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I Just Can't Seem To Do Anything Right

by Bobbi
(Saint Cloud, FL)

My husband is angry with me all the time. There is never a day of peaceful harmony. A simple question or statement will set him off. I am interrupting him from working or watching TV or on the Internet.

There is never a good time to talk to him. And he blames me for being the reason for his anger and he believes he is justified and right to be angry. If I try to apologize or explain why I am attempting to communicate with him, he just gets angrier. He also is angered when I am late when we go out or if I talk about anything that involves spending money.

He makes me ask him first if it's ok to do any home decorating, even if it doesn't involve spending money. Any time I express a difference of opinion or a preference different than his, he gets angry. We were separated for a couple of years because of his behavior, during which he pursued me to come back and he even went through counseling. He seemed to have gotten his anger under control, so I thought it was safe to come back.

But now he has reverted to the same behavior. The rage is not as severe as it was, but we have only been back together again for a couple of months and it is escalating. He has never been physically abusive and I don't feel unsafe, but I do feel so demoralized, depressed, suppressed, and oppressed because of his treatment of me. I am disabled and have no where to go since I have exhausted my alternate places to live, so I have to find a way to deal with this situation. I have read so many self help books and articles on this topic, but nothing seems to address my personal situation. Can you help?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Bobbi, and thanks for telling your story here. The way you are being treated is wrong. You are worthy of respect, care and love, and it sounds like you are being emotionally and mentally abused.

You are in a classic battered woman syndrome--without the physical battering. In this syndrome, the abuser works to belittle, browbeat and demean the victim until they feel exactly as you do--"demoralized, depressed, suppressed, and oppressed."

Your husband has shown you that this is who he is. And hoping things will get better makes no sense whatsoever.

You managed to live apart for two years, so you can do it again. Do not let your fear or your beliefs about your limitations keep you in this abusive situation. Consult with your local woman's shelter, and find out what services and support may be available to you in your area.

From what you have told me, it sounds like things will only get worse as long as you stay with him.

Whether you stay or leave, definitely do the writing exercises on this page. There are three types of exercises, and I suggest you do all three. This will help you get your feelings out, and it will also help you to feel better so that you can take healthy action.

Read this page on the battered woman syndrome, and see if there is any help for you there.

The hard truth, Bobbi, is that if you don't take care of yourself no one will. That is true of all of us.

You say you are disabled, and I'm sure that is a hardship and limits your choices. It did not, however, keep you from living apart from this man for two years. This time, I suggest you consider ending the relationship entirely, and moving on to a better life.

You are worthy of good things. Believe in yourself and your good heart.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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