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.