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How do I stop letting mean and demeaning words hurt

add adhd discouragement hurtful words sadness

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#1 harpangel

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:23 AM

I am in a sad and confusing situation. My husband doesn't realize that the words he speaks are often hurtful and demeaning, even though a marriage counsellor has told him that he needs to think before he speaks. I have been successful in putting these remarks in the background for 15 years but am unable to do so anymore, they just keep coming. I do not enjoy good health and am often in much pain and so the words seem to cut me even harder. I do have some friends here who are most supportive, and a therapist, but am uncomfortable speaking with my Bishop about this because no one seems to believe he can be so cruel, and they put it to my illness. I have not met my visiting teacher, she only writes, and the Relief Society President has been no help, she told me to just not pay attention. But the words keep coming and the pain in my heart grows. I am happier when he is away than when he is home and I feel I must be on guard in all I say and do for fear of a nasty, demeaning and hurtful comment. Any suggestions?

#2 pam

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:28 AM

I don't have any suggestions but I have been EXACTLY in your shoes. It got to a point that I just couldn't take it anymore. I've now been divorced for 10 years and am in a much better place both emotionally and self esteem wise. So please don't misunderstand that I would recommend the same decision that I made. But I do understand what you are going through.

#3 NeuroTypical

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:00 AM

You might want to give your husband the choice. "Hey honey, I'm done letting your insulting and demeaning words hurt me. You can knock it off right now, or I will begin building a big thick wall of indifference between us, so I'm not hurt by you any more. You can let me know your decision by the way you talk to me. I hope to remain a sensitive and caring wife, I fear what this wall would mean for our marriage, but it's your choice. I deserve to be treated better." Basically, his words will continue to hurt you, as long as you care about him. He can either knock it off, or you can stop caring. Those are the only two ways to avoid the hurt that I can see. It is possible to be married to someone you have learned to defend yourself against, but I sure don't have the wisdom to advocate one way or the other.
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Ohhh....
If I were a rich man...

#4 anatess

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:06 AM

This might not be in any way similar or even in the same planet as your issues with your husband... But, a lot of times, my husband and I say hurtful things to each other unintentionally. Sometimes, what we want to say comes out differently when it reaches the other ear. It's exacerbated by our different cultures - I'm not American, so sometimes, I still say things like "Shut up" when what I really meant was "Hold on a minute". Or, I would say, "You're stupid!" when what I really meant was "That wasn't such a smart move, dear." So, after 12 years of marriage, we just learned to dig under the words to find out what was truly meant. My husband knows I will never intentionally be cruel - so when I say "Shut up" he knows I didn't mean that in a cruel way. I just wanted him to stop talking for a second. Sometimes I hurt him and he would let it pass, then talk to me about it when we're both in a conversation mood. He finds that I'm more receptive to criticism when it is not done immediately after I do something wrong... a lot of times, when he tells me right after I say it, I get defensive and it turns into a fight. Okay, I know this is not helping you much. I just thought to share.

#5 Gwen

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:06 AM

it's called emotional abuse. there have been a lot of good sites recommended in other threads. read through some of those threads you may find a lot of it very helpful for processing your own situation and coming to a decision that is right for you.

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
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#6 ryanh

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:06 AM

There is only so much you can actually do other than remove yourself from the situation. One thing is to focus on moving your source of self-esteem as much as possible to internally generated sources rather than externally generated sources. External feedback such as the cutting words mean less when our sense of worth are self-centric and God-centric. Has your H ever been screened for ADHD? Things you say that make me even ask that are “needs to think before he speaks”, “just keep coming”, “no one seems to believe he can be so cruel”, “must be on guard in all [you] say”. Esp that comment about speaking before thinking. It leads me to believe that he blurts out whatever first comes to mind rather than stopping to consider, ‘is that how I really feel’, ‘would that be appropriate to say’. Been there, experienced that. There are several people on these forums who’s long-term marriage woes are the direct result of spouses with untreated ADHD. Let me ask present some potential screening questions: • Does he misplace keys or other important items moreso than ‘average’? • Does he frequently speak out of turn, interrupt often, or change subject on a whim without lead-in’s? • Do ‘arguments’ go in circles or change course 17 different times within one conversation so that nothing ever gets solved? • Do you ever feel he is physically present, but mentally not-present? • Are there financial issues? Excessive spending, lack of financial planning, impulsive spending? • Is he frequently late, or even seemingly unable to be timely to appointments? • Does he have lots of shallow friends that all think he is great, but few or no close friends that truly know him well? I.e. someone everyone likes to be around, but never gets real close to. • Is staying on task in the bedroom an issue? Do little things or thoughts cause distractions from his focus on you? • Any addictions to ‘exciting’ activities? Esp pornography. • Do you often feel that your emotional conversations are never remembered? That each time you want to talk about an emotional subject you have to start over at square one? • Does he have difficulty staying on task or doing a decent job at mundane tasks such as dishes, folding laundry, balancing the checkbook, etc? • Are there any excessive hobbies that are ‘hyperfocused’ on, such as computer games, collecting, business ventures, etc? • Are there multiple unfinished projects that get started, but never completed? • What about employment history – Is he able to keep jobs long-term without being self-employed? • Is it hard to plan activities without multiple last-minute changes most every time you try to do something together? Or, are most activities last moment decisions? I know a lot of those questions are ‘normal’ activities. We all misplace our keys from time to time. The difference with ADHD is the severity, and the combination of multiple excessive factors.

