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A Message from Michele
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I tend to agree with C-Dub and LH, emotionally abuse is very broad and the definition of what constitutes is much looser than many of us would like to admit (which used to include me). I think that given that physical abuse is so easily defined (and insidious) we don't want to associate ourselves with it by being labelled as emotionally abusive. I have given silent treatment, been passive aggressive and been manipulative before, I own that, however I have never and would never lay a hand on a partner/child or anyone for that matter, I abhor violence. My point is, I am pretty sure we have all done these emotionally abusive deeds, whatever the label, they hurt our loved ones. As LH said, the key is to learn no to continue doing these things, and the first step is to accept that we have done them and that they hurt people. I am so grateful I can recognise my previous shortcomings so that I can work on removing these flaws from my personality. Whether STBXW does is her own business, but unlikely as is the case for most WAS/WS.


Me: 39 W:41
T: 14 M: 11
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BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

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Originally Posted by OnlyBent
I tend to agree with C-Dub and LH, emotionally abuse is very broad and the definition of what constitutes is much looser than many of us would like to admit (which used to include me). I think that given that physical abuse is so easily defined (and insidious) we don't want to associate ourselves with it by being labelled as emotionally abusive. I have given silent treatment, been passive aggressive and been manipulative before, I own that, however I have never and would never lay a hand on a partner/child or anyone for that matter, I abhor violence. My point is, I am pretty sure we have all done these emotionally abusive deeds, whatever the label, they hurt our loved ones. As LH said, the key is to learn no to continue doing these things, and the first step is to accept that we have done them and that they hurt people. I am so grateful I can recognise my previous shortcomings so that I can work on removing these flaws from my personality. Whether STBXW does is her own business, but unlikely as is the case for most WAS/WS.


FTR, I do not disagree with this either. Though one man's emotional abuse may not be another. I think the term "abuse" gets thrown around way to easily these days. Not every disagreement between spouses involves "emotional abuse", though many after the R disintegrates make that claim. But yes, we can all do better in our interactions in our MRs, no question about it. In my own sitch, during MC, the MC pointed out that because my wife's LL was words of affirmation, that criticism was a double whammy for her. It was eye-opening. Nothing I was saying was untrue, but the affect on her was profound. I stop short of saying I was verbally abusive, but from her perspective she would certainly have said I was.

Funny, my W and I just had this conversation because there are some family issues that have come up with a recent family member's passing in her family. She said: "It is kind of like what you and I have discussed before. If you have a good R with someone than saying certain things certain ways is ok. But when the R is a bad one, you micro-focus on every thing that could be taken as negative." (Literally just came out of her mouth Tuesday night discussing the family issues.)

tldr;

Scott, you could certainly get introspective about your STBXW's accusations to see if there is room for improvement in the future.

Last edited by SteveLW; 06/10/21 12:03 PM.

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One of my goals when communicating with others is to clarify and reduce confusion. Words are abstractions that have different means to different people.

If I said I was sexually abused during my marriage, each of us would have a different picture of what that means. If others would probe me for clarification, they would find out I used the wrong term and sexually neglected might have been a better term.

Right now, you are dealing with hear say. If you were in the position to actually interact with her and gain some clarification, you could understand (or more correctly comprehend) what makes her feel emotionally abused.

Practicing new listening skills during this process is extremely important. Most likely you can't do it with her, but almost everyone else in your life will be easy to practice with.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Scott, my personal opinion is that you were not abusive based on what you've described here, and your wife is throwing that around to justify her leaving you. Typical rewriting of history. Giving someone the silent treatment, having an attitude or being passive/aggressive is not abuse, it's just one person being a jerk. How the other person interprets that is up to them, but they're not being abused by it. Actual verbal/ emotional abuse would be belittling someone, such as telling them they are stupid or ugly or fat or worthless. I seriously doubt you ever did any of those things.

I definitely agree with Steve that the word "abuse" is thrown around too much these days, it's a trigger word that people use to elicit an emotional response and sympathy for their position. If your wife tells people she was abused, they have NO CHOICE but to offer her sympathy and comfort because in this day and age doing anything else instantly brands you as a terrible person. Your only option in defending yourself is to take the high moral road. Show people through your actions that you're a person of integrity. Let them see who you really are.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

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Again I just want to clarify Scotty B that I am not saying you are emotionally abusive. I am just saying that I guarantee at some point you were emotionally abusive so your Ws point is valid.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Right now, you are dealing with hear say. If you were in the position to actually interact with her and gain some clarification, you could understand (or more correctly comprehend) what makes her feel emotionally abused.


I agree and since we are not talking and if we did this woudl be off limits, heresy is all I've got so I'm not sure it makes to much sense to invest time based on it.

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Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Scott, my personal opinion is that you were not abusive based on what you've described here, and your wife is throwing that around to justify her leaving you. Typical rewriting of history. Giving someone the silent treatment, having an attitude or being passive/aggressive is not abuse, it's just one person being a jerk. How the other person interprets that is up to them, but they're not being abused by it. Actual verbal/ emotional abuse would be belittling someone, such as telling them they are stupid or ugly or fat or worthless. I seriously doubt you ever did any of those things.


