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  #1  
Old Mar 14, '06, 8:31 pm
MegShmeg MegShmeg is offline
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Default Does your spouse talk down to you?

Does your spouse or significant other talk down to you, ever? Almost act like a parent to you? Belittle you, call you any names... obviously I'm speaking from a male talking to a female point of view, but even the other way around.

What do you do.. why does this happen, and how do we handle it?
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  #2  
Old Mar 14, '06, 9:13 pm
udral udral is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegShmeg
Does your spouse or significant other talk down to you, ever? Almost act like a parent to you? Belittle you, call you any names... obviously I'm speaking from a male talking to a female point of view, but even the other way around.

What do you do.. why does this happen, and how do we handle it?

My dad used to do that to my mom, and it continued until we all came down very hard on him and stopped tolerating it. My mom started standing up to him and made it very clear that such behavior was unacceptable. I also told him in no uncertain terms that such behavior was not going to sit with me.

It is very true what they say about you determining how people are going to treat you. Don't tolerate that kind of treatment, demand respect, and it will come. If you let yourself be treated that way you are showing that you don't respect yourself, and it's hard for others to respect you if you project that image.
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  #3  
Old Mar 14, '06, 9:20 pm
Marilena Marilena is offline
 
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegShmeg
Does your spouse or significant other talk down to you, ever? Almost act like a parent to you? Belittle you, call you any names... obviously I'm speaking from a male talking to a female point of view, but even the other way around.

What do you do.. why does this happen, and how do we handle it?

no, my husband never talks down to me, he never has, and he never will. but, I was previously married to a man that would talk down to me almost everyday for 10 years. I never talked down to him, nor to my husband now. Not my style. Just curious, why did you bring this subject up? for study? No reason to ask, just wondering. My marriage is built on love and respect for each other. We would never ever consider belittling each other. We
have been married for 7 years, and together for over 8 years.
When I was belittled in my former marriage, I was very unhappy.
I was also a jw for almost 1/4 of that marriage which lasted 10 years. I dealt with it by silence. I never talked back to him when
he got crabby. and when he knocked down my family. I tried talking to him about it, but to no avail. I put up with it. Eventually,
the marriage ended, and after it did, we had a very long talk about
things, and he told me he would belittle me to try to get me to be
a better person, to lose weight, to work as hard as he did, to earn
as much as he did, ext ext ext. He never realized that I was human. That was half the problem. We would argue yes, but I never knocked him down or cut his family down. Never. My second marriage is blissful thank you very much. I should've
spoken up to my ex once in awhile, but I didn't. I stayed silent.
That was a mistake. I should've walked long before I did. So in
retrospect, it was a mistake to marry him, and a mistake I
learned not to repeat.
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  #4  
Old Mar 14, '06, 9:30 pm
Dimmers Dimmers is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

I used to talk down to my girlfriend. I would call her really nasty names and embarrass her in front of friends. Why would I do this? Because I didn't have respect for myself, for her or for anyone. I was also so paranoid, that I thought people were poisoning her mind. When in reality it was I who had a poisoned mind.

She came down hard on me. Told me that I needed to find God, because it was the devil who was causing me to do and say those things.

Guess what? I found God. Not at her Baptist church. But in the CC. Not only did I find God, but I also stopped talking down to her. Our relationship is so much better. As of yesterday, she surprised me with " I decided I'm going to try and be a Catholic"

I'm glad I have God, I'm glad I have her. I'm glad this site is available for us to educate ourselves and others.

God Bless
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  #5  
Old Mar 14, '06, 9:37 pm
MegShmeg MegShmeg is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

I ask because the man I am planning on marrying (we plan to be engaged soon) has been doing it a lot the past many months. We have been together almost 2 yrs, I would say this picked up especially about 1 year into things.

