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I have an abusive husband whom I am separated from (for 3 months). Not only was he abusive over the years, but he objected to any time spent with my family or friends, whether it was in-person or on the phone. If I went anywhere, I was texted or called constantly with him wondering when I would be home. He would say our little boy needed me "right now." I always went back because he knew that would get me. My friends stopped inviting me places.

I was belittled and called names and couldn't do anything right in his eyes. He would hide my car keys, or disable the electric garage door opener so I couldn't leave the house.

Last summer, my husband said he wanted to experiment in the bedroom and begged me to allow either another woman or man into our bed. He said I wasn't enough for him and he began texting another woman. They had no sexual contact, I know of this, but it killed me. He also begged me for a sexfriend (any girl would do, he said) and said if I approved it, it would be okay. We were having sex 2-3 times a week at that time. He wanted more. Reluctantly, I participated in one of his fantasies, and I never recovered from it.

During this time he was also not working full-time by choice, with me paying all the bills (for appx. 8 years). My mother watches our son.

Our son (he is 3) saw all of the hitting, the name-calling, the control. I chose to leave my husband the day he threw me down the stairs in front of my son.

Since I have been gone, my husband has been put on anti-depressants and attended one therapy session. He claims that he is "cured" and will never hurt me again. I do not believe him. He said I never "allowed" him time to change. I told him about a year ago that things had to shape up or I was out. I suggested counseling and he refused. He also told me I was never allowed to talk to anyone about our issues or he would be done.

He has hit me twice and pushed me since I left when I went to pick up our son. He has also told me he will make my life a living hell if I don't come back. He has also been feeding our son a lot of BS "Mommy must not love you if she only wants to see you half the time" and things like that.

My question is this: How much time do you give people to change? And, is it wrong for me to want to be happy without all of this? I feel I can give our child a good home with just me. I really don't love my husband and just want to file for divorce, but I feel guilty - is this fair to my son? Or should I wait around and see if he can change? I don't miss him or the screaming and hitting.
 

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"He has also told me he will make my life a living hell if I don't come back."

He'll make your life a living hell if you DO go back. He hasn't changed. If he had changed, he wouldn't be hitting you or saying those things to your son.

And you feel guilty about your son not seeing his dad? You should feel guilty about your son seeing how his mother is being treated by his dad. Do you want him to grow up thinking that is the correct way people behave to someone?

I suggest moving on,only after you file a restraining order on him.
 

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Our son (he is 3) saw all of the hitting, the name-calling, the control. I chose to leave my husband the day he threw me down the stairs in front of my son. .
That would have been the end game for me.

if you go back to him, you are in essence abusing your son by raising him in that kind of environment. Your son deserves a LOT better.

If you don't end it for yourself, do it for your son. It's NOT ok for you to raise a kid in that kind of environment, watching/thinking that is the norm/healthy thing that happens in a reationship.

I wouldn't want my child around someone who is doing those things anyway for fear he'd harm my child.

He has hit me twice and pushed me since I left when I went to pick up our son. He has also told me he will make my life a living hell if I don't come back. He has also been feeding our son a lot of BS "Mommy must not love you if she only wants to see you half the time" and things like that.
Why are you even considering going back to him? Seriously.

[My question is this: How much time do you give people to change?
Anytime you are waiting for someone to change, you are WASTING your time.

Abusers rarely change--they get worse over time.

I'd seriously seriously stay away from this guy and protect yourself and your child.

Get the book "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. Can get it free at your library. Has great information on abusive men/abusers.



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Never go back.

Save all of your energy.

You will need it to co-parent for the next 15 yrs. with this monster.

Good luck & kudos for leaving!
 

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SS, I agree with Emerald and the other respondents. You are describing a man with serious mental health issues. Significantly, a 1993 Canadian study examined this very issue. Specifically, it examined a large group of wife bashers to see if they exhibited any common patterns. The researchers found that nearly all of the bashers had a personality disorder (PD) and half of them had full-blown BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Roger Melton summarizes the results of that study at Romeo's Bleeding - When Mr. Right Turns Out To Be Mr. Wrong -- Health & Wellness -- Sott.net.

