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Is it too late after verbal and emotional abuse?


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I've been in a committed relationship for seven years, married for three. When my husband and I were dating, things were so good it felt like a dream. We were both 21 and in college when we met. He was honest with me about his past without me having to ask. He told me that he used to be a partier and used to partake in party drugs, marijuana being his favorite. We couldn't be more opposite - he's popular and outgoing while I'm extremely introverted. I've never been to a party, never drank to get hammered, or tried any sort of drugs ever, and I made it clear to him when we started dating that I never intended to change that. He was more than fine with that and assured me that his partying days were long over; however, he did still like to drink alcohol pretty regularly. He knew I didn't like it and tried to be respectful by not drinking in front of me. Things are amazing for about four years. The only major hiccup we had was when he got absolutely wasted at a football game, got lost in the stadium, and his family called to tell me that they couldn't find him anywhere (I was not present). Thankfully, his family managed to find him and took him home. The next day, I told him that was absolutely unacceptable, and he agreed. He apologized for scaring everyone and made a promise that he would never drink again. Well, at Christmas I caught him trying to sneak a glass of champagne while I was in another room. We came to a compromise: he could drink on special occasions or holidays. That didn't last long. He started drinking so heavily that he basically poisoned himself. He developed the most awful gastrointestinal issues - throwing up all the time, constant diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain. He went to several different specialists, and they couldn't find anything wrong. He was losing weight rapidly and was concerned that he was dying. One day he prayed to God and said, "If you heal me, I will never touch another drop of alcohol again." (We are both Christians.) I don't know if it was just a coincidence or what, but after that he started getting better. His pain was gone, he gained a healthy weight back, and he was so happy. He even got re-baptized to show his dedication to the Lord. We attended church regularly. He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree and was ready to start law school. A little while later, we got engaged and had a beautiful wedding. After the wedding, he moved in with me. And that's where everything changed.

On our honeymoon, my husband wanted to drink. I told him I didn't think that was a good idea but I ultimately relented because I didn't want to ruin our trip. We had JUST gotten married, and we were on our first cruise together - I didn't want to rock the boat, so to speak. After we get back, I'm working a part-time job and he's busy taking law school entrance exams. Every evening when I got home from work, he would be deep in an online video game with his friends and would usually play well into the early hours of the morning. I went to bed and didn't think much of it. One day, I found a receipt in the living room for a 6-pack of beer from a local gas station with his card information on the bottom. I presented it to him, and he claimed it was his friend's receipt. I showed him the card info. and he confessed that it was his. Unlike before when he apologized for his behavior, he became defensive and told me it wasn't a big deal. I reminded him about the promise he made to God and that it WAS a big deal. He replied by saying, "I'm not perfect." As far as I know, he quit drinking for some time after that or he kept it well hidden from me at least.

A few weeks later, he told me he was going to go to the pub up the street with a buddy of his. I became upset and told him that was not responsible of him. I forbade him from going, but he went anyway. I was scared to death that he was going down the wrong path again, so I contacted our pastor. I told him everything that had been going on and he asked me what I wanted him to do. I asked him to reach out to my husband in a non-confrontational way and try to talk to him. When my husband found out that I had gone to our pastor, that was the first time he was truly furious with me. He did not answer our pastor’s calls or texts. That’s about the time we stopped going to church.

Eventually, my husband gets into law school, and we end up moving about an hour away from our hometown. We moved into my great-grandmother's old house (she had passed away about a year prior), so it couldn't have worked out better for us. To my knowledge, my husband had stopped drinking again. I should've known better when the late night gaming sessions started again. One night, I got up to pee and as I was walking past the living room the smell of alcohol hit me like a brick wall. My husband was sitting in his recliner with his headset on playing with his friends online. I stopped in the doorway and said, "I smell alcohol." He looked at me with a deer-in-headlights look and said, "I don't know why. I've not done anything." I asked if he had been drinking and he said no. I walk into the living room, around the back of his chair, and on the other side in the floor lay a nearly empty six pack. I looked at my husband and he just stared back at me with an expression of "Well, sh*t, you caught me." I poured what was left down the sink and went back to bed without a word. We had a fight the next morning. I told him how hurt I was by his lies, and he blamed me for having trust issues. His solution was to stop hiding it from me. After that, I would come home from work and find cases of beer in the fridge, taunting me like they were big brown middle fingers. We were angry at each other a lot after that. I felt betrayed. I felt like he was disrespecting me and my great-grandmother's home by sneaking beer into it (that house had NEVER had any alcohol in it prior to that).

Things just kept escalating from there. The fights were more frequent, and his insults became more ruthless. Our one-year wedding anniversary comes around and we decide to go on a two-day trip to a state park. He pulled over at a gas station on our way there to get a pack of beer. I cried and begged him not to because this was supposed to be a special day. He didn't care. Our trip was anything but special - it was hell. After that, I noticed that my husband was losing control of his temper. I don't know if it was the alcohol or the stress from school, but every little thing would set him off. He broke a door in our house because he bumped into it and it pissed him off. He broke the driver's side door on his truck because it shut on his foot. I was avoiding him as much as possible because he was so unpredictable.

Seven months after our horrible anniversary trip, my husband's father passes away from COVID. My husband didn't have the best relationship with his father, but his death absolutely destroyed him. This tragedy did help bring us back together somewhat. We stopped fighting and just grieved together. My husband stopped drinking... but picked up vaping THC instead. He traded one vice for another, and it broke my heart. It wasn't long before the fighting picked back up again.

The worst day of my life happened just about two months after my father-in-law passed. My husband and I had been bickering for a few days and he was becoming more and more manic. He blamed me for all of our problems and screamed profanities at me. He threw the breakfast I made for him in the garbage and became even more angry when he saw that I was crying. I retreated into the bathroom to try and hide my face from him, but he followed me. He stood in the doorway and screamed, “You make me so angry I could just-“ and then punched the wall about three feet from my face. I recoiled in fear but had nowhere to go because I was trapped in that tiny bathroom. Then, he said, “You’re going to make me kill you. That’s what’s going to happen if you don’t stop,” and he made a motion with both hands towards my neck but stopped short and stomped away. I was stunned. The days following this altercation were a blur. I was a total wreck – I was sick to my stomach, I couldn’t eat or sleep, and I was terrified to say or do anything around my husband. We just kind of coexisted without speaking to each other for a while.

I don’t know how, but after a few months we slowly got back to a place where we were mostly happy again. We would laugh together and watch our favorite shows together. Every so often there would be a petty argument, but it never escalated to anything more. I learned to live around his new smoking habit, and he was respectful about not doing it in front of me unless we were in the car. Honestly, I was just glad he didn’t reek of alcohol for once (I was terrified about what the vape pens were doing to his lungs – especially during the pandemic – but at least they had nice scents to them). My husband managed to complete his first year of law school and was on the verge of completing his third semester. Things were going smoothly until his final exams rolled around.

It was around Thanksgiving of last year that I noticed something had changed in him like a switch. All of a sudden, he was passive-aggressive, moody, and had a hard time controlling his temper again. He stopped sleeping at night and just paced around the house getting more and more manic. He started having horrible gastrointestinal problems again. He talked often about how he wished God would kill him. I begged him to go see a doctor, but he refused, saying that he didn’t have the time while he was in law school. He said the stress of his exams was killing him. One day after I got home from work, he asked me to drive him to get some fast food in town. He hadn’t eaten all day and was so shaky he was unable to drive himself. We picked up the food, and on the way back to the house he started getting angry about the way I was driving. He thought I should speed up and pass someone who was going slow, but I didn’t want to do that because we were getting close to our turnoff. When I told him as much, he absolutely lost his mind. He started screaming at me and gesturing wildly in the passenger seat. I yelled back at him to please calm down, but it only made him worse. I was scared to death he was going to grab the wheel or cause me to wreck. After we made it to the turnoff and turned onto our road, he was STILL going off on me, saying I was a bad driver and stupid, etc. I slammed on the brakes and jolted him in his seat to make him stop. He looked at me totally stunned for a moment, then he said, “I’m done with you!”, got out of the car, and slammed the door. He stormed up our driveway and threw his bag of food as hard as he could into our yard. I was still sitting in the same spot in my car, afraid to move. He jumped in his truck and the reverse lights came on. I didn’t know if I should move my car and let him leave or stay put and try to stop him. He was in no condition to drive, and I would feel responsible if I let him go out and he wound up hurting someone or himself. But he was acting so unpredictable that I was afraid he would ram my car in order to get by me, so I moved my car out of the way and let him roar past me. I pulled up to our house, retrieved his bad of food from the yard, and went inside to call my mother-in-law. I started crying and told her what had happened. I apologized for worrying her but I had no idea where he was going or what he was going to do. She told me it wasn’t my fault and tried calm me down. Not even five minutes later, his truck came speeding up the driveway. I told her I didn’t want him to see me on the phone with her, so we hung up. I grabbed the laundry basket to try and make it look like I had come inside and just started doing my chores. When he came through the door, he immediately berated me and cussed at me. He said if I ever did something like that again he would leave me. I didn’t mean to but I guess I unconsciously held the laundry basket up to my chest as he was yelling at me to try and form a barrier between us. He scoffed, “Quit acting like you’re afraid of me,” and stormed off. He saw the bag of food on the counter and proceeded to smash it and tear it to pieces. That was my dinner.

The sleepless nights continued for almost a full week. I had started sleeping in the guest bedroom so I wouldn’t disturb him or make it any harder for him to sleep. It didn’t help. Sleep aids were useless. When I volunteered to take him to the ER he said, “If you do that and make me look like a crazy person, I’ll divorce you.” I asked him if he thought he should drop out of school. He said there was no way he was going to pass his exams without getting any sleep. I told him he had my permission to quit, and he seemed relieved at that. The next night at around 1:30AM he woke me up and asked me to take him to the ER. So, we went. They gave him a powerful sleep aid, we went back home, and the next day he submitted a medical leave of absence to the school.

After getting back into a regular sleeping habit and with the pressure of school off his back, my husband became significantly better. We moved back to our hometown and into a house he inherited from his father’s estate. In his time off from school, my husband decided to take a job as a legal assistant in Richmond for two months. I was relieved to finally get some time to myself and not have to worry about walking on eggshells around him for a while. I was also optimistic that the time apart would help us grow closer to each other when he got back. Well, he's been back for about two months now and things are still just as bad as before. We attempted to go to church again, but he wound up cussing our pastor and everyone there as soon as we got in the car to leave after service. He was mad that people had said to us, “We missed you/It’s good to have you back!”. And he was mad that I had went to the altar to pray because “it made him look bad”.

He also brought a surprise home with him from Richmond – a bag of marijuana and a bong. (Two things I had never seen in person before.) I was disgusted and heartbroken yet again. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think that drinking or smoking is inherently wrong. I’m fine with having a glass of wine with my meal every now and then myself. The problem is that my husband takes it too far. It’s never just one or two beers, it’s at least six. It’s never one or two hits in the evening, it’s countless hits throughout the entire day (even when he’s at work). And it’s never just once or twice a week, it’s every day. He has ADHD and I suspect undiagnosed borderline personality disorder as well. He has an extremely addictive personality, and he completely lacks the ability to moderate himself. I think all those years of partying gave him an incredibly high tolerance and he can’t stop getting his fix once he starts. I don’t like him when he’s buzzed and high. I can’t stand the smell of it on his breath and his person. It makes the whole house stink. It dumbs him down and makes him lazy and unreliable. His memory is basically nonexistent. He pressures me to try weed with him and it’s revolting. It’s so sad to watch him do this to himself and our marriage.

Ultimatums don’t work with him. He’ll either lie and do it behind my back or just flat out refuse to give up his habit. His stomach issues are worse than ever now. I suspect UC, IBS, or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome which is basically THC poisoning. He’s got appointments with a physical therapist, psychiatrist, and gastroenterologist coming up. I’m trying to hold out hope until then. Maybe if they can find out what’s wrong and help him feel better physically and emotionally then we can get back to the way we used to be. I’ve been so hurt by him, though, I don’t know if it’s possible for us to ever be the same.

Just last week we reached a really low point again. My husband was raging and cussing at me over my dislike for his smoking to the point he started hyperventilating. I grabbed my bag and tried to leave the house to give him space and cool off, but he blocked me from leaving. He punched the wall in front of me and screamed, “You think leaving is going to help?? GET BACK IN THE F*CKING HOUSE!” Just a couple nights later, one of our dogs escaped around 5AM and he tore into me yet again, blaming me for not remembering to put the collar back on the dog, saying, “You’re a *** just like your mom.” We got in the car to look for the dog and he wound up leaving me alone on the muddy road in the dark and cold in my pajamas. I had to walk home. He said he didn’t want to talk to me for the next three days. He said he resented me. He’s called me a “prude ***” because I don’t like alcohol or drugs. He’s said that he wants to try LSD to reach a “higher level of enlightenment”. He’s told me that if I ever left him that I would be a fool and be poor. He’s said, “You might find some guy with a big *** that treats you good, but you’ll be poor and realize that leaving me was the biggest mistake of your life.” (Speaking of which, my husband and I haven’t been intimate in I couldn’t tell you how long, but you probably already guessed that.) He’s told me that if I left, he would have no trouble finding another woman and would forget all about me. He’s told me that if I ever killed myself he would move on with another woman and curse my name as I burn in hell. (I’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts ever since I was a teenager, and my husband knows this.) He’s said so many just awful, despicable, unforgivable things there’s too many to count. He’ll blow up and say these things to me, then come crawling back to me the next day to apologize. He’ll say things like, “You’re the best woman. I’m the one who’s a fool. I don’t want you to leave. I know I’m no good. I’m sorry I’m not a good husband. I don’t blame you if you don’t want to be with me. I do these things and smoke all the time because I don’t feel good.”

I’m so tired of this torturous cycle.

I never thought I would end up marrying someone who was worse than my father (he was a hothead who verbally abused me and my mom and even physically assaulted my mom right before they split up). I don’t know how we went from being so happy and compatible to THIS. It makes me wonder if it was all a lie. Did he change as a person or is this who he really was all along and he was just good at hiding it? Did his father’s death do this to him? I guess I should preface that his father was an awful, abusive person too. It makes no sense to me how things could’ve gone so wrong so fast. We shared so many years of bliss. How could I have been so wrong about this person I thought I knew? I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t want to give up on us, but I can’t keep living like this. The verbal abuse is tearing me apart from the inside out and I’m afraid he will eventually become physically violent. We’ve talked about doing marriage counseling but with all his other appointments looming I doubt he will have the energy to add another one to his plate. At what point do I need to give up?

If you made it this far, I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. It's embarrassing, but if nothing else, it felt good to get this off my chest.

- L.

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Ok, I got to the part where he punched the wall and threatened to kill you. You need a plan to get out of  there . It is completely over in that moment. Please call family, friends, a domestic abuse hotline and make a plan to get out . 

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33 minutes ago, Tired and Defeated said:

He’s told me that if I ever left him that I would be a fool and be poor.

He's lying. You would be smart and your financial situation will be fine. Judging from the way that you write, you are obviously an intelligent and capable person.

You will be fine if you leave. I don't think you will be fine if you stay. He's lying. He's just getting closer and closer to hurting you.

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32 minutes ago, Tired and Defeated said:

At what point do I need to give up?

I would say about that time when you realized he is an alcoholic. With addicts like him, unless they find a permanent solution like AA or sponsors, it always comes back. As you can see it only just escalated. From drinks, to anger, to even violence and threats of your own life. That is how it is with alcoholics. 

I see no kids so that is kind of a plus in this situation. House is basically yours so kick his alcoholic ways to the street and dont look back. If he threats you again or tries violence, then call police and get a restraining order.

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50 minutes ago, Tired and Defeated said:

I never thought I would end up marrying someone who was worse than my father (he was a hothead who verbally abused me and my mom and even physically assaulted my mom right before they split up)

Sadly, you stay in this marriage because it's familiar and even comforting. You are reliving your parents' marriage.

Please leave him asap and move in with trusted family or a close friend until you can figure out your next steps. No, he will not "change" because he doesn't want to. He lacks the ability to change because addicts prioritize their habit above all else. And you can't love him into wanting to get and stay sober. Neither can your pastor.

Thankfully you don't have children because that would be much more complicated.

Please do make arrangements to leave him asap.

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OP, please love yourself enough and more than this man and relationship to tell him to get the hell out of your place. Get help from the police and family members/friends.

Consult a lawyer asap privately and don't let that sick abusive man know. Abusive people will keep abusing. They make fake promises, but they go back to the abuse. Always!

You don't deserve any of his abuse. It was never your fault. You are worthy of healthy love. So please start by giving healthy love to yourself and by getting away from this man. Please.

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2 hours ago, Tired and Defeated said:

He punched the wall in front of me and screamed, “You think leaving is going to help?? GET BACK IN THE F*CKING HOUSE!”  We got in the car to look for the dog and he wound up leaving me alone on the muddy road in the dark and cold in my pajamas. I had to walk home.  He’s said that he wants to try LSD to reach a “higher level of enlightenment”.

Sorry this is happening. Immediately tell trusted friends and family about the abuse. Be frank

Get help extricating yourself from this. Do not make excuses for him about this that illness. Of course being a drug user and alcohol abuser escalates abuse, it does not cause it. You can not help him, fix him or rescue him. he will never change. It will only get worse.

You need to call the police and document this. Immediately start severing finances. You also need to get a restraining order and have the police escort him out of the house. The divorce can take place later and will take a while.

But the next thing he'll punch is you. You can count on that.

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3 hours ago, Jibralta said:

This is a horrendous situation. What is stopping you from leaving?

Fear of what he'll do to himself or me. Fear of embarrassment. I didn't include this in my post, but his father was a very prominent political figure in our area. His family is very powerful and respected and I'm afraid of what will happen to me/them if I leave. I still love him too. I know it seems like the answer should be obvious, but I wouldn't be on this forum if it was that easy.

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15 minutes ago, Tired and Defeated said:

Fear of what he'll do to himself or me. Fear of embarrassment. I didn't include this in my post, but his father was a very prominent political figure in our area. His family is very powerful and respected and I'm afraid of what will happen to me/them if I leave. I still love him too. I know it seems like the answer should be obvious, but I wouldn't be on this forum if it was that easy.

This is why you need a safe plan with a domestic abuse hotline . He gets away with this because people don’t say or do anything. Get ahold of that hotline today and start making a safe plan to leave . 

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I should also mention that if I were to leave I would lose my home and my job. The house we inherited from the estate is entirely in his name and I currently work for his family's law firm. So, yeah, that's another reason why I am hesitant to leave. The Depp v. Heard trial has really opened my eyes to what I've been living with for the last two years. I've started compiling audio and visual evidence of his outbursts, and I want to have enough of it for my case before I choose to pull the plug.

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4 minutes ago, Tired and Defeated said:

I should also mention that if I were to leave I would lose my home and my job. The house we inherited from the estate is entirely in his name and I currently work for his family's law firm. I've started compiling audio and visual evidence of his outbursts

Move out and find a new job. Videotaping is not useful. You need to move out asap. Then you need to file for divorce. 

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You don't need to build a case for leaving.

You said yourself his mother knows how he is. I'm sure they all know he's an addict. 

If you're employed you can find another job. And who cares what the neighbors think? They don't have to be married to him. Plus, look at how many influential political and public figures have been divorced. It's not a stigma anymore.

Start by talking to family members (yours, not his) about staying with them temporarily  until you can put a plan together. Once that's settled, go about packing up what you absolutely need. Be sure to grab your passport and ID first. Then when he's out partying or playing video games, arrange to make your exit. File for divorce as soon as you can. Legally separate your property and finances.

Staying with an addict abuser for a job or because you're worried what others might think isn't a great idea, so don't allow that to sway you.

Oh, and no one says you can't love him. But love isn't meant to be a prison sentence.

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OP you need to do what's best for YOU.

If means a new fresh beginning in a new state, new job, and new people, then so be it. At least you'll be able to live a better life and actually enjoy it.

Consult privately an attorney asap and start you exit plan with the help of trusted friends and family.

I personally recommend you have a look at this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35630181-if-he-s-so-great-why-do-i-feel-so-bad

It will accompany you on your journey. Keep it hidden away from your abuser. Someplace he can never find it.

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You can do this ! My mom divorced my dad in 1974 and made her way with a 6 year old ( me) and a 3 year old . 
 

It is not a stigma anymore and no one should condemn anyone fleeing violence . 

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3 hours ago, Tired and Defeated said:

I've started compiling audio and visual evidence of his outbursts, and I want to have enough of it for my case before I choose to pull the plug.

I'm glad to hear that you at least have part of a plan together. 

3 hours ago, Tired and Defeated said:

Fear of what he'll do to himself or me. Fear of embarrassment. I didn't include this in my post, but his father was a very prominent political figure in our area. His family is very powerful and respected and I'm afraid of what will happen to me/them if I leave.

These are very common and natural fears. I think you have to contemplate the bolded part a lot, and pretty much at all times. Not to deter yourself from leaving but to help you come up with a good damage control strategy.

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14 hours ago, Tired and Defeated said:

We were angry at each other a lot after that. I felt betrayed. I felt like he was disrespecting me and my great-grandmother's home by sneaking beer into it (that house had NEVER had any alcohol in it prior to that).

First off.. this has nothing to do with where you two live.

 

otherwise.. yes a LOT of problems with someone like this 😕 .

He seems to have anything from a mental health issue to drug addictions and none of this is good for you or him.  I do see how so many times you were fearful for him & yeah, it probably got to him in some ways- feeling you were always at him about it .. I had an ex like that, he was an alcy.  things did come to an end and we split.  You just cannot live with that ( though some still seem to manage, especially if the other partner is an alcy as well).

Anyways, he's been threatening you in all forms, He's no good.  As mentioned, I only got so far.. and right from the point of him getting violent towards you ( hitting the wall), I would have been gone 😕 .

Yes, get out of there!  Stay away - stay with family and at a distance if you can.  Do not play head games with him.  You be done now - totally. ( so do not accept threats he may give, or guilt trips or begging).  Be strong and TC of YOU!

He's a sad mess, I'm sorry 😞 .  People like this need to learn how they're being and no one can help them UNTIL the realize & admit they have a problem and is then up to them to reach out for help.  Is not your problem.

Good luck... I hope things improve for you soon and consider some therapy for yourself as well - if you've become too fearful of the after effects of this experience.

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He’s the problem. He’s the reason this is bad. The evidence is in, you’re not his wife, you’re his punching bag. (Even if he offered to reconceive of you as a human with a right to a sense of safety, do not forgive him, his conduct is unforgivable. He can learn or fail to learn to be a better human somewhere else!)
 

Being single is a million billion times better than being with someone who thinks killing you is a reasonable or viable way of dealing with their own emotional distress. DTMFA

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Posted (edited)

Sign up for personal therapy.  It will help you sort things out, give you clarity and support.

It's a process and long one at that.  When you are at a low point and your most vulnerable, having the courage to leave feels insurmountable.  Be kind and patient with yourself and allow yourself the time to consider everything and come to terms with what you have to deal with.  It doesn't happen overnight.

Consult an attorney.  Go into it with the notion that you are not ready to act on it.  If you waited til you were ready, you'd likely not go.  But merely armed with that information gives you power and some confidence.  

I was in therapy for over a year and at some point, consulted an attorney. I was nowhere near making a decision, but my therapist gently encouraged me to merely seek information.  I went in literally shaking and came out more than surprised on how much power I really had. I honestly had no idea.  I still sat on that information for a few more months and armed with support and some newly developing confidence, I knew when I was ready and never ever looked back.

My ex also told me I'd be nothing without him and living in my car.  I left as a stay at home mom with no marketable skills, sold the family home and purchased a townhome.  I got an entry level job and promoted within a year to a supervisor. I was able to retire early and pay off my mortgage.   So, don't buy in the fear tactics.  One foot in front of the other and if I can do this, you can too. 

I wish you the very best.  Please consider coming back and posting more. 

Edited by reinventmyself
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Yeah, my ex husband told me I wouldn't last five minutes without him. He said I didn't know how to do anything for myself.

It's going on 22 years.

My ex wasn't abusive or an addict, but he thought women were overly emotional and spent money frivolously. He was wrong.

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You're putting yourself at great risk to gather evidence--for what?

Whatever you've gathered already is good enough, but each moment you stick around puts you at greater risk of harm.

He is escalating, and he's already threatened to kill you. Crossing the line of harm is not far behind.

You don't need to initiate a divorce in order to get help to safety and get legal advice.

Contact your local domestic violence agency for a consultation, resources and help with a safe plan, or start with domesticviolence.org or any other helping site of your choice.

You don't need to be hit to be abused, and prevention is the goal of every women's shelter or helping agency.

Skip putting your ego before safely, and you will thank yourself later. So will the people who love you that could otherwise lose you--and for what?

There is nothing stopping you from watching from afar to learn whether husband ever seeks help for himself, and leaving could prompt him to do so. 

Some people are best loved from far away. Nobody's faulting you for loving him, we just see objectively what you can't see just yet, and I hope you'll heed our strong suggestions to get yourself to safely. The rest can be dealt with--but only AFTER you are safe.

Head high, write more if it helps, and trust your gut--this is very dangerous RIGHT NOW.

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