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Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 8 2015 at 03:07
Member since: Apr 2015
Relationship advice I wanted to gain some perspective on how to deal with abusive wife. I am an Asian male in 30's and been married for 4 years now. Lately, my wife has been abusing me and my parents, criticizing us for every minute thing and verbally abusing. We are financially stable, still I get a lot of pressure to earn more money. I am scared of going home, eating in front of her, bringing work, and proposing any activity to do together. I feel stressed at home which is affecting professional life, and it has taken a toll on my emotional health. Being a male, I sharing problems with others is difficult - it's taken as a sign of weakness in Asian culture. In such situation, I was hoping to get some external views on how to moderate the situation? How to keep family (wife, child, parents) together? How to deal with stress?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

TROUBLEDHUMAN
- Apr 8 2015 at 06:06
Member since: Mar 2015
Hi

How many kids do you have

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 8 2015 at 08:15
Member since: Apr 2015
she's 8 mnths pregnant with our first child

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SUSIEDQQ
- Apr 8 2015 at 14:57
Member since: Dec 2013
Your wife's pregnancy may be causing her to not feel well,, but that is NO excuse for verbally abusing you and your family.

You are going to have to be more assertive with her. She is like a spoiled child and you have to correct her unacceptable ways - from a gentle "Can you say that more nicely?" to "When you talk like that it makes us feel bad. Tell us again what you want."

You may have to talk to her Dr. about this, too.

Reach out for help. It is NOT a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you are seeking information and seeking coping skills in a situation that is out of control. You would do the same thing at work if this were a work problem.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 8 2015 at 16:00
Member since: Apr 2015
Thanks SUSIEDQQQ. I have tried telling her how I feel when she abuses me and my parents. So far it has made no difference. The abuse continues.

I am horrified to open my mouth at home - if i speak it will turn into a fight. Feel ashamed while eating a meal since I cannot protect my parents' dignity and self respect. At work, colleagues have started noticing my sorrow and pretension of happiness.

Apologies for spreading unhappiness here, but I don't see any other place to vent out my emotions. I hope you will excuse me.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SUSIEDQQ
- Apr 8 2015 at 18:14
Member since: Dec 2013
Why do YOU apologize?

You are the victim here!

I can't believe your culture demands that you be a doormat, so it's time to get your due respect in the home.

She will continue to humiliate you until you speak up. Perhaps she does not like your coy behavior and it irritates her. So she provokes you to speak up. Maybe she WANTS you to be the man of the house.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 9 2015 at 09:59
Member since: Apr 2015
Thanks for replying SUSIEDQQQ.

If I speak up the voices get raised, and it turns into a fight. I have been told keep the mouth shut while I am at Home otherwise she starts abusing me. Plus whatever I say, gets twisted and turned against me. I prefer to be silent over getting abused and fight.

If I do something she criticizes it. If i let her do it or do it together then she challenges the manhood in me. Whichever way I go it is almost guaranteed that she will say something hurtful and would not appreciate it.

Even a minute task drains my energy. And while trying to please her, I have left my dreams behind. I wanted to do many things for oneself (like paint, hike, travel, study further), family (support relatives in education), and friends/society (such as charity work). But anything I do gets shunted.

I just feel that my life if worthless - I can't live freely in my own home, can't eat meals that are hard earned, can't have a peaceful sleep, and can't work with a free mind. I feel it would not make any different if I cease to exist - anyways I am not adding any value to anyone.

The situation has pushed me to a level where I have started questioning my own existence. I cannot find a reason to continue life.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 9 2015 at 16:02
Member since: Aug 2014
Left many dreams behind because of what? Having married her? Her having fallen pregnant (was it not planned)? Or were these pursuits things you proposed she and you do jointly even before you and she conceived?

Either Susiedqqq's angle of wanting you to manly up in time for her impending over-busyness is the correct one and you just haven't asserted yourself properly/more fully (thereby leaving a visible chink in your armour that she then crowbars open) OR it may be that the power of her carrying precious cargo has gone to her head, meaning she's flexing her ego on the person she trusts most not to metaphorically smack her one (and is crap/over-the-top at it due to lack of prior practise). On which note - *who* told you to keep your mouth shut?

Please don't panic. It's not rocket-science to transform any relationship dynamic if you know how.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 10 2015 at 04:14
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator). Thanks for sharing your views.

Left dreams behind because whenever I tried to pursue my interests, she got upset, we ended up fighting. Wherever possible I tried to involve her, but many of our interests do not match and she didn't want to participate. I never denied to participate in the events of her interests. She is not an outgoing person and her interests are limited.

For example, recently I went out for a rowing on a weekend (it was a social event and proceeds would go to charity), she didn't come because that's not her interest. Then I discussed with her and ensured that she would not have issue with me going out alone for required hours. She said she will catch-up with her friend. Her friend bailed out and ended-up staying at home. When I came back, she argued over why did I go for a rowing instead of spending that time with her. It's been a few months to this incidence, still I get rash comments on how I amused myself with rowing and how she stayed at home.

Then in the following weeks, I stopped rowing and stayed home to spend time with her, but in those times she ended up doing her own things. Plus, she criticized over me staying at home and not being social enough. I don't get the contradiction - when I tried to participate in social event like rowing I got criticized over me spending time outside and when I stayed home I got criticized over me not being social.

Very similar pattern of arguments happened when I tried to pursue interests that didn't required for me to go out (e.g. painting and reading books). She criticized on how I keep busy with my own interests and not spend time with her. I don't get it - I am there in the home and ready to drop the brush or book if she wants to speak to me. I just hope we could spend time chatting instead of arguing over my indulging in interests.

When I try explain my point of views, lately she asks me to keep my mouth shut because (in her own words) she doesn't believe in what I say. Plus, I am hesitant to respond to her in an argument because she's pregnant as it would affect her and baby's health. Moreover, she abuses my parents which hurts me a lot, makes me shameful since it's 'my' wife who is blaming them.

Thanks to responders here, I am slowly getting some direction here. Here are a few questions that pop-up in my mind. Please do share your views/experiences/suggestions.

1. What it practically means when your say "manly up" or "be the man of the house"? I am providing for her, taking care of food, shelter and other needs.

2. I am also a human being. This constant criticism and verbal abuse has sucked-out the energy and has made me emotionally weak. How to cope up with contradictory behavior, criticism and verbal abuse?

3. What can be done in order to bring in the harmony in the family and connect my wife with parents?

I am very open to suggestions / ideas and would like to try possible anything that would help keep the family intact.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 10 2015 at 17:20
Member since: Aug 2014
Well, then, it sounds like this somewhat spoiled-baby attitude of hers *preceded* her falling pregnant, doesn't it. If it's exacerbated since you conceived then either it's pregnancy hormones causing greater irritability or it's a case of "the hand that rocks the cradle...". Or a bit of both by whatever degree, plus whatever else. But it does sound to me like you've spent years letting her get her way that bit too much. Fair [under-]statement?

It also seems that she hates having to spend time in her own company. Does she have past/childhood issues that threaten to sneak up on her with their niggling presence during quiet periods, and more so now that she's about to become a parent herself (thereby 'going back' to that upsetting time), hence which quiet time she tries to avoid? Me, I would say yes. Because that would make perfect sense of her need to criticise (- what, not making sense ergo not being the point), i.e. kick the cat.

But here's the rub: You try criticising *me* or *Susiedqq* unfairly and unfoundedly, go on...and see what you'd get! You'd either get short shrift - bam! - down in one - or see the back of either of us as we walked off in silent disgust, head held high. So how come we can stick up for ourselves and you supposedly can't? Isn't your dread of rearing up and confronting causing you far greater aggro in the long run rather than working as the supposedly easier avoidance technique you forever hope it'll be?

If you want different results you have to try doing something NEW/DIFFERENT. Fact.

In which case, as for this:

"Plus, I am hesitant to respond to her in an argument because she's pregnant as it would affect her and baby's health."

Yeeeeeeaaaaaah. I'm going to put that statement where it belongs, iiiiinnnnn... the ROUND filing cabinet! ;-p But nice try.

In one way it's flattering when your partner offloads emotionally onto you for what it says about how much they trust you as opposed to anyone else (think toddler who acts up for mum but is good as gold for their nursery teacher). HOWEVER, it also illustrates lack of respect or needs being so great as to mean respect has to be put on hold, whereas asking humbly and nicely for help with cheering up would be the more befitting way to go about it.

I recommend you try one simple statement whenever she starts up (warning: no whining tone): "What's the matter, what's wrong, why aren't you happy lately to the point where you're taking it out on ME of all people?". If that doesn't work as a reality-wake-up-slap then the proof will be there that she's *not* simply doing it entirely unawares but however-much deliberately...whereupon we're back to spoiled baby and 'hand that rocks', meaning, you'll then have to up your ante and ROAR IN HER FACE (or walk away in disgust). Since she hates to be 'abandoned', I'd have thought, the latter or, for speed's sake, BOTH. Whatever is her main motivation for treating you like this, there is NEVER only one element in play behind it, meaning, she won't *just* be pushing her despotic-cathartic luck, a part of her will indeed be trying to provoke you into taking greater charge of her as well, ready for when she's out for the count starting next month (sleep-deprived, emotionally run ragged and in massive culture shock, possibly prey to post-partum depression, etc.).

This is what I mean by manlying up, which matches what Susie was trying to tell you. If you can't stand up for yourself, how on EARTH are you going to be able to do it - and effectively so, possibly greater so - when it comes to defending little Jane or Johnny and her? Plus, how are you going to be an effective co-disciplinarian, confident to have sole charge occasionally, if in the eyes of the kid she's constantly the scarier cop? These are the sorts of thoughts that suddenly start pressing down on women right before they sprog (albeit she's going about expressing it in completely the wrong way).

In summary, therefore, you have this: taking her will and woes out on you, additionally to provoke you into manlying up, with that having racheted up a good few notches out of a sense of PANIC on her part due to the looming birth. Your new-found more forceful reaction is going to put paid to ALL of that in one fell swoop.

However - and here's the crucial science bit: Even if it seems not to work or even backfire the first few times, you HAVE to stick unwaveringly consistently with it. This is an arm-wrestling competition, basically, meaning, you drop your exertion for even 1 second and yours is the arm that ends up hitting the table, meaning, you're back to Square 1 - despite it's not about a takeover but a bid to attain permanent EQUALITY. And equality is never a static thing where you're a team of two. Sometimes you have superiority and sometimes she does. Just depends on the need at the time versus the capability at the time, as in, who has either given whatever circumstance or situation at hand.

I know you say you feel weakened, but, trust me on this: the minute you try this you'll start to feel a whole lot better very quickly, if not instantly. And then once you see SUCCESS start to creep in, this will likewise generate replacement energy in you. In the meantime, then, you'll have to dip into your reserve tank.

Once you've got a handle on defending yourself adequately and appropriately, you can extend the courtesy to your parents. And once you've done that enough times, your parents will start to follow suit. You've been setting the household tone, you see. And it's been saying: "Wife is allowed to talk to me and to you like her minions; this is how we deal with it in my house".

Second crucial bit: DO NOT, any of you, let the power of success go to YOUR heads or else next time it'll be your wife on here, complaining of the exact same thing. The goal is attaining equality and democracy and then maintaining it at that comfortable-for-everyone level.

But that's the trouble with having an extraordinarily long tether. Leads some people into believing you don't actually HAVE one. (Ridiculous, I know, but there you have it - some people ARE ridiculous.) Then they eventually come face-to-face with said tether end but can't backtrack and remedy their errors because you've then HYPER-reacted, including (scuse black pun) throwing the baby out with the bathwater (thinking divorce is your only option). So react *sooner* and less (secretly) OTT from now on, stop the utter futility of trying to side-step and avoid. Because you've SEEN all that achieves (zero or worsening) and don't like it. Correct?

