difference between mental/emotional abuse?
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difference between mental/emotional abuse?

This is a discussion on difference between mental/emotional abuse? within the Abuse forums, part of the Mental and Physical Health category; people have been telling me for years that my husband abuses me. not physically, tho he has slapped me once ...

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Old 09-23-10, 02:15 AM   #1
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people have been telling me for years that my husband abuses me. not physically, tho he has slapped me once (when we 1st got married and i kicked him out x2 wks) and he has shoved me around a bit and tried to choke me once. it's mainly verbal. what i'm confused about is the difference between mental and emotional abuse. i know the verbal abuse is bad which is why i try to go out of my way to avoid an arguement of any kind. he has anger issues and a short fuse and i NEVER know what is going to set him off. we were both abused as children. i was sexually abused from 3-5, (that i know of, i don't remember most of my childhood). i was also raped when i was 21. he was physically abused by his stepdad from 3-14, and he says also verbally and emotionally by his mom too. he hates and distrusts all women. he's always fought unfairly and played on my guilty conscience (i was raised on a guilt trip-everything has always been my fault including letting 2 boys have sex with me when i was 10, one was my age and the other one was his 1 yr older brother.) 5 yrs ago my sister got a divorce b/c she found someone else and since then he has been completely out-of-control. he actually told me that b/c of her he would never ever trust me again. he completely isolated me for an entire 2 yrs. literally. then i was so depressed and suicidal i isolated myself for the next yr. then i got sick with a neurological disorder. the noose was loosened some for a yr. but then i got fired from my job and started feeling sicker and started isolating myself again. my parents need help now b/c of being elderly and we live right next door. he hates my parents and my sister and her 2nd husband. our last fight he said things to me like "if you don't shut your mouth i'm gonna beat the shit out of you" and "you ruined my fucking life" and so on and so forth. usually i tell myself that he loves me and that he is just upset and doesn't mean what he says. why should i suffer b/c of his problems w/my family? i have nothing to do with it! i've told him all of this. that is when he told me to shut my mouth. he keeps saying he is going to leave and the last few times i've told him to 'stop saying it and fucking do it'. but he won't b/c i am the only one with any money. he has noticed it in my attitude this time so i think he is a little worried. he asks and i say things like 'i'm tired' and when i'm angry over something i tell him 'i'm just done'. (that's his line). i can't be the one to ask him to leave b/c then he would never ever ever ever ever let me live it down b/c my sister is the one who asked her ex to leave. he'll accuse me of fucking around on him, something i would never do, no matter what. i don't believe in it. it is something i could never do even if i wanted to. so when he talks to me the way he does and calls me names (stupid fucking idiot is his favorite right now) or he threatens me or he tells me i'm a horrible person and that i don't care about US or him, is it emotional or mental abuse? i'm confused. i'm at the end of my rope. i am through listening to it. i don't know how much more i can take and i'm afraid of what i am going to do (not to him, to myself-i already cut). any replies appreciated.
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Old 09-23-10, 02:55 AM   #2
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yea, verbal abuse leads to mental or emotional abuse, same thing to me. I'm real sorry for how you're being treated, you really don't deserve that, nobody does. Feel free to confide in us.
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Old 10-02-10, 03:22 PM   #3
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Hi BentnotBroken, I'm sorry that you are being treated badly, too. I agree that there's probably no practical difference between mental or emotional abuse (or psychological abuse). They're just different ways of saying the same thing. This is my first time posting, and I don't know whether it's considered good etiquette to ask if you and your husband have ever tried couples counseling. Please forgive me if it's not OK. I just am not sure what else might be most helpful, except, of course, talking to a trusted friend. I know that any kind of counseling is expensive, and there's no guarantee that it will work, but it might be worth a shot. At least the experience of going to counseling might provide a context for figuring out whether staying in the marriage is in your best interest, long term. What you're going through does sound pretty awful. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 10-03-10, 12:34 AM   #4
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no guitarfool99, it is fine to ask questions like that (by the way i like your name) my husband plays, has 2 electric guitars and 1 acoustic-electric. guitars and pianos are my 2 favorite musical intruments. no, we've never tried marriage counselling. we've been married 22.5 yrs and i've been in-and-out of counselling for myself for the past 17 years. he thinks it's stupid and that i don't need it. his doctor has tried to get him to go to counselling for himself and his own issues. the closest he got was when he had a nervous breakdown and landed in the hospital for 3 days in nov. '07. i made 3 different appts. for him and he got all the way there, got out of his truck, got back in his truck and came back home. he took off work for 8 months and stayed home and basically slept all the time. then i got sick and he had to go back to work. he is on effexor xr but i think he needs to try something else or get on an anti-anxiety med also. idk. he just really needs to work on his anger issues. i've done all i can do to help him. i cannot "fix" him. i tried for so long. but i can't and i've got to focus on healing myself. since our last fight i have changed. something just broke in me. probably my heart or at least the last piece of it as he has been breaking pieces of it for all these years...so now i don't care if he leaves. i stand up to him and fight back and tell him to not ever call me names again or stop screaming at me or w/e he is doing at the time. i'm just tired of it all. i don't know how much more i can take before i end up in the hospital myself, or in the morgue...
thanks for replying, i appreciate it.
peace,
bentnotbroken
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Old 10-04-10, 12:10 AM   #5
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Hi BentbutnotBroken, I think you've reached you're breaking point and have had enough. Think he finally broke what was left of your heart. Just what it sounds like to me. Have you ever talked to your counsellor about you're relationship? I recently got a book called "The verbally Abusive relationship" by Patricia Evans and I found it to be helpful in understanding verbal abuse. You might want to pick it up.

