Not Sure What To Do...

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Not Sure What To Do...
28
Tue, 07-24-2012 - 1:35pm

Hi,

I'm really confused and unsure of how I should proceed in my relationship with my husband.  Part of me feels like I'm overreacting.

I've been with my husband for 8 years, married for the last 5.  We have two beautiful children together, ages 6 and 4.  We get along really well for the most part, but there have been several incidents throughout our relationship in which he has been physically violent towards me (most recently, a few days ago).

My husband is very mild-mannered and friendly with other people.  I have never seen him raise his voice or show any hint of anger with others.  It seems to be reserved only for me. 

Up until this past Saturday, he hadn't touched me in a violent way in 10 months.  Last September, we had gone away for a vacation with friends.  We had a pleasant evening and then headed back to our hotel room.  Once inside, he threw a bottle at me, sat on my arms, and strangled me.  What frightened me most was the look on his face.  He didn't even look like himself.  He looked right into my eyes as I struggled to breathe.  It seemed like a very personal attack.  He had been physically violent with me in the past, but never frightened me so much as he had that time.  I swore to him then that if he ever touched me again, that I would leave.  I suggested that he go get help, but he never did.

On Saturday, we had gone boating with friends.  I stood on the shore and had a conversation with a couple who were travelling with us and a male friend of theirs.  The couple walked away for a moment, and I talked with their friend.  When I saw my husband on the boat, I almost felt sick.  I could see the look on his face and tell that he was angry/jealous.  I went to tell him who the person was and what we had been talking about and he acted as though it hadn't bothered him, but I could tell that he was lying.  Later, when we were alone in the trailer, I asked him if everything was OK.  He started an argument about hamburger buns which resulted in his screaming at me and twisting my arm until I fell on the ground (the arm I recently had surgery on).  I have a bruised arm now and a sprained hand. 

I left for the night and stayed in someone else's trailer, as I wanted him to have time to think about what he had done.  When I returned the next morning, he cried and told me how he didn't want to lose me, that he had a problem, and that he was going to get help.  He has made arrangements for his first counseling session this week.  We talked about why he gets so angry towards me.  He told me that he is jealous and that he feels he can't "compete" with me.  He feels that I am more attractive, sociable, and intelligent than he is.  He told me that when we are arguing, he feels that he can't compete with words, and gets frustrated and tries to control the situation physically instead.

He tends to take things very personally.  For example, if he wants to have sex and I'm tired or not feeling up to it, he'll make comments like, "I guess you don't love me as much as I love you" or imply that I'm not physically attracted to him.  I try to explain that it has nothing to do with him, but he broods over it.  More often than not, I will have sex just to avoid the argument, even if I don't want to.  He always needs to know who I'm texting and gets annoyed and jealous when I go out with my friends.  I find it easier to stay home, to avoid the interrogations that I get the day after going out.  If I go to dinner with friends, he even asks me what everyone else at the table had to eat...as if I don't know that he's just testing me.

I took my wedding rings off and I still haven't decided what to do.  I told him last night that I was glad that he was getting help and that I love him, but that I was unsure whether I could move on from this.  He told me that this is the hardest thing he's ever gone through and that he needed me to be there to support him without seeming to understand that this is the hardest thing that I have ever had to go through as well.  I feel guilty for thinking about leaving him while he's trying to make things right...but I'm also afraid of waiting around for the next time that he loses his temper.  I'm afraid that he'll do something to me in front of my children. 

Normally when he gets physically violent, I don't fight back because I'm afraid that I'll make the situation worse.  On Saturday, I had an urge to hurt him back.  I felt like killing him...I'm scared that if I stay and this happens again, that I'm going to fight back and one of us is going to get hurt.

The thought of breaking up my family and not seeing my kids all of the time makes me feel physically ill...but the thought of going on like this is equally frightening.  I'm not sure what I should do...Everyone keeps telling me to do what's right for me.  I just don't know what that is.

I know that I'm not the easiest person to live with.  I get moody and irrational and, well...a woman.  I just know that I don't want to be touched like that again.  Do people really change?

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 11:00am

Hi; I would like to add something not already mentioned by our great Mama Harmony .. First off I do know what you are going through as my exH was verbally abusive and emotionally abusive and at times pulled the same crap your husband does.

