Overt bullies are easy to recognize; they’re loud, obnoxious, threatening and in your face.

Sneaky, bullying, controlling husbands are harder to recognize.  If we don’t recognize their tactics and label them as bullies, we won’t energize ourselves to develop and carry out an effective plan to stop them.

Seven warning signs of bullying spouses are:

  1. They think they know best about everything; just ask them.  They point out all your mistakes and failings.  They think you should ask their permission before you do anything.  They make your life miserable if you don’t do what they say.  Their absolute certainty seduces you into self-doubt and self-bullying.  You become unsure of your own judgment and wisdom; eventually you give in to them.
  2. They think they’re more important than you are.  Your life should be devoted to their needs (wants, whims).  Their desires, jealousies, issues and concerns (not yours) should be the focus of all interactions.  They’re entitled to get what they want.  Their feelings get hurt so easily that you’re too polite or too afraid to upset them by trying to make your feelings or opinions matter.  They’re controlling, bullying spouses.
  3. They think their sense of humor is correct.  They can say whatever they want and you’re supposed to take it.  Some put you down in public; others only in private so outside people will think they’re so sweet.  They make nasty, vicious, demeaning, hurtful remarks or they tell embarrassing secrets.  Then they laugh like it’s a joke.  If you object, they say you’re too sensitive or they were kidding.  Your feelings are stupid and not logical.  And you better not say anything they don’t like.
  4. Everyone is a pawn in their game.  You have value only as long as you can help them or you worship them.  They’re selfish, arrogant and demanding husbands; they think they should be waited on.  Anyone who doesn’t help or who gets in their way becomes an enemy.  You’re afraid that if you disagree, they’ll strike back at you.
  5. They think their excuses, excuse them.  Their reasons are always correct.  Their feelings are their justifications for anger, retaliation and revenge.  If you don’t agree, you simply don’t understand or you’re evil.  Self-deluded, narcissistic spouses think their jealousy, anger and hatred are not bad characteristics.
  6. Their logic, reasoning and rules, rule.  They’re allowed to do anything they want – to take what they want, to attack or to strike back in any way they want – but everyone else should be bound by their rules.  If your feelings are hurt by what they’ve said or done, it’s your fault and your problem.  They’re right and righteous.  Everything is your fault.  They’re great debaters or they simply talk so loud and long that eventually you give in.
  7. They think they don’t have anything to learn.  They insist on doing things their way, even though they fail repeatedly.  They won’t listen; especially when they’re failing.

Also, anyone who bullies helpless people – like clerks and waiters – will eventually get around to bullying you.  Get rid of them on the first date.

You can never be kind, nice, sweet or caring enough to change them.  You’re not the rescuer or therapist to solve their psychological problems.  They’re bullying, controlling abusive spouses.

Don’t debate or argue with them.  Don’t wait for them to agree or to give you permission.  Don’t wait for them to empower you.  Take power; whether they like it or not.  Plan in secret if you have to.  Dump them or get away as fast as you can.

Ignore your self-bullying – that little voice that doesn’t like you, that tells you that the bullying husband might be right.  If you don’t trust your own guts you’ll get sucked in, just like you would into a black hole.

Relentless bullies – abusive, controlling spouses – are predators who go after the weak, the isolated and those who don’t resist.

If we don’t stop bullies, they’ll think we’re easy prey.  Like sharks, they’ll just go after us more.

The best way to stop controlling, bullying husbands is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to do your best resolutely, diligently and effectively, and to set boundaries effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create a bully-free personal life.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling