A relationship is the coming together of two people in love to make decisions about money, career and family. The couple uses trust, understanding and cooperation to plan for their future. Each is concerned with the others dreams and future happiness. One person should never use threats or intimidation to get what they want. Neither should ever have to fear or dread going home. Sometimes however, things don’t go according to plan. People are sometimes not as they seemed at first. Read on to learn about signs of being bullied by a spouse.
- You are talked down to.
- You are told how to spend money.
- The bully puts you down in public.
- You are called names (stupid, lazy, useless etc.)
- Do they sound absurd, with no link to reality and the actual situation?
- Does your spouse sound spoilt?
- Are you constantly under pressure to help them?
- Less satisfied in there relationship.
- Less intimate with one another.
- Poorer communicators with their partners.
- Constantly criticising the other person’s ideas and views.
- Using patronising language, treating the other as a child.
- Manipulation such as backstabbing, rumour spreading manipulation of the truth.
- Perpetually forgetting significant dates, activities.
- Self-punishment such as self harm, deliberate failure or giving up on commitments. This is then blamed on the other.
- The control freak always knows what’s best for the other person.
- He or she are dominating, the other person can feel suffocated by them.
- There is a perpetual lack of spontaneity and freedom.
- Try to talk in “I” statements rather than “You” statements. For example: “I feel upset that I have to plan out all are dates.” rather than “you never do any of the planning”
- Try to think about times when you have been in the wrong.
- Remember to think about the positives as well as the negatives.
- Depression is a feeling of sadness and hopelessness that lasts longer then three weeks.
- Anxiety is a disorder that brings on feelings of fear and dread that can trigger other psychological problems.
- Panic disorder comes with the impending feeling of doom and triggers your fight or flight instinct.
- Low self-esteem and the belief the bully is right in his assessment of you lack of ability.
- Social withdrawal and loss of close friends.
- Talk about your situation with people outside of the relationship. This can involve people you know, or a helpline. There are many available, here are just a few:
- US: National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-7233(SAFE)
- US: The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women
- UK: Women’s Aid0808 2000 247
- Men in the UK: ManKind Initiative
- In Australia: 1800Respect1800 737 732
- Men in Australia: One in Three
- Worldwide: The International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies
- Document the abuse you experience. This can be a journal, video diary, record audio of the abuse on your phone, save abusive emails and messages. All materials are useful both for you to think about it objectively, and for the police and courts should there be criminal abuse.
- Plan your way forward. Start your own bank account. Prepare stuff to take. Contact friends or family to stay with. Consider when a safe time to leave will be
- You may want to consider security measures such as changing all your passwords email addressed and so forth. Applying for a restraining order may also be necessary.
You may not have an immediate answer to that question. Many bully victims are not aware they are being bullied at all. Victims are often bullied by parents throughout childhood and believe the behaviour is normal. They cannot understand how someone from the outside can say they are with a bullying husband or bullying wife. Here are some read flags that may show that you are bullied by a spouse:
Guilt-trips are a common way that people can bully each other in an intimate relationship. One person might make themself out to be a martyr, while the other feels guilty for not doing enough. You hear phrases like, “No, it’s okay, I will get it myself even with this fever. You had a hard day in front of the television.”
Guilt trippers tend to be narcissists. They feel as though they are the main person in the relationship. This means that all of the other person’s actions and words are cast in terms of what they mean to the guilt tripper. Their interpretation is taken as gospel.
People may fake illness in order to guilt-trip. This can scale from the minor to the extreme. Some people are so set into taking this role that they have what is called Munchausen’s Syndrome. Ironically, this is a real medical condition of people who perpetually fake medical conditions.
One of the best ways to identify and deal with guilt trippers is to step back and listen to yourself and your conversations with them:
If so you have to resist the self-pity, the bargaining and the manipulation. It is time for you to move on and your partner to start helping themselves.
The silent treatment
There are all sorts of conversations and arguments that can exist in an intimate relationship. Some of these are healthy and some are not. The silent treatment is a way that people withdraw from a conversation, cutting off communication. It can become a vicious cycle or one partner seeking interaction and the other withdrawing further. The silent treatment is destructive to relationships. A study on the silent treatment found that couples that use it are:
However, the silent treatment isn’t passive. It can be directly painful to the other person. Research has shown that it can elicit responses in the same part of the brain that deals with physical pain.
The passive-aggressive method
The Control Freak
The control freak tells you the house is not acceptably clean. They insist you need to make changes in your self and if you do, they find all manner of shortcomings for you to change. The control freak knows what is good for every one in the home and will not consider compromise as a solution. This bully picks on your looks, cooking, cleaning, children and family. Here are some red flags:
In this situation you need a careful approach. If you want to try to make it work then you won’t succeed by attempting to control the controller. This will create a power struggle, which is the controller’s worst fear. You need to be assertive and caring, set your limits. Be firm, but do not try to dominate. If someone is impossibly controlling all the time, it is time to consider ending the relationship.
The Score Keeper
A score keeper goes out of the way to do favours for you and uses those as reasons you should do as told. Score keepers may even use everyday tasks they do as tallies to hold against you later on. They have always gone beyond their means and reason to make you happy and in return, you are a disappointment.
Score keeping is often a two-way street. Lots of couples counselling deals with relationships where both parties are constantly keeping score. If this goes on, the relationship suffers. Here are some tips for both parties in a score keeping relationship:
Are you bullied by a spouse?
Now you have behaviours to examine to determine if your partner is bullying you. If you are the victim of any of these behaviours you need to decide what to do next. If you continue a relationship with a bully you can expect to experience some of these effects:
Ending an Abusive Relationship
If you have decided that you are in a relationship with a bully and it is not worth salvaging, then you need to think about ways to end your relationship. Ending any relationship can be hard, but abuse relationships can be especially difficult to finish. Here are some bits of advice and guidance.
Intimate relationship bullying is a real challenge for those who experience it. We can all help raise awareness by discussing the issue on social media, joining in, or starting off, the debate in the comments section below, Sharing and spreading materials on the topic. Please join us in fighting bullying in all its forms.