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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last 5 years I have committed heinous acts of verbal abuse to my wife. My wife has finally put her foot down and has suggested leaving me. At first I knew I had a problem, and was embarrassed to share with the world. I gave her false promises of changing and never did. Now I'm at a lost and in fear I may lose the best thing that has happened to me.
I'm currently seeking help now, and told her I know I have an issue, and I want to change. Of course she doesn't believe me and doesn't know what to do nor understand why I acted the way I did in the past.
I know what I want, and I know I have to change my lifestyle. I'd like to hear from recovering abusers and those who were abused and stayed with their partner to work through his/her issue.
 

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Over the last 5 years I have committed heinous acts of verbal abuse to my wife. My wife has finally put her foot down and has suggested leaving me. At first I knew I had a problem, and was embarrassed to share with the world. I gave her false promises of changing and never did. Now I'm at a lost and in fear I may lose the best thing that has happened to me.
I'm currently seeking help now, and told her I know I have an issue, and I want to change. Of course she doesn't believe me and doesn't know what to do nor understand why I acted the way I did in the past.
I know what I want, and I know I have to change my lifestyle. I'd like to hear from recovering abusers and those who were abused and stayed with their partner to work through his/her issue.
What kind of help are you seeking? Are you in anger management? Do you feel its possible you have something like PTSD or some other form of mental issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well right now, I'm reaching out to friends and family as well has a Chaplin. I'm only home for two weeks, but If my wife still wants to work out my issue then we will see marriage/couple counseling. I have also purchased a few books in regards to my issue. I really don't know where to start, or how to get treated. I know I have finally admitted my problem, and now I look forward to the road for recovery.
So not really sure where to go, or what to do for help. Wanted to know what others have done (success stories) and what others are doing.
I could have PTSD, but I don't want to say I have an illness and use that as an excuse. I may have a illness, I just don't know. Military can be very stressful, and could have helped.
 

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I would start with seeing your doctor or possibly a therapist and tell them what you have told us here, then go from there. As far as MC, thats a good idea but I would hold off on that and seek out some IC first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice, I will have a good 6 months to seek the help. I will be deployed again for another 6 months overseas, so the MC will be put on hold. I understand I need to work on me first then try to work on my marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've told my wife in the past I would change, my situation is different, I don't have the time to see someone while only home for two weeks. But I know I was taking the correct steps while overseas, and I will continue to get the help I need.
 

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Over the last 5 years I have committed heinous acts of verbal abuse to my wife. My wife has finally put her foot down and has suggested leaving me. At first I knew I had a problem, and was embarrassed to share with the world. I gave her false promises of changing and never did. Now I'm at a lost and in fear I may lose the best thing that has happened to me.
I'm currently seeking help now, and told her I know I have an issue, and I want to change. Of course she doesn't believe me and doesn't know what to do nor understand why I acted the way I did in the past.
I know what I want, and I know I have to change my lifestyle. I'd like to hear from recovering abusers and those who were abused and stayed with their partner to work through his/her issue.
First thing is always recognizing the problem for what it's worth. It has nothing to do with her (other than being your victim of choice) and everything to do with you.

Second, recognize that your anger issues fall back onto you. When you say hurtful words to your spouse, what you are really doing is projecting your disappointment in your own failings. You are not perfect. You are not infallible. You have to look within yourself and understand why you hate yourself so much that you must lash out on your loved ones instead of dealing with your own demons.

Third, dealing with this sort of abuse in a marriage is demeaning to your spouse. She may or may not forgive you. She may or may not want to continue with this marriage even if/when you do seek help. You must respect her decision. You created the problem and there are consequences to be dealt with.

It's sort of like being married to a recovering alcoholic. Only time will time tell whether you are "cured" are not. She already has dealt with a history of being married to you and she may or may not trust that you will "see the light" and mend your ways. She has learned to "walk on eggshells" with you. It will take time for her to "unlearn" her response to your temper. She may or may not be willing to do so.

My ex was verbally abusive to me. I walked on eggshells. He did eventually get anger-management counseling, but I continued to tread carefully. I did not feel comfortable enough to let my guard down, and as a result, we as a couple never fully recovered. He still had anger issues. I still tread carefully around him. And, when he thought cheating was the right answer, I divorced him. There is no quick-fix. The damage may already be done.

