|Thursday, 26 September 2002|
married, 29, with 3 kids. I have been married for 9 years. I take meds
for depression. I had a controlling mother, and now the same thing
with my husband. Ohhh...
I just can't take another night of sitting in the
bathroom bawling, wondering what it is about me that isn't as good as
other women I admire, who would never be treated this way. And, am I
really worthwhile enough to be around? Listen to
me, and listen very carefully: You are every bit as good and are
every bit as worthy as the ladies you admire. The only
difference between you and those women is that they think too
highly of themselves to allow anybody to treat them poorly - for any
reason! That's it! Promise! I’m always in some degree of
fear that I forgot something, or did something I didn’t realize, and
often hide things so he won’t get angry, though usually not because I
feel that I really did something wrong, but know he will. (Bought a
pop, etc.) I know you've heard this before, but
I'll say it again. And again. Yes, you forgot lots of stuff. Yes, you
did lots and lots of things you didn't realize. You own senses are
telling you that you didn't do anything "wrong." Trust those
feelings! He will think you did something wrong... Of course
he will! That's what abuse is about! Making YOU responsible for HIS
frustration! Ugh!!!! The only thing "wrong" with you is that you are
in the bad habit of believing if he doesn't like it, it must not be
OK. Like mom. Wrong, wrong, wrong! All it really means is that he
doesn't like it, and that's fine! He doesn't have to like or approve
of anything that is not about him. (His wife is not about him, it is
about his wife: you.) It is however his job to deal with
his not liking of (whatever) and not to take it out - on you!
Anyway, I could go on with the list of things that went on, especially
early in marriage, and when I think, well at least he's better than he
was (his hands around my neck, from a fairly one sided argument
started by the fact that I put fat free mayo on a shopping list).
Ugh... I hope you called the police, but I don't
think you did. If ANYTHING like that ever, ever happens again, MAKE
SURE you report it! (I don't care if you "provoked him.") But
I realize that in many ways, he has me trained, and it makes me sick.
Good. I often want to leave, But my kids, 5, 6, 8
- it breaks my heart to
think of taking them away. And I have NO support
Money issues are the leading reason why women hang on to abusive
marriages, No friends, everyone
I've turned to, I have been so hurt by: family letting me know I just
need to clean the house better (It was spotless yesterday, didn't
matter); shouldn't have hobbies or other activities, until I can get
things perfect at home. Unfortunately, they are
of an abusive mindset. Not healthy. A lot of religion guilt also.
Yeah, I understand.
Look here. Too often, even the word of
God is interpreted abusively...
I wish often I
had bruises to show, to feel justified. YOU ARE
JUSTIFIED! It doesn't even matter that I agree with you! It matters
that YOU think so - because your feelings count!
I fairly recently rebuilt our
broken computer because I sold things on Ebay and it was my only thing
to give me a sense of self-sufficiency. Good for
you! Anyway, at the same time, my
husband's checks weren't covering the bills, and I got a credit card
with a business corp. name I got, to fix the computer and pay the
bills we couldn't cover. I knew I'd be blamed no matter what. I
thought I could make (and have) the payments by selling stuff. Anyway,
he found the card, justifiably angry
justifiably??? Why? and I turned our checkbook,
bills, everything over to him. Yuk!!! You let
him persecute you... Now it's constantly brought up, and I
feel I have no rights to say anything about money.
You most certainly do have the right to talk
about money! In fact, you have the right to tell him you want the
bills and the checkbook back! You have the right to tell him you don't
want to hear more complaints about money, and you don't want to hear
that you "snuck" trying to help the family out! You have the right to
tell him he should thank you instead of scorn you! You have the right
to tell him if you choose to go into business without his knowledge,
that is not his business. It is your business and your business is not
his business - marriage or not - unless you choose to make it his
He still demands I
balance it after weeks of him "having no time", and it better be done
when he says, there better be money for whatever, etc. Same with
paying bills. He doesn't pay them, we get late fees, it's my fault,
because I didn't tell him when they were due, etc.
Garbage! You'll balance it - as best you can -
given his lack of responsibility in letting go of a task he took over.
