Most abusers have extremely low self esteem and a lot of their abuse is an attempt to convince themselves of their importance and power. My husband is abusive and I want to know: how do I respond to him without making his depression worse? If he's being or has just been abusive how do I comfort him and stand up for myself at the same time? If he does something and then starts crying, do I comfort him? If not, am I ignoring his emotional needs, thus exhibiting abusive behavior myself? I think that the only way to help an abuser recover is to improve their self image. How do I do that without being trampled? How do I do that without being broken by how he treats me? If he's acting out because he's hurting and depressed, should I or could I even just abandon him to be alone with his misery? Is there a way to help and protect us both?
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