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In his tightly sealed box


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Feel like my life has become a real life soap opera! Movie worthy material! To begin to convey my situation I must begin by saying that I have been in a emotionally, physically, and mentally detrimental marriage for 15 years. My husband is the real life representation of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". On a good day he is so kind, generous, and loving. He can almost be overly loving and affectionate to the point where I feel that I'm gasping for air. On a bad day he exhibits extreme emotional instability. He can become jealous, possessive and controlling to the extent of which he looses all rational. When he is at a point of lost control, he becomes physically abusive. He can rapidly transition from one emotional extreme to the next. He has always had a jealous streak but things have gradually progressed to this extent over the last 5 years. I believe I was in denial about the level of abuse in which I was submitting to.


I was apparently blinded by the false perception of happiness and tainted outlook on what my life consisted of. I had engulfed myself into a fully conscious dreamlike existence. Dreams are often more ideal than the cruel reality. Truth is I'd been living as a prisoner . A prisoner of my thoughts and emotions, a prisoner of my physical limitations, and mostly prisoner of fear. Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of what others may perceive, fear of the boundaries that I had manifested into my life.


The beginning of bad to worst began when I went back to college to finish my degree program. My husband would occasionally meet me for lunch at the campus. He began to fixate on a male classmate that he said gave him a "bad vibe". He could never quite communicate what it was that he didn't like about him. With time his paranoia increased to a point of which every argument was centered around this one person. I can honestly say that I wasn’t attracted to this individual and couldn’t understand where my husband’s insecurities were stemming from. Ultimately, I ended up dropping the class in order to avoid the constant accusations and finally have peace of mind.


Two years later while working at my dream job, one of my colleagues decided to leave the company. Her position was posted and off-site interviews were conducted. The position was filled a short time after. My boss arranged a time for my colleagues and self to introduce and welcome the newcomer. As a sat in the conference room, here walks in….. Yes you guessed it! The same guy from the class. My heart sank into my stomach and I knew that my already unstable home life was about to get a whole lot worst. I immediately masked my grief with a forcefully concocted smile and greeted him “ John its so good to see ya! It’s been a while! Welcome to the team!” I walked away feeling defeated. I drove home consciously aware that the conversation I’d be having with my husband would send me full force into a storm.


Of course his initial thought was that I’d been in contact with John all along. He suggested that it was me that got him the job and we had been having an affair for the last 2 years. Arguments were intense and often ended with me physically abused. He would text and call throughout the work day and if I was busy and didn’t answer he’d go on a tangent! I often cried while driving home from work not knowing what I’d be facing once I got there. With every argument and fight I grew further apart from him. Seems like all the love that I had for him dissipated leaving me empty and broken.


My job became my refuge from my home life. It became my “happy place”. John and I worked very closely as we were assigned the same projects. He and I worked together for about a year and a half and became quite close . Feelings began to consume me. How did I miss this before? “Not now” and “not him” I thought. A part of me felt like my husband subconsciously spoke the situation into existence. Or just maybe God was trying to tell me that he was the one and my husband received the message before I. I mean, this was our 2nd encounter. I felt like maybe there was some deep rooted intuition that my husband was feeling when he first met him back at the university. I never imagined that there would ever be validity to my husband’s worries.


The timing of all of this couldn’t have been any worst. I had just began to search. Search for aspects that I couldn't identity but, knew were missing from my life. Unimaginable hopelessness. Where do you begin to locate what is obviously not tangible? Realizing now that my search had to begin in a realm that is not physical but, spiritual. Feelings of emptiness and un-fulfillment. What could I offer John when I was not whole? I would just end up extracting the energy from him, sucking him dry to fill up what was missing in me. Despite never truly reaching gratification because as I said, what was missing could only be obtained from the spiritual realm. I was beginning my journey of "self discovery" and slowly beginning to gain a sense of self worth. Through this discovery, my perception of everything around me became altered. This awakening was abrupt and disheartening. I was beginning to build myself up from the lows I endured as a result of years of volatile treatment and abuse. It wasn’t the time to heavy my load with the emotions I began to feel for John.


I am naturally a guarded and reclusive person. I believe that I discovered aspects in john that I seen in myself. This type of familiarity made me feel safe. Felt like "home". Feelings of warmth overtook and satiated me. I've never experienced conversing with someone that seemed to understand me on such a deep level. Felt as though the words I spoke merely complemented the unspoken understanding that he already had. I had the misconception that by withholding myself from him physically I'd be safe and no wrong would be done. How naïve of me to think that a physical bond takes precedence over an emotional bond. I now realize that what I had invested was much more expansive. I opened up my soul to him. I told him things about myself that I never acknowledged until the words left my mouth and those deep thoughts were manifested to realization. I felt so comfortable and at ease. Why did I feel so comfortable? I don't share aspects of me that leave me naked and susceptible. I carelessly allowed myself to step into a place of precariousness and uncertainty. He had this forceful pull over me. Never felt quite that way before.


I could no longer suppress my emotions and decided to tell john what I was feeling. Not to my surprise, the feelings were mutual. I think that saying what I felt out loud magnified it's intensity leaving us both engulfed in emotions. I acted as the captain of ship and the initiator in submerging us into a rolling sea of emotions. Despite having the awareness that if the ship sinks one of us, if not both of us may drown, I continued to proceed. I lead him down a path to a fork in the road and then with reluctance, decided to just stand there. Selfishness. I lured him down a path with a blatant cognizance that I was disinclined and unprepared to continue on. How self-indulgent of me to impose on him. I fell in love with him and all rational immediately dissipated. The initial mistake was allowing myself to be driven by my emotions and not by God’s will.


My marriage has sucked the life out of me leaving me numb and empty. Being with him made me suddenly feel alive again. I was consumed by the need to feel even a smidgen of the energy he radiated. I crave him emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. He challenges me in a way that stimulates my thought process and has transformed me. Now that I have experienced the bliss of his precarious depth, I don't know how I can re-acclimate and encapsulate myself to wallowing in shallowness.


I often talk to God about him. I try to gain clarity by trying to find answers as to why he brought him to me (not once, but twice). Coincidence? I think not. God has carefully crafted the sequence of events and encounters that we experience in a lifetime. I believe that he gives us the decision making ability to choose the direction and route in which we take. I believe that on this journey called "life" we choose our path and with each turn we either venture closer or further from fulfilling Gods purpose for our lives. Every step that we take along the way is of such great importance. One step in the wrong direction can spark a series of unfavorable events that could not only impede growth but, cause regression. For this reason the notion of John seems so uncertain. I can’t decipher if he is Gods greatest gift or most carefully calculated test.


After a over a year of mental and physical abuse, I left my job and the notion of pursuing things any further with John. I left to appease my husband and to prevent myself from reaching a point of no return. I’d already gave john so much of me. If things were to become physical, it would only solidify the need for a divorce. I felt that I had to get out while I still had an opportunity to make a choice. It has been almost a year since I left my last job. John and I occasionally speak by phone and have met for lunch a couple times. Last month I gathered up the strength to tell him that I am not able to see or talk to him any longer. During that conversation John told me that he was in love with me. As painful as that decision has been, I felt that regardless of any of my husband's wrong doing, continuing to maintain a friendship with John would slowly chip away at my sense of loyalty, honesty, and morale bit by bit. I couldn't risk losing the aspects of myself that I value most. Lose myself while following my heart? I’m not sure that my marriage is worth saving, but if I decide to leave I want to do it while maintaining my dignity. Although, I know that ending my friendship with John was the right thing at this time, I am completely heartbroken to a point of which I feel physically ill.


I have been seriously contemplating divorce but I am afraid that my husband will become even more emotionally unstable. I care for him enough to want to protect him from pain that may take a toll on his already fragile mental capacity. I am afraid of what a mental breakdown may cause. His hours were recently cut at his job and currently I am the bread winner in our home which, has already negatively effected his self esteem. Since I left my last job he has become substantially less aggressive, but I am afraid that this is just a band aid fix. I feel that should another unforeseen triggers arise, I will be thrown back into dealing with a monster. Additionally, I am finding it very difficult to overcome the awful treatment that I previously endured. My perception of him is ever-changing. I shift between feeling sadness and pain, Love and sympathy, unhealthy attachment, and numb to a point of not feeling anything at all.


The notion of a divorce brings me great anxiety. We have 3 children and I don’t want them to be subject to witnessing their father have a meltdown. He is extremely temperamental and I am often walking on egg shells. He wants to have control over every aspect of my life. I have become isolated from my family and friends and my whole life revolves around him and our children. I feel trapped and imprisoned in my own home. Although I am currently living in a tightly sealed box, I find myself terrified of what lies on the other side. My husband was my first boyfriend and all that I really know, which I am sure adds to my attachment issues. I have fallen into a place of complacency and just endure whatever the day brings. I feel so conflicted and hopeless.

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Sorry to hear this but God did not set you up in an abusive relationship. Is this an arranged marriage you can't get out of?


You should be talking to a domestic violence hotline, not God, about this.

he becomes physically abusive. The initial mistake was allowing myself to be driven by my emotions and not by God’s will. I often talk to God about him. I try to gain clarity by trying to find answers as to why he brought him. God has carefully crafted the sequence of events
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Listen to yourself: "trapped in my own home; terrified; complacency; conflicted; hopeless; sadness; pain; unhealthy attachment; numb."


If this were a friend of yours, what would you tell them to do if they were feeling these things? Would you want your friend to live a happy life, one that doesn't include daily fear and remorse, or would you tell her to just grin and bear it, suck it up and be miserable for the sake of this person who makes you feel so awful?


Get outside of yourself. Empathize with YOURSELF. Novel concept, right? Read what you wrote as if someone else wrote it, and ignore the details, because that's what you're hanging up on, the length of time, the kids, his past outbursts, etc. Focus on what you need to be happy --- to me, that sounds like you need to get out of this mess. I'm not saying that's an easy thing to do, but the right thing, the healthy thing, the best thing, is rarely the easiest thing.

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Just my opinion, but if there was a God he wouldn't put you through so much cr@p. This is a toxic, emotionally and physically unstable and unhealthy relationship. You need to get out of this as soon as you can. Your children and ONLY your children have to be your priority right now. They will not thank you in the future for allowing this to continue - I know this for a fact. Your husband is a bully and a control freak. Whilst you say that your husband has isolated you from your family and friends, it doesn't necessarily mean that they won't stand by you when you make the break from him. You just have to be brave. Phone someone to come and get you when you know he's not going to be around. Pack a few things and leave. Material things don't matter. Your and your childrens health and well being does. what your husband does after that then let him get on with it. You've put up with this for too long. Life is too short to put up with rubbish from people.


Instead of feeling hopeless (and I appreciate it's not easy when you can't see a way out) ask yourself if this is where you really want to be in the next year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years and if you want your children to be witness to it too. I know I wouldn't. Good luck X

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I wonder if you can't see the forest for the trees? What I mean is, can you distill this down to get a clearer picture for yourself? I ask that because I recognize getting lost in the details and story of a relationship, making it hard to choose and act for the best outcome, and thus remain stuck.


Not deciding is a also a way of deciding.


You said " I believe that he gives us the decision making ability to choose the direction and route in which we take." Have faith that your husband also has that ability and would still have it if you divorce. You can't foresee what choices or strengths or help he might find. If you decide to stay together, can you also decide to get help for your marriage and for yourself?

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Thank you much for the replies. Much of what was said is very valid and absolutely resonates. I know what needs to happen. I fear change, but even more I fear the outcome. I have grown very comfortable with just complying to achieve peace rather than taking the not so simple approach and stand up for myself. I have endured the worst of treatment and instead of leaving, I just tried to understand the reasoning behind his actions. I recall on many occasions after being abused, comforting him as if he were being victimized. I am becoming more and more cognizant of the role that I have played in all of this. I would tell myself that his jealousy and possessiveness was how he expressed love. He was raised by emotionally abusive parents and I wanted to believe that he was just never shown the proper way to love another person. I know that I sound like I am throwing one big pity party but I feel like I am just now seeing the light and I need to get it all off my chest. He is currently more mild tempered but I am not sure how long that will last. As I said before, he is quite easily triggered. I feel like right now I am on "stand by" waiting for the next all out temper tantrum to occur in order to establish grounds for leaving. I realize that being proactive rather than reactive isn't best but guess its like the weather, you don't seek shelter until it's storming.

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Awareness, self-awareness is the first step. Understand that the peace that you have been trying to maintain is a superficial and temporary peace. I don't get the sense that you experience a deep peace about this. We hear about the different ways people react to threats, with fight or flight, but there is also freeze. Freezing in place may work temporarily, but then if we follow examples of wild animals, they will eventually remove themselves from the unsafe environment. They might go quietly, or they might go quickly, but they make a choice to move forward. They may not know where they'll end up, but they move in a better direction.


The next step for you might be to start imagining your better future, what you will feel like (the inner experience), start an inner dialogue about that. Discuss it here if it will help it take shape for you.


I'm not saying you have to leave, but something needs to change for it to improve, and you can only make choices for change with yourself. You can't expect him to change first. He may eventually, but you don't know.

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Actually that's why people build homes to have a solid foundation and protection, not just a place to run when the inevitable cycles of of abuse recur. At least start informing yourself about what abuse is and what kinds of help there is.


Are you in a cult or an arranged marriage or a culture/country where women have no rights?

but guess its like the weather, you don't seek shelter until it's storming.
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Originally Posted by debk39

but guess its like the weather, you don't seek shelter until it's storming.


Actually, some people listen to the forecast, and when away from shelter look for signs of the weather changing. There are signs that provide hints, change in clouds, air movement, animal activity, temperature, distant thunder. When you notice the signs you can adjust your activities so as not to be vulnerable to rough conditions.

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