I'm in counselling right now and just started talking about my past relationships with men. Anyway, I've been in a couple of abusive relationships myself. I've dealt with verbal, mental, physical and financial abuse. Still trying to understand and recover from everything I've been through.
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Old 10-05-10, 01:11 AM   #6
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hey toomuch,
oh no, there's financial abuse too? great, let me guess, it's where one partner abuses the other by using them for their money? that is the only reason he doesn't leave me.
i know he loves me in the best way he can. and i love him in the best way i can. but we have both been hurt and our trust of others taken away from us at such young ages (both at the age of 3) and both emotionally traumatized so young and raised by emotionally unstable mothers... it's just so sad.
i'll have to look for the book you suggested. it's just a bad time right now. there is a lot of stressful things going on in my life right now and he isn't helping. we were both mentally and emotionally abused, mainly by our moms. i am trying to be consistent in not letting him draw me in and not let him get away with hurting me by just getting up and walking out of the room and it seems to be working a little. idk. i guess time will tell. i just know that i am definitely fed up and tired and can't take anymore without something happening, and it won't be good.
thanks for replying.
peace,
bentnotbroken
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Old 10-05-10, 04:37 AM   #7
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Bentnotbroken, yeah financial abuse. For me my ex didn't want to pay rent so basically he lived off of me for years. He disgusts me now. Met him a few months ago and he wanted to talk to me or something. I just got into my car and drove away.

My best friend right now wasn't aloud a debit card. When I first met her, her husband would have the only debit card. She's going through abuse right now also. Nothing physical , I think she's coming to her breaking point also.

It's bizarre that I met her because I completely understand everything she's going through. I think she's beginning to understand that she's in an abusive relationship. It's funny that when we think of abuse it's only physical that we think of but I do believe the mental and verbal is worse and harder to recover from.

I'm just starting to see a counsellor for all this now. I should of went 8 years ago. Tried for years to move on but I've changed so much because of the abuse, I suppose I finally figured out I need help and can't do this on my own.
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Old 10-06-10, 01:48 AM   #8
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it's scary b/c my 1st roommate from college has told me on several occasions about her younger sister finally leaving her abusive (mental/emotional) husband and how happy she is and what a different person she has become. i feel that i don't deserve to be happy at the expense of my marriage and hurting my husband. i know he loves me. we have talked about possibly separating shortly but idk. i think it's a case of co-dependency. and after being together for so long it's that much harder. i'm not in therapy at the time. mine quite seeing me and i can't really afford it right now anyway. my husband just went back to work last week for the first time since may. plus i am having to help my mom now that my dad is homebound and can't drive her around all the time and can't be left alone. just lots of stress and i'm sick and on the waiting list for the mayo clinic and i guess that's why i can't take his shit on top of everything else too. it's just hard to admit that you are letting yourself be abused, that you are letting someone you love (or try to love since maybe you don't even know how to love-gulp) browbeat you into groveling like gollum in front of frodo and the ring or like a drunk with dt's in the gutter for a bottle of cheap wine, please love me, i'll let you do or say whatever you want to me, just please love me! it's fucking pathetic. i hate myself because of it. when do we break the cycle? i'm so glad we didn't have children. that is one thing we both agree on. it's just so hard. i'm trying. thanks for talking to me.
peace
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Old 10-06-10, 08:52 AM   #9
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Completely understand about not wanting to leave but you should prepare financially to leave just in case. I tell all my girlfriend's now to have a secret bank account, just to have some get away money.

It's not easy when you've had someone there for so long, it even feels better to be in a bad relationship than none at all. But believe me when you get out of that situation and look back you'll probably wonder why you stayed so-o long. But that's a decision you have to make at your own time.

I understand the pathetic part of being put down and having these snide, degrading comments being made to you and then you put up with it. Been there and done that. My Second abusive relationship was really bad for this, I really thought one day he was going to beat the "crap" out of me. I think I got out in time. I think he's calling me right now. I don't answer the phone. The only good thing about that, is when you're done, you're done. You won't have an ounce of respect for this guy when it's over and you move on and believe me he will treat any woman that way.

For me I broke the cycle when I reached rock bottom, just couldn't handle the abuse anymore. He was also driving me crazy! I was friggin losing my mind over things and it wasn't me. I mean I'm going through cell phone bills, sneaking out to his car to look for information, driving around the city and looking for his car. It was just crazy. I was tired of living like this.

As women we are tough and will go through alot before we give in.

I just know I'm a good woman and I deserve better and so do you. But you have to make a decision to stay or go on your own time.

It's nice to have someone on here that can understand me and what I've gone through. Most people couldn't even begin to understand what I've gone through.

Hang in there. Take Care.
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Old 10-06-10, 10:30 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear about how easily his anger flares up. You are doing well in trying not to cause provocation.

Last edited by Ella; 10-15-10 at 09:04 AM.
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