Dear Njigirl,

Please help me before I do something that I will regret. I am so pissed at my husband and his public display of authority. Whenever we are amongst other friends or just other people he acts so bullish as if he owns me. I am very aggravated right about now with the way he treats me outside. 

On Tuesday we attended a function sponsored by my firm. Everyone was doing their best to have fun but my husband was more interested in embarrassing me so he will then show how much of a man he really is. He does it all the time but this time I am completely fed up.

Dear Cynthia,

I am sorry that you have to deal with an insecure man. It is only an insecure person that goes around tooting his own horn. When he misbehaved in the holiday party did you try to admonish him? You could have said; “Whom are you talking to in that manner? It better not be me because you don’t want me to expose your inadequacies here right”? I am sure he would have been taken aback and would not bother you the rest of the day.

It is also obvious that he does not have a lot of respect for females. You can fix such people by simply ignoring him. I don’t know how long you have been together and how long you have taken this type of abuse. Has it always been this way?

You know you can actually stop his abusive behavior by the manner you wish to address it. Look at these five ways that you can change your reaction to his verbal abusive behavior.

Related News

1. Manage your emotions and understand that you will be dealing with three different stages of the situation: the activating event, your beliefs about the activating event, and the resulting feelings or behaviors from you. Ask yourself; what just happened when he began to talk to you in that condescending tone?

Learn to not jump from the event straight to the feelings/behaviors without considering your beliefs about the event. If you can change your beliefs about the abusive event then your emotions and behaviors will change, too.
You will then see why he does what he does and you will be better able to deal with the verbal abuse.

2. There is a difference between healthy negative emotions and unhealthy ones. Do not be caught up on unhealthy negative emotions like rage, self-hatred, and anxiety. Instead, create healthy negative emotions, experience feelings like frustration, disappointment and sadness when your husband begins his verbal abusive behavior.

The healthy negative feelings are appropriate (no one would be happy about being abused), but the unhealthy feelings make you focus on counter productive behaviors.
The feeling of rage and anger don’t empower you to act. You need to act in the circumstance so that you can deal with the situation in an objective manner.

3 Set personal boundaries on behaviors you will not accept from other people and enforce them. Personal boundaries grind down over the course of a verbally abusive relationship as he gains access to your safe zones. Setting personal boundaries mostly reminds you to be on the lookout for abusive behaviors, recognize them, and protect yourself from further emotional or mental harm.

4. It is important you have a close knit of friends that you can tell what is going on. These people will be your strength and support system. Make sure that you don’t have anyone who tries to undermine your feelings regarding what is going on.
5. Do not hold or bottle up the abuse. As it occurs, speak out. It is also possible that your spouse does not realize that they are hurting you by speaking in the manner that causes you pain. Learn to address the abuse in real time, as it will empower to do some of the things above.

Readers please note that when the verbal abuse turns physical, you must change course and take a different course of action.