5 Signs your spouse is a bully
It's not so easy to tell if someone you love is bullying you. Why is this so?
You probably can tell if a friend or co-worker is bullying you. They demean you with words or with silence. They undermine you and talk to you in a condescending manner. They relish the chance to see you fail and they even go out of their way to make you feel bad about it.
But it’s not so easy to tell if someone you love is bullying you. Why is this so? Perhaps it’s because we want to see the best in those we care about. We’re willing to look past their faults and bad behavior, believing we know who they really are.
But professor Ronald E. Riggio, in an article on Psychology Today, believes spouses can go overboard when criticizing each other, so much so that already borders on bullying.
Here are a few signs to help you determine if you’re married to a bully
Your spouse calls you hurtful things
Name-calling is one of the signs your spouse thinks little of you. It can be in the form of insults or swearing, but it’s always meant to belittle or assert their dominance over you. It may seem harmless, but once absorbed over time, it can cause lasting damage to your self-esteem and your relationship.
It doesn’t mean your spouse is a bad person, clarifies madaboutmarriage.com, but it does mean your spouse needs to be equipped with proper coping mechanisms when it comes to their frustration and anger.
They taunt you when you try to speak out
This is classic bully behavior: when you try to stand up against them, they immediately try to put you down and make you feel like you don’t have a voice. It can happen in the most subtle of ways, like when they “talk over you” or interrupt you when you speak your mind. More overtly, they can taunt or challenge you, emphasizing how powerless you are against them. In fact, psychologists from UCLA believe that abusive words can hurt just as much as physical abuse.
They demean you in front of others
Playful jibes or putting you down may be forms of lambing, but it can often cross the line into bullying territory. Does your spouse constantly put you on the spot or spill embarrassing secrets about you to entertain friends or family? Then perhaps it’s time to stop your spouse from being condescending towards you.
They are controlling
A spouse who constantly tries to control the way you behave, think, or even feel has this overblown sense of importance. They believe you are not free to choose or act as you wish. Take care not to allow this pattern of behavior to become a permanent dynamic in your relationship, as this type of manipulation is one of the insidious signs of emotional abuse.
They are aggressive in words and actions
This is the most obvious sign of bullying and is a warning sign of brewing physical abuse. Do they yell at the slightest provocation? Do they suddenly hit or pinch you out of nowhere? Don’t wait until the abuse becomes full blown or extremely physical. To report domestic abuse in the Philippines, you can contact these hotlines.
So knowing all of these, how can you begin to end bullying in your marriage? You can start by confronting your spouse, making sure to use a loving, non-threatening tone of voice. Perhaps they don’t even notice they’re doing it. Use specific examples and allow your spouse to help you explore the root of such behavior. Only then can you, hopefully, reach some form of compromise.
Republished with permission from The Asianparent Philippines