back again, yet in the same place

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-2009
back again, yet in the same place
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 9:37am
I haven’t posted here for years but found myself here again trying to both find some comfort and to access my old posts to see if advice is better aged. And it is. I really wish I would’ve listened to some of the wonderful people on these boards but I felt so lowly and unworthy that I did not. I used to post as Jan1234 but I lost my password and so now am posting under my sister’s acc. Some back ground I guess though this is going to get really long. Sorry, writing is more cathartic than anything else. I’ve been married to my DH for four turbulent, rocky years. We both made many hurtful mistakes while dating and worked through these issues out in the open before getting married. I cheated during one drunken night and though I confessed, I did so horribly and withheld some of the details of the night at first. I know that is so hurtful and I felt such shame and guilt over this which I why I finally confessed all well before marriage. I sort of thought we had worked through much of it before getting married (we’d dated off and on for four years and the cheating was during an ‘on’ period in the first year). I won’t go into the hurts he caused me while we were dating as they don’t matter as much, but suffice it to say he had definitely caused his share of hurt. Since getting married however, every few months the past rears its ugly head and the berating, degrading, hurling insults, patronizing, ect are not far behind. Sometimes it’s not that bad and I’ve felt I deserved it as I’ve deeply hurt him in the past, other times it can be painful but even seem good and like maybe we finally have gained some insigh but then other times it’s become threatening or scary. The worst of it was an incident where he urinated on me during a fight when I told him that if I was such a wh)re and so disgusting than I understood and to leave me, he was upset that I was tring to stop listening and go to bed so he peed on me I guess to show me how disgusting I was and when I again didn't react or yell back just cleaned up and then tried to sleep on the couch, he then poured gasoline on me and threatened to set me on fire. I know I probably should have left then but a big part of me thought that I’m so ugly and low inside, that I probably deserved it and he helped to reinforce this view that ultimately this was my fault and due to what I’ve done, I bore the responsibility. Amazingly when he finally did admit it was perhaps a bit out of line, though “not that out of the norm of how couples fight given the circumstances” (his words) ,he mostly just felt bad for himself and I found myself comforting him about it. So nothing like this has happened since just lots and lots of verbal yelling, degrading, and talking down to me. He says he doesn’t do it but I swear I’m not crazy and he does talk down to me, calling me irrational, illogical, too sensitive and uncaring for not listening to him in the way he needs. I really, really have tried but nothing I do seems to work, no matter how many times I admit to my faults, how long we discuss them and how much we talk about how much I have hurt him it just cycles back again. Unfortunately I don’t really have much self-worth anymore. I’m educated, have a great career and try to live a good life helping my family and community where I can but none of those things improve my sense of self loathing. I don’t like myself a lot of the time regardless of the good I’ve tried to do to atone for my past. I’ve felt genuinely good though my job which I’m good at, through teaching part time, and through my family who love me more than I probably deserve. I’m a really good teacher (I have taught nights as an adjunct instructor for adult development classes). I’m really good at this and for at least the time I’m in front of the class, I feel like a somewhat worthwhile human being. So anyway awhile ago, I finally shared these concerns with my husband who convinced me that he sees me as an equal partner and said that he was sorry that I ever felt this way and that he never meant for that. We finally talked about the fire incident and he said that he takes responsibility (though I could tell very reluctantly), he says that even given the context of what I did to him, it was still a bad thing to do. This was really the first time I felt maybe he really understood that I wasn’t all to blame for that incident that though I caused the hurt, he chose to blow up that way and scare me. He convinced me that all these concerns about us not being an equal partnership were in my head and I’d built up this idea that he’d beat my self-worth down over the years but that it was not really true. I can’t tell you how happy I was and I started to imagine us finally having a happy relationship of peace and love. After this we decided to buy a house and I was going to give up my job and settle in the state where he is from because his family is less mobile than mine. I was really okay to make the sacrifices for him because I felt we were in such a good place finally and he also was saying that maybe we could think about having a child now. When we were dating he got me pregnant and then pressured me to abort, even though I had told him that I would either give the baby up for adoption or raise him/her on my own so he wouldn’t have to spend money or be a father, but he said this made him feel guilt and the only option he was okay with was abortion. So the prospect that maybe we could be a family made me really happy. For almost six months while the house was being redone, there were no blow ups and it was the longest period of peace we’d ever had. And he was even doing things in the house to remodel it in ways he knew I would like. After I spent nearly all of my savings on the house though, everything changed. He again says that he does not respect me the way he needs to and we’re again discussing everything that is wrong with me. He also says that having a kid is out of the question now as we are just not in a good enough relationship, and we still need a lot of work to where he can feel as though he has a good solid partner. I of course would never bring a child into this situation so I agree with his assessment but it doesn’t make it hurt less. I think the only chance I had to be a mom is probably long gone and I squandered it by aborting and thus don’t deserve to be a mom anyway. I’d like counseling but that would require that I give up my job as now he is living in ‘our’ house and going back to school there. I really don’t want to give up the only thing that keeps me sane and grounded. Anyway it was just nice to write all this out and of course there's a whole lot more to this. Thanks for anyone that muddled through my incessant ramblings.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 1:04pm


I'm sorry for your situation.  If I were you, I'd re-read your post as if a sister or friend were going through this and think about what you would advise them.  It's very obvious this is an abusive relationship and always has been.  I don't see anywhere in your post where you admit that (sorry if I missed it).  It won't magically change.

Your one night stand in the first year of dating is probably the least of it.  It doesn't give him license to do any of this to you, and no you don't deserve any of it.  The fact you won't bring a child into this is very wise.

I would check out the domestic violence boards here at iVillage and get advice there.  I'm not sure, but I hope you haven't moved yet.  Abusers isolate their victims and that is what he is doing.  Based on this post, this is a dangerous situation.  Please seek help.  There are plenty of free resources for women in your situation and they are confidential.  Just Google Domestic Violence Help for Women in your area.  Again, the other boards can give you access to better resources.



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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 1:51pm

  You have nothing to "atone" for.  So you had a one night stand.  So what?  BFD!  That need not even be in your mind.  He is using you guilt trip to continue to browbeat you(with your cooperation).  leave this dangerous person. 

   Anyone who attempts to murder you is not someone to be around. 



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-2009
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 2:41pm
Onajourney2006 Thank you for the response. No I have not quit my job, though I have already moved all my stuff and vehicle from overseas to the states in anticipation of doing this. My husband moved back to the states to start school and then we decided that we would settle where he is from and get a house there. Sometimes I think it’s a bit of an abusive relationship but then I think that’s quite harsh and my husband can be a wonderful and loving man, he’s just been so hurt and doesn’t know how to deal with it and I don’t listen well sometimes. When I brought up that I thought he may be abusive at times or treat me like I’m lesser than and talk down to me, he gets extremely defensive and then he’s really skilled at twisting everything up and I come out of the conversation thinking that my feelings and thoughts are completely invalid and I’m totally irrational. I feel so crazy, which is odd since my friends and family always view me as a logical, put together and self-sufficient person. Not with my husband though. I guess when I look back at all this I just tread really carefully around him, and agree with him more often than not just so there is peace. I feel stuck now as I have bought this house, and already planned to move. Plus he gives me an extreme guilt trip that how dare I question his behavior towards me now when he did so much work in remodeling this beautiful home for us. I was working the whole time so I was not there to help but he really did do a lot to make the house beautiful. And then I start to think maybe I’m being totally unfair and I need to be more open to hearing him. Maybe this time it will be constructive and healing not fighting and berating. Maybe if I move there it won’t turn into the huge ups and downs, blow outs preceded by extreme coldness every few months as before. I tried listening to him the day before my birthday last month and I didn’t defend or anything for three hours but it was just him psychoanalyzing all my faults and all the ways in which I’m deficient and what happened in the past to bring me there (I was sexually abused as a teen, etc). This approach didn’t help and I think he just felt more righteous in his resentment toward me after this talk. Anyway his assessment of me was nothing if not cold and void of compassion. The only thing it did was cause me to break down like some pathetic person on my birthday barely able to keep face for my job. I am scared that if I move there I will be isolated as we will only be near his family and his hometown. Plus he is in school and it will probably be a bit before I find a good FT job with benefits so I won’t have healthcare. I do have a part time instructor position lined up at a local university but just adjunct. I also still have savings even after buying the house, mind you much less as I ended up spending much more on the house than I initially planned but I’m a saver not a spender so I would still have a bit of a safety net. I struggle with feeling like I have a right to feel the way I do and to be now hesitant to move and quit my job given that he has done a lot to remodel the house and that I think he does want a good life with me. Plus throwing away eight years seems such a shame. Thanks for listening.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 8:00pm

1.  Do not quit your job

2.  Do not move to be with him--nothing will change, in fact it will get worse because you will be in a foreign country, near his family & away from your family & friends with no support system at all.

3.  Consult a local lawyer to see how you could get yourself out of this mess and whether you could get back the money you invested in the house.  Even if you couldn't get all of it back, it would probably still be worth it financially to get a divorce.

4.  He is such a classic abuser, even if he doesn't physically abuse  you.  He rants and raves for hours about your faults--welll is he absolutely perfect, never done anything wrong?  He "reluctantly" admits that threatening to kill you was kind of bad & says this happens in other marriages--well no it doesn't.  Normal couples might have arguments, some yelling and at the worst might say mean things to each other, but they don't threaten to kill each other--and if they do say mean things, usually they are genuinely sorry & try to make it up to the other partner.

He has you so convinced that you aren't worthy & everything is your fault--but yet your family & friends don't think you are crazy, do they?  But he's brainwashing you to think that you don't deserve to be happy.  And do you ever think an abuser would admit to the victim that he is abusing her?  Of course not.  He's been hurt because you cheated on him years before you got married?  Well then he shouldn't have married  you if he couldn't forgive you--he shouldn't be holding it over your head.  I can't imagine why you ever stayed with him after his disgusting behavior of urinating on you.  I'd say that for most people that would have been the last straw.  I think it is really key that you were abused as a teen--I bet you never had counseling for that and it probably did something to you emotionally to make you feel like you deserve to be abused.  Please while you still have health insurance, start seeing a counselor.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Sun, 12-09-2012 - 3:39pm

Yes, cheating is a huge violation of trust, but you confessed to it well before you got married.  If he was unable to forgive you, he should not have married you in the first place--but rather ended things then, finding himself a new girlfriend he can respect.

As others have said, urinating on you (when not part of mutually agreed sexual gratification)--and pouring gasoline on you--is outrageous and dangerously inappropriate conduct. At this point, you need to end things with him, if you want to walk out alive.