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Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3707
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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How do I deal with an angry, verbally raging 72 year old

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How do I deal with an angry, verbally raging 72 year old husband: usually over small issues?
Desperate 70 year old wife.
Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

Bill :

I am sorry to hear about this .

Emotional and Verbal abuse is just as painful as physical abuse and you are going to need to learn how to address this and perhaps get some counseling to help you.

Bill :

Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Being married to someone who is verbally and emotionally abusive can devastate your relationship and your self esteem. No one should have endure a spouse's emotional or verbal attack, according to the CVS Caremark website. Although it is difficult to face such treatment daily, you can practice coping mechanisms that will help you deal with the situation.

Step 1

Tune out his yelling and screaming by directing your attention to something else or walking away. Let the words go right through you. Keep his criticisms, threats or demands from changing the way you think or feel. This is all abuse that you have done nothing to deserve.

Bill :

Step 2

Confront your husband. Letting him know that you don't wish to be treated poorly, humiliated or verbally knocked down will allow you to validate your feelings. EQI, a website that offers resources for those examining emotional issues, explains that when you are verbally or emotionally abused you may feel defenseless or invalidated. Try to move past those feelings and stand up for yourself. This newfound courage may surprise your husband and cause him to back off. Use your judgment, though. Sometimes confronting an emotional abuser can lead to violence.

Step 3

Seek help. If you are not ready to leave your husband but you are tired of being hurt verbally and emotionally, seek professional help for yourself. This can be a support group for domestic violence or a counselor or therapist. If you don't seek help for yourself you risk developing severe emotional problems, such as low self esteem, suicidal thoughts, depression and personality changes, according to the website Help Guide.

Step 4

Look into couples counseling. If you think it's appropriate for your situation, recommend it to your husband. Husbands who don't believe the marriage is in jeopardy may resist this suggestion. In addition, a couple's counselor may see the abuse as a mutual problem, rather than the abuser's, according to the website PsychPage. But if an abusive husband takes responsibility for his behavior and is committed to changing, the counseling could help, as it could allow both husband and wife to learn new ways of dealing with each other.

Step 5

Avoid bad coping mechanisms. In some cases emotional abuse can leave you feeling helpless and run down. Some women turn to self injury as a coping mechanism, according to Help Guide. Cutting the skin, developing an eating disorder or turning to drugs and alcohol compound the problem and give the abuser more ammunition to use against you.

Read more:

Bill :

The following link addresses emotional abuse in detail:

Bill :

I SEE YOU ARE IN CHAT- Have you considered getting some counseling to help YOU address this.

I don't believe your husband would be open to counseling based on what you have written?

Bill :

Women don’t have to live in fear:

In the US: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-***-***-**** (SAFE).
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Canada: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-***-***-****.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines and crisis centers.

Bill :

The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or that without your abusive partner you have nothing.

Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.

You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so.

Economic or financial abuse: A subtle form of emotional abuse

Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and he or she will frequently use money to do so.Economic or financial abuse includes:

  • Rigidly controlling your finances.

  • Withholding money or credit cards.

  • Making you account for every penny you spend.

  • Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).

  • Restricting you to an allowance.

  • Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.

  • Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly).

  • Stealing from you or taking your money.

Bill :

I see that you are typing


My husband would never agree to counseling but I am going to try to walk away from his raging at me all of the time instead of some of the time.

I may be looking at a separation of some sort...but it is certainly affecting my self-esteem. I also have taken pills to remove myself from the angst.

Right now I am (trying) to recover from a not too difficult surgery (4 days ago) so I will have to lie low for a while but then I will have to think about what to do next.

manu thanx,


Bill :

Rachel- You are most welcome- Reach out to the resources I have provided and get help for yourself. Your husband i s not likely to change. Getting the support of other women who have been through this will help. Just call the toll free number above

Bill and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you