My Husband Is Verbally Abusive When He Drinks: Why Is My Husband So Mean To Me When He Drinks

Anger and abuse in relationships are about blame: "I feel bad, and it's your fault." Even when resentful, angry, or emotionally abusive people recognize their behavior, they are likely to blame it on their partners: "You push my buttons," or, "I might have overreacted, but I'm human, and look what you did!"

Angry and abusive partners tend to be anxious by temperament. From the time they were young children, they've had a consistent sense of dread that things will go badly and they will fail to cope. They try to control their environment to avoid terrible feelings of failure and inadequacy.

The strategy of trying to control others fails even if they are powerful, for the simple reason that the primary cause of their anxiety is within them, not in their environment. It springs from one of two sources: a heavy dread of failure or fear of harm, isolation, and deprivation.

The Silent Abuser

Not all emotional abuse involves shouting or criticism. More common forms are "disengaging" - the distracted or preoccupied spouse - or "stonewalling" - the spouse who refuses to accept anyone else's perspective.

While verbal abuse and other forms of emotional abuse can be roughly equal between men and women, stonewallers are almost exclusively male. Biology and social conditioning make it is easier for men to turn off emotions. The corpus callosum - the part of the brain that connects its two hemispheres is smaller in men, making it easier for them to shut out information from the emotionally-oriented right hemisphere. On top of that slight biological difference, social conditioning promotes the analytical, unemotional male on the one hand or the strong silent type on the other.

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The partner who stonewalls may not overtly put you down. Nevertheless, he punishes you for disagreeing with him by refusing even to think about your perspective. If he listens at all, he does so dismissively or impatiently.

The disengaging husband says, "Do whatever you want, just leave me alone." He is often a workaholic, couch potato, womanizer, or obsessive about sports or some other activity. He tries to deal with his inadequacy about relationships by simply by not trying - no attempt means no failure.

Both stonewalling and disengaging tactics can make you feel:

o Unseen and unheard

o Unattractive

o Like you don't count

o Like a single parent

What All Forms of Abuse Have in Common

Whether overt or silent, all forms of abuse result from failures of compassion; he/she stops caring about how you feel. Compassion is the lifeblood of marriage; failure of compassion is its heart disease.

It would be less hurtful if your partner never cared about how you felt. But when you were falling in love, he/she cared a great deal. So now it feels like betrayal when he or she doesn't care or try to understand. That's not the person you married. Failure of compassion can feel like abuse.

Harmful Adaptations to Anger and Abuse: Walking on Eggshells

The most insidious aspect of abuse is not the obvious nervous reactions to shouting, name-calling, criticism or other demeaning behavior. It's the adaptations you make to try to prevent those painful episodes. You walk on eggshells to keep the peace or a semblance of connection.

Women are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of walking on eggshells due to their greater vulnerability to anxiety. Many brave women engage in constant self-editing and self-criticism to keep from "pushing his buttons." Emotionally abused women can second guess themselves so much that they feel as though they have lost themselves in a deep hole.

Recovery from walking on eggshells requires removing focus from repair of your relationship and your partner and placing it squarely on your personal healing. The good news is that the most powerful form of healing comes from within you. You can draw on your great inner resources by reintegrating your deepest values into your everyday sense of self. This will make you feel more valuable, confident, and powerful, regardless of what your partner does.

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For any marriage (or relationship) to work successfully, you must see to it that three basic needs of your spouse are met. The honest truth is that a marriage is more than a partnership. It is a commitment to each other. You aren't just roommates, you are married.

Fulfillment of these needs will give depth to your marriage. To be a successful mate, you need to seek to fulfill these needs. They are:

1. You need to feel Needed

2. You need to feel Appreciated

3. You need to feel Wanted

Please don't assume that these three needs are similar. They aren't. A person can feel appreciated, but not needed or wanted. A person can feel wanted, but not needed or appreciated.

For example, I could WANT a candy bar, but I don't NEED it, nor do I really APPRECIATE it as I may take the candy bar for granted. In this case it is complete urge, or desire. Now, I could NEED vegetables, but neither APPRECIATE them, nor WANT them. I can also APPRECIATE the value of, say, bottled water, but have no NEED for it, nor WANT it.