Edited by ryanh, 12 February 2010 - 11:09 AM.

Tis easy enough to be pleasant, When life flows along like a song; But the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong. Ella Wheeler Wilcox


God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other. Spencer W. Kimball

#7 harpangel

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:10 AM

Just yesterday I told my therapist that I couldn't take a life with both physical and emotional challenges such as I am experiencing. I told her I probably needed to leave my husband, and she agreed with me. She pointed out that during the past few years he has been getting worse, she even sees it when we see her together. His behavior is taking me back to the feelings of my childhood when I lived with very abusive parents. I have never know what it is to be loved for who I am, only for what I provide. I know that I need to gather together the strength to live away from him. I have already told him that I don't know how much longer I can take living with his ugly and mean words and he basically says that he knows he probably needs to change but doesn't think that he can. So leaving is probably my only option. I am thankful for answers that confirm that which I already knew but didn't want to act on. My husband does have ADHD according to several therapists, but he refuses to acknowledge and accept that it is his reality. He says medication is okay for me, and therapy because of the hell of the first twenty years of my life. but he can handle everything with the Lord's help and no one else is really needed. The questions you asked, ryanh, are pretty much those which my therapist and I have discussed on numerous occasions. I have a really wonderful friend (a widow) with whom I spend a lot of time. She has offered me a room in her home and I think I will probably take her up on it. She was the first Mormon I met when I moved to Gainesville and our friendship has grown from casual to that of sisters who just didn't get to meet until later in life. Thanks for the support.

Edited by harpangel, 12 February 2010 - 11:17 AM.
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#8 pam

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:13 AM

I wish you the best in your decision making. It certainly isn't easy.

#9 ryanh

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:39 AM

My husband does have ADHD according to several therapists, but he refuses to acknowledge and accept that it is his reality. He says medication is okay for me, and therapy because of the hell of the first twenty years of my life. but he can handle everything with the Lord's help and no one else is really needed. The questions you asked, ryanh, are pretty much those which my therapist and I have discussed on numerous occasions. I have a really wonderful friend (a widow) with whom I spend a lot of time. She has offered me a room in her home and I think I will probably take her up on it. She was the first Mormon I met when I moved to Gainesville and our friendship has grown from casual to that of sisters who just didn't get to meet until later in life. Thanks for the support.

So sorry to hear that. I know precisely what you are dealing with. My experience wasn't exactly the same as what you describe above, but I know the repeated hurts, and the neglect that come from the situation. After 14.5 years of marriage, my divorce will be finalized any day now. Huge relief.

Severe cases of ADHD can be hard to treat appropriately, but if he isn't willing to utilize the blessings of modern medicine that God has provided, then he is absolutely stuck, and will never change. It is strange to me how many with ADHD are adamant about not seeking treatment. IMO, it's almost a factor to consider - how resistant is the individual to modifying their behavior in a manner they would expect others to do in order for the good of the relationship?

If you would like to be part of a private password-protected spouse-of-ADHD forum, send me a PM. There is a great resource out there where all the participants really get how frustrating it is. They also understand how no one except those that have lived it will ever understand.

If you haven't already obtained a copy, I would highly recommend Is It You, Me, Or Adult ADHD?. Other books are also listed on another post on here. See: http://www.lds.net/f...html#post437248

Best of luck to you.
Tis easy enough to be pleasant, When life flows along like a song; But the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong. Ella Wheeler Wilcox


God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other. Spencer W. Kimball

#10 ldsrocks

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:01 PM

im syrprised that ur bishop and relief society are not helping, lol thats why there there. i hope it all works out, it would be sad if u guys got divorce but if u feel it is right and ur not happy then u should do it. i mean heavenly father wants us to be happy. you talked about being reminded of ur childhood, sometimes moving forward means leaving the past behind, im only saying this cos ive had bad experiences in my childhood and it just didnt help to keep going over it with therapists. so just becareful and be aware that sometimes we hold onto the past even when we dnt need to. x

#11 Bini

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:57 PM

There are several of us on here that can relate to abusive relationships, myself included, so you're not alone. I wish you the best and hope you come to a decision that gives you a better quality of life. Keep us posted. There's some great support on here.