AS: I probably lean towards your take here. Contempt was something I was very aware of and avoided. My STBX has some things going on. There is a history of mental illness in the family. From my view she doesn't seem to be doing any better on her own. I know she claimed that she was being harassed at her new job and had to change roles because of it. She just looks for people to blame and accepts little responsibility herself.

When I have more time I'll tell you all about my weekend and this coming weekend as well. Its good stuff.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Scott, my personal opinion is that you were not abusive based on what you've described here, and your wife is throwing that around to justify her leaving you. Typical rewriting of history. Giving someone the silent treatment, having an attitude or being passive/aggressive is not abuse, it's just one person being a jerk. How the other person interprets that is up to them, but they're not being abused by it. Actual verbal/ emotional abuse would be belittling someone, such as telling them they are stupid or ugly or fat or worthless. I seriously doubt you ever did any of those things.


AS: I probably lean towards your take here. Contempt was something I was very aware of and avoided. My STBX has some things going on. There is a history of mental illness in the family. From my view she doesn't seem to be doing any better on her own. I know she claimed that she was being harassed at her new job and had to change roles because of it. She just looks for people to blame and accepts little responsibility herself.

When I have more time I'll tell you all about my weekend and this coming weekend as well. Its good stuff.


When you are unhappy with life it is easier to blame others. I have siblings that do that. "If X hadn't done Y, I would be happy." She will continue to struggle until she wakes up to the fact that her happiness is HERS. She can't look externally to anything to try to make herself happy. I struggled with this for years and was an addict because of it! The sad part is she has to discover this for herself, no one can help her see the light or tell her to.


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Steve, maybe I can give you her phone number?

Today is our 15 year wedding anniversary. It hit me kind of hard yesterday. Hitting hard today. Struggled to get out of bed both days. Not functioning well at work but I have a lot to do.

I did send her a text. I don't care if I should have ignored the day or not. It was for me and it was for her. I'm sure she's struggling to make sense of today too - or maybe not, who knows.

I said that "I am and sad and angry, but I didn't feel right walking by the day without acknowledging it." I said that "she was radiant on that day. And that it was a perfect day, mishaps and all." I said "It breaks my heart, but life moves forward. I do hope you have a blessed day."

I'm trying to process it all. I'm letting myself feel the sadness. I really appreciate whoever it was on here that said it made sense for me to feel sadness since I fought so long and hard to save the marriage. That gave me permission in a weird way to be sad.

Anyhow, I get my kids in the morning and we are headed to Florida Friday through Monday. We're going to hang on the beach, at the pool, and we're doing a jet ski dolphin tour which should be great. I'll be over this day very soon.

And, last weekend I had a great experience. My childhood friend and I went to FL to go fishing with a charter. I caught a tarpon, which was amazing as well as some other big fish. We also spent a day at the beach and had some good laughs and dinners.

The weekend of the 25th my son has a baseball tournament and then for the fourth of July I'm throwing a big party, which is going to be fun. So, I just get through today and then things will get back to my new normal. Just gotta get through this one.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
Today is our 15 year wedding anniversary. It hit me kind of hard yesterday. Hitting hard today. Struggled to get out of bed both days. Not functioning well at work but I have a lot to do.

Totally normal as this is still very new to you.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I said that "I am and sad and angry, but I didn't feel right walking by the day without acknowledging it."

You see the problem Scotty B is this text is all about how you feel and nothing about how she feels. She is gonna laugh and say "more of the same Scotty" If you HAD to send a text you could have said something like " I just wanted to acknowledge the day. I hope you have a good one". This is passive aggressive behavior that she translates into "emotional abuse".
Originally Posted by ScottB
I said that "she was radiant on that day.

Translation: You were radiant that day but you are no longer radiant because you divorced me. Passive aggressive.
Originally Posted by ScottB
" I said "It breaks my heart, but life moves forward. I do hope you have a blessed day."

More about how you feel then you finally say the right thing.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I'm trying to process it all. I'm letting myself feel the sadness. I really appreciate whoever it was on here that said it made sense for me to feel sadness since I fought so long and hard to save the marriage. That gave me permission in a weird way to be sad.

That was me. You don't need permission to feel sad. Feel it!
Originally Posted by ScottB
Anyhow, I get my kids in the morning and we are headed to Florida Friday through Monday. We're going to hang on the beach, at the pool, and we're doing a jet ski dolphin tour which should be great. I'll be over this day very soon.

Awesome stuff!
Originally Posted by ScottB
And, last weekend I had a great experience. My childhood friend and I went to FL to go fishing with a charter. I caught a tarpon, which was amazing as well as some other big fish. We also spent a day at the beach and had some good laughs and dinners.

Yep! You will have many more of these.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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