So that was the why behind Susie's what....now handing you back to her.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 13 2015 at 07:43
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (Moderator)

I have nothing but wholehearted appreciation for your, SUSIEDQQ and others' inputs on this topic. I urge... nothing should be taken as a criticism, please.

Thanks a lot for your help.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 13 2015 at 15:24
Member since: Aug 2014
Er, I think I speak for Susiedqq as well when I say, nothing you said did come across as criticism, actually. Are you talking about where I said, try it and see what you got? No, no, that whole thing was just me illustrating (using a stock English expression) the apparent fact that we've learned better assertiveness skills than most, it wasn't a hint aimed at you that you *had* upset us. You hadn't/haven't. Clear?

And you're welcome. :-)

Let us know how it goes.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

MIMI50
- Apr 13 2015 at 23:55
Member since: Apr 2015
I feel that she will continue with the abuse till you stand up for yourself an your parents. I know I don't like a man I can run over. I have to respect him.an she needs to respect you .I also have a friend that when she was pregnant her hormones made her a very mean person. the doctor had to step in an do something to make sure she didn't hurt the baby while she on a rage .come to find out she is bipolar.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 16 2015 at 17:07
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Noted your post. Thanks for clarifying.

An update - 3 days back I sat down with her and tried to have a frank and open conversation. I put forward my take on the situation and clearly mentioned that abuse, hetrate and criticism needs to moderate / vanish. I also tried to calmly ask what are the issues deep down that make her verbally abuse and hurt me, also, assured her to be her side to find a solution. Throughout the conversation I maintained my volume at a moderate level and spoke calmly at all the time. On the other side, she got aggravated about why I am talking about the topic. Same issues from the past were brought up and at the end she woke up and grabbed my t-shirt by neck. I folded my hands back and simply walked out of room to ensure that the situation doesn't get worse. On top of it, in-laws got on phone with me and accused me of harassing her. They neither saw how the conversation between me and her went nor tried to listen to my explanation.

My plan - I am going to keep it calm for a few days and find a peaceful time to talk about the solutions. I dont see any other way apart from it.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 16 2015 at 17:31
Member since: Apr 2015
@MIMI50

Thanks for sharing your views. I appreciate your inputs.

I stood up for myself and parents - explained our perspectives, tried to provide logical answers to her accusations, even written emails. All gone in vain. My better half does not see the point in listening to me anymore. I am consistently defending my sanity. Next logical step is to raise (or at least match) the volume level, reply an argument with an argument, or walk away when arguments take place. To be honest, I have not been able to do that because raising volume or arguing obnoxiously is not my thing. I get the pregnancy hormone effects but it's something that has happened (i mean abuse and criticism) before pregnancy as well. Plus, just because my wife is pregnant does not give her the license to insult me or anyone else in fact.

I am considering informing her doctor, but worries if she realizes that I have told this issue to a doc, then it could lead to another fight. Do you think I should tell this to the Doctor anyways?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

MHIEL29
- Apr 17 2015 at 07:51
Member since: Apr 2015
Am I also doing this to my husband? ANON88 I wanted to know. I don't used to be like this before. When we were still boyfriends-girlfriends and on the first months of our marriage. He never gets nagged at, I always allow him when he wants to go out with workmates and friends. We were used with long distance relationship. He work at a different part of our country and I lived with my parents even when we got married because we chose that I gave birth to the town where my parents live. I'm an Asian as well. To give you a brief description of how I knew my husband. He is the shy type and doesn't say much about his work. I never complain about it. I just trust him big time because I love him.

Something happened ANON88 after I gave birth to our child. I was rushed to the hospital a week after giving birth because of bleeding. I was weak for more than a month because I lost a lot of blood and did not agree of receiving another pack of blood. But I'm thankful I recovered from that. It was costly here if I'll get another one. It really happens in some Asian country. There was a month that my husband did not visit me at our home town. Four months after I gave birth, I saw a conversation between him and a workmate talks about another workmate his dating and doing some staff with. To cut this part short, we talked about it and that was just a bad joke with his friend.

Since that time I never regain my trust to my husband. He asked me to live with him and we are living together for a year already. I am also working so I can help him earn for our child. But the trust never came back and every time there is something that he never tell me, or the very last fight we had this week is when he presented me his DTR for the month of February-April 15th there were times that he is late going to work and I know that he gets to work on time because that's what he tells me and I know he goes to work right after dropping me by to where I work. I never mean to terrorize him but he never made me feel secure of the third party. I am always suspicious and he always keep things..And when you add those things together we end up fighting, up to the point that we hurt each other physically, say something offensive to each other. Never a month did we stop fighting. I love him so much! I'm always sweet to him when were okay. I am always caring even if were fighting I see to it that he eats well and eats delicious food that I prepare myself. I just need assurance that he would never cheat from me and consistent way of giving attention to me. I don't like it that he stops being sweet when he feels I'm ok with thing s around us. And when I feel unsure of things is that he makes me feel safe from getting hurt by him. Or if he is with someone already then I want him to man enough to let me know so I can let go. I always tell him of my feelings, but he always gets angry with me about this conversation and before you knew it were fighting again.

I wanted us to be the way we used to before. But I have the feeling of him getting tired of us. I'm still stuck in between the thoughts if I can let go of him or not. I also want peace between us. But we never get things fixed to ourselves. Do you think I should go back to our town and get a space between us, or should we end our marriage? I'm pregnant now with our second child and he knew about it but still we got to a fight that we hurt each other physically. I wanted to be out of stress for the sake of my unborn baby. And I still love him and gets angry at certain things I feel his keeping things from me. I really don't know if its still ok with us to stay on the same roof.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

MHIEL29
- Apr 17 2015 at 08:04
Member since: Apr 2015
For the record I never criticized him or get upset to him because I also need to work. Its just the keeping of things issue and he knew those things. I also want to get involved on the things he wants to do like playing some online game. Its him who doesn't want to ask what is it I want. He never open his plans to me in the future unless i am the one who tells him this is what I want for our child. Its like I am axcluded in his life and he shares a lot to his workmates rather than me.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 17 2015 at 19:15
Member since: Aug 2014
Anon,

Sorry for the delay...

"An update - 3 days back I sat down with her and tried to have a frank and open conversation. I put forward my take on the situation and clearly mentioned that abuse, hetrate and criticism needs to moderate / vanish. I also tried to calmly ask what are the issues deep down that make her verbally abuse and hurt me, also, assured her to be her side to find a solution. Throughout the conversation I maintained my volume at a moderate level and spoke calmly at all the time. On the other side, she got aggravated about why I am talking about the topic. Same issues from the past were brought up and at the end she woke up and grabbed my t-shirt by neck. I folded my hands back and simply walked out of room to ensure that the situation doesn't get worse. On top of it, in-laws got on phone with me and accused me of harassing her. They neither saw how the conversation between me and her went nor tried to listen to my explanation.

My plan - I am going to keep it calm for a few days and find a peaceful time to talk about the solutions. I dont see any other way apart from it."

WHAT past issues?

But asides from that - who the bloody hell does she thinks he IS, putting her hands on you that aggressively under too little provocation!? All I can suppose, from where you say 'find a peaceful time', is - was this *not* a peaceful moment? Was it a case of really bad timing or something? Did things get heated? Even so, her over-the-top response was very revealing. She feels TOO safe with you and thinks she rules the roost and can get away with anything...certainly by the sounds of it.

Yes, I think you *are* going to have to put your foot down slightly more aggressively. (Don't put one finger on her, though, unless it's to peel her own hands off.) And if that doesn't work, yes, DO speak to her doctor. If she didn't want experts involved, she should have thought of that, and also should have cooperated in your attempt to discuss things and reach a solution.

Alternatively, you could book a weekly chat with a local counsellor.

Have you discussed this whole situation and latest scenario with your mum and dad? What do they think?

I know what I would do, BUT... I've no idea what these ongoing background issues are or what exactly was said/how during that discussion. I need more info. What exactly did you say - from start to finish - and what did she say? And, particularly, what made her grab the scruff of your shirt?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 17 2015 at 19:15
Member since: Aug 2014
PS: Has she ever manhandled you prior to this incident, whether during an argument or not?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 17 2015 at 19:20
Member since: Aug 2014
MHIEL29,

It's fine to relate your own situation to an OP in the case of where it might help, particularly if it's similar, but please don't burden them with seeking actual answers from them when they're already too taken up with their own woes. If you want counsel, please start your own thread, okay, and the problem-free will step in to help. Thanks.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

MHIEL29
- Apr 18 2015 at 00:27
Member since: Apr 2015
SOULMATE,

Its not my intention to burden who. I was just asking if my husband would feel the same way given we have the almost the same scenario at home. So lets not focus on me here. I just need to know from ANON88 if I'm becoming like his wife. I will try to make my own thread after this since I'm picking up difference in my situation versus ANON88.

Coming to read your reply from ANON88, I were to be in his wife's shoes and he tries to be calm and assures me that he'll be with me all through out. Then I will try to be calm and will not act out. For the side of his in-laws, I think that wasn't a good way of handling their situation. My husband can talk to my parents as if he was their own child, and wont pick sides from either of us.

ANON88,

You need to talk to people who wont have to pick sides and people whom you both can trust and comfortable with to relay your issues.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 19 2015 at 17:32
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Thanks for your post and continued interest in helping in such a stressful situation. I don't have enough words to express my gratitude and appreciation to you and all other users here. You are helping me keep going. Thank you so much.

Pls. allow me to respond to a couple of questions that you had asked in your post on Apr 17 2015 at 19:15.

# WHAT past issues?

Past issues are mostly trivial thoughts emerging out of her criticism. For example, she brought up that I spend time on pursuing my own interests and don't spend time with her; that I am not very social and have no friends; that I don't ear enough to keep her happy.

# ...a peaceful moment? Was it a case of really bad timing or something? Did things get heated?

When I started the conversation, we both were calm and the atmosphere was peaceful. However, the conversation soon turned into her accusing me and my parents and later into a verbal abuse. I kept my tone soft and volume low throughout. But seems my calm response irritated her even more. In a burst, she grabbed my t-shirt and neck.

# Have you discussed this whole situation and latest scenario with your mum and dad? What do they think?

I haven't spoke to parents for a few months now. My father is not keeping well lately and I didn't want to add to his worries. I already feel shameful and hold responsible for being the reason to bringing the blame - it's my wife who's abusing my parents. If I were not married they wouldn't have had to face the abuse. In past I had informed them so they know about the tensions between me and my wife, however, I have not told them anything recently. I simply can't add to their worries at this age and lose them.

# What exactly did you say - from start to finish - and what did she say? And, particularly, what made her grab the scruff of your shirt?

I stated the conversation saying that I wanted to discuss about the tensions and find a solution that works for both of us. I explained that verbal abuse needs to stop since it is not good for baby and our relationship in future. Also, I informed her that her abusive language is hurting my emotional health and affecting both personal and professional life. Then I requested her to for both of us to sit and think about the root cause and how we could resolve the issues between us. She cut me there and told that I and my parents are the root cause. Then I asked exactly what words/actions of me and my parents cause issue for her. On that she dug up minute minute topics from the past and criticized me and parents for a whole hour. As we went deep into the conversation she started using abusive words and name calling. I asked her to stop abusing and calmly discuss. But she went on and on. It was hurtful so closed my ears and eyes. That's when she work up from her chair and grabbed me by my neck and tried to remove my hand away from the ear. I folded my hands back and simply walked out of the room, waited by the main door. Then she call her parents and told them that I am harassing her. After her call ended ILs called me asked to me and my parents (although they were not involved at all) stop troubling her. I tried to explain what happened and the fact that but they kept raising their voices and didn't allow me to speak. I was exhausted and saddened so I gave up replying, just listened until the ended the call. ILs interference was totally unnecessary as i was trying to sort out the issue between me and my wife.

