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Abusive Wife

Question:

Dr., I need help assessing my wife’s behavior and mental state. We have been married for 18 years and have three young daughters. We’re university educated, “respectable”, upper(?) middle class, but the way we fight contradicts all this. I take long to get angry and my phlegmatic temperament frustrates her. She is a definite Type A personality with a sensitive ego. She has a huge store of grievances, mostly against my mother and not unfounded, and against the way I have at times reacted to her attacks. She forgets or forgives nothing. What I would like to ask, is what sort of behavior should I tolerate as normal from an upset woman. She sometimes carries on venting her feelings for one or even two whole nights (with serious consequences for my work performance). She becomes extremely unfair and even unbelievably foul-mouthed in what she says about her enemies. She has often attacked me physically, breaking my glasses, leaving embarrassing byte and scratch marks and she once shattered my two front teeth with the telephone. I don’t know whether I should call a doctor, the police or an ambulance on such occasions. I don’t want to wreck everything by taking such steps; she does have another side which I love, so I want to protect her and the children. I have tried to record patterns of emotional upheaval: there’s no definite correlation with PMT – it’s as if she is always overly tense and sensitive and converts hurt and depression and stress to aggression. I must admit to failings and poor conduct of my own, but over the years I’ve been growing weary of being treated as the enemy while trying to hang on to my private slogan: “JBLCS – just be loving, calm and strong”. I can’t make life pleasant and easy enough (we have financial problems too) and I can’t give enough TLC for her, especially not in the face of such aggression. While fighting with me, she can be very sweet with the kids, as if she’s not really upset; when we are at peace, she easily loses her temper with them and hurts them – so if I leave / divorce her, I can’t leave the kids with her. She has been talking about a divorce for years. At present she is blaming me for the early onset of menopause (just discovered, at 47) and for having hypertension. I know hormonal disturbance and the news in itself are upsetting her, but her behavior seems to be disproportionate to the causes, abnormal and unacceptable. IS IT? Please advise me on handling the situation, Doctor. I am getting extremely worn out physically and emotionally and sometimes have to take care not to be seen crying at work (not very manly).

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Answer:

Based on what you have written here, it would appear fairly safe to say that your wife becomes abusive to you at times, and that you have been at times victimized by your wife’s attacks. To be completely clear, I am verifying for you that her behavior is disordered, out of bounds and harmful (to you, to your marriage, etc.). Although thought to be less frequent than Male-to-Female domestic violence, Female-to-Male violence does occur. It is thought that men tend to not report on the extent to which they are victims of abuse because (as you have acknowledged), it isn’t manly-appearing to say that you have been harmed by a woman.

<

p> You do have a serious marital problem (whether you or your wife wish to recognize it as such). Assuming that you do not wish to end your marriage right now, my strong recommendation is that you approach your wife with a request that you enter into marital therapy if such services are available in your area. It will be important to have an impartial third party help to referee your fights (for your protection), and to help you both learn how to fight more safely and without aggression. It is possible for all sorts of positive change to occur if you both are willing to make changes (e.g., learning to fight fairly, use time-outs, etc.)

<

p> Your wife needs to agree to some rules to govern her fighting with you. These rules are best worked out with an impartial counselor, but if a counselor is not available, they still need to be worked out and respected. She must not physically harm you. You should not tolerate any physical abuse. You probably can safely tolerate some degree of yelling and name-calling, but even then you may need to develop a “time-out” strategy for dealing with arguments where you and your wife agree that you will leave her presence when you have had more than you can take and that you will return a set amount of time later when you have both had some time to cool down some (one hour?) to continue talking. She may need you to act in a particular way as well. Get your mutual expectations out on the table and hammer out a written agreement for how you will act towards each other.

<

p> If you find that the abuse does not stop even after sincere and prolonged efforts in that direction, then please consider that there are some situations that justify divorce (violence being one). While divorce or separation might not be the preferable outcome, your safety and ability to enjoy life is ultimately more important than remaining a victim for the rest of your married life in an attempt to preserve a fiction of marriage. Good Luck to you both.

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    Sadly I am going through the same situation as the poster. And, I am finding very few resources to help. We have been in counseling for over a year and my wife has not changed.

    I have decided to leave her abuse. If the roles were reverse YOU would be in jail and this doctor would be telling her to leave you.

    How is that for justice?

  • Anonymous-2

    I'm glad to see it's not just me having this problem. I've been with my partner for 8 years - married for 4 of them.

    In our relationship, it feels to me like I am the parent of an adolescent teenager. She does go to work, but that is about it. I have been in full-time education for the last 4 years. I have also been working part-time. I do 95% of the housework which is becoming quite tiresome. I have never been one to say a woman should do the housework, but I do believe it should be a joint effort. She will leave plates of food lying around and makes a mess of the kitchen in the morning. When I mention it, she just says that she doesn't have the time in the morning (then starts shouting). However, she doesn't do it when she comes home either because she says she's tired. If I don't do it, it doesn't get done.

    At the weekends, she never wants to do anything except stay in bed and watch TV. She only wants to go out if her friends invite her to a party. Then she will expect me to drive her there and pick her up (at the expense of my day). I also drive her to work every morning and pick her up each evening.

    With regard to finances, our outgoings average £1000 per month. She gives me £200 per month. She really does believe that this is fair. By the way, my wife is foreign and runs up about £70 of phone bills each month aswell. The biggest problem occurs when I try to talk about these things. She just gets extremely angry and emotional and calls me a control freak. She knows I don't like anger and confrontations.

    I tend to bottle these things up for a long time because I don't want to fight about it, but every now and again she will set me off and I will shout back. She hates it when I argue back and usually proceeds to hit and kick me, calling me all the names under the sun. She will then cry down the phone to her friends sincerely believing that I am the bad guy.

    I really don't know what to do. The other problem is she always wants to talk about her day at work (everyday). She talks for hours about petty things and expects me to sit and listen to her. Sometimes I think she is self-obsessed. However, she never asks me about my day, and when I try to talk about my minor troubles she doesn't want to listen - she just steers the conversation back around to herself.

    It's been like this for years now. I've tried to give it time, but the same problems keep coming back around. I don't like the thought of being single and lonely, but it's got to be preferable to being in this situation. I feel like her father, her taxi driver, her keeper and her cleaner.

    P.S. We haven't slept in the same bed, or had sex, for about two years now. I want it but she doesn't. Now, however, I don't want it with her. Is this normal? I'm rapidly starting to dislike women. If the situation was reversed, what advice be given to her I wonder.

    Mr B.

  • Anonymous-3

    The first writer describes my wife perfectly, almost in every way and, we have two young children. I, as the CEO of my own company, would be at work while she would play the role of stay-at-home-mom and taking care of our home finances. The patterns of abuse escalated over a period of at least 6-8 years until I discovered the cause: covert Methamphetamine usage. By the time that I had discovered the drugs, it was too late. It's impossible to believe that by keeping me on the defense the way she did, that she was able to actually keep me from discovering what was happening. I need more help now than I ever have, I just don't know where to find it and the police are not as helpful as I thought they'd be. Depression and anxiety have set in and I'm quite a mess.

  • Mr I.C.

    And I too am an unwilling member of this club.

    My wife's mother behaves similar to this, a few moments ago my mother in law embarassed her 18 year old son by shouting at his friend. His friend, visiting the family home, had gone to the fridge for a cold drink. He got more than a cold reception! Rather, he got blasted: 'What are you DOING?'. It is this unreasonable - in fact - crazy behaviour that I can see in my wife.

    Were it not for my two beautiful young children I would have divorced her long ago. But my wife and I both come from broken marriages. I have read that if there is one stable parent at home the kids have a better chance of coming out 'alright'. At any rate, I don't want to leave them with my wife.

    Of course, marital discord, as a rule, are not so straight forward to understand and work out. If you were to look at me you would probably have a hard time believing that I get treated this way. That is I have been a Martial Arts Instructor, manager etc.

    To be fair to my wife, these problems have been exacerbated through me taking time out from work for an expensive and intensive course of study - very bad move. We are not so close to her family (although she has some support network).

    My advice to the first writer, for what it's worth, is S(Y)OS - Save your own soul. Being calm and strong is praiseworthy (I try to do the same) but sometimes you need to fight fire with fire.

    At the end of the day you (and I) have a human need for dignity which is being denied us. ?You just have to find some way of retaining that. Perhaps take up an old sport or pastime that allowss you breathing space away from her at - especially at problem times. Youi may need to force yourself if you are feeling low.

    Try the same for her. Also, consider asking her to seek guidance from a religious leader (if you are religious). In truth that is all icing on the cake. Real change and respect comes from within. How can one get it back when it goes? Why and how did it go? Deep questions that only you can fathom and the truth may well hurt.

    The key is to respect yourself. Seek strength from within and without, and let it show that you respect yourself and still do care about her. A small present, some kind of pleasant surprise.

    Also, if we look at the broader picture where there is life, there is hope. Smile, straighten those shoulders, take a deep breath and apply yourself.

  • William

    I don't know where to go for help. I googled this site and see similar to my problems. My wife of 15 years has always been abusive verbally and infront of our kids. My 18yo girl has now become suicidal and seeked help on her own bat. My wife is showing no remorse or care or love even after this. She continues with her abusive words and daughter continues with depression, being on tablets. Wife continually twists things and blames daughter for us fighting. I am trying to keep things calm and failing badly. I have daughter seeing a phsychologist, with first visit today. My Wife sends her in tears tonight as my wife jumps down my throat for buying a new car after I was hit by a b-double truck and lucky to be alive on saturday. My wife has never given me any cuddle from what happened and my duaghter is blaming herself for for us fighting. Were do I go. What do I do.