What I have learned is that abusers usually in my experience have this entitlement theory as in narcisstic personality disorder where in their warped minds they can do anything and get away with it whether its legal , moral or ethical.. My exH thought I would never leave him and remain status quo.. That meant for the price of me being abused by him I would get to stay in the nice house with nice cars and money and get to have sex with him.. You see these men use everyone around them as pawns to satisfy whatever the need is for them at that time. So your husband doesnt care about how you feel or what is going on .. All he wants to do is get his jollies off and I can bet if you werent around he would find it somewhere else. The minute I was out the marital home door my exH went on mulitple dating sites and found other women.. Yeah; He was supposed to be in anger management and men's dv classes because he got caught by the law for abuse.. Instead of getting the help I asked him to get he went off onto dating sites.. It was all smoke and mirrors. He lied about getting help just to get me back into the fold.. I wasnt living with him but I had gone back to the house to get something and I found a bunch of paperwork around in trash.. His dating sites and letters from the dv agency saying he got kicked out for not attending.. So abusers rarely change and I personally wouldnt wait around for it.. Life is too short and I didnt want to waste time wating so I moved on but that is me.

I am so sorry but does this sound like love to you?? Would a person who says they love you and care for you and nurture you and take care of you be choking you? I dont know about you but that doesnt sit well with me.

These abusers dont want to change because they dont think there is anything wrong with them.. I also believe that if you do leave and find peace your husband will be finding his next victim....................

Please take heed to Harmony;s post. YOur husband is  not the person you think he is or want him to be. Its unfortunate but these guys can fool us and dupe us and we are so blindsided but yes it happens to the best of us

Good Luck

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2000
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 12:21pm

Well you are NOT stupid and the only person you should be embarrased for is HIM...

You posted he thinks getting let from work (quitting or getting fired) is his answer....that is a major RED FLAG for me. If he is not working then he will expect YOU to bring in the money and take care of the family and I will lay the odds that he will also sit around the house getting worse and worse while you will be expected to work all day come home cook clean and cater his every whim....

If he does leave his work then you leave out the door and dont look back....

His going to counseling is text book, He is going pretending to be getting better because he knows you have had your fill of his abuse. He will continue being "better" until you drop your guard then believe me it will not only start up again it will have gotten worse. 

I have been absent for a bit and have not caught up on all of the previous posts, but has someone suggested yet that you get a book "why does he do that" but Lundy Bancroft? Barns and Noble always have several copies on their shelves...if you can not buy it, grab a copy and go to their comfy chair and start reading...read a little here and there...that way he will have a harder time catching you reading it. When you can afford to buy it, then go ahead a pay for it then...also you can see if the library has a copy you can sit and read there. 

What you will find in this book is Lundy Bancroft must have lived with your husband at some point because your husband will be described in almost perfect detail as you read along. What you will see is that your husband is following the pattern as all abusers do. 

You have the freedom to sit and wait for the next time, but yes it will come, and it will be worse than previous times. He right now is pretending to get better because he knows that is what you want is for him to get better...until he goes for real to get better for himself he will not get better at all...

As a counselor, I can tell when someone is there because they want to change their patterns of behavior and when they are there because someone told them to be there. The ones who really want to change make the effort required to make those changes...the pretenders come in with excuses and still blame other people, circumstances, finances etc that they can so they dont have to blame themselves. I am willing to bet if I were his counselor I would be hearing how YOU caused him to do this and stress at work causes him to react that way and the stupid person in the car next to him stressed him out and the red light came on too soon etc....yes he is probably going, but he is not allowing himself to benefit from what the counselor can offer him.

 

Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 1:53pm
Angel, quit beating yourself up. It's fruitless and you've got a husband that already does that for you. Please make that first call to a domestic abuse agency in your area. If you need to take baby steps, and help figuring out what those baby steps are, IMO, making that first call is the first one. But the choice to do that is YOURS and yours alone. We can't do it for you or make you do it. In order to begin healing and rebuilding your life, instead of beating yourself up about it, EMPOWER yourself by taking that first and most important step by calling your local domestic abuser resources. Good luck and keep us posted.

Mama Harmony

Avatar for queen_brat
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 9:46am

Welcome to the board. Sorry I am a little late to this. But have been off the board for a little bit trying to figure out if I got caught up in yet another cycle of abuse, if so its emotional and mental this round, or not and he is just as scared as I am of things (sigh). Anyway, I could have written your post about my ex husband and in all honesty I bet a lot of my post years ago sounded just like yours. I saw my story in your words and let me tell you what I think you should do and that is to run but I can't make that choice for you it is all up to you I can only tell you what I think and why.

Like harmony said you may think your protecting your children by staying but they really do pick up on so much more then they are given credit for and with children things come out as anger. My son is now 16 but was 9 when he saw his father choke me and he wanted to help me but his father told him if he did he would hurt him. There has never been a doubt in my mind that he would have too. Thankfully my son stood there with the deer in the headlights look and didn't do anything. But my son has battled some pretty bad demons over all that and I was so scared for him and how his life would turn out but thankfully he turned everything around and is an amazing young man.

I could go on forever but have to work and the others said things better then I ever could have. Just know I have been there and done that and you are not stupid or what ever it was you called yourself!! We are the hardest on ourselves and we really shouldn't be (I know harmony follow my own advice, LOL). They have beat us down so much that we now do it too and that has got to stop!!! (((hugs)))


Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 12:28pm

WTG, TIGERlily!  I hope you and your kids have a wonderful, safe time camping (I've done my time, my idea of camping is now Motel 6, lol) and let us hear from you when you get back.  It's encouraging to hear the developments.  Perhaps he is willing to accept responsibility for his actions and to be held accountable.  His moving out while he gets it together is certainly a step in the right direction.  The next suggestion that I'm going to make is that you ask him to maintain NO CONTACT, NO CONTACT, NO CONTACT.  We suggest this to give you a chance to clear your head of his voice and so that the volume on the "old tapes" will tone down some.  You need time and space from him, and your kids do to.  If he's really committed to changing and trying to save your marriage, he will ACCEPT and RESPECT this request.  If not, he's just going through the motions and will be contacting you a LOT, trying to worm his way back in.  And it will probably all be under the guise of calling to "check on the kids".  I suggest you set up an e-mail account which you can use strictly for messaging back and forth about the kids.  This has a two-fold purpose.  1.  You can maintain better control over the discussion, which should remain about the kids, and ONLY the kids, and 2.  You have written documentation to take to your attorney, should things not work out and you end up in court and/or in a custody battle.  Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted.  We're pulling for you.

Mama Harmony

Avatar for queen_brat
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 2:59pm
Enjoy that feeling. Hang on to it in the coming weeks and months as he tries to worm his way back on. He might not but most do. My suggestion is to keep a journal. Write about everything your feeling right now so remind yourself when and if he starts up. Write about your feelings when and if he starts up as soon as you can so that you get your feelings down. It is very normal to later on think it wasn't as bad as you remember or as good but if you read your words at the time it happened you know it was

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 7:10pm
I am so glad that you and your kids are safe! So glad you put them and yourself first. I read where you said you felt stupid and embarassed. ...:smileysad:...You are not stupid and have no reason to be embarassed...
No Contact!
Until you figure out for yourself what's best for you and them.
You gave him a chance, and he "Blew" it!
You owe him "Nothing"!
~hugs~
Nightangel
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 10:34am

I hear you and most counselors if not trained in domestic violence have no clue what is going on.. Plus you have no idea what your husband is saying to the counselor.. He could be lying through his teeth as most classic abusers do.. You will never know the truth about what transpires between he and the therapist.

when my exH went to a therapist he was telling the guy that I wouldnt have sex with him.. Of course I wouldnt because who wants to have sex when someone is treating you like crap.. He lied to the therapist about it all and said it was my hormones and I needed a sex therapist..

Oh; dont get me started...

Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 11:55am
Like free says, who knows what he's telling that therapist. I would be willing to bet the farm that the therapist he is seeing is NOT one who has a great deal of experience in dealing with batterer's. A therapist who specializes in working with abusers wouldn't have even thought about telling him that. And this is one of the reasons why we stress NO CONTACT, NO CONTACT, NO CONTACT. He was looking for praise from you and "showing" you how "good" he's doing. I'll also bet the farm that one of the next things he's going to tell you is that the "therapist" says it's not all his fault for abusing you and will also suggest that you come in together. It's okay to see his therapist, but NOT together. If/when that does happen, agree to go, but only if abuser won't be present and then let the therapist know what is REALLY going on. I can almost guarantee he's sugarcoated everything and minimized what has been happening. Keep us posted. And next time the abuser calls, let it go to voicemail.

Have you had a chance to talk to an advocate at your local domestic abuse resource? They should be able to assist you in setting boundaries. You do NOT have to do this all on your own. In fact, it's better if you don't. The domestic abuse resources have SO much to offer you, and it's FREE! Use them, that's what they are there for. Good luck and hang in there. Your freedom day is coming.

Mama Harmony

Avatar for queen_brat
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 11:57am
I only know of one time my ex went to a therapist and it was a nightmare. I went to one session because this moron, the therapist, thought we should do joint therapy so i went to set him straight and make sure he knew why the ex was there. Like free sex was a problem. I didn't want to sleep with him and the ex swore i used sex as a weapon. The therapist wanted to know when i could sleep with the ex again. I was shocked and gave answers that i knew the ex would not be able to do and he didn't. I told him that guy was a quack.

The other option are your ex is lying to you or the therapist told him that to encourage him to stick around.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Pages