Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

I am new to this forum. I just got married five months ago and it's been very up and down, before the wedding and even worse after the wedding.

 

He is on and off emotionally & verbally abusive towards me. He yells at me sometimes, and we have raging, screaming horrific fights with mean, cruel insults thrown, initiated by him. He's the one who raises his voice first, and then I respond in kind. So he has anger issues, yet he never takes responsibility for his problem.. he turns everything around on me so that he is not responsible, but I am.. I tell him he has anger issues and he says, "no, YOU do!". He blames me for ALL our fights and for anything that goes wrong. He plays the blame game all the time.. "well it's your fault" he says.. he even tried to blame me for him raising his voice at me. It's totally counterproductive, which is what I tell him when he does this.

 

It is not always like this. When things are good or stable rather, he's loving, sweet and kind. Blow ups have occurred around once per month. But right now I am very wary of everything he does, I am stepping back, I am evaluating and I am taking stock of all that's happened, the good and the bad and the ugly.

 

There's more too... he's not always forthcoming with important pieces of information I should be aware of, and he has broken two promises so far, so trust is little by little being chipped away at and is eroding.

 

In addition, a lot of the time, it's always about him, what he wants, what he's going through, how he's feeling and what he needs. My needs, what I am going through, my stress, etc. all comes secondary to his and gets pushed to the side. Then when I say things like "I've been hearing all about your job stress for the last five weeks, he retorts with "well, I hear about yours ALL the time and much more than you do about mine!" This is how he is. It makes things very difficult for me.

 

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?????

 

And the other aspect of this is... I am 49 years old. First time married, no kids, no mortgage, nothing of the kind... it is scary to think of being alone for the rest of my life... I am afraid this is it for me. If this doesn't work out, I cannot take anymore dating, I cannot take anymore heartbreaks, and I cannot do yet another relationship... I've had plenty of heartbreaks and relationships to last a lifetime. So it's either this for me, or alone for life.

 

I know many of you may just tell me to leave..... I am not ready for that yet, and like I mentioned, I am deciding. Plus I cannot just up and leave. I have a rental lease on an apartment until next June, and I would have to save at least 5K to move out. I live in a most expensive part of the country.

 

So I guess I am mainly looking for support and compassion around this rather than advice to leave or stay.

 

Oh, and he won't do couples therapy. He said once early on to me that if that is ever mentioned, the relationship is over. And now I know why that is... he refuses to do any amount of introspection, he refuses to take responsibility for his poor behaviors, and he won't look at himself.

 

So that's my story. Thanks so much in advance for your replies.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 90
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Sorry to hear this. It seems everyone has already told you to leave but you are coming here hoping for a magical solution? As you mentioned, you do not want to leave because you don't want to, you are afraid to be alone and you can't afford to.

 

You also mention that you do not want to do anything to improve your situation, including going to therapy alone, privately and confidentially as you should in this case. Your entire post revolves around what a monster he is, how to fix and change him and not wanting to do anything to improve your situation. How long did you date before getting married? Is this man from another culture?

I am 49 years old. So it's either this for me, or alone for life.

 

I know many of you may just tell me to leave..... I am not ready for that yet

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did he only become abusive after the wedding?

 

If you'd rather be abused than be "alone", there isn't much any of us can suggest except maybe leave the room when he starts raging. We don't know why he does it or how to "get" him to stop.

Link to post
Share on other sites

he may not want to do therapy, but you can, and you need it the most. You mention a lot of heartbreak and failed relationships...that sound like a pattern you keep following....picking emotionally unavailable/abusive men. Therapy will give you the strength to leave.

 

You should call the abuse crisis hotline in your area. They have counselors, a place to stay, resources to help you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's sort of difficult to provide the support and compassion you are looking for in a written forum post, but here it goes... I have been where you are; in an unhappy and abusive relationship, sick of starting over, fearful of being alone, and to be honest if my ex hadn't initiated ending the marriage I might still be in it... and I thank the universe every day for whatever intervened in ending my marriage, because 3 / almost 4 years later I am happier than I have ever been.

 

That all being said, since you have decided you want to stay at least for now I will give you some advice that helped me... avoid your husband as much as possible, and focus on doing the things you enjoy and that help your overall wellness. Do things that build self-esteem and confidence... whether that's hanging out with friends, activities that are good for your body, mind and soul, eating well and exercising, getting enough sleep, setting money aside for your future, getting therapy/coaching whatever the case may be. Stop being codependent and start focusing on yourself, make a plan for how you will get through life and achieve your dreams and goals. At least this will give you an outlet and something else to focus on besides the unhappiness of your relationship.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand why you married this guy, if it has been bad for so long. Doesn't make any sense. And, once a month of explosive behavior is too much. You also don't trust him, and he always puts his own needs first. What do you get out of this? Do you stay because you think that this is your last chance?

 

He does not want to improve the marriage. I am certainly not going to support this union. You need to leave! Don't be so desperate to have anyone in your life, especially someone like this.

 

So you settle for this guy. Have you ever considered that you are the common denominator? You choose bad partners. I suggest that YOU get therapy, and address your issues with self esteem. What a miserable future you will have with this guy, as you feel you must settle.

Edited by Hollyj
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your replies!

 

I am in individual therapy addressing the issues I face in my marriage. I have a plan to save money so that I can move out in June when our lease ends in case I decide I must leave. I am also forming new friendships with people who can support me through this.

