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hi everyone/anyone. this is my first time on this site or any site like it - I am just at my wits end and would really appreciate anyone's thoughts on my situation. there is a lot getting to me right now and I do not know what to do. I dont know where to begin but ....

to people that dont know my wife and i well, we look like a typical family - we have the two most beautiful young children who I absolutely adore and devote my life to, we are both professionals (I'm in finance, my wife is a doctor), and have a nice, modest houst in the suburbs. We have another baby on the way (December). We are young (mid 30's) and have been with each other for 14 years (my wife was still at college when we met), married for 8 years. we have financial pressures due to the fall in property values but these are surmountable and my career, if not great, progresses slowly every year and I am finally (after a long slog) earning a good salary - unfortuantely the opposite has happened my wife as she has had to juggle motherhood and career and has seen her own business suffer in the downturn (quite markedly). So far so typical. These are all things most couples can deal with. However scratch the surface and a very different picture emerges.

We have major fundamental problems with our marriage and, I believe, we both have issues to deal with that pre-date our ever meeting. I believe (and I may be wrong) that my wife problems are more significant and more damaging to our marriage. These are not new issues and in truth have been there since before we married - we have either denied or ignored or I have accepted things I did not really believe in.

To compound these matters I have recently lost my twin brother (fraternal) to cancer at a young age and seen him leave a wife and two babies behind. Unfortunately my relationship with him (and with my younger brother and parents) had deteriorated hugely in recent years and were at a very low ebb when he was diagnosed 12 months ago (he had a positive prognosis but the treatment didnt work, and he passed away 4 months ago, I am still reeling from the loss but also know that I will be OK). We reconciled straight away after the diagnosis but I will always be so guilty. While it wasnt the greatest twin brother relationship in the world, it was still a good one. However it went bad in recent years and while the fault is ultimately mine so much was because I did what my wife wanted and chose conflict with my brothers and parents rather than with her, even or especially when I did not agree with her. I created and fed the monster and didnt have the spine to face up to it - my weakness, my fault and I am devastated.

On top of this my wife has reasonably consistently physically abused me for the last 6 or 7 years (it would have started a few years before that) and has been especially acute in the last 12 months. I have never physically abused her but have had to physically restrain her on countless occasions - I am an athletic 6ft2in / 200lbs man - but I still have sufferred bruises, cuts, scrapes on many occasions. I have never said or written these words. My wife has spoken to her mother about it and it goes for a few months.

The other thing that she has done to me on very frequent basis is kick me out of the house (probably for last 6 or 7 years). I am expelled for a few nights and allowed come back but only if my tail is between my legs and so this is what I do - I always rationalise that I'm doing it for the children but I always apologise and go back to the spare room where I have spent most of our married life, yes I'm serious.

This is all very wierd writing these things - I dont know whos reading. and you probably think that I am making this up or that I have done some monstrous things or theres some dark secret. But I am not so interesting. The main reason of my wifes frustrations has been her relationship with her in-laws, that is my parents, my two brothers (RIP my twin) and their wives. she also has quite an up and down relationship with her two siblings and her parents and her friends (which unfortunately are now few enough). She uses negative hypebolic language about people all the time - "x hates me", "x is evil" - and I usually say "hey they are just trying to struggle through life like the rest of us" or I try and agree with her and then give a caveat how her interpretation is maybe slightly extreme but this then provokes a reaction that "I never support her". I think she has made people fear and dislike her beacuse of these reactions and its a vicious circle.

