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Is this abuse? Can I forgive and forget?
August 8, 2002
12:23 pm
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jmh
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I am looking for some advice. I am currently separated from my husband of 16 years. We had a roller coaster relationship all that time. He could be the sweetest, most sensitive man sometimes, but other times, a hot-tempered rageaholic.

His mother was very abusive when he was a kid. She still belittles him and treats him like an idiot. She and I do not speak. He had a substance abuse problem for the 1st 8 years or so of our marriage, in which he smoked daily. Never in front of the kids, in fact, I helped him hide it from them even though I disapproved of it. He was ususally very nice if he was stoned, though. But he blamed me for the addiction. If only I paid more attention to him, he wouldn't have this void to fill (even though this started way before we met)

Most of the worst raging episodes were a long time ago. Such as, insane, psychotic jealousy. Destroying household stuff, calling me names when the children could hear, not allowing me to walk away from an argument, telling me to get an "effin" divorce if I don't like what he does. We lived in a house owned by his parents, therefore, it was HIS and I could just leave if I wanted. He even verbally abused our daughters a few times. We tried counseling at about the 10-year mark, but he became enraged by the counselor and concluded that the guy was just on "my side" So we quit going. But, we stayed together. The in between times were good. To the outside, he seems like such a nice guy. He is very kind and responsible, hard working. And I held out the hope that we would be okay. But the roller coaster went back down again.

Needless to say, I became very isolated and depressed. I stopped confronting him about things because it always ended in a fight. I became indifferent and I wasn't really putting any effort into it for about the past 2 years or so. He then started back to church (even though it was a "religion" opposite to what we had) and he did become much calmer and his temper was a lot better. But he still had occasional outbursts. Reckless driving with the family in the vehicle once and when we found out that our daughter who is 15, had sex with her "boyfriend", he did the silent treatment with her. It actually was a bad experience for her because she felt "coersed" and she was very ashamed. Her dad stopped speaking to her. If he did speak, it was short and sarcastic. She was very hurt by his rejection and he's thinking this is an okay way to "let her know how he feels". She goes into a deep depression and contemplates suicide. I get her in therapy and on medication. (she is ok now) but when I tell him (after he hasn't spoken to her for 5 months in spite of my pleading with him to do so) that she is feeling suicidal, he proceeds to tell me how HE feels (disappointed in her, sad, etc.) when I said I want to talk about HER, not HIM, he gets mad and tells me I don't give a shit about his feelings and we should just get an effin divorce. So, here we are,separated.

Since I moved out 8 weeks ago, he has said he wants to get back together. (I think he just assumed that we would, that a short separation was all we needed) He was being very sweet, very sorry, told me he loved me, he acknowledged what he had done wrong and promises never to be that angry person again. Part of me wants to believe him and part of me is afraid to do that. What if he could change, go to counseling or learn anger management or something? What if by my leaving, he truly has realized what he does? I listen to and read of other women who have been through way worse than I have. He has never physically hurt me or the kids. He is a very caring and sensitive lover (even though at the end, my sex drive was zilch) Why do my feelings go back and forth from feeling sorry for him to hating what he has done in the past? I don't know if joint counseling could work if I'm not even sure I want to make an effort. How do I come to a decision? Sometimes I think I'm crazy to even consider reconciling and other times I feel like a bitch because I won't. Anyone else been there?

August 8, 2002
6:30 pm
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mossrose
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Ya and count your blessings you found the strength to leave that house of torture. I am only just NOW realizing how abused, humiliated, controlled, disrespected, shit on and over all not considered in any of his selfish decisions that were all based around HIS Needs not ours.

Ive been sep approx 8 mos and im writing a divorce. The man will not change nor will yours..sixteen yrs is more than enough time.

The ONLY thing that may change him is you carrying through and divorcing him.

August 30, 2002
12:51 pm
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beenthruthat
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Hi jmh- I've been married for 10 years and was separated from my husband for 9 months. He had left the state (finding himself) and seemed to figure out his priorities. He's been back home three months and was great at first, but the veneer is wearing off.

During the 9 months separated, first I felt great, then felt boring (the drama left town!)and a bit lost. He approached me at the right time and I told him he could come back on a trial basis with mandatory counseling and absolutely no verbal abuse.

He has worked hard to bite his tongue, but he wants his own way and is trying other techniques to manipulate me.

My advise is to agree to counseling (individually before marriage counseling) for one year WITHOUT living together. Then you can re-evaluate it.

Good luck!

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