Q: I think I am being mentally abused. My husband always makes degrading remarks to me. He gets really irritated at my daughter (his step daughter) and her little dog because it barks to go outside. It’s a Maltese and chats how it communicates. He says things like it would be better as a statue in the yard (as in dead). When I get upset about this he tells me I’m a flake. This is just one example of the things he’s done in the past 8 years. We live in fear.

A: I think you are being emotionally abused too, of course. But what have you done about it so far, and what are you going to do about it in the future?

You need to have a look at a whole lot of things about yourself before things can get better for you.
Was he emotionally abusive before you married?
Why did you choose him?
What have you done about it since it started?
Do you only ask him to stop, knowing that he always goes back to being abusive?

Have you gone to marriage counseling, or, if he refuses, have you gone to a therapist yourself to learn the part you play in allowing yourself to be treated in such horrible ways? (In therapy, you may learn that you were demeaned a lot in childhood, so you came to think of this is “normal” or “just the way men are” or something like that.)

I’m sorry if it seems that I’m putting all of the responsibility for HIS behavior on you, but he didn’t write to me – and from the way you describe him I’d bet he wouldn’t care what I have to say anyway.

Big changes are definitely needed, and if he refuses to make them you will have to make them yourself.

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