting your kids from learning poor behavior towards a spouse when you could very well be preventing them from learning how not to be pushovers by their spouse, which is what your husband could be doing, we don't really know. And believe me, if that's the case, boys need that more than ever in today's society.


Also keep in mind that while you are breaking one cycle, which is not even clear that is is a cycle, you will create 3 new ones. Of that, I promise you. Breaking the cycle through divorce doesn't mean fixing the cycle. The key to fixing the cycle lies in your marriage, not divorce. You may prevent them from learning not to do to their spouse what your husband is doing to you, which is what YOU consider wrong, but you are also preventing them from learning how to make a marriage work. How to stand up for yourself if you really are a victim and getting your husband to listen. How to bring it from bad to good. None of these important lessons will be taught in divorce. All divorce teaches is get out when you think things are bad.


All I see when it comes down to it, is someone wanting out over arguments with household chores and name calling. It's a pretty weak reason for divorce if you ask me.

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And how do you know YOUR assessment of the situation is right? You do not live in their home every day.


This is an ADVICE site, not a COUNSELING site, so no one is a professional, not you and not me. You are right we do not know everything that is happening. I am pretty sure SHE knows what is going on her life though and what her breaking point is. So while you are saying it is negligent for us to advise her leaving, is it outstanding to recommend her staying when she is obviously distressed? You know what, some mentally ill people do not want to try. I know, my father is one of those people and still at 65 he does not want to change ANYTHING he does wrong, in the least. People have to want to change. And if they do not want to you can not work with that.


I also give the woman some credit for having enough brains to take the advice she needs and leave the rest.

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Thanks Victoria.. And Lester.. just ordered the books should be here Saturday...


And Growing.. you're right divorce isnt the best answer either.. again I did say I dont want one.. what would you suggest i do to get a person who doesnt want to change.. who doesnt want to do counseling anymore. to take medications anymore.. who is stressed.. overworked.. and easily irritated and a temper.. and has been diagnosed with severe depression

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I just googled kids raised without father and this is what I got..


Not necessarily. It all boils down to how you were raised, not by whom you were raised or without whom you were raised. There are plenty of normal, healthy people who were raised by single moms or two moms or two dads or single dads. There have been NO studies to conclusively and scientifically show that children raised without fathers turn out differently than people who were raised with father figures. If you were raised with love and were properly socialized, it wouldn't matter who raised you


Nope. Kids raised without mothers turn out just fine, too. As long as there's a loving parent or guardian who has the best interests of the child at heart, chances are it's going to be OK.


It depends on the child. It's not rare for a child to struggle with abandonment issues and low self-esteem if the father takes off. Children often "act out" because they haven't yet learned how to deal with their emotions, and not a whole lot of things hurt worse than a parent giving you the impression that you're not important.

It's not something that's easily measured, though, as you cannot observe how one individual would have been with or without a father- it's one or the other.

Having a father who is gone, though, is surely less harmful than having one who is abusive verbally or physically..


Ive seen enough.. yes I would much rather teach my children to fight for ones rights.. and how to make a marriage work.. but there still has to be a breaking point

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Thanks Victoria.. And Lester.. just ordered the books should be here Saturday...


And Growing.. you're right divorce isnt the best answer either.. again I did say I dont want one.. what would you suggest i do to get a person who doesnt want to change.. who doesnt want to do counseling anymore. to take medications anymore.. who is stressed.. overworked.. and easily irritated and a temper.. and has been diagnosed with severe depression


That is the thing, what do you do in that case. I know for my mother she tried everything possible. There was NO helping my father. He wanted no help from anyone and felt he was fine and everyone else was crazy etc etc etc. (my father is bipolar and has BPD) finally she had enough when he started trying to kill her, with me present when he tried it and I was 6 years old. People with mental illness are VERY difficult to deal with. Not that it can't be done but they have to WANT to. It is also a catch 22, because you promised to love and cherish through sickness and in health. Well how much sickness does one have to deal with before it is so destructive, right? For me, my husband has a severe anxiety disorder and I have lived with it for 23 years of knowing him and 17 years married. Just THIS year he climbed out and got his confidence and seems to be the person he CAN be and should be. What changed I have no clue. I know your pain though.

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