    Can someonw help me please. I need a doctor or someone to talk to and give me advise.

    William (Queensland, Australia)

  • RJ

    I am sort of relieved to see that I am not alone in this boat. I have been married to my wife (who I love) for almost 10 years now and we have 2 little girls in our lives. She was always tuned high on emotional side while I was probably at the other end of the spectrum. Foul mouthing and abusive comments were the big armors she had until recently but it has turned very physical these days. There are a number of weeks I could not shave because of the need to hide scratch marks and having to explain to my 2 year old that "daddy got hurt because daddy was careless". This usually happens after discussions and accusations that last hours long at night, when both the kids are asleep. Initially i tried to defend myself by dodging and holding her hands away and the comment always is "The only way my anger can vent is by hurting you, otherwise I will do something to myself and the kids, do you want that?". Eventually i found that my only option was to let her hurt me. I am almost twice her wight and almost another foot taller. I never mentioned this to any one not because it is not manly, but because no one would believe me. At times I have even knelt before her so that the whole event would be over soon. The other side of this is that usually the next day she apologizes for the abusive behaviour and tells me that I am causing her to behave this way and that with this nature of mine will push our daughters into a future of drugs and other poor behaviour. Also adds that life without me would be much easier on her and the kids. I am certain that if I get a divorce, she would not let me see my children ever again. I have to admit that she has much superior intelligence and persistence than I have to do a thing she puts her mind to. There have not been a single day that I have not considered suicide in the last 6 months, but as she says I am a coward, selfish, dirty, lazy scum bag. This is after I earn more than what she does while she works full time and sends almost 95% of my salary into her account. Last night was no different so Iam tired at work and my arms hurt like hell. I am not expecting a response to this comment but this is my way of venting. The only other option is to write it in computer without saving it because in the past when she found such a document, I really wished I were dead. Thanks for listening.

  • Anonymous-4

    Hi, I am in a similar boat. Married for 15 yeras with a son, 14 years old (way too mature and good) and I feel pity for what he has to go through. My wife has the habit of creating 'disharmony' from the best situations. In the past things have got worse as she has now over the past 2 years accused me of having affairs with 2 ladies. It is absolutely ridiculous and these accusations are killing me. She verbally abuses me and it often happens that we have big fights. She does not physically abuse me but when she accuses me I become very mad and start slapping myself very hard (10-20 slaps at a time). For me it is very hurting that accusations are made on my character when I have not done anything. She has a high sex drive and if anytime I am unable to get it up she thinks of it as a rejection and worst of all it worsens the matter sexually. I am very very shattered and just do not know what to do. i know she loves me and I also love and care for her very much but I cannot bear these allegations and fights. She is driving me to the end.

  • Anonymous-5

    I suppose I am not sure if I am in an abusive relationship or not. is constantly correcting and controlling what I do. She will call me three and four times a day during work. If I am at work late, she calls at my desk numerous times. If I am not in my office, she gets angry and drills me about where I was and what I was doing. If I tell her what I am planning to do, she tells me I'm not using my day efficiently and tells me what activities I can and cannot do. Most nights, she berates me for a variety of things, from the trivial--whether I have cut the tomatoes too large, to the serious--that she thinks I am seeing someone. She often uses very foul profanity, though that has amelioriated over the last few months. She listen in on conversations I have, especially with my parents and children, and tells me what I should be saying to them, and gets angry if I say something she disagrees with. I am constantly having to apologize to her if she misunderstands me or I say something she disagrees with.

    In addition, over the years, when ever I have taken an interest in something such as a hobby, she finds reasons why I cannot do it, and starts fights about it until I quit doing it. I have no social life outside of seeing her and a few select mutual friends. In short, I do not schedule myself. She schedules me. If I do one thing, she gets angry and says I should do another thing. As soon as I start doing the other thing, she gets angry about that. Consequently, I just sit at home and watch tv, because, most days, that does not set her off--as long as we are watching what she wants to watch.

    He moods can change at the drop of a hat. For example, I was working this weekend. She called five times within an hour. During the last call, I thought the conversation was over, said goodbye and hung up. She called back angry that I had hung up on her. Even after I assured her that I thought the conversation was over, she berated me because she said that she didn't like the way if felt when I hung up. Then she told me that she thought my secretary looked at her funny after church (btw-there is nothing going on with my secretary).

    She also uses sex against me. For a while, it could be guaranteed that if we had sex, when she would get mad at me, she would ask me how I could do x or y after we had just had sex recently. As a consequence, I quit making the first moves in sex, which made her angrier. So now when we have sex at her request, and she is angry about that, nevertheless even when she initiates sex, she often uses against it against me.

    If I walk by her, without touching her or giving her a compliment, she gets angry.

    She constantly says that she is going to find someone more kind and loving than me.

    Because of her volatile moods, I have developed a fairly severe fear of her. I am constantly on guard when she calls at work, lest I inadvertently say something that sets her off. We spend every evening together, because she gets angry if I go out (and I don't want to go places with her, because she is so bossy to me that it embarrasses me in front of friends and colleagues.), I spend the evening next to her, worried that I am going to say the wrong thing that will set her off into an hour long diatribe about my faults and my past failings. I have developed a twitch in my arms and legs that are mostly set off when she berates me.

    I don't know if the relationship is abusive, or just controlling. Either way, I have become very unhappy and I don't know what to do.

  • samad

    I am glad I googled on this topic. I was able to go thru other people problems with their wives and to also know that I am not alone going thru this. It's just been a little over a year since i got married and i am already fed up. My wife is abusive, suspicious and keeps grudges in heart all the time. She loves fighting at night and keeps me awake almost till the wee hours. This is not affecting my work but my physical health. I am losing weight and also my apetite. Not sure what to do next. Always think about leaving her but end up thinking what would happen after that. She is very close to her parents who live in a foreign country. She is unable to forget that she is married now and lives with me. She is always worried about their welfare. I am tired of my father-in-law calling now and then and telling her that he misses her. She controls what friends i can talk to and who i can meet. I have not spoken to my best pals since 10 months now nor replied to their emails. She has made me change my cell phone number by fighting about it for months. She also hates with when i speak to my siblings. I have spoken to my parents about this and they always tell me to keep going and things will get better in the future. All this is killing me. As one of the guys in the above posts said I am begining to hate women. Not sure who to contact and who to talk to. I feel helpless. I have a very good job and make a good amount of money. I am feeling like all this is a waste and i would have been well and good had i just made less money and be happy instead. Thank you everyone for posting and sharing your problems on this page. I feel better now, atleast i have spoken out about my issues.

    Thanks,
    Samad

  • Mr. A

    The doc's right on the dot on this. How long can sufferring be taken...in the guise, excuse of stress, emotions, etc. The behaviour/outbursts of violence or abusive lang, emotional blackmail etc. which distrupts day- to- day life needs to be indentified as such. Either a Counsellor/ psychiatrists intervention sought, or the sufferrer -- (Man / Woman) need to take legal recourse in the form of separation or divorce to protect onself, and one's future

  • Mike

    My wife is like all these other nut cases. She has been dx with obcessive compulsive dirorder. ALL she does is constantly blow up. She calle me derogatory names, blames me for everything, attackes everything about me, my mother ,my careeer. She figts with everyone! She burns bridges with everyone! She is consumed with fighting all other females she has contact with half her age. She is 47. I think she has gotton away with it all her life, and her problem is that she hasn't been spanked or had the shit beaten out of her, because if she knew she would get the shit beaten out of her she WOULDN'T DO IT. I have never physically hurt her, but I can tell you that her behavior DESERVES to have her some niceness beaten into her! All of the mental illness is hyped up bulshit! When the Japanese took over the American civilian populations in the Phillipines during the war, I sure all the obcessive compulsive phobic American women that were in prison camps got rid all their ugly bahaviors!!!!

    Editor's Note: That you are feeling abused in your mariage doesn't mean that mental illnesses like obsessive compulsive disorder are bullshit. You are correct that having such an illness should not be a license to abuse, but OCD and other mental illnesses are very real conditons.

  • Tom Gun

    I to am in the same situation as alot of you and really don't no where to turn. My wife can be very Verbally and on rare occasions phisically abusive.We have been married for 4 years now with two small kids. (why I am still trying) She calls my cell phone at least 4 times a day and if I dont answer right away wants to know were I've been. And lord forbid you have any hesitation in your voice! BTW there has never been any cheating. I am constantly reminded of past mistakes along with how disfuntional my family is. And the Divorce card is used at least once a week. Yesterday during one of our routine fights she said she didn't love me and no one will ever love me then she proceded to say I was a loser. This is pretty typical when she gets angry since she just wants to hurt. There is a glimer of hope that I think I can offer though - The next time your wife tells you she wants a divorce say "OK lets do it" I've done this twice now and the "I want a divorce talk" stops. I said as much to here last night also and you know what? - Its Liberating! I felt like a man again and not like humpty dumpty waiting to be pushed of the wall. I noticed that I was much more calm with the kids also since I didn't let the anger of being verbally abused get to me. Of course I slept on the couch last night, and the butterflies in my stomach soon returned. But for that brief moment I was in charge of my own life again! I would love to talk to my siblings and parents about this but dont want to hurt the delicate relationship she has with them now. I am getting to the point of not caring anymore, which scares the hell out of me. Mainly because I know I can't bear to be a part time dad and in the future have another man help raise my kids. Of course I have not been a perfect Husband by any means. But I have to wonder would some of the things that we end up fighting for be such a big deal with another more normal person? So I stay. And tell myself that it will all be fine we just need more time to figure things out (evidently 4+ years is not long enough). But mainly I stay for my kids and Guilt. Yes Guilt - no I didn't cheat or do anything stupid, but guilt that I helped bring two wonderfull children into such a screwed up household and didn't pay any attention to all the Red flags that said DONT DO THIS!

