I understand now that to even counsel together with him was a HUGE mistake because it revealed my weaknesses to him when I would pour out my heart at these sessions and that was exactly the kind of thing he was after–giving him more ways to attack. He even admitted a few weeks ago that he says things to get an emotional response from me. He quit his job, again, last week–the third one since May. What I am wondering is — is this a new form of emotional abuse.
He knows he will have the police to reckon with if he gets physical and he knows that neither me nor the children will tolerate his verbal rages so this certainly appears to be a new form of “torture”. We now have no income (other than my part time work) and no insurance. . . .
I know that I can no longer live this way and he is getting worse instead of better. What would you say to someone in my position? I just want peace in my house—my anxiety levels have increased tremendously and I truly hate how oppressive the atmosphere is here.
You have given a perfect example why we do not recommend couple’s counseling in cases of domestic violence. Often what has been said in counseling will be used against the victim when she returns home.
Not providing for one’s family by not working is another form of emotional abuse. Sometimes when an abuser knows that he will have to face the police if he physically abuses the victim, he will choose to increase the emotional abuse because there are no physical signs that would cause him to go to jail.
It sounds like you have come to the conclusion that you can no longer live this way. It is time to think of your options.
1. Stay and do nothing and nothing will change.
2. Look for a job for yourself in order to become financially independent of him.
3. Set a boundary with appropriate consequences with him giving him a length of time to obtain a job and remain on the job.
4. Find those that will be a support system for you and accountability for him.
5. Consider separation for a period of time to see if he will change.
6. Start doing things that you enjoy doing to help release the stress.