I've had a tough past and a lot of things that happened to me led me to be very quiet and unable to stand up for myself (a verbally abusive father and basically no father figure). My man knows ALL about my past and is deeply involved in me trying to deal with it, etc. In the past 2 yrs I've been in therapy and have learned a lot about that, and since have improved in standing up for myself.

A lot of times my man treats me as though he is trying to be my father. He has admitted that he speaks down to me and belittles me and has been trying and successfully working on fixing it, but lately it's not been better. By nature he is a more "dominant" personality and I am totally the opposite. I have been trying to stand up for myself more and he, in turn, trying not to speak that way.

In the past few days though he has done some unheard of things. He called me a dumbass twice, and not on joking terms. Tonight he did it, and I told him to leave. He did, and then when we spoke on the phone he apologized, but said the only thing he did wrong was call me a dumbass, and that as a child I did not have enough discipline (true) and so when someone tells me I did something wrong I storm off like a kid. I said "That's because you called me a dumbass," and he said "YOU ARE A DUMBASS." I realize this sounds so childish.. and really, it WAS! I couldn't believe it.
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  #6  
Old Mar 14, '06, 9:51 pm
coyote coyote is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

You, yourself have noticed that it has ratcheted up in recent months.

This type of behavior does not get better after marriage. It gets worse.

Also, it is NOT appropriate for a "husband" to believe that he needs to correct alleged mistakes of your upbringing. It is also not appropriate for him to embark on a compaign of "fixing" you to make you better fit his personal notion of an ideal woman/wife/companion.

I don't know how much you know of his background. For your own sake, investigate the phenomenon of spousal abuse. Get familiar with the behaviors and traits. Name calling and humiliation are common tactics that are first to manifest and then escalate into more aggression and even violence.

Forwarned is forarmed.
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  #7  
Old Mar 14, '06, 9:51 pm
Dimmers Dimmers is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegShmeg
I ask because the man I am planning on marrying (we plan to be engaged soon) has been doing it a lot the past many months. We have been together almost 2 yrs, I would say this picked up especially about 1 year into things.

I've had a tough past and a lot of things that happened to me led me to be very quiet and unable to stand up for myself (a verbally abusive father and basically no father figure). My man knows ALL about my past and is deeply involved in me trying to deal with it, etc. In the past 2 yrs I've been in therapy and have learned a lot about that, and since have improved in standing up for myself.

A lot of times my man treats me as though he is trying to be my father. He has admitted that he speaks down to me and belittles me and has been trying and successfully working on fixing it, but lately it's not been better. By nature he is a more "dominant" personality and I am totally the opposite. I have been trying to stand up for myself more and he, in turn, trying not to speak that way.

In the past few days though he has done some unheard of things. He called me a dumbass twice, and not on joking terms. Tonight he did it, and I told him to leave. He did, and then when we spoke on the phone he apologized, but said the only thing he did wrong was call me a dumbass, and that as a child I did not have enough discipline (true) and so when someone tells me I did something wrong I storm off like a kid. I said "That's because you called me a dumbass," and he said "YOU ARE A DUMBASS." I realize this sounds so childish.. and really, it WAS! I couldn't believe it.
Well, it seems as if he needs to go to some therapy himself. Some anger management and some sensitivity classes. I'm glad you are able to somewhat stand up to yourself. But there is one problem with standing up. That creates MUTUAL COMBAT.

If he knows you were abused verbally as a child, then he should know to refrain from that. He is not helping but adding to your trauma. Opening up old wounds etc...

Offer him to go to your therapy classes as well. And if that fails. Then... do as my girlfriend did which was Threaten to leave me if things didn't change.
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  #8  
Old Mar 14, '06, 9:55 pm
kamz kamz is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

I know that early in my marriage I was guilty of talking down to my husband and he to me when we would argue, it was like a way to make the other feel bad, with time, and prayer and years of work on our relationship this stopped and it hasn't happened in many, many years. Nobody deserves to be treated that way man or woman, to me it is emotional abuse and is not ok and needs to be addressed, many times it can be worked on without help outside the marriage, once hubby and I sat down and said "it really hurts me when you talk down to me" it ended but I know that some people that is not enough and in those cases professional help needs to happen. I hope this helps.
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  #9  
Old Mar 14, '06, 10:19 pm
udral udral is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

Meg,

I know this may be hard to hear for you, but I think you should break up with this man for good. I do not think you should try to make things work with. The risk is simply too great. I have seen programs about controlling, abusive etc. type of men, the general sentiment was that people like that rarely change.

It is one thing if you argue and swear at each other, all people do that to some extent and that can be worked on. But what is really alarming to me are these things that you said:

Quote:
A lot of times my man treats me as though he is trying to be my father. He has admitted that he speaks down to me and belittles me and has been trying and successfully working on fixing it, but lately it's not been better. By nature he is a more "dominant" personality and I am totally the opposite.
Arguing in a harsh way is one thing, everyone falls into that. But what is very alarming to me is how he sees himself as superior, treating you like he is your father (and like you are his child). That he is dominant and you are submissive is a bad combination.

It is one thing to be a mean person and to use harsh language, but dominating another is something else. That is very disturbing to me and reveals something bad about the person inside, something beyond general meanness and swearwords.


Quote:
Tonight he did it, and I told him to leave. He did, and then when we spoke on the phone he apologized, but said the only thing he did wrong was call me a dumbass, and that as a child I did not have enough discipline (true) and so when someone tells me I did something wrong I storm off like a kid. I said "That's because you called me a dumbass," and he said "YOU ARE A DUMBASS."
That is a very strange thing to say especially if he knows that you had an abusive father. Is he trying to discipline you now? That sounds very domineering and again, alarming.


I don't want to condemn this man, but it seems to me to be too much of a risk to marry him. In my opinion you are not yet ready for a relationship because you are still dealing with what you went through as a child. Your weakness and vulnerablity can attract a domineering type of man who can become an abuser.

You need to learn to be strong, to be independent, to stand up for yourself.

Might it be that you have a low self esteem now and think that you will not be able to find someone else? It seems you are settling for someone who most women wouldn't think twice about, why?

Look at some of the signs of an abuser, and if he has them, you have to leave and you have to do it now.

http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/...use_signs.html

Quote:
You may be becoming or already are a victim of abuse if you:

Feel like you have to "walk on eggshells" to keep him from getting angry and are frightened by his temper.
Feel you can't live without him.
Stop seeing other friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because he doesn't like them.
Are afraid to tell him your worries and feelings about the relationship.
Are often compliant because you are afraid to hurt his feelings; and have the urge to "rescue" him when he is troubled.
Feel that you are the only one who can help him and that you should try to "reform" him.
Find yourself apologizing to yourself or others for your partner's behaviour when you are treated badly.
Stop expressing opinions if he doesn't agree with them.
Stay because you feel he will kill himself if you leave.
Believe that his jealousy is a sign of love.
Have been kicked, hit, shoved, or had things thrown at you by him when he was jealous or angry.
Believe the critical things he says to make you feel bad about yourself.
Believe that there is something wrong with you if you don't enjoy the sexual things he makes you do.
Believe in the traditional ideas of what a man and a woman should be and do -- that the man makes the decisions and the woman pleases him.
(some people) Have been abused as a child or seen your mother abused.
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  #10  
Old Mar 14, '06, 10:22 pm
JMJ Theresa JMJ Theresa is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

Consider the effect of this behavior on your future children. Would you want your sons to think it is ok to talk to their wives like this. Would you want your daughters to think it is normal?
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  #11  
Old Mar 14, '06, 10:24 pm
udral udral is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ Theresa
Consider the effect of this behavior on your future children. Would you want your sons to think it is ok to talk to their wives like this. Would you want your daughters to think it is normal?
A great point, OP, remember what you felt like as an abused child. That could very well be what your children would experience with him as their father.
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  #12  
Old Mar 14, '06, 11:55 pm
tamccrackine tamccrackine is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

udral has some great information.

