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Thread: On & Off Emotionally Abusive Marriage... I am Deciding Whether to Stay or Leave

  1. #21
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    Never mind. Guess I’ll figure out by myself and I’ll deal with it alone. I can’t find the support I need. Thanks.

  2. #22
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SingingRain
    Umm.. maybe I’ve come to the wrong support site. I’m looking for understanding and compassion from people who have been through it. Not for criticisms and confrontational statements. I’m not in denial. Can anyone understand my situation?? If not I’m leaving this site.
    OP we have compassion for your situation... many of us have been in this exact place... and if we knew then what we knew now we would make different decisions... yes it's hard to leave an abusive relationship, however you aren't doing yourself any favors by avoiding confronting these difficult realizations... it's simply allowing you to stay stuck in this situation... don't you believe you deserve better than having to sit on eggshells waiting for the next time he blows up and attacks you?

    Believe it or not there are many men in this world that are kind, loving, compassionate, and don't act like tyrants when they don't get their way. Also... you are much stronger and more capable than you realize and can make an amazing life for yourself as a single woman if that's what you want.

    You can have anything you want in life... stop placing limits on yourself by accepting his treatment of you as payment for the good times in the relationship. it doesn't have to be that way.

  3. #23
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    Originally Posted by maew
    OP we have compassion for your situation... many of us have been in this exact place... and if we knew then what we knew now we would make different decisions... yes it's hard to leave an abusive relationship, however you aren't doing yourself any favors by avoiding confronting these difficult realizations... it's simply allowing you to stay stuck in this situation... don't you believe you deserve better than having to sit on eggshells waiting for the next time he blows up and attacks you?

    Believe it or not there are many men in this world that are kind, loving, compassionate, and don't act like tyrants when they don't get their way. Also... you are much stronger and more capable than you realize and can make an amazing life for yourself as a single woman if that's what you want.

    You can have anything you want in life... stop placing limits on yourself by accepting his treatment of you as payment for the good times in the relationship. it doesn't have to be that way.
    Yes I do deserve better than when he attacks me. It’s not often. I just cannot imagine leaving him.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SingingRain
    Yes I do deserve better than when he attacks me. It’s not often. I just cannot imagine leaving him.
    There are no magic words that will make this easier for you... except perhaps to say that if you want to stay with him, you need to start accepting him for who he is instead of battling with him. He isn't going to change at this stage of the game, nor should he... you chose to marry him based on who he was at the time, so it's not fair to expect him to change now.

    If you want to change the dance, you need to start with yourself and how you respond to the conflict in your relationship. If you choose to respond in a way that doesn't escalate his behavior, it will have no choice but to fizzle out on it's own. Be prepared for it to get worse before it gets better as he tries harder to engage you, that's normal... however you get to decide how you want to be in this relationship and then work on being that person.

    At least then you will feel better about how you have handled things and perhaps can stop some of the insanity of what is currently happening.

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Feeling for you—as, I think, everyone listening to you is.

    I think where you're feeling frustrated in this thread is because people are struggling to offer compassionate words, in the form you want or expected. But when someone says "abuse" or "abusive" the greatest display of compassion is to encourage that person to seek safety. That's kind of a fact—and there are ways in which watering down that fact can be more damaging (non-compassionate) than highlighting it. Hence I want to pull out my own bullhorn and tell you that you are worth more than this, that love can feel different than this—and that the hard road of exiting it is but a fraction as hard as staying in it.

    That out of the way, I'll try to approach this momentarily from a less incendiary angle: that you are married to someone you are not compatible with—or, perhaps, semi-compatible with, and you are deeply frustrated by this choice you've made.

    I frame it that way not to assign blame to you—or to dismiss his role in all this—but the opposite: to assign power to you, which I think is what you're seeking. With him and now, by proxy, with us. I'm just not quite sure if your chosen measure of seeking it, in both cases, actually serves you. For instance, with us you are dismissing the words you don't want to hear, while trying to get us to say the words you do, which is to say you're trying to turn us into people we are not. In the process you're growing only more frustrated, more powerless.

