KITOTO: Is my abusive husband worth fighting for?

When I met him, he had nothing, and I supported him whole-heartedly because I was working, but he did not seem to appreciate anything I did. Recently, he informed me that I am not married to him, and that he did me a favour by accepting my daughter. He also became abusive, calling me all sorts of names. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • When I met him, he had nothing, and I supported him whole-heartedly because I was working, but he did not seem to appreciate anything I did.
  • He has set up several businesses, which I have worked hard to make a success of. We managed to build a house, but he had the audacity to tell me that the house belongs to him.

Pastor Kitoto,

I have been living with my husband for five years, and we have a four-year-old daughter. I also have a eight-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. When I met him, he had nothing, and I supported him whole-heartedly because I was working, but he did not seem to appreciate anything I did.

He has set up several businesses, which I have worked hard to make a success of. We managed to build a house, but he had the audacity to tell me that the house belongs to him.

Recently, he informed me that I am not married to him, and that he did me a favour by accepting my daughter. He also became abusive, calling me all sorts of names.

Right now, I am living with my mother. Is he worth fighting for or should I just move on and bring up my children alone?

 

Consider this: he made it clear that you have no share in the house you contributed to build, and sees the child you came into the relationship with as an intruder. If he can deny your flesh and blood space in his heart, how can your relationship work?

It is not clear what prompted you to move out and move in with your mother. Did he ask you to leave or did you decide enough is enough? If you are to salvage your relationship, you need to get to the root cause of your husband’s actions. The emotional abuse he keeps directing towards you has history attached to it, one that he needs to come to terms with if the two of you are willing to give your relationship another go. If you are in agreement, I suggest that you see a professional counsellor who will help you to repair this relationship. 

Is your partner emotionally abusive?

Demeaning and hurtful words are bound to form emotional scars. If you are in an abusive relationship, it is an indication that something is wrong with the relationship.

Understanding emotional abuse and what it does to you, and later to a relationship is important.

Some of us settle down with individuals with all sorts of negative traits, including manipulation, a controlling and domineering attitude and many more. When such people want to use you to achieve an end, they will use one of these traits. Such people are afraid of falling apart or losing control, and so the only way to stay afloat is to control or manipulate to get their way.

Since the intent of an abuser is to kill your self-esteem, it is important that you guard against this by knowing and appreciating what you are capable of, and constantly applauding yourself.

Also recognise that abuse is a choice; Identify the underlying attitudes that drive this kind of abuse and change how you respond to your partner’s anger in moments of heated conflict.

Ultimately though, the most important question you should ask yourself is why you continue staying in an emotionally abusive relationship, especially if your partner is unwilling to change. 

How can you tell you are in an emotionally abusive relationship?

Ask yourself these questions:

 Do I feel put down by my partner frequently?

 Do I feel that I am deliberately ignored or excluded by my partner?

 Do I feel a sense of withdrawal of affection from my partner?

 Do I feel humiliated and embarrassed by my partner privately or publicly?

 Does my partner use money or gifts or anger or blackmail or guilt to control me and have his way and how do I react in such situations?

 

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