How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask psychlady Your Own Question
psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
psychlady is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband & I have been separated 18 months. I have been

This answer was rated:

My husband & I have been separated 18 months. I have been seeking advice on how to deal with what happened in our marriage, and have been told that what was going on was mental abuse. My husband would tell me that I was "sick in the head", "ill inside", "selfish", had incorrect emotional reactions as in crying when he used to go on & on for hours. I'm asking him to try and get help for his problems but he is saying that I am the one with the problems, and that I am making myself out to be a victim. I feel trapped as we have two young children who he needs to see on a regular basis. He calls every day wanting to know what I've been doing. I feel as though I can't escape him and his control even though we no longer live together. His behaviour when angry is frightening and I'm so afraid of how he will behave around the children when I say I want a divorce.

Although I can understand your concern, children are better off in a house with one happy parent than a house with two who are abusive. Children do better when there is stability and happiness. I wouldn't let him keep me from getting a divorce. You deserve to be happy. It sounds like you are fearful of a divorce but one that is sorely needed. First consult a lawyer to see how a divorce can be carried out. then start making plans for your stability. I would say that marriage counseling should start first but I am not in favor of that if there is verbal abuse. You need to take a step forward by carrying out your decision. The more the kids are around someone abusive the more they will learn that it is normal

If this has been helpful press accept

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
This is very helpful, thank you. My concern is the children. I suspect that it will take me years to recover. Is it mental abuse? There are so many terrible times in my memory, he would even follow me from room to room whilst I was pregnant with our 2nd child shouting until I would start crying. I would beg him to stop for the sake of our 1st child but he wouldn't. On 2 occasions I started to have contractions and had to go to hospital. I have been thumped on the leg but he says that I am distorting the truth. I feel almost as though I'm going mad. I feel very isolated due to all that is going on. People see an incredibly charming and helpful man, no one else has been witness to his outbursts. He says that if I allow him a loving and supportive environment to try to change in he would do that. Could he change? If we do divorce I fear for my children visiting him at weekends. Will they also be subject to how I have been treated? If so shouldn't I try to protect them from this?

This is definitely mental or emotional abuse. Without a doubt. If he touches you in anger even if you are not injured this is physical abuse. Mental abuse will escalate and you will be on the receiving end of something more than you already know. Victims always feel isolated. If not the abuser will make sure they are isolated. The abuser always makes it the victim's fault. It doesn't matter what he portrays to the world. Although an abuser can harm the children it is very common that it sticks with women. You and the ones after you

If he got counseling he would have to be super motivated to get better. Abusers usually are not because they don't think they have a problem. With that thought they do not get better. Change is possible but not probable. Seek instead a separation and work out the rest.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you. There was so much going on ... I used to be told that I was controlling, manipulative, psychotic, that I had no values, would bring our children up with no values, if I cried it was all in my head, I was too sensitive, I could choose how to react to him, I would be a bad mother because I didn't like myself. Crazy stuff. If I asked him how he could say these things afterwards I would be told that I had taken it out of context, was playing the victim. Once I started to tell him that I thought that we would be better off apart he started to say that I was putting myself first, was ruining our girls lives as they would be separated from their father at a crucial stage of their development. I fear that I have to divorce, or I would go mad. It will involve selling the family home, moving away from where we live etc. I feel so lonely, overwhelmed by the task of working & bringing up 2 tiny girls, & trapped as he calls every day, sees our girls every week.
How would you recommend keeping him at bay in the future, as he will have contact with our children? He calls every day at present to ask about our girls but often uses phone conversations to say or insinuate something hurtful, which leaves me uneasy for hours afterwards.

You need to appreciate who you are for your strengths not from someone's ego and need to dominate someone's self esteem. They always convince the other person's that it is their fault. The abuser does no wrong. You should consider a stable environment where you can be happy. You cannot allow him to treat you or your children this way; however that can happen. If he is blaming you he won't change and that is what your children will see. He is generally hurtful and you don't deserve that. Don't tolerate it

psychlady and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your help. Here's hoping that I can grow stronger. I am so against divorce but can't live with this situation any longer.
You do what is best for you.