  • Anonymous-6

    What the hell? I googled this site looking for help regarding an abusive wife. And sure enough I see a lot of comments from guys who have wives who all show the same abusive behaviour. But where is the help? This site is called MentalHelp.net, yet I don't see one single post from a health professional advising us how to deal with these woman?

    What's going on? Where's the help?

  • Anonymous-7

    I am in the same boat as these other men, unfortunately, and it feels literally like my soul is being ripped apart by all this bad behavior from my wife, which has been steadily increasing in intensity over the last couple of years. Now, my parents are being affected by this in a horrible way. I have 3 wonderful children who don't deserve to have an environment in which their mother constantly yells, cusses, and psychologically abuses their father! When my mother (their grandmother) confronted my wife after one more incident in which she was talking hatefully to me, my wife went off the handle with her and now she has completely disowned my parents and refuses to allow them to see their grandchildren. This is tearing my parents apart, who are very loving grandparents and want nothing more than a loving relationship with their grandchildren. I am going to counseling on my own tomorrow for the first time. This may very well end badly, but I still hold out hope

  • ZeroTolerance

    Yup. Same things here. Married 5 yrs and it just gets worse and worse. Now we have a child on the way (unplanned, oh goodness, totally unplanned).

    A lawyer has advised me to record her lunacy to help in any future custody battles. I am doing this though I still have hopes that we will eventually have some kind of breakthrough in counseling that is, she will finally realize she is in need of medication.

    PS. She turned Thanksgiving into a train wreck and totally embarrased herself. *sigh*

  • Bill

    I too am in the same boat as many other male victims listed above. 14 years of abuse in this marriage. No children, because she is sooooo nervous most of the time. Its a living hell, it has effected my work and my quality of life. Each year it gets even worse. In recent years we discovered that she suffers from a mental illness called, "obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)." To overcome her pain she drinks alot till she is drunk and sometimes till she gets sick. This only brings more abuse. I must really love her alot to tolerate all that or I must really have low self esteem. She has become anti social and reached a point to whare she does not leave the house, her parents house.

    I keep hangin in there convincing myself that she is ill and its my duty to be by her side at such time. But then again, I have sacrificed 14 years of my life, my youth, my ambitions.

    I and people who know us including her parents and friends see that I have done everything humanly possible to see her happy. Nothing works.

    I wish there were easy answers or decisions. What a waste of life for the both of us. Its so sad. It really is....

  • Anonymous-8

    Wow, I can't believe the comments from other men out there, how strikingly similar they are to my experience. I've been married for 22 years. Her verbal abuse toward me has been a part of our relationship the entire time. I have no idea who I really am anymore. Or who I used to be. Like many of the men's stories, I have definitely made mistakes, treated her disrespectfully, etc. And I came to the marriage as a practicing alcoholic, so I have not been the easiest guy to live with, I'm sure. We started counseling 15 years ago, I quit drinking, haven't had a drop since 1994. Counseling was dreadful yet we did it for years. She has no clue that she is verbally abusive and controlling, and therefore has no clue how devastating it has been to me over the years. She had a way of subtly controlling and manipulating our sessions so the whole counseling exercise amounted to identifying everything that is wrong with me. If light was ever shined on harmful behavior of hers she blew up. I was diagnosed with depression, and ADHD. I have been suicidal. I was surprised to read that another guy slaps himself. I feel ashamed because that's what I do. I leave the room (when I am allowed to) and slap myself repeatedly. Bang my head against the wall to the point of seeing stars at times. Bite myself. Scratch a scar into my arm. It's pathetic. I am unwilling and scared to talk to her about almost anything because I never know what will set her off and escalate into a major tantrum / lecture / list of everything I've ever done wrong. Over the course of our marriage I have been sober now a lot longer than I was a drunk but she still brings that up. She used to talk to me for hours and hours at night complaining about all my shortcomings, and how I've again and again mistreated her. She remembers everything, it's amazing what she will bring up from the past. I kid you not—a couple of times she carried on for so long that she finally fell asleep mid-sentence. She will not drop it until she feels completely satisfied that I agree with her that I was at fault, not her. She tells me all the time that I owe her an apology. An apology is a launching pad for her to restate what it was that I needed to apologize to her about. Trying to survive all of that is how I lost track of who I am. Of course I wind up agreeing with her, or else we'd still be in a "discussion" we started years ago. She is relentless. Of course I apologize for whatever she says I have done wrong. Any mention that perhaps a little blame is due on her part will set her off and wind her up and then magically she'll pull up something from the past and convince me how wrong I was on that occasion. It is continual and cyclical. I joked to my therapist once that she could make Tony Robbins feel inadequate. She is extremely persuasive in her arguments, no matter how irrational her position is. She spends enormous energy keeping track of the daily injustices against her. So I hear a lot about how incompetent and insensitive everybody is. After a wild temper tantrum and raging verbal onslaught she will act as though nothing happened. She'll be dumbfounded at why I might be distant. It's unreal. I am almost always distant. I feel safer, but I also feel like I'm hiding out in my own house, in my own life, and what a complete fool I am for living under these conditions. Here is a real crushing dilemma that another guy expressed: I can't bear the thought of divorcing and becoming a part-time father. Plus how can I declare that I can no longer live with my wife because she is abusive but allow my kids to continue to live with her. I must stay in the marriage to at least be able to monitor her behavior toward the kids. I have become so completely lost and confused and incapable of discerning truth or reality or saneness out of my day to day existence. Therefore I have little to no confidence in my perception of how she treats me. Is she being abusive, I ask myself? Honestly, it has all run together into one big screw-up of mine and I can't really figure it out. She will have nine reasons why she is completely justified in her outburst and anger. To live this life is a very deteriorating experience. At especially low points I actually wish I would be killed in an accident because I just don't want to live this way anymore, yet I see no escape. Like I said, I can't be a part-time dad, so hopelessness persists. It might be easier to leave if she behaved this way all the time. But she doesn't. Very often she is loving, kind, supportive, fun. But after a painful episode it takes me a week to begin to let my guard down. And I struggle steadfastly to keep my resentment from destroying me. About the time I think it's safe to live and breath as an equal partner in a shared life—BAM—it starts up again.

    I could ramble on a lot longer. But where I stand today is that I have to somehow resurrect or construct some fortitude to ratchet up my tolerance level. She will continue to be who she is, I can't possibly change that. But I can work on how I receive her abuse. It's a F-ed up way to live, but I know there are things that others are saddled with that are much worse. Is joy and happiness a myth?

    To every man out there who is living this same life, God bless you and good luck to you. It has been comforting in a sad way to read all the stories of others who are experiencing all the feelings I am.

  • JR

    Er ... violent physical abuse, and extreme verbal abuse, are one thing and nobody should have to tolerate this sort of treatment on a sustained basis. However, nagging and scolding, it seems, have always been with us and, gentlemen, historical evidence suggests thatwe will always have to put up with quite a lot of it, with or without therapists.

    Of course, solutions to this relationship problem have been sought in the past. Medieval English law recognised a women-only offence of being a "common scold" (as a form of criminal public nuisance) for which the offending dame could be sentenced to the ducking stool. Women who indulged their urge to scold in public could be indicted and sentenced for this crime in both Britain and what is now the eastern United States certainly into the eighteenth century. Just as well, I think, that this offence has become obsolete or been nullified (in the US through unconstitutionality) long since. Apart from anything else, I shudder to contemplate the fate of the unfortunate husband when the dripping Dame Scoldwell arrived back from the duck pond. Hardly much fun for the ducks, either!

    Seriously, nagging and scolding are not exactly helpful to the self-esteem of the target and can, no doubt, go too far. However, a pretty huge amount of this seems to go with the human condition (the married/partnered condition in particular) and, historically, it does (dare I say) appear to have a certain gender-differentiated quality. Recognising, accepting and dealing with this, and seeing it in proportion, at a personal level may not do wonders for the client books of some counsellors, but it does appear sensible to do so for many couples if they are going to stay together at all. I always try to remember that if I am going to benefit from the upsides in my relationship, there are some pretty well unavoidable downsides that I am going to have to put up with as well. I have no doubt that from her perspective, my wife feels the same way.

    Ah well. 22 years married, and still, I am Always Wrong et cetera. Don't suppose anyone In Here could lend me a ducking stool in good working order ...?

    Just kidding (I think),

    JR

  • Bill

    To all the good men out there that put up with the extraordenery life style of dealing with those challenging wives. I wrote my experience in a very personal manner in this blog. And I was amazed at the many similar stories I read. Could it be that we were also (Us husbands) similar to each other in characteristics. For example are we all kind, giving, loving, patient people. Or is because we live with challenged wives that we have become those things. I bet that we all could benefit from one another if we all met someplace. Like a convention, but alot less formal. Where we can all just get together for a drink or something. I am all for it if anyone is interested. Maybe we can all help one another some how.

