You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
My husband always belittles me in front of my mom. I lost my job almost two months ago and I don't have any income coming in for my two children and me. My mom helps me in any way she can and I feel helpless by asking her all the time. My husband works two jobs now. When the money is spent on the bills, he starts at me but I ignore him because I don’t want to argue. We have two cars but his won’t start sometimes without a boost. Now he has to drive my car. My husband is a person that likes to ride and he is very hard on cars, so when I say to him to make sure he brings my car home and not have it out he will curses me and calls me names like “you slow,” and “dumb just like your crazy aunt. He’s even said to me before, “I see why you got fired because you’re stupid b****.” He once said, “H** shut up before I through this bowl at you.” And all I say is that in response is that I will not argue with him and I will not curse you out like you do to me. I told him I will not allow him to make me disrespectful and God has something planned for him. I just sat there and wanted to cry while my mom listened from the other room. This is not the first time he has embarrassed me like this. After he does, he wants to come and kiss me and talk, but I ignore him and he then tries to force it. I manage to step away from him and then he starts saying mean things again and sometimes walks out slamming the door or driving off fast in the car when he leaves. I have thought about leaving my husband once I am stable again.
You may not realize it, but you are clearly a victim of verbal and emotional abuse. I would not be surprised if you are being physically abused as well. You mentioned that it was not the first time he embarrassed you in front of your mother. That may be true but you must decide if it is going to be the last time or not. You cannot control your husband, but you are in control of yourself. You must decide if you are willing to be abused because you are depending on him financially or to be able to say that you are married. Nether one of the possibilities are worth your happiness or placing yourself at risk of being harmed. Your husband is not going to stop abusing you because you are ignoring him or telling him "God has something for you.” Whatever God has for him is for him and has nothing to do with you.
The abuse will get worst if you choose not to take care of yourself. Just like you had a job, you can find another one. I am not clear if your husband is the father of your two children, but if he is, he should legally be made to help take care of them if you chose to leave the marriage. While you may feel helpless, you are not. You do not have to accept things the way they are but you must have the courage to change them. I would recommend that you seek therapy to help work through issues related to abuse in your marriage and other emotional issues. I would also recommend that you seek legal advice. Most states have an agency that proves legal aid services based on your income. You must take a deep breath and take control of your life. It you want more in life, stop settling for less! -- Dr. Sherry
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