Sadly enough, I have met women who have accepted their husbands’ verbal abuse as normal, or something to be expected and somehow tolerated. This is often because these women were use to being verbally abused. They likely had experienced the sting of verbal abuse during childhood; they had their hearts and self esteem pierced regularly by the harsh words of parents or other caregivers.
The wife, often someone you could label as codependent and a people pleaser, accepted her husband’s verbal abuse in large part because it was familiar. But then, as a codependent woman, she also looked to her husband for a sense of identity or meaning for her life. In doing so, she had forsaken her own personal power. Rather, she gave him the power to use her own behavior as his excuse for his verbal abuse.
The verbally abusive husband would tell his wife that if she would only change such and such, then things would be okay. Indeed, he wouldn’t feel compelled to shout obscenities at her. He wouldn’t feel compelled to call her names. He wouldn’t feel compelled to denigrate everything she did, either.
Too many women accept men’s excuses for their verbal abuse. They don’t realize that some men will always engage in verbal abuse no matter how closely their wives adhere to these men’s wishes and demands.
Yes, some men will always come up with things their wives did or didn’t do that are fitting as excuses for their abuses.
Perhaps the woman didn’t do this week the very thing that last week, he condemned her for doing. In other words, with this type of man, the rules appear to always be changing. The thing is, this type of man doesn’t live by the rules his codependent wife does. Because 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 he see she is practically killing herself to do so?
These nice codependent wives remain committed to their pleasing behaviors because they most certainly are motivated to try and fulfill their husbands’ desires. The thing is, many of these men use verbal abuse and other forms of abuse to control their wives. They do all this quite intentionally.
The man displaying pathological levels of narcissism won’t care if his verbal abuse causes his wife immense emotional pain. The narcissist lacks empathy, after all. He only wants to have things his way. He sees his poor codependent wife as an object to be used to serve him. He is king while she should play the role of his most grateful and adoring subject.
The narcissistic feel entitled to use verbal abuse as well as emotional abuse, economic abuse, social abuse, and sexual abuse to control their spouses. Now, most of them skip the use of physical abuse since that can get them into trouble with the law. Besides, the other forms of abuse get them the results they desire, and without raising others’ eyebrows.
When a man is suffering from unhealthy levels of narcissism, he will probably continually march forward engaging in his abusive ways. He won’t offer apologies. Also, if the wife tries to explain how his behavior hurts her, again, he will likely blame her. He will soon be in her face and shouting that because of her behavior, she actually gave him little choice.
And what if she tries to step beyond her codependency, and she tells him she won’t accept his verbal abuse any longer? Well again, he might puff out his chest, glare at her, and escalate the extent and force of his abusive words. He also might break into a narcissistic rage: How dare she try and make the rules? Doesn’t she understand her place?
Now, there are some men out there who might come from backgrounds similar to their codependent wives. In other words, they were also verbally abused by the adults in their lives. These husbands have essentially modeled the bad communication skills of their parents. When they realize the emotional pain their verbal abuse is causing their cherished wives, they might well try to change their ways. And indeed, these are the men who can often be helped immensely by anger management classes, couples communication classes, or therapy.
These men will set aside their excuses for their verbal abuse. But don’t expect the same from those men whose verbal abuse is fueled by narcissism instead. Verbal abuse is just too good a tool for these men to accomplish what they want. And of course, they want to control their wives and have them pleasing them, not themselves.
By the way, the narcissist is the one who professes it is better to be feared than loved. Did you hear your husband say that, but you thought he was joking? Well, think again. Furthermore, you’d better believe that he will always have an excuse for his verbal abuse. However, it isn’t going to be the real one.
He might 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 how pleasing a codependent wife you are.
Might it be time to remove the blinders of codependency, and then remind yourself there is never an excuse for abuse anyway? certainly, though, blaming you makes no sense-except it always will in the mind of the narcissist.