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I think I've made a huge mistake...


annapreston

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Hey everyone,

This is my first post on this website but I need advice. My husband and I have been married a year and a half. In the beginning he was doting, happy, and would go out and do things with me and actually have fun doing them. He used to make me breakfast in bed and tell me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me. He was fun, outgoing.

Things started to change gradually. He plays professional tennis and so he would be gone for occasional spats of time. When he had local matches I would go see him play to give him support. He was constantly complaining that I wasn't cheering loud enough and I wasn't being supportive enough. It felt like he was blaming his failures on me. Around 7 months into our marriage we started to argue quite a bit. The arguments usually revolved around him not feeling appreciated enough, or him not being present when we went out and did things together. Getting him to do things with me that didn't involve tennis was like pulling teeth. Whenever we did go out together, he didn't have much to say and seemed irritated, angry or just not there. As for him saying I wasn't being supportive enough, I tried my best but I am a full-time student and there's only so much I can do. I would make him food and coffee, get up early to help him pack for his trips, do all his dishes. He would also make me food and do dishes as well, it was a two-way street. I went to all his matches and would even go to the courts with him for two hours two times a week and throw balls for him. It never seemed to be enough. The arguments often turned nasty. He called me horrible names, like "wh**", "c***", stupid cow, using personal things I had told him against me, saying that I had made my ex-boyfriend hate himself and that's why he had broken up with me (it was an extremely tough break-up and I had opened up about it to him). My self-esteem plummeted. Whenever he used these words against me I told him it was emotionally abusive and how it affected me. He continued to do it until I threatened to leave him until we got counseling. We went to one session and it improved for two months. Now it's slowly sliding back to the way it was. He continues to call me names. He continues to be distant. When I ask him what's wrong he always claims that it's nothing, but he never seems happy. I always have to initiate anything physical with him, and half the time it seems like he perceives it as a chore, or something he has to do.

I booked a trip together to Romania, and since he's training for tennis it was during a Futures Tennis tournament here. I understand he's here for work, but we went out for dinner last night and I was so happy and excited to be in a foreign country and he couldn't have been more of a bummer. He seemed bored, didn't seem invested in the conversation that I was trying to start with him. It feels like we've run out of things to talk about. He doesn't seem excited about life or interested in me in the slightest. He refuses to talk about it with me. I'm so tired of going to his tennis practices and waiting for him to get off just so he can be horrible to me when we finally get to spend time with him. I'm invested in this relationship, but for some reason it feels like he's given up. I feel trapped, and distant from him. I want a divorce but whenever I think about it I'm overwhelmed with fear. I want to leave him but I don't know if it's the right thing to do because I still love him, but it doesn't seem fair to me to continue this. I snapped at him this morning because he left the door wide open to our apartment that we're renting, and he exploded, calling me a "greedy c***", and told me to fly home. I shouldn't have snapped at him, but I am so fed up with his apathy and his lack of interest in anything except tennis. I need advice, I'm not sure what to do. I think it was a mistake getting married to him.

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You can't run out of things to talk to If both participants are fully involved into a conversation and are in the moment. It's hard knowing what to do in these situations, and even If we do know what's right for us we often have a hard time getting enough courage to do it. Try having a serious conversation with him without screaming and cursing because that fixes nothing. Maybe he's dealing with something he wont tell you, but even If he is you shouldn't be a victim of his emotional problems.

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I've never cursed at him in my life. One of the problems is that he says horrible, shocking things in the heat of the moment and it's hard for me to look past the things that he says.

 

This "heat of a moment" doesn't justify it. You tolerating his nasty behaviour would serve him as an aproval to continue doing it. You don't like being called like that - make sure he knows. If it continues do what your inner self is telling you

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If you love him, and want to make it work, then I would suggest you open up to him about how you're feeling and explore continuing counselling. If he is just as committed as you, then he should be open to this. You can't really continue the way you are, especially if it's starting to impact your self-esteem. If it was me I'd view it as a last shot, if he isn't open to making things work and doesn't commit to this then you know that you've tried. There's only so much you can do, and so much you can put up with. He needs to understand how his behaviour is making you feel, and the damaging impact its having upon your relationship.

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So sorry to hear you are being treated in this manner, Anna. This is abuse, verbal and emotional.

 

"He called me horrible names, like "wh**", "c***", stupid cow, using personal things I had told him against me, saying that I had made my ex-boyfriend hate himself and that's why he had broken up with me (it was an extremely tough break-up and I had opened up about it to him). My self-esteem plummeted. Whenever he used these words against me I told him it was emotionally abusive and how it affected me. He continued to do it until I threatened to leave him until we got counseling. We went to one session and it improved for two months. Now it's slowly sliding back to the way it was. He continues to call me names. He continues to be distant. When I ask him what's wrong he always claims that it's nothing, but he never seems happy. I always have to initiate anything physical with him, and half the time it seems like he perceives it as a chore, or something he has to do."

 

It was indeed a mistake getting married to someone like this, but now is the time to make a decision and not waste any more time. You could have a contented and decent life, but not with this individual.

 

As you say:

 

" I want a divorce but whenever I think about it I'm overwhelmed with fear. I want to leave him but I don't know if it's the right thing to do because I still love him, but it doesn't seem fair to me to continue this"

 

You know yourself what is the right thing to do. He does not love you. He doesn't even respect you. If he did he wouldn't treat you badly.

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Here is what I think happened - you were dazzled by his being sort of a celebrity and an athlete, you enjoyed the "doting" and you ignored the moodiness/temper flare ups (how does he react when he misses a tennis shot?) because you loved the doting and that he could provide while you were a full time student. I am not blaming you just suggesting that he didn't change, you just are seeing more of who he is now. I dated someone who had intermittent explosive disorder mostly focused on when he played tennis (not really professionally but I think he might have been on a team). He used to break rackets he told me and then toned it down. The day before we broke up after dating a few months was when he took me along to watch him play. And I saw the temper flare ups and his way of expressing himself was downright scary. I always wondered whether he had me come because he was already losing interest in me (which seemed to be the case). He told me he was done getting therapy, this was who he was. And I was done ,right at that moment.

 

So yes unless he's willing to go to anger management counseling and put 110% into that I would leave before it gets worse.

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Honestly, if I were in your shoes and wasn't fully ready for divorce, I would just indulge in my own life. Stop going to all his tennis matches. Let him practice twice a week on his own and chase down his own balls. Quit dragging him along to adventurous vacations. Let him sink on his own. Meanwhile, you go live your life. Go on a vacation alone if you want, or bring a girlfriend. Go to one of those wine and paint places. Whatever your hobbies are, start spending more time doing them!!

 

As a result, either A.) he will see how happy you are and follow your lead, or B.) you will be in a healthier mindset and will see clearly that your life is better without him. Either way, you win.

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Well I've moved out of our apartment we were renting in Romania for now and I'm staying in a youth hostel until I can figure out what needs to happen. He texted me and wants to work it out and continue therapy but I'm not sure I want to... thanks for all the help guys I don't know what I would do without your advice. I have no way to call my parents from this country because the calls are insanely expensive. Eating truffle pizza by myself in Old Town Bucharest as I write this. I feel super relieved.

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This guy isn't name John McEnroe is he? Anyway, sorry, but he sounds like a huge jerk. And usually huge jerks don't actually learn until they experience loss, if they ever learn at all. So, unless he has some sort of miraculous epiphany, things don't look good for you two, I'm sorry. One of the lessons I've learned in life, is no matter how angry you get, you CANNOT talk to a person like that. Ever. It will eventually drive even the most long-suffering people away.

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Good for you, Anna.

 

I would not stay married to this person. He is emotionally and verbally abusive and doesn't appear to even like you. You need to start demanding more for yourself, and I would begin by seeing a divorce lawyer when you return home.

 

Enjoy that truffle pizza. Get out of the city and see some of the lovely historical towns around Romania too, if you can. Enjoy your freedom. Enjoy the thrill of seeing a new country and exploring a new culture. Don't let this jerk taint what could be the beginning of a very exciting new chapter in your life.

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If this was your friend going through this; her husband was belittling her, constantly demanding of her time and energy, and didn't even care to talk to her, what would you advise your friend to do? Call your family and friends and be honest; I'd t; his emotional abuse is just the tip of the iceberg; and can turn physical. You don't need marital counseling. He needs to go to counseling and anger management. Honestly, abusive men like this, you could tell him he's won a million dollars and you've discovered the cure to cancer, and he'd still find a way to tear you down.

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Your husband sounds mentally and emotionally abusive. I think you did the right thing by moving out. I understand wanting to save a marriage, but do not go back to this man. You may be able to attend more couples therapy if you want to work on it, but do not move back in unless you believe therapy has resolved your issues. He will not change on his own .

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He is verbally and emotionally abusive, and acts like a black hole absorbing all your energy. These guys are wonderful at the beginning of a relationship, and then the abuse levels creep up and up until you become a shadow of your former self. You could give him 110% of yourself, and he would still complain you weren't supporting him. You are right to get out, now, before he does the kind of damage to your self esteem which will take years to heal from.

 

You may find this link useful:

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Well I've moved out of our apartment we were renting in Romania for now and I'm staying in a youth hostel until I can figure out what needs to happen. He texted me and wants to work it out and continue therapy but I'm not sure I want to... thanks for all the help guys I don't know what I would do without your advice. I have no way to call my parents from this country because the calls are insanely expensive. Eating truffle pizza by myself in Old Town Bucharest as I write this. I feel super relieved.

 

Good. I hope you divorce him and never look back.

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This entire story makes me incredibly sad but also very worried for you and here's why. Your husband seems to be suffering from some form of mental disorder. I know that may sound like i'm putting snap labels on someone i don't know, but that behavior is actually incredibly borderline. I personally suffer from borderline personality disorder and a lot of what you're describing is very similar to me in a relationship (although I am female, and i don't use aggressive language or belittlement) I mostly just get into really really bad moods because I'll feel like i'm being treated unfairly over very minuscule things. My partners could never do enough to make me happy. I noticed it once I entered my present relationship and my partner actually IS amazing, healthy, wonderful, loyal, yet it was still never enough. I changed my ways because I personally wanted to and needed to because I have that innate desire to be happy and healthy, but your husband won't change his ways at all until he realizes he has some major issues and seeks to change it. He would have to actively retrain his brain and how he processes his emotions. I would divorce him unless he agrees to doing this (most likely counseling or reading therapy books) otherwise you're looking at a future of this same frustration and unfair treatment towards you. I'm not saying he has BPD, he could. But he could also have any number of other personality disorders or mood disorders. What was his family life like growing up?

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Cant give much advice on marriage, as Im not married and I believe it is a completely different realm from a normal relationship because in marriage I think you have to always try to work through the issues

 

However, in my opinion, its going to hurt alot, but I think you should divorce. He is abusive

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GET OUT!! This man will diminish you and your spirit until there is nothing left. Do some reading about narcissistic, sociopathic and anti social behavior. If any of it rings true - LEAVE IMMEDIATELY, run, don't look back and don't listen to his pleas to return. They will come I promise you. I married a man who is a sociopath. It almost destroyed me. Trust me on this one girl. He won't change and the only time you will see the man that you saw in the beginning is when he is trying to convince you to stay.

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Sounds to me as though the pressure of professional sport is too much for him, and he is taking it out on you and the relationship is breaking down as a consequence. The pressure that professional athletes have on them is immense. I am not excusing what he did or is doing but just highlighting what may or may not be causing it. From your first post, it's interesting that you say he was never present and always irritable when the two of you were out. Sounds to me as though he is unable to focus on anything in life other than tennis. It's a shame and something that can't be easily fixed.

 

The bottom line of course is that he is not right for you at this time in this state. However, I would question whether he could improve by counselling or therapy of some kind. I wonder if he was able to escape the pressures and stresses of tennis, what kind of relationship the two of you could have? And how different he may be? Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to make this happen, as it needs to come from within him. He needs to reflect on what he has done and ask himself a lot of questions and whether a relationship is what he wants. Likewise for you, are you prepared to work with him through this or would you be better moving on.

 

Hope that doesn't sound like I'm excusing his behaviour. I'm just trying to see his side and a way the relationship could be saved, but yes, others are correct in saying it may be best to walk away.

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Agree with everything everyone else has said so far. Great feedback.

 

I also think that this is the type of guy who only wants someone who wants to immerse themselves in his passion, tennis, and that's it. As long as you are indulging in his tennis career, he's a happy camper, but the second he thinks you're not (i.e. he doesn't think you're cheering loud enough, what a load of b.s.), you're done as far as he's concerned.

 

I spent many years online dating, and I found this in a lot of guys (I'm sure it exists in women as well), and some are just more up-front about this than others: As long as you like motorcycles/will fish with me/will attend football games with me/will bike ride with me, I'll date you.

 

Additionally, as Batya says, I do believe this is intermittent explosive disorder. I was engaged to a guy like this once: sweetest, nicest, greatest guy in the world, until his team started losing. My guy had an obsessive love for his specific team, and he literally got kicked out of stadiums, it would be so bad. After the game, sweet, nice, awesome again. Once we moved in together, the intermittent explosions were turned towards me, with similar name-calling, and bringing up my intimate prior life sharings....."You c*nt, you need therapy, with your xyz from your past". It took me about 2 times of hearing this before I left. I found a terrific counselor who helped me get the strength to leave. I advise you do the same: find a great counselor, and work out your exit strategy.

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