# PS: Has she ever manhandled you prior to this incident, whether during an argument or not?

In past three yrs, there have been a few (less than 5) incidences of hitting with objects, scratching, or grabbing me by my shirt during arguments.

# ... And if that doesn't work, yes, DO speak to her doctor ...

It's a great suggestion and I am considering telling her Doctor. But honestly speaking, knowing my wife, I am worried that it will aggravate her even more and might affect baby's health. Should I just wait for a few more months until the baby is born? Why a lil one should suffer in this whole mess?... I just need to think through again to see how it could be handled to yield +ve results rather than derailing the situation. Would you have any recommendations on how best to involve expert without upsetting to-be-mum?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 19 2015 at 17:33
Member since: Aug 2014
No, I'm sure it *wasn't* your intention to burden him or divert attention to yourself, but without even realising it, you would have (or could have, I should say), particularly with asking him to cast a vote over whether you should end your entire marriage. Still, now you know and are following the proper procedure so - no harm done, carry on. :-)

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 19 2015 at 18:06
Member since: Apr 2015
@MHIEL29

If involving third party could solve the issue, I would do so wholeheartedly. I had thought of relatives, friends, colleagues, counselor and even a spiritual guru. She won't trust or listen to anything that goes against her or anyone tells her to improve. Plus, I don't know if any of relatives, friends, colleagues would have time and patience to hear our sad stories and advise.

On your situation - To be honest, my mind is clouded and I am not sure if I may be able to offer a pragmatic advice on your situation. I am still trying to figuring it out myself and nothing seems to be working for me. If something comes to my mind, I will share it with you.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 19 2015 at 18:42
Member since: Aug 2014
Anon (poster) (;-)),

(If you like, make it easier for yourself and just call me Smoderator, LOL)

Glancing at it and taking in part of the first two paras, your post looks a lot more organised and detailed AND CALM so I'm going to take it point by point and deliberately *not* read ahead (so that I can not only react with gut instinct but also put myself into her position) so please bear with it to the end in terms of your response to it, just in case.

"# WHAT past issues?

Past issues are mostly trivial thoughts emerging out of her criticism. For example, she brought up that I spend time on pursuing my own interests and don't spend time with her; that I am not very social and have no friends; that I don't ear enough to keep her happy. "

Okay. We've already covered this, then. Apart from 'don't earn enough to keep her happy'.

1. What exactly does she mean by this?

2. In what ways would you earning more enhance her happiness to the degree she implies?

3. And doesn't that smack to you of this: "I'll stop getting on your case if you bring in more money", i.e. emotional blackmail?

4. Is that level of coercion warranted and understandable, i.e. do you earn pitifully little for your age and stage?

5. If not, do you suppose this material concern is her true agenda as well as the cause of her constant complaining? Or is that just an obvious sore nerve of yours that she was deliberately aiming for (perhaps to bat back?) and *doesn't* actually care that much about the pounds and pence aspect?

"# ...a peaceful moment? Was it a case of really bad timing or something? Did things get heated?

When I started the conversation, we both were calm and the atmosphere was peaceful. However, the conversation soon turned into her accusing me and my parents and later into a verbal abuse. I kept my tone soft and volume low throughout. But seems my calm response irritated her even more. In a burst, she grabbed my t-shirt and neck."

6. Sorry, but you're still not being specific enough. Accusing you all of WHAT?

7. Continuing the line of Q5: do you suppose that somewhere in your wife's mind, she's worked out that if your parents were made to feel like moving out/back to wherever, because living under the same roof as her was too much non-stop hassle, you would have a lot more disposable income?

"# Have you discussed this whole situation and latest scenario with your mum and dad? What do they think?

I haven't spoke to parents for a few months now. My father is not keeping well lately and I didn't want to add to his worries. I already feel shameful and hold responsible for being the reason to bringing the blame - it's my wife who's abusing my parents. If I were not married they wouldn't have had to face the abuse. In past I had informed them so they know about the tensions between me and my wife, however, I have not told them anything recently. I simply can't add to their worries at this age and lose them."

8. How is another individual's autonomous choice of behaviour any of your responsibility, just because you've entered into a civil contract with them? If you maltreated her parents, would that make her responsible? Or you?

9. Given how humans don't sit well with not knowing where they up-to-date stand, don't you think NOT talking about it, the three of you, is more anxiety-productive?

"# What exactly did you say - from start to finish - and what did she say? And, particularly, what made her grab the scruff of your shirt?

I stated the conversation saying that I wanted to discuss about the tensions and find a solution that works for both of us. I explained that verbal abuse needs to stop since it is not good for baby and our relationship in future. Also, I informed her that her abusive language is hurting my emotional health and affecting both personal and professional life. Then I requested her to for both of us to sit and think about the root cause and how we could resolve the issues between us. She cut me there and told that I and my parents are the root cause. Then I asked exactly what words/actions of me and my parents cause issue for her. On that she dug up minute minute topics from the past and criticized me and parents for a whole hour. As we went deep into the conversation she started using abusive words and name calling. I asked her to stop abusing and calmly discuss. But she went on and on. It was hurtful so closed my ears and eyes. That's when she work up from her chair and grabbed me by my neck and tried to remove my hand away from the ear. I folded my hands back and simply walked out of the room, waited by the main door. Then she call her parents and told them that I am harassing her. After her call ended ILs called me asked to me and my parents (although they were not involved at all) stop troubling her. I tried to explain what happened and the fact that but they kept raising their voices and didn't allow me to speak. I was exhausted and saddened so I gave up replying, just listened until the ended the call. ILs interference was totally unnecessary as i was trying to sort out the issue between me and my wife."

Ah-hah, THERE IT IS! (so scratch Q6). She is obviously brimming with latent resentment that never got addressed and resolved back at the time, and only NOW ("hand that rocks the cradle") has the confidence to re-raise it, now that she feels her family value has become promoted. Her swelly-belly is her protective 'shield' and insurance, in other words, that you won't throw in the towel and leave her.

10. What precisely were these past topics that took her a whole hour to describe (and got her into a lather all over again)?

11. Or did she get into a lather because you - even without meaning to - seemed at that point to be somewhat defensively dismissing and minimising her gripes?

12. Do you suppose that you closing your eyes and covering your ears could have come across as stubborn refusal to cooperate and passive-aggression rather than emotional flooding - hence her (what she saw as) counter-attack/insult? Have you tried replaying the tape in your mind but with switched places to see how that would appear to you had SHE been the one to react like that when you were in the midst of listing old and unresolved issues that meant a lot to you? Do you suppose it would have been better to have communicated USING WORDS - e.g. 'I'm sorry, this is all too much'? Do you suppose it would have been better yet to have said, 'I've ASKED you to discuss this calmly so if that's beyond you, I can't stomach this much volume and aggression, meaning, we'll have to take Time Out until it's not', and left the room?

...because, I have to be honest, Anon: as 'your wife' in that scenario, at the point where you put your hands over your ears and screwed your eyes shut, just as 'I' thought we were finally getting into it, "*I*" felt like wringing your neck (sorreeee).

"# PS: Has she ever manhandled you prior to this incident, whether during an argument or not?

In past three yrs, there have been a few (less than 5) incidences of hitting with objects, scratching, or grabbing me by my shirt during arguments."

Noted. Not acceptable but at least I now know the emotion behind it. And it is *not* wanton despotism.

"# ... And if that doesn't work, yes, DO speak to her doctor ...

It's a great suggestion and I am considering telling her Doctor. But honestly speaking, knowing my wife, I am worried that it will aggravate her even more"

Yes. So am I, now that I've had the chance to get a better handle on the interplay.

"and might affect baby's health. Should I just wait for a few more months until the baby is born? Why a lil one should suffer in this whole mess?... I just need to think through again to see how it could be handled to yield +ve results rather than derailing the situation. Would you have any recommendations on how best to involve expert without upsetting to-be-mum?"

No, absolutely do NOT wait until the baby is born! It would be HIGHLY unfair to your child to bring it into an ongoing hostility situation before it's been resolved or at least made great headway on! Please stop using your baby as your excuse to run away from this mess. I know you don't mean to, but that is what it amounts to.

Anyway, your solution is even more simple than I thought. Your wife is not abusive per se, she is simply beside herself with pent-up frustration coupled with panicking about the state of your relationship, still, during this, the eve of the arrival of another family member, one that's going to leave her even more vulnerable than she already feels (in terms of no-one respecting or hearing her and her not having the energy to assert herself) (her perception).

You just need to WRITE HER A LETTER. In it, you need to APOLOGISE for having flooded during your attempted pow-wow regarding issues that you do appreciate mean an awful lot to her (as do they, you), as gave her the impression you just didn't care enough to cope, rather than psycho-physiologically couldn't. If she doesn't understand male flooding, find it described on the net and include the link so that she can see for herself how it's a genuine male-brained incapability, and that you didn't even realise you were 'doing a startled tortoise'. (Here you go, look, I'll save you the trouble with but one such site: http://portlandrelationshipinstitute.com/Artcl__Emotional_Floodin.html). Let her know that someone in the know recently brought your attention to it (so that she doesn't conclude you're merely researching plausible excuses for yourself), and that that someone informed you that they could see quite clearly that you and your wife *do* have mutual love there but it's been pushed to the back of the queue by unresolved, now-pressing misunderstandings and mistakes, ergo you and she need to organise a twice-weekly chat with a counsellor, simply to provide appropriate refereeing (so that she doesn't flood and blow and you don't flood and shut down). BERBOM. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

The details of your precise situation don't actually matter (despite they FEEL important and that in itself is). All you two need is help to see eye-to-eye (thus stop approaching one another on the defensive, colouring each other 'der enemy' and all actions Black), whereupon all things will be negotiated or agreed or agree-to-disagree-d or will simply shrink to unimportance. Because it seems obvious to me that she doesn't understand how men tick and you don't understand how women tick, exacerbated by the fact of you two having differing communication styles and needs. She got aggressive because she was "understandably" overwrought (felt set up only to be knocked down), at which point you SEEMED to be taking that as an opportunity to strike (with a belittling insult). And you don't react the way she did when you don't love the person any more. You tend to just spit, 'Oh, screw you!' and flounce off.

If you can't afford private counselling, go see her doctor together and s/he'll refer you.

There we go. Got there in the end. 10p, please. :-)

And I'll say this for you - you are no lazy quitter, are you! :-) Well done.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 27 2015 at 05:23
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Thank you for your detailed post. I am going to reply point by point for easy reading, so please bear with me.

#....Apart from 'don't earn enough to keep her happy'.

1. What exactly does she mean by this?

It's her claim that my earnings are not enough and that I am not trying hard to earn more. In reality, I believe I earn a respectable income with which we can live a comfortable life. Plus, she earns respectable income as well. Combining our incomes, I don't think there is a shortfall of money. If I analyse the financial position, I don't think there is a reason to be unhappy.

2. In what ways would you earning more enhance her happiness to the degree she implies?

I had asked what are her expectations and I can tell - those are unrealistic.

3. And doesn't that smack to you of this: "I'll stop getting on your case if you bring in more money", i.e. emotional blackmail?

It is a sort of blackmail. Even fulfilling her demands have not stopped the abuse.

4. Is that level of coercion warranted and understandable, i.e. do you earn pitifully little for your age and stage?

I don't think so. I have reasonably well income, sufficient savings that can support both of our lives and lifestyles.

5. If not, do you suppose this material concern is her true agenda as well as the cause of her constant complaining? Or is that just an obvious sore nerve of yours that she was deliberately aiming for (perhaps to bat back?) and *doesn't* actually care that much about the pounds and pence aspect?

I have not been able to figure out the true reason behind her constant criticism and quarrel over money aspect. It is more of a tactic to cornering me. May be it's an advice coming from ILs - the reason I say it because ILs are in financial debt due to a bad investment that had done and they keep asking for money from us. I personally have had helped them a few times from my own savings but stopped when it made no sense to pay for their bad investment.

