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This is has not been an easy post to write, and it might not be easy to read either. And it’s long, which means it’ll be tl;dr (too long, didn’t read) for most of you. But I’m posting it anyway. I’ve been open about KP and I having marriage troubles in this blog several times before, but I decided to finally publicly share this part of our struggles because it felt like the right time to, because people need to know how things like this happen, and because I hope it can help someone out there know that they are not alone…and that things can get better.

I’m going to talk about:
1) how emotional abuse in marriage starts, and
2) the reason behind why The Screenwriter’s Wife blog came to be.

However, because I recognize that marriage issues are extremely complex and rarely one-sided, and because I think that it would be unfair of me to present only my side of the story here, I’ve opened this post for KP to share his response as well. You’ll find his words at the end of the post in green.


I started The Screenwriter’s Wife 2 years ago exactly, perhaps ironically, on Valentine’s Day, the supposed day of romantic love.

None of you reading this know this, but when I originally created this blog, I wasn’t sure if I’d be “allowed” to keep it. I’m humble for and thankful for the journey that this blog and our marriage have taken over the past two years.


While KP and I were friends, dating, engaged, and even in the early days of marriage – I thought I was prepared for any challenge that married life might throw at me. I thought I was a strong, logical, independent woman. I never thought I would’ve been the kind of girl to end up in the convoluted mess I ended up in.

It’s easier now in hindsight to see the slow beginnings of how it all happened:

Early on in our marriage, because I wasn’t as passionate about a particular career path as KP was of his writing dreams, it seemed a natural choice for me to leave behind my unsteady entertainment industry job for the steady income of a teaching position. After a year in a brick and mortar school, I further transitioned to a work-from-home online teaching position, a position that I enjoyed.

However, I’m already a bit of a homebody and so my social outlets gradually dwindled down only to KP’s circle of friends. I had no local friends of my own. I was ok with this though. Had it bothered me, I certainly could have made more of an effort to develop friendships. I’m fully to blame for this part.

DSC08695Alienating myself from others definitely didn’t help what was to come, but in and out of itself was not a huge issue. But about a year after our first child was born, everything changed…

KP’s company unexpectedly lost their financial backing and KP was suddenly out of a job. As month after month of unemployment passed, KP found himself struggling with purpose. His morale and self-esteem were low. He questioned himself, his writing, his dreams. He didn’t tell me any of this, but I’m his wife, and of course I knew.

Though he was often grumpy and short with me, I knew that these actions were likely a passing phase and I wanted to be a good, supportive wife in this difficult time for him. So I put up with his moods. I tried to be extra kind and sympathetic and strong for him by willingly accepting his cranky criticisms. I figured I was giving him time to work through things, and by not putting up a fight to these early criticisms, I thought was “helping” him to come out of his funk and showing him that I’d always be by his side no matter what life brought us.

.But that’s not what happened.

Instead of seeing my sympathy as a lifeline drawing us closer together, he instead capitalized on the opportunity I didn’t realize I’d given him: the opportunity to use me as an emotional whipping board.

It was all very gradual though. Marriage troubles almost always seep in slowly and unnoticed until it’s too late.

We fought a lot. At least a couple times a week. We fought so much because every fight was just a continuation of the last fight; nothing was every truly resolved. In-between fights we could work together on a functional level, so we’d act just fine in public, and no one outside of our marriage knew what was going on.

No matter how our fights started, they always included KP telling me some or all of the following:

  • That my memory was faulty and unless I could “prove” what I thought was said in a previous conversation, that I was wrong and had no clue what I was talking about.
  • That everything I said was really a subtle attack against him. No matter what I tried to discuss, it was always turned around into how I was victimizing him. If I did not recognize how I was attacking him, it was because my memory and interpretation of situations were inaccurate.
  • That I did not keep the house clean, and never did the dishes or vacuumed or laundry, and this showed how irresponsible and lazy I was and how I didn’t care about our family.
  • That talking to me was like talking to a child and until I could grow up and accept responsibility for my actions (i.e. the state of the house and my attacks on him), that nothing I said was worth listening to.