The same things can happen in a marriage. I know of husbands that appreciate all their wives do, express gratitude, but really don't feel that they need it, nor do they really want it. In some cases, I have counseled wives that feel they need their husbands, but in such a utility way that they don't desire to be with them, nor appreciate all they do. Let's look at each one and, if you will, allow me to give you some good advice.


There has never been a marriage, ordained by God, where the couple has no need of each other. If such a situation exists, you don't have a mate, you have a roommate. It is essential that you convince your mate that you need him/her.

In fact, you may want to make it a rule never to say, "I don't need you!" That is very damaging to the marriage psychology. If you don't need your spouse, they will begin to feel like they are useless, unwanted, and unnecessary. Many divorces occur because of this.

One of the reasons for marriage is so that your mate can make up for your weaknesses. It is actually quite amazing how God often pairs couples together. Often your weaknesses are your spouse's strengths. The honest truth is-you need your spouse!

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Some Good Advice:

- Constantly be looking for ways to express how much you need your mate.

- Don't assume that they know. Tell them.

- Pin point the strengths of your mate and consult with them in those areas. Follow their advice!


Mankind has a need to feel appreciated. We are just made that way. Everyone likes it when someone recognizes your labor, your effort, your time, or your investment. It becomes very frustrating to work for someone that never seems to notice what you do. Oh, they might need your work, they might even want it, but they don't seem to care.

So too can a marriage get this way.

One mistake that we make with children is that we give them more attention when they mess up then when they do right. Some children will do wrong just to get their parents attention. This can happen in a marriage. Oh, the wife can keep the house clean six out of seven days, but on that last day, she fails and the husband lets her know about it. Why could the husband not praise her for the six successful days?

If you praise someone for their effort, they will tend to duplicate the effort. Why? Because it was noticed and appreciated.

So what is wrong with writing thank you notes to your spouse? When is the last time you thanked your husband for going to work? When is the last time you did something special for your wife simply because she took care of the kids?

When you begin taking things for granted it will have a negative impact on your marriage. It amazes me that a man will go to unusual lengths when he is dating his future wife, but after he gets her, the dates stop, the notes stop, and the flowers stop coming.

Prove your appreciation!

Some Good Advice:

- Write notes of appreciation to your spouse

- Have weekly dates (keeps the marriage invigorated)

- Do special things on non-special days. (ex. Such as bringing flowers to your wife on a random day, just to tell her you appreciate her.)

- Say the words, "Thank you." Even for little things.

- Look for things that your spouse does on a regular basis, things you simply expect, and thank your spouse for it.

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This is not the same thing as feeling needed. There is a difference. You can want what you don't need and you can need what you don't want. Just ask any kid. Part of the problem is that so many times we are unwilling to ask for help.

Learn to ask for help. It's okay to show 'weakness' in this area-especially around your spouse. If your spouse thinks, "He wants me!" It gives her purpose, reason, and even direction.

But if he thinks, "She doesn't want me." Then he gets frustrated and discouraged. It is possible that you NEED help and would APPRECIATED it if you got it, but don't WANT it.

Let me ask you another question. You have talents don't you? Don't you enjoy employing those talents on behalf of someone that wants it? Of course you do! Sometimes when you try to force your help on someone they resent it. In such a case you feel unwanted.

Learn to ask your spouse for help. Prove that you want them!

Some Good Advice:

- Don't worry about showing a weakness in front for your spouse. Ask for their help.

- Even if you don't need something, it never hurts to ask for it to show that you want him/her.

- Ask for advice from your mate, even if you already know the answer.

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Marital problems can be frustrating for both sides, especially if you are working hard towards making it work. There is a lot of stress for marriages in all stages that can include children, stress, financial problems, emotional problems, and a lack of communication. Working through marriage problems is a constant challenge for many couples and can begin early on in the marriage or even after ten years of happiness. Marriages with extreme problems should seek immediate counseling, but the first step for any martial problems starts with acknowledgment.

