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Six weeks into my separation and these are the thoughts haunting me


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That my husband and his family, who have acted like my family over the last decade, wouldn't validate my belief that I experienced emotional abuse. I don't know why I want the validation so badly, but it hurts that I was made to feel like a little girl whining about normal husband and wife fighting and that I'm too soft for marriage. My husband said he's remorseful (and definitely seemed distraught) but he refuses to agree to the term abuse, which was important to me. Like, am I crazy? I find it abusive to threaten divorce, to fight with me to the point that I'm crying and continue to do so, to ignore how I feel, to name call, etc. My husband says he can learn to improve through therapy and learn to not "pick small fights" with me, and that I'm giving up on our marriage without giving him a chance- feels like I have been giving him chances. And yes this is the first time he's in therapy (because I ran from home to stay with my parents) but if he can't admit he was abusive I just can't trust him.

 

I feel sadness over the good stuff, and confusion over how he could be so terrible and also so loving. He wasn't a complete monster. He showed a lot of love, we shared interests, he was protective and respectful, but he would have these bouts of getting angry at me for no good reason. He was unpredictable with his mood. He held grudges with me and his family (who all normalize it). I feel like part of me is also just fed up with that aspect of his personality and doesn't believe it can change.

 

I feel fear for my future. I really do want to believe I can find love again and one day remarry and have kids. I don't even know what else is out there. My husband was my first long term relationship, I've been with him since my early twenties. I'm scared of repeating my mistakes and falling for someone with similar attributes.

 

Right now I'm staying with my parents, who are thankfully so supportive, and I'm unable to work. I really just want a fresh start and I want to apply to new stuff while I'm on sick leave, and I worry about finding a new job.

 

Lastly, it feels like I have no friends. I realize I've lost touch with most of them, I have three that know what's going on with me and they're busy people who don't live nearby.

 

Basically I feel like I couldn't save my marriage, I'm worried about what my life will look like, and though I have my parents I don't feel like I have enough support or people talking to me or checking in with me.

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That my husband and his family, who have acted like my family over the last decade, wouldn't validate my belief that I experienced emotional abuse. I don't know why I want the validation so badly, but it hurts that I was made to feel like a little girl whining about normal husband and wife fighting and that I'm too soft for marriage. My husband said he's remorseful (and definitely seemed distraught) but he refuses to agree to the term abuse, which was important to me. Like, am I crazy? I find it abusive to threaten divorce, to fight with me to the point that I'm crying and continue to do so, to ignore how I feel, to name call, etc. My husband says he can learn to improve through therapy and learn to not "pick small fights" with me, and that I'm giving up on our marriage without giving him a chance- feels like I have been giving him chances. And yes this is the first time he's in therapy (because I ran from home to stay with my parents) but if he can't admit he was abusive I just can't trust him.

 

I feel sadness over the good stuff, and confusion over how he could be so terrible and also so loving. He wasn't a complete monster. He showed a lot of love, we shared interests, he was protective and respectful, but he would have these bouts of getting angry at me for no good reason. He was unpredictable with his mood. He held grudges with me and his family (who all normalize it). I feel like part of me is also just fed up with that aspect of his personality and doesn't believe it can change.

 

I feel fear for my future. I really do want to believe I can find love again and one day remarry and have kids. I don't even know what else is out there. My husband was my first long term relationship, I've been with him since my early twenties. I'm scared of repeating my mistakes and falling for someone with similar attributes.

 

Right now I'm staying with my parents, who are thankfully so supportive, and I'm unable to work. I really just want a fresh start and I want to apply to new stuff while I'm on sick leave, and I worry about finding a new job.

 

Lastly, it feels like I have no friends. I realize I've lost touch with most of them, I have three that know what's going on with me and they're busy people who don't live nearby.

 

Basically I feel like I couldn't save my marriage, I'm worried about what my life will look like, and though I have my parents I don't feel like I have enough support or people talking to me or checking in with me.

 

People like that will NEVER validate you. You need to validate you.

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I agree. I am sorry you're going through this! What did you do while you were married to maintain your friendships and make friends? Do you have time to interact with and meet new people now? Do you do any volunteer work? Go to a gym or do any outdoor activities?

 

Again I'm sorry you're going through a rough time.

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it hurts that I was made to feel like a little girl whining about normal husband and wife fighting and that I'm too soft for marriage. My husband said he's remorseful (and definitely seemed distraught) but he refuses to agree to the term abuse, which was important to me. Like, am I crazy?

 

That's part of the abuse. You're not crazy. You're being gaslighted.

 

He wasn't a complete monster.

 

They never are. There's always a shining good side to people, which is what makes it so hard to leave when you're with someone who is abusive.

 

He held grudges with me and his family (who all normalize it). I feel like part of me is also just fed up with that aspect of his personality and doesn't believe it can change.

 

It's very common for abusive families to normalize abusive behavior. Think about it: that's all they know. And you're right--it probably can't change. Not with that kind of reinforcement.

 

I'm scared of repeating my mistakes and falling for someone with similar attributes.

 

Right now I'm staying with my parents, who are thankfully so supportive, and I'm unable to work. I really just want a fresh start and I want to apply to new stuff while I'm on sick leave, and I worry about finding a new job.

 

Lastly, it feels like I have no friends. I realize I've lost touch with most of them, I have three that know what's going on with me and they're busy people who don't live nearby.

 

Take it slow and gradually rebuild. It's not a race. Take your time.

 

Basically I feel like I couldn't save my marriage

 

You're not a failure. You were in an impossible situation that was dragging you into hell. You shouldn't have saved your marriage. It was killing you.

 

though I have my parents I don't feel like I have enough support or people talking to me or checking in with me.

 

Until you rebuild your support system (and even after!), keep checking back here with us :)

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For your own head and all practical purposes, don't conflate emotional terms with legal terms, and from there you can understand the 'why' behind not hearing what you want.

 

Asking someone to admit to 'abuse' is like asking someone who knows that you're recording them to admit to assault--it's not going to happen.

 

So skip the technical language for long enough to decide whether this man's treatment of you is excusable--NOT in a court of law, but rather, in the court of YOU.

 

Whatever judge or jury you might imagine is irrelevant and not participating at this moment. So focus on the kind of future you envision for yourself, and decide whether this man--such as he is--will continue to be a part of that, or not.

 

Nobody else is living your private life FOR you, so nobody else gets a vote.

 

If you want to base your decision on legal or monetary considerations, get proper legal advice for your specific location, and make informed choices based on that information from there.

 

Otherwise, you're only basing your choices on emotions alone, regardless of whose emotional pleas are most persuasive, and that's no way to live.

 

REAL legal information is the only practical information you can gain at this time. You have plenty of time to deal with the emotional stuff AFTER you've been properly informed of your options.

 

Head high, and be smart. You will thank yourself later.

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First of all, don't even think of 'what might be', long term thoughts :/.

 

You are going through a lot right now - being separated, dealing with emotional abuse etc.

 

I suggest YOU consider some supportive ongoing therapy for yourself. Your experience with your husband has caused some damage.

 

Is good you have some supportive family and even a few friends is good. :)

 

By sounds of it, you do realize what types of abuse there is. Not just physical. There are many more.

So, that's a start!

 

Good on you to now react- for your own well-being.

 

You have now taken steps and reacted to his actions . So commend yourself for all of this.

 

So often things do not work out.. and yes, long term is hard to pull away and will take a good amt of time to work through it all and work on healing.

 

This is what you need to do now.. Focus on YOU. Get yourself back to good again.

 

One day at a time... TC

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Well, I'm checking in on you, PM. Hope you are well and coping these past few days. How are you?

 

Keep up the good work. Stay the course and stick to what you feel is best for you. Things will be a blur for awhile. I agree with everything the others have said. You can rebuild your life from here, knowing now a bit more about what you need to be happy.

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I agree. I am sorry you're going through this! What did you do while you were married to maintain your friendships and make friends? Do you have time to interact with and meet new people now? Do you do any volunteer work? Go to a gym or do any outdoor activities?

 

Again I'm sorry you're going through a rough time.

 

These are good ideas for meeting new people, but due to covid they're either not possible (gyms are closed here) or too risky right now while I'm living with my older parents. I maintain my few friendships by texting and face timing often. I may try looking into socially distanced meet ups when I feel more up for it, I know people have done them based on interests as a way to make friends so hopefully there's something I can try.

 

I will keep checking in here- it feels good to see responses and have people read what I write. I'm doing weekly therapy which is helpful but it's nice to be able to vent more. I'm just struggling all the time, which I know isn't unusual given the circumstances. It's just so odd to me that I have/had a genuine bond with someone capable of causing me so much distress. Sometimes I just want to share certain incidents with people and demand to know if I'm overreacting, even though I know my own opinion is what matters. I'm weirded out that someone I shared a bed with for years and trusted and loved, had inside jokes with and moments where I felt cared for, can now render me a panicked mess if I see him call me. Sometimes I still ask myself "was it THAT bad?" but it had to be because I left. And sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they tell me "couples get through worse than this, you guys can work through it". Like yes he never physically hurt me, but constantly getting upset over small things not in my control and playing what I felt were mind games, and blaming me for not managing his emotions and threatening to leave me (regardless of whether or not he meant it) I might be cold but I think it's risky to stick with someone on the chance that they improve those things or not.

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So strange that within an hour of writing here he came to give me early birthday presents. It was terrible- he was crying and insisting he loves me so much and that I'm right, he's been reflecting and he needs to do better, and that he'll do therapy and do whatever it takes. I do believe he's remorseful, but I don't know how he can change his temper and I have a hard time believing he didn't know he's been mean to me in moments. I feel immense guilt that I can't forgive him, or that I can but that I'm so distrusting. I'm worried that I'm not good at marriage- if couples supposedly get through this and worse, then maybe I'm bad at giving people chances to improve and change? That's what's on my mind.

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It's just so odd to me that I have/had a genuine bond with someone capable of causing me so much distress...... I'm weirded out that someone I shared a bed with for years and trusted and loved, had inside jokes with and moments where I felt cared for, can now render me a panicked mess if I see him call me.

 

Weird, isn't it? But people hold contradictory feelings and beliefs all the time. I was literally just talking about this phenomenon tonight.

 

I feel immense guilt that I can't forgive him, or that I can but that I'm so distrusting.

 

He has shown you that he is not trustworthy with his unpredictable bouts of anger. He completely minimized your feelings. You would be crazy to trust him. You can forgive him. But forgiving him doesn't mean that you have to agree with him, or (worse) get back together with him.

 

I'm worried that I'm not good at marriage- if couples supposedly get through this and worse, then maybe I'm bad at giving people chances to improve and change? That's what's on my mind.

 

Don't think that way. Nobody should stay in an abusive situation just to prove a point like that. That's silly. Besides, it makes no sense. How many changes are you supposed to give? Infinite? Are you a doormat? Are you responsible for everybody else's behavior, or just his? How much of your own happiness do you have to sacrifice? Where does it end?

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Sorry to hear that. You are in the cycle of abuse. Many people return to abusive situations over and over, like you because they are brainwashed by the abuser, like you are..

 

Many return because they have cognitive dissonance. They don't want to fully accept that they are in an untenable situation.

 

The birthday show he put on was to get you back, replete with crocodile tears. You have not taken any measures to protect yourself.

 

When you are ready to read up on abuse, get appropriate counseling, and take action to improve your life, you will.

 

Maybe it will get physical, maybe you'll be broke by then, but when you hit rock bottom, you may make up your mind to end the self destruction.

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Sorry to hear that. You are in the cycle of abuse. Many people return to abusive situations over and over, like you because they are brainwashed by the abuser, like you are..

 

Many return because they have cognitive dissonance. They don't want to fully accept that they are in an untenable situation.

 

The birthday show he put on was to get you back, replete with crocodile tears. You have not taken any measures to protect yourself.

 

When you are ready to read up on abuse, get appropriate counseling, and take action to improve your life, you will.

 

Maybe it will get physical, maybe you'll be broke by then, but when you hit rock bottom, you may make up your mind to end the self destruction.

 

I don't think it's your intention, and I definitely appreciate that you check on me, but your response makes me feel lonely/misunderstood. I'm taking the steps towards divorce with my lawyer and I haven't once gone back on my decision during this separation. That said, I do have some very confusing thoughts that are uncomfortable for me. I know they're weird thoughts- confusion over why my husband is the way he is and sadness over wishing things could be different. I feel like this curiosity is important to my healing. I've been doing a lot of reading about emotional abuse, codependency, narcissism and self-love deficit disorder. But I don't have thoughts of returning despite the fear. I moved everything out of the house I shared with my husband and returned the key, and I made it known to him and my small support system that I can't return. I am in therapy weekly, but I think even when the divorce is final I might still have some of these weird thoughts. It helps me to put those thoughts out here in the open.

 

I'm with you on the birthday thing being a show, definitely. We are supposed to be not talking but he showed up and I unfortunately opened the door to take them, but told him they don't change anything that's happening. I don't know why I had a hard time refusing to open the door, but I'm looking forward to him receiving the papers and giving him the message that all communications going forward have to be through the lawyer.

 

That all said, it's been the crappiest birthday and I'm struggling with all the unknowns about my future. But I know somewhere inside myself I'm happy/grateful I'm finally doing this for myself. I just really hope it gets easier with time, because right now it's not easy and there are some moments where I don't even know how I'll survive it. Thanks to anyone who's reading this and with me.

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You actually sound a lot better now than you did when you first posted back in July. It will definitely get better with time. It already is getting better, it's just very difficult to see that from where you are at the moment.

 

You're right, I look back at my first post and it was full of denial and suppressed feelings. I've come a long way- maybe not in terms of feeling better but there's comfort it knowing I'm doing the right thing in leaving. It's like I'm on autopilot. I try to tell myself I'm not the first person to go through this, and that I'm lucky to be getting out now and not after decades of misery and kids to complicate things. I guess every case is different, but it's unfortunate that I'm the first person I know to be going through a divorce. I do know a couple of people through my husband that I obviously can't lean on, but they're both much older.

 

Feels like no one understands why I would be getting divorced at such a young age after only two years, despite having been with my husband for eight years. It looks like I either gave up too early or like I got married when I shouldn't have- the second one being the truth. Either way makes me feel like garbage. It's rough because I know it shouldn't matter what others think, but it does feel lonely that no one quite understands how I made such a mistake. I think simply put I was very young and inexperienced when I met my husband, and I didn't quite know how bad my situation was all this time. I'm trying not to be so hard on myself, but I just feel pretty stupid for having married someone capable of being so cruel and getting into this mess.

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You seem to worry a lot about what other people think.

 

This mindset leads to allowing yourself to remain in situations that are not good for you. Or to feel guilt when you finally decide to look out for yourself.

 

It's going to take time. Remember, we don't get points or a trophy for sacrificing ourselves so others can abuse us.

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You're right, I look back at my first post and it was full of denial and suppressed feelings.
To me, that first post gave me the impression that you were being crushed. Slowly and inexorably crushed. Barely breathing under an extremely heavy weight.

 

it's unfortunate that I'm the first person I know to be going through a divorce.

 

Yes, that's going to make it harder for sure. It may help to read other people's stories.

 

Feels like no one understands why I would be getting divorced at such a young age after only two years, despite having been with my husband for eight years. It looks like I either gave up too early or like I got married when I shouldn't have- the second one being the truth. Either way makes me feel like garbage. It's rough because I know it shouldn't matter what others think, but it does feel lonely that no one quite understands how I made such a mistake. I think simply put I was very young and inexperienced when I met my husband, and I didn't quite know how bad my situation was all this time. I'm trying not to be so hard on myself, but I just feel pretty stupid for having married someone capable of being so cruel and getting into this mess.

 

Believe it or not, other people probably aren't thinking about this as much as you think they are. They are probably preoccupied with what's going on in their own lives. You are really dwelling on it because you're going through it, so it probably seems like the whole planet is revolving around your divorce.

 

It's difficult not to measure yourself against other people, and tough to tune out the judgment of others. But try not to get too hung up in that. Remember that it's you and no one else who owns the spot that you're standing in. What you do is nobody's business but your own. They aren't walking in your shoes.

 

It's going to take time. Remember, we don't get points or a trophy for sacrificing ourselves so others can abuse us.

 

Very true!!

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