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My husband and I have been married for 13 years. The entire 13years has been a roller coaster of up and down. We've had some great times together. Took great vacation, great family days and had a few good one on one times together.

However, we've had our extreme lows as well. We've went through marriage counseling twice. 2004 and 2007. They were both pretty lengthy and we actually learned a lot from the last. We are heavily involoved in our church, done bible studies, couple retreat and prayer groups. I thought we were finally back on track in 2009. Had a great year and very few arguments.

We had one of our tormented fights again one morning after I had insisted on him doing a meaningless chore for me. Yes, I should have relented but did not. The result was him in my face calling me horrible names and cussing me out. Yes, our children were witness to this (or at least witness to the words.) I retaliated by pushing him out of my face and he hit me. This was not the first time our fights had become physical. He would go off on a rampage and call me names and yes, hit me. It wasn't every day or even every month. It was maybe once a year throughout or marriage save for the 2008-2009.

Once our last argument hit and he hit me he called repeatedly and apologized and I believe he felt true remorse...he usually did. 3 different times in our marriage I asked him to do 2 things in our arguments. 1) Please don't hit me and 2) Don't call me a *****. He never could conform to those in our heated arguments.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I contributed a lot to our arguments and fighting. I could be a smart alec and probably push him to the bring especially when the name calling came in and his infamous words to me of "I will bust you in the mouth."

I made the mistake of getting very close to someone of the opposite sex and my husband found out and he has totally tried to do a 180. But what if I am over it? I have talked to a lawyer and would like to move on with a divorce. My husband, on the other hand, wants no part of it and says he will fight me every step of the way and make my life hell for the rest of my life. He cusses me out through texting at least twice a week and gets violent speaking when I tell him my true feelings of "I want out." I feel like trying to fight my way out of this marriage will be just that...a fight. He's trapped me. Threatening to tell everyone I had an emotional affair (and I will admit I did.) He also threatens me with coming up to the kids' school and coming to the house (he did move out in October of last year). He will not accept I want a divorce. He just won't. It's like he is thinking I won't actually go through with it.

What do I do? Do I try and live out this with him and be free or do I try to think maybe he has changed (he has promised me 1,000 times he would not call me a ***** again or hit me) and go back to him?
 

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Are you afraid of your husband? If you want out, get out. No matter what he says or does he can't stop you from doing what you want to do... but if he threatens you with violence you should have protection in place. Get a restraining order, call the police, do what you need to do to protect yourself.
 

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Nothing you say should ever be counteracted with physical harm. He has no right to hit you. He's done it in the past, he'll keep doing it. Even after the therapy and promises. Don't go back with him just because you are scared of him!
 

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Laura, welcome to the TAM forum. The behaviors you describe -- lack of impulse control, temper tantrums, event-triggered rages, fights "over nothing at all," fear of abandonment, and unwillingness to negotiate reasonably -- are some of the classic traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Significantly, every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all nine of the BPD traits, albeit at a low level if they are emotionally healthy.

These traits become a problem only when they are so strong that they distort the person's perception of other peoples' intentions, thereby undermining a marriage and other LTRs. It sounds like your H may have several BPD traits at a moderate to strong level. If so, it is extremely unlikely he will improve substantially because it is rare for such a person to be willing to stay in therapy long enough (several years at least) to make a difference. I therefore suggest you read about BPD traits to see if most of them describe your H's behavior.
He would go off on a rampage and call me names and yes, hit me.
Temper tantrums are one of the hallmarks of a BPDer. To avoid triggering those rages, the partners and spouses of BPDers often feel they must keep walking on eggshells. This is why the #1 best-selling BPD book (targeted to the spouses) is called Stop Walking on Eggshells.
He cusses me out through texting at least twice a week and gets violent speaking when I tell him my true feelings of "I want out." ... but he will not accept I want a divorce. He just won't.
Because a BPDer does black-white thinking, it is common for him to demean his spouse while at the same time refusing to divorce her. This is why the #2 best selling BPD book is called I Hate You, Don't Leave Me. The black-white thinking will be evident in the way a BPDer categorizes everyone as "all good" or "all bad" -- i.e., as "with me" or "against me." There is no middle ground or grey area. Moreover, a BPDer will recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other -- in just ten seconds -- based solely on a minor comment or infraction.
We are heavily involved in our church, done bible studies, couple retreat and prayer groups.
As a group, BPDers (i.e., the folks having moderate to strong BPD traits) are just as religious and moral as any other group of people. Moreover, the BPDer's dark side typically will never be seen by the church members, casual friends, business associates, or strangers. It is difficult for those people to trigger his anger because they pose no threat to his two great fears: abandonment and engulfment. Namely, there is no close relationship that can be abandoned and no intimacy that can cause a feeling of engulfment and suffocation.