    Bill

  • Anonymous-8

    I have contributed to this forum once before and it felt empowering. I keep trying to think of a place to go, someone to talk to. But it's my own private secretive story that I have to continue to live with and deal with on my own. Shrinks and therapists and counselors have helped in the past to some degree but I can't start that up again. The person I need to talk with of course is my wife but I find that impossible. Believe me I've tried. A few years ago she coincidentally received the same book from 2 of her friends. It's titled, "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff." I thought that would send a message but it didn't. She quotes from a therapist in the heat of a tantrum as justification, … "anger is a human emotion." Yes, I say to myself, but a human emotion that with maturity can be managed without resorting to a temper tantrum (which become very emotionally abusive to me and our 2 kids.) The concept of "lighten up" boils her blood. "Let it go" boils her blood. And, what's worse is that she screams that it's our fault (the kids and mine) that she blows up … our failures push her over the edge. If we could be better, she wouldn't have to lose control. It disturbs me greatly to see my kids assume that guilt. Whatever. That's all I can dribble out right now. I'm going back to bed. I'm hopeless and depressed. That's how I live about half the time.

  • Anonymous-9

    Everytime I go through an episode with my wife. Who is diagnosed with ocd and is verbaly abussive, I come back to this blog and read about all the similar situations out there. Its comforting to know that I am not alone dealing with this. And I pray for strength, its not easy to live with someone like that. It takes alot of sacrifice and strength. I hope that one day there will be an effective drug that will completely balance the brain. Because at times I am conviced that if the mental illness is cured, my woman could be a sweet and gentel lady.

    Doctor if you can breif me on the PET scans, and if its results can pin point the right medication. Apreciate it.

  • Pablo

    Many, many similarities. Was married 20 years. Wife was normal until birth of 2nd child (3 years after marriage.). Slippery slope of her becomming angry over nothing, outbreaks, or silent treatment for days, weeks, even months. Accepted her behavior as loving husband patient, loyal, good father, etc. Started feeling trapped in bad relationship w/ small children. Discovered wife's love interests in another man (unsure exactly what happened.) Threatened to leave, was begged to return she agreed to counseling but refused to go w/ me. Result: problems not addressed, no changes. Frequently looking for ways to grow closer. She: not interested. Immersed in career (improving), her businesses, and the kids. Not an absentee father, no sir. She resented any outside activity, which was limited to running (helped w/ stress) and church. Her anger at bedtime, often all night, made me seek refuge of alcohol and sleeping downstairs. OK, I accept responsibility for drinking. Spent 2 years in AA, and stopped drinking. Despite much financial success, I was completely miserable w/ aching chest (heart?) What kept me in marriage was the 3 children and hope that someday she would not be so upset. Finally, I learned that her personality wasn't going to change unless/until she initiated change. Meanwhile, she was going after another man to the point that his lawyer contacted me to have her back-off. He saw her as a "fatal attraction." We then had frequent blow-ups as I attempted her tactic of anger to control the situation. Didn't work. I began seeing a counselor, and asked her to join me. She refused and was very, very angry for asking. I threatened to leave her if she would not. Then she did attend, but used sessions to berate me. Aparantly, the counselor recognized her issues and wanted to see her one-on-one. She refused to see the counselor by herself, and said the joint sessions were "excrutiating." Saw any recommendation to change as unwanted intrusion. I shared life story w/ some wise, older, professional woman friends: they told me life is short, she won't change, leave her!! I left her in 2004, w/ 40% custody time with our two minor children. 9 months later they were w/ me full-time. They told tales of her running around the house like a crazy woman, yelling and criticizing me non-stop. Early relationship mistakes: she was estranged from most of her family: siblings I never met and who weren't even invited to our wedding. She had practically no friends and some of her so-called best friends saw her more as an acquaintance. I think her mom was very similar, and her parents certainly didn't get along. Funny, now that she is free to date she has no interest. Me, I met Ms. wonderful, slow progression relationship, and now very happily married. My new (and much improved) wife thinks I am so kind, loving and committed to her. Everything I wanted to be to my first wife, who didn't have capacity to recognize and accept good treatment. Not diagnosed, but think Ex-wife had substantial OCPD. She had everything: healthy bright children, complete financial security, a fit younger husband who wanted to please her, status in community, upscale house w/ white picket fence... everything!! Now: alone, no prospects, kids barely tolerate her, much more modest financial situation, a bitter old divorcee. Whew! Guys, the path may be uphill and rocky, but there can be light at the end of the tunnel!!!

  • Anonymous-8

    I've posted here before. I spelled out the whole thing to her yesterday, for what I told her would be the last time I'd do it. Either she quit denying her abusive behavior once and for all, or I'll leave. She actually admitted to blowing up at the kids and at me. Admitted she has an anger problem and agreed to get help. (She's done counseling for years, in part to deal with her anger.) I didn't expect to hear that. She couldn't call her behavior abusive, though. We continued to talk, it got very bad, and migrated as it always has, to how I have caused her so much pain over the years (22 yr marriage). She admitted to hating me for many reasons. We've had a rocky time to say the least, and she proceeded to remind me of stuff from 15 or more years ago that I did and for which she still hates me. She has such built up hatred for me that she has spent years purposefully "trying to make me hurt as much as she does." So she admitted to years of lashing out and trying to hurt me. Cool, huh. She admitted to losing her temper in dealing with the kids and not being able to stop, wanting to go for the jugular. In spit of all that, I can't leave. I don't know how you guys who have left have been able to do it. I have wanted kids and a family my whole life. Our kids are 16 and 12. I thought I might be closer to being able to end the marriage. I can't do it to my kids. I know it would rock their world and I can't do it. I want to see my kids every single day and be there for them at all times for whatever they may need. Just simple but very fundamental stuff. "Good night boy. Hey, you're the man. Cool model you just built." I want them to have that. I just want them to know their dad will always be there. Some aspects of their lives would improve if we ended the marriage I know. But I can't do it. So what am I? I believe I am in for another long stretch of her telling me everything that I've done to hurt her and how she has not been able to let go of any of it. I can't stand to hear it. It is unbelievably pathetic to live like this. But I cannot break up the family. I think I'd lose my daughter, maybe my son also. Because my wife cries on and on, the kids have got to believe that dad must treat mom really poorly. It's all about as F-ed up as can be. I realize that a couple of years down the road, if I were to leave, my outlook on life would likely be better than it has in years. But I can't face the heart wrenching path to get there.

  • Anonymous-10

    So Im not sure what is up and down anymore... I love this girl to death, and we have only been married for 1 year. But this has been the worst and best year of my life! Best outside of our marriage, worst on the home front. I am a pastor and have heaps of friends and family who I love and respect... and they feel the same way about me. My wife has just a few friends.. the type that I dont even want her to be around cause she always ends up rolling around some floor in a skirt, drunk. She definately has anger issues. Has scratched me, and jumped on me when I was driving so that I totaled my car on the freeway. She still blames me for "antagonizing" her. I bought her flowers and was setting the stupid camera to macro so she could take pictures... so much for antagonizing. Guys, is it possible for it to get better!? We have already bought and read like 3 books cause she realizes she is like way dr. jekl. No real lasting change. Is there hope other than running (something we all know I never want to do)

  • Mr. D

    A man discusses numerous acts of domestic violence committed against him and he is told to seek counseling. A lady? Why, there are family violence shelters for you and your children! Get out now!

    Time to wise up America. Female on Male domestic violence is a real problem. One that is not being dealt with.

  • DesperateDad

    I'm sort of in a very usual (for this forum) unusual situation. My wife and I have been together for almost 15 years now, three of which we have been married. We've been together since we were both 16 and her behaviour in the past, I attributed to immaturity. However, we have a young child and another on the way, and her behaviour has not changed much. I've tried to be patient, tolerant, and understanding, but she sees these qualities as being weak. She taunts me whenever I do not react to her outburst and whenever I try to walk away from the situation, she gets physical with me, slapping, punching, throwing objects at me. It's gotten to a point where I've reacted bad and have been physical towards her, a push or a slap. Nothing to the extent where she's battered, but the guilt that I then feel is so tremendous, I cannot function properly for days/weeks later. Our fights, both verbal and physical is having a horrible effect on my child, who has begun expressing a lot of hostility and anger towards her. I love my wife dearly, but I hate what her frequent and uncontrollable outburst do to me and my child. I'm a fairly easy-going person, but the rage that develops, the feeling of vulnerability, is too much to handle. I never was a drinker, but found that alcohol somehow numbs the pain. I have gotten so physically out of shape and I'm only in my early thirties. I don't know what to do. I can't stand to be away from my child and when the other one arrives, I would not know what to do. I can't talk to her family anymore, because they don't know what to do.

  • Anonymous-11

    I've read OCD and a few others. But my wife is exactly like these other stories and was wondering what medical condition it could be. I sincerly believe it's not her fault, I don't think she even realises she is like this and that this behaviour is normal.

    Like the other guys in here, I'm sick of going to work emotionally tired and upset, I'll probably get fired soon. Most guys would just leave, but we have kids too and I truly love her. She is not always like this, but it seems to be getting a lot worse, before it was just lots of yelling and abuse, she tells me how I'm a loser and selfish, she would also recall all the things I've done no matter how little and turn it around that I'm the bad guy and causing her to be like this. I've learn't to agree as much as possible, cos I don't know what will set her off more and I hate the kids growing up learning that this is acceptable.

