Have you been reading my blogs about why he is emotionally abusive?
Are you tuning into the potential pain he is in?
Do you a have a better understanding of why he acts the way he does? If so, you may be asking “what can I do about it?”
Understandably, these are issues he is struggling with that he will ultimately need to work through.
Though you have a big part in helping him address his fears and pain in a healthy way.
Here is how you can help…
Try to discern his feelings.
He may approach you in an angry, defensive manner, thus following his well known dysfunctional pattern. You then have a choice to make. Do you match his defensiveness OR do you chose to help him determine his feelings. Questions such as “what are you really feeling right now?” or “can you tell me what is making you angry?” These questions could really soften him and allow to share from a vulnerable place.
How can you help him feel safe to share?
This may sound like a strange question, considering you are most likely the one who has felt unsafe. Though men are scared to open up and due to feeling unsafe in the past due to your actions or from issues in his childhood. You can ask him what will help him to feel safe to share his feelings. Then listen and take in what he suggests. Often it may be as simple as you talking from your feelings that creates safety for him. Phrases such as “I feel scared, alone” create a connection while “I feel like you..” can make a man feel threatened.
Have firm boundaries.
Don’t just let him throw anger and accusations at you. If you work hard at trying to pull him out and he keeps battling, set a boundary. A powerful way to communicate this is “I really would like to hear you, but I cannot tolerate being spoken to with anger. I would be happy to speak to you when we can both talk calmly with each other.”
Make marriage counseling a must.
These patterns of emotional abuse WILL NOT change without an intervention. Marriage counseling will help you each identify your feelings and pain in a safe environment. A good counselor will also be able to confront the dysfunctional patterns and behaviors in your interactions.
At the Marriage Recovery Center we offer 3 day marriage Intensives to break through this abusive cycle, helping you to create safety, boundaries, and an incredible connection between the two of you.