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#1 maryliz01

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:43 PM

Is it normal to have a decision in mind about leaving, but still waver back and forth... wondering to yourself if *enough* has happened to justify leaving, if you aren't just imagining things to be worse than they are (like you've been told by h), to have to record all your interactions to prove to yourself that bad things are really happening, cause h switches back and forth between exit only and nice guy so frequently you lose track of just what is going on.....?...... to have to constantly seek validation for your feelings and experiences and decisions?

#2 PrudenceB

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:35 PM

this is very common.


It usually involves denial, beleiving what we are being told, not what we see, moral lessons about preseving marriage at all cost, fear of being alone, fear of never finding anyone else, etc

What is keeping you from beleiving your experience or hoping for change or fearing change?

What do YOU feel about your life right now and what your relationship means to you?

#3 posso

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:39 PM

Normal, yes. Almost universal, probably.

Close relationships involve a great many threads, including emotional ones. This doesn't mean they should or shoudn't be ended, it just means they have some degree of complication and ambiguity. Besides whatever complications and ambiguity they have, there is also the particular way any one person perceives things.

I think the bottom line, though, is whether or not the relationship works for both people, and abusive ones don't.

#4 library_lady

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:10 AM

Is it normal to have a decision in mind about leaving, but still waver back and forth... wondering to yourself if *enough* has happened to justify leaving, if you aren't just imagining things to be worse than they are (like you've been told by h), to have to record all your interactions to prove to yourself that bad things are really happening, cause h switches back and forth between exit only and nice guy so frequently you lose track of just what is going on.....?...... to have to constantly seek validation for your feelings and experiences and decisions?


Hi maryliz,

I feel the exact same way. In the relationship I have with my particular abuser, I find that I'm so grateful for the calm, "normal" times (honeymoon phase) that happen during the day (although Mr. Furious usually has at least one blow-up every other day) that I find myself wondering if things really are so bad. Just tonight I was cleaning up after dinner and listening to Mr. Furious and my little boy work outside in the yard. Things were happy and calm, and I started wondering if maybe we could have a normal, healthy family someday. And yet, just yesterday Mr. Furious threw his sun visor at my feet and swore at me because I hadn't "done enough work on the rental house." Did I mention I've been working overtime this week while also taking care of my son? Oh, yes, he also threw a fit, swore and threw his cell phone on the floor (idiot) last night because I asked him not to turn off a fan that was cooling the upstairs (he wanted to turn it off). It drives me crazy because I have to keep reminding myself of the abuse I don't want to live with anymore just to stay resolved in my aim of eventually leaving. It's no fun because reliving the abuse is depressing and distressing - obviously, it's something I'd rather forget.

I keep a log of all of the verbal abuse I've suffered, and I find that is really helpful. When I'm feeling particularly vulnerable, I go over the reams of abuse he's dished out, and I realize that my goal of freedom is the right one.

What I'm saying is that I think it's normal to waver. I do it every day. I wish I didn't, but I do. :1087:

#5 hedoesntcare

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:32 AM

Welcome to the catbox!! One thread that helped me was the following: http://www.drirene.c...showtopic=43472

When I read the list of what was "required" for true change I knew it was hopeless. PrudenceB and DawnC also have amazing posts about this stuff, if you have the time, I suggest you look them up under members and read their posts. I left my husband of 11 years about 2 months ago and have never been happier. Life can change, you have the power to change only yourself, but that is all that you need to get out and live again. :heart:

#6 claudifred

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:12 AM

OH YES.
I waivered and waffled for a very long time.
I ended up keeping a journal of incidents... without adding my feelings or any interpretation, I just recorded the facts of his behavior. Quotes of statements he made to me. I noted the date and time, the circumstances that brought up the incident.
Then whenever I started to waiver, I'd pull that notebook out and start reading. It was very eye-opening to see how often he was acting out, and how brutal some of his behaviors were. It definitely kept me from minimizing things in my own mind and keeping myself clear-headed.
I also made sure I saw my therapist at least every other week during our initial separation and divorce. Having an objective person to tell things to also kept me grounded.

Hang in there.
Soon you will lift the veil of denial for good and there won't be any way to pull it back down, and you'll set yourself free!

#7 lionheart

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:24 AM

Is it normal to ... waver back and forth...?


Yes. It's normal. To reject your spouse or partner may well go against everything your upbringing, family, culture, your husband, and probably your religion have been telling you is right.

But here is some of what you've told us about your life with your husband:

"My husband told me I could not tell anyone what was going on."

"[After] our daughter was born... HE was becoming increasingly emotionally and verbally abusive. He was very rigidly telling me what my role was in the house: which was basically to do everything. He said the church taught him that I was supposed to do everything around the home and children and not ask him to do anything and that he was in charge."

"He slept in another room for six months so the baby would not bother him."

"He yelled at me because there were ants in the kitchen telling me things like that if I cleaned better there would never once be an ant in the house, and he was going to be inspecting my housework and things had better improve. One day he slammed his fist down within inches of my daughter because I was not making lunch fast enough. He also told me things like that I was worthless, and I didn’t act or look like a wife, and that it disgusted him to look at me."

"I began to have panic attacks on a daily basis about running out of food or not being able to care for my child."

"My husband told me that if I ever went to church he would divorce me. He also told me that if we divorced he would quit his job and work at McDonald's so that I would not get child support."

"There was one argument that became physical. ,,,He was screaming at me and I was upset and crying, he went to leave and I reached for his shirt and asked him to please not leave me like that. He began hitting my arm repeatedly and it left a bruise that took a few days to disappear."