where I know where I am at fault is that I have not ever really challenged her. I once broke up with her, a few weeks after going to work with marks on my face for the first time (11 years ago), but didnt say it was connected. Instead I said I just wanted a break because I was young etc. Instead I sensed ours wasnt a good relationship - I could see we were both isolating ourselves from friends and things like the physical dynamics between us were not good and the punches were part of a final wake up call. I have just remembered how two police officers came to our apartment that night as my wife had placed an emergency call following her taking a bunch of painkillers that evening and then I think there had been a noise complaint so that was why police not ambulance came or we rang the emergency number to cancel the previous one but anyway the police (one male, one female) were asking her these questions if she was ok, why had she called, was there anything else and then just as they were leaving the female police officer looked at me and asked if I was Ok - I just sensed she knew - of course I said I was OK. Anyway the break lasted about 6 months (and was very difficult for her as we had moved to a new place) and things improved after but I could see that I had rocked her very badly. But since then I have almost never fully stood up to her. I have had to swallow my pride on so many occasions, accepted her position on things and then fought fights with other loved ones and suffered but still managed to get on with life, do OK at work, have great kids together, keep friendships with old friends (though at a distance) and just been a good soldier I guess.

So why do I post now. I just cant keep doing this. I have been thrown out one again tonight, scrapes on my arms, taken a few punches, the usual. This time my wife is accusing me of further disloyalty to her (I have never proved my loyalty to her - I just dont understand what she means). she believes that my late brothers wife in particular (and the rest of my family too) wants to destroy our marriage by being friendly with me and our kids and isolating her. At times she brings a very ugly lurid dimension to this on the basis that I had kissed my sister-in-law in my much younger and drunker days (years before I met my wife). I also had an early (innocent) short relationship with my sister-in-laws older sister when I was in high school. These are things only my wife thinks about and there are no unresolved issues in reality.

I am trying to help my parents grieve and grieve myself. I believe that everyone trying to get along will help us all but here I am, opening my heart about my marriage problems but I know I will never recover if I dont sort this out.

I am trying to think of other things to write in particular things that might shed more light on me, in a bad way especially but I am a faithful, considerate husband, devoted father, responsible, hard working, ambitious (but thats gone - I am having a crisis with work too - but I am ignoring that for now). I have never said a bad word to anyone (but myself) about my wife as I always felt to do so would be too humiliating for me and lead me on a lonely path and just lead to financial ruin.

My wife has said for many years that she wants to leave me and maybe I have driven her mad by always accepting and never giving up on us.

For the first three months I knew her she was simply the greatest thing I had ever came across, the absolute and utter knock out love of my life. We had similar humour, tastes, interests and she was beautiful and for the first time I felt like I was a man to be envied with this great girl. She actually did great things for me at the start - made me feel good about myself, gave me a bit of ambition, a bit of structure and balance. While I had minor, short bouts of depression in my late teens / early twenties I have never felt like that since. Maybe I have built coping mechanisms, I dont know.

I loved her so much but maybe we are not right for each other or maybe it got imbalanced a long time ago and we have never navigated our route back because there was no route.

with hindsight I realise my wife was depressed when i met her and has suffered to a minor degree from depression for some time. I would think its low grade but it has impacted her personality to a degree that when she is upset (and she is easily and frequently upset) she loses all sense of reason and proportion and overreacts to everything (not just relating to me). She is a wonderful mother and conscientious doctor but works too hard (has always done) and exhausts herself - she disagrees this has anything to do with things - instead if I was a better husband she would be fine. She has seen a therapist who said alot of her issues stemmed from her fathers remote parenting (a decent man, somewhat spoilt, who knew no better) and she has periodically used anti-depressants and sleeping tablets (using none at present due to pregnancy) and the anti depressants and anti anxiety medication helped somewhat but the rage never left. I can never talk to her about these things - she is alway the victim and will turn things around and on to the latest thing that has upset her or if not that then something from years ago. I iknow I have caused her upset but I have never deliberately done so.

I dont know what else to say. I dont know if we are doomed. I dont know if Im doomed to an unhappy life whatever way I turn.

Thanks for listening to me. Im sorry if this has bored you. I just needed someone to know. Thanks. Ive just seen the post is very long - Im sorry - there is so much else
Any feedback would be appreciated
Zog
 

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You either need to have her parents get her out of the house, or you need to take your kids and leave. Abuse is NEVER okay. Get out now, protect yourself and your babies.
 

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H,

I'm reading your post and will post at length in a few minutes. Rest assured that what you have written is not as unusual as you seem to think it is. I have a brother whose wife abused him for years. He's a big guy like you but he took it, afraid to leave his children.
 

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H,

do you know if your wife is ever violent to your children?
 

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Oh my that is soo not ok, if I were you I'd go and see a lawyer right away.. Seriously! She has really bad mental issues and you cannot help her alone like this. Just do it, get the divorce papers, get out ASAP.. nobody should EVER put up with abuse like that! Just go to the lawyer and get the paperwork all done.. no need to warn her
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I’m sorry about the loss of your brother. I’m sure it compounds your problems greatly.

How often does one of these abuse episodes occur? You need to be very careful about doing things like restraining her. If the police get involved you will look like the abuser. They will most likely not believe that she attacked you and you were just trying to stop her from causing harm. At best the both of you will be arrested and charged with domestic violence. At worst only you will be.

You need a better plan for how to handle it when your wife goes into a violent rage. Is alcohol involved when she goes into a rage?

The only acceptable way to handle her rage is for you to get away from her. Be prepared for this. When she flies off the handle go to another room in the house and lock yourself in. If your children are with you, so much the better. Do nothing to try to stop her rage. Just lock yourself in the room and make sure you have a cell phone. Call 911 and get the police out there. Hopefully she will be pounding on the door and yelling at you so that the 911 operators will hear her. Tell them that she is often physically violent.

The next time she tries to kick you out of the house, just refuse to leave. She has no legal right to throw you out of the house. Just refuse to go. If she pushes the issue, go to the lock yourself in a room plan. If she starts pounding on the door, yelling, etc. call 911.

Your rationalizing that you are putting up with being kicked out for the children is nonsense. What do you think the children are learning? They are leaning that it’s ok to treat their spouse the way your wife treats you. They are also learning that treating you this way is OK. As the kids get older, do not be surprised if they treat you with distain and great disrespect. They will most likely emulate the parent that they feel has the most power.. your wife.

You say that the reason your wife behaves like this is that she has bad relations with everyone. Well gee I wonder why? She behaves like this because she is a violent, abusive person. You are making excuses for her. There is nothing in this world that justifies a wife (or husband ) behaving the way you say she does.

Your wife sounds mentally ill to me. Does she have wide mood swings? Not one day but over time…. Really high and full of energy for a while and then she’s real down for a while?

One of the tools that abusive people use to control their spouse and children is to isolate them from their support system. It’s classic behavior by an abuser. Hence your wife’s behavior towards your family. She had to cut them out of your life so that she can control you. After all if you have a strong support system they will see that she is abusing you and convince you to leave her.

Are you willing to do what I’ve suggested above to protect yourself and your children?
 

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wow that is just sooo sooo terrible!!! I totally agree with everyone. she has no right to treat you like that. stand up to her. If she wont stop, then maybe it's best to leave...You can't live like that. That's hell.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I can not thank you all enough for replying to my post. The frankness and honesty absolutely scares me but for the first time I am seeing some of these things in a totally different way.

I dont know what to do in terms of the next practical steps I need to take - I would go straight to her parents except their son - my brother-in law - is awaiting the arrival of his first child any minute now so I feel it would be wrong to place a shadow over that. But I do know I need to finish this, enough is enough.

I am worried about how things will develop from here, especially with my two great boys and the fact my wife is pregnant is just making me feel really guilty and ashamed.

Alcohol only rarely an issue - it sometimes helps my wife relax - she is the most wound up person I know.

Thanks, really appreciate the help.
 

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I am worried about how things will develop from here, especially with my two great boys and the fact my wife is pregnant is just making me feel really guilty and ashamed.
The only reason you should EVER feel ashamed is if you continue to let her abuse you. You are showing your two great boys how women are supposed to treat them. Do not let them down by having them believe your wife's behavior is anywhere near normal.
 

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You sound like such a reasonable person.. but don't let yourself get killed in the process..be decent but don't tolerate abuse..It's always caring thoughtful decent people, that people try to take advantage of..Yes she is pregnant but you have rights too..how much longer can you bear all this before you go crazy..already, it will take you a while to get over all this bad stuff...
 

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H20zog,

Here is a link to a group in Ireland that supports male victims of domestic violence.....

Amen

Phone: 046 9023718

"AMEN is a voluntary group, founded by Mary Cleary in December 1997, which provides a confidential helpline, a support service and information for male victims of domestic abuse. Thousands of men and supportive members of their families have contacted the helpline since it was set up."


What men should do:

  • Do not leave the family home unless you or your children are in serious danger
  • Keep a record of dates and times of incidents in a safe place
  • Report the violence to your doctor and to the Gardaí - ensure that they record all the details of your injuries and the assault
  • Seek medical attention for any injuries - do not cover up the true cause
  • Take photographs of any injuries
  • Take legal advice and seek protection from the courts
  • Tell your family and friends what is happening to you
  • Do not be provoked into retaliating
 

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You need an exit plan. Here are a few links to help you get started with that...

Contact the Amen group at the website I gave above. Hopefully they will tell you what organizations in your local area handle domestic violence against men in your area. Ask about counseling, a support group, and what other help is available. Please get the help you need. They should be aware that there are women like your wife. Ask them for counseling. They should be able to help you quite a bit.

You need an exit plan here are links to a few…..
Domestic Violence

This talks about knowing number for battered women’s shelter. Just read it to mean a shelter for men as well. I used to volunteer at a domestic violence enter… it was converted motel that had rooms for victims of domestic violence. There were men there too who had wives like yours. The men were there with their children.
Dr. Phil.com - Advice - An Exit Action Plan: Guidelines for Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Making an escape Plan – escaping domestic violence with your life – Escape Plan « The Last Straw

Domestic Violence: Safety Plan
 

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I was at one time emotionally and physically abused by my husband. It was not every day, it seldom is. Domestic abuse follows a cycle. It’s called the “cycle of abuse”. Look it up and learn about it. You will recognize it in your wife’s behavior. I have learned a lot since those days and have helped people where I could get out of these sorts of situations.

Men who are victims of domestic violence have a serious disadvantage as a lot of people do not believe that a woman can abuse a man. But of course a woman can.

You need to be very careful because it is easy for a man to be mistakenly charged in a domestic violence incident. That is why I suggested that you remove yourself by locking yourself in a room and calling for emergency help when she goes violent or starts to yell at you. Go to a room with a window if you can so that you can leave through the window (hopefully you are on the ground floor and not on an upper floor of a tall apartment building).

If you leave the home, take your children with you. Do not leave them with her when she is like that. I know that you said that you do not think that she abuses the children when you are not there. You do not know this however unless the children tell you. They see her abusing you so they might just think this is normal behavior.

I used to think that my son’s father did not abuse him. I thought that his father was only violent to me. But when I would try to leave the house and leave my son with his father my then 4 year old son would beg me not to leave him… but instead to take him with me. Finally, after I asked him many times why, his response was “Mom, when you are not here daddy treats me like he treats you.” My son is now 23. I still remember those words, the exact quote. I took my son to counseling for domestic violence and he had to learn at an early age how to handle the situation.

Children seldom have a voice. They will not speak out but desperately need a sympathic witness so that they can heal. A sympathetic witness is someone who can tell the child that what is going on is wrong and no their fault. The child needs to be told that the adult who is being abusive is wrong. To children an adult is very large and can be scary. An adult yells at level 1. But the child hears the yelling at level 10. It’s all amplified to the child. The violence is amplified. Your children are at the very least seeing their mother yell at, violently attack and harm their father. Think of the size difference between you two adults and your children and think of the magnitude of difference between you two and your children. It’s scary as h3ll for your children. They are being seriously traumatized by what they are exposed to. You have to get them out of this situation.

Either you have to get your wife the mental health help she needs or you have to find a way to take your children way from her.