    Is that a familiar state of affairs in this relationship, or relationships in general?

    I ask that because of how you described your marriage being conditional on him not raising his voice at you. Except that's not a fact; it's a story told to soften the fact. He did raise his voice at you, and you chose to marry him anyway. That is the fact. Your marriage was conditional on him raising his voice at you occasionally—and on you finding power, of a sort, by setting new conditions when he did. You are writing this thread, in part, because you're realizing no real power comes from this dynamic.

    It's false power, at best, because it's built around a false premise. At best it makes incompatibility a bonding point and at worst it enables abuse.

    Feel for you. Hugs. But what do my hugs and feelings get you? Half a second of relief?

    The million dollar question still shines just as bright and jaggedly: Can you change this dynamic inside the relationship rather than changing it by ending the relationship? Well, that is hard. Relationships in and of themselves are rewards for behavior—both the good and the bad, which is why we try to pick people whose "bad" sides are things we're "good" with. Marriage is the ultimate reward.

    The only way to find power inside an abusive dynamic—save for leaving—is to (a) not give the abuse any power over you and (b) to seek power outside of him. He is a still point. He's not going to change—and, if he does, it's not going to be "for" you. But you can change.

    You can treat his outrages the way a parent treats a child who throws a tantrum. The parent sees through the tantrum, is not phased. You have to not be phased. So instead of thinking of him as an abusive monster, a Jekyll/Hyde, you need to think of him as just a man, a person with a full spectrum of personhood that you want to see if you can live alongside. He needs to be half your size in your imagination, not twice your size, with the hope that maybe it all levels out.

    And if it doesn't? You grew into a bigger, stronger, more powerful shape than you're in right now. You got back some of that power you're craving, but you mined it from within, not through him. Once you have that, even just a shake more than you do today, you will see the dilemma from a different angle. Either he steps up, and meets you on the plane you create through self-empowerment, or he shows you he is incapable of that. Both of those are wins.

    That's about the best I can do, given what you're giving us to work with. I don't know you, don't know your romantic history over 49 years of life. I do know that it doesn't need to feel like this, and I hope you can take steps from that piece of knowledge.

  7. #26
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    Originally Posted by maew
    There are no magic words that will make this easier for you... except perhaps to say that if you want to stay with him, you need to start accepting him for who he is instead of battling with him. He isn't going to change at this stage of the game, nor should he... you chose to marry him based on who he was at the time, so it's not fair to expect him to change now.

    If you want to change the dance, you need to start with yourself and how you respond to the conflict in your relationship. If you choose to respond in a way that doesn't escalate his behavior, it will have no choice but to fizzle out on it's own. Be prepared for it to get worse before it gets better as he tries harder to engage you, that's normal... however you get to decide how you want to be in this relationship and then work on being that person.

    At least then you will feel better about how you have handled things and perhaps can stop some of the insanity of what is currently happening.
    Thank you... I appreciate your post. Yes, I've determined that I need to change my own reactions. I am reactive and get angry and respond in kind when he raises his voice. What I wish to try is to deescalate the situation by no longer reacting. I have tried walking away from him, but he follows me, continuing to argue with me. So if I don't react, there's nothing to argue about right? And if I don't respond in kind, then it's obvious that he's the one yelling.

  8. #27
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Feeling for you—as, I think, everyone listening to you is.

    I think where you're feeling frustrated in this thread is because people are struggling to offer compassionate words, in the form you want or expected. But when someone says "abuse" or "abusive" the greatest display of compassion is to encourage that person to seek safety. That's kind of a fact—and there are ways in which watering down that fact can be more damaging (non-compassionate) than highlighting it. Hence I want to pull out my own bullhorn and tell you that you are worth more than this, that love can feel different than this—and that the hard road of exiting it is but a fraction as hard as staying in it.

    That out of the way, I'll try to approach this momentarily from a less incendiary angle: that you are married to someone you are not compatible with—or, perhaps, semi-compatible with, and you are deeply frustrated by this choice you've made.

    I frame it that way not to assign blame to you—or to dismiss his role in all this—but the opposite: to assign power to you, which I think is what you're seeking. With him and now, by proxy, with us. I'm just not quite sure if your chosen measure of seeking it, in both cases, actually serves you. For instance, with us you are dismissing the words you don't want to hear, while trying to get us to say the words you do, which is to say you're trying to turn us into people we are not. In the process you're growing only more frustrated, more powerless.

    Is that a familiar state of affairs in this relationship, or relationships in general?

    I ask that because of how you described your marriage being conditional on him not raising his voice at you. Except that's not a fact; it's a story told to soften the fact. He did raise his voice at you, and you chose to marry him anyway. That is the fact. Your marriage was conditional on him raising his voice at you occasionally—and on you finding power, of a sort, by setting new conditions when he did. You are writing this thread, in part, because you're realizing no real power comes from this dynamic.

    It's false power, at best, because it's built around a false premise. At best it makes incompatibility a bonding point and at worst it enables abuse.

    Feel for you. Hugs. But what do my hugs and feelings get you? Half a second of relief?

    The million dollar question still shines just as bright and jaggedly: Can you change this dynamic inside the relationship rather than changing it by ending the relationship? Well, that is hard. Relationships in and of themselves are rewards for behavior—both the good and the bad, which is why we try to pick people whose "bad" sides are things we're "good" with. Marriage is the ultimate reward.

    The only way to find power inside an abusive dynamic—save for leaving—is to (a) not give the abuse any power over you and (b) to seek power outside of him. He is a still point. He's not going to change—and, if he does, it's not going to be "for" you. But you can change.

    You can treat his outrages the way a parent treats a child who throws a tantrum. The parent sees through the tantrum, is not phased. You have to not be phased. So instead of thinking of him as an abusive monster, a Jekyll/Hyde, you need to think of him as just a man, a person with a full spectrum of personhood that you want to see if you can live alongside. He needs to be half your size in your imagination, not twice your size, with the hope that maybe it all levels out.

    And if it doesn't? You grew into a bigger, stronger, more powerful shape than you're in right now. You got back some of that power you're craving, but you mined it from within, not through him. Once you have that, even just a shake more than you do today, you will see the dilemma from a different angle. Either he steps up, and meets you on the plane you create through self-empowerment, or he shows you he is incapable of that. Both of those are wins.

    That's about the best I can do, given what you're giving us to work with. I don't know you, don't know your romantic history over 49 years of life. I do know that it doesn't need to feel like this, and I hope you can take steps from that piece of knowledge.

    Thank you for your post... and I appreciate what you've said. It's lengthy so I may not be able to reply to everything you wrote. What frustrated me is I specifically asked to not be given advice around staying or leaving, and I asked for support and compassion in my plight while I make a decision. This decision could take me months or years, even. I understand why and I get it because when most people hear the word abuse, it's not acceptable in any way and the typical and expected advice is for people to say leave the relationship. But I didn't want that. I wanted support while I figure this out.

    I am not in the position to say I want to leave. I am also not in the position to say I want to stay. I am undecided.

    I love the advice, yours included, about controlling my own behaviors and reactions, and how I am within the relationship. It's so difficult to not be phased, however, when he's having an enormous tantrum, over money let's say.

    I also have only written about the bad things. We get along amazingly well most of the time. We're very loving and affectionate with one another every single day. We kiss each other goodbye each morning, we text cute loving messages to each other during the day while at work, we miss each other even while we're working, and we cuddle and snuggle every single night together. We're very affectionate. We also enjoy the music scene together, that's both of our greatest passions and something we have together that is a deep common bond. We share many similar interests, though of course we differ in some ways too.

    Most of the time, things are loving. But like I wrote, it was bad just before the wedding and right after the wedding.. and about once per month there seems to be a big blowout fight, initiated by him. And in those fights, he fights dirty with me and becomes abusive. He also can be very controlling towards me, and I have confronted it with him. Since I confronted it, that behavior has pretty much stopped.