"...he tells me I need to forget about everything that has happened. He tells me I am holding it over his head and I have to get over it."

"He has told me that he doesn’t like talking to me."

"He gets angry when dinner is not ready very soon after he gets home. He uses a lot of excuses and seems to think that if he has a bad day at work, or is tired, or hungry, he can yell at me and say whatever. If I try to talk to him about the abuse he either says he can’t remember any of it happening, or says it was all the church’s fault or sometimes tells me that if I was a better wife he would be nicer."

"...he told me that he knows what he has done is wrong, but he doesn’t want to think about it because he doesn’t want to feel bad."

"He told me recently that if I have issues trusting him its my own fault"

"I brought up the conversation where he said the counselor told him to question me and not take my word for it on [daughter]'s diagnosis. he said that conversdation never happened."

"He looked at me like I was crazy and told me he doesn't remember any of that and then gave me a bunch of excuses. He says what would I do right now if I got heaven and have to stand before God and realize eighty % of what I remember isn't real."

"...he is laying on the couch smirking while [our daughter] cries and i asked him why he's doing that and he says he's 'playing a fun game with her'"

"...he got mad and yelled at me because i have stomach flu and didnt make dinner"

You think it's not that bad? To me that's pretty bad.

In the face of his onslaught on reality you have to trust and cling tightly to your own perceptions about what is actually happening. Hang on to reality. Refuse to accept his or anyone else's definition of reality. You know what is happening, you are living it and only you truly know what it's like.

I think that once adults develop a way of viewing the world and relationships that gets them enough of what they need and want they won't change unless and until they suffer sufficient negative consequences that their way of being becomes unbearable to them. And that's true both for the 'victim' as well as the 'abuser'. So you have to ask yourself what are you getting from this relationship that is enough of what you need or want that you are willing to put up with being so mistreated? And how bad does it have to get for you to say enough?
  • Is failing to treat you with basic human respect and common decency enough?
  • Is repeatedly irrationally yelling and screaming at you enough?
  • Is calling you names (defining you) enough?
  • Is throwing or breaking things or punching holes in walls enough?
  • Is living in constant fear waiting for something to set him off enough?
  • Is physically restraining you or hitting you enough?
For me answering yes to any one of those is enough. If my spouse or partner isn't treating me with basic respect and common decency 99% of the time that's enough and I am outta there. Life is too short and precious to accept living in a virtual prison.
  • hedoesntcare and MomfromMN like this

#8 Kris

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:22 PM

I think that once adults develop a way of viewing the world and relationships that gets them enough of what they need and want they won't change unless and until they suffer sufficient negative consequences that their way of being becomes unbearable to them. And that's true both for the 'victim' as well as the 'abuser'. So you have to ask yourself what are you getting from this relationship that is enough of what you need or want that you are willing to put up with being so mistreated? And how bad does it have to get for you to say enough?

  • Is failing to treat you with basic human respect and common decency enough?
  • Is repeatedly irrationally yelling and screaming at you enough?
  • Is calling you names (defining you) enough?
  • Is throwing or breaking things or punching holes in walls enough?
  • Is living in constant fear waiting for something to set him off enough?
  • Is physically restraining you or hitting you enough?
For me answering yes to any one of those is enough. If my spouse or partner isn't treating me with basic respect and common decency 99% of the time that's enough and I am outta there. Life is too short and precious to accept living in a virtual prison.


And sadly if you wait too long to take a stand, not only does it take a toll on your own mental and physical health, it is not a "happy situation" for the abuser either... so the abuser oftentimes turns to other things like alcohol or substance abuse to cope with the bad feelings and the loss of control that he has. I think that's part of what happened to me since it took 27 years of marriage before I finally left, but by that time my stbx was drinking very heavily. So I do wonder had I taken a stand and left much earlier before he was drinking a bottle of wine a day, would it possibly have been the "wake-up call" that he needed? Maybe not. But I had always thought that he loved me so deeply that if I left, it would serve as a wake-up call and at least he would have tried to work on things. But that didn't happen. And when I think about why, one of the things I do think is an important factor is that you can't really "wake up" someone who has fallen into numbing himself out so severely.

HOWEVER.... that said.... what my therapist tried to get me to focus on for two years unsuccessfully before I finally "woke up" is that I need to stop worrying about what stbx thinks, I need to stop trying to figure out what would make stbx happier or would "fix" him, but instead I need to learn to think about what do I need to be healthy and happy and live my own life to the best of its potential. For some reason, a lot of us don't realize that that is what is important and really is the only thing that is within our control!

So LH has pulled things out very well to highlight for you what your situation is like and I do recommend thinking about the questions he poses very carefully. For me, that was the key "mantra" that helped me stay firm in my resolve: I just kept asking myself, "Do I want to live this way for the rest of my life?" and then it became clear what I had to do.

(((Hugs)))

#9 Kokoca

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:42 PM

Hi Maryliz!

Yes, totally normal. I spent an awful lot of energy for awhile justifying to myself why I left.

We get a lot of messages from society, church, friends, TV, family that says "divorce: bad, forever married: good". I think there is a great deal of programming there that can really skew our ability to see the situation for what it is. If you are unhappy and cannot see yourself a year or five years or ten years down the road in a happy situation with this person then it has got to be okay to walk away.

Everything comes to an end and why should relationships be any different? They have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Maybe, if you are lucky, you can have a happy relationship that ends when one of you dies but I don't think it is realistic to expect it to happen in a majority of relationships.

#10 myohmy

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:47 AM

Im out 6 weeks and battle with this every day. I take each day at a time. Its so painful as I still love my stbx desperately, but I am at peace for the first time in years. I am excited about my future without him.




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