    Please, if anyone has had their wifes diagnosed, what is it so I can learn to cope with it?

  • BP

    Hi All.....Firstly, I am very sorry to read about all the challenges you are all facing. Unfortunately for me, I am in the same situation.Anything and everything triggers her anger and frustrations, which is followed by verbal abuse, name-calling, accusations..... and the list goes on....Small example.... she leaves things around the house which i clean up (this is after a 10-12 hour day) and I can't say anything about why she leaves things around! BUT I leave 1 cup on the dining table..... I become the laziest bastard on the face of this earth and that she has to clean up after me and nags that she has to do everything around the house.It seems like she just waits for me to make a mistake, say something worng, do something which she doesn't like and just keeps track and as soon as that happens, she erupts!On my day off I wake her up early to go out and do something, eat breakfast, do some shopping and so on.... she erupts saying she is tired and that I don't care. So the next time I allow her to sleep in.... guess what! She erupts again saying that we are wasting the day and thatr I am lazy and doesn't want to anything with her.... talk about being confused! I get screwed for not saying what I want (to eat for example) but when I do say what I want... she will have a different preference of restaurants/ cuisine, or it's too expensive, or it's not nice and I should have something else.... basically anything/something to disagree wtith me.Think I better stop here guys! I am getting very angry just writing about this. It is nice to sort of "tell" someone about problems and it does make me feel better. Guys, good luck..... may God give you strength and guidance.

  • RDavis

    Yes, echoing the same situation here of emotional, verbal, physical abuse that eventually got her arrested. When my case was reported to the State of Florida, Hubbard house provided money and emotional support to help get away from her. They told me she sounds exactly like a person with Abusive Personality Disorder. I won a restaining order for 1 year of no contact, I petitioned the court for custody of my minor children.

    The court system never gave me a court date to hear my case, I was in the same situation again, hopelessness with her in control of my childrens lives and governing when I was allowed to see my kids in accordance to what was conveniant to her. I had paperwork drawn up for visitation rights in an out of court settlement with lawyers. Though with her having custody even with court orders for specific visitation she still did not comply. I would have the police show up and show them the paperwork a few times and alway got the same response. That this was a court matter and I would have to go back to family law court.

    I eventually moved back in with her after two years of missing my children and fearing for my eldest son's well being as I've seen noticable signs of abusive tendencies toward him. Yes I had children and family services come and a caseworker said that if theres no bruises they can't do anything. Nevermind that emotional bruises run all the way to the core even though they aren't as visible as external ones.

    It took about 3 months for her to begin her cycle of abuse toward me. 9 Months later I know I have to leave this situation again, but where am I going to find myself. Back in the same cycle of her using what I care about the most, my children against me. I'm sure there's more than a handful of men in this situation. But what is our solution, we aren't able to afford lengthy legal battles. We have no real power in our children's lives, we have a lost purpose of wanting to be the fathers we want to be for our children.

    Honestly men, there is no real help available for people in our situation. We abused men who are father's to children in this situation need to find a way to work together to make something happen. More equality in Family Law where it is not considered the woman being the fit parent by default. More investigation into real requests by men like us by state and civil organizations and legislature into allegations of domestic abuse.

    Did you know children especially boys are more than twice as likely to become violent criminals if they are victems of domestic abuse? Your child is affected by this if your in a home with an abusive spouse even if its not directed directly at them. They absorb and pick up patterns of abusiveness just as they would pick up a nurturing caring tendencies.

    If you are married and have no custody paperwork and your in a situation like me you need to take your children and leave. Simple as that, they will never change especially if they are a severe case. Do not let hope stifle you into staying with this woman. I am sorry but in some situations we grasp onto hope because we cannot let ourselves accept the reality of a situation. File for divorce and custody, legally she cannot take the children back. Allow visitation in a supervised manner until your case is heard. If you cannot afford an attorney then you should do research of court procedure and represent yourself, it's not as crazy as it sounds. Speak from your heart and let yourself be truly heard. This is all the help I can give you in this situation.

    The longer you stay passive and continue to allow her the ability to abuse and control your life the more you enable her power and ability to abuse you and your children. Do not come back to her no matter how she promises or pleads, you will regret it, like I did. Being abused will only lead to your desensitization and demoraliztion, we all know the person we really are, most of us are goodhearted people and thats why we've fallen victim to this cycle of abuse.

    We need to find a way to let ourselves be truly heard aside from blog postings on the internet. Organizations exist for abused women specifically, why are there none exclusively for men in our situation. This is something all of this in this situation or have been in this situation need to think about. If we worked together our cries for help could finally be heard and justice can rightfully be served.

  • Anonymous-12

    Get the book- the five love languages author Gary Chapman, pray for your wife and family the situation can change.

    Best wishes all.

  • Bill

    It is incredible to read the similarities of the victims regarding the personality traits. I was and remain a community and work leader. I am educated, articulate and a very good listener. I have always taken more than my fair share of blame as I new I could always improve my behaviour/performance. This makes me an enabler at home. I too, belong to this club, but I have made some significant changes as of late. Firstly, I refuse to tolerate verbal abuse any more. By the way, she only abuses me when no one else is around. In front of others she has a very pleasant, polite and happy go lucky personality. When she rages, I tell my wife to stop or I leave the area, sometimes the house or her work, if I am helping her on the weekend. I do things for me and I don't live to make her happy any more. We are in charge of ourselves and only ourselves. I spent years trying to please and apologized frequently because I was told that it was always my fault. No more. My daughter is married and living in another province and my son committed suicide a few years back and I have decided that I have tolerated enough for a lifetime of blame and pain. My son and I were very close, but my wife was always berating our son. I don't claim perfection, but I am the best me I can be. My wife has apoligized after receiving a few years of counselling and realized that she was abusive, but it doesn't end there. She now rages, after a three month hiatus. She is coming off of her medication and demonstrating the old habits once again. She was a victim of verbal abuse by her dad. The diagnosis was that this caused her to exhibit cognitive distortion. She dotes on her dad still and her dad remains number 1 in her life. I am standing strong and doing my best, but am unsure that she will change enough for us to remain together. Advice to others remains, if you are being verbaly abused, truly, get out of the house. It will have long term effects on the children. Work hard to save your marriage, but don't sacrafice your soul/identity for someone who has been harmed by others. You see, abuse is cyclical and gets passed from generation to generation. You must do what you are able to break the chain. I am pleased to announce, that my daughter has broken the chain, through her own acknowlegements and declaration. Good luck to all.

  • poolman

    As well I have a similar case to many here. My wife is always doing the cycle like so many explained. I could tell you a number of diagnoses I think it may be but I will never know because she will not go to the doctor as well. In fact that brings up a horrible argument.

    I have read many stories like mine so not to be repetitive I will say what I am doing and hopefully this may help others.

    1. Fact: If its been years...she won't change. LEAVE. I am. There is no respect, it is not an equal partnership and you will never be happy. Life is too short. If you have kids you will always love them and be their Dad. This sounds strange because we all love our children, but you have to take care of yourself first or you will not be any good for them. They will see you as unhappy, maybe crabby, maybe sad, maybe weak, and maybe even mean if you stay...and it will get worse. Do not turn into the bad guy. Everything goes to crap including careers, social life, anything that makes you you and what you live for. She will be who she is and if your kids are not old enough to notice now...they will eventually. If she turns on your kids and starts abusing them...gather hard facts and a good case (which if you are even contemplating divorce you should start now!) and get them out of there. If she was that bad for you to leave she will make a mistake and make sure to document it.

    2. Be strong. Make a decision and do it. Just do it. If you choose to leave, make a plan and do it. If you talk to her about it she might be the most loving goddess you were looking for the whole time and when you stay....get ready...because its coming...she will do it again and drive you insane.

    3. It sucks. The whole situation sucks and its not fair to anyone. It might even get worse before it gets better if you leave. But make a stand for yourself. Respect yourself. Do not stand for it. And you will feel better. And believe it or not you will be happy.

    4. Do not do anything stupid. Do not go on a drinking binge. Do not do anything to hurt yourself or plan to get back at your soon to be ex wife. Do not call her and argue for hours....you are leaving that remember?! Remain calm and be strong and do not do anything to jeopardize the future with your children... remember when I said wait for her to make a mistake???? She is probably doing the same to you.

    5. Make a list of ten things you like to do the most and do them. Try and remember what makes you you and find yourself again. Focus on that. I suggest working out. Its proven to get rid of stress...and hey you look better in the process.

    6. Laugh. Its a new day. Move on. What seems like hell now won't be in a short time. "The best sailors did not become the best on calm waters." ( I probably messed that quote up but you get what I am saying. And good job for being strong and welcome to living again.