Heaven help them, however, if they make the mistake of trying to draw close to him. When they become close friends, they will pose a threat. This is why BPDers tend not to have any close LTRs (unless the friend lives a long distance away). And this is why a BPDer can be caring and generous all day long to total strangers -- or other church members -- and then go home at night to abuse the very people who love them.
What do I do?
If this discussion rings a bell, I suggest you read more about BPD traits to see if most of them sound very familiar. If you want a good book on the subject, either of the two titles I mention above would be excellent. I also suggest you look at my description of BPD traits in Maybe's thread at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. Finally, if your are reluctant to leave your H, I suggest you see a clinical psychologist -- on your own for a visit or two -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you are dealing with. Take care, Laura.
 

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Life is too short - you have tried long-term couselling twice,and after 13 years of trying,he still hit you, and is still cursing at you. GET OUT. Trust your feelings.So what if you had an emotional affair with someone else- who wouldn't under these circumstances (I am not justifying your behaviour - it is never right to have an affair - just saying that I can understand why you did) - also he has made promises so many times. If he really wanted or really intented to live up to that promises, he had 13 years to do so,13 years to live up to that promises. No I'm sorry honey,I'm not one for divorce , but in this situation, get out, fight for the divorce,fight for your freedom- also tell your lawyer about all these threats from your husband - they are important - and put them on paper when you give them to your lawyer. Giving someone a second chance is one, thing,forgiving is another, but after 13 years,you would be stupid to waste 13 moreon someone who clearly is notplanning to change EVER - get out.
 

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Hi, Laura

Uptown is right - there is a BPD issue here. If you have somewhere safe to go, then get out. Otherwise, find a shelter and still get out.

Let me make myself perfectly clear. As soon as he hit you, all bets were off. Regardless of any religiosity he is behaving 'immorally' and is being VIOLENT!

There is this pernicious idea that a sustained and severe beating is the type that is fatal. You must become aware of the fact that one 'well placed'/accidental blow is enough to kill!

I have seen more than one woman stick around after marital violence and make similar excuses and self blame. Every single one of them was beaten again, some with whatever form of weaponry came to hand!! Nothing is worth what is to come. Your children deserve better from both of you! If you are worried that your church 'friends' will not support you, well, they are not your friends.

You have the right to a life free of abuse. Embrace that life.
 

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Thank you all for your replies. I knew I would always deal with issues of how to get out due to how religious I am and my community. I've been told there are only 2 reasons for Gods consent of divorce and that is adultery and abandonment and I've been that I do not fall under these.
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hi laura. if your objection is religious- also go read through your bible about what God thinks about violence! PLEASE GET OUT, SPEAK TO YOUR PRIEST.
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It's not my only objection. I don't know why I'm stumbling on making the final decision.
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The struggle to commit to divorce is normal. It's hard to admit to the failure of the M. The fear of his threatened struggle is hard to get past. The fear of the unknown, even in a "good" divorce is difficult to get past.

But....it's worth it. You will be an awesome role model for your children. You can't want them to think that this is how marriage is supposed to be.

And.... once you get past it.... the PEACE is awesome!!!!
 

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The struggle to commit to divorce is normal. It's hard to admit to the failure of the M. The fear of his threatened struggle is hard to get past. The fear of the unknown, even in a "good" divorce is difficult to get past.