7. Continuing the line of Q5: do you suppose that somewhere in your wife's mind, she's worked out that if your parents were made to feel like moving out/back to wherever, because living under the same roof as her was too much non-stop hassle, you would have a lot more disposable income?

My parents do not live with us. They are not even in same country. My parents are financially independent and have never demanded my support for livelihood - therefore I don't see a reason for them to be sharing a pie of disposable income.

8. How is another individual's autonomous choice of behaviour any of your responsibility, just because you've entered into a civil contract with them? If you maltreated her parents, would that make her responsible? Or you?

I hear you. But I have gone through so much of pain in past four years that I feel my inability to sort of the situation and correct my wife's behavior is affecting my parents and therefore I feel guilty of it. Maybe I should done something else or better handled our relationship.

9. Given how humans don't sit well with not knowing where they up-to-date stand, don't you think NOT talking about it, the three of you, is more anxiety-productive?

Yes, it is possible and I see your point. My parents are broadly aware of the situation and abusive nature of my wife. Their advice was to build patience, maintain dignity. I have not discussed the latest discussed latest scenario with parents because imagine what harm it would do if I constantly feeding sad news to my father who's a heart patient and had two stokes so far.

10. What precisely were these past topics that took her a whole hour to describe (and got her into a lather all over again)?

It was a repeating record of things like I keep myself engaged in my interests such as rowing or painting (which I gave up already); that i dont earn enough (I explained earlier); that my parents are a bad influence (it's purely coming out of her hatred); that I dont obey her and ILs (mainly stated after I decided not to pay for ILs bad investments); that I dont put enough effort to keep her happy (although no specific examples or definition of her happiness discussed - it's all vague).

11. Or did she get into a lather because you - even without meaning to - seemed at that point to be somewhat defensively dismissing and minimising her gripes?

There could be a number of factors, including my reactions, triggering her behevior. I have no idea what exactly contributes to her anger and feeds to her abusive impulses. I have been trying to figure it out but I have no shame to admit that I have no clue so far. This is where I felt a counselor could help pin-point the issues and suggest correction. But me going alone to a counselor is fruitless. She would never agree to go and see a counselor since she believes that only mentally-ill people require counselors. In fact, since I proposed for both of to go and see a psychologist, she and her father refer me as mentally sick. I thought they both were confusing between Psychologist (a trained specialist who studies human behavior) and Psychiatrists (a doctor who treats mental disorders), and hence tried to clarify - but all went in vain. Imagine, what agony it would bring to a person if he is labelled or framed as mentally-ill.

12. Do you suppose that you closing your eyes and covering your ears....

I see your point. In fact when she started raising her voice, I did request her to calm down, offered some water, and also proposed to take a break and resume the discussion when anger subsides and we both can discuss the issues like adults. She ignore my suggestion and kept going on. I just did what I felt like doing - cover the ears and close eyes - in a heated situation while I was yelled at, insulted and verbal abused.

I am very open and willing to hear from the advisers here about how one should react when being yelled at or verbally abused?

Writing a letter is a Great suggestion and a noble idea! I will think about it for sure. I have written an email to her before but rather than appreciating my efforts she uses it against me to portray that I am always at a fault and that I accept that I am at a fault. As soon as I write something or say something it gets passed on to ILs who may not aware of nuances and the pure intentions. The words get turned and twisted - I am speaking out of experience.

From the article that you shared I picked up a book name "Why Marriages Succeed and Fail by John Gottman PhD". It seems to be a good book with research based insights and I am going to give a through read.

Thanks for your support. Your posts are helping me a lot so please keep advising and sharing your views. I am open for ideas and inputs.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

WINTERSUN
- Apr 27 2015 at 13:11
Member since: May 2015
Hello, sorry if I haven't read everything, but I just came across your post now and read through it quickly. I just wondered would it be of any help arranging a meeting with your in-laws.

It appears that your wife bad-mouths you and your parents a lot, would she do this with her parents present? or does she care who is?. Maybe invite them for dinner and perhaps one of your friends/relations also, I would have said your parents but as they don't live in the same country, maybe a brother or sister?

But after dinner raise a topic that generally causes your wife to 'humiliate' you just to see will she speak to you as she normally does. If she does, her parents and your friend/relative will see how she is and won't only take her side, when she says that you are harassing her. And if she is on best behaviour well then it's not relating to pregnancy hormones.

And I don't think mentioning it to your doctor would harm any, if anything it would help, as I'm sure your wife's doctor would be interested in anything that may or may not be causing stress, which in turn may cause baby stress.

Hope things work out well for you all.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 27 2015 at 14:09
Member since: Aug 2014
Oh. Yet more data is revealed and so the initial conclusions again have to change...

I didn't realise your sensory blocking was truly a last resort on your part. However, for future reference, you need to just leave the room the minute you can tell the other person is not about to lower their voice, having already posited a succinct warning that you'll do so. If at the start of any discussion your wife anticipated this consequence, she would soon learn that she had better keep herself calm and respectful for its entire duration if she wants the chance to express or finish expressing herself, wouldn't she.

I also didn't realise your parents don't live with you both. That they were being so deeply affected gave me the impression they had to be in the day-to-day thick of it. You must be feeling very isolated, then. What if you were just to talk to your mother and ask her to keep things solely between you and she rather than relaying them to your father? Or have you any uncles or close male friends, etc.?

However (back to the here and now), how you wife conducts herself during contentious discussions is apparently just *part* of the problem.

Why are you expected to bail out her parents all the time when it's long been proven they're bad money managers or outright wastrels? If your wife were single, would she have a career and be capable of supporting them (i.e. letting them drag her down with them)? Is that what makes you responsible in her mind?

I'm with you: Fine if helping them actually helped. But it doesn't, does it. So what's the point in throwing good money after bad? It would just make you an enabler.

She's definitely not being reasonable, is she. I'm back to thinking, power shunt thanks to pregnancy equals secret despot feeling it's safe to finally come out of the closet (whether or not there's some influence from pregnancy hormones going on that she refuses to have investigated). I'm really not impressed by her attitudes.

Don't kid yourself that counselling just for you wouldn't prove highly helpful, though. You'd be very surprised.

If you can't bring yourself to, however, then I think the better book for you would be Mira Kirshenbaum's "Too Good To Leave/Too Bad To Stay" (which helps you to decide whether leaving is the only logical step to take or helps you stay and deal if not). Through it's initial list of insightful, bottom-line, acid-test questions, it tends to inject people with crystal-clarity in one hit as well as in record time. In other words, it's an wholly effective course of one-on-one, top-expert, "extreme/intense counselling" in book format. It truly is a godsend, I can't praise it enough.

Will you do that for me - read it first? Keep it hidden, obviously. But if that's not practicable, then ideally you should present her with her own copy, with a view to you both sitting down and discussing your subsequent mutual thoughts and feelings (remembering to call "Time Out! I'll be back in 10 minutes when you'll have had a chance to collect yourself", or something similar if this discussion itself starts to go awry). In fact, being handed a book with a no-nonsense title like that might well be the wake-up call she needs?

One thing's for sure: you and she can't go on like this; something has to change, particularly with a third little person about to embark the marital ship.

As for her parents: they're obviously not wise or sensible individuals so if I were you, I'd refuse to entertain their demands to discuss your relationship in the first place.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Apr 27 2015 at 16:30
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Once again, thank you for your comments and trying to help me in this dire situation. I am going to respond to your question one by one so please bear with me.

#... your father? Or have you any uncles or close male friends, etc.?

Mum, knowing her, she wont be able to keep it to her. She will just keep worrying, which is but natural. Rather I need someone who could worry lil less and help me see through things - probably help me work out a solution and mediate if needed. It my father who I would turn to. But given his recent heart problems, I am in a catch 22 situation.

Yes, I have male friends. I thought of a friend whom I could speak to. But so far I could not gather enough courage to express my thoughts in a friend circle. I thought why trouble others with my problems.

# Why are you expected to bail out her parents ... Is that what makes you responsible in her mind?

I helped her parents because I thought it would be a nice gesture and would make her happy, assure her that I am there to support in needs. But I can only extend the courtesy until I can afford and could make sense out of it. After given handsome amount second time, I advised ILs to exit from the loss making business. They twisted the advice and back-channel it to my wife which made her angry. I thought, if I am helping out with a substantial money, I could at least have a right to offer my advice. But my thinking was proven wrong.

If my wife were single, I am sure she would be able to support ILs. She is well educated and earns a respectable income.

----------------

I will definitely read Mira Kirshenbaum's book that you recommended. Here is my thinking... what if instead of wife, tomorrow my kid (mis)behaves like this? Would I leave or break-up with my kid? probably not. So why I should leave or break-up with my wife? I am going to keep trying to make things better. May be I will have to face failure and disgrace 100s of times, but I just need one success/breakthrough after that. Also, I keep thinking, if us the humans can teach good values to babies and even animals like dogs and dolphins then why can't I bring a change in myself and in my wife. Just that I am not an expert in psychotherapist who would decipher the complex play of human mind. But given right tools and advice I think I could make the situation better - somehow I just feel that.

When I first came here, my mind was clouded. But over the period and interactions through posts here, I am slowly getting some direction - or at least I like to think so. I urge the users to keep advising me and share wisdom. Thanks a million in advance.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Apr 28 2015 at 13:07
Member since: Aug 2014
Why trouble others (i.e. a friend) with your problems? Simple! Because it makes that person feel needed and useful by you and that they matter to the world, rather than some chocolate teapot held constantly at arm's length, and strengthens or cements the friendship. In other words, you'd be doing him a distinct favour. He then goes on to return the favour...and so it goes, the friendship bond growing deeper and deeper. Result: friends for life. What is it you always thought women were up to whenever they shared all their secrets? You know, that gender that somehow manages to retain close friendships from cradle to grave? (Feeling silly yet? ;-))

It looks like back when you tried to help her parents that first time, you (as she saw it) set a precedent. Well, she was wrong, then, wasn't she. Or if they were drug addicts, would she be expecting you to be their constant free-of-charge dealer?

But, no, lending someone money doesn't give the lender the right to dictate or even be involved in how that person spends it; you have only the right to say yes to lending it, or no. Only becoming a bona fide company investor/shareholder gives that ("yikes, no thanks" LOL).

"If my wife were single, I am sure she would be able to support ILs. She is well educated and earns a respectable income."

Then this is probably where her expectation is coming from. However, supporting ones parents *prior* to them reaching incapacitation or old age is a prerogative, not a duty. And if someone abuses your generosity then of COURSE you're going to put a stop to it (unless you like being a martyr). If she were earning and single and chose to throw good money constantly after bad, that would be her business and her problem. If she were doing that while married, and without your express agreement, she'd be diverting resources away from the marital unit and thereby depriving it, and pointlessly so (like a gambler). That, for some, would be anywhere between a serious issue and a dealbreaker. You and she and the baby are your first priority.

Plus, I presume you didn't agree to be Bank of Son-In-Law *prior* to she and you getting married? If not, then it's she who has since moved the goalposts, not you (because the 'advertisement' that persuaded you to buy "said"...) If thereafter one wants to move them, one has to ASK NICELY. And if you yourself aren't guilty of having since moved any of your *own* goalposts, then you have a firm leg to stand on on that score.

I expect we can all understand her worry and her wanting to have a way to keep that worry regularly at bay (sweep it under the carpet), but that doesn't give her the right to badger you over it or harbour resentment. Nor especially in verbally aggressive ways.

No, I'm not suggesting you have to call a divorce. But if you can't live like that then something has to change. If something *doesn't* change (or indeed, even worsens), then you can bet your bottom one of you *will* be raising a divorce at some point farther down that line, oh, yes. You wouldn't be calling for a divorce if you handed her a book of that title (because it's *not* called, How To Divorce). You would be giving her an early wake-up call. That is the message contained in the title: 'it's still too good to leave because of this, this and this and yet at the same time I literally can't tolerate that, that and that (thus I am paralysed)'. If one feels this way then it equates to what I call the Dark-To-Light Ratio being only 50:50. A happy relationship, one that lasts the course, is more around the 70:30 mark at worst and 90:10 at best.

