Abusive wife

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Topic: Abusive wife

hsvkey's avatar


1 Post
Tue, 10th April 2012, 11:44am

I have been married for 25 years and have been subjected to some horrendous abuse by her over this time - but the last 5 years have been very bad - It is not all the time but too regular for my liking

I have had spit in my face several times, been punched and slapped in the face many many times, called some of the most vile names you could imagine, mentaly and emotionaly abused regulary these are just a few as it hurts to actually put them down here. But when we are around friends she is the angel, butter would not melt in the mouth but occasionally when alcohol is involved she will try to put me down which usually raises a few eyebrows from the friends. Im sure many have noticed !!

Please NOTE : - I have never been unfaithful, nor have i ever hit my wife -  I made the mistake of asking her to go seek some help as I know she does require it. - And i wont do that again in a hurry - Marriage Counciling NOT a chance - because there is nothing wrong with her. 

I cannot do a thing right even the most trivial thing it is the wrong way - I am a succesfull business man and anyone that has known me would say i always have been funny and happy go lucky guy when im not with my wife. We have had a great lifestyle with world travel, nice home and great kids (Grown) and I would give it all up to be happily married (except the kids) - but Im always on edge not knowing when she is about to unleash her fury over the most rediculous things. I am actually scared at times and do not like her walking behind me as i have been sniped a couple of times from behind. 

Is it borderline a personality disorder  I just dont know what to do or where to go next.

I need some advice how to regain my full confidence as all of this is affecting my business and will affect my health i can feel it !!

What advice is there to try to get her to think ive had enough, do I just not respond to her abuse - I cannot bring myself to leave - dont know what to do !!!

Ps Both around the late 40s




Ken_67's avatar


547 Posts
Tue, 10th April 2012, 4:26pm

Hello, HSVKEY.

This type of thing is more common than many people would like to admit. Some women can be every bit as violent in a relationship as can a man. Sadly, I think your only recourse is to leave, despite your not wanting to. The longer you stay, the worse it will get. You may not have ever hit your wife, but if she provokes you enough to hit out in defence, it could well escalate into a far more serious assault.



coln's avatar


111 Posts
Tue, 10th April 2012, 9:47pm


Search on Narcissism and narcissist and see if the dots join up.

This site especially:



ImaginaryFriend's avatar


7 Posts
Wed, 11th April 2012, 2:23pm

You have to let her know that her behaviour is unacceptable, full stop. Whenever she starts, tell her that you won't take it and go out, don't set a time limit, don't engage in the fight, just go somewhere, have a beer, see a movie, maybe stay at a hotel for the night.

She is behaving like a child having a tantrum, you can't remove her to her room or naughty step so remove yourself from the situation. Like a child you have to be consistent, every time she starts, leave. If you aren't willing to leave her, and her behaviour doesn't change, then you need to find an out, get a shed or a motorbike, something that you can go to when it starts up.

I wish someone had told me this with my ex-wife, it is controlling & borderline sociopathic behaviour & even though I loved my wife I broke under the pressure of this emotional assault over the slightest of mistakes, (not getting Flybuys points when doing the shopping etc.), it never amounted to physical attacks but the verbal and emotional abuse nearly killed me.


idream's avatar

trevor donnelly

1 Post
Wed, 11th April 2012, 7:36pm

abuse is abuse...if this was happening to a woman with the man the aggressor then you would have an avo issued against you.this is a stepyou may need to consider...talk to someone..ring the mens helpline 1300789978,from a safe place.you are right too right your heath is at risk..read an article in a past edition of "emale"(a mens newsletter) on research on violence and abuse on men by woman...its not so uncommon just not spoken of or reported.you may need to talk to "counsellor"(preferable male) who can advise and support you. great to see you reaching out. you need to look after yourself.


laz91's avatar


140 Posts
Wed, 11th April 2012, 7:40pm

 G'DAY everyone,   STRANGE, IT WAS NOT THAT LONG AGO THAT THE MEDIA WAS FILLED with stories of women under attack from aggressive males. Their sisters said  "don't put up with it" "leave him and take everything"  "all men are bad"  etc.   It seems that the wheel has turned full circle.

        I had to leave my wife many years ago because of health problems. She could not help me, a Doctor could not help, my workmates could not help, my church friends wanted to help, but they were on their own tract, the wrong tract. So I left the  home and big city and ended up camping by a billabong of dead carp on the bank of the mighty Murray river. It was drought time.

         I had to start a new life. It took many years to be "reborn". Don't let women get the upper hand or set the agenga for you to follow.  Good luck mate.



coln's avatar


111 Posts
Wed, 18th April 2012, 7:15pm - updated - Mon, 30th April 2012, 10:24pm

I've been reading up on narcissism for my own reasons.

Note that it's not a good idea to accuse someone of being  narcissistic.  They simply will not believe you, and you will cop more abuse (if they are in fact narcissistic). It's a very difficult situation.

good quick summary of personality disorders, and how knowing about them can help:


Aussie site but some stories from all over world:


American stories of abusive wives:


One point that emerges is that the law automatically assumes the man is the agressive, intractable party. Maybe that's starting to change.

Best site so far for understanding narcissism:


It's a whole pattern of behaviour and symptoms, not just one or two quirks of character.

Here is another case of abuse (verbal) in this forum (containing at least 4 responders with similar experience!):



evilbrent's avatar


2 Posts
Fri, 13th April 2012, 1:48pm

Ken_67 is right. Establish boundaries for behaviour you will not tolerate. No matter the circumstances, as soon as the behaviour crosses the line the issue is then about that behaviour, not whatever you were arguing about to start with.

Communicate your willingness to continue a relationship (if you are willing) and what sorts of circumstances you're willing to agree to. Note, it is perfectly acceptable to say "I will live with you if you never hit me."


davo53's avatar


1 Post
Wed, 18th April 2012, 5:57pm

hi all

saddened but relieved i.m not the only one in this situation.thank you for the narcissm tip  my wife has ms and is bed ridden and and i am her full-time carer.i can not do any thing right and that i.m being rough and cruel she tells the social works and has called the police on me she doesn't want me to go of the house because she thinks i am seeing the neighbour .she finally went to hospital where i finally got some help for her i had the choice of not taking her home but was in a no win situation find a job at 59 or live on the dole.so i took her back home.do not know how long i can hang on i have cared for her full time now for seven years . things have improved a bit with her medication but as you would know there is only a certain amount of abuse and whinging you can take some times 6 hrs some time 5 minute but when it happens its so quick you don't have time to walk out before the temper is gone the blood pressure is up. i am fairly Lucky  a walk or a phone call to someone can get me through till the next time. hope we all get some peace in the next life either dead or alive



coln's avatar


111 Posts
Wed, 18th April 2012, 8:47pm

Yeah, at least you can unload here as well.


laz91's avatar


140 Posts
Thu, 19th April 2012, 10:20am

+    G'day Coln, You seem to be very nacisstic about narcissism. As someone who has a biological approach to most things, I would vote for a more biological approach to behavioural problems. Psychology, religion etc have one thing in common.  They like to get buried and disguised in a mountain of mumbo jumbo or big words that define the subject as in the clouds--your clouds.

       I read your "mashmun"  reference and found it very good in detail and clever observance. But doesn't it make you a slave the these idiosyncrasies?   My approach is to understand the biological factors involved,eg  an only child, the eldest child, the only girl in the family, high blood pressure,trauma, inherited neurological factors etc.  Then just go with the flo.


coln's avatar


111 Posts
Thu, 19th April 2012, 12:09pm - updated - Fri, 20th April 2012, 7:26am

The old nature vs. nurture debate smiley-smile.gif. I'm looking for what causes narcissism, but so far it's pretty scrappy and even vague.

Laz, you just gave me an idea and i searched and found this:

"In a twin study examining the dimensions of personality disorders, Livesley et al. (12) found genetic dominance effects for intimacy problems, affective lability, and especially narcissism. There has not been any study examining gene-environment interaction in those with narcissistic personality disorder as there has for antisocial behavior."

I was going to argue with you and blame most of it on the parents! Still, it doesn't say how much. The second bit says no-one has really tried to separate out nurture effects. I'm reading more and I'll probably edit this.