Then, at some point in the argument, usually when it was at its’ highest convoluted peak, he’d tell me that talking to me was pointless since I was never going to change or grow up. Then he’d leave the room (and sometimes the house) and refuse to talk to me until I apologized. Which I usually did, hours or days later. Occasionally he’d apologize first, but it was usually me.

P1050212 (2)
A happy moment.

This is not to say that we never had good times during these years though, and in fact, I remember a particular trip to his parent’s house in Michigan, where he was surprisingly affectionate and I happily ate up every minute of it, not knowing when it’d happen again. But in looking back, I see that these good times were largely on his terms only.

Overall, I felt so lost, so confused, as though I had no leg to stand on in our relationship. I didn’t understand what had happened to us and I couldn’t figure out how to make things better. I’m a very logical person, and KP knew this, and the one thing I’ve always relied on to sort things out – my mind – was the one thing he discredited the most. I questioned my own thinking, was I really misremembering situations? Was I really subtly attacking him with everything I said? I live far away from family and I had no local friends to be a sounding board to help me gauge the accuracy of my thoughts. I felt like who I was, and my personality had slowly diminished away.

At the time, I didn’t know that all of these things were warning signs of emotional abuse. I hadn’t even considered that as a possibility – I thought I was too strong of a person to succumb to such things. All I knew was how stuck I was. How convoluted our relationship had become. How trapped I felt. I didn’t want to give up on our marriage and I knew that deep down my husband was still a good guy. But I had no idea where to begin to make things better or even what the main issue that we needed to work on was. Communication skills?  Some way to legitimize and record our conversations so that we could adequately reflect on them and our problems? Something else?

In looking back on that time period, I’m sure that had I gone to a counselor or therapist and shared what was happening in our marriage – and had I previously decided that divorce was an option for me – I probably could have been persuaded that:
a) I was being emotionally abused,
b) KP would never change, and
c) I should get out of my unhealthy marriage for my own well-being.

But instead, I chose to do two different things:

OurRelationship-Logo-WebsiteTour-11.1.20121) I convinced KP to do a free online counseling program and though that made only a small chink in our issues and didn’t magically fix things overnight, it was at least enough to take the next step:

2) I stepped out on a limb several months later and started this very blog you’re reading, even though I knew KP might not like the idea.


Feb. 14, 2014:
I’d spent the majority of the day setting up my blog. I’d titled it, created the main banner, written the first post, and was waiting for the right moment to show KP. He’d just come home from writing at a coffee shop and asked what I was so busy working on. He seemed to be in a good mood and I didn’t want to risk us getting into a fight and showing it to him later when he might be in a bad mood. It was now or never. “It’s something I’ve been really wanting to do for awhile”, I told him. “Try to read it with an open mind and please don’t automatically just tell me no, ok?” I smiled cutely, hoping I’d prefaced the idea appropriately so that he’d be open to it. He looked at me inquisitively and I handed him my laptop.

Fingers crossed.

A few minutes later, he looked up at me. “I’m impressed that you even used the right font in your banner”, he chuckled. As I predicted, he didn’t love the idea of the blog, but as long as I didn’t expose anything about him personally, then he was ok with it. I told him I wasn’t going to use his name, just the initials KP so that no one could google his name and end up associating him with my blog, which seemed satisfactory to him.

And that’s how this blog got here.


IMG_1466 (3)During that time when our marriage was really tough and I felt so lost – I could have given up on it. A lot of other people in my shoes probably would have. But I knew my husband deep down, and I knew that he wasn’t always like this, and I knew that the good guy that I married was still in there somewhere. I didn’t want to give up on him and I didn’t want to give up on my marriage.

I knew he could be a better man than he was showing me at that time.

But I also finally realized that I did not just have to sit there and take what he was throwing at me. I did not have to submit to his frustrations with his own life. I didn’t have to give up on him or on our marriage – but I also didn’t have to remain under his emotional control anymore either.  Even though KP may have been 85% of the problem, it wasn’t until I accepted responsibility for my 15% and stopped giving in to his emotional manipulations were we able to move toward true reconciliation as a couple.