It's nigh-on impossible to divorce your own kids due to the fact that they share your genes, meaning, even if you don't like the little uggers or they do absolutely nothing for you, no favours, all aggro, you can't help but still love them. Literally can't help. Genes are clever like that. Ones spouse does not. You're not her father, ergo, she cannot expect the love from you to be unconditional. That sense has to be *cultivated*...via the years and years process of give and take (or as I prefer to call it, give and receive). And kids have to sponge that up so that THEY can further their own genes through a relationship that requires work rather than comes on a plate. What are you giving her? What's she giving you? Is it a fair, equal deal?...even ignoring anything you've merely typed?

It is not. And that is why, DESPITE the possibly-possibly-not, ominous-sounding title, you (actions!), quote, "definitely" feel like reading it.

And why wouldn't you, when...

Talking to her hasn't worked. Talking to her parents hasn't worked. Talking to your parents isn't possible. Talking to a male friend might take too long (and you haven't got time). Counselling isn't an option because she refuses. Writing her a letter has proven not to work already. And, really, you could talk to EVERYONE outside of her...But what good is that going to do you if she herself still won't listen to or employ reason and tries to deter you from discussions - discussions aimed at 'forcing' her to look at where yours and her ship is leaking and help you do something about it - using animosity and melodrama?

I think she needs a bucket of cold water in her face (this book). She is behaving like she thinks she has all the power and say-so. And that is not marriage. Marriage is PARTNERSHIP. Two members of a team working on the project called, ForeverTogetherAmen. They both have equal input and power when you stand back and look at the relationship as a whole. They might take it in turns to steer the ship depending on which co-captain is laid lowest or most poorly; they might also do Tit for Later Tat or swapsies. But overall, both parties have the same rights, privileges, amount of happiness and stress, information with which to succeed.........TEAM. You can tell her this book helps you both to stay where staying is the right thing to do, and that that is the part you're focussed on. However, at least the title will remind her that you are *not* powerless. You just don't tend to wield yours as prematurely and noisily as her.

She is passive-aggressively wielding over your head a Sword of Damocles. Only wives who hate/majorly resent their husbands end up leaving them. She's acting like she's already at that point, isn't she (yes). Emphasis on acting. So her sword says: shut up and do as I say because I'm "this close" to leaving you.

In other words, this is what I would say to her: "Don't talk to ME about duty, luv. Particularly not secondary duty. You're not even doing your *primary* duty - which is you adding your half to my half as creates one whole endeavour when it comes to ALLOWING IMPERATIVE, MARITALLY-PRESERVATIVE-AND-PROTECTIVE DISCUSSIONS TO TAKE PLACE'.

If you are being blocked from all two-dimensional angles, i.e. left, right, front, behind, from doing your duty, and duty *cannot* be neglected lest the whole ship go down, then you parachute in from above. Berbom. Plus it's the fastest and most efficient way in a circumstance like this one. If she doesn't like you parachuting in from on high, she shouldn't have consistently blocked every other dimension of approach, should she. Duuh?

In other words: "I am going to keep trying to make things better."

You can't. It's impossible. Unless and until SHE JOINS IN. Tee..Ee...Ay...Em, TEAM! And with baby on the way, you can't afford to uck around or dither via whichever snail trail. Hit her with that book (not literally, LOL).

You don't teach babies how to be doormats.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 2 2015 at 13:32
Member since: Apr 2015
Thursday night, she threw the book John Gottman's book at me and accused me of plotting a divorce.

This is what happened, on Wednesday, I told wife that I probably going to visit library to pick up a technical book. on Thursday, after the office hours, I went to a nearby library and picked-up Gottman's book 'Why Marriages Succeed or Fail' and two other technical books. Came home and after dinner, I told her that I was flipping some books on the stand and found this interesting book by Gottman and I brought it home just to give it a read. While I was still in the living room, she picked up the book went inside the bedroom, and in a couple of minutes stormed back in the living room, threw a book at me and stated accusing that I am plotting a divorce. She then threatened that she is aware of the laws and she will be prepared to ruin me financially. Then she started accusing my parents that they must have planted the thought about divorce in my mind.

I picked up a glass of water and walked up to her and requested to calm down. Then I explained that the book is not about divorce or separation, but it is about systematically evaluating the health of our relationship and how to improve it. I told her that no one is suggesting a divorce here. I said, I thought it would be nice to read and probably help us improve our relationship. All went in vain, she did not understand why I brought that book.

Late in the evening, she called her father on Skype and informed him that I am suggesting a divorce and asked him to be prepared to fight a court case. Her father consoled her and assured her that if the matter needs to go to court, he will be ready! He also named his fiend's friend who can help connect him with a divorce lawyer. He also told her that there is nothing to worry and that he will ensure that she would live a comfortable life and I pay for it.

I was amazed to see that although I never even once uttered a word divorce or any equivalent term of it, how she perfectly framed me of suggesting a divorce. On top, it was surprising to see how quickly FIL could think of follow-up action points like contacting lawyer and making me pay for her comforts after divorce.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 2 2015 at 18:29
Member since: Aug 2014
No - Mira's book first, says I (explaining why - *primarily* because of its title!)

Okay, definitely, says you.

...next thing I know, you've hit her with "Why Marriages Succeed and Fail by John Gottman PhD".

My point WAS: *before* you talk patching solutions you have to point out the hole in the boat! One title says "HELP ME TO HELP US!" and the other says "I'VE WORKED OUT THE SOURCE OF OUR PROBLEM INDEPENDENT OF YOU!".

And you wonder why she who tends to react badly reacted badly.

If she was GOING to knee-jerk react badly (in her typically aggressive avoidant/deterrent style) - and she was - it would have been better to have done so to Mira's book!

And don't talk daft - of COURSE she understood why you bought that book. She's just being a bully, she's not *stupid*.

Never mind. At least you've got her worried. Clearly you have. Hence her trying to make you crawl back in your box, using melodrama and hostility, the threat of losing all your wealth (not going to happen) *and* what I call 'Bringing in the troops' (her father). It's called Emotional Blackmail (the mark of the barrel-scraping desperado). In which case - now that I've 'seen' that little stunt - you're right. Your wife is indeed abusive.

And regarding how her father reacted - NOW WE KNOW PRECISELY WHERE SHE GOT IT FROM!

How do you feel, having seen mini father-in-law and father-in-law himself executing their clearly well-practised duet?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 4 2015 at 03:13
Member since: Apr 2015
I posted my reply/update last night but seems it did not register here. Hope it goes through now.

Apologies for messing up the sequence of presenting books. I should have checked really.

Anyways, the result is, she did not bother to read even a page of it, she and her father ended up threatening me, and accusing my parents of planting a thought of divorce in my mind. In this whole process, my parents were not involved anywhere bu still got accused.

After the book throwing episode, yesterday, FIL called me up and asked if I am thinking of getting divorce. I explained (rather tried explaining) him that there is no said or unsaid intention of divorce. His response was that his daughter never lies, and that I must have mentioned about divorce or indirectly showed an intention to divorce. Then I asked if he is referring to Gottman's book I brought from a library. He said, "yes" and before allowing me to explain anything further he started charging me and my parents. His assumptions was that I presented the book to give a hint of divorce and it must be my parents who would have suggested to initiate these kind of tactics. During the whole conversation I requested him to allow me explain my position, but he did not leave any room to say anything. In about 30-35 minutes conversation, I could hardly speak anything since he was constantly interrupting me. Wife was commenting and aiding to FIL's accusations in between as well. Towards the end of the phone call he raised his voice to a level that I could not handle the pressure. I told FIL that I am not ready to continue to the discussion. I disconnected the phone, stepped out of home and sat in a public park for a few hours. The whole time I did not get any calls to see if I was alive or dead, or to inquire my whereabouts. Almost at a mid-night I returned home. Saw that wife had her dinner and was sleeping. Before sleeping I tried to post the situation here but seems the submission did not go through. The stress and the dire thoughts kept me awake pretty much for the whole night.

Is there something that I am doing wrong here? Should I have handled this situation differently?

Also, I am wondering how to keep the emotional health in such a tense situation? What are the ways to cope up with stress at home? Please advice me.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 4 2015 at 15:59
Member since: Aug 2014
Well, if your wife and her troops jumped all the way to that worse-case-scenario as their firm and irreversible conclusion then all it does is reveals a massively guilty conscience on her part, wouldn't you say? She sees you starting a divorce as plausible. And that's because IT'S JUSTIFIED!

Whatever. I'm disgusted.

It's completely unacceptable to think you can throw things at your partner in rage. (I hope it was paper rather than hardback?) That alone, never MIND summoning her parents to play rottweilers in attacking your parents as well as you, never MIND how she's been behaving prior to this showdown including getting physically hands-on aggressive, is stinking, reeking symptom enough about what her underlying attitude towards you is like. Ye gods!

I, personally, would not be standing for this, Anon. If my partner demonstrated that kind of sustained attitude towards me, and it came to a head because he 'owned' something major that I wanted (your case, the baby) as made him think he was finally the boss of me, I would be preventing any more crap by telling him to shape up or ship out (and meaning it). Sure, I would be crushed that my relationship with my own first-ever child was not going to follow the orthodox, what nature intended, but *for the SAKE of that little person's childhood, this would be my way of insisting on All Or Nothing. I would also be telling the in-laws in no uncertain terms to butt out and mind their own marriage! What is she - five?!

What you've got there is a herd of bullies, with this book presentation having brought everything up from under the table and to a head. (Frankly, I'm surprised it's taken you this long to realise it; and more's the pity you didn't ...until now that there's a baby on the way.) You've said, 'Houston, we have a problem' and their reaction to that has been this: WHAAAAAH, STOMP, CRASH, SMASH, THWACK [fist in yours and your parents' faces]!!!! It basically translates to this: We have no problem with how things are, we LIKE them and don't want them to change. That you're trying to change them means you are a fly in our ointment and must be stopped. Take THAT! And THAT! And THAT!!!

You might just as easily have complained that the carpet badly needed shampooing, only to see them start throwing ink and other indelible liquids onto it and hacking ruddy great pieces out of it. Is that the bottom line here or is that the bottom line here?

If they can't stomach consequences then they should spend more time thinking through their intended actions, shouldn't they. Ah, but they don't need to. Because they can always rely on bringing out their big guns, can't they (which obviously has always worked for them).

GOOD FOR YOU FOR HAVING CUT THE CONVERSATION!

Of COURSE she was eating and sleeping okay. She wasn't the one who'd suffered anything, was she.

Sorry, but I think your wife and her parents are nasty, childish, obnoxious bullies. There's only one pill I know of for that incredible level. Cyanide. Because that's not what you call mere 'stress', is it. It's not normal nor manageable. You cannot CANNOT live like that! And if you even parachuting in from above (and for what - just to find a way to make things better?!) is going to see you basically nail-bombed, normal adult discussion now having proven once-and-for-all to be completely unachievable, then I fail to see what possible remedy there is *apart* from you seeking the advice of a family law solicitor.

Sorry. :-(

But the good news, altogether 'potentially', is this: if their intimidation tactics show to have FAILED on that score, if the next speech you make to your wife is about how you now see that the idea of divorce is INDEED your only available option (because all bettering/fixing options have been well and truly (and violently!) blocked), then your wife might well see sense and stop her nonsense.

