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whitebutterfly11

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  1. I've heard many times from Mr. BS that "I'm not angry at you, I'm angry at myself." It's a bunch of BS. Because, they are essentially telling you that their abuse toward you is okay because they have all of this out-of-control anger inside toward themselves. They are saying: "Pity me! I'm a poor troubled soul who only abuses because I HAVE to, seeing as I hate myself so much." But, when is it EVER okay to abuse another human being? You are not a punch bag--you are a human being with feelings. He has no right to EVER dump his anger on you. For any reason. Whether he is angry at himself or not. He can choose NOT to abuse any time he wants. But he doesn't. My guess is that this is just a ploy to tug on your empathy so you'll feel sorry for him and accept the abuse. If he were truly angry with himself, he'd be disgusted at himself for abusing you. Which means, he would not abuse you anymore. Instead, he feels even more entitled to abuse you because he's supposedly angry at himself. Abuse isn't an uncontrollable reflex that shows up whenever he gets upset. If that were so, we'd all be abusive every day. It's a deliberate choice, and at any time, he (being an adult capable of controlling his emotions) could choose not to abuse anymore. But he's not. How dare he! I wouldn't believe him for a second. Or feel any kind of compassion on his proclaimed self-anger. It's a bunch of BS.
  2. Quaddie, Thank you. I love Zenmaster, and you're right. All the answers are right there in front of me, it's just that I need to reframe the way I'm thinking about them. And, I needed to laugh as hard as I did when I read the "Blah" story you wrote about Mr. BS. It was very therapeutic for me this morning, and TRUE. All roads lead to the inevitable unhappiness I've felt, and what exactly it is I'm holding out for, like some epiphany, isn't going to happen. That's because there really is nothing left to figure out. I know the truth. It's a matter of accepting it, and putting myself first. Really, when it comes down to it, it's difficult for me to leave for me. I feel like I need a better reason than that I'm unhappy and want to leave. Which is dumb. Those are legit reasons! But maybe it's working through the guilt of doing something for me, especially where it affects others, like my kids. And it's feeling the weight of everyone else's feelings and not wanting to put anyone (even Mr. BS) through change that will potentially dismantle or derail them. I have to stop being unkind to myself and allow myself to do what I want to do. I wish it were easy for me to do that! (((Thank you)))
  3. Hoping, I can validate that he has NOT changed at all. Those repairs he's doing? They are meant to make you feel like you owe a debt, and to him that debt is you staying. His not complaining "as much" is still complaining, he just thinks that if he's a tad bit nicer, you'll fall for it and feel like you owe him your loyalty and presence. Abusers use these tactics to keep us in. If they were mean ALL the time, we'd not be able to tolerate life with them 24/7. Part of abuse IS the "nice" moments where he seems like he's showing a little bit of humanity. But it's not humanity--it's him putting you in debt to him, so that he can go back and say: "Hey Hoping, remember when I wasn't complaining as much to you about the extra money? Remember when I repaired the grill on the dishwasher and fridge? Now you owe me." It's really sick and twisted that a human being with a heart could treat another person with such disrespect. As if his lame attempts at being "nice" could ever "buy" your loyalty, love, and time! Ugh. So yes, he's still abusing. This is all part and parcel of the cycle of abuse. As soon as you fail to notice or respond to those "nice" things from him (which are really sorry attempts to keep you locked in), his "nice" facade will quickly wear off. Hoping, I wonder what it would feel like for you to be with someone who felt honored to be with you, and instead of demeaning and joking and wearing you down . . . treated you with respect, as if you were an equal, loving, worthy human being (because you ARE).
