Sadly, I have met women who have accepted verbal abuse from their husbands as normal, or something that was expected and somehow tolerated. This is often because these women were used to being verbally abused. They had probably experienced the sting of verbal abuse during childhood; their hearts and self-esteem were regularly pierced by harsh words from their parents or other caregivers.
The wife, often someone you might label codependent and people-pleasing, accepted her husband’s verbal abuse in large part because it was familiar to him. But later, as a codependent woman, she also looked to her husband for a sense of identity or meaning for her life. In doing so, he had abandoned his own personal power. Rather, she gave him the power to use his own behavior as an excuse for his verbal abuse.
The verbally abusive husband would tell his wife that if she changed this or that, then things would be fine. In fact, he wouldn’t feel compelled to yell obscenities at her. He would not feel compelled to insult her. Nor would he feel obliged to denigrate everything she did.
Too many women accept men’s excuses for their verbal abuse. They do not realize that some men will always engage in verbal abuse no matter how closely their wives adhere to the wishes and demands of these men.
Yes, some men always come up with things that their wives did or did not do that are suitable as excuses for their abuse.
Perhaps the woman did not do exactly what he condemned her for doing this week. In other words, with this type of man, the rules seem to be always changing. The point is that this type of man is not governed by the rules that his codependent wife makes. Since she doesn’t understand this, she will remain confused. Why does he keep verbally abusing her when she tries so hard to please him? Can’t you see that she’s practically killing herself to do it?
These nice codependent wives remain committed to their nice behaviors because they are certainly motivated to try and satisfy their husbands’ desires. The point is that many of these men use verbal abuse and other forms of abuse to control their wives. They do all of this quite deliberately.
The man who shows pathological levels of narcissism will not care if his verbal abuse causes his wife immense emotional pain. The narcissist lacks empathy, after all. He just wants to do things his way. He sees his poor codependent wife as an object to serve him. He is the king, while she should play the role of his most appreciative and adoring subject.
Narcissists feel entitled to use verbal abuse, as well as emotional abuse, financial abuse, social abuse, and sexual abuse to control their spouses. Now, most of them skip the use of physical abuse, as that can get them in trouble with the law. In addition, the other forms of abuse get them the results they want and without raising the eyebrows of others.
When a man suffers from unhealthy levels of narcissism, he is likely to continually advance and engage in his abusive ways. He will not apologize. Also, if the wife tries to explain how her behavior hurts her, again, she is likely to blame her. It will soon be in her face and screaming that due to her behavior, she didn’t actually give him much of a choice.
What if you try to move beyond your codependency and tell you that you will no longer accept your verbal abuse? Well, again, he could puff out his chest, look at her, and increase the scope and force of her abusive words. She could also erupt into a narcissistic rage: How dare she try to lay down the rules? Doesn’t she understand her place?
Now, there are some men who may have similar backgrounds as their codependent wives. In other words, they were also verbally abused by the adults in their lives. These husbands have essentially modeled their parents’ poor communication skills. When they realize the emotional pain that their verbal abuse is causing their beloved wives, they may try to change their ways. And indeed, these are the men who can often be helped tremendously with anger management classes, couples communication classes, or therapy.
These men will put aside their excuses for their verbal abuse. But don’t expect the same from men whose verbal abuse is fueled by narcissism. Verbal abuse is too good of a tool for these men to get what they want. And, of course, they want to control their wives and have them please them, not themselves.
By the way, the narcissist is the one who professes that it is better to be feared than loved. Did you hear your husband say that, but did you think he was joking? Well, think again. Also, you better believe that you will always have an excuse for your verbal abuse. However, it will not be the real one.
He may continue to blame you or your behavior for his verbal abuse, but you will continue to have a verbally abusive relationship no matter how good or accommodating you are as a codependent wife.
Could it be time to take off your codependency blinders and then remind yourself that there is never an excuse for abuse anyway? Certainly, however, blaming him does not make sense, except that he will always have it on the narcissist’s mind.