If you are thinking "my wife is emotionally abusive" then you are right to investigate the situation more fully. It is vital that you learn about mind control, psychopathy, narcissism the motivation of abusers and the tactics that have been used against you.
You already know that something is seriously wrong in your relationship but you may not be able to make sense of it. Learning about what is being done to you, why it is being done and, specifically, how the tactics work is fundamental to being able to protect yourself (and the kids if you have any) and to be able to take control of your own decision-making and your life once more.
With this in mind, I plan to look at some of the abusive things that a wife will do and explain the techniques and how they influence your perceptions, your thinking, and your actions.
Abusive people know that if they reveal their true nature at the beginning of the relationship, most people will run a mile. Therefore, they present themselves as kind, friendly, caring, loving, charming, entertaining and so on. They will lead you to believe that they can provide exactly what you need. They create this persona that you fall in love with. Many men say later that they felt that they had met their soulmate, the perfect partner for them and they may have even said to themselves, "this seems too good to be true!"
The abusers are professional liars which makes them very good actors. If they can get you to fall in love with them as well as make you feel sorry for them, then they know they are well on their way to controlling you. After all, if you love somebody and you believe they love you, what's not to like? It makes sense to start a relationship, buy a house, have children, pay for everything, and so on.
This first stage of a relationship is very important and the manipulators know this. They know a good first impression counts and can be very difficult to shift afterwards. Even when the bad behaviour kicks in, you think to yourself that you have had great times so far, you want those good times to continue, and it will be relatively easy to give her what she wants to keep her happy. So little by little, you begin to do different things and say different things because these are the terms and conditions that are put in place for you to continue the relationship.
Step-by-step, you are led in a particular direction and before you know what's going on years have passed and you begin to awaken to the idea that things are worse than you thought.
You have probably figured out that anything that goes wrong is always your fault. Everything good that happens she takes credit for. She is never to blame and always has reasons and justifications for doing what she does. These reasons and justifications usually involve you and your faults.
When somebody feels personally responsible for something they will end up accepting the punishment and the more responsible they feel the more severe the punishment that they will accept. Because you are made to feel bad about the problems and you are never allowed to feel good about your accomplishments, your self-esteem will typically be in your boots. People around you tell you that you should stand up for yourself, but you know you can't really take her on without causing more problems for yourself.
If you get angry, she gets 10 times more angry. If you complain about something, she will give you a chronological list of the times when you have done that behaviour. Instead of apologising to you, she has you apologising to her.
One of the things that indicates that your wife is emotionally abusive is that she attacks you at the level of identity. She will call you pathetic, useless, worthless, stupid, a fool, crazy, a sinner and so on. These type of criticisms make you feel bad about who you are. She doesn't say that your behaviour or what you say is ridiculous she makes you feel ridiculous for saying or doing it. What this does is it destroys your sense of yourself, it makes you feel guilty for who you actually are. It makes you feel bad enough that you become willing to change in order to please her.
This is step one in destroying your personality and literally turning you into another person. You can read more about this false personality idea in this article here. And although it's step one, it doesn't mean it stops when they move on to step two. Step one continues throughout the relationship. She never gives up attacking you and destroying your own sense of who you actually are. This phase continues on a daily basis as the weeks turn into months turn into years.
People may say to you that they would not tolerate such behaviour, that they would leave the relationship. But you know that once you're caught in a situation like this, walking away is not a simple matter. In fact, these criticisms often make you want to step up to the plate and try harder to please her to gain her approval and recognition that you're actually a good person.
Emotionally abusive people are practised liars. They will lie even when it would be better for them to tell the truth. A good rule of thumb is that unless you have third-party evidence of what they're saying, then you can't believe a word they say. This includes their past history, information they convey to you from others and even details about their daily activities.
What you should be aware of here, too, is that even their criticism of you is often lies and distortions. For example, they do something to make you angry and then when you actually get angry they criticise you for having anger issues. This can happen often enough that you begin to believe that you may actually have anger issues. When she points out about your anger issues, you are actually angry. But what she's doing is starting the story in the middle. She leaves out the part about her saying or doing something that provokes you. She starts the story where you are actually angry. You are actually being set up. However, in the heat of the moment it can be difficult to recognise what's actually going on and it seems that she is actually right about you. Remember, she's provoking you to have a reaction and then criticising you when you actually have that reaction. The label she's attaching to you is not actually true.