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#12 JudoMinja

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:23 PM

It sounds like you already know what you need to do. Just from what you posted on here, I wouldn't know if what your husband is doing would qualify as emotional abuse or if there is anything more you could do to work with him. IF there is any way to salvage your marriage, this is what you should do. Don't give up when there is more you can do. I would suggest a book titled: Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward. However, since you are already meeting with a therapist who seems to agree with your assessment, it is very possible that you've already done all in your power to salvage this relationship. If that is the case, then I would say it is in your best interest to leave and move on. Don't subject yourself to his hurtful words any longer than is needful. If he truly loved you, he would be able to change such hurtful behavior.

#13 Guest_mirancs8_*

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:08 PM

I am in a sad and confusing situation. My husband doesn't realize that the words he speaks are often hurtful and demeaning, even though a marriage counsellor has told him that he needs to think before he speaks. I have been successful in putting these remarks in the background for 15 years but am unable to do so anymore, they just keep coming. I do not enjoy good health and am often in much pain and so the words seem to cut me even harder. I do have some friends here who are most supportive, and a therapist, but am uncomfortable speaking with my Bishop about this because no one seems to believe he can be so cruel, and they put it to my illness. I have not met my visiting teacher, she only writes, and the Relief Society President has been no help, she told me to just not pay attention. But the words keep coming and the pain in my heart grows. I am happier when he is away than when he is home and I feel I must be on guard in all I say and do for fear of a nasty, demeaning and hurtful comment. Any suggestions?


Ow yes! Welcome to my world for the last 12 years. I feel for you... truly I do. Unfortunately many people who are like this won't change. My soon to be ex had the same issues. For me I had to leave. Not only for my own well being but also for the boys. You don't deserve to be treated the way you are treated and yes everyone else will think you are out of your mind. How could he do those things you are saying? He's such a sweet guy? So nice etc. Yes I've heard it all from A to Z. Though I have a protection order he still manages to manipulate at full force disrupting our childrens lives and making me get angry. You suddenly see yourself morphing into this thing that you never knew existed. You yourself become something other than yourself. You have to pray (a lot) and seek help from someone. If the person you are going to isn't helping find someone else. Keep doing this till you find the right person (family, friend etc).

For me it was a matter of getting a good job and building the strength to stand up for myself and believe in myself. I needed to do these steps before I left him. I did all that and there's no turning back. I feel great and the kids are doing terrific. Each time he tries to find ways to hurt me I cause pain right back at him by showing how happy and successful I am without him destroying my confidence and self imagine. I am now much more healthier, happier, and have gained confidence in my own self. I feel strong and I am determined to continue on the right path.

I know it's hard. I know is frustrating. I know at times you want to shake your first in the air and say what is it that I am doing wrong in this relationship!!! It's not you and I'm sure you know that but still continue to lay the burden on your own shoulders much of the time.

I wish you well and take care of yourself!;)
Christine


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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:28 PM

His behavior is taking me back to the feelings of my childhood when I lived with very abusive parents. I have never know what it is to be loved for who I am, only for what I provide. I know that I need to gather together the strength to live away from him.


Your words are exactly how I felt in my marriage of 12 years. Because I was very abused verbally and physically by my parents my entire childhood being married to him made me feel like a child again going through that abuse. Though he never got to the point of physical abuse the verbal was no less damaging believe me. He never loved me for who I was as a person with a heart and soul. Instead he needed me for all that he could never accomplish on his own. It's actually very sad to think about it. It will take time to get your mind out of that mode because you have invested so many years to that marriage under those conditions. I can tell you that you will feel so differently when and if you leave him. Your health will begin to improve (yes I have my health battles as well) and you will see an air of confidence slowly emerge from you.

Remember that you are a wonderful person who deserves to be treated with respect and unconditional love. Just keep saying to yourself, "I AM a phenomenal woman!!:twothumbsup:


#15 FairChild

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:48 PM

Many people minimize verbal and emotional abuse and really don't understand how deeply painful it can be. They may not see it as abuse, but it is still abuse. Perhaps it is time for you to take a break from the relationship and be able to give yourself a fresh perspective. When he is saying it is ok for you to take medication, but not him is a way of placing all the blame on you. It's your fault because you need the help, but I really don't. I hope you are writing down what is going on in a journal. It will help if you wind up going to court. When I did the journal writing, it helped me make healthier choices. I wish you well. Please take care of yourself and stay safe. FC




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