  4. Quaddie: YES, the gaslighting. I have to tell myself that this is happening over and over again to even begin to believe it. Melinoe: thank you for your encouragement. You brought up some perspectives I hadn't thought of. Sometimes I forget that a loving person would appreciate when someone sees the best in them. Abuse messes so much with our sense of trust toward self and others. Update: Mr. BS made sure to talk with me about how he didn't have a proper chance to clarify or finish his discussion with me, that I wrote above. He wanted to make sure that I knew that he has always loved me. Never once has he stopped. He was just disappointed with the expectations he had set for how he thought marriage would be, not necessarily with me. And he said that mainly he was disappointed because of the lack of enough sex, or because he "noticed I wasn't into it" and that made him not want to do it either. He also said that when he violated me on our wedding night (sorry, TMI, but I need to say it out loud), he was asleep and would have NEVER done it if he were wide awake. Also more. And more. And more. I brought up the fact that he had a sense of entitlement to get what he physically wanted out of me, like it was owed, and he admitted, that yes, he had struggled with that (but not now, of course--now he's "changed"). In some ways he said all of the right things in the right way, and in other ways I was left feeling completely unresolved, still, that he had addressed the core concerns that I had, or truly understood just how much he hurt me. I know it's futile to even try, but sometimes he can fake empathy quite convincingly. He mentioned bits of information and used wording that I don't think he would have known about had he not read it somewhere, like on this forum. But you know what? If he's stalking me here, I really just don't care anymore. I don't know what to make of anything, except that I can't seem to trust a single word he's saying. It really doesn't even matter anymore what he's saying, because they are just words. Not actions. Not evidence of this changed person he claims to be. Just. Empty. Words. I'm tired of it. I want the truth. No more fake niceness and pretending to love me when he doesn't. TRUTH.
  5. The shock factor is big for abusers, it seems. It's like a cat prodding its prey--I think it's meant to disarm and unsettle us. In my opinion, this type of "humor" (which is anything but) can feel like an underhanded threat. His comment toward your granddaughter was simply another tactic he used to attack you. When we start to call them out on their overt abuse, they use covert methods, such as using your granddaughter as a means through which he can attack you in a "joking" and more subtle way. It is still abuse, and it is not okay! Are "not bad" times simply moments when he's not yelling, outright demeaning, or threatening you? If that's so, is it really "not bad"? I think when we're with our abusers for a long time, we tolerate the intolerable as if it were white noise in the background, and we look at any improvement in behavior as proof of change, even if it's simply a switch of tactics to more underhanded abuse (which is still SERIOUS abuse, and SERIOUSLY painful). I guess what I am saying, Hoping, is: you have good reason to feel bad, even if it's hard to remember the bad. He's still abusing you, so he doesn't deserve to be associated with any type of improvement. For him to create change, he'd have to rewire his brain and become and empathetic person who doesn't attack you or threaten you or wear you down emotionally. For him, this will be impossible because his brain programming is permanent, not changeable.
  6. There is so much betrayal to process in this. I think my problem was believing that I had somehow got it all wrong--that my perspective was skewed about him being a liar and a conscious abuser. I wanted to believe in his humanity, that he was truly a good person at heart and I had merely misunderstood him or fell into my own prejudices. More importantly, I believed he was disappointed in me, abused me, all of that . . . but I always believed he was telling me the truth when he told me that he loved me, that I was the thing that was keeping him going, that he wanted to be a better man for me. Maybe I fell into the trap of being too believing, or trusting, in what he portrayed himself to be. Maybe I hoped I was wrong in believing that he was, at heart, a controlling, manipulative, lying abuser. I doubted my perceptions over and over again thinking I wasn't giving him enough credit, or that he would never lie to me about how he felt. And I read all of the books, did all of those years of research on abuse, and thought it wasn't applicable to me because he was at heart a good person. The degree to which I was convinced it had to be me was a force to be reckoned with. It really wasn't until he told me in plain words that his abuse was deliberate that the truth finally hit me. Then, it didn't matter that after the truth came out, he looked like a guilty school kid and said he felt horrible. It didn't matter how he explained "that was then, but now I'm different." And it didn't matter that in the last few days, he has treated me like a freaking queen to try and "make up" for the grief his words caused me. It doesn't matter, because it's not real. None of it. It's all a facade meant to keep me right where he wants me, to play the part of his good little wife who does all the work while he gets to bask in it all. His kindness doesn't matter to me anymore, because even if he had truly changed (which I know he can't), how could I possibly trust him again after he lied to me about his feelings for all of those years? How can I possibly love him and have a connective relationship with him after years of abuse? It just doesn't matter anymore. The relationship is broken, my heart is broken, and I don't think there's a way to repair it anymore. Realizing that he really was that bad, that my efforts to give him the benefit of a doubt were wasted . . . that's the huge grief of it all.