As Emerald observes, you will be co-parenting your 3-year-old son with this guy for the next 15 years. I therefore strongly suggest you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two by yourself -- to find out what you and your son will be dealing with over the next 15 years. Importantly, if your H is a high functioning BPDer, it is extremely unlikely you will ever be told by a therapist who is treating him. It is well know, both inside and outside the psychiatric profession, that therapists are LOATH to tell a client -- much less his spouse -- the name of his disorder when it is BPD.

This information is routinely withheld from the client and his family because the therapist is ethically bound to protect the sick client. (For a more detailed explanation, please see my post at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/genera...-official-im-getting-divorced.html#post811909.) Because the physical violence implies a serious risk of BPD, your best chance of obtaining a candid professional opinion is to see a psychologist without your H present -- while making it clear to the psychologist that he will not be treating your H.

I also suggest, while you are waiting for an appointment, you read about BPD traits to see if they sound very familiar. An easy place to start is my brief description of these traits in Maybe's thread at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that description rings many bells and you suspect your H has many strong BPD traits, I have some additional suggestions:

  • As an initial matter, don't tell him. If he is a BPDer, he almost certainly will project the accusation right back onto you, believing YOU to be the BPDer. Instead, simply encourage him to see a good psychologist (not a MC) and let the psych decide what to tell him.
  • Read the book, Splitting: Protecting Yourself when Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist. This will be helpful because, given the way a BPDer is always convinced he is "The Victim," the D will get very nasty very quickly.
  • Start participating (or at least lurking) at BPDfamily.com -- the largest and most active BPD forum I've found that is devoted fully to the spouses and family members of BPDers. It has eight message boards for various issues. Of greatest interest to you likely will be the "Raising a Child when One Parent Has BPD" board. There, you will get advice and tips from folks who have been there and done that.
  • While you are at BPDfamily.com, read the excellent articles in the resources section. My favorite is "Surviving a Breakup with Someone with BPD" at T9 Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder - Columbia University, New York. Take care, SS.
 

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1.) If you haven't already, HIRE A DIVORCE ATTORNEY. Get REFERRALS for a GREAT (not 'good') attorney from a women's abuse shelter. They'll know who the sharks are that can handle an abusive STBXH.
2.) Explain to your attorney that your husband has abused you (including recently, since your separation)
3.) Read up on Parental Alienation (Google it). It is ILLEGAL and it's what your husband is attempting to do with your son. Tell your attorney about it.
4.) Tell your attorney that you fear for your own safety and you worry your son may be subjected to abuse (verbal or physical) since your husband is so UNSTABLE and volatile (words like that will help your cause).
5.) Follow your attorney's advice.
6.) Get recommendations for free or low-cost counseling for battered women from your local women's shelter. They will also be able to recommend help for your son (he's already seen TOO MUCH.)

Good luck! GET TOUGH! We tell men to "man-up", well I'm going to tell you to "woman-up". Do what NEEDS TO BE DONE for yourself and for your little guy....sane/healthy or crazy-azz hell!
 

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i didn't even need to read all the way through this to say, never get back with this man. he is extremely manipulative in a way that is emotionally controlling and abusive.

if for nothing else, do it for your child, he doesn't need to grow up with this kind of influence or in the environment it will inevitably creates for him. it will affect your child in ways you won't even realize and in a way that would nearly difficult to undo.

if you don't like your husband's behavior, don't let your son be exposed to it. you will be creating a miniature version of his father and will have to deal with for the rest of your life with your son.
 

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Is what fair to your son - to grow up learning that abusing your spouse is okay? To learn that if you say the right things, you can keep getting away with hitting them, because they'll accept it's okay?

You need to get away from him, and you need to get your son away from him. While him having an honest mental problem is sad, your primary concern should be for you and your son's safety - he is continuing to be physically and emotionally abusive. What happens if you stay away and he decides to take this out on your son next?
 
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