Basically, you're not allowed to have your own wants and needs. If she approves of them, well and good, but otherwise you are not allowed to decide for yourself or do things because you want to do them. You have to run things by her first or she complains that you're making unilateral decisions, you are not involving her in the relationship and you're being selfish. Of course, she does all these things herself, puts herself first, ignores you, decides things and then tells you later what is actually happening and so on.
She's allowed to do these things and you are not. There are one set of rules for her and another set of rules for you. And she decides all the rules. She can even change the rules at a moments notice when it suits her.
These things indicate the power imbalance in the relationship. This is not a relationship of equals. There is a strict hierarchy in the family and you are most definitely not at the top. In fact, the things she wants come first, second and third and whatever you want comes a distant fourth. You may even be in a position where you have given up any expectation of having life be the way you want it to be and you have resigned yourself to the fact that you have to settle for second best.
Psychopaths and narcissists are driven to dominate and control others. Their relationships are based on coercion and exploitation. Any perceived challenge to their power and they will respond aggressively and often viciously.
You may have noticed that your wife can be cold and cruel. For someone who is of the fairer sex there are times when you suspect she doesn't actually have a heart. She can do things to you that are unbelievably hurtful and destructive. If you are dealing with a psychopath or a narcissist then your suspicions are actually true. These people don't experience emotions the way you do. It may be a shock to some to think of your wife as a psychopath or narcissist, because the idea you have of a psychopath doesn't fit with how you think about your wife.
However, if you are dealing with psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists, then you really need to learn what that means. It has profound effects on the relationship, on the way they treat you, how you have to protect yourself and what you need to do to recover from such a situation. It can be incredibly difficult initially to recognise that the person you are married to is a psychopath because of the nature of emotional abuse. But if you are dealing with a psychopath, once you begin to recognise it the previously inexplicable things that have happened in your relationship begin to make sense.
An interesting thing about this situation is that, even though they don't have emotions themselves, they are experts at manipulating the emotions of those around them. They know how to press your buttons to make you feel angry, sad, guilty, frustrated, happy, excited and they have no trouble pressing these buttons whenever it suits them.
When someone recognises that their wife is emotionally abusive it's often because they are realizing that they are on an emotional rollercoaster, there is constant chaos and drama in their lives and it doesn't matter how hard they try, they cannot stop it. They are beginning to realize it doesn't matter what they do, this woman is never going to change. And this is absolutely true about psychopaths and narcissists. The only change they undergo is an improvement in their manipulation skills over time. This is why it's important to recognise if you're actually dealing with a psychopath.
While we're on the topic, you're also made to feel bad for having feelings. She will say something that's vicious, and then accuse you of being too sensitive, or not been able to take a joke. This particular technique is the equivalent of being punched in the face and then been caught by the backhander, too.
You are a normal, healthy, feeling human being. It's normal to have emotions. It's one of the major features that separate us from most of the animal kingdom. Being made to feel bad about a fundamental part of being human is typical of manipulators. You can't stop having emotions but they set this as an impossible goal for you and then criticize you when you can't reach it. Of course, they make it seem like it's possible because, for all intents and purposes, they seem to be able to control their emotions.
This is a trick. They don't actually have emotions. But most people are not aware that this is a fundamental characteristic of a psychopath and they don't suspect that there are actually people on the planet who don't have emotions. This gives the manipulators a fantastic advantage, because they don't even have to hide that fact. Most people assume that other people do have emotions, even if they have difficulty expressing them.
Having said all that, the manipulators often have a vicious temper that they use a lot. Sometimes this is actually put on, to frighten you. The anger can come on very fast and it also disappears very fast, too, and they then act as if nothing happened while you are an emotional wreck for hours.
You can read about the signs of an abusive wife, what to do and what not to do with a controlling wife, being in a relationship with a female narcissist, recovering from an abusive relationship and how to divorce a sociopath.
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