So, yes, get help for yourself. Understand the "why" of your behavior and hope that she forgives you. It will take time and patience, but you do have to recognize that this is your burden to correct and not hers. Do it for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
survivorwife,

Thanks for the advice, and as I read your thoughts I see my wife doing the same things you have done or did.
I was able to open my eyes and realize I'm the problem and it has nothing to do with her. I know I have made my bed, and now I have to sleep in it.
I dislike the idea of her not wanting to be with me, and I have to accept it. Right now, I can only go on hope that she wan'ts to make it work and in it for the long haul.
She has been scorned for years and its really hard now for her to trust me. I can't blame her for that. I hate myself for what I have done.
If she leaves and takes the kids, I will be hurt, but I agree I should respect her decision and work out my issue regardless. I want to become a better person and a husband even if its not with my current wife. But I prefer to be a better husband to her. Thanks again for your insight! It really helps!
 

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Read "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft first. You will need to get into counseling or a program specific for partner abusers not marriage counseling. This is not a "marriage" problem or an "anger" problem. Not all angry people abuse & not all abusers are angry. Saying you will change will not bring your wife back. Hopefully your actions will.
 

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fOz,
I've been where your wife is now. Words are worthless to her now, primarily because you've tried to "tell" her in the past that things would change. She knows they didn't. Only your actions will matter to her.
I have no way of knowing what is truly in her heart. Maybe she is willing to give you the time you need to alter the way you interact with others. I can honestly say I tried to do that, only to discover my STBXH was lying about so much in his life. If she is willing and after you do the necessary work on you, then MC may help. Prepare yourself, she will likely have lots of resentment for the abuse she has endured and it will take time to work through that. My H quit MC before I discovered his lies.
I wish you luck
 
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Thanks for the advice, I will have a good 6 months to seek the help. I will be deployed again for another 6 months overseas, so the MC will be put on hold. I understand I need to work on me first then try to work on my marriage.
I don't know what branch you're in, but go talk to a Medic, Corpsman, or whatever enlisted medical personnel that is available in your unit. Tell them what is going on and ask them if there is some kind of assistance on station or in-country.

Look for groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, not because you are alcoholic, but because they have already forged a path to recovery on active duty and deployed. They will have some advice as to where to turn for assistance as well.
 

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Over the last 5 years I have committed heinous acts of verbal abuse to my wife. My wife has finally put her foot down and has suggested leaving me.
This is such a precious lesson for those who suffer from abusive spouses. The only thing that is effective in motivating change is losing them.

There are different forms of abuse, and passive-aggressive or covert aggressive can be worse than a hot-tempered angry type of abuse. Amazon dot com is your friend here. Look through some of the descriptions to see what matches you well initially, but then read widely because you will see there are a lot of parallels between the different kinds of abusers.

Counselors range from extremely bad to excellent, and you need someone with a specialty in your area of abuse.
 

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GOOD ON YOU for recognizing you have a problem, that it's bad and that is badly effecting bot you and your partner/relationships.

GOOOOOD.

because acknowledging is the first step toward healing.

Also, kudos on getting help. Does tha tmean you are in therapy?

It would be a good idea to get some communication books too or read online about how to talk to your wife.

The bottom line is: you have to show her through actions you are serious about stopping this behavior by, wait for it, actually stopping this behavior.

If you haven't apoloized to her yet, I would urge you to do that and say WHY you are sorry.

Empathy is KEY. SOOOOOOOOO KEY.

Ask he rwhat she needs from you. And tell her what you need from her.

GOOD for you. Very happy to read a thread with someone getting help for this. :smthumbup:



********************** | ***************************************** | ***************************************
 

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First of all its great that you have recognized the abuse and want to change. "Wanting" and "doing" are bitter rivals and they usually don't agree on the outcome.

What do you want?

1. The abuse to stop.
2. To be a better person.
3. Be happy.

What do you need to do?