The rest of 2014:
Our marriage did not start getting wonderful just because I’d started this blog. In fact, there was still a lot going on between us in the early months that I carefully hid behind my posts. I was thankful for my blog outlet, but I still felt a bit unsure as to what I was ‘allowed’ to write about.

There was one post, a few months in, where I made mention of something about KP’s career. He read the post and was not happy about it at all. He did not like me mentioning anything that could be potentially be construed as a negative about him, and he very clearly told me so and we broke out in a big fight. Had this happened in a previous time in our life, I may had just concluded “fine. He’s probably right; I probably shouldn’t have posted that” and deleted the whole blog right then and there instead of having to deal with him. But I was not the same person anymore. I agreed that in the future I would send him any post I thought he might have issue with beforehand. Not for his “permission” to post – I was going to post whatever I wanted to in my blog because it was MY blog – but as a heads up, so he’d know what’s coming or at the very least, to give him and opportunity to clarify anything he felt to be an inaccurate representation of him.

Eventually, after months of sending him posts to preview, he began trusting me more and he eventually no longer asked to see posts beforehand.


Once I started exerting more independence for myself, an interesting thing happened. KP stopped having control over my emotional state. Because I didn’t allow him to. If he started to criticize, I let the criticism roll right off me. I’d answer rationally and calmly if I needed to, but otherwise, nothing negative he said could penetrate my emotions. I told him I loved him and wanted to stay married to him, but I wasn’t going to do this fighting thing anymore. I was over it. We could figure out a way to come to a solution, but I wasn’t going to do the emotional fight thing anymore. In a way, it seemed like I became more cold with him, but in reality, I was acknowledging that my emotions were not affected by him anymore.

And slowly, but surely, things started changing between us. Once KP realized that he couldn’t get that emotional rise out of me, he had no reason to continue pushing.


Yes, I originally titled this blog “The Screenwriter’s Wife” because it was part of my identify as KP’s wife, but what you don’t know is that I also named it in secret irony of a label I hoped it’d help me overcome for myself. I started this blog so that I could have an outlet of my own, a place where I could be more than the silent identity I’d taken on that had allowed the marriage mess we’d gotten into.  I started this blog to re-establish my own independence and identify.

cwvDm9asA_Lw9YsGTQNy8vWzhigSo while I may have begun this blog as a “lowly screenwriter’s wife”, it is through The Screenwriter’s Wife that I’ve been able to re-establish myself as someone who is so much more than just wife of a screenwriter.



As promised, I only felt it was right to allow my husband to write a response from his perspective. From KP:

IMG_0482While I can’t exactly argue with what my wife says, I will say that some of the ways in which I responded back then were taken slightly out of context and I hope it doesn’t paint a picture of me as being some irrational monster or someone with a large list of demands and expectations which could never be met. A lot of how I acted was out of my own frustrations and circumstances we found ourselves in, and sometimes this was exacerbated by interactions with my wife. 

BUT, and while it’s no excuse for any kind of abuse, my intent was never to make her feel small or like shit, or make myself powerful in contrast  — sure, sometimes one seeks control when many other aspects of your life are out of control — but I never ever wanted to harm her in any way. 

A lot of this came down to me not wanting to deal with the real problems, and instead hoping they’d simply go away. I just didn’t want to deal with and discuss certain subjects. This, coupled with outside frustrations simply became overwhelming. So, I say all of this because I want all the men out there to know that it’s so much more helpful (as cliched as it sounds) to communicate

But what does that mean “to communicate”? As a guy, I really think it is to allow yourself to be vulnerable and and honest with everything that makes you react emotionally.  Maybe it’s someone at work you don’t like, maybe it’s being open about what you want intimately, and especially recognizing a problem that you know should be discussed with your spouse.  While you might be afraid to discuss what needs discussing, it’s a lot better to do it sooner than later.

As men, we’re always faced with problems and, being the husband and father, we seem to think we can’t let those those problems affect our significant other, and/or children. We need to solve the problem. We have to fix the problem before it becomes a bigger problem, or we hope the problem fixes itself or simply goes away. 