Smothering type parents or not, no woman facing having her very first child wants to believe it'll be as a divorced and single mother. And if she *does*? You'll then know that this last-ditch course of action was always just an inevitable that had somehow for too long been put off and swept under the rug.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 7 2015 at 16:05
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

The trash talks now have turned into threats. Tuesday evening, when I returned from the office in the evening ~9pm, my wife and FIL were talking online. Upon my entry in the home, wife asked if I have time to talk. I sat down and told her that I am listening. She said that she is convinced that my parents have planted a seed of divorce in my mind. She further said that given that my parents are trying to break the marriage, I should refrain from contacting them and avoid talking to them. I interjected and told her that my parents have not spoken to me for months now and there is no question of they feeding any thoughts in mind. I explained, that the idea of divorce is come through her mind rather than anyone else. FIL cut me short and said that I should not try to convince them about sanity of my parents, and that he knows how ill-minded they are. If the things go to court, he said, my wife and he is ready to fight it out and asked not to assume them to be weak players. Then he turned to my wife and assured her that he will support in whatever way required and asked her not to be afraid of any threats coming from me. I was not interested in his trash and laud talk, so I woke up and went inside to change clothes. Outside the room he was telling my wife that he has talked to the lawyer friend and already explained hims the case. In case required, he claimed that his lawyer friend is ready to help her. Trash talk continued for a while and they ended the call. She abruptly came inside the bedroom and started questioning me why I disrespected her father. I asked what disrespectful word did I say? She said, I shouldn't have woke up in the middle of the call and left the room. I said, I am not going to entertain threats from her or her father. Name calling and trash talking is something that I do not like and it must be stopped. In reply she said the FIL is trying to talk some sense to me. Her expectation was I should have sat their, listened to his threats, and obeyed his orders.

I told her that I am not interested to talk anything since I need attend a conference call. Quickly I freshened up and jumped on a office related conference call. By the time the call ended, she was asleep. That's how the day ended.

In conclusion, I think the threats are turning real now.

Are the domino's falling now? Should I also approach a lawyer too or neglect the threat?

How should I deal with FIL? He is a strongly opinionated and laud person who tries to dictate his own way.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 9 2015 at 13:48
Member since: Aug 2014
"In conclusion, I think the threats are turning real now. "

Nope. Not real. That's not how people *genuinely* considering divorce behave; trust me on this.

How interesting that your wife concludes that any up-age in your self-confidence could come only from your parents. Does she believe you're that isolated in terms of people you can confide in, if not for them? Is this part of the reason WHY she thinks she's got you helpless where she wants you, meaning, she can behave towards you any way she likes? *Are* you isolated? If so - *why* are you?

And who does she thinks she is, telling you that you should refrain from contacting them? How dare she! YOU CAN DAMN WELL CONTACT WHO THE HELL YOU WANT, NOT LEAST YOUR OWN PARENTS! What is she - your dad?!

As for the pair of them, especially your FIL, accusing your parents of being the ones who are insane?! I've heard enough. I think it's quite clear who the unhealthy-minded ones are here. You are married to an extremely controlling abuser (who has been taught how by her father). And equally clearly, have for too long been laying down and taking it. Until now.

Regarding your response, including having walked out of the room - GOOD FOR YOU!

Seriously - GOOD FOR YOU! THAT'S MORE LIKE IT!

Have you now noticed how their desperate attempts to cow you have risen in direct proportion to your maintaining and increasing your standing up for yourself? You've got them VERY worried. (As it should be!) Ignore their hot-air threats. If they were that powerful it would long already be apparent to you and wouldn't need pointing out to you (think about it). It's all bluff.

Go on YouTube and look at episodes from Super Nanny (Jo Frost). In them, you'll see your wife and her father - like out-of-control toddler siblings - mounting a rebellion against the new and tighter rules of household conduct meted by the now-supported thus newly calmly confident parents. If the parents can't be bothered to weather and deal with that hassle, they fold and the kids get to avoid the status quo (them ruling the roost) having to CHANGE. If, however, they stay strong and refuse to appear rattled, the kids are the ones to fold. But the kids always reach a Beelzebub-like crescendo right before this point. SO DO NOT, DO NOT, *DO NOT* FOLD! Just keep it up. Raising a divorce petition is crystal-clearly the LAST thing these two want, meaning, there's inevitably going to come a time when they realise that you are *not* seeking a divorce and are simply refusing any longer to tolerate their behaviour of old....whereupon they're going to feel VERY stupid. YOU'RE not going to change (revert), meaning now the choice IS THEIRS - specifically between toeing *your* new line or raising a divorce themselves (the very thing they are demonstrating they so fear and dread as sends them into the stratosphere with utter panic).

You can certainly see a solicitor on the sly, just to know that YOU have too little to fear despite their threats and claims, because that will up your confidence even further. So, by all means do.

THIS is how you deal with your FIL: "Do you mind NOT sticking your beak in someone else's marriage, uninvited?" And if his response is that he HAS been invited, you can tell him that no he has not. Because marriage is comprised of two equal individuals, meaning, any invitation has be a JOINTLY UNANIMOUS ONE (*so he can stick THAT in his pipe and smoke it!...or would he like you and she to make an extra place for him in your double bed 'n all?)

(*final phrases optional, LOL)

They're about to crack. Not long now. :-) Armwrestle, remember? And you clearly *do* have muscles...WHEN YOU REALLY HAVE TO.

Well done. I'm very proud of you. :-)

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 12 2015 at 11:20
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Thanks for your comments.

I had that tough conversation with FIL where I told him to refrain from intervening into a matter between me and my wife. They both cranked up their voices and essentially kept babbling two points "1. How could i say something like that?" and "2. It must have been taught by parents to say something of this nature and insult FIL". It was an exhausting conversation and a bit embarrassing too - since we live in an apartment and neighbors could hear us easily.

Over next few days, he and my wife they kept discussing about how to tackle me and shut me up. I could hear it since all their conversations happen over skype and they did not even bother to consider that I could hear all of their conversation. It seemed like they were deliberately talking about me so that I could hear those. What kind of mentality is it? Feels it is kind of a torture technique that they both have adopted.

It is stressful. It is exhausting. It is demoralizing. I am not sure what their ultimate game-plan is or what their wishes are. But in the whole process I feel like I am sinking.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 12 2015 at 11:46
Member since: Aug 2014
How could you? Oh oh OH, they've already switched their attack manner to 'we're the poor wickle victims here', have they? Yes, I should have warned you they might. If THAT doesn't work either, they'll switch back to hostility and threats, you watch. (Those two are so transparent I can see what they ate for breakfast.)

Insult FIL. Laugh out loud. If only you'd "insulted" her prior to today, you might not be IN this mess! And they might not be finding it so damned difficult to get their heads around the fact that what they thought was worm has actually TURNED.

Don't worry about the neighbours. Probably makes a nice change for them to cease worrying about what their neighbours think of THEM. More to the point - do not think your embarrassment hasn't somewhere in their minds occurred to wife and FIL; that'll be part and parcel of their campaign to get you to back down. Think toddler having a screaming tantrum right in the middle of Sainsbury's. Emotional blackmail is a many faceted thing. (But next time maybe have two lollipops handy to shove in their gobs. You couldn't comment any clearer than that, eh! LOL)

Also, I agree you were meant to hear. This isn't actual shared intellectualising by those two, it's just yet more BLUFF. Next, they'll be telling you POO, YOU SMELL. (Give them a skippy rope as well as the lollipops.)

But seriously, can you see the funny side yet in terms of how utterly LUDICROUSLY CHKLDISH this father and daughter are? Pretend they're both 10 year old schoogirls saying those things. It fits, right? Give them 10 year old voices and you wouldn't have a clue they were supposedly grown adults.

FYI, they don't HAVE a gameplan. If they had one they wouldn't be wasting their own time and energy yelling back and forth and predominantly at you (think about it). All THEY know is, throw enough rotten tomatoes and the power-usurper will back down. Clearly they're really not used to anyone standing up to them like this. But do it non-stop consistently enough and - trust me on this - they'll cede defeat AND LIKE IT. Want proof? Here it is: how come FIL can't take you on on his own and how come neither can wifey? Answer: it HAS to be 2 against 1 because it's actually only 2 halves. Two very SKINNY halves. No match for your whole. Hence banding up.

They're two kids in grown-up suits, I tell you!

By the way, where's MIL in all this? Sat cringing in embarrassment from under the dining-room table, is she?

You're not sinking, you daftie, you're RISING. Just because you can feel 'motion', doesn't mean it's downwards. Just go by your ears and their increased attempts including the fact they're switching their campaign from attacking to now entering into the plaintive territory. Warning: this mewling tone will be set to increase. There will be crocodile tears and everything.

Have those lollipops ready. ;-)

PS: Did you watch any of the Super Nanny episodes, have you 'found' two pair of them yet?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 12 2015 at 12:32
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Thanks for your reply. MIL mostly plays a backstage role. She typically don't voice out her opinions in front of me but for sure aid to FIL's filthy advice. Her (and SIL's) role in this drama is more towards intelligence gathering, gossiping, and feeding -ve thoughts.

Given FIL's attitude and character, in past, I had approach MIL to see if she could take an adviser's role and help reduce friction between us. The attempt was not that successful as MIL ended up blaming me for all the issues between me and my wife. Especially, after I stopped throwing money at them, she got upset and visibly reduced the interaction with me. She is at the backstage now.

My apologies, I am so consumed with the domestic issues that I haven't had the motivation to go and watch Super Nanny. I know that you have recommended it with a good intention and I will try to watch it.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 12 2015 at 17:36
Member since: Aug 2014
Watching an episode or a few clips will certainly help put all of this into its proper perspective, yes. You might even be able to start to see the funny side, especially if whenever you picture them it's as two of the typical toddlers featured on there. Failing that, another good tip is, whenever they're on at you, to imagine them on the loo, knickers round ankles, straining to do a poo. (Don't knock it until you've tried it, it's a proven technique for things like interviews. ;-))

"Her (and SIL's) role in this drama is more towards intelligence gathering, gossiping, and feeding -ve thoughts"

Intelligence? You have to HAVE intelligence to recognise it in order to gather it!

That little lot clearly missed their vocation as daytime soap actors. Remember: the drama is just a cover for manipulation and coersion. In and of itself, it means NOTHING and is pure hot air drivel.

"MIL ended up blaming me for all the issues between me and my wife. Especially, after I stopped throwing money at them"

Uh-huh. Funny, that. And, my, what a delightful family you married into! Beelzebub himself couldn't have sired any better. 'Mercenary', 'immoral', 'amoral', 'parasitic' and 'fair-weathered' just don't do them proper justice in my opinion. Saying that, they must HAVE good qualities or else you'd have been long gone by now. But I'm guessing their dark sides far outweigh any light. Right?

Mind if I ask: if, as we have slowly but steadily come to tell, you've been putting up with this sort of sh*t and nonsense (albeit to a lesser, more chronic and drip-drip degree) for what sounds like years, why did it take you so long to reach the end of your tether and reach out for help (this case, on a forum)? And, tell me, if you stand back a bit and really think about it, would you say your wife is now proving to be uncannily similar to one of your parents or siblings? And do you now realise what an unhealthy relationship you went and committed yourself to, what lay beneath (so to speak), thanks largely to the fact your so-called grown adult of a wife clearly has never been taught how to conduct herself like one?

My own opinion is: although it's fixable, I suspect it would only be in a papering over the cracks way. What I mean by that is, you can certainly train this herd of un-housetrained chimps into watching how they behave towards you from here on in, but at the end of the day - given the gobsmacking degrees to which they're prepared to go - they'll still be chimps underneath it all, meaning, if ever you drop your guard or offer them an inch it's highly probable they'll immediately revert to trying to take a mile. That, however, does remain to be seen.

Were it me, I wouldn't even be concerning myself with what might or might not result in terms of a divorce. I would simply be focusing on the fact that the nightmareish homelife situation these people had been creating for me, now lately having come to this head, was by any sane opinion 100% unacceptable, 100% inappropriate, and utterly INTOLERABLE, and would be packing my bags and calling a formal separation. I would be saying how I expected her and her family to use the time to reflect on how shoddily and disrespectfully they've traditionally treated me in order to see the error of their ways, and that the separation would remain for as long as they refused to do so (i.e. my returning relied on them getting real and staying real).