He should be grateful that you are willing to take over! And,
if there are late fees or if the balance does not cover the bills,
well... maybe he needs to make more money and maybe he should not
complain if you're bringing money into the household!
He told the leader
of our church I was spending all of these thousands of dollars, etc.
I'd gone to him before, about my problems with him, it was very hard.
I was told it wasn't up to me to make him happy
Correct, but then he called us
in and made comments about how we need to keep our marriage together,
we have little kids, and not to be selfish. He's
right. But did Church Leader figure out who is selfish? Church leader also told us
to spend money w/ out the others permission.
Yes. And it didn't hit me for
awhile why my husband was suddenly doing any shopping that was
needed... Groceries, gifts, etc. Until the one time I went lately, I
feel like I was better off keeping my big mouth shut, and am now
trying not to feel totally hopeless.
hubby buying needed items a problem? That he looks like he's obeying
the Church Leader? Don't worry about that. Just follow the Church
Leader's instructions. Pursue doing your thing. Like spending money -
so you can make money selling stuff on Ebay. Another excellent
way for you to spend some money without permission is to find your
own individual counselor!
We went to a counselor too. I
finally got some books a year or two ago on emotional abuse. I'd first
realized what was going on a few years ago from an article, when I
couldn't take it anymore, to see what I could do about it.
Good for you! It was so
EXACTLY what I was going through. Yes! But it seemed like family, the
counselor, the church leader, would tell me what I should do about
individual incidences, but I was trying to explain that this is a
constant pattern. Unfortunately, that's the
problem. Counselors uneducated in abuse often don't see the forest for
the trees. Taken issue by issue, abusive types appear to make tons of
sense - they're experts at rationalizing themselves, and victim types
are at a loss for words... I would be so frustrated, they never understood. My
hubby he would sound so reasonable, and bring up things that sounded
like such plausible and typical couple crap (I am not affectionate
enough, I am in chat rooms too much) that I find myself (along w/ the
counselor, my dad, etc.) buying it all and apologizing, then the next
day realizing, "Hey, I've never been in a chat room in my life!" And, I
am as affectionate as I can (sometimes force myself) to be.
Of course! Who can possibly feel affectionate in
this type of situation!
I have a
high IQ, and am artistic, but he is always angry when I (rarely)
exhibit it in any way. But never says why.
Hehehe! Can you see him admitting, even to himself, that he
feels threatened by your talent? I guess I just feel like I
got to get out of this, but with my self-esteem at zero, I am having a
very hard time seeing it as a possibility with absolutely no one
behind me. That's why - at minimum - you need
your own counselor to support you. I don't see how I can even get through this with him. He
tells me I decided he was abusive because I read the books, not the
other way around. His response is common among
abusive types. I just need to hear from somebody who might know
what I am trying to say. I hear you loud and
clear, and I'm sure the posters, many of whom too intimately
understand what you are going through, will too. Thanks, Ariel
|Ariel, get yourself a counselor through
your town's domestic violence hotline or shelter. These people
understand emotional abuse. Also, see if there are any abuse support
groups in your area; you need to see that there are (too many) other
people who walk in your shoes. |
The CatBox and
start posting, if you haven't already. The CatBox is a safe,
moderated forum where people discuss abuse and help each other. By
the way, the five moderators there are topnotch. They volunteer
their time and energy because they want to. They are
also much further along their struggle with victimhood than you are.|
|I know you won't be able to follow some of
my advice now (setting boundaries re:
money, etc.). I wanted to demonstrate options so I modeled some
healthier responses to set up a sort of "path" for you: how dare he
|Also, please take a look at this book. It
helps you to shift how you think - so you claw your way
through the unhealthy victim thinking patters you learned growing
up. You don't have to put up with abuse!
The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional
Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life
by Albert Ellis et al. |
|Look too at books on boundaries.
I've listed a number on
Read everything on this site in the
Verbal Abuse and some
of the stuff in the
|Believe in yourSelf. You are
worthy - no matter how you have been trained to think about
|Perhaps most important: You are
on the right track Ariel. You have not let family or Church deter
you. You know what's going on, and what's going on - is not written
in stone. Keep seeking and ye shall find... You can get
yourSelf out of this mess! I'm very hopeful!|
regards, Dr. Irene
Read the posts!