The biggest piece of advice I can give is: just face the problem. Talk about it. No matter how hard it is, no matter what you’re faced with, it’s better to get it off your chest than to keep it bottled up and let frustrations build. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to your spouse/family. Unfortunately, problems don’t just go away, and your feelings are important. Again, be vocal. Be honest. Don’t be afraid of coming off as weak or like “a loser”. She’ll love you more for it, and your relationship will become that much stronger.


If you haven’t already, you’ll probably also want to read these posts as well, to understand our story a bit more:

The Person You Marry Will Change, and

When Marriage is Hard. Really, Really, Hard.

Also, thank you for reading this post with an open mind. It’s hard to publish this and put it out there for the world to see, not knowing who will read it. KP and I are sharing these details in hopes that it will reach someone who needs to hear it and that it can somehow encourage others. I am very thankful for my husband and what our marriage has gone through and who we’ve become together through the journey so far. Marriage is truly the hardest and most amazing experience I’ve ever been privileged to be a part of.

22 Comments on How Emotional Abuse in Marriage Starts, and Why This Blog Came to Be

  1. Psychological abuse can indeed be very subtle, and it all resides in the ‘feel’ of what is being said. It feels so important to be present, open to hearing and feeling what the person is actually saying, even if it is just an observation.

  2. Oh my! When I was reading this blog, I felt like I could have written every word. My husband is the same to a T! When he has a bad day or is frustrated with everything else in his life I am his target. Sometimes it’s let out and verbal but often it’s giving me the silent treatment. When that happens I panic and wonder what I did wrong and ask him. Finally he explodes into all my faults. Like you, we fight and then I end up apologizing just to keep the peace.
    I feel beaten down and walk on eggshells trying to please a man that is just pretty miserable. The outside world thinks he is the greatest because that is what he shows them. I get the wrath of life. I am going to read further into your blog because I am anxious to hear how you let the criticism roll off and not affect you! Thank you for writing this!

  3. To KP,
    “While I can’t exactly argue with what my wife says, I will say that some of the ways in which I responded back then were taken slightly out of context and I hope it doesn’t paint a picture of me as being some irrational monster or someone with a large list of demands and expectations which could never be met.”
    Your wife was extremely kind in her description of you and your life together, even though that reality may not always be pretty. You just invalidated her view of it. Again. Don’t make excuses for your behavior. Learn from it and don’t do it again. Seriously. I know it takes humility to know that your marriage experience is “out there”, I do. Be brave enough to accept that she feels differently about how both of your behavior was/is, and don’t make statements that completely invalidate and brush aside her feelings and viewpoint. I don’t think you are a horrible guy by any means. Life happens to all of us, and it’s nice to know that we are not alone in these areas of life. I applaud your wife’s bravery for putting this out there and for owning her part in it. That takes a lot of strength and humility, and extreme courage to stand up for your marriage like she is. Marriage is hard work, but so worthwhile, and it seems you both are on the right track. Keep at it, together!!

    • Hi Renee, first, thanks for your comment and for noticing this in KP’s response. KP and I have been through our fair share of struggles in our marriage and I don’t pretend that everything is magically 100% fixed. As I stated in my other post “When Marriage is Really, Really Hard” – I fully acknowledge that the climb out of troubles in marriage can be just as slow and gradual and the fall in was.

      I absolutely understand what you’re saying about my husband’s response. Trust me, this guy is my husband and I love the changes and improvements I’ve seen in him over the years. I know him pretty well. 🙂 I’m PROUD of him for having the courage to write a response to this post at all, and for allowing me to post this for the world to see. This is not an easy thing to ask of anyone.

      The hardest thing about marriage is that it involves two different people and two different perspectives. And trying to judge objectively when you can only ever know one side of things is hard. It was not my intention in posting this post to paint my husband as someone beyond help – but instead to show that even those who may mistreat you can still be good deep down. That there is still hope.

      My husband does not want to be painted as an irrational monster to others, just I would not want him to tell his friends that *I* am a crazy, irrational b*tch with a faulty memory. This blame of irrationality in either direction doesn’t help a relationship in the long run.

      But yes, you made an astute observation that I am well aware of. But trust me that KP are continuing to improve our marriage relationship and that we both want what’s best for our marriage. It’s still sometimes a rocky road, but I’m very happy with the direction we are now taking nd very, very proud of the struggles we’ve worked hard to overcome. 🙂

      • Can I just say it is not easy for a man to acknowledge they are wrong while also be exposed about all his past flaws. I’m sure he was taken out of context, as none of us except for his wife and him know the full context of the situation, and even then it is often misread.

        This guy probably did not have a supportive relationship either.

        Ronnie mentions many times that he is 85% at fault. I don’t think it is fair to say that in the least.

        That is like saying, in another type of partnership (i.e. business partnership), my partner is 85% to blame for the problems we are experiencing as a whole.

        KP seems like a guy who was frustrated and perhaps didn’t have the emotional support he may have required.

        I read your posts and I think you provide a generally good standpoint and good advice, yet I would like you to consider if someone wrote these things about you, how would it make you feel. Like you said Ronnie, you are now free to post whatever you like, yet that freedom also comes with power and price, so please use it wisely.

        We know exactly who KP is with a simple google search of your last name and his first initial. He seems like a normal guy not some horrible abusive monster like he sometimes comes off as in these posts.

        In another post you mentioned how your husband lost his job, was unemployed and struggling with his dreams and path in life. So he was at a major low point in life and definitely depressed. Instead of offering help and advice, Ronnie offered the “I’m here for you” approach without actually providing any help or ideas for solutions.

        I think this maybe due to how different types of people react when their ground is taken out from under them. some people need help in finding solutions to problems whereas others seem to simply need some support and communication. There are probably other types but for the majority I think it is important to try offering both support and actual practical advice and engagement.

        • Hi – thanks for posting! A couple things, but first, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that different people react differently. This extends out much further to the realization that different people perceive and interpret the same situation in different ways as well. This non-objectivity makes it extremely difficult to ever know who is in the “right” or “wrong”.

          I wrote this post years ago. I keep it up because I believe it helps people, but definitely know that Kyle and I (his name is Kyle; I don’t call him KP in this blog anymore, I’m open with our true identities) have changed and grown significantly since then. And that’s one of the biggest points I try to make in my marriage posts – that we grow and change and that it’s hard to make decisions on the future of a relationship when all we can ever currently see is this moment (and our sometimes unreliable memories of the past).

          I am a deep questioner (hence why I changed my blog name to “Think Too Much Mom”) and one of the things I struggled most in my own marriage was in knowing what was real, what was my perspective, and what were someone else/Kyle’s desire for me how I should remember a scenario. I know it’s hard to get a full picture of me or my marriage from these bog posts alone. So I suppose that you will just have to trust me that I tried to be as fair and as honest as possible when writing this particular post. I did not hide it from Kyle. It was not written with malicious intent toward him either. I gave him an opportunity to respond in hopes that it would paint a more accurate picture for my audience.

          Thank you though for commenting, and for recognizing that there is always another side to every story.

        • If he was abusive it doesn’t matter. Lot’s of men are frustrated, experience loss, have pain, have trauma, but they do not abuse others.

          The relationship was not disordered. If he is abusive, or was abusive, HE was disordered. I agree that the state “he was 85%” isn’t accurate. HE IS 100% responsible for his abuse. It cannot be justified. This doesn’t mean Ronnie is perfect. Imperfect people do no deserve to be abused though.

  4. I have my PhD in psychology and have worked with couples in many different situations. I think there is always hope if the person can admit they may be doing something wrong and agree to get help. If they can’t then its a whole different ball game. Im glad you are sharing your story with other women!

  5. I don’t know what to say, I am sad I am fine and I am grateful about everything God has been good! This post made me feel like I am normal, I am not that bad, coz there’s people like me and even more. I still need support. One day I will write my love life story. I just need to be strong and not cry. Thanks for this blog Ronnie

  6. Thank you for writing this blog. I was actually trying to find information on blogging then wondered if anyone wrote about what I wanted to blog. This is exactly what I have been living. It’s good to know that things can change for the better.

