Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

What marriage resources have been helpful or encouraging to you?
User avatar
Job29Man
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Posts: 8029
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:52 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 2nd, 1980
Gender: Male
Location: Hobby Farm, USA

Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby Job29Man » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:08 pm

I was researching some things and crossed a website "shrink4men.wordpress.com"

The author there posted this article about wives who emotionally bully their husbands. Several of the bullying behaviors sounded a lot like thread that get started on TMB from men who are frantic and heartbroken about how their wives relate to them.

Your thoughts? Is she onto something?
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

tjw
King bed
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:34 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): April 17th, 2010
Gender: Male

Re: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby tjw » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:22 am

She is definitely onto something.

Life is too short to spend one more second in this kind of relationship. If your partner won’t admit she has a problem and agree to get help, real help, then it’s in your best interest to get support, get out, and stay out.


After having endured 9 or 10 of the characteristics named by the article's author from a wife and a pre-Christ SO, and about 6 from another wife, I personally quite agree with this statement.

But there's a problem other than being tied to an emotional bully. The christian church, at large, will NOT SUPPORT a bullied spouse in leaving the bully, if there's not adultery. Especially if the abused spouse is in the ministry. He/she will lose his calling and his livelihood. It is very pharisaical , it is described well as "strains at gnats, and swallows camels". However, it is very much in force and causes countless people to remain abused for the sake of continued ministry and christendom. Those who support them will don the phylactery and shut the wallet.

Neither will our wonderful legal system. Especially in the case where the bully has no employable skills and a welfare mentality, which is common among narcissists. They have a sense-of-entitlement which allows them to suck their husbands dry and the courts will go along with it, awarding her 40% of his income on a continuing basis.

User avatar
Job29Man
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Posts: 8029
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:52 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 2nd, 1980
Gender: Male
Location: Hobby Farm, USA

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby Job29Man » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:51 am

Thanks for the feedback. I understand what you are saying.

(I posted the article with a focus on the bullying behavior itself, not on what to do about it. But I do recognize that, of course, if you are on the receiving end your focus will be on how to deal with it.)
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

User avatar
The Twit
Blanket on a secluded beach!
Posts: 1864
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:13 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 14th, 1993
Gender: Male
Location: Somewhere in the Upper Midwest

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby The Twit » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:19 am

I do not like the term "bully" because of the current over use and ever changing definition based on what I the user wants. Look at the college students claiming all of the bullying that they experience especially from the administrations. I see kids complaining about bullying every time a parent tries to punish a child through any method of normal punishment. Just grounding a kid from playing on the family gaming system is called bullying by some people. So I would rather use the term manipulation.

This is not the first time I read something similar. The other person discussed about how a woman will do various items to control or bully men into doing what they want. This got into the tools woman use to get what they want, the way they want by manipulating men. I know this verges in on the manosphere. Women will use sex, use tears, or other tools to manipulate the men in their lives. Also this other author discussed how the church in large has helped women and supported women into being bullies. The first question asked of a man when he starts to discuss any marriage issue is "what have you done as a husband to cause your wife to act this way?" Also in my own life is the comparison to other husbands or other men in my wife's life. I know other men get this and it is a form of manipulation/bully attitude.




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

User avatar
seeking perspective
Under the stars
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:01 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): April 27th, 1991
Gender: Female
Location: between the Northwoods and the Great Plains and the Great Lakes
Contact:

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby seeking perspective » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:17 am

I've run across this article before.

I do want to acknowledge that there are marriages where a wife does all or most of these things and she is emotionally abusive. I don't want to downplay the effects of any of these behaviors, either. Her descriptions of the impact on the husband of each of these behaviors look accurate to me. I have seen countless forum posts (on TMB and elsewhere) and have received heartbreaking emails from husbands that clearly capture how the spirit can be worn down in the face of a constant barrage of this kind of behavior from a wife.

So is she onto something?

Yes, but . . .

I also see this through the eyes of a woman who has done many of these things in her marriage. :(

She gives a list of ten behaviors that she labels as emotional abuse:

1) Bullying.
2) Unreasonable expectations.
3) Verbal attacks.
4) Gaslighting.
5) Unpredictable responses.
6) Constant Chaos.
7) Emotional Blackmail.
8 Rejection.
9) Withholding affection and sex.
10) Isolating.


