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I moved out on 11/15/2013. College sweethearts, married for 24 years, 4 children, one out of college, one in college and 2 still at home. The 2 younger children are with me.

I have filed for divorce on 2 other separate occasions and have left him one other time prior to that. First time I filed for divorce was shortly after we moved from one state to another state for his job. I returned with the 2 younger children to the state we left, where I had friends, family and 2 older children and filed for divorce. Reconciled after 4 months, this was in Nov 2012. Filed for divorce again in May 2013 due to another incidenet of domestic abuse against me. He moved out and I stayed in the home. I allowed him to return home after a month, mostly out of fear, being alone in a new town with no support system on a daily basis. I worked from home and also traveled for work, so had not had a chance to build a network yet.

My husband has anger issues and has been abusive to myself and my 2 older children. Not on a regular or routine basis, but enough to leave scars and erode the foundation of the marriage. I read this post by another member and this describes my husband:

- I am a nice guy (this is what he thinks of himself). I put my wife on a pedestal and thought nothing but the world of her. I never thought she would be capable of what she has done. I did not look at her as a sexual person (outside of being with me).


- I never participated in her interests. She is a runner (I am a runner). I hate running. To me, running is the punishment you get in real sports (sorry to offend any runners here ). Likewise, she never participated in mine, but I should have tried harder to take an interest in her recreational activities. My husband who used to be very athletic does not engage in any physical activity. Keeps saying he will start and do it with me. Will only start walking if I ask him or include him in my exercise routine.

- I was very affectionate, but affection to me was sex. I would hold her hands, hug her, kiss her, etc, but usually with the end goal of having sex. I would give her a hug and immediate grab her butt. I always assumed that affection is affection. But I realize now that affection is different from admiration. Sex is not everything.

- I was distant. I am a loner, by nature. I would come home and want to unwind, so I would sit in my room at my PC or do something that I wanted to do. TV was my husband's escape

- I did not have my own activities (other than my PC) that I would do without her. I have NO friends other than family. I would always spend all my free time with family. I have 1 guy friend (her brother) that I consider (and he does too) my brother, regardless of what happens with my relationship.

- I would guilt or manipulate to get what i wanted.

- I shifted blame on her to cover my own insecurities.

- I played the victim, because I would always put her above my own needs and then "woe is me" when my needs were not met.

- I depended on her to make me happy, and would use any method in my arsenal to make that happen. I did not care if I lied, guilted, etc to get what i wanted from her.

- I always gave to her and to others with the subconscious understanding that I would get back for it. I never gave for the good of giving. When i did not get something back, I was resentful and bitter.

So those are some of my husband undesirable traits, along with the physical and verbal abuse. I can also list many of his good qualities, and there are many, which kept me there for 24 years.

My role in all this? I tolerated and accepted the behavior that allowed any type of abuse to continue. I always fell for his sweet talking, tears and promises that it would never happen again. This time I have had an IC who helped me prepare for the separation and follow thru. My family supports me again this time and does not want to see me return to him. When I first leave I am committed to following thru, but I am usually driven by emotion/anger because typically some type of threat or incidence led up to me taking action. Then once the anger starts to subside, I remember all the good things and I start missing my best friend. Also I do not like staying in an angry state, but yet I still need to hold boundries. I was strong until the holidays hit and one of the older children came home for the holidays. I spent time with my husband, went on a few dates, was intimate with him. I was content with the way things were but he started to push for more and I started to retreat. I have continued counseling, reading and get emotionally stronger. I no longer am responsible for managing his behavior, telling him what he needs to do. I am focused on what I need to do, for me.

Meanwhile, he is hanging on to "our future together". That we will get it right this time and he is going to do the work. But yet I dont see him following a plan or taking real action to address HIS issues (rejection, abondonment from childhood, anger). He has sought help before and things are good for awhile and then he goes back. He does this to get me back, but I dont feel like he feels he needs to make lasting changes because he wants to become a better person. He is only doing it to get me back.

The changes I am making in me are for the long term, but yet it is hard to let go of the past we had together. Fear kept me from taking action before and fear is what caused me to return in the past. I acknowledge the fear now and I am walking thru it. I like being in my own place with my children, I feel such peace and calm after years of chaos. I am meeting new people via communitiy groups I am joining, so I am broadening my circle which my husband never like previously.

I want to believe that he will change because he wants to change and I allow him back in. In my heart, I feel he wont change and then I dont want to engage with him. This puts both of us in a state of confusion. I have to interact with him because of the children, but I still dont know how to interact with him on a consistent basis during this separation. Do others go thru this back and forth during separation? Is this just the process of breaking away from someone you have known for so long? Any advice?
 

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I am sure in deep down in your heart you know that he will not change. He might change temporary and suck you back in. It is really hard for someone that is abusive to change unless they want to and put in a lot of work to do that.

For now, you need to go NC. I understand you have kids but you can still do NC. NC does not mean that you cannot talk to him about necessay items. NC means you will not engage in his emotional drama. Keep all conversation simple and to the point and only talk about the kids. It will be best if you can limit the contact via email only. Staying away from the drama so you can clear your mind.

Please read about codependency and also article from Dr. George Simon.
 
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