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Category: Mental Health
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if the spouse puts you down because you wont clean the house

Customer Question

if the spouse puts you down because you won't clean the house due to having bad health issues and knowing you are sick but calls you lazy and other names and putting you down and yells and screams at you, even in front of company, is that considered verbal abuse? he knows you have thyroid problems and severe depression bc of it and instead of being caring and understanding, he screams and yells and worries about his needs over yours, screams and calls you names b4 he would say he loves you. isn't that abuse?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

I can certainly feel like verbal abuse. Your husband may not be intending to be abusive, but is angry and highly frustrated with you. He obviously does not BELIEVE you are so ill with the thyroid problems and depression (I'm assuming hypothyroidism?) that it can be incapacitating. Therefore, he either doesn't know enough about the condition or believes that even if you have a serious case of it, you should 'somehow' overcome the symptoms and fulfill your role/responsibility that he feels you agreed to when you married him. So he could be ignorant or highly insensitive.

This is probably a likely sign that he has become disenchanted with your overall relationship?

How is your treatment for these conditions proceeding? Any progress? Are you taking antidepressants and going to a good psychotherapist?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, I have hypothyroidism. I've been battling depression for years. I hate the fact that I'm always sick. I'm 27 years old, I should be feeling great! I'm taking my thyroid meds and all but still feel awful. We've seperated before and had not spoke in a month and then he calls me out of the blue crying saying he misses me and all but why is he so mean to me? we have 3 kids and i take care of them all the time with my grandmothers help. hes at work all the time and doesnt know what i go thru. all my friends see it but him and i dont know what to do. we are high school sweethearts. i love him dearly but cant handle the mental abuse anymore. but i dont want a divorce and he doesnt either.
Expert:  AgapeDoc replied 5 years ago.
OK.... It looks like DoctorMichael has stepped out of this discussion. Let me see if I can help out.

I agree that this is most definitely verbal abuse! It seems that your question is what to do about it and you don't want a divorce.....

The key is to make him aware of how his words are do damaging to your relationship. I think this can be done - it will not be easy, but it is certainly something that has been done before with other couples I have worked with over the years. Having said that I will give you some tools to use, but I must point out that you would benefit from a therapist to coach you both through this. As I said, it won't be easy, but it is can certainly be accomplished.

OK.... Here are the tools. You need to sit down and have a discussion to establish clear expectations of what you both want from each other. This will be your time to provide materials in order to educate him on hypothyroidism and all the challenges that come with that. Once the expectation are established and agreed on, it will be easier for both of you and there will be more proactive things happening rather that reactive things (which is what you are dealing with now).

Next, set up some behavioral modifications to help shape each of your behaviors. In other words, lets say that after your agree that he uses words to hurt, from that point on when he uses words to hurt you point it out and he has to do something that he won't like. This will be something that you both agree on and you will have consequences for something also (remember that you both must agree on this).

This has worked for several couples over the years. I once had a man that had to buy his wife a pair of shoes if he said the F word seven times in a week. I once had a woman that had to wash her husbands car if she belittled him in front of his family or friends.

AsI said, it will have to be something that you agree on and it will very likely take the guidance of a therapist. In case he doesn't like the idea of a therapist, you may want to reframe the therapists role to that of a relationship coach.

In any event, if you both are willing to put forth effort, this is an issue that can be resolved for sure :)

I wish you all the best. If you need to discuss further, please don't hesitate to reply to this post. However, If I you are satisfied with my efforts, would you please click on the green accept button so I can get credit for my work.

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