Are You In A Relationship With A Bully?

By

Are You In A Relationship With A Bully?
We hear about kids being bullies, but what happens when a child bully grows up to be a "big bully?"

 

Bully behavior begins in childhood. Kids watch their parents and siblings and learn those behaviors. If they learn bullying behaviors they will mimic them. Some of them learn the error of their ways and change. They may ask forgiveness or become compassionate to those they hurt or offended. Some of them don’t learn, and they keep growing into adult bullies. These adult bullies have relationships and marry unsuspecting people. They can wear a mask and act normal, but when they are stressed or dissatisfied they show their bully mindset.

 

Are you married to a bully? They usually are screamers, yellers, attackers, lovers of chaos, and unpredictable. Women can be bullies as well as men. Below are a few ways you can identify if your spouse is a bully.

  • Unpredictable with what sets them off. The same behavior you did yesterday with no response may set off an explosion today. It is frequently like this in your home. You never know what will make them overreact.
  • They accuse you of falsifying information. The only way to prove this is to tape record it, although if it’s gotten out of hand seek guidance from a professional.
  • They make fun of you or tease you with critical remarks. If you tell them this hurts your feelings they respond by saying they were just kidding, and ask what is wrong with you. They chide you for not being able to take a joke.
  • They isolate or reject you if you don’t do or say exactly what they wanted. It is their way showing you who has the most power in the relationship.
  • They make threats saying if you don’t “come to your senses” or give in to their way they will leave you, divorce you, take your money, or take the kids; there are few limits here. They are bullies, and they do what they have to in order to get their way.

If you are trying to work on your marriage with a bully here are a few suggestions that may make it easier to cope with them. When and if abuse is part of the relationship the best choice is to separate. Keep this separation until your spouse can come to terms with their behavior and accept that they have problems that must be worked out for the marriage to survive. The only person you can change in this relationship is yourself and your reactions to your spouse’s behavior. Being as direct as possible with your bully spouse will help them know how far they can push you. It will begin to make you feel more in control of what your choices are.

  • When your bully spouse treats you well, always tell them you appreciate the way they are communicating with you.
  • As much as possible, nurture your relationship with continued time alone and communicate with one another about the vision for your marriage.
  • Using “I feel” statements helps your spouse not become defensive and also helps you define and claim what you are feeling Be honest with yourself and stop covering for your spouse when they are demonstrating bully behavior.
  • Whenever possible let your spouse receive the natural consequences they will from their bully behavior.
  • One of the worst things about being married to a bully is they demonstrate and mentor their behavior for their children.

An open, honest relationship where both spouses can discuss the behavior and work toward eliminating it together is the best treatment approach.

 

–Mary Jo Rapini


For more information go to: www.maryjorapini.com
Tweet me: @maryjorapini
Talk to me on my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/maryjorapini
Join me every Thursday Morning on “Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo” on Fox 26 at 9 a.m.
 

More Juicy Content From YourTango:

Article contributed by

Mary Jo Rapini

Counselor/Therapist

For more information go to: www.maryjorapini.com
Talk to me on my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/maryjorapini
Tweet me: @MaryJoRapini
Read my Love and Relationships Blog on Chron.com
Ask me questions on Fox26 in Houston, TX and watch every Thursday Morning at 9am for “Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo” and Friday Morning's at 8am for “Healthy Happy Hour with Mary Jo”

Location: Houston, TX
Credentials: LPC
Other Articles/News by Mary Jo Rapini:

The 10 Best Christmas Gifts For Him (And They're Free!)

By

In relationships, we emphasize the importance of building one another up, rather than pointing fingers and blaming; but, guys live in a much different world than women do. This is why the best gifts for him are free. Women are networkers and they bond and connect with other women. Guys are competitive, focused and constantly looking over their shoulder to ... Read more

5 Ways To Stuff Your Turkey With Gratitude

By

Many of us grew up sharing Thanksgiving with family around the dining room table. Our parents or grandparents usually hosted the meal, and we ate with family and became re-acquainted with family we may not have seen since the Thanksgiving before. Times have changed and family members may have moved due to work obligations, school choices and raising families of ... Read more

Baby Boomers: Take Your Marriage From Boring To Blissful!

By

Boomers have always been independent and have made their own way. Nowhere is that showing up more than in marital status. Since 1990, the divorce rate has gone down in the United States for everyone but the boomers. Those over 50 years of age have seen divorce rates double, and if you're over fifty, you've probably seen several of your friends split ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular