i hope i'm not posting too much, but you are all so helpful

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Registered: 10-26-2009
i hope i'm not posting too much, but you are all so helpful
8
Sun, 12-09-2012 - 5:11am
so upon the advice of my therapist, I have done a lot of really hard introspection and come to some difficult conclusions that I probably need to get out of my relationship unless my husband can take actual ownership of his abusive attitudes and behaviors, which I am 100 percent certain he will not do. My husband has only admited that perhaps 'a couple times' he's been out of line but that he is in no way abusive toward me and that the things he's done actually mostly have to do with me and he would never act that way but for my flaws (i.e. toward a good woman, he would not have to berate, threaten, patronize, etc). I've had so much trouble questioning my own reality and whether my feelings and thoughts were valid that I've felt crazy. My therapist was really able to explain one something to me so succinctly that I felt knocked over: he said that abusive events like the urination and the gasoline DO NOT happen in a vacume, if those happened then you can be confident that the berating, minimizing, patronizing, mocking, contempt and unwarranted destructive critisism (as opposed to constructive) are ALSO HAPPENING. I thought about this for a minute and a light bulb went off. I've had so much trouble with validating my own reality and experiences that this one statement really helped. You see I can see the really, really horrible and severe stuff as well obviously overtly way out of line but I still question whether the other stuff is too and my husband has conditioned me to where I always question it.  Even now it has only been five days of no contact but I still feel so guilty for basically ruining everything in our relationship over him simply needing to build more respect for me. Isn't that crazy? Even when I'm not talking to him, I'm blaming myself FOR HIM? anyway I know all this is incredibly long but below is the letter I'm thinking of sending to my husband explaining that I'm not planning to move and quit my job since everthing is so unstable. I think if I did that I would just be going for a repeat of how it was before when we lived together and every few months...punishment, whether I did something wrong to reignite resentment or if there was absolutely nothing and he just fell into being angry and resentful again. It was really a precarious existence especially since he did not work while we were living together and had so much time on his hands to brood and stew if he wanted to. I remember days where you know just somehow KNOW that it's going down soon, my husband is a master of the silent treatment, and I'd so want to just hide in my little office and not come home. I don't want to go back to that. 
 
this is my letter, I know it's wierd to put it out there but I want to know do you even think it will do any good to send it? or am I just wasting my time and it won't go anywhere? anyway I'm sure that I won't actually sent it. It would make him so resentlful, hurt and mostly angry that I'd say these negative things that I know it would probably be useless. But a part of me would really like to just get it out there, then maybe I'd have my answers and be able to move on? I don't know  
 
you said the other week that "you have self esteem problems and given our past and history i can't lift you up. i just can't dig myself out of that hole."  and then you also said that really we should put divorce out there as an option but there was no use in talking about anything as we can't seem to come to a resolution but to just try and get along. i'm sorry but this makes no sense to me how do you say we have to put divorce seriously on the table, but then ignore it as if it's not a pink elephant in the room? how can you say that i'm not allowed to talk about divorce with you and that the conversation is over but now we have to get along?  
 
this is fine and given this i really can't just give up everything and settle in XXX.  i certianly wouldn't expect you to under such unstable circumstances. i understand why you can't dig yourself out of that hole but i'm right back to where i started from and this is why i tried to establish a solid foundation prior to us getting a house and me shipping all my things to XXXX. i need a partner who wants to support me and lift me up, and who feels i deserve it and am worthy of it. and i actually told you that in both an email that i still have and in our conversations. to live with a partner who constantly doesn't believe this, you feel it and it just takes you down and the relationship down. i feel that given our past i have just as much of a "hole" to dig out of as you do, but i refuse to keep you there and to push you down constantly for things you've done in your past. we don't have the same kinds of conversations concerning your past and what led you to be the kind of person who for example would be so selfish and callous as to pressure his girlfriend that he impregnated into aborting, even when i put out the options of adoption or raising the child myself which would alleviate your responsibility to be a father and provide financial support, you still pressured because those other options would make you feel guilt, not caring that maybe having an abortion would leave me with a huge void for the rest of my life. do you remember any conversations where i subjected you to literally hours of psychoanalyzing your past and how you evolved to be such a selfish flawed man during that time? the answer is no and you know it to be true. i don't do that. but you do. and you do it under the guise of building intimacy and closeness. it is only your ego that seduces you into believing that you want to discuss all my faults in order to be closer and build respect for me (over and over and over again by the way, with little to no success maybe even the opposite).
 
when you say things that are going to hurt someone and you think it is coming from awareness and a desire to grow, that's just your ego being clever. the reason i've never had the long drawn out discussions on what i see as your flaws or bring theses things up is not that i repress them and they come out to be used against you only when we're fighting. i have told you many times, i do that because that is what i am still hurt over more than the actions that you did in the past: the inequality. i feel the inequality in you keeping those things over my head all the time and i don't do it to you. and i purposely don't even when things remind me and even when i hurt from the pain you've caused me, i have little desire to bring you down with my pain. it's niether fair nor productive to do so.  i don't know how making your partner constantly feel less than is helpful.  i've just never berated you in the way you have me and deep down you know that to be true. that's what i get resentful about. the inequality.  
 
 how in the world continuously revisiting past wounds and faults for hours could be seen as constructive, i have no idea. particularly since it's stuff we've talked about, fought about for hours and hours a hundred times before. and the thing is it never helps whether i listen or get defensive or a combination of the two it really does nothing except cause you to further dig deep and entrench in your position of rightness.  so i also don't know how just being a better listener would really fix anything when the real problem isn't that i don't listen to you, because whether you want to admit it or not, I have and I do admit to my culpability, my failings, my imperfect past, my insecurities and how deeply i've hurt you.  it's that you do not accept me for who i am, faults and all. you can't dig yourself out of that hole to feel a genuine compassion and respect for me, when deep down you don't feel i deserve it. it really is that simple. 
 
 i know you don't see the last few months of fighting as one sided but i've looked and looked at it and we really haven't talked about you very much mostly what's wrong with me and how i'm not a supportive partner becuase i don't listen in the way that you need so that you can have a deeper respect for me and feel supported. and i've tried to listen, and i have listened maybe in an imperfect way but still i have and it hasn't helped. the only thing it has accomplished is taking us both down. i was willing and did look squarely at all my issues which you still struggle but it does not help. never has. and i'm done living in the past and constantly feeling less than. we've been on this roller coaster for years and years. i think you really defined how i feel when you said 'i can't dig yourself out of that hole'.  the hurt, resentment and anger is too much and i'm sorry but keeping at it is good for neither of us. i just can't do it anymore. i know you're saying let's just try and get along but it's just surface. i could literally hear the resentment in your voice while talking to you last.  this stuff is still there and it will rear it's ugly head again and take us both down. we both deserve better than that.
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Registered: 01-21-2004
Thank you. It is now bookmarked.

 

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Registered: 10-26-2009

http://cl-wishful78.tripod.com/First100Days.htm

Yes It is really, really good. I'm only on day 7 but still. I really like the meditations and I'm also reading the Why does he do that book suggested by Cajunharmony.

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Registered: 01-21-2004
I am trying to locate the website for The First 100 Days. Do you have a link? I think I could benefit from it as well.

 

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Registered: 01-21-2004
"Trying to get an abuser to admit they are in the wrong is kind of like trying to teach a pig to sing: It makes you look goofy and it pisses off the pig. IN other words, wasted time and energy on your part. " I have to remember this too. Seriously_Undecided, your story resonates with me. I am still confused by my abuser. My children are confused by him. We have been divorced for 2 1/2 years now, and he still has had me under his control with the children. The feelings you have, are the same as mine. I have gone back and forth in my head, over and over. I pray for you that you are put the right people in your life to get through this trial. I was not. I am still struggling to find the right ones to help me and my children through the trial we face. Thank you for sharing your story, and your feelings. You are not alone.

 

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Registered: 10-26-2009

Thank you so much. Your responses mean so much to me and from everything I read (which I've honestly been devouring all the stories of courage and perseverance contained on these great boards), you are so helpful to those of us in need. I can't imagine going through what you shared. I actually did look back to see if I could find your story but these boards are weird and you can't read all the posts sometimes. It's too bad as I couldn't really read all the stuff I wrote years ago when I last visited. I wasn't ready then to listen and I've actually broken things off with my husband a few times before. it just never stuck. I almost did it about seven months ago, I was so close but then when I said I didn't want to be in the relationship anymore becuase I didn't feel he respected me and treated me as an equal, man did he pull out all the right words to convince me that I'd just built this idea up in my head and that it wasn't true. That's when somehow I went and ended up agreeing to buy a house that he picked out and plunking down 50 k of my hard saved money. crazy I know but I was so happy and he was being so great to me during this process of remodeling this new home and I swear I was over the moon. Once the last big expense went down on the house though, that was the end of my fairy tale. We arrived squarely back to him again needing me to listen to him critisise me for all my many, many, many faults so that he could find a deeper respect for me. It would be funny if it weren't so ironic. That's exactly what he'd convinced that he didn't need to do.  It is so hard to stay strong and realize I have a right to feel betrayed and like he manipulated me into buying this house after he promised that he did indeed respect me on a deep level when it turns out he doesn't, he just wanted to get the house, have me quit my job and then we could work on my deserving respect. He thinks I was using the house against him when I first told him that I was hurt that it turned out what he said prior to us getting the house was a lie. But then he denies that he said anything like that to convince me anyway.

I found the 100 days website and will continue to try the no contact route, to read as much as I can, and I'm also getting the Lundy Buncroft book, as well as continuing with therapy. I'm hoping that this mental state has some sticking power this time. I'm lucky in a way that I'm literally thousands of miles away from my husband so this is easier for me to not have contact. I wish I could get angry like you say but I don't find anger to be an emotion that I feel often, I'm much, much more prone to feel guilt! :-) Thanks again.

Avatar for cajunharmony
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Registered: 02-28-2001

LOL, we must have been posting at the same time!  There is a statement in your "teaching a pig to sing" post that I MUST address. 

"I can't be so cruel as to just send him divorce papers in the mail" 

Seriously, that is NOT cruel, that is REALITY!  You are divorcing him, you are DONE with him.  His conditioning of you is to the point that you are worrying about the feelings of a man who has spat on you, urinated on you, physically, verbally, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ABUSED you.  There is a little flame of anger burning in you.  It's time to fan that flame in a BIG old fire and then USE that anger you are feeling to reclaim your own life.  He has ROBBED you of so many, many things and has brainwashed you into thinking that HIS needs, HIS feelings, HIS opinions are all that count.  I realize this is a common reaction.  Had it myself when I had the abuser in my life hauled off by the SWAT team.  He had once told me that if he ever went back to jail he would kill himself.  Would you believe that I actually told the officers about this and told them to put him on suicide watch?  I was actually worried he would kill himself.  That is a fine example of the insanity of DV.  Now that I look back on it, I can laugh, but at the time, being in shock, injured and having had a loaded gun held to my head for three hours that day, and because of the conditioning I had undergone, I truly was worried about him. 

Get that good divorce attorney and don't send those papers through the mail.  Have him served personally, and go for everything you possibly can, and MORE.  Fairness, kindness and nobility are trademarks of DV victims when getting a divorce.  That's why you hire an attorney who hasn't got a shred of any of those traits to act on your behalf.  Look at what he has done to you, get angry about it, and then USE that anger to get what is rightfully yours - a life free of him, the chance to rebuild your OWN life, in the way YOU want it to be, without his voice in your head, tearing you down every chance he gets.  He doesn't deserve one iota of consideration from you.  I'm not saying be deliberately mean or hateful, but make yourself FIRST and MOST important in these proceedings.

Mama Harmony

Avatar for cajunharmony
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Registered: 02-28-2001

Seriously, you don't sound so undecided to me anymore.  Bravo for your therapist pointing out your AHA moment to you.  He's so very, very right.  These things DON'T happen in a vacuum.  Abusers have such self-image and other problems themselves that they absolutely cannot and will not accept their role in an abusive relationship.  In their minds, they are danged near perfect and do no wrong.  Then, because of their conditioning of us, and this is where the insanity comes in, we start to believe them!  Stop and think about this:  If you were all those things your abuser says you are, would you be a success at what you do when you are away from him?  No, you wouldn't be.  But what he is saying to you is LIES, designed to keep you doubting yourself, leaning on him for your positive validations, allowing HIS ego to feed on your heart and soul, until he has you right where he wants you, under his thumb and completely under his control.

Congrats on five days no contact.  It is challenging and so very frustrating.  I can already read a change in you from your original post and this post.  One of the reasons we are so strongly in support of NO CONTACT, NO CONTACT, NO CONTACT is because it gives your brain and MIND a rest from the abuser's voice.  As long as you are in contact with him, it gives him more opportunities to reinforce what he's been telling you all this time.  With NO CONTACT, he doesn't get the chance to reinforce the conditioning.  It is during no contact that you begin the healing process.  We so strongly support it because it's when you start erasing the "old tapes", stop hearing his voice constantly in your head, start re-asserting your own "SELF" and begin the healing process.  The first few times that you go against that voice in your head can be very scary, because, of course, he has convinced you (just like all the rest of us) that he KNOWS what you are thinking.  But if you are maintaining NO CONTACT, you can begin to understand "that voice" for exactly what it is - in your head and nowhere else, and "that voice" is totally POWERLESS to make you do anything.  It's my opinion that the NO CONTACT is one of the MOST important steps you can take to begin healing from his abuse.  When we left the abuser in our lives, for the first two years I literally could not run a vacuum cleaner because something about the sound it made triggered his voice in my head.  Yeah, I look back to 1999-2001 NOW and I just shake my head and kind of laugh, but back then it terrified me. 

The letter to the abuser in your life is a good one.  I wish I could tell you to go ahead and send it and that it will do some good.  But I would be lying to you.  Instead of sending it, print it out and keep it handly so that when you are feeling like giving in, you can re-read it and see what he's put you through.  Don't bother sending it to HIM, he doesn't think he's done anything wrong and it will only give him more ammunition to use against you. From this point on, don't give him any more ammo.  He will NEVER GET IT, not with you, not with his NEXT victim (and there WILL be a next victim), not ever.  You can talk til you are blue in the face, but he's never going to take ownership and responsibility for his actions.  This is a commonality among abusers that is UNIVERSAL!  In all my years on this board, there has only been ONE abuser, that is the number 1, only ONE, that I have ever heard about who has accepted responsibility and taken the steps to change. Out of thousands and thousands of people coming here seeking help, only one person's partner accepted responsibility and did the work that was required to save the relationship.  The work consisted of individual intensive therapy 2-3 times per week, in addition to group therapy, a batterer's intervention program and constant self-checking to make sure that what was learned in therapy was applied in real life.  The journey took almost three years and this abuser will be in therapy for the rest of their life to simply maintain a non-abusive relationship.  I wish I knew what triggered this abuser to accept that they were abusive, because I would use that tactic on every abuser in the world to get them help.  Abusers claim to love us, but I truly believe they are fundamentally incapable of real love.  Their own personalities are so damaged from whatever, they can't function in a normal relationship without the "power" all on their side.  As I said, the letter is a good one, but save it for yourself, when you need reinforcement that staying away and healing from his abuse is your best choice.  Sending it to him would be a waste and possibly set you up for even MORE abuse.

Please maintain NO CONTACT, get in touch with a good attorney who is familiar with divorces where DV is a component, and begin taking the steps you know you must in order to reclaim your OWN life.  Within our webpages is a section that I think you might benefit from.  It's called "The First Hundred Days" and it's a reading you do each day to help you stay firm in your resolve to heal from DV.  The number of members who say this helped them get through, maintain NO CONTACT, and not return to their abusers is in the hundreds, if not thousands.  If I didn't know it helps, I wouldn't recommend it. Wink 

Don't even worry about posting TOO MUCH.  There is no such thing.  We are a support board, that is what we are here for.  There is no problem too small or large that you can't share with us.  There is nothing too trivial to share.  It's whatever you feel like talking about, regardless of the subject.  In fact, we don't even insist that you remain on topic.  In healing from DV, we have to "relearn" so many other aspects of life, like how to laugh, find joy in small things, simply be, without being on eggshells all the time, that we share birthdays, silly stories, bad jokes, any and everything that helps us return to a "normal, abuse-free life", so don't EVER worry that you are posting too much, because there is no such thing.  Those are the old tapes from your abuser playing in your head.  Hang in there, maintain NO CONTACT, tell your therapist I'm loving what he's doing for you, get an attorney, and start with The First Hundred Days.  You are doing GREAT, so don't give up or in.  Keep us posted.  We're always here.

Mama Harmony

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Registered: 10-26-2009

okay so I'm looking through many other stories and came upon this post from cajunharmony about trying to get a spouse to understand that things are abusive:

"Trying to get an abuser to admit they are in the wrong is kind of like trying to teach a pig to sing: It makes you look goofy and it pisses off the pig. IN other words, wasted time and energy on your part. "

It made me smile a litte, just the imagery. I suppose that's my answer and sending an email trying to get my point across is beyond pointless. Even my counselor told me that there's probably no use in having conversations anymore, which I thought was kind of harsh given that we've only had a few sessions so far so that he would already say no. It leaves me at a loss of what to do, I can't be so cruel as to just send him divorce papers in the mail, but then I am afraid if I talk to him it will all get twisted and I'll end up saying that I was so wrong to treat him so badly and that I'll try harder. Even when we talked divorce last week, which he brought up, he then shut down the conversation and said we just had to get a long. And then made me feel guilty like how horrible I was for not just getting along. I don't know.

I do appreciate the "teaching a pig to sing" analogy though. I'll picture it if I catch myself hoping to finally reach my DH.