But....it's worth it. You will be an awesome role model for your children. You can't want them to think that this is how marriage is supposed to be.

And.... once you get past it.... the PEACE is awesome!!!!
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I keep thinking about the peace....I hope it comes. It's hard to see all this on my kids.
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Do family therapy....without dad. Start shaping your "new" family. YOU can be the rock, the sane parent, the one they look up to! Your attitude often leads the way as to how the kids will handle it. If you are expecting things to get "extra" volitile.... then round up some form of support group. Family, girlfriends, kids' best friends parents, etc.... you may have to show your strength in the form of being humble and reaching out for help.... but its for the kids. To help shore them up when the **** hits the fan. Talk to their guidance counselor at school... maybe they know who you should talk to.
 

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So, an update on my situtation. I've filed and my husband is on a rampage. He is set out to destroy me and make me lose everything I possibly have. He wants my job, vindication in front of the church, and expose our story to all our mututal friends. I was honest about my behavior and still am. I have tried to keep his behavior to only close friends. Daily I am called a *****, ***** and tramp. Well, probably every couple of hours actually. He's called me and made me say I am sinning and I am not obeying God, made me read scripture passages that say marriage is a covenant and not to be broken except by adultery and abandoment.

I guess my next question is this normal behavior when one wants a divorce and the other does not. Is it usually a battle with name calling and revenge? He says I was just as much to blame through the years as he was for our hitting and fighting. I feel I contributed to the arguing and did hit back when I was called a ***** (something I asked him repeatedly not to do over and over through the years.) He hardly has anything to do with the kids unless they ask to come over. He won't help with projects they have going on.

It's just a constant blame game. He blames me for everything in our marriage and I feel like I have not leg to stand on because I am the one who wanted out. Forget the fact he has told me for years he wanted out and we would throw our rings at each other.
 

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So, an update on my situtation. I've filed and my husband is on a rampage. He is set out to destroy me and make me lose everything I possibly have. He wants my job, vindication in front of the church, and expose our story to all our mututal friends. I was honest about my behavior and still am. I have tried to keep his behavior to only close friends. Daily I am called a *****, ***** and tramp. Well, probably every couple of hours actually. He's called me and made me say I am sinning and I am not obeying God, made me read scripture passages that say marriage is a covenant and not to be broken except by adultery and abandoment.

I guess my next question is this normal behavior when one wants a divorce and the other does not. Is it usually a battle with name calling and revenge? He says I was just as much to blame through the years as he was for our hitting and fighting. I feel I contributed to the arguing and did hit back when I was called a ***** (something I asked him repeatedly not to do over and over through the years.) He hardly has anything to do with the kids unless they ask to come over. He won't help with projects they have going on.

It's just a constant blame game. He blames me for everything in our marriage and I feel like I have not leg to stand on because I am the one who wanted out. Forget the fact he has told me for years he wanted out and we would throw our rings at each other.
Do you have any of his threats in writing or witnesses to them? Having filed divorce, I would follow suite with a restraining order and he can be jailed for up to 10 days (at least in our state) each time he violates (contempt), whether that be an unwelcome phone call, coming to your place of business, etc. With the way he is acting, this to me would be primary right now.

You need to try and ignore him and move on with the divorce. He is bullying you into trying to change your mind. Don't fall for it. Personally, if I filed for divorce from an abusive H and he continued to be abusive after the filing, that would be the ultimate tell tell sign that I did the right thing. It should be to you too.

I am serious about the order to protect yourself and your children. It should give you peace as you make your way through this process.

I wish you and your children the best.
 

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It is typical for these personality types to resort to the childish impulse of name calling and just trying to hurt the person who is hurting them and they can no longer control. It is easy to accept the blame because you've been conditioned to believe you are the one to blame...that you should accept anything (except adultery and abandonment) he throws at you for the sanctity of marriage. But that rule has run its course throughout history and is no longer the norm. It is now considered sick to stay and let your spouse demean, torture and abuse you. Keep your chin up and your eyes toward the horizon.
 
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