The Problem with Being Bullied: Standing Up for Yourself

Legal Adviser March 21, 2016
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Bullying In UtahBullying has always been a big issue, and continues to be one to this very day. Teachers in schools across the country implement zero tolerance on bullying and hold hundreds of assemblies to raise awareness. These types of resolutions show that intimidation has no place in anyone’s life — at school or in the workplace.

But what happens when the bully is constantly present in your home? What if it’s the man (or woman) you married?

The Anatomy of a Bully

When your spouse bullies you, they might be trying to gain control or power. Their intentional (or unintentional) actions aim to get one up and make you feel insignificant. At one point over the course of your marriage, you might wonder: why did I not see this coming?

Bullies do not often present themselves during the early stages of dating. Similar to narcissists, they need to reel you in. They refrain from showing their true colors to ensure you stay in the relationship. You’ll know who they are after a year or once they finally put a ring on it.

According to, a firm focused on family law, a number of narcissists exhibit bullying tendencies. Their need to win drives them to gain control over you and the kids. Feeling powerful is more important than caring about the relationship.

Surviving the Marriage

Just because your spouse has the upper hand doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself. Use your voice to defend yourself. Long speeches don’t work with bullies; concise and direct demands are more effective. Set the point immediately and lay out the boundaries.

Setting the boundaries, however, doesn’t mean a bully will change their mind. They have a tendency to escalate the situation to regain the upper hand. Still, it’s your right to feel safe. Stand up for yourself and for your children.

The Aftermath of a Divorce

Divorcing a bully can be quite a challenge. Some use tactics to dissuade you from original settlements or use intimidation to get what they want. Surround yourself with a stable support group, as well as a legal team, to protect yourself (and the children) from unwanted advances. Always leave the legal and financial issues with your attorney. That way, your ex-spouse can’t question your decisions.

Marriage with a bully is a delicate and dangerous dance. Don’t let your spouse get the best of you. Know what your rights are and fight for them.

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