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Old 03-27-2018, 02:22 PM #1
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Default Emotionally Unsupportive Husband

All,
I am (hoping to change that to "was") an emotional abuser. Prolonged anger, ignoring, silent treatment, guilting, manipulating. Just belittling in general. I did this to multiple people that I am close to. My wife, whom I have always loved dearly, took the brunt of it for years and more so in past months. I told her in November after an argument about parenting our teen daughter that I didn't love her and told her to leave me alone. She listened faithfully, as abused wives do, since then. I've been in a strong dislike with myself for years and as it came to a head one sleepless night on the couch I had what I can only call an epiphany. Realising that all my problems (and my family's) were indeed MY problems. I realised how I push people away **** hurt them. In a way it felt good to think that I have a say in my bad relationships. I can "not be an a-hole" if I want. I was also grief stricken at the thought of what my strong beautiful wife has gone through at my hand. If another man treated her that way I'd probably kill him. I jumped up I woke her up in tears and apologized. I promised change. I outlined how I would make the change. In her sleep, and shock induced stuper she made it clear she's been so free and happy without me. Could I blame her? I do love her and feel like I can give her what a wonderful wife deserves. Of course she doesn't believe that for a second. I however am all consumed with the idea of "making it up to her". And I believe I can, except she won't let me near her. I try to talk, I made breakfast, ask about her day, compliment her, try to support her decisions. All of which upset her greatly. She has referred to me as repulsive and demanded I take off my wedding ring. What can I do to be the man she wants/deserves? And how do I show her that I love her unconditionally and without judgement?

Last edited by CANDC; 03-28-2018 at 07:49 PM. Reason: ReTitle
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:37 PM #2
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Hello Jp: I'm sorry your marital relationship has come to this point. Sadly, some of what you wrote is familiar to me in terms of my own behavior over the years. Unfortunately, I don't know as I have any particularly good answers for you here. The obvious answer, I suppose, is couples counseling if your wife would agree to it. Beyond that, you might also consider some individual counseling or therapy for yourself.

I take it, from what you wrote, your wife is not asking you for a divorce... at least not yet. She just wants to be left alone. It may be that the best thing to do is to simply accede to her wishes. Perhaps do a few kind things, here-&-there, to try to demonstrate your new-found illumination. But I do think it is probably true that you can go too far with this... sort of the pendulum swinging too far in the opposite direction, so to speak. Your marriage has developed to its present state over quite a number of years I would presume. It will take time for it to change, if in fact change is even possible at this point.

I see this is your first post here on PC. So... welcome to PsychCentral! May I suggest you introduce yourself to the membership as a whole in our New Members Introductions forum? Here's a link:

https://forums.psychcentral.com/new-...introductions/

There's a lot of support that can be available here on PC. The more you post, & reply to other members' posts, the more a part of the community you will become. One additional forum that may be of interest to you would be the men's forum:

https://forums.psychcentral.com/men-focused-support/

Here are links to a couple of articles, from PsychCentral's archives, on the subject of handling anger & resentment in relationships. Perhaps some of the information in them can be of some help:

https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-7-...relationships/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-a-...onship-crisis/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/3-ways...your-marriage/

I wish you both well...
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:50 PM #3
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Heart Re: Emotionally Unsupportive Husband

It sounds like your wife may be exasperated with you/your behaviors.

I suggest couples counseling, if she's interested in sorting things out. Counseling can help couples to stay together or help them to part ways sanely.

I am sorry for the situation you have created together.
I hope each of you will build healthy relationships in the future.

Take care,

WC
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:17 PM #4
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I agree with the others about counseling if she is willing. You can’t fix a damaged relationship over night. Welcome to psych central
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:33 PM #5
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Default Re: Emotionally Unsupportive Husband

Just keep being nice.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:02 AM #6
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Default Re: Emotionally Unsupportive Husband

I must say CONGRATS on your epiphany and on taking responsibility within yourself for your behavior! That is a HUGE step, one which very few can take. I give you a LOT of credit for recognizing that you can be emotionally abusive. That is pretty amazing.

I also suggest counseling - I would even say individual counseling plus couples counseling to manage your own behaviors (individually) and to work on and try to save your marriage.

Your wife may not trust your nice behavior right now. She may be used to the abusive behaviors and probably is expecting you to change right back to the way you were.

Have you talked to her about your epiphany? Have you had a discussion (not during sleep hours) about how you now know how you can be towards her and how much you truly want to change?

A couples counselor can help both of you through this. She will need to learn to trust you again and to feel emotionally safe with you. And you will need to show consistent behavior from now on without the abusive behaviors.

