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Emotional Abuse – Boundaries and Recovery Help

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  • #381288
    triss
    Participant

    Hi There:

    I’m looking for any advice on distancing from an emotionally abusive relationship. I’ve been with my partner for 7 years, we’ve been married for a year-and-a-half, and yes covid made things harder. It’s tough because my head and my heart are not aligned – I love my husband – but his treatment is embarrassing. Name calling, controlling behavior (use of my phone, when I can and can’t be in my office, what I can and can’t do in the kitchen, spying on me), saying I destroy everything I touch, yelling intensely in my face so I back away. I’ve left and he insists on me returning to show “he’s changed.” (It hasn’t been that long).

    I left to get breathing room – and he’s suffocating me – demanding I make plans –  I’m selfish and so on. I do feel selfish – I have no idea what I’m doing, my life is scattered around – and it’s hard to keep up daily appearances. But I also don’t feel it’s the best bet to go right back to that behavior. I can’t imagine my marriage ending but I can’t imagine it going on like it is. So, I guess how does one get out of this paper bag? Any advice would be very appreciated.

    Thanks <3

    #381311
    anita
    Participant

    Dear triss:

    “I left to get breathing room”- reads like you need a whole lot more breathing room, and maybe a permanent breathing room from him. The two of you got married shortly after Covid started, and you mentioned Covid having something to do with it. Did he started to call you names and yell intensely in your face after you got married/ after Covid, not before?

    anita

    #381313
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear triss,

    I am sorry that your marriage isn’t the way you imagined it to be, and that your husband is treating you badly. It’s good you’ve moved out to get some space and some perspective. He is accusing of being selfish and not having any plans, and you actually agree with him:

    I do feel selfish – I have no idea what I’m doing, my life is scattered around – and it’s hard to keep up daily appearances.

    Would you care to elaborate on this? How do you believe you’re selfish, and how is your life scattered around?

    #381393
    Kimita
    Participant

    At this same stage in my almost 20 year marriage i needed non judgemental support.

    Is the relationship often based on his views which do not honor your feelings? This alone, before ‘humiliation’, is a betrayal of the relationship and of your heart. Be careful with your heart, your peace and also precious and irretrevable is your time. How much more of these things do I give away after betrayal?  Be really honest with yourself. And with him for that matter. I listened to all the promises. I stayed a long time. My deepest regret is not claiming reality sooner. The truth is he couldnt see/hear me. I see now he actually liked the dominance and the games. So he can stay ‘as is’ if he chooses to, but I dont have to stay miserable waiting and hoping for a fantasy. Have hard requirements. It makes both of you better. For me 20 years is a long time to then hit the reset button and start again. But its been so worth it. Wishing you so much better for your future. Choose that. Choose to value you. If you need support to get there dont be afraid to reach out for it.

    #381435
    triss
    Participant

    So I need to clarify. I’ve been with my partner for almost 8 years. I married almost three years ago. This was pre-covid. I agree with him  because I am so lost, I do feel selfish. My partner was both emotionally and to the end physically abusive. It only happened once but that was what got me to leave. I didn’t want to leave – my brother came to get me and I’ve been living here about three weeks. I thought he would get it – see that I left and take this seriously – profess his love and apologize and really. want to change – instead it’s been demands, anger, threats of suicide and more. There has not been an I love you or an I miss you – mainly attacks then “what was that brand you buy from the grocery.” It has disgusted me. I learn more every day – of the lies I have lived with about our marriage, wedding, relationship. There was no cheating – just lying about events, name calling and so on. I don’t know what I’m doing – I just know right now I am absolutely heart broken – and I just want to find my way back to myself – and purge this awful feeling out.

    #381447
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear triss,

    You’ve been with your partner for 8 years, married for 3 years, and it appears you’re starting to wake up now to what kind of person he really is. The last straw was when he hit you. It happened once and it prompted you to leave immediately (good decision, btw!).

    You say you’re heartbroken, and it seems to me it’s because the illusion you had about him is crumbling now:

    I thought he would get it – see that I left and take this seriously – profess his love and apologize and really. want to change – instead it’s been demands, anger, threats of suicide and more. There has not been an I love you or an I miss you – mainly attacks then “what was that brand you buy from the grocery.

    You thought he’d realize how much he loves you, apologize and beg you to come back. But instead, you’re getting more of his anger, unreasonable demands and suicide threats.

    You say you’re realizing that some of the things in your marriage and relationship were a lie, and that he has been lying to you:

    I learn more every day – of the lies I have lived with about our marriage, wedding, relationship. There was no cheating – just lying about events, name calling and so on.

    It seems to me that you’re waking up and realizing what kind of person he really is. It’s like you’ve lived in an illusion so far, and now your eyes are being opened. And I think a part of the reason you tolerated and perhaps haven’t even noticed his emotional abuse for so long, is that you believed you deserved to be treated like that.

    You said you’re selfish, but didn’t explain in what sense you believe you’re selfish. If you believe there’s something wrong with you, you’ll be more likely to tolerate other people disrespecting you and abusing you.

    I don’t know what I’m doing – I just know right now I am absolutely heart broken – and I just want to find my way back to myself – and purge this awful feeling out.

    I understand this is very hard for you now. Yes, it would be important to find the way back to yourself. And I think it would help if you would explore how you are judging and condemning yourself, and thus making yourself a target for other people’s disrespect and abuse.

     

    #381461
    anita
    Participant

    Dear triss:

    “I have no idea what I’m doing, my life is scattered around…  I am so lost… I don’t know what I’m doing – I just know right now I am absolutely heart broken – and I just want to find my way back to myself – and purge this awful feeling out”-

    – this is my advice:

    (1) Remain in your brother’s home. Do not go back to living with your husband. Minimize your contact with him, and see to it that you are never in his physical presence alone.

    (2) As much as possible, separate your finances from your husband’s today. Plan to start legal separation and divorce from him in the next few weeks/ a month, taking one step at a time in that direction.

    (3) If you are employed, focus on your job and think of it as an important part of your daily routine. Add to your daily routine aerobic exercise, such as a daily half an hour to an hour walk, and other predictable activities. Daily predictability and routine will provide you with the safety and stability that you very much need.

    (4) If psychotherapy/ counseling is possible for you- do that. Look for a support group online and/or in-person for women in your position. Post here again anytime you want to, and I, for one, will reply to you.

    anita

    #381467
    triss
    Participant

    Thanks TeaK for your insight. Your right – things came to a head and I can’t unsee what he’s become. I also feel responsible for failures in the relationship – not all, but I have my own culpability in how I responded to things. I have my own shortcomings and I think those things run deeper than I would like them to. Also thanks Kimita for sharing your story. 20 years is a long time to walk away and start something new. That must have been hard. I’m trying to reset and it’s hard because I love the man that I started with – not the one who I ended with. And maybe the one that I started things with wasn’t the real one but those feelings were real and hard to untangle. It’s really hard to hit reset. Good for you for getting there. I’m still just focused on making it through one day at a time right now.

    #381482
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear triss,

    you’re welcome. You said:

    I can’t imagine my marriage ending but I can’t imagine it going on like it is. …  It’s really hard to hit reset.

    May I ask what’s your greatest fear if you were to end your marriage? I am asking because it is often because of fear that we stay in unbearable situations and feel stuck, unable to make a move in either direction.

    You say you feel lost, don’t know what you’re doing, and that your life is scattered around. Is it related to other areas of life, not just your marriage? If so, your confusion and indecision may have to do with conflicting desires, or with the fear of failure if you do follow your dreams?

     

    #381490
    triss
    Participant

    TeaK – good question. Part of it is fear, part of it is sadness, for all the bad he was also my best friend and we did have some really great times and that makes me very sad to lose that. We had plans for a future that we also won’t see happen – so it’s hard.

    I feel lost because my stuff is scattered (storage, my house, the place I’m staying). My job is an hour and a half away from where I am staying – so I have to travel back and fourth once a week (thank goodness for working from home most of the time). Even my role at my job is shifting (away from design and into writing which is not what I want to do). So I feel like a lot of things are up in the air – I feel like a lot of my identity is shifting – which I know I really need pull that away from work – but it’s hard because I spend so much time working so it’s hard to not identify with it. I think the worst part is I’m not even sure what my dreams are anymore.

    #381495
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear triss,

    Part of it is fear, part of it is sadness, for all the bad he was also my best friend and we did have some really great times and that makes me very sad to lose that. We had plans for a future that we also won’t see happen

    I am sorry he’s changed so much, or your relationship changed… When you say you had some really good times and he was your best friend, how was he different back then? How was your relationship different? Was he more understanding and less critical of you?

    How about you? You said “I also feel responsible for failures in the relationship – not all, but I have my own culpability in how I responded to things.” How do you think you contributed to the current conflict? (although his behavior, specially physical abuse, isn’t justified by anything you may have done wrong).

    You don’t need to answer these questions if you feel uncomfortable talking about it here. But you can think about it for yourself, because it may help you in considering what to do next, i.e. whether you want to try to save your marriage or not.

    I understand now that your feeling of being scattered is related to your current living conditions – temporarily staying at your brother’s place, which is 1.5 hours away from the place you work. And also, to the fact that your work is changing to something you don’t necessarily like (writing instead of designing). It seems these changes make you question your identity and add to your sense of insecurity, possibly along the lines of “what do I really want with regard to my job?”…

    It seems to me that you’re at a crossroad in your life, triss. Perhaps this situation forces you to look deep into yourself and what you really want, both in terms of relationship and career. I agree with Kimita that it would be important to have support in this sensitive period. It’s great you have your brother’s support, at least in terms of having a place to stay. Try to surround yourself with supportive, non-judgmental people, as much as possible. A counselor would be great too, if you can afford it.

    Also please keep sharing here on the forum, if you see some benefit from it…

    #381583
    Roops
    Participant

    Dear Triss,

    A bad relation is quite painful and to let go is the best thing you can do. Don’t feel bad for your self. Be emotionally strong as you are not alone in this world. control behavior is questioning your freedom. No soul loves to be bound , its the nature of every one to have their own freedom. Only when you are free you get to develop your true potential while living in a boundary will only suffocate you. Give it some time, dont take an haste decisions, time will show you the way. Think positively and develop gratitude to your self. Dont go back now and keep a space with him and if you are fated to be together everything will work fine if not this is not the end of everything. Move on with your head raised and live your life proudly.  You deserve the Best.

    #381631
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    My friend..

     

    When you were born, was it with the purpose of becoming a slave to another?

    Or, did you volunteer?

     

    I share.. Sincerely.. No waste time in polite..

     

    On the time everything begins and on the time everything ends. End this time or that time. Does not matter. That is the basic law in the life.

     

    In the marriage there is a Law to enter and a law to exit.

     

    In your message I see many delusions from you grasping in imagination of hope.

     

    You must wake up.

    How many signs of your partners unbalanced behaviour did you need before it’s too late?

     

    All you are missing is the courage to see and accept everything that has taken place and take the correct action.

     

    At the time you became married was also the beginning of the end.

    In your marriage is your cause and effect brought together by the path of emotions.

     

    What is the price of your Soul?

     

    Nobody belongs to anyone in this life. Not even in the prison of a marriage.

     

    You can not imagine your marriage ending is your delusional attachment to the appearance of the marriage. Of not see the limit of all things in the life.

     

    I share sincerely..

     

    A jealous possessive man is a dangerous man no matter what he may say once his madness had passed from his emotions.

     

    In your words you write, the way is very clear.

    You only need courage to keep going and respect yourself and the life enough to let go.

     

    What is the purpose of your life?

    To keep growing and discovering or suffer in the cage of abuse?

     

    You must wake up.

    See that all things have limit. Respect limit and respect your Soul.

     

    I understand that inside the marriage is the occasion where 2 Souls pay together. Until they payed enough. That is the law of cause and effect.

     

    But my friend..

     

    If you do not wake up to see everything clearly from Wisdom. Your emotional attachments to the emotions of another will be the cause of your mistake.

     

    You must see what your effect will be from not having the the courage and confidence to cut your emotions with your situation and keep moving with your life.

     

    No one is that special my friend. I see your marriage only as the occasion for your Soul and his to pay together. Until enough.

     

    But now you know it has finished. You know inside you. You know it has become a dangerous possesive space that has absolutely nothing to do with LOVE.

     

    Its yourself you must love.

    Enough to stand up inside and do what is right with your Soul and the Life.

     

    Where is your trust in the life. And ending is always a new beginning.

     

    I share strong with you.

    But from compassion and understanding.

     

    Nothing in this life can destroy you. Only you destroy yourself from not taking the correct action from fear and attachments.

     

    There is no coming back to anything in this life.

    Only repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

     

    Keep going. With time will appear the distance. In the distance will appear fresh possibilities.

     

    It takes great courage to keep living.

     

    If you see correctly you will see right now. You are lucky. You have the occasion to escape. You did.

     

    The only thing that can bring you back into the cage of your suffering is your emotional slavery to an object. Object meaning your husband.

     

    My friend..

     

    The life always creates the occasion to escape this or that on the time.

     

    Mistake of everyone is they did not see it from becoming blind and deaf from their emotions.

     

    The cage is open my friend.

    You only need courage to use youWings again.

    They are always ready.

    Ready!

     

    Fly or not fly..

     

    Depends you.

     

    #383337
    Julie Gianferrara
    Participant

    Run. I stayed 30 yrs in such a relationship and am working at recovery from C-PTSD. I still have issues trusting myself to make sound decisions about new relationships. 2 yrs divorced.

    #383375
    anita
    Participant

    * Dear Julie Gianferrara:

    If you would like to share your story, express yourself, receive feedback, you can start your own thread by going to FORUMS at the top of the page and take it from there.

    anita

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