    • Thanks N.H. Sorry you’re in a similar position as this post. But yes, I definitely believe that, as long as both spouses are willing to put forth some effort, that marriages can and do get better. I know, because we’re proof of it. And if you do end up starting a blog (about similar topics or not), let me know once you have it up and I’d love to read!

    • Its better to avoid negative Things which are happening around us rather than convert it into positive, which leads a better and happier life. As I suffered the same a long back ago I used to relaxed my self by writing diary and more creative ideas but every one has their own Ideas on it right..!

  7. I have an emotional and sexually abusive husband. When I finally had enough and wanted to walk out, he pleaded with me to stay, because he “loved me”. Stupidly I stayed. For our marriage of 20 years, for our kids…for him…

    For a few months it went well. He stopped emotional abusing and black mailing me and even sexually it was okay. But the last few weeks it started again.

    He would constantly complain that I do not tell or share anything with him. This is true and I do not do that out of spite. It is because every time I open up to him and share my thoughts or feelings, he would get angry/throw a tantrum and not speak to me for a week. So for me it is just better to say nothing…keep quite.

    3 weeks ago, he started just taking his sex again (even if I was not in the mood or did not want it). Two weeks ago, I was sleeping, and he just rolled onto me and pushed into me. I was in pain afterwards and I was very upset. He got angry with me because I was in a “mood” and when I finally told him that what he did that morning, was something I did not wanted to do…I did not want to have sex and now I am in pain and I feel sad, because I felt used.

    He got angry with me and screamed at me that he will then go find sex somewhere else. He barely spoke to me for a week and the few times he did was to be mean or sarcastic.

    When the weekend arrived, he finally talked to me. Only to express his feelings but told me in the end that we need to do something to make me happy. a Week past with no problems at all and then, suddenly, he was back at ignoring me, not talking to me, being spiteful and sarcastic and when I asked him…what is wrong, he almost bit my head off. So, for that weekend I just tried to be invisible.

    So came this week, with him, yet again not talking to me, not wanting to tell me what I have done wrong but letting me know that he is angry with me. Not coming home this whole week and finally today, after letting me suffer and stress for a week about what I did that was so bad that he treats me this way, he finally told me today that it was about me telling him that I did not want to have sex 2 weeks ago and basically telling him that he raped me.

    And the more I tried to explain that I was expressing my feelings…telling him how it made me feel, the less he listened and the more he would go on that I accused him of rapping me.

    But how would you feel if your husband, while you were still sleeping, without talking, greeting, showing love or any kind of foreplay, just got on top of you and had his way with you and when he was done, got up and started his day. Would you not feel used? Would you want to wake up in such a way?

    So, in the end I had to apologies to him for saying how I felt and for saying that I did not want to have sex. (After all I am his wife and it is my wifely duty).

    So, was I wrong? Did I have the right to be upset? or am I the problem?

    • I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. It sounds like there’s a LOT going on between you and your husband and that neither of you feel like you can communicate with or be respected by the other. I STRONGLY suggest that in a case like this that you reach out to a therapist who can help you work though the confusing mess of your specific situation. And I also strongly suggest that you first and foremost consider yourself and your physical safety. If you feel that you are in physical danger, then you should first get someplace safe before working out these issues with your husband.

      Marriage is such a complex relationship. Each spouse can read into a situation completely differently and there’s no way for someone like me to objectively claim either side is “right” or “wrong”. I’m sorry. But I again want to stress that if you feel that you are in physical danger that you must get somewhere safe. And please reach out to a therapist who can much better help you and your husband communicate about these very serious issues in your marriage.

  8. I never thought that at 54 I would be emotionally abused by any man, let alone my husband. He has no patience with me, he humiliates me in public, he yells at me regularly, he barely talks to me and frequently talks at me. I dont express my emotions around him at all. Im so embarrassed that I don’t dare talk to anyone about it. I have very few friends and spend most of my time home and lonely. I love the person he use to be and hate the person he is now. I cant afford to make it on my own (he is the breadwinner). I find myself contemplating suicide because of the pain and sadness that I feel inside. Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.


    • If you feel that you are in danger of physically harming yourself, then of course I must first refer you to 1-800-SUICIDE. However, if you mean that you are contemplating suicide as a way of expressing that you feel overwhelmed and hopeless for a solution – don’t give up. There are outlets and steps to take toward a better path, tomorrow is another day, life has a way of changing as time goes by and just as good things go bad, bad things can go good again.

      You mention that you you love the person he used to be but not who he is now. How is he different now? What caused that change in him? Can you figure out what’s happened in his life to cause him to become a different person? I would start there. Don’t excuse or accept his behavior or how he treats you — but try to figure out, from his perspective, what may have caused this change in him? Do you think that good person you once knew is still in your husband down deep somewhere? Or even just a part of the same man you knew before? What’s happening in his life to make him react this way?

      The suggestions I make in this blog post are still probably the best suggestion I can come up with. If you’re certain that he would only scoff at the idea of talking to a counselor or therapist, suggest the idea, but don’t press him on it. Let him come to terms with the idea first.

      Second, you have to stand up for yourself. This does not necessarily mean to argue or fight back. Adding emotions to his emotional reactions will only escalate things. But still, you have to protect yourself. Don’t put yourself in a place where physical danger is a concern. However, if there’s only emotional issues going on – YOU have some control over the situation. You don’t have to let the things he says or does affect you emotionally. It seems cold and mean at first, but you have to do it for your own emotional protection. His anger and frustrations are his. Not yours. You don’t have to take them on yourself. If he is critical and yells at you, let it go. Let it roll right off you. Don’t let him emotionally affect you. You don’t have to be mean back. You can respond rationally, calmly.

      You are in charge of your own emotional reactions.

      This was a hard lesson for me to learn, and I still struggle with it. But it’s the first step in eventual reconciliation when a relationship gets into this habit. Yes, eventually your husband is going to have to fall into suit and realize the changes he needs to make as well – but you can’t force him to make those changes or even to realize that he needs to. All you can do right now is not give in to his emotional manipulations.

      I also strongly suggest finding an outlet for yourself, something for YOU to keep yourself busy with that doesn’t involve him. Write, paint, volunteer, make crafts and sell them on etsy, something. It’ll give you something to put your emotional energy into and help you feel that you have your own individual life outside of him.

      I’m sorry you’re going through such a difficult time right now. But I do think that there’s hope for it to get better in the future. Slowly perhaps, but there’s still hope.

  9. I have been with JD for 6.5 yrs and it wasn’t easy for me. He is manipulative, emotionally abusive, pathological liar and lack empathy. He say he wants to communicate but when I say something, it’s ignored and he revert the conversation back to himself. He never helps at home, with the kids and not stable at his job. I have always taken care of everything in the home, let it be chores, kids, dinner, bills and rent. I thought that if I show him what real families do then he will take part in it. I’m wrong, as he enjoys sitting in patio with his cigarettes and on his phone. We had a miscarriage three years ago and I called him from hospital before my ultrasound, as I started bleeding and before I get to the ultrasound, he tile me to tie my tubes coz he can’t bare to go through the pain of losing a child. This was before I found out the baby had no heartbeat. Then when I got home after crying trust I lost a baby, all he did was pay my shoulder. No hugs no wiping my tears just a pat on the shoulder. I cried myself every night and he hears me but he just stays on his side of the bed and not comfort me. I’m these 6 yrs. he had two domestic violence case and one time he was jailed overnight. He wasn’t allowed to see us for a week and he begged me to get him a place to stay. I did. And also helped him with couples counselling to get out if jail. He uses his past as an excuse to treat me bad. He uses harsh words when he talks to me and make me feel low. He’s demeaning and swears a lot. I shield my kids away from him and his rude comments but I feel I am the one that taking all his wrath. I’m a strong and independent woman and I think I’ve reached my limit. We just recently separated and now he’s promising that we work on ourselves then in a year we move back in again to start anew. He’s been playing these games throughout our relationship and now I have had enough. I stopped talking to him and he still emails me with threats. He makes himself feel like the victim when all he did was put me down while I helped him in everything in life as a dutiful wife does. I’m here looking foe comments and advise as I don’t want to go into a hole again thinking that he will change and we will be a happy family again. I know there’s good in him that people don’t see and I still love him. He didn’t have a good upbringing and was in foster care and lived on the streets at 12 yrs old. He’s been alone growing up and doesn’t understand what family life is. While I’m the good catholic girl with the good upbringing and family all around me. We are all educated and when I mention something to him about a topic in which I graduated and worked in, he makes me feel so low and not know what I’m talking about. He said I don’t communicate because when I do he just shuts my ideas down and if I say I went to school for it, he says I don’t know what ur talking about. So the only way to shut him up is if I show him the topic in google and I just leave it at that. I need advice on how to deal with a person who only cares about himself and if there’s hope of change.