1. Apologize immediately to anybody that you have abused. EVERYBODY! Ask people if you have been an ass and apologize to them. MEAN IT!
2. Stop abusing immediately.
3. Learn to cope and accept what you don't get or want.
4. Control your feelings and intellectually challenge them. Just because you feel doesn't mean its true. Just because you are upset doesn't give you the right to abuse. No your feelings don't matter to everybody so don't think they do.

I'm my experience, abusers have very poor coping skills and poor boundries. They do it because they can get away with it but surprised when the spouse kicks them to the curb.
 
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At first I was certain you were my H, finally writing in for help. I could easily be your W and I am at the same point. I can tell you this--I have one foot out the door. I told my H that, and at this point he would write pretty much exactly what you have. But he's not in the military, so I guess his excuse would be different. His childhood, maybe.

But just last week--once he realized I wasn't "deciding" to leave, but merely announcing that I knew I eventually MUST leave because of the awful feelings--he took me seriously. I told him that I would know within 3 months whether I would be here in the New Year, not that I knew where I would go, but I was confident that once I turned toward that door, things would fall into place for me to begin a new life elsewhere. I was calm. I was not threatening or angry. I think my lack of anger scared him. It should.

And this is what he did.
He listened.
Really, really listened to me, and it was magical. His body language, everything seemed different. I guess the threat of my truly leaving forced him to make himself pay attention. With a little coaching, he stopped interrupting or defending himself, and instead began to simply validate what I was saying.

Please note that I have kept a journal for years and I had cold hard evidence of his maltreatment of me. One of his abusive habits involves denying that I am telling the truth or remembering things correctly (gaslighting). "You're making that up." "No, I didn't do that, you're lying." "That's not what happened." Etc. Horribly invalidating--minimizing, denying, crazy-making. So I didn't let him get away with it this time. I had times, dates, places, exact notes of how hurtful he had been in word and deed. (Some of the early stuff I had actually destroyed, in the hopes of forgiving him. Finally I realized I needed to keep a record because his abusive ways made me feel so bad that I doubted my own sanity.)

After he had listened for a while, he said, "My gosh, I feel awful for having hurt you so much for so long. I have been a real jerk." I wondered if he was on something, or what. His norm is to defend himself then attack me (verbally).
Not this time. He simply accepted that I was accurately reporting how life and my marriage looked to me, and how intolerable it had become.
Then he said, "What can I do to make this up to you?"
Just writing about this makes me cry.

I remembered how much in love with him I was, and am.

Later that day he brought me flowers and said, "This is a new beginning."

We have three months to see if this second chapter is better than the first. I really love him, but I literally can't live with someone who belittles me, or doubts my word, or crushes my spirit with unkindness.

I suppose that is true for your W, too, and perhaps some day you will find that there is nothing left to do but to listen to her, and accept her truth, and to apologize for the pain you have caused. I realize that for you this may involve (1) getting counseling to deal with your anger and (2) learning how to listen well and validate your beloved. So, do that.

And then say, "How can I make this up to you?"

(By the way, I answered that question for my H, and the terms of our marriage are crystal clear. There will be no more verbal abuse or invalidation, no crazy-making--it's his job to get the help he needs to identify this and stop doing it. He admitted it was a family trait--his brothers do it to him. Plus he is insecure and tries to save face by putting me down and/or disagreeing with me. We are together learning a new, positive way of talking not only to each other, but to everyone in our life. This ordeal is making us better people all together and I firmly believe that can be the outcome of all our trials in life. May it be so for you.)
 

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Good luck. I hope it works out for you.

It was very easy to emotionally disconnect from my ex h and leave. His behavior only worsened over time. He still blames me for his own misery and 20 years have passed, I moved on.

If you don't change, you will lose them forever. There's got to be a way you can make changes yourself without help. Keep showing her that your changing and find another way to direct your anger/stress. Running and exercise is a great outlet when your angry.
 

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Men Ending Verbal Abuse and Control

I was once involved with a verbally abusive man, so I joined this forum for a short while.

Like here, there are a few couples (or there used to be), so the injured wives can tend to be angry and lash out.

But the men are quite committed to change and hold each other accountable. It seemed like a very safe place to be vulnerable about what you've been struggling with.
 
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