There are many causes of marriage trouble and here is a short list of common factors and how you can work on them together.

1. Lack of communication. Somewhere along the lines there was a little too much work and too little time. Simply talking out your stress and worries can greatly affect how your relationship flows. If there are too many rocky ups and downs, perhaps its time to spend some time talking about the destructive parts of your marriage and what you can do together to fix them.

2. Lack of sexual intimacy. Like how communication faded away, the intimate and romantic moments can slowly fade away into the daily grind of work, finances, cleaning, and children. But make no mistake, woman want to be loved and so do men. If it feels like a chore or it feels boring, spice up the night. Visit a hotel together after a special night out and sprinkle the bed with rose petals. It can change up the daily routine and reintroduce your love life. Fake petals will do just fine.

3. Arguments that continue. These just spread bad will between couples and are detrimental to marriages. Getting too emotional and bottling up the rage is not only bad for your health, but it can often times leave your significant other confused and overwhelmed by arguments that happened months ago. Make sure to let arguments die off. Learn to talk it out without yelling and without the put downs.

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4. Not being responsive. Sometimes, the daily workload can be overwhelming. People develop a habit of shutting down at home and being non-responsive to their spouses. Know that marriage is about two people, not one. Don't be too selfish and always remember that your lover is there for you. Make sure to be for them, even if its just saying a simple response to their question.

5. Being Dishonest. Lying is a root cause of evil for every relationship, marriage especially. Lies will eventually catch up to you, and if you cannot be 100% with someone who trusts your completely, it can lead to a lot of emotional pain and anger. Whatever lies was passed, make sure to go clean and stay clean or it will harm your marriage.

6. Not showing respect. A man wants to be known as a man and a woman wants to be known as a woman. Do not disrespect each other emotionally and intelligently. Show genuine appreciation when its called for and show your spouse how much you really care about them. Ultimately, marriage is about respect and maturity as you get older.

There are many root causes of marital problems. Being able to identify together what is harming your marriage is key towards working through marriage problems. Be logical and always strive to better yourself before making any hasty decisions. Divorce is not the best answer to marriage problems; it is hard work and dedication that is truly the best option for all parties involved. Get your spouse involved in this process and try to talk through the cause of the marriage problem. Proactive and constructive communication is essential whether you are in counseling or not.

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Passive aggressive behavior is a personality issue whereby a person makes a habit of avoiding their obligations and responsibilities. To illustrate, if the individual is asked to run an errand, he will find excuses to get out of doing it. The excuses given are various, from saying that they were too busy, to putting the blame on being forgetful. If these characteristics are present in the man you married, you could be headed for trouble.

Being married to a man who is passive aggressive can have consequences for you. To illustrate, if you asked your passive aggressive husband to feed the cat while you are away on a business trip, you will most likely return home to find a hungry cat, and the excuse your man gives is that he had completely forgotten. A passive aggressive husband is a very heavy load to bear if you don't know how to handle him well.

The most significant characteristics of a passive aggressive husband are these:

• Talking nonsense.

Your husband may talk nonsense, often confusing you on purpose or giving you an unclear explanation. This can lead to you having a feeling of insecurity. This is simply a way of his to make other people feel insecure, so he can believe he has superiority.

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• Being forgetful.

Your passive aggressive husband is forgetful about the matters that are supposed to be his responsibility, like collecting the children from school or paying the utility bills. These bursts of being forgetful may make you mad if you are not aware of the psychological problems of your husband.

• Insecurity.

Your husband may have a big fear of competition, being dependent on anyone, and of having intimacy with anyone. These fears have a root in the initial fear he has of possibly being hurt. He does not have the capability to trust people, even you, and that may damage your confidence as well.

• Causing chaos.

Your husband may seem to create chaos at any time or location. For example, to take control over the situation, your passive aggressive husband might turn a relaxed environment upside down.

• Excuses for everything.

Your husband will concoct reasons to get himself out of his obligations.

• Placing blame.

Your husband will put the blame on other people for his own errors, refusing to accept any blame himself. By educating yourself about this behavioral defect, you might be able to deal with your passive aggressive husband more ably.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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