Q&A How Do I Emotionally Connect with Someone Who Treats Me This Way?

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Over the last year, when angry, my spouse has yelled at me, sworn at me, called me names, labeled me, diagnosed my mental health, and threatened me with bodily harm. After one heated argument my spouse even threatened to kill me via text if I was still home when they returned. While the threat of death has not repeated, the threats of physical violence still pop up from time to time, and the name calling and disparaging remarks have only gotten worse; much worse. If I say anything about it, my spouse becomes enraged and the behavior increases in intensity and vulgarity. I have been told by my spouse that I don’t deserve to live, and that I deserve to die alone. I have been told I am not good enough, pathetic, and a worthless piece of shit. This behavior is now happening on a regular basis (weekly, if not daily), and we’re in week 12 of EMSO. All the while, my spouse is upset with me, citing a lack of emotional connection and empathy. How do I emotionally connect with someone who treats me this way? Do I stand there and just take it? If I stand up for myself and demand basic human respect, I am further belittled and berated. If I take steps toward setting boundaries, my spouse only becomes more verbally volatile and regularly threatens divorce (is currently in the process of retaining an attorney). Is it time to give up? Do I let my spouse go? I don’t know what to do anymore; nothing helps… but deep down I still love her.



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