  10. Thank you SO MUCH for writing about your experiences with your husband. It feels as though I wrote your blogs because it truly reflects my situation with my husband almost to a tee. It is nice to read it and feel as though I’m definitely not alone and that people overcome these tough marriage issues every day and get back to a happy and good feeling place with their spouses.
    Me and my husband have been together for 7 years, married for 2 years and its been the toughest 2 years of my life. He definitely has some deep seeded anger issues and get’s defensive so easily that I just cannot relate to it. I’ve never really been an angry or defensive person so I just get scared and confused and so sad when he reacts in such ways. He feels that any time I talk about my feelings about things that I am blaming him for EVERYTHING and that is very far from how I actually feel. He carries so much guilt within him that it’s just eating away at him which just makes me so sad and just want to save him from himself but I have no idea how or what I can do. I’m personally not the type of person that likes to dwell for very long and I am quite quick to admit when I have done or said things that were not okay. It is also fairly easy for me to apologize for my part and than move forward without staying on the negative for very long. He on the other had likes to Stew and Stew and STEW….sometimes for DAYS and I just don’t know how to be around someone like that. I’ve always been a believer in “Energy flows where your focus goes” so to me dwelling on the bad things for so long is one of the most uncomfortable and counterproductive things that anyone can do in a relationship. My husband always says to just leave him be and let him process his way, and I do most of the time because I don’t want a fight, but his way is definitely not working. I know he pushes so many things down deep and than EXPLODES at the most minor of provocations. I’d love to have respectful adult conversations with him but with his defensiveness and anger that borders on rage, an adult conversation feels next to impossible to accomplish. Anyway I am not wanting to air all of my problems here in my comment but I do want to sincerely Thank you for sharing about your life because it has definitely made mine and many others’ outlook on their marriages much more hopeful.
    Of course I have my faults too which I am very willing to face, such as, not being a very good listener, which I am working on. Also I will take your advises to heart and truly focus on doing what needs to be done to heal our relationship. My husband is a truly loving, joyful, and thoughtful man deep down and I know we can work through this as long as we have the right tools to help us along the way.


  11. Thank you for sharing your story. There are many abusive men in the world who want to change. Many have no idea how, and many do not realize they are being abusive. This doesn’t take away their choice though, we all make our own choices. There is a great site that can help them:


  12. I recently separated from my husband of 16 years over jealousy and mental abuse. Two years ago he got mad about a friend of my brother’s calling me about my brother’s health. It was never a “cheating” incident or even remotely anything to be jealous over. But he continued his stalking and bullying of me during those two years, during my brother’s death and until basically the day we sold the home and I bought my own home. He still doesn’t get what he did. I have recordings of so many fights. And even the other day his (used to be ) bestfriend sent me a friend request on FB, how he even know I don’t know. I’ve been friends with his wife for YEARS. But because I had “talked behind his back ” to them, I was to never be their friends. So even though we are separated, he got so upset about the FB friending that he threatened to go to Georgia ( to beat him up I guess?). I don’t know. I loved him so much. I would have never cheated on him. YES, I cheated in my first marriage and learned my lesson. But if you are NOT cheating there is nothing you can do to stop what you are NOT doing. So it was just a vicious circle.

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