“When We Don’t Fight, He Is a Sweetheart”: Wife Seeks Help Amidst Marriage Struggle, Expert Advises

“When We Don’t Fight, He Is a Sweetheart”: Wife Seeks Help Amidst Marriage Struggle, Expert Advises

  • A woman is seeking advice from a professional as she is struggling to make a decision to stay or leave her marriage
  • The wife said her husband, who is mostly loving, can sometimes be verbally abusive towards her in front of their children
  • Relationship expert Penny Holburn said being with an abusive partner in any way is unhealthy
Anonymous wrote: "I've been married to a hard-working man for the past 15 year years. My husband has never hit me, but I feel like he causes more damage with his words. He's very verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative. When I try to point it out, he gaslights me.
"We have two beautiful kids together, whom he has never abused either verbally or physically, but he gets ugly with me in front of them. When we don't fight, he is a sweetheart and not verbally abusive, but last week my son told my daughter she's 'stupid'.

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"I feel like they now think it's okay to be mean to each other because they see their dad doing it to me. Do I leave or is there a way we can deal with someone with these personality traits? Help me, how do I fight for my marriage and protect my kids?"
A woman who has a verbally abusive husband wants to save her marriage and kids.
A woman who struggled with a verbally abusive husband wants expert advice. Image @fizkes
Source: Getty Images

Expert says verbal abuse is extremely harmful in a relationship

Penny Holburn is an experienced coach specialising in life, career, and business coaching. She has been successfully running her own coaching business, Penny Holburn Life Coaching, since 2010.

Speaking to Briefly News, relationship expert Penny Holburn said being with a verbally abusive partner is unhealthy as it will have a negative effect on your mental health and self-esteem.

"There are lots of harmful effects of being married to someone who is verbally abusive. A verbally abusive partner will lower your self-esteem, rob you of your confidence, teach you to carry out the wishes of everyone else. You lose yourself in the process. You can also find yourself living in constant fear of what he may say or how he may respond to any little thing."

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The best solution is to leave the relationship or marriage

Penny said the best solution is to leave because abusive spouses are unlikely to change their behaviour. In this situation, it's even worse because kids are involved and are starting to pick up the bad behaviour and practise it.

"If someone is married to someone who is abusive in any way, my advice is to leave. You can try and see if he is prepared to work on himself and change, but abusive spouses usually never change. As you have noted, the harmful effects are also experience by your children. Your children, boys and girls, will grow up thinking this is how relationships work and how a normal family is."

The ultimate decision lies with the woman

The expert concluded by saying the ball is in the woman's court. She must think about the consequences of her husband's verbal abuse of her and their children. She advised her to also speak to people around her to help her reach the conclusion.

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"So think seriously about the consequences of being with a verbally abusive spouse and whether you want to continue in this marriage. And also think about the consequences and role modelling that is happening for your children. Seek advice from mentors, friends, doctors, around you and make your decision."

Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general and is not the views of Briefly News. It is not intended to influence a reader's decisions. Readers are advised to seek professional help before making any decisions.

Do you have a story to tell? Want an expert's advice? Please email us at contact@briefly.co.za with 'Ask an expert' in the subject line.

Husband wants divorce, but wife believes marriage can be saved

In a previous story, Briefly News wrote about a husband who wanted a divorce from his wife as soon as their kids went to college. The woman believed that their marriage could still be saved.

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Relationship expert Penny Holburn suggests that the woman have a heart-to-heart with her husband and remind him why they fell in love in the first place.

Source: Briefly News

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