This is the webpage:


PS: I don't get what you mean about being a "slave to these idiosyncrasies". Whose idiosyncrasies? I didn't invent narcissism. I'm just trying to understand it. Since it is said to be unrealistic to expect narcissists to improve their behaviour themselves, it's a matter of knowing how (not) to handle them.

PPS: Twin studies are studies of twins - identical twins. There is almost an 'industry' of tracing the whereabouts of the few thousand identical twins all over the world who were separated "at birth" by being given up for adoption. Twins who have been raised by different parents in different places have experienced different environments (different nurture). Since identical twins carry exactly the same genes (same nature), any differences must be caused by the different environments, not genes.

There are amazing stories of how some of them turn up to meet each other for the first time ever wearing practically the same clothes! That means there is something strongly genetic in choosing clothes, at least for some people.

The quote above implies that if one twin has a narcissistic personality, the other usually has much the same.


coln's avatar


111 Posts
Fri, 20th April 2012, 10:08pm - updated - Sat, 28th April 2012, 10:51pm

I'm starting to get a picture of what causes narcissism. In some cases at least.

A parent who is severely narcissistic often favours and builds up egotisically, one child (golden child). The other children turn out very differently. So genes are only part of it.

Read about it here: 


top notch site:

http://www.lightshouse.org/the-narcissistic-parent.html#axzz1tIGmDNKH (at the bottom are links to other personality disorders, as to what kind of parents they make)



"The whiplash combination of parental coldness and excessive parental admiration is more strongly related to maladaptive narcissism than is either attitude alone."


if you are familiar with narcissism you can see extra meanings in this one:



I don't mean to compete with what anyone else has written on this thread, just to add to it in the hope some get started on what they have been missing. It veers off the topic, sorry for that, so I'm not going into it here in detail. I'm finding narcissism is a huge topic that affects a surprising number of people in an amazing number of ways.


laz91's avatar


140 Posts
Fri, 20th April 2012, 9:09am

     G'day again Coln,   No big deal about "idiosyncrasies". I just get annoyed about all the jungle of words one has to remember in this world of endless discoveries, inventions , promotions etc. I've got a bad memory. A coal miner may get "coal miners' lungs". Much easier to remember than "broniomusilolitis". People with "manic depression" are rarely maniacal and narcisstic people don't spend a lot of time looking at their reflection in the water


coln's avatar


111 Posts
Fri, 20th April 2012, 11:08pm

I try to be sparing with jargon. Used to tangle with public service types who thought jargon was knowledge! A bandicoot was a "resource" and a dunny block an "asset". smiley-yell.gif Tried to impress me with that.

A while back I was wondering what Narcissis did to deserve his name applied to such difficult people. But now I can see more fitting comparisons. There is a love of reflected image involved. And by labelling them difficult, I was ignoring the distress they feel as well as cause.

If you catch me using jargon for the sake of sounding impressive, where I could say the same thing more simply, let me know.

By the way, I have no problem with what anyone has written on this topic. It's just my personal preference to put a few 'handles' on things. It does help to type jargon words into google to find out more. Not to everybody's taste, I know.


meck01's avatar

James Cinc

9 Posts
Thu, 31st May 2012, 4:29pm

This must be very difficult - as the man "this couldn't possibly be happening to you"!

Unfortunately I know better (and so do a lot of other men!)

The amount of times I've heard a women berating her male for something trivial and thought "he isn't the issue here!" has made me think "maybe it happens more than we know!"

The figures are so under reported as well (some have said up to 50%!) as a man is only ever seen as the perp (Violence against women - shouldn't that be violence against anyone!)

You could try video taping her (it will give you an insurance policy if needed!")! Talking to her about it doesn't sound like it will help.

Unfortunately you may have to take the ultimate step (divorce) which while isn't fun, may give you back your mental health/sanity!

Stay strong and try and get some help for yourself/her!

One of my mates is going through this - she keeps threatening to leave! Secretly I think he would be better off!


Fergy's avatar


143 Posts
Fri, 1st June 2012, 8:17pm


I find your comments and description very well put.