They can say what they like about you and how they believe you to be in the wrong (yeah, sure they do, pff!), but there's no getting around the fact of what we've lately 'witnessed'. I'm both incredulous and disgusted.

I don't disagree with one or both parents making a one- or two-off effort to get involved because the wife genuinely needs outside assistance. But that's not the case here. They've been pulled in by your wife *purely* to increase the numbers in her campaign to keep getting her own, childish way in terms of never having to exert any befitting self-control and decorum in her dealings with you whenever you and she have a difference of opinion (or is it now a case of always?). And instead of behaving like reasonable, mature, adult mediators, those so-called parents have proven to be even worse than she is and so have just made everything ten times worse. I mean, how ironic IS it that FIL's and wife's chosen method for keeping you AWAY from a divorce is the very sure-fire method for making a person end up WANTING one?!

Not that it becoming worse is a BAD thing from your point of view because, again, at least it's brought everything to a head and properly out in the open for once where you can more clearly see and get a hold of it, but, still... They really do behave more like they think they're part of the cast of some warped programme mixture between Dallas and Dynasty and The Adams Family. (Have you ever thought to buy a Nanny Cam and tape them?)

But here's the rub: bullies cannot bully you unless you LET them, whether full-time bullies or only at times... Think about it.

So, then, Anon: who was it taught you that standing up for yourself in the face of extreme and untenable behaviour was (until now) such a no-no? Who was it gave you the strange idea that there was any such thing as "a quiet life"? I mean - how have you been enjoying your "quiet life", eh? What if, the very first time anyone from that family had behaved disrespectfully towards you, you'd said something appropriate to nip it in the bud and thereby set a respectful-to-you dynamic? Do you think you'd now be here, having to field this incredible extent of puerile aggro?

Quiet Life, my bottom. Tired (in the short term) or not, don't you *dare* fold now or you'll go straight from Square Five back to Square One, meaning all of the energy you've expended up to now would have been for NOTHING! You hear me? THERE - the HILT of where you're currently headed - is where the GENUINELY quiet life lives. Get it now?

That is, jointly, YOUR house and YOUR wife and YOUR marriage and YOUR wealth (AND half your bloody Skype). You are NOT some abusive, controlling despot out to make his daughter's life a misery. You have simply reached a dead-end in terms of your obvious incompatibility of communication styles and how you each see the world, and wished to finally deal with it in a reasonable and civilised manner....and look what you got. Your fault, my ARSE!

Maybe you're irritating and exasperating a lot of the time. WHO CARES! If one can't get along with ones spouse to the point of not even being able to discuss contentious issues in a reasonable, civil, mature manner then one has plenty of other choices than to be verbally and behaviourally abusive and call in the rottweilers. But I don't find you exasperating and I've got as much fool-tolerance as a flea. Granted, I don't live with you. But I can work out thick ends of wedges from thin ends and your thin end is fine by me. So there you go.

And the fact it's four against one shows me quite plainly that the whole reason she and they have always tried to dominate you is BECAUSE THEY'RE SCARED OF YOU. They obviously sensed your inner capability and so wasted no time in trying to cow you and crush your confidence so that your inner beast would never be able to come out. Ever.

And here 'he' is, showing his leg as out he finally starts to climb - thanks to what? Nothing but a bit of moral support as has upped his confidence:

"She abruptly came inside the bedroom and started questioning me why I disrespected her father. I asked what disrespectful word did I say? She said, I shouldn't have woke up in the middle of the call and left the room. I said, ***I am not going to*** entertain threats from her or her father. Name calling and trash talking is something that I do not like ***and it must be stopped***."

Surely, SURELY, you felt just a little bit of pride in yourself at that point? SURELY the fact that even FIL has started playing the mewling little victim card is all the indication you need that you're on the winning side? Because I'll tell ya this for nothing: even if you can't - I CAN.

(Sinking, my bottom.)

Oh, and next time they insist it's your parents giving you ideas, tell them, no, it was Supernanny Jo Frost and YouTube. ;-p Nuff said, eh.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 13 2015 at 11:27
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Please allow me to respond to a few questions/points that you put forward.

# Mind if I ask: ...why did it take you so long to reach the end of your tether and reach out for help?

In last four years I reached out for help incrementally.

Differences/issues exist in every married couple. In the initial year, my focus was on resolving the issues between us by ourselves. When fights got worse, I reached out to my and her Parents. It did not work! My parents got verbally abused in the process. Her parents ended-up dumping all the blame on me and my parents.

I presented a solution of seeing a counselor/psychotherapist. Result, they call me mentally sick. Despite explaining the difference between psychotherapist (a professional who studies human behavior) and psychiatrist (a professional who treats mental illness), they did not get it. The 'mentally sick' tag on me still persists.

I always thought... Why bother friends/relatives with personal problems? (But I took your advice and now I am speaking to a close friend. He has been very helpful and listened to my issues patiently. You were right about discussing issues with friends. Thank you.)

Since she got pregnant, the issues went beyond my control. The verbal abuse got escalated. A few months back, the verbal abuse reached to a level where I was affected emotionally and extreme thoughts started hitting my mind. With a storm of extreme thoughts in my mind I ended up on LostAllHope.com where I learned about PeoplesProblems.org and this forum.

# But I'm guessing their dark sides far outweigh any light. Right?

Prior to marriage she and her family showed extremely good behavior. She came across as a logical and cooperative person. Their nasty side surfaced only in the post-marriage era. I was observing if her abusive behavior is more of an impulsive and short-lived versus deep-rooted one. Looking back into past four years, I feel that her abusive, critic behavior is engraved deep in her mind. FIL and ILs in general have been aiding to this spoil-game.

# ...don't you *dare* fold now...

Take a strong stand make sense - I see your point here. However, I am worried about her and yet-to-come baby's health. I have been soft and tolerant in past few months mainly to reduce the harm to the baby and wife's health during the pregnancy. (I don't think any issue could be bigger baby's health and safe delivery) What if she does something that would harm herself and the baby? In recent months, when we argued, she had put up crazy stunts such as not eating for an entire day, soaking in the shower, stepping out of home and wandering on feet late in the night - all of these during her pregnancy. Any lady who has been pregnant before can easily point out that acts like the one I mention could affect her health and as a result baby's health. Note that we live abroad all by ourselves, no relatives or family member here whom I can make accompany her. If anything happens to her or the baby during the pregnancy, she's going to hold me responsible - she has said so already.

# ...bullies cannot bully you unless you LET them...

100% agreed. At present, my concern about the baby's health is the main reason why I am tolerating her and FIL's tantrums. If I take any strong actions, she's going to freak out and put up a stunt. Dilemma is - "Should I stand firm at a risk of harming her baby's health" or "Protect the baby's health at a risk of getting abused again and again".

Apologies for presenting more difficulties. But that's how it is here and there isn't an easy solution that I have found out so far. Please bear with me and keep sharing your advice and thoughts. (Your suggestion of speaking to friends has been an excellent one and is helping me already. @SOULMATE (moderator) - Thanks a ton for that suggestion.)

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 14 2015 at 14:52
Member since: Aug 2014
(Thanks for that link! I followed it to Befrienders Worldwide and then pasted the link into R's thread for her to try.)

This latest post of yours is far more enlightening.

Yes, I see your dilemma and need to damage limit. But it's totally unreasonable for wife who chooses of her own free will to speak and behave recklessly to say she'd hold you responsible if anything happened to her or the baby. She can say whatever she likes, try to delegate/deflect whatever responsibility she likes... doesn't make what she says true, particularly as, if you think about it, she's DENYING you any such power of affect. She has to take her own responsibilities. So tell her if anything happens to either of them, it's YOU who will hold HER responsible, actually, because you've tried all there is from your side to help switch the situation from negative to positive (or at least neutral) and she has wilfully blocked your every attempt. You've done your bit. The buck therefore stops with her (and now also her father).

It's entirely up to you if you decide to weather the onslaught until the baby arrives. But you must realise that you're not doing anything to HER by purely and simply sustaining your refusal to entertain and engage in hers and her father's wanton melodrama, you're simply stopping her from doing anything to you. There's the difference that makes all the difference. Your tack is not a "strong action" as you put it, it's in fact just rightful passivity. So... just as you pandered to your fear about confiding in a friend when, you now see, it had no bearing on actual reality, don't let this one sway you either.

Cease taking on board any more of her nonsensical statements. It's all just childish avoidance and blaming, just yet more attempts to keep you where she (for some reason) wants you...i.e. where she can enjoy free license to kick you.

She's obviously a very unhappy and confused woman (and with parents like that, I'm not surprised).

What did your friend say, by the way?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 14 2015 at 16:29
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Thanks for understanding my dilemma. The fact that someone (it's you in this case) can see through the issues, is quite pleasing and relieving. So thanks!

It's few months back, I had put my foot down and didn't budget to her demands. She was suspecting that I am transferring money to my parents and she wanted to check my bank account. I told her that I had not done any money transfer to my parents and she has to trust my words (in past I had given her my account password and she did investigate twice and found nothing.) This time I told her that I would not give her account passwords just to satisfy her suspensions. She freaked out and stepped out of home late in the night. I followed her just to ensure her safety and bring her back. But she got crazy even more. Started yelling at me in a public place (people were looking at us and she wasn't bothered, although it was embarrassing for me). At some point in that drama she stood bang in the middle of the road with a heavy traffic. I pulled her to a side, calmed her down and gave her the password. She checked the account and found no transaction between me and parents!

Learning from that incidence I took a lesson that my wife could go to any extent without bother for baby's life. She in fact warned me that if anything happens to the baby she will hold me responsible. Since then I just kept absorbing her abuse and tantrums.

# What did your friend say, by the way?

First he listened patiently the incidences in past four years. His reaction was ...

(1) I should not have waited four years to talk about these issues with him

(2) his analysis was that my wife doesn't have independent thoughts, rather FIL is feeding these ill thoughts

(3) he believes that my wife also must be getting exhausted because of her abusive nature. just that she doesn't realize that she's creating the pain for herself. Someone needs to make her realize her mistakes.

(4) he says, staying apart for a short while could be the solution. he thinks, parting for each other make both of us value each other

(5) be prepared for the worst case. Know your options and how would you exercise those if needed.

@SOULMATE - I am exhausted and very tired of this situation. Today she called me impotent. It was very insulting and nonsense as she's carrying my child in her belly. How can a person say such nasty things to other person?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 15 2015 at 17:29
Member since: Aug 2014
Yes, there's the pattern that keeps repeating: She wants you to pander to her negative frame of mind (and however it manifests, typically something involving you) whenever given the slightest thing to latch onto and blame for its existence. If you refuse to pander, i.e. cater to exactly what she wants and when, she ups her ante (all the way to melodrama befitting a Histrionic/Antisocial Personality Disordered) until you relent, meanwhile showing ZERO protective instinct over the foetus. By all that you describe, it would seem she's an emotional manipulator/blackmailer to whom NO tactic is off-limits, same as (we've now seen) her father, pure and simple.

Money and being the centre of your attention seems to be her central concern, a particular trigger. And I think she denies any responsibility for the baby and places it all on your head because SHE feels none. That is NOT NORMAL. I repeat, NOT NORMAL.

Anon, your wife is not well. An unwell person WILL do and say such unconscionable things without thought for consequences. I think you calling a separation period, or better yet making a solo appointment with her doctor (or your own) so that you can describe all of this, what's been going on - or both - would be a good idea, and particularly *before* that baby is born.

Talking about it, gaining emotional support, might make you feel a bit better here and there in the short term but it's not tackling or treating the actual problem WHATSOEVER, meaning your need for support will never end.

