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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Daughter In Abusive Marriage

Tue, Jan 4th 2011

My daughter is married to an emotional abuser. They have a 1 year old son. He constantly belittles her and the baby. He spends all their money, never stays home, and, when he is home, is extremely angry and verbally abusive.
She recently separated from this man, but now he is continuing the abuse via text messages and constant phone calls.

She is confused because of the baby. She wants to make sure she has done all she can before divorcing. She is torn because he is, of course, promising her the moon, blaming her for tearing apart their family and so, she feels guilty. He is bringing out all the big guns: He keeps crying, says he is going to change, and begs her to not divorce him. These are the same old stories he said forever, such as, when she would confront him and he would change enough to give her hope. After a short period of time he then went back to the same old ways.

He steals her credit cards, maxes them all out and lies about everything!!! Her opinion is never relevant. He puts her down in every aspect of what she does. He tells her that he makes the damn money and he can do with it whatever he wants.

She recently reconnected with an old boyfriend via the Internet. That gave her hope that she could actually be happy again with a very nice guy.

Now he is starting all of this all over again. He tries to turn things around and make her feel like she is the one who ruined the marriage.

Desperate: Please help me advise her. How do I make her aware that she really NEEDS to move on for her sake and most importantly the baby.

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