Look at what you are doing. She kicks you out of the house and you leave your children with the screaming, violent maniac who is attacking you. Really? You are not the only victim here. While you are off licking your wounds, who is help your children? Who is their protector and sympatric witness?
 

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Conitniued…

You need help. Your children need help. You are the one sane person who knows what is really going on. Get in touch with a domestic violence center; get an exit plan in place.

Talk to your wife’s parents and your family as well. Your wife sounds like she has serious mental health issues. Get her parents to help you get her to see a physiatrist for evaluation. If she will not cooperate then you have to get a good lawyer and fight to get your kids way from her. You will need evidence of her behavior.

This is a hard one. You might think I’m nuts but you need to get evidence of what she is doing. A nanny cam in your house would be a very good idea. Find out the laws in your country. Generally a nanny cam can be put in any room that does not have an expectation of privacy. For example in many places it’s illegal to put a nanny cam in the bathroom or bedroom. But you can have them in the kitchen, living room, hallways etc. If she often attacks you in the bedroom then perhaps you could do that if you got one with remote control and it was off when she was changing, during sex, etc.

If know that you might think that the nanny cam is over the top. But I mention we are talking about saving you and your children. WE are also talking about getting your wife the serious help she needs.

If you don’t want to use the nanny came, or as a backup, I suggest that you get a VAR (voice activated recorder). Again check the laws. In some places all parties being recorded need to agree. In others only one person being recorded needs to agree. Keep this on you at all times, or put a couple of them around your home in the rooms where she normally goes crazy on you.

So now if the police are called you have proof that she is attacking you. Just make sure that you do not put a hand on her. Do not even try to retrain her. Do not yell at her. Just tell her that you will not engage her when she is like that, get the children and either leave the home or lock yourself and the children in a room and call the police or emergency. In the USA it would be 911. I don’t know what the number is in Ireland.

Do not ever again let her kick you out of your home and leave your children there with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Elegirl, thank you. what a slap in the face this is for me. I have been fooling myself for so long. You know I feel so disappointed in myself I have tolerated this for so long. Accepting th unacceptable. I keep thinking things will get better but they always get worse. Aw man, you have no idea of the dread I have - you start to think that putting up the abuse would be better for all concerned but I know that there is good in that now. It will just f**k everybody up for ever. I have always been afraid that she might self harm but i cant keeping feeling responsible for her, not after all of this.
While there are two sides to every story and I know she FEROCIOUSLY believes in her version of everything - there are so many things she turns on the head - i dont knwo why I waited so long. This all got to its most intense and vicious last summer after my brother was diagnosed - she says all that she was doing was supporting me.
I dont know if this is typical either but in 14 years she has never said sorry. Never. I have to apologise for breathing. Deep down I always felt sympathy for her because I could see that she was damaged (she says that she suffered serious bullying at school) but I cant live like this anymore. I also think that I have facilitated the worst of her behavious - by never telling her it had to stop I think she thought it meant nothing to me. She said to me that a psychiatrist told her the violence was something I brought out in her and that she had to be wary of this and people like me. We saw a marriage counsellor for two sessions last year - we both seemed to think the counsellor was validating our respective positions.

I do need a plan.

Elegirl, thank you.
 

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Hi -

I am so sorry about all of this.

I don't mean any disrespect, but she sounds seriously mentally ill. Don't blame it on depression; depressed people (I've been there) are sad & quiet.

Does she have serious mood swings? If so, could be bipolar which requires treatment but many beepers refuse treatment so be aware of that.

I will pray for you.
 

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I grew up with an abusive mother, verbally, emotionally and unfortunately physically, I hope she's not doing this to the kids but anyway as an adult I have seen her still verbally abusing my dad and he's not even doing anything wrong, it's just crazy. I hate it and have asked my dad why he won't leave her but he says "I love her" grrr please don't live the rest of your life miserable. It's not fair and you don't deserve it no matter what. Also, yes it is affecting your children. I say that because I am that child and it's really screwed up my self esteem.
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