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Why Is Son’s Wife Saying He Abused Her?

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From the U.S. My son is getting a divorce. Only married a year. Wife pregnant. Telling everyone he is abusing her. Went to church and started crying saying she can’t believe he is there and she can’t deal with him because of his abuse and she is scared. This is my son’s church. Been there over 11 years. Rarely misses a service. She just started going when they got married. He had told her 2 days before to stop coming because she was harassing him.

Later that day my friend who son’s wife doesn’t know said wife just contacted her and was telling her all the abuse she had to go through from son and me and she had to leave for her safety and her sons. I get off the phone and message my son. He is on phone with wife. Wife is living with parents and she says her brother just abused her and she wants my son to take her boys if she doesn’t make it through the night. He told her he will call the police for her. She said no. Her parents will only tell them she is crazy. Told her to leave and go to shelter. She said no. She started yelling at him that she didn’t call for help and she is tired of dealing with him. Afterwards she post on Facebook that now she is being abused by 2 and “oh the pain. No understanding.”

Is this the behavior of someone being abused or what? Does someone being abused constantly call their abuser dumb and stupid? She harasses him at work so much that his boss says he is calling the police on her if she steps foot on his property. She got into his phone while he slept and read all his messages from everyone he knows. That is why she is mad at me because I gave him legal advice because she said he will never see their unborn child. She went off on me and told me how dare I disrespect her after she read my private messages.

Can you tell me what is happening here? I am completely stunned and not sure what we are dealing with. Also, she pawned her wedding band that son is still paying on. Said it was hers. Few days later, demanded his wedding band because she paid for it. It is hers. Please help.

Why Is Son’s Wife Saying He Abused Her?

Answered by on -

A.

Sadly, I can’t tell you what is going on with your daughter-in-law without interviewing her. From your description, it is possible that she is suffering from a psychosis related to her pregnancy. It’s rare but it does sometimes happen. The fact that she is accusing multiple people and distrusting people around her who you think are trustworthy suggests that the “abuse” is in her head, but I won’t rule it out. Just because someone is acting symptomatic doesn’t mean that there isn’t also something serious going on.

She needs to be evaluated by a mental health professional, not blamed or shamed or arrested. Since she has other children, it is especially important that she get an evaluation — for their protection as well as hers. Since she reached out to your son to take her other children when she was in such distress (despite the fact that she is accusing him of abusing her), I’m concerned. It may be necessary for him to contact child protective services to ensure the children’s safety. Although I don’t like the term “crazy”, her parents may be correct that there is something seriously wrong.

Since she is attending the church, is it possible that the pastor can influence her to see her obstetrician for a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist? The pastor may be in a unique position to encourage her to get the help and support she needs. Since psychosis related to pregnancy is rare, the evaluator should be alerted that there is some concern by those close to her that it is a possibility.

As for the wedding bands. Once a gift is given, a receiver can do with it what they wish. Although unfortunate, she does have the right to pawn her own ring. But she doesn’t have the right to demand that your son return the ring she gave him.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Why Is Son’s Wife Saying He Abused Her?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Why Is Son’s Wife Saying He Abused Her?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/07/26/why-is-sons-wife-saying-he-abused-her/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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