  • Bob

    I need some honest feedback because I am being told that I am so wrong. I don't think I am. I will give the short version because I am fuming. My wife went on a buying trip to the states for four days. She emailed me only twice. Once to tell me that she arrived and could contact me every day by email and to make she she had travel insurance. The second email was the day before she was coming home to tell me that she needed a ride from the airport. These were the only contacts on a four day trip. I have a toll free number. She has the hotel phone and a cell phone. She never called once. I was okay with it because she was with friends, but I knew that if I ever did that she would be fumming. I pick her up, thirty five minutes late from the airport. Her plane was twenty minutes early in arriving. I have a staff party the next day and I tell her that I will likely be home around 8, but drinking is involved so I might not be home. It is at a friends house, so it is safe and it is only staff. We were partying and I was away from my cell, on a boat so I didn't phone. I thought about it a couple of times but wasn't near my phone. Finally, I went to sleep and had not called to say I wasn't coming home. She phoned late at night to see if I had stayed there. She had to phone directory assistance to get the number. I phoned first thing in the morning to say that I was on my way home. We had her family coming for a party and fun. It was two days of feeding her family. When I got home, I apologized and said that I was sorry I had not called an that I should have. I truly meant it, but I can't retro what I did, so I have to live with it. I didn't think it was too much of a deal seeing as she had gone away for four days and not called once. Was I ever wrong. She lambasted me big time. She told me how I was late picking her up at the airport and that I went and didn't phone when I said I would be home. She told me that I don't care about her and heaped all these judgements on me. I told her not to put thoughts or words about what I was thinking, but she tries to tell me what I was thinking and she is so wrong. Regardless of all this, I tell her that I was wrong and am sorry. I try to have her see that maybe her actions were similar to mine, so no big deal. I was understanding and forgiving, but it isn't reciprocal. She told me that her trip and not phoning was way different than my trip and not phoning. I am not understanding that there is that big of a difference. I think hers is about control and power. I think, it was okay for her to be upset, but the way she carried on was abusive. Are there any similarities to her trip and her not calling and my trip and my not calling or am I way off base? One might even think that I didn't call because she didn't call and deep down that might be part of it, but I don't believe that I desreve all the blame and that hers is totally different. Kindly enlighten me, so that I can understand what I am missing. By the way, by anyone's admisssion, I am a kind caring, hard working and thoughtful individual most of the time. I made meals for her family like I usually do. I believe that this wrath was unwarranted and beilieve also that it is abusive. My question is, am I wrong? Am I that way off base? Is there something I am missing about me? I tend to do most things right, but the wrongful ones are the ones that get 90% of the focus. No kidding. Let me know your thoughts please.

  • Ken

    I don't know what I'm doing here, or should I say I never saw myself as being here. I thought it would be nice to marry someone I love, have kids and grow old together, but after 4 years of being married (yeah not a lot of time) I find myself wondering if it is really worth trying anymore. More and more, my wife is being abusive, degrading me almost at every turn and not listening to anything I say. It's as if I can do nothing right. And she always talks over me when I try to point out things to her. It's really depressing, because I love her and we have a three year old boy together. But she gets really mean, mostly after having a few beers, which seems to be more and more of late. She never has any thing nice to say about anything I do and I'm made to feel like a loser. I tell her this and am told in return that she never has called me that, or that I'm trying to put words into her mouth. She has threatens me with divorce countless times, mostly all have been after she has been drinking. She says we are too different, that I don't pay enough attention to her. Even though I go out of my way for her, she only sees what she wants too. I care for her when she is sick (see to all her needs) and I don't get it in return, I blow it off because hey I'm the man here, but yeah it still hurts when she knows when I'm sick and demands that I do this or that (RIGHT NOW) when its not all that important. She has hit me a couple times, and thrown things at me. Which I WOULD NEVER DO to her. I don't want things to end, especially because of my son, who loves us both. And it would hurt him. Plus she would get custody and I would be forced to be away from him when she is with him. I don't want that, I love my son Way too much to be away from him. I am at a loss as to what to do I HATE the "d" word. But the abuse needs to end, I just know that being a male, I will get the short end of the stick and loose my son to her if we get divorced.

    God I need some help.

  • Anonymous-13

    Wow- this site is unique!! I have wanted to vent for ages. I hear everyone of these stories- and they are horrendous.

    I feel like a joke- what sort of man has an abusive partner? We are supposed to wear the pants! so we get no sympathy- but people dont get it.

    I dont know whether my wife has a medical condition or if her anger is linked to hear being abused in her early teens.

    She has called me every name under the sun and has criticised every part of my being. She has never actually hit me but she has insulted my earning power, my physical strength, my height, my dick size, my looks, my dress sense, my family- no stone is unturned.

    How on earth do I deal with this?

  • Michael Behlen

    I thought I was alone in this situation that I describe as hopeless. All these stories convinced me to leave me finace' today. I went home for my lunch break, packed my things, and simply left. I am back at work, and am finally strong enough (with all these great heated men's help) to stop answering her demeaning and abusive phone calls, threats, and text messages. The freedom I feel is not the freedom of a recentely single man, it is a feeling of a prisoneer becoming free. I encourage every single man to leave anyone who treats them this way. My heart goes out to all of you: protecting your families, your careers, and your personal happiness even though you would willing sacrafice it for the person who brought you to this site to begin with. Thank you everyone. Thank you.

  • Anonymous-14

    Same FRiggin Sh$T

    MY Girlfriend and I Have A one year old son I experience all this and more! AS I wRITE iT IS hAPPENING now. itS BEEN ABOUT fOUR dAYS mY gF cOMES HOME FROM SCHOOL i WAS ABOUT TO PREPARE DINNER I WAS IN FACT WAITING UNTILL SHE ARRIVED SO thE BABY WWOULD BE SUPERVISED/AND I COULD FOCUS ON COOKING tHE bABY is bATHED hOUSE is aBSOLUTELY iMMACULATE.After she says hello to our son sHE PROCEEDS TO TELL ME ABOUT heR WHOLE day and she mentioned as an after thought that one of her classmates was constantly coughing in class next to her I asked her if she moved away she said no the solution for her was to turn and give him a disgusted look. I asked her did you by chance wash your hands and so forth prior to touching the baby? SHe Became Extremely offended and Defensive To her I was Calling HER "DIrty".Well she chose to ignore my request for her to sanitize and then takes it upon herself to take over preparing dinner and literally proceeds to destroy the whole Kitchen! IT looked as if some toddlers had a cook-off/Food Fight.She Served herself and then all of a Sudden LIke night and day she Siiik "I DOnt FEEL GOOD" EXAGERATEDLY I MIGHT AD,NOt only was the food a complete waste But Im stuck cleaning a worse mess than even a bad day and im nominated to care for our son alone whilst she snores it up NExt day we are all ILL. IVE missed SChool Still must hold down the house alone while she carelessly throws her used mucusy tissues wherever they land I finally asked her to being so messy epecially with infected mucussy Tissues Etc, And She becomes upset and proceeds to throw EVERy Penny shes ever contributed in my face puts me down became physical (last week she also became physical and now my face chest and back look like some clawed beast used me for a scratching post)anyways shes swinging Im Blocking her advances her arms bruise and she holds it against ME YElling OUT SIDE antagonizing me I left and when i came back she continued screaming saying WHy did you come back to abuse "US" her and the baby she meant' and yells " somebody call the police!!!!!!!" Nobody Did thank HEavens but it came to my attention that while she is Busy laying about in the room OUr son is into every dangerous situation you wouldnt want to think about ,Soiled Diaper Unbathed UNdressed unfed bare foot and he also sick The house was DEstroyed again. and here it is 552 in the am I still have not rested I am thankfull though El SEnor Upstairs some how has granted me the will perservere and as i write my son sleeps peacefully next to me on the couch.which by the way she told me to remove him from her presence because She needs REST SHES SIIICK I told her sure Babe but keep in mind that i am just as Ill as She is and she disregarded that as if i was playing some handoff game with our son.So HEre we are 4 days next to no rest or even relaxation.YEt our son nor I are entitled to any consideration otherwise SOmeBODY PLEASE I am in a dissheveled state and feel i cannot keep this up PHysically LEt alone MEntally

  • John

    I am very sorry you are in this situation with your wife.

    If you have been injured by your wife either fisically or emotionally. You must act if you really care about your children and yourself.

    Been stronge is doing what we don't like to do some times. If you are putting up with fisical abuse you are not helping your wife nor your children.

    In orther to change the sicle you must act as soon as you can and help support from people that really care about you and are willing to listen what you have to said without judgement.

    For what you said I assumed this is been going on for a long time. Consencuently you must get professional help or attend a support group for man.

    Reason been a support or counselor from a male is this will help you better understanding and you will not get uncompromised information from a female.

    Unfortunately there is a treand of woman trying to justified that female abuse is cause by a male behavior. Furthermore, many woman are out there to harm man in any way posible. This is unfortunate because there are good woman out there that deserve to have a good man in their lifes. Consecuently, the abuse and manipulation of the law in their favor is creating a great deal of man to be carefull or even discurage man from getting man.

    Abuse is abuse regarles of the gender.

    Getting help will help your children, your wife and you.

  • John

    I when through abuse over 8 years by wife and her family and finally got divorce.

    Ex-wife use a lawyer with connections to have an advantage on the divorce. Lawyer will do whater it takes Right or Wrong to win. So be aware of their tactics.

    If you are having marital problems you must check your finances. See if your wife is trying to provoke you from loosing your temper.

    Is she opening you mail, check unusual behavior, is she trying to keep you away from you side immediate family.

    You will surprise of all the things some woman will do to win in court.

    Be prepare to defend yourself from vindictive females that want to hurt man in any way possible even if you are a good man since the abuser does not care for themselves why would they care for you. This are sick people and you must care for yourself.

    Protect yourself from and other of protection with out grounds and false accusations.

    Been a man means you have to defend yourself not putting up with the abuse.

