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I'm new here but have visited many times to read threads. I've been married 21 years have three kids the youngest eleven years old. I, like so many women on this site, have a pretty decent marriage except for the occasional big bad fights (which really only amounts to me doing a lot of blubbering and him insulting my esteem and intelligence). No physical abuse, but yes on emotional abuse, and yes on damaging inanimate objects by him in anger. Alcohol is a factor. We are both fifth generation recovering ex-mormons and the mentality that wives should put up and shut up, which I have, most of our marriage, it seems to be the issue at hand. The only times we have problems is when I speak my mind and point out his bad behavior. I left him last year for four months. a separation along with our three kids. My kids supported me in this. His anger at the 'church' had escalated to 'supreme' levels and I worried for me and my children's safety. I put 1400 miles between us and holed up with family.

Four months later, I returned, fairly sure that he'd changed a bit. He'd exhausted his anger on 'church clergy', also to his own parents (his own type of therapy. To any former mormon's out there, you know what I mean.). But now after being home for seven months, I called him out on his chauvinistic view that 'I should do everything in the home whilst he is away making the money', and he flipped out saying that I am a lazy a**. I don't do my job around the house. (you know, it actually sounds worse when I type it out, than what I felt when he said it.)

I told him I felt very free during our separation, free in the sense that he wouldn't criticize my housekeeping skills or lack of them. I'm not up to his level of perfection. I feel only Museum custodians are up to his level of perfection. Being away, I could breathe. My chronic heartburn went away, my kids were happier, or at least to me they seemed happy. that was even with me working two jobs plus doing all the household chores. (my kids helped out wonderfully) I got up at 3am to bake donuts at my first job and worked till 11am then came home and worked at a medical office filing files till 5pm, was in bed by 8:30 to do it all over again the next day. My days off were usually spent completing chores that didn't get all the way finished. It was exhausting and my body was shutting down with the stress of it all, but I still felt free.

Needless to say, I know what its like to be a single mom and work two jobs, its not something I want to do again. He makes a decent income of which I'm dependent on. Even with two jobs, I couldn't afford my lifestyle. 21 years of marriage have a lot of bills in my name. I was dependent on his income while I was out 'finding myself and torturing him.'

The same would hold true now. I have no marketable skills. No degree or schooling to fall back on. I'm stuck. I'm in a hole. He is using his control over me to keep me here because he knows I cant do it on my own.

My user name suggests that I don't know if its him or me. But I know without a doubt its him. He will never see my work around the house as anything comparable to his work. Especially because I don't make any money doing it. It's always about money and who contributes the most. It's always been him contributing the most, but what if I contributed the most, would he actually do dishes? wash clothes? give a whole afternoon to one of the children that needs a parental figure and support? I think and know not!

But I feel stuck here.

Any ideas on what to do? What are my options? Who can I turn to? Should I 'put up and shut up?' or should I continue to stand up for myself only to be ridiculed and downtrodden?

Wow! This submission is amazingly therapeutic! :scratchhead:
 

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You do have options, I'll give you a couple. You could divorce your husband and go after child support and alimony, that would help you financially until you could either figure out a way to support yourself or find another husband that will help you. Another choice if you feel your marriage is worth saving would be to see if your husband would be willing to compromise. Suggest that you get a job "like the making donuts" to help supplement his income and make things easier financially for the family, but only if he in turn will agree to help with chores around the house. If he agrees make sure he sticks to his agreement or revert back to my first suggestion. If your husband isn't willing to help around the house at all he isn't giving you the credit you deserve and he may have the mindset where he never will. Try first to save the marriage and see if he will agree to help, if not your life isn't going to change for the better unless you leave him.
 

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Actually, your life isn't going to change for the better unless you change it, whatever you decide that to be. So, it's not him, it's you. You don't like the way he treats you, but you are the one putting up with it. That makes you the problem, not him. You left an abusive man and came back to an abusive man. How can he be blamed? You made up your mind to leave and did it. You can make up your mind to do it again, only prepare the next time.

You can be looking for a better-paying job. It doesn't have to be making donuts. Many companies pay better than that.

You can look into the schools that do commercials on TV all day for their 9-month programs. Even that will get you a better-paying job.

You can call the abuse hotline to find out what type of help they offer. There are shelters for abused women and their children, and they often find permanent residence.

You can leave and take advantage of state assistance until you finish school and get a job.

You spent 21 years taking his abuse and not bettering your circumstances. He simply cannot be blamed for the decisions you made, or you not making any.
 
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