Please look through all of these known personality disorders and tell me if you recognise her in any or a few of them: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/personality-disorders-directory?catid=1006.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 18 2015 at 12:31
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Thanks for replying.

I agree that talking about it, gaining emotional support is more of a temporary patch work. I understand that me coming here and cribbing my life problems will only help up to a certain point and I need figure out a way to fix it. I am working towards it. Please consider my coming here on the forum as a part of that process.

I gone thru the list of disorders. Couldn't slot her in one particular type of disorders - may be an expert would be able to give a definitive answer based on some sort of diagnosis. As I read through various descriptions, I could see that she fits to many of the symptoms across various disorders. The main disorder is the FIL.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 19 2015 at 11:00
Member since: Aug 2014
If venting and seeking support isn't stopping you from taking or planning to take action, that's fine.

So what are you planning?

She acts like a personality disordered - as you say, here and there in certain across-the-board ways, particularly Histrionic (minus the sexually provocative bit) - but she could just be long-term chronically confused and stressed like one. (Hardly surprising with a warped-reality feeder and feedbacker like her parents, to whom she's obviously still too emotionally dependent.) But the point of that was more to put her behaviour into its proper perspective given how what separates PD from normal (bad) behaviour is the *degree* of it thus whether it stops the individual (and those closest to her) from being able to function normally in their day-to-day life, particularly when it comes to their primary relationship (check!). My recommendation is therefore that you print out the symptoms list belonging to each disorder type and highlight those one or few behavioural characteristics from each that she displays in order to show your/her GP. Trust me on this: psychiatrists aren't the ones, usually, who first diagnose individuals, anyway; that tends to be the person's own spouse or family, in that order, with any psychiatrist then 'merely' confirming or refuting it following assessments.

What do you mean by 'the main disorder is the FIL'?

What's the latest - any update?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

CHICKENLITTLE90
- May 19 2015 at 20:56
Member since: May 2015
I'm sorry you're in such a tough situation!

When my uncle was having troubles with my aunt when they were newly we'd he did something I was gonna suggest, but as I read through the more recent comments it might not work in your situation, or you may not like it. Well, what happened is my uncle wasn't feeling appreciated and his wife was beginning to show signs of being abusive, so he left her for about a week. When he came back she seemed to have gotten a lot better and are still happily married to this day. Of course when he came back they still had to talk and settle some things but I guess she realized what she was taking for granted.

I see you said you guys aren't living with or near any relatives though? This wasn't the case for my uncle and his family. It may be something you can consider, although maybe for just a weekend?

I think the main thing this achieves is showing your partner that you can and WILL stand up for yourself. So if you can't do this, there are other ways to stand up for yourself (and even if you do leave for a bit, you should follow it up with my next advice).

Do not give into her. It is like giving into a kid--if you do it too much they will get used to it and see that you won't do anything to stop them. She has recognized this power she has over you and is obviously using it to her advantage. Just don't give into what she wants in order to assert yourself.

I'm not sure how your in laws and wife would plan to deal with this in court. I think you should see this as their way to scare you. Don't let this get to you while you try to assert yourself, otherwise you are giving them more power over you. In any case, it may be a good idea to videotape or have evidence of abuse?

I also understand what you mean by not wanting to yell and fight obnoxiously. I have a similar mindset, but you also need to know when the line has been crossed. You said the in laws don't live with or near you so I wouldn't be too worried about them. Show her that you aren't scared of anyone, and that running off to tell on you to her parents like a child won't solve anything.

I understand your feelings about your unborn child. I still think you should try to be more assertive now, but you must definitely do this after the baby is born and you can get it out of harms way. Once it is born you won't have any other reason to keep her from getting very upset. You sound like you love her a lot, but you must definitely speak up after that kid is born, even if that type of yelling and fighting drama exhausts you.

Goodluck!

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 20 2015 at 08:20
Member since: Apr 2015
@(moderator)

Thanks for your reply and checking upon me. Please allow me to respond to your questions one by one.

# What's the latest - any update?

The latest situation is not very different from what I had before - the tensions persist at home. Just that I got very with my work and the management visits in the office in past couple of weeks. Haven't had much of a face time with my wife therefore the things are calm. On the weekend she had expressed her anger about me working late, and my explaining the work situation didn't get me too far. She believes, I am spending time at office to avoid her.

#So what are you planning?

I am speaking to my friend and giving him the updates. His suggestion was to maintain calm and not to react to any of her accusations. He believes that pregnancy has impacted her behavior and I should "wait-out" till the delivery happens. This will prevent any harm to the baby's growth and health. Once after the delivery happens, if my wife's behavior continues the way it is today, my friend suggested to take concrete actions. My friend assured me to be there to help deal with depression and help face difficult times during the wait-out period. He took my calls whenever I ringed him so far. I am really thankful to SOULMATE (moderator) for motivating me to speak to friends. Baby's and her health is important for me than anything else at this point of time. Therefore, my latest thinking is to keep patience until the baby arrives and observe her behavior post-delivery.

#What do you mean by 'the main disorder is the FIL'?

What I mean is, in my view, FIL is a real trouble maker. He is the one feeding grim thoughts into my wife's mind. He is the dominant architect of the plot and the mastermind behind all the negative thinking process.

# identifying the disorder and sharing it with the doctor

I understand. I will try to find a way to bring it up in front of the doctor.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 20 2015 at 08:20
Member since: Apr 2015
@PRIMI

Thanks for taking time to read the posts and sharing your thoughts. Also thanks for your sympathy with the situation and for sharing your uncle's example.

I think I am in complete agreement with your suggestion here. As said above, I am planning to wait until the baby is born and observe her behavior. If it doesn't change, I will have to think about concrete steps and stand-up firmly.

in your post you mentioned that there are 'other ways' to stand-up for oneself. Could you please elaborate it further please? what are those other ways?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 20 2015 at 14:00
Member since: Aug 2014
"I should "wait-out" till the delivery happens. This will prevent any harm to the baby's growth and health"

What utter rot! Sorry. But young babies understand their surroundings far more than we used to give them credit for (psych fact just in), thus a newborn needs a calm and contented atmosphere, not intermittent war-zone sound-effects going on all around it (wherein lies creating a blueprint-ed neurotic, over-anxious child and adult). Bad enough that the nature of the noises might have affected it whilst still in the womb. But that's a 'maybe'. I'm talking 'definite'... sounds and natures of such that once its ears are open to the airways will be far more DISTINCT.

It may be your baby today but tomorrow it'll be everyone's adult!

Furthermore, in the absence of anything reasonable having worked, you need to finally accept that you have a Sword of Damocles of your own to hold over HER head (what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and all that). And it's bigger than hers, certainly in terms of immediacy. I'm sure the only birthing partner she'll want in that labour room is you, and NOT to be a single parent even merely in the first few weeks - something she needs to KNOW she'll be risking if she persists in her wayward behaviour in the run-up. I'm talking threat of repeatedly said separation period, a threat you are now perfectly justified in pulling out of your pack as your Ace card.

So the very next time she behaves obnoxiously with you, ask her gently, calmly and concernedly if she thinks she would feel a whole lot better if you were to live elsewhere for a period, considering she crystal-clearly isn't enjoying having you around lately? (Plant seed and retreat.) Say it with love and concern and she'll have a hard time reproaching you over it because you'll be asking her, IS *THIS* WHAT BY YOUR PERSISTENT BEHAVIOUR YOU'RE ASKING ME FOR? It places the responsibility and control fairly and squarely *and undeniably* in HER hands whereby she can see how her behaviour is going to hurt HER far more than you. Capiche?

That is what I would do if I had that baby's welfare first and foremost in mind, anyway. Actually, it isn't; I'd file for divorce and comfort myself with taking a philosophical Que Sera attitude about that baby possibly never experiencing a *live-in* father, especially knowing how what constitutes "normal" is not the What in terms of any specific situation and set-up but whether whatever set-up is a CONSTANT so that it can count as ROUTINE. Kids' needs are very basic, included within which is CONSISTENCY. As long as something is consistent, kids are amazing adapters/copers/surmounters. So GIVEN that divorce isn't an option in your mind, I would want this matter cleared up *before* that poor baby arrives. When you have no other options, not even walking away and never being seen again (divorce), then fighting fire with fire simply has to be done.

ENOUGH passivity and avoidance, letting things drag on and on. Those two things are what have ALLOWED this mess to reach such a head AND YOU KNOW IT.

With this bigger sword constantly at the ready, you have just enough time to TRAIN HER OUT OF HER HEINOUS CONDUCT. If you can get her to behave herself out of having to treat you with kid gloves for 2-3 weeks (and she's *not* clinically mentally ill), the new conduct will become a HABIT.

I told you: the thought of you leaving her is crystal-clearly what she (and her father) fear most in their world. You can see that for yourself by how COMPLETELY panicked and out of control it sent them. If all you have left in your bag of tricks to make her want to clean up her act is her fear, and the REASON it's your last trick is directly down to her and her father and no-one else, especially not you, then use it you must. For the sake of that baby's impending environment.

God help it otherwise.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- May 22 2015 at 06:52
Member since: Apr 2015
@SOULMATE (moderator)

Thanks again.

I hear you. I do. I understand it as well.

Standing-up for myself is an absolute key to the whole situation - I get that. I just need to make up my mind and gather my thoughts about how to execute it peacefully and without harming baby's health.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- May 22 2015 at 14:49
Member since: Aug 2014
Good. And if you have any more trouble in gathering those loins, if you don't truly believe you yourself are worth it, I suggest you see it as you standing up for the pending and future welfare of your first, precious child.

Best of luck, and please feel free to let us know once you have a positive update. :-)

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SUSIEDQQ
- May 22 2015 at 15:03
Member since: Dec 2013
May I insert a question here (or maybe I missed it)?

What is the plan for the baby's care? Will your wife stay at home now, or will there be a nanny so she can return back to work. You mentioned that she makes a good income.

I see your wife panicking about your total family income (you two.) Most likely, her bully father is worried about him getting future $$$, (I bet she's been slipping him $$ all along), and thus, is putting pressure on her, then she pressures you. (She said would be more happy if you earned more) She's had a great teacher in her father about how to yell and bully to get control. Their jumping to conclusions about a divorce is another indication of panic - the "cash cow" is threatening to leave!! What will be do now!!

His remarks about your parents are so unkind. Why?

You first posted in April, now it's end of May. Isn't it close to due date for her?

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

ANON88
- Jun 1 2015 at 07:49
Member since: Apr 2015
Sorry for late reply. I am happy to share the news of arrival of baby boy. Both mother and the baby are healthy. These last two have been incredibly busy yet rewarding. I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to @SOULMATE (moderator) and the other contributors for the support during these last two months.

Her parents are here and some friction is going on between me and FIL since he keeps poking his nose in the matters that he should not. But the happiness for the arrival of the baby shadows every other worry that I have.

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Jun 3 2015 at 02:51
Member since: Aug 2014
Oh, well, that's EXCELLENT news! And you're very welcome. :-)

Here's your Going Home Pressie (albeit you can return any time, obviously)...a joke you can tell 'junior' when he's 3-4 (although first make sure he's securely buckled in his chair because they tend to find this one especially hilarious):

Why did Tigger stick his head down the toilet?

Because he was looking for Pooh.

:-)

Abusive wife causing stress. How should it be dealt with?

TANK123
- Jun 4 2015 at 09:19
Member since: Jun 2015
Buddy I was 22 years old and married a very insecure 36 year old woman. We were best friends but she has never trusted me because of her fathers infidelity. She saw a councilor and thinks now its good. I'll tell you after 14 years and being by her side during breast cancer since 2009, she is still incapable of trusting me. My Dade just died and between this tragedy and being stressed for years trying to prove to the wife I loved her, at 35 I've just had a total mental meltdown. If she doesnt see she needs help, just leave until she does

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