It's going to take work & deliberate, conscious effort, but creating a healthy, loving relationship is SO worth it!!! You love her dearly, I can see that. So do whatever it takes to get there, and if it is not too late. Hopefully, she will agree to couples counseling (if you decide to pursue it) and will want to work on this with you.

Wishing you both all the best!
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:03 AM #7
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Default Re: Emotionally Unsupportive Husband

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jp2795 View Post
All,
I am (hoping to change that to "was") an emotional abuser. Prolonged anger, ignoring, silent treatment, guilting, manipulating. Just belittling in general. I did this to multiple people that I am close to. My wife, whom I have always loved dearly, took the brunt of it for years and more so in past months. I told her in November after an argument about parenting our teen daughter that I didn't love her and told her to leave me alone. She listened faithfully, as abused wives do, since then. I've been in a strong dislike with myself for years and as it came to a head one sleepless night on the couch I had what I can only call an epiphany. Realising that all my problems (and my family's) were indeed MY problems. I realised how I push people away **** hurt them. In a way it felt good to think that I have a say in my bad relationships. I can "not be an a-hole" if I want. I was also grief stricken at the thought of what my strong beautiful wife has gone through at my hand. If another man treated her that way I'd probably kill him. I jumped up I woke her up in tears and apologized. I promised change. I outlined how I would make the change. In her sleep, and shock induced stuper she made it clear she's been so free and happy without me. Could I blame her? I do love her and feel like I can give her what a wonderful wife deserves. Of course she doesn't believe that for a second. I however am all consumed with the idea of "making it up to her". And I believe I can, except she won't let me near her. I try to talk, I made breakfast, ask about her day, compliment her, try to support her decisions. All of which upset her greatly. She has referred to me as repulsive and demanded I take off my wedding ring. What can I do to be the man she wants/deserves? And how do I show her that I love her unconditionally and without judgement?
Read my posts in divorce/ separation, It might help. I believe that your Wife has lost her hope that you are willing to do anything to fix the problem, and fixing breakfast isn't it. You need to go to councelling together, and it would be the best thing, if you find a therapist, and make the apt. Because has totally lost her trust in you, and it may take a long time for her to trust you again, and you may have to jump through hoops for that to happen. You have treated her so bad, for so long, that it is hard for her to hope that your turn around might be true. After being a mentally abused Wife for about 25 years now, I can very much relate to how your Wife is feeling, and the best thing you can do to get her back is councilling!!!!!!!
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:56 AM #8
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Default Re: Emotionally Unsupportive Husband

First of all congratulations on your epiphany and realization of your responsibility in the relationship. That's a huge step many people don't even live to see.


With that out of the way you must in your mind realize that this break down in the relationship didn't happen overnight and as you call her a wonderful wife, I can only assume she's been long suffering for you. If that it the case, she hasn't easily reached the point of giving up on you and seeing things as she does today. Therefore it is time for you to be long suffering your own consequences and if you are committed and truly devoted, you will keep doing these things and not expect satistfaction. Don't do it so that she'll be loving to you again, do it because it's the right thing to do though. Don't come from a heart of expectation at all but just be what you think a good husband should be simply because that's the way it should be. She may or may not reciprocate - now or ever but when you care about someone and you do feel that you've offended them, the reason for the change should be based on that you've done it all wrong all this time and want to make it right.


Mind you, likely she will come around in time... perhaps slowly... and this will take patience but my only point is drop the expectation of change in her and do not let it be your motivation or even a priority. Do what you should and it will work out in the end the way it should. This is what genuine change is about. This is what sacrificial love is about... doing what you need to do because internally you know it's the right thing to do not because you "need" her love back. That only leads to disappointment and frustration and could easily lead you to the point of giving up and reverting to your old self without your even thinking about it.


Good luck with this and I hope you will see her trust return sooner than I think it usually takes.


And good job on trying to be the good husband again.
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:04 AM #9
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Default Re: Emotionally Unsupportive Husband

I'm very happy that you decided to improve yourself and your relationship. I suggest couple counselling as well
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:13 AM #10
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Default Re: Emotionally Unsupportive Husband

Couples counseling should not take place when one partner is an abuser. The abuser should first get into individual counseling. Once some serious progress has taken place, then couples counseling can happen.

In trying so hard to win your wife back, you are still perpetuating the cycle of abuse. This phase is often called “hoovering,” where the abuser sucks the abused back in (once they feel the abused partner may be ready to leave) by showering them with compliments, promises, and gifts. Your wife has indicated that she is not open to these efforts, and in continuing to do so, you are showing that you are ultimately thinking of yourself and not her.

Your best bet is to go to therapy and learn how to show your wife that you respect her, and you are committed to ending the cycle of abuse.
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