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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am married more than 20 years. My husband calls me really

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I am married more than 20 years. My husband calls me really bad names when he is mad. How can I get him to stop?
DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that you husband is calling you bad names, I can imagine how distressing this is for you

DoctorZ :

May I ask, is this a recent behavior from your husband or has been exhibiting this behavior of calling you bad names for a long period of time?

Customer:

long period of time.

DoctorZ :

Then this sounds like he is emotionally and verbally abusing you for a significant period of time. Have you considered going to couples counseling to help him understand that it hurts you when he calls you names like this.

DoctorZ :

You deserve more respect in your marriage and there is not excuse for a husband to emotionally and verbally abuse his wife

DoctorZ :

In addition, I highly recommend this book

Customer:

years ago we tried couples therapy for a short time. it appeared to make things worse. he has done individual therapy at times. Neither stopped the behavior.

DoctorZ :

I understand that he may get angry, but he has to be able to express his anger in a more acceptable and assertive manner. Here is an example from this worksheet

DoctorZ :

Have you considered leaving the relationship to escape the abuse?

Customer:

i have read many books. i read that one.

DoctorZ :

That is good that you have read many books and have tried to change his behavior, but if he is not willing to change his behavior he may need more insensitive therapy that he does for a long period of time or medication to help control his anger impulses

Customer:

i have thought about leaving many times. i stay for my son.

DoctorZ :

I understand that you stay for your son, but if he sees this verbal and emotional abuse that your husband inflicts upon you he may think it is okay and then he will do it himself when he is an adult and I am pretty sure you do not want him to model this behavior.

DoctorZ :

I think if you left him, your son will be better off and will learn how to treat women with respect

Customer:

he does it only when we are alone. i have come to accept he will not stop. what is the best way for me to react? Say nothing? Pretend it does not hurt me? i am just looking for the best coping mechansim.

DoctorZ :

I do not think you should ignore you it at all. I think you should be assertive and tell him how you feel and that if he wants to say something he should say it in a respectful manner like you deserve. If you just ignore or pretend like it does not hurt you, then he will just continue to do it and escalate. Also if you say something it will be a way to vent for you and that can be cathartic.

DoctorZ :

I would not yell at him or call him names though because that will just escalate his behavior more. Instead be calm and in a normal tone of voice just say that what he says hurts you and that you do not appreciate it and then just walk away before he can try to respond

Dr. Z and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you