  • MIKE

    IM shocked. I not only read some stories but i actualy lived them. All you guys are not alone. I know it sounds like wining relentless crie babies but we know the truth. My wife is such an ass (sory had to say it) she thinks the world revoles around her. We have several children, and from the start of our relationship she had no boundries. She would open her mouth and i would kring in such a way people would ask if i was ok. I thought she had an education from school to abuse,know women that are abusive are so liked by others you start to feel well maybe its me. She has told me numerous times i want out. Well two years ago i left her. Hey she freeked out so much the calls to my number were so outstanding that the phone was to hot to hold onto. Thats no lie. And all the while shes calling me im no good rotten husband and father, IN FRONT OF MY KIDS. I know people dont get this but men seem to shut there mouths and stay before the boundry lines no matter what. But when we lose it we are the bad ones. Im done with the resentment she has for me and i have for her. When i lost a parent, My mother, Three days after she passed she tells me to get over it. Your mommys not here to help you so get over it. In front of the kids. Man i must sound like a woos but im fuming and i feel like i may lose it soon. Is there any help for this other than divorse? I realy cant stand my wife to the core. Shes gotten worse over the past twelve years and were on our fourteenth year of hell. What do i do.????????

  • Billy

    They may be worthless, but we are stuck with them. I am one of many abused husbands. And after 14 years of hell. I have tried everything humanly possible. I was left with two choices. Number one which no one will disagree with was to terminate the marriage / relationship. The second option was to live a double life. I chose the second one. By that I give her a fair amount of my time. But I think up a clever excuse to stay late sometimes. Travel other times. With the excuse of a business dinner or a business trip. Sure sometimes its true, but I take an extra day for myself. Someone has to think of me. I go out hang out with family and friends, I laugh and enjoy every minute. Sure from time to time I feel guilt and sad. But I remind myself that I deserve some quality time. That way once home I am able to be more patient and less aggrivated. I always have hope that one day I may have some quality time with my wife. But I know that she suffers from some mental disorders and her outbursts and insults are out of her control. She is hurting so bad, she wants me to feel her pain. As I am the closest person to her. Sad, but thats the path I chose and wont quit on her now. I wish you all peace of mind and the best of luck.

  • Billy

    To answer your question. Its OCD. Obsessive, compulsive disorder. It will help you so much if you read articles about it. Do the self quiz. Have her do it if possible. There are medications. Its not curable however, but with medication it may be more controlable. People with OCD often inflate situations. A small incident becomes an event.

    Good Luck to you and everyone else on this blog.

  • Bob

    I check this site frequently because I have lived in an abusive marriage for years. Though everyones situation is different, I want to take a moment to encourage us all and let you know that you are not alone. Keep standing up for yourself in appropriate ways. Cheers and best wishes.

  • John

    I'm really 'touched' by most of you who have been so kind to their wives.

    I was involved in a relationship for 3 months and the scenarios were SO much the same as said by you people. I guess, it isn't our fault, really. Sometimes, hoping isn't really going to help, although I'm able to get through this (being a single) again easily - due to my religion, Catholic faith, priest told me to leave her immediately. We gotta have strong faith, sometimes we show it by leaving something we truly hold dear to us.. It is really painful. It has caused my studies to declined, to a point which I, thankfully still not too late to recover as a top-notch student. Like many of you, I am smart, intelligent, career-minded, also a President for a college's club for 1 term going to serve for 2 terms. You know it is what we have chosen. We have chosen to be in a challenge unfortunately we had no necessity of to get involved and be patient for. We can still be darn loving without necessarily living together. Situations of course are alot more different with children in the house especially, but I'm going to make a very heavy, strong, lasting prayer for all of us here that miracles happen everyday so believe, believe in Jesus Christ, and pray everyday. If you're hurting so much I really ask you to leave a harmful situation and seek for refuge first from God then from human. trust me God promises us a beautiful life please don't make yourself suffer. Take care, friends!!!

    John

  • John

    There is full-recovery. Google search for Tami Green, she was a BPD sufferer. Chances are the woman we're with has this. Also, try to look up for book "I hate you, Don't leave me".

    I hope all these can help you in managing you and your loved one. As always, take time-offs like Dr. Dombeck said, and return to try to resolve anything you find you're sanely capable to do.

    Corinthians

    5 so that your faith should depend not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

    15 The spiritual person, on the other hand, can assess the value of everything, and that person's value cannot be assessed by anybody else.

    * What I was trying to say is Do all the mighty best our mind and hands we can and understand that God's will is the one we should submit to. Good Luck to All, me as well.


    Peace and Love,

    John

    Dr. Dombeck's Note: We are fortunate here at Mental Help Net to have Simone Hoermann, Ph.D. writing a regular blog for us on the personality disorders with an emphasis on Borderline Personality Disorder. You can access the archive of her writings, or review selected articles like this one on Psychotherapies for Borderline Personality Disorder. You might also review our Personality Disorders topic center articles on Borderline PD.

  • Chris

    Please look into the possibility that she may be concealing a drug use/abuse problem. I ran into the same situation and discovered her drug abuse too late to save our family. I also regret, once discovered, for not acting aggressively and quickly enough with authorities. It's better to get her arrested right away than to allow yourself to be put up against a system that is already biased against the husband/father.

  • hurting again

    My wife has been seeing a therapist and taking medication for three years now. They are weaning her from prozac and it appears the masked beast is coming back. She was great while on drugs. She had a sense of humour and was reasonably positive and I was guardedly optomistic that she had actually changed. However, I am sad to report that I don't think she has changed at all. She is back to being mean, she is offensive and impatient as well. It is mostly impulsive and I get startled because I don't see it coming and don't know how to react. The other part is that I don't care so I don't want to spend my time correcting her either. I think the drug changed her personality short term, but the old mean person is coming back. She is, in my opinion, a narcissistic person who was raised by a narcissistic father. She hardly remembers any of her life and for the past three years, she has been zoned out while getting the drugs properly dosed. Now she is rude and mean and forgets that I have spent the past three years trying to help her. The previous 27 were raising children and now they are gone. I had to be there for them because she was mean to them. I have only so much life yet to live and I'll be damned if I chose to live it with a vindictive vengeful person. I am so disappointed that it didn't work, yet stayed for the right reasons. Her obsessions are shopping and watching religion on television, yet she won't get up and come to church on Sudays. I am appalled and surprized that I gave it this long. Oh well, no harm in trying my best. Wish me luck as I am nearing the end of this lving arrangement. The next twenty will be about enjoying the journey without the abuser trying to control me. Who knows, maybe a lifetime of happiness is to follow.

  • Anonymous-15

    Hi guys , I read all your comments with interest and I must say many of you are true heros.

    I am living with a wife that is emothionally and verbally abusive. I have feelings of low esteems and lack confidence. I belive my wife is mentally ill and refuses to recognise that. I can be quite sad

    She has not friends and doesnt speak to her family and is quite isolated.

    Our marriage is over but I 'm staying here for my lovely wee daughters that are 12 and 8. I want them to get through the next few years as best possible.

    Unfortunetly the law in my country leans on the mothers side and leaving the kids alaone is unthinkable considering the damage she will reap upon them.

    Any suggestions would be greatly welcome.

  • Anonymous-16

    I feel all of your pain, my wife does the same, she abuses me and I am afraid of her, I do not know what to do... I hope god will give me the strength to do what I need to do to get help.

  • hurting

    Hello. I would like to share my perspective and it is only my point of view, but may be worth thinking about. I lost my son three years ago to suicide. There are many variables related to suicide, but one that continues to haunt me is the verbal abuse factor. My son was verbally abused by my wife, his mother. Self esteem is only one factor but it is essential to making good decisions, thus I contend that this was one of many reasons my son chose to take his life. If you are staying for your children, I suggest you document the abuse factually, get a good lawyer that uderstands abuse and prepare to protect your children from the abuse by making an exit plan and following through. If I knew then what I know now, this is what I would have done. Respectfully submitted and please remeber that this is the opinion of one person only.

  • Anonymous-17

    Definitely look at Bi-Polar and Borderline Personality Disorder! AND GOOD LUCK!

  • alex

    I have been married for 20 years, for the first 18 years my wife's behaviour was much like those in all these stories. Being a 'good' christian husband I always tried to turn the other cheek and assumed that I had to be a better husband (I have never been unfaithful). After 18 years I was close to physical, emotional and spiritual breakdown. I had eliminated all possible excuses from my wife's life for her bad behaviour. I don't believe in divorce however it was obvious that I would not survive much longer and yet I believed that I couldnt die because my 7 children needed me and that my wife needed me. Morally I couldn't have an extramarital affair to give me strength, and any way it would take away from the household rather than support it.

    So I suggested that I should get an additional wife to help fill all the missing and damaged parts of our marriage.

    My wife still has extreme mood swings but she does actually try now and is interested in learning about marriage and how a wife and mother is meant to behave. She has only physically attacked me three times in the last four months.

    I haven't done the polygamy thing but the suggestion certainly shifted the balance of power.

  • laymedown

    reading thru all this makes me feel that i was not entirely wrong. All along I have been trying to make amends with my wife , who is nice and loving at one day anf the next if the worst mean person whom i can be dealing with. she is violent and call me names. there have been times when i have been still lying in bed and i am awoken by my wife for she needs to buy this .this and this. Kids hate her and want to be with all the time...the moment i tell her no for anything ...i have it ..she abuses my family abuses me and everybody involved.

    as long as i am paying for her shopping she is happiest person alive...trolls craigslist like a hawk all night and day.

    i work two jobs to suppport us and for the betterment of my kids but all she does is whine whine and whine for moeny , time ...i have told her that just because we have it doesnt mean we should spend it but how can i be ever correct ...what shall i do ..at times i have broken down ..at times i have slapped her and she had called up cops on me...twice actually.

    she will tell them lies ...one the previous occasion once i slapped her for calling names to my family...she called up cops on me and all the while i was standing there looking at her..while she was preaching our 6 yr old to say this and that to the cops...i told her not to teach children to lie..but again how can she be wrong.

    now she threatens me that the court will rule in her favour and will take away our kids ..i cant let her have our kids...not after all that i have been thru while being with her....she opens up my mails...snoops thru my computer and tries to instigate me every now and then ..i am afraid of her and fear..and ma afraid that this time if i lost temper i might never be able to see my kids...what shall i do

  • John theno1dealer

    Glad to see that I am not the only man in this predicament.I have been married to my wife for the last 12 years have only just realized that she is jealous and controlling, always wanting things her way wrong or right. At hart she is a good women, but when she kicks off it is a nightmare, as I get non stop shouting and verbal abuse about the problem and then she goes onto unrelated subjects of friends and then my family. Over the last 18 months she has told me to go back to my parents and pulled out the largest kitchen knife on me 5 times. I got feed up with her threatening to kill me and told her to stab me and kill me. This has thankfully stopped the knives being pulled out.

    Anyway it seems that she gets angry over anything, my family my friends, her friends etc, anything to find fault in. As a result I have told her to deal with it as most of the issues are very old.

    Whilst driving to a friend’s house she asked me to direct her on the motorway which I was happy to do so. Then she changed her mind as she was ok, then again she changed her mind and started to scream, shout and rant and rave whilst driving crazily coming off the motorway saying that I have caused her to drive like this. Through out this episode I had not said anything to annoy her!!!!!! Whilst she continued to drive crazily something in me snapped and I told her that I will not give her the directions that she wanted due to her behaviour and requested her to pull over on the hard shoulder just before the round about to cool off. This she did and as a result caused a 3 car pile up, with one of then not drivable, due to her irrational behaviour.

    The rest of the weekend around her friends was no better as she always wanted to have the attention on her, where she had several more outbursts in front of her friend and on ourselves about other things. I was taking a picture of her and her friend together with some belly dancers in the background and caught her on film by mistake going into a massive rant and rave about nothing, saying that all the people where in the way. The film shows this is not the case that I took at the time, but I did not have to do anything as she walk off in a strop leaving both her friend and myself stunned. She came back almost immediately apologising shortly after her hurl of abuse in public.

    On the way home I drove as I did not trust her and on purpose she tried to cause a fight whilst I was driving, which I managed to stop quickly, but again she started to scream and shout at a man crossing the traffic lights just because he crossed the lights when it was amber. This took me by surprise and has taken the wind out of my sails and it has taken 4 days to get myself back on track!!!!!

    Has anyone got any ideas how to calm her down or prevent these situations, as they are becoming dangerous and less obvious?

  • Soldier

    I can relate to each and every one of these post in a way so personal that it’s a shame. My dilemma seems so complicated but honestly it’s not. I've been going through this for the last 7 years. Each year it gets worst. My faith has carried me through but yet I have been up and down in my walk with god due to the constant struggles’. My wife is my high school Sweet Heart, but who she was then is not who she is now. I've been called everything in the book, My family has been called everything in the book, sometimes to their faces. Each and every time I forgive her. I've tried every method of approach, I've tried to ignore it, I’ve tried to fight fire with fire, I've tried to appeal to her, I’ve tried to be overly happy and hope she would see how much I’m trying and change. None of them worked. I've even left her for 7 months in which time she played a 180 in what was an obvious attempt to get me back, and then she returned to her old self and worse. The worst part of my situation is she will not listen to me when I say that she is abusive and neglectful. I'm a soldier deployed to Iraq, If it were not for my faith in god honestly I would be dead by now. The amount of stress that she puts on me while I have to bare what I go through and see out here is almost unbearable at times. I've had soldiers die right in front of me and she would get angry and say that it should have been me. When I try to tell her that saying things like that she ignores me, does not talk does not answer the phone, does not I’m me back. then after a while she answers and tells me I'm all about drama because I try to talk to her about it. Tells me that I'm the female and I need to get over things and she aint apologizing. Her anger is just limitless. She has tried to sabotage my job on several occasions going to my job and telling them that I'm doing this and that. It’s all about control for her. If we are in the house and she gets an attitude and I address it she would tell me to get out of the house that I'm paying for before she calls my job. She would scream at the top of her lounges if I’m standing in front of her trying to talk to her. It’s so hard because you try to love them but you have this heavy load of depressing put downs and attacks weighing on your heart and mind. They want you to take all they dish out and that it. This type of relationship is impossible. I've tried so many things that I might as well be a counselor. Over and over in my head I play the time where her my mother in law visits and we were sitting down trying to have a conversation about the marriage with her moms, when she did not like the fact that I was revealing what she does to me to her moms, she got up and spit over her moms in my face. My wife makes me feel lower then dirt, but I'm a handsome achieved Man who works very hard. I’ve been in the Military for 10 years, I have equivalent to an AA degree. Every mentioned accomplishment she has found a way to put down. I go home in a few weeks and my intentions are to separate, which I did before and because I had to pay for her to live I ended up sleeping in my car at times, or at friends. Life is crazy when you allow the wrong people into your heart. Every friend and family member wants me to leave her, but I was trying to be true to the word and not go, but I'm close to the decision that will not please god but My father in heaven will forgive me. I know right now I am sounding like this victim, like I need everyone’s sympathy but that not the case. I'm just speaking about my life in the last seven years, the cops the verbal abuse the emotional neglect is too much man. I would not wish it on anyone not even an enemy. When I make it out of this tribulation in live I will never again let the enemy in to destroy the good that god has made in my heart. I did not mention but she is the same when I am home and even worse at times. I been called names in public, at a pact pool during vacation called a faget cause I would not except how she was treating me. told I was an idiot for paying for the vacation in front of dozens of people. she has disrespected me and my family on face book, and an example of disrespect is getting on there calling my mother out her name aunts brothers and disrespecting my family name which she bares, She has NO Boundaries and no Foundation of how she should treat someone, I've tried and I'm trying to show her but I'm deleting who I am in the process. I'm about to leave because I was so happy when I left her, soon as she came back I'm losing my mind.

  • Edward

    Still believe that there are far more battered husbands than the other way around. I can also unfortnately, relate to these poor chaps stories of domestic abuse through my own relationship with the mother of my 21 month old boy, who I needless to say, love more than anything in the world. I have been with her for around 3 1/2 years and from the very beginning knew that she has an abusive disorderly behaviour, but consciously decided to maintain a relationship in order to have a child. Her motivation was equal to mine, since we are both past our prime and needed to catch the last train, so to speak. Her expectation differed to my own in one more respect: she expected us to end up living together once the child was born, whereas I regarded this a "suicidal option". She has always lived with her parents and I noticed on a few occasions that she is quite forceful in getting her way. They would always give in. Our last clash happened yesterday whilst we were on our way to the beach. Regardless of the fact that our son was in the car also, she started to verbally attack me over a trivial thing. When I disputed her and said that it is not true, she then accused me of lying. By this time her voice went up a notch or two. When I pulled out my mobile phone and showed her the text message she sent me a couple of hours earlier corraborating my argument she went absolutely beserk. I told that she will never yell at me again and used something I never did, I told her that I'll kill her. (I also lost control and I deeply regret it). I ordered her to stop the car. This is when she plunged her fingernails as hard as she could into my arm. The boy kept crying in his safety seat.

  • Bryan

    Thanks for sharing your stories. They all helped me understand what was being done to me and gave me the courage to draw a line in the sand and say "the abuse is over". It has been 10 years of controlling and abuse without my even realising it, and I finally cracked during one of the screaming sessions I have been subjected to over the years. She has used all the control levers by the way, conditional sex, abusive language, nagging, bullying, name calling and abusing the financial situation by stealing my credit card and running up debts.

    I calmly said "That's it - Never, never and never again will anyone shout at me or one of the children again, or abuse me in any way, sexually or financially". It is literally over - I have decided to move on with my life.

    I then went upstairs and decided what I really want - a healthy and rewarding marriage, a harmonius home, love and respect for me and the children. I will have that either with this woman who is currently my wife or with someone else. I then decided to give her 3 months probation to see a psychologist and fix whatever it is that causes her to behave like this in the home (she can control herself 100% outside the home). I will not tolerate one instance of abuse - not once, not ever. I am fortunate in that she knows that when I decide something, that's is it - no turning back.

    I feel myself again- finally in control of my own life and I have told her parents as much, so it adds veracity to my decision.

    She has been a model wife for 1 week now. I know the root cause is stiil there somewhere and we have to find it, but a week of good behaviour is a start. We have a joint appointment with a psychologist, and I am very comfortable in my decision to give her 3 months probation because, if she reverts back it is indeed OVER.

    I appreciate each of your stories and the pain involved. Thanks for helping me to see what was going on - I didn't have a clue.

  • Sierra Martinez

    Very informative and interesting read. I hope you don't mind if I post a link to your blog on my website and blog. Thanks!

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