(Trigger Warning: If you yourself have been a victim of emotional abuse, please proceed with caution.)
It happened so many times that all of the details have blurred together in my memory. I can’t describe a particular context or setting, but I know one thing for certain: it happened dozens of times, and it followed the same script every time.
Early in our marriage, my wife had successfully trained me to not respond when her words or actions caused me to feel demeaned or inferior, not until at least a few days had passed.
“You bring up these criticisms too soon,” she had told me, amid a handful of other similar, arbitrary restrictions.