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Haven’t I already ruined my life?

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  • #381111
    Carly
    Participant

    I’m just gonna jump right in and try and keep things brief.

    I’m looking for advice, but also sort of venting at the same time?

    Anyways;

    At the age of 24, I’m currently living in a house that I own with my somewhat-abusive husband, and my sister. My sister moved in to act as a shield between me and said husband. I’ve been trying to divorce him for a while but he’s not willing to pay any money towards the divorce or to help with the paperwork.

    I work at Staples in the copy and print center after I lost my previous contract position to COVID. I barely earn enough to pay my loans, my house, and have to rely very heavily on my sister.

    My parents don’t believe me when I explain my situation, and refused to let me move back in with them before I purchased my house. I told them back when I was in college that I was having a lot of trouble with bullying and rumors; they told me they didn’t believe me and that I must have been exaggerating. That bullying led me to rely on the only person who would listen to me- the man who distanced me from my family, wouldn’t let me go out on walks, pretended I didn’t exist, and used me for basically jacking himself off since he refused to ever have proper sex. I was an idiot and I married him. Finally, I saved enough money to move back to my hometown where my family was, and I got together all the willpower I had left to tell them what he was like. They told me marriage is just like that, I don’t understand, and I must be lying. And so I was forced to move into a house with him and live with him. I engaged in meetings with my priest, who also said I should get an annulment and as far away from my husband as possible. I told my mom and dad. They said, of course, the priest is awful and I must be lying.

    My husband is.. apparently charismatic. I see through him extremely easily at this point, but he goes out of his way to be nice in front of my parents, who will never see the real him. I dont think Ive ever seen the real him tbh. He’s the kind of fake person who molds himself into what you want him to be just so he can check off freaky goal boxes like “have a house” and “get a wife.”

    More recently I’ve just been trying to figure out how I can get out of this situation. I don’t have connections or friends; I was cut off from any of that. I don’t have the support of my family; and my sister is just as bad with connections as I am. I’ve been applying for jobs for over a year now and no one will get back to me. I’ve more than lost hope of ever getting out of this mess. I feel like no matter what I do, no matter how hard I reach for something, I’ll always be met with disappointment and failure. I fought so hard to escape the small town I was in before and to get to my hometown.. and it turned out to be just as bad.

    What can I even do? Is there a way out of this mess?

    #381114
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Carly,

    to answer your question right off the bat: no, you haven’t ruined your life. You did make a mistake marrying your husband, but you don’t have children together, and so with some juggling, you can separate from him never to have to meet him again.

    It appears you never had support from your parents, they didn’t believe you when you complained about being bullied and people spreading rumors about you. They invalidated you and your experience. And I guess it’s been happening your entire life. That’s why you were attracted to this man, who was “the only person who would listen to you”.

    He sounds narcissistic, by the way, because you say he’s charismatic, he has a fake persona and easily manipulates people, and he’s selfish and controlling. Perhaps he was “love bombing” you in the beginning of your relationship – showering you with praise and attention? If so, that would be a typical narcissistic behavior.

    It seems you first wanted to escape from your parents and ended up with your husband, and then you wanted to escape from your husband back to your parents, but they didn’t let you come back. It seems both your parents and your husband are abusive and don’t care about you. The only way to help yourself is not to seek their help but separate yourself from both and start your life anew.

    I’ve been applying for jobs for over a year now and no one will get back to me. I’ve more than lost hope of ever getting out of this mess. I feel like no matter what I do, no matter how hard I reach for something, I’ll always be met with disappointment and failure.

    You were indeed met with rejection and disappointment whenever you reached to your parents. That’s why you formed a belief that it can never be different for you, and perhaps that you are a failure too. The experience with you husband “proved” the same. But it’s a false belief, based on your so-far negative experiences.

    The truth is that you deserve love and understanding and compassion and success in life, but you’d need to let go of the childhood programming and start loving and trusting yourself. You’re only 24, the whole life is in front of you, and you can make it a better, different experience than you had so far.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by TeaK.
    #381116
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carly:

    I hope that venting does help you feel better. In August 2018, at 21, you lived in your husband’s small town attending college. You shared that at first his family “pretended to like (you)”, but then his sister and mother turned against you, “got extremely personal info about past mistakes” that you were “just recovering from”, told “anyone who will listen endless lies and tales of how horrid” a person they alleged you to be, creating situations to make you and your husband look bad, and all the while you “never did anything to them”. You planned at the time to graduate and move away from your husband’s small town.

    Fast forward three years, at 24, you shared that back when you were living in your husband’s town, you told your parents that you were having “a lot of trouble with bullying and rumors”, and they didn’t believe you, saying that  you were exaggerating. You saved enough money moved back to your hometown regardless of your parents’ lack of support. When you told your parents about your husband being abusive, they told you that you “must be lying”, and refused to let you live with them. You then purchased a house in your home town, and you currently live there with your husband and sister, barely earning enough to pay for your loans and your house, relying very heavily on your sister.  About your husband: “somewhat abusive.. apparently charismatic…  he goes out of his way to be nice in front of my parents, who will never see the real him”. You want to divorce him but you don’t have the money to do so.

    “I fought so hard to escape the small town I was in before and to get to my hometown.. and it turned out to be just as bad. What can I even do? Is there a way out of this mess?”-

    – I am sure that there is a way out of this mess, but it will take a good plan, patience and time. Clearly, involving your parents in this plan is not a good idea. If you would like to add anything more than you already shared about your husband, and about anyone/ anything else that may be relevant to putting together a good plan, please do and I will reply further.

    anita

    #381184
    Maria
    Participant

    Hi Carly,

    Wow, parents who underestimate your achievements – how familiar.

    First, no matter how hard you’d tried to find compassion in them, that wouldn’t work out. They even accused the priest gave you the “wrong” advice. So, they think there’s no other point of view than their “right” one. That happens because parents are afraid to admit mistakes they made when you first asked for help. Imagine a situation when person A tells person B what to do but then realizes those actions lead to a collapse. Person A had better say sorry and help person B to get out of this. But that could have been seen as a defeat (even if we all know this is not). So, person A chooses to turn it into a giant snowball of wrong pieces of advice. Now both person A and person B need to get qualified therapy. But you’re not a therapist, so you can’t help your parents to admit their wrongs. That’s the truth you need to learn to live with.

    Your parents seem to be those people who consider having a husband as the only purpose in life. Could you tell us more about the family model you saw when you were a child?

    And to your thread topic: you didn’t ruin your life. Your marriage wasn’t a mistake. You did what you did. Yes, this now seems like an insoluble problem. The thing is, the only insoluble problem is death. Immortality is impossible. All the rest has the resolution. You just take your time to find it. Care for your health, pick up the pieces, and start from there. Maybe there are some centers for women in difficult situations near you.

    #381267
    Carly
    Participant

    Thank you for your kind responses.

    You’re right about my husband- he conformed to everything he thought I wanted him to be. Going out of his way to be helpful and kind to others, and pretending to be a thoughtful hard worker, and to like the same media I like. He seemed like a perfectly wonderful person up until the point I married him. That was when he started to ignore my existence completely, behave coldly and meanly. He stopped trying to help others and became lazy too, always whining about money and jobs. He started to show these unexplainable facial expressions that were just… terrifying. It was a total 180 and took me totally by surprise.

    My parents aren’t super traditionalist, but they’re not super progressive either. They’ve always fallen in the middle, and been surprisingly open minded in some areas, and completely un-open minded in others. Its anyones guess where they’ll fall on any given topic. But with my moms stern pick yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going attitude, I expected a cold response from her. My dad has always been the softer, sensitive one of the pair. He can never quite speak up for himself and usually submits to whatever my moms opinion is. But mom cares a great deal for women’s rights and women’s issues, so I thought she would genuinely understand where I was coming from with this. I was pretty surprised to find that I was wrong. It turns out her idea of marriage is to endure anything and everything no matter what- because that’s the agreement you made when you got married. So she said even if he was hitting me, that’s just what men do when they’re angry, and I need to accept it. Obviously I can’t accept that. My dad meanwhile completely and utterly didn’t believe me and was just angry at the idea of me getting a divorce at 24. I’m almost certain they flaunted me as the most successful kid in moms family because I was the only cousin who was married, with a house and a job. But COVID killed the job, and the marriage wasn’t what they thought it was. I wish they would see that I would be better without the “expected” successes. For me, happiness is the greatest form of success. No matter what situation youre in, if you can be happy, you’ve done it- as long as it doesn’t hurt others. So in my book, I would be way more successful without the dang marriage.

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I need to try and put this behind me and move forward; I sound so silly coming to this end of the world conclusion. If I would want others to be happy I should see myself in that same way. I’m so grateful for the advice from each of you. I keep telling myself so many horrible thoughts, but it’s such a foolish move on my part. You make me feel more valid, more confident, and more able to move forward with this.

    My current plan is to get a better job so I can ask him to move out of the house, then I can pay for the divorce myself and move forward from there. It’s gonna take a lot of time but its about the only thing I think I can do in the spot I’ve put myself in.

    #381272
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carly:

    You are welcome.

    You shared about your husband: “He started to show these unexplainable facial expressions that were just… terrifying”- do you mean that he purposefully contorted his face so to appear menacing and scary? If so, in what circumstances did he do that?

    You shared: “mom cares a great deal for women’s rights and women’s issues.. her idea of marriage is to endure anything and everything no matter what… she said even if he was hitting me, that’s just what men do when they’re angry, and I need to accept it”-

    – do you mean that she used to care a great deal for women’s right but has recently changed her position 180 degrees?

    If so, has she expressed extreme changes in her views on other topics, and perhaps in her behaviors recently?

    anita

    #381286
    Maria
    Participant

    Dear Carly,

    I’m glad that you find your situation silly. That means you don’t hide your emotions and can admit them. To sound silly is actually pretty admiring. You’re not an emotionless robot. Don’t be afraid to look like a fool sometimes. 🙂

    Your 24s are the best time to get divorced, even though your parents don’t agree with this. My parents don’t understand my definition of happiness either. People of their age think that happiness is reached through suffering. And our generation finally changes this opinion.

    And your plan is awesome! I can already imagine your enjoyment as you throw your soon-to-be-ex-husband away. Getting a better job is the only and the greatest thing you can do.

    I’m fascinated by your actions. I’ve never seen a woman so ready for changes.

    #381291
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Carly,

    you’re very welcome. I’ve taken a look at your previous thread, where you shared about your husband’s family and how unsupportive and mean they were. Back then, you and your husband were a team – it was the two of you against his family. His mother and sister tried everything to stop him from marrying you, but it appears he wouldn’t budge – you still ended up getting married. So before the wedding, it seems he was your hero, and then after the wedding he completely changed and became cold and mean.

    You said:

    He’s the kind of fake person who molds himself into what you want him to be just so he can check off freaky goal boxes like “have a house” and “get a wife.”

    So could it be that he married you out of spite to his mother and sister? To prove he can do it? You say they were mocking him while you were still dating:

    they always gave these little jabs at him, or only told stories that would make him look bad.

    His mom started cornering him and screaming at him, calling him in the middle of the night to ask whether he ever thinks Ill want to have sex with him, if he thinks he’ll be my hero,

    It seems he did behave like your hero back then:

    he conformed to everything he thought I wanted him to be. Going out of his way to be helpful and kind to others, and pretending to be a thoughtful hard worker, and to like the same media I like. He seemed like a perfectly wonderful person up until the point I married him.

    But it wasn’t because he loved you, it seems, but because he needed to prove that he can be successful. Perhaps he was mocked that he’d never get a wife, or be materially successful (e.g. have a house of his own), and you served to prove the opposite?

    After you got married, “He stopped trying to help others and became lazy too, always whining about money and jobs.’

    So after you got married, he became his true self, or rather, his more honest self: lazy, self-centered, not really wanting to work and be successful in his career, perhaps not even interested in material success (or perhaps relying on you to provide it, so he can keep a façade of success towards his family)?

    Anyway, he seems like trouble and best is to divorce him, even if your parents believe it’s a “failure”. Much bigger failure would be to stay married to him, even have children together, and then get stuck with him for a really long time…

    I love your plan – to get a better job (rooting for you, you’re definitely able to do it!) and be able to pay for the divorce and live separately from him.

    Your mother’s support for women’s rights is indeed strange, if she also believes you should tolerate even physical violence, because men are simply like that? Then why didn’t she marry such a guy, instead of a softy who agrees with everything she says? Or perhaps she supports women’s rights in theory, but not her own daughter’s rights?

     

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