During the worst years of our marriage, I exhibited seven of these behaviors. :( It wasn't all the time or even most of the time, and it was in response to my husband--but I also know that saying that is sort of like a husband saying, "But I only beat her once a month, and only when she asked for it." So according to this article, I was an emotionally abusive wife.

I have two issues in particular with this article.

I'd like to preface my first issue with one huge caveat: sometimes wives truly are emotionally abusive and the husband is completely a victim in this. What I am about to say is not a defense of these women.

I used to blame my husband for all of our marriage problems. However, I have learned that our problems were the result of both of us responding immaturely and wrongly to each other's words and actions. I would say that in most marriages, problems are the result of both people's words and actions. My husband and I spoke and acted in ways that had the result of escalating the other person's words and actions. Even when a wife is sexually refusing her husband because of her own baggage, having nothing to do with him, how he responds to that refusal can then become part of the problem that needs to be addressed. Those ten items on the list of emotionally abusive behaviors? My husband was guilty of just as many of them as I was. We were both exhibiting those behaviors in response to the other's behavior.

Any time I see an article that blames one spouse for everything, I see yellow flags. As I said, sometimes abuse is present, and it is unfair to place any responsibility for that abuse on the shoulders of the victim. A man who sees these behaviors in his wife is right to question whether there is emotional abuse in his marriage.

However, I also think it is far too easy for a man to see even one or two of the items on this list and jump to the conclusion, "Aha! I'm not the problem. SHE is!" While sometimes, yes, she is the problem, that absolves him of the responsibility to look at himself and see if there is anything he is contributing to the problem. In a truly abusive situation, he isn't--but if he also is guilty of many of these behaviors, then proclaiming that his wife is emotionally abusive is only part of the story.

As I said, I've received many heartbreaking emails from men trying to make sense of their wives' behavior. However, I also have received many emails from men pointing fingers at these kinds of behaviors in their wives, all while their own words raise red flags in terms of their treatment of their wives. Looking outward without also looking inward (and even more important, looking upward) is not good.

The second issue I have with the article comes at the end:

Most emotionally abusive women don’t want help. They don’t think they need it. They are the professional victims, bullies, narcissists, and borderlines. They’re abusive personality types and don’t know any other way to act in relationships.


The author's About page says this:

She specializes in helping men who are trying to end relationships or seeking coping strategies for dealing with their abusive wives, girlfriends or exes, many of whom have been diagnosed with personality disorder or whom they suspect have personality disorders or traits.


As I said, according to this article, I would have been labeled an emotionally abusive wife. But I was not a professional victim, a bully, a narcissist, or a borderline. (Side note: labeling someone by a mental illness they may have is not responsible, in my opinion.) I DID want help. I didn't know what was wrong, but I didn't like the way I felt when either my husband or I would exhibit these behaviors to each other.

The bottom line is this, for me: While sometimes the wife's shoulders are exactly where the responsibility belongs, the article makes it too easy for a husband to shed his own contributions to any marriage problems and dump them squarely onto her shoulders.

If a husband recognizes his marriage in this article, then it is absolutely worth exploring further--but that exploration should also include some self-examination to determine if he is contributing anything to the situation. If he isn't, then the shrink4men website has some resources that may be quite helpful. If he is contributing anything, however, then he should also be working to improve himself and seek support for both him and his wife.

The Twit wrote: The first question asked of a man when he starts to discuss any marriage issue is "what have you done as a husband to cause your wife to act this way?"


I think this is a completely reasonable question. I also think it is reasonable to ask a woman what she has done as a wife to contribute to any of her husband's behavior.
You turned my wailing into dancing . . .
~Psalm 30:11
The Forgiven Wife
and Sex Chat for Christian Wives

User avatar
Kilarin
Under the stars
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:36 pm
Location: South of Ft. Worth Texas

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby Kilarin » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:55 pm

My problem with articles like this is the inherent implication that ONLY one gender is guilty. Only wives are emotional bullies. Look at that list again:

1) Bullying.
2) Unreasonable expectations.
3) Verbal attacks.
4) Gaslighting.
5) Unpredictable responses.
6) Constant Chaos.
7) Emotional Blackmail.
8 ) Rejection.
9) Withholding affection and sex.
10) Isolating.


Job mentioned very correctly that we have seen a lot of threads on TMB from men who's wives are emotional bullies. But we have ALSO seen a lot of threads from wives who's husbands are emotional bullies, exhibiting many if not most of those same traits.