I speak from experience... thankfully I didn't marry the man that was just like your boyfriend, but I went through enough of a hell that I'm thankful I didn't. If a relationship isn't based on mutual respect, it'll fail. Regardless of the romantic notions of either of you trying to "save" the other (by that I mean changing their ways).

Good luck and do some serious praying before getting into a more serious relationship. Pray to St. Joseph for help in finding your "Joseph" so you don't fall for just anyone.

But to answer your question, no, my DH doesn't speak down to me and I wouldn't to him. We both respect each other and even when we are beyond frustrated with each other, we know when to shut up and just walk away until we are calm. We have never called each other negative names, nor belittled the others intelligence because it just doesn't solve anything and makes neither party feel good.

I would surmise that if a person, at the very least, can't speak respectfully- even through anger, at the person they are to marry or married... doesn't love their spouse/fiance.

Good luck and God Bless!!!!!
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  #13  
Old Mar 15, '06, 3:50 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegShmeg
Does your spouse or significant other talk down to you, ever? Almost act like a parent to you? Belittle you, call you any names... obviously I'm speaking from a male talking to a female point of view, but even the other way around.

What do you do.. why does this happen, and how do we handle it?
belittling, calling you names, if this is psychological abuse, and it sure sounds like it, it is wrong in a parent or a spouse, we handle it by stopping it, refusing to tolerate it, insisting on counselling or we end the relationship, by legal means if necessary. Normal parents and normal spouses do not behave this way. If we find ourselves repeatedly getting into relationships with people like this, we seek counselling ourselves to understand why and stop the destructive cycle.
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  #14  
Old Mar 15, '06, 4:36 am
MegShmeg MegShmeg is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

I appreciate all this help. I know that it is hard to explain a person's personality through words, but I am not worried about him being abusive and he does NOT have an anger problem. He has an EGO problem, and can never be wrong, etc.

BUT he is not being respectful, and, yes, I'm sure that he is being verbally abusive. He IS repeating what my father did to me. He already comes to therapy with me and we have spoken about this. One time the whole session was about him talking down to me and treating me like a child (but he says I use the 'you're treating me like a child' as an excuse in an argument.. because I just shut down if he starts doing it.. ). He admitted it and we all talked about how he could change it. Then at the end of the session he said something like "But you will never be able to stand up for yourself," and I stood up and gave him the most meaningfully angry look I could, and left the room. He got the picture.

I'm not worried about him becoming abusive and I really don't meet too many of those questions that I went through for the abusive spouse, but I AM worried about being treated like a 5 yr old as a wife and mother for the rest of my life. I think the best thing I can do is tell him I am not willing to get engaged until this gets fixed. The frustrating part is that he does not have a hard time admitting when he KNOWS he is wrong, but he RARELY thinks he is wrong! Even when I do stand up to him, he has a way of making me feel ridiculous.

Thanks so much for the support. As of today, I am just not going to speak with him until I have figured out better what I want to tell him. And, a little silent time will do him good.
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  #15  
Old Mar 15, '06, 7:33 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Does your spouse talk down to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegShmeg
I appreciate all this help. I know that it is hard to explain a person's personality through words, but I am not worried about him being abusive and he does NOT have an anger problem. He has an EGO problem, and can never be wrong, etc.

BUT he is not being respectful, and, yes, I'm sure that he is being verbally abusive. He IS repeating what my father did to me. He already comes to therapy with me and we have spoken about this. .
you need to stay in counselling until you yourself are able to understand abuse for what it is. The abuser always has anger issues sometimes deeply hidden under a facade of self-control and distance, which comes out in sarcasm, criticism and belittling. You have some good advice here, it is up to you whether you follow it. If you are not worrieda bout him being abusive you should be--be very worried.
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