Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Living in My Abusive Marriage

blue ink drawing of distraught woman with a boundary placed around her head.

I recorded this video while living in my abusive marriage. I took this video in the home I shared with my husband and our two children. I miss that home’s illusion. The illusion told me that

  • I was safe there,
  • financial security was worth putting up with some “problems”,
  • nothing truly horrific would ever happen within those walls, and
  • if my boys’ father could just see what he was doing to us, then he would stop abusing us. Stop hurting us.

As you may guess, the illusion lied to me. It was nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Living in my abusive marriage turned me into an illusion too. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t recognize myself. I saw dimmed eyes, a down-turned mouth, and weary shoulders from carrying the weight of abuse. That isn’t how I saw myself before meeting my husband. Who I became was an illusion. I didn’t exist anymore – not even in my own mind. My abuser worked hard to change me and it worked – for years.

But, let’s go back to this time (2008, I believe) and listen to what I had to say about living in an abusive relationship.

Transcript for My Verbally Abusive Marriage Video

Hi. I am living in my abusive marriage with my husband. We’ve been married for 17 years. I have only recently found out what our underlying problem has been.

I used to think it was alcohol, but even when he was sober for about ten years, I still felt like something was wrong. I was not a happy camper. I thought I was crazy. I was – have been – depressed, but I could never quite put my finger on what the problem might be as far as my relationship with him.

But I magically found a book called The Verbally Abusive Man: Can He Change? by Patricia Evans. And because I found it in a strange way, I went ahead and flipped it open and was reading through it thinking, “How does she know my husband? How did he get in this book?”

Since then, I’ve figured out that his behavior is controlling and ugly, and abusive and that he uses these techniques on me. Sometimes on purpose. It makes some things he said in the past all of a sudden make sense.

I feel like I’ve had blinders taken off. Now it is hard to stay with him because every single conversation is filled with these controlling statements. I’m not allowed to have an opinion. When I do have an opinion that’s different from his, he gets very very angry. He starts blaming me for things that may or may not have to do with what’s going on in the conversation at the time.

I find that he gets so thrown off by the fact that I don’t agree with him or that I’m not going to try to change my mind when it comes to a topic. He gets so thrown off by that he becomes somebody different. He’s not rational.

He tells me I’m the one who’s irrational but he’s not rational.

The other night I told him something and he said that I told him the exact opposite and that wasn’t true. But I believe that’s what he heard because that’s what he wanted to hear. I don’t fully understand.

So if you are in a relationship where you seem to be the one who always has problems, or you seem to be the one who always is the problem, who can’t control herself, who cries all the time, who is too emotional, too sensitive, making stuff up… If you’re in a relationship where you feel that you might actually be crazy, then more than likely, you’re in a verbally abusive relationship.

Verbal abuse is subtle. It’s insidious. It’s hard to recognize unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. But I promise you, once you find out what you’re looking for, you’re going to start to make big connections about why you’ve felt the way you’ve felt for so long.

And the things that come out of this man’s mouth! My husband – when I married him I took for granted that I was supposed to trust him. I love him. I think. At least I did. That’s sad, isn’t it?

But when I figured out what was going on it was like I was living with a stranger anyway. I don’t really know him. I thought I knew him, but I don’t think I really know him. That makes me feel sad.

But, on the other hand, the way that his words and his actions have affected me over the years makes me sick.

I’ve got so much goin’ for me. And you’ve got so much goin’ for you! But when the person you love most in the world, that you think is your other half, that you’ve been told you can trust, that he will always be there for you…when that person that you’ve given your mind and body and soul to takes your mind and soul, crumples them up in a little ball and throws it away like it doesn’t matter to him?… It’s hard to love him anymore.

You know, I shoulda had a script because then I would be able to articulate everything I wanted to say. But this is just my first video. I’ll make some more with a script.

I guess the point of this is that if you are at all wondering what may be wrong in your relationship when everything seems like it should be perfect, and everyone outside of your home thinks that your husband is a wonderful guy if you’ve been to therapy and you’ve been told “It takes two, you’ve gotta work too” – Well, you know what? It only works if he hears you in the first place. And if he doesn’t even acknowledge that you have a different idea or opinion, then therapy for couples isn’t going to work for you just like it hasn’t worked for me!

When I’ve been to therapy I feel like I’ve been beaten up. I feel like I’ve been told to do 100% more of the 100% I’m already doing and he gets to take a nap because he’s charming. I wish I was that charming! Shoot!

Whatever the case, look into verbal abuse if you’re having a rough time in your relationship. Even if, like me, you’ve been married a long time. Just go get your book. Look up the author Patricia Evans, and get her book The Verbally Abusive Man: Can He Change? Read this book and you’ll know within the first couple of chapters if this is what you’ve been experiencing.

I’ll be back. I’ll talk to ya’ll next time, but I probably won’t look this nice because I usually don’t wear make-up. I just got back from somewhere so I’m all dolled up. Next time I’ll look like usual – kinda scary.

Talk to you later. Bye bye.

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