Just like with sexual refusal and porn. These are not one gender only problems.

User avatar
poetess
Under the stars
Posts: 3103
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:47 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): October 8th, 2011
Gender: Female

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby poetess » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:59 am

Kilarin, I think that the reason for this focus is that generally there's a lot of societal recognition that women can be abused by men, but vice versa, not so much. Men are big and strong and they're the ones who beat up on women, not vice versa. But that isn't always true.

A few years ago I saw a disturbing video of something that was contrived to get people's reaction. I don't recall the exact details, but it seems that the two scenes were shot at the same place, and I don't remember what the time frames were (the same day, next day at the same time?), but in a public place, maybe a zoo, they had a man hitting a woman and screaming at her, and people intervened instantly. And in the second shot they had a woman hitting on a man and screaming at him . . . and people either ignored it or watched and laughed. Basically in the first one, the man was an abuser; in the second, the man wasn't a victim but a wimp who apparently deserved what he got because he couldn't stand up to her. The scenes were staged, not genuine abuse, but they were staged to be very much alike except for the sexes of the actors reversed.

So I suspect this article is basically telling men "You've been telling yourself she can't possibly be bullying you, because she's just a girl . . ."
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!

suffolk sinner
King bed
Posts: 358
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:10 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): February 21st, 1990
Gender: Male

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby suffolk sinner » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:54 am

poetess wrote:A few years ago I saw a disturbing video of something that was contrived to get people's reaction.

What Would You Do?

doug-h
Fell out of ...
Posts: 1292
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:11 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): November 20th, 1982
Gender: Male

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby doug-h » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:15 pm

I know what you are saying Poetess, but when someone lays hands on someone, regardless of gender, then a line has been crossed.

The behaviors mentioned in the list, are often subtle, and unseen. I think in many cases, depending on the severity, even the victim would be hard pressed to call it bullying, and would likely use the word manipulation instead. It is certainly abusive behavior, but it may be a defensive strategy rather than an offensive one.

Looking thru the list, I'm not sure that I haven't been guilty of all of them at one time or another, but I know it wouldn't have been in aggression, but rather a response to a perceived aggression or wrong. That doesn't make it right, but it changes the dynamic.

In cases of severe aggressive, or passive/aggressive behavior, there is almost always a root cause. Maybe the victim is contributing to the dynamic, or it might be deep seated, but just looking at one persons behavior in a relationship, without giving scrutiny to the whole,can lead to wrong assumptions.

User avatar
Kilarin
Under the stars
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:36 pm
Location: South of Ft. Worth Texas

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby Kilarin » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:30 pm

poetess wrote:Basically in the first one, the man was an abuser; in the second, the man wasn't a victim but a wimp who apparently deserved what he got because he couldn't stand up to her.

Your point is certainly valid. Spousal abuse, even physical abuse, does happen where the woman is the abuser and the man is the abused. And while it occurs less often, it is even more likely to be dismissed or ignored than when it happens the other way around.

I'm just not certain we correct that situation of ignoring a problem in one gender with another mono-gender article. People often approach pornography and spousal abuse as if they were only problems that men have. And people often approach sexual refusal and nagging as if they were only problems that women have. But they aren't.

I'm not going on a big gender-inclusive language rant here. I just think that if we quit trying to define a lot of problems by gender alone, we could broaden the base of people we are helping.

User avatar
Vanna
King bed
Posts: 746
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:40 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 20th, 1994
Gender: Female
Location: Texas

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby Vanna » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:24 pm

I'm not going on a big gender-inclusive language rant here. I just think that if we quit trying to define a lot of problems by gender alone, we could broaden the base of people we are helping.


Well said.
After 28 years and six kids, through the good and bad, by the grace of God, things keep getting better and better. ::wed

User avatar
Job29Man
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Posts: 8029
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:52 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 2nd, 1980
Gender: Male
Location: Hobby Farm, USA

Re: Article: Is your wife an emotional bully?

Postby Job29Man » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:43 am

poetess wrote:So I suspect this article is basically telling men "You've been telling yourself she can't possibly be bullying you, because she's just a girl . . ."


That's pretty much how I read it too. Like "maybe you thought men are the only ones who bully, but women can bully too, and here's what it may look like. It's still bullying, only different from what you might expect."
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.


Return to “Marriage Books, Resources, Sites”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users