    I DO think there's hope for change on his part. Maybe I'm naive, but when he curbs his bad behaviors, it tells me he can control himself and keep himself in check.

    And when things are good, I feel very loving towards him, and that's what keeps me bonded to him.. hence the indeciveness over staying or leaving.

    As I wrote in my original post, however, IF there is just one more huge and awful blowout whereby he becomes cruel and insulting, I may just become so frustrated and upset that I decide to pull the plug. It's maddening that he won't get help or admit to his anger issues to me.

    But I am going to attempt to alter my own behavior in reaction to him and see what happens.
    Last edited by SingingRain; 10-07-2019 at 07:55 PM.

  9. #28
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    For the record, this is a big deal for me, to have gotten married. I was single on and off for more than 30 years. I came close to marriage and was engaged once before. I have had a few loving relationships and many abusive relationships. My father was emotionally abusive towards me, hence the pattern. I thought when I met my now husband that the pattern had finally changed. My ex fiance was very abusive. I had asked and prayed to God, "bring me the man who will marry me. You know what I need". Then I met my soon to be husband, who presented himself to be everything I was looking for. He wooed me for months to marry him. He rushed things with me, even though I wanted and expressed that I needed to take things slowly. He said all the right magic words to me. Though I did see some red flags, that I even wrote down in my journal & documented. I was aware of the red flags, but I allowed him to woo me because I was weakened after my horrific breakup with my abusive ex fiance.

    I wanted a marriage, after not ever being married for 48 years. I wanted a life partner very badly at that point. I had dated a ton. I've had a ton of boyfriends throughoout my life. I was done with the dating scene. And here was this most handsome and charming man telling me he wanted to marry me, just two months after dating. After my prayer to God, I figured, this must be the man that God sent for me!

    So that's part of the backstory. Yes, I have a lot of past abusive history. Yes, I've dealt with mental health issue and self esteem issues, though my self esteem is not so bad... it's not low, and it's not extremely high, it's middle of the road.

    He came along and I thought he was the answer to my prayers. Then just before the wedding, it blew up and it blew up badly. But I couldn't break it off at that time. I knew I should have, given his horrific behavior towards me at the time. But I didn't want to go through a traumatic breakup and lose 8K that I had spent on our honeymoon and wedding overseas... not to mention, the first vacation I had had in 20 years.

    So that's more of the story for all of you.... and now I feel very committed to seeing this through.. either way. I want to give it my best shot. There's a lot invested here, over the last year and a half. And we share financial debt as well.

  10. #29
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    Originally Posted by SingingRain
    I am at a point where if just one more blow up occurs on his end, with him yelling at me and throwing mean insults, I could seriously just be done and I may have to walk away. But I take my marriage vows seriously, I want to see things through, and I think (I think) I may still love him. I am not entirely sure yet.... honestly, that is part of what I am deciding right now.. do I even still love him?????
    Breaking up can be very scary, especially when you’re married and seemingly still in love with your partner.

    Factor in emotional abuse and your mind has become addicted to the back and forth, ups and downs and periods of “lovingness in-between”.

    The body can only take so much stress. Perhaps a day will come when your body shuts down and you can no longer take it anymore. Maybe that’s the day when you find you no longer have love for this person and that’s the day you can say, goodbye.

  11. #30
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    Originally Posted by Leah33
    Breaking up can be very scary, especially when you’re married and seemingly still in love with your partner.

    Factor in emotional abuse and your mind has become addicted to the back and forth, ups and downs and periods of “lovingness in-between”.

    The body can only take so much stress. Perhaps a day will come when your body shuts down and you can no longer take it anymore. Maybe that’s the day when you find you no longer have love for this person and that’s the day you can say, goodbye.
    thank you..... it is very scary the thought of breaking up. SO much is at stake!!!! it would be traumatic to say the least and earth shattering. Our lives are completely intertwined, including our social circle of friends which is mutual. The only way it could happen is if he completely pushes me over the edge. That's the only way. As you said, if I can take it no longer...... or if I fall out of love.

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