Obviously, without knowing the full details it's hard to be exact. It sounds to me like there maybe some Borderliner traits there. Now I'm not saying she is. But borderliners are the female equivalent of a psycopath. Most mental health professionals will run a mile if you mention the word. A friend of mine was raised by a borderliner and I know both the parents quite well. I don't get to see the borderline behaviour as I am not in the family - that special behaviour is only for the family behind closed doors. But what I do see is the result of the man, let's call him Joe for a name's sake, Joe is a complete mess, living on the edge of anxiety, (both are now in their mid 70's). Now days it's hard to tell who is madder. Joe's stuck with her since they were in their early 20's ie since the early 60's - he always says - in those days you married for life. But Joe has no life - she yells at him, gets him to go here or there for - if he tries to do something by himself - he's having an affair - if he threatens to leave - she threatens suiside. But poor Joe, nowdays he doesn't know which way is up. The angel outside the family is a typical trait. Joe used to be a fine craftsman, making violins and baby harpsicord (a virginal) and other instuments - but know he is such a mess that he can't even prune the jasmine.

My advice is: the main person who needs the help right now is yourself, borderliners are probable the most difficult to understand - there is thought that the cause is something to do with childhood abuse. You can't do anything right, in fact maybe the best thing to do is leave. But watch out because she may very well guilt you into coming back. That is a symptom of dom violence. But leaving may give her an opportunity to look at herself - but also borderliners don't really do that very well. But be carfull with wrongly diagnosing personality disorders - sometimes symtons fit but are wrong

Illegitimis Non Carborundum


Singeon's avatar


230 Posts
Tue, 5th June 2012, 12:42am

It happens..because you allow it to happen.

Call her bluff...hold your nerve..and see what happens.


Brat72's avatar


17 Posts
Wed, 6th June 2012, 12:15pm


I to had a similar relationship many years ago and it will never end until she see's that what she is  doing is destroying you and your relationship, see will never see this because you choose to put up with it over and over again. My advise to you my friend and pardon the pun is to get some balls, pack your things and leave and there is no reason why you have to leave your children behind. TAKE THEM WITH YOU ! You have as much right as she does to raise your children and going on what you have told us you would make the better parent anyway! I only say this to you from experence, when i left my partner i also left my kids and now have to watch them being brought up by a very violent and unstable woman and it is really messing up my kids, given my time again i would have quietly organised somewhere to go and taken my children with me. At the end of the day the decision is going to be yours and your alone but believe me when i say, this behaviour is not only a crime but will mess both you and your children up if it already hasnt. I wish you the best of luck.


Snotaburocrat's avatar


17 Posts
Wed, 6th June 2012, 8:58pm

I hazard a guess that she has a childhood issue that is unresolved, possibly well and truely buried in the past. God knows what though, it could be anything. However, at the root of it is a very deep hole of self despising or defensiveness toward her own character. Your the one she hurts because your the one she trusts and knows would do her no harm, and, if you get outsiders involved, all hell breaks loose because she could get hurt, not by you but by others who she cant pull into her line of thinking. The way out? A lot of talking and tears most likely. She will only move forward when she sees your pain as a result of loving her. The real her, lies somewhere between the two extreems, ie, the mellow her, but it is very fragile. The slightest bump and either the cover up mode or the attack/defensive mode kicks in to stabilize things in her eyes. I feel like one of those palm readers telling you all this but I dont profess to be "right" I am just giving you what may be a further insight to whats happening. Consider it, if you dont think it fits at all then i'm obviously way off beam but you keep searching and the answer/s will slowly unfold to you and her if all goes well. I hope it does, for both your sakes. Keep a clear mind.


imac's avatar


1 Post
Wed, 6th June 2012, 10:26pm

In the end we all can only be in control of one thing, ourselves. Our thougths, feeling, actions are what is in our control. What other think, feel or do is not. Be in control, know what you want, know what your standards are, let others know this and be consistant. Will it be easy, no....you will have to practice everyday. I have some things going on in my life that I now won't accept and I practice a differnt behaviour around these every day. I know that my life will be better because of this.

Small steps day after day, you'll be surprised how quickly your life will change as long as your open for anything. You must change for your life to change because that is all your truly in control of. You decide your life now!

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