Is there really a way to deal with cruelty? When you marry, you naturally expect your spouse to be loving and caring towards you. But what if that never happens? Losing the initial fizz in your romance may be okay. In fact, that happens with all couples, at some point. But what if the person you loved starts behaving completely different towards you? What if that love that once was is now replaced with cruelty, arrogance and even hatred? What can be done?
Should you even stay in such a marriage?
The first thing you need to do is try to understand the reason behind this change of behavior.
There could be many reasons for this. It could be that your partner is facing problems at work, is going through financial troubles or something else. Sometimes even substance abuse can be the reason. Did you know that more than 20 people per minute are physically abused by their partners? If physical violence is this common, what about other types of abuse? The numbers are much bigger there.
However, if you still have faith in the relationship and feel that things can work out between you and your spouse or that matters can still be repaired, then here are some ideas for you. Brick by brick, try to rebuild your relationship with them and start from the very beginning. Many people have been through such concerns before; so believe that things can be remedied with some effort.
Here are some solutions that you could consider:
1. Discuss their issues and try to help
An emotionally abusive husband will often use language that is commanding and bossy, treating you as a subordinate to him. It is a good idea to pinpoint the harsh statements used while talking to him. Do not allow them to emotionally abuse you. On the other hand, emotionally abusive wives use “servant-like” language while communicating with their husbands. Imperious and short sentences are common. Restrictions are the most dominant.
Try discussing these concerns with them in a non-violent, logical and constructive way. Also, if there is a problem underlying such behavior, you should discuss that as well. Typically, there could be two types of problems:
- The ones that involve you and your family
- The ones that do not
If it is the latter, you should explore thoroughly all the things that are bothering them. Offer to help as much as you can in exchange for mutual love and respect. If it is the former, you should seek professional help.
2. Reach out for professional help
Many couples believe that asking for professional help means discussing your privacy with someone new. However, there are many professional therapists who have successfully been able to help hundreds of couples.
It may be difficult to talk your spouse into this. Explain to them that it is for the best. After all, being cruel and abusive tends to affect both partners after some time. Therapists offer professional advice as well as some really interesting scenarios. You will go through a series of imaginary situations and role-plays. This will make you reconsider your love and start looking at your relationship from a different perspective.
A therapist can also make sure that there is a clear line drawn between mutual combat and any type of abusive behavior. When the line is drawn, they will also determine the level of “power difference” that exists in the marriage.
If you find that a therapist could not help, it is time to move on to a new one. It is not unusual that this happens. Perhaps their methods were not suitable enough for you but another professional can surely help.
3. Discuss the future of your relationship
If you feel that your efforts still did not bring about any change in their cruel attitudes and tendencies, then it is time you seriously think about discontinuing the relationship. Separation, especially after many years of marriage, is difficult. No matter how cruel your spouse was, there may even be feelings of regret. Your emotions may tell you that it is perhaps not the right thing. However, as a victim of their cruelty, you have every right to leave them. Remember that you deserve to be in a loving, committed and a happy relationship. Move on to make this a possibility for you in the future.
Long-term consequences of abusive behavior
Cruelty can become violence and violence can lead to horrible consequences. The cruel partner may eventually indulge in physical abuse and make you go through awful psychological traumas. That is why any form of reconciliation is out of the question.
It is important to know that you are not alone in this. One in three women and one in four men have been victims of abuse by their cruel partners. Once everything is over, it is important to see what your marriage could have become if you had stayed together.
To sum up, when you have a cruel spouse it is important to be the one who does not lose the nerve. Seek professional help as soon as possible. If everything fails, the only logical step is to divorce.