 

To clarify, I would not rather be abused than be alone. It’s not as black and white as that. When he’s being abusive I want to leave.. and when things are good, it’s great and I become confused and think I should stay.

 

I’ve also set boundaries with him.. like you can’t yell at me. It’s unacceptable behavior that I won’t tolerate. I do walk away sometimes and sometimes I feed into his anger and reply back in anger.

 

There were some signs of this before we married but I made a condition of marriage that he never raise his voice at me. We had three blissful months before the wedding until he chose to blow up at me just beforehand. Then it briefly got worse after we married.

 

Now we’re in a peaceful period but I’m sure another blowup is due. He’s the one who refuses therapy, not myself. He refuses help, I do not.

 

I honestly don’t know what to do or how to feel. I think I do still love him, the good parts of him, which is what makes it harder.

 

There are several other issues at play as well that are bothersome to me and which add to the list of negatives. What I want to learn is strengthening my boundaries and sticking to my limits. He can throw tantrums when I say no to something. I need to not bend when he does this. And I need to not be afraid of saying no just because he might blow up in anger.

 

I do need to focus more on my own life and on having a life. We do everything together so there’s little opportunity for independence.

 

We knew each other for over a year before marriage. We had a whirlwind courtship and moved in together very quickly , after only two months. It was out of necessity. Had that not happened I would have taken things much more slowly and I may not have married him in that case. But what’s done is done and now I’m deciding...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is my last chance and there are good things between us too. I believe I still love him. He’s not always abusive. If you haven’t been in a similar situation it may hard to understand. When they’re not abusive they reel you in with all their sweetness which makes you love them all over again. And then when they abuse, you want to leave. It’s most confusing and most maddening.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No one needs to live together or marry so what do you mean by this? Did you or he get evicted, lose your job or need a visa? It sounds like a marriage of convenience. Continue therapy. It's odd this therapist hasn't advised to you to identify these cycles of violence and that you still think you can fix him. He doesn't need help, you do. You're the one staying in an abusive situation. He's fine with it. Why should he change when he knows you won't leave?

It was out of necessity.
Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you all for your replies!

 

I am in individual therapy addressing the issues I face in my marriage. I have a plan to save money so that I can move out in June when our lease ends in case I decide I must leave. I am also forming new friendships with people who can support me through this.

 

To clarify, I would not rather be abused than be alone. It’s not as black and white as that. When he’s being abusive I want to leave.. and when things are good, it’s great and I become confused and think I should stay.

 

I’ve also set boundaries with him.. like you can’t yell at me. It’s unacceptable behavior that I won’t tolerate. I do walk away sometimes and sometimes I feed into his anger and reply back in anger.

 

There were some signs of this before we married but I made a condition of marriage that he never raise his voice at me. We had three blissful months before the wedding until he chose to blow up at me just beforehand. Then it briefly got worse after we married.

 

Now we’re in a peaceful period but I’m sure another blowup is due. He’s the one who refuses therapy, not myself. He refuses help, I do not.

 

I honestly don’t know what to do or how to feel. I think I do still love him, the good parts of him, which is what makes it harder.

 

There are several other issues at play as well that are bothersome to me and which add to the list of negatives. What I want to learn is strengthening my boundaries and sticking to my limits. He can throw tantrums when I say no to something. I need to not bend when he does this. And I need to not be afraid of saying no just because he might blow up in anger.

 

I do need to focus more on my own life and on having a life. We do everything together so there’s little opportunity for independence.

 

We knew each other for over a year before marriage. We had a whirlwind courtship and moved in together very quickly , after only two months. It was out of necessity. Had that not happened I would have taken things much more slowly and I may not have married him in that case. But what’s done is done and now I’m deciding...

 

I don't understand why you would think that he would morph into a decent human being, simply because you were married. UGH! This is who he is, and has showed you all along.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
No one needs to live together or marry so what do you mean by this? Did you or he get evicted, lose your job or need a visa? It sounds like a marriage of convenience. Continue therapy. It's odd this therapist hasn't advised to you to identify these cycles of violence and that you still think you can fix him. He doesn't need help, you do. You're the one staying in an abusive situation. He's fine with it. Why should he change when he knows you won't leave?

 

Long-ish story but we both needed a place to live. We didn’t marry out of convenience. We married because we fell in love. And that is how I felt just before and until he blew up at me just before the wedding. I can change my own reactions to him, I can have stronger boundaries and limits and I can push back, all of which I’ve done. It may take just one more blowup though and for all I know before I call it quits.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't understand why you would think that he would morph into a decent human being, simply because you were married. UGH! This is who he is, and has showed you all along.

 

I dont think that way. He is Jekyll and Hyde. He has a good side and a bad side. It’s confusing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately this is adding to your denial, cognitive dissonance and rationalizing. Speak to your therapist about what is really going on. Either learn to get along with him or leave.

we both needed a place to live.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that we are giving you good advice. No one is going to advise you to stay with someone who is abusive.

 

You made an active choice to marry someone who is very toxic. Don't you think it is time you made the right decision. You are not a victim, here. You are choosing to stay with someone who is bad for YOU!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your therapist is probably the best person to guide you through all this so you can decide.

I’m looking for understanding and compassion from people who have been through it. Can anyone understand my situation?
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...