  7. Thank you. I feel overwhelmed with what I'm processing . . .
  8. Thank you again--I cannot explain how validating your words are to me, and how helpful. If I can just get some more of this heart-wrenching pain out, because it's truly sat inside, festering within me for 13 years. . . When I asked him "Was I a disappointment to you?" he was in the middle of a monologue about how difficult his childhood was, how he had been bullied at school and punished by his parents/siblings. He was explaining that because he had been through all of this, he become angry and started unleashing his anger out onto other people. I took advantage of a pause to pose the question above, and it completely blindsided him. He looked at me as if he had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Like I had finally unearthed some information he had been trying to suppress or distract me from for a long time. And then, when he answered, because I caught him off guard, he didn't have time to scrounge up a lie or to sugarcoat his words the way he normally would. So, the truth came out. Frankly, it wasn't news to me at all. But to hear him say it really did validate what I had suspected, even though I have been trying for YEARS to think better of him. He quickly tried to patch it all up by saying: "But it wasn't YOU, it was ME. My fault. My bad attitude." Then he got into this stance that he gets into whenever he's been caught: he slouches his shoulders and looks at the floor like a school kid caught in a lie. So here's my venting: I gave him my 100%. Loved him without question. Took his abuse for YEARS and decided to absorb it all and only give love back to him. I believed him when he told me that he loved me. I believed him when he told me that he was happy with me. And for 13 years, I have hesitated to leave because I saw good in him and believed he had the potential to overcome aspects of his abuse. Not that I believed his brain wiring could change, but that I believed he could suppress it to the point where he was decent to get along with. Yet, I did all of that with the assumption that he loved me, that he was trying to become a better person for ME, that the overt abuse stopped because he cared about my feelings enough to stop doing what he knew was hurting me. Then, come to find out, he's stopping the abuse to keep the IMAGE of me intact: the perfect home, the good wife, the kids, the whole collection of trophies on his shelf. Come to find out, he doesn't love me, he loves what I do for him. He loves the hologram of me. But he doesn't love me. He doesn't even know me. All along, my deep, compassionate self has been ignored. All along, it was my body, my image, that he needed from me. Ugh! He even called me his "Trophy Wife" once, after a work party. Just yesterday, he told me (for probably the 5th time in a year), that high-functioning sociopaths understand how to become socially adept, even if it doesn't match up with what they really are, in order to create peace and get along with others. He argued that it's not deception, it's an act of love when sociopaths care enough to stop acting like insensitive jerks in order to protect the people closest to them, even if they don't connect with what they are doing because emotionally they don't need to. He has NEVER admitted to being a sociopath, but I would argue that's what he is, and what he's been trying to tell me. And I know his brain. In his brain, his "honesty" about who he is and what he feels is admirable. Like he gets a gold star for admitting to the fact that he was disappointed in me from the beginning, and has had to "train" himself to let go of his misgivings and expectations towards me. He brags often about how he doesn't let my weaknesses get to him anymore, that he doesn't even notice them because it's not relevant, and it doesn't help our relationship. He also tells me that I'm smart, beautiful, kind, capable, and doesn't get in my way with my master's program and all the stuff I'm doing for myself right now. But, it hardly feels like he's being "kind". It feels like he's just letting me do what I want, and telling me what I want to hear because it keeps that image of perfect wife/perfect life going for him. He's willing to pretend to be a really nice, accommodating guy in order to perpetuate this image of a life where he's successful. He's also mentioned to me many times that he's proud of his life, that he's proving to his siblings and parents that he's just as capable of having a good life as they are. So, again, it's the winning mentality, not love. This is hardly love. This is not even in the same gene pool as love. It hurts. Really bad. To have been a disappointment for so long, to have "improved" my standing to that of acceptable-as-long-as-he-overlooks-my-weaknesses. I feel like I deserve more credit than that. I don't know . . . maybe I deserve to be loved deeply because I love deeply? Or I deserve compassion because I offer compassion? Sorry, I've vented too much. It's a lot to take in right now . . .
  9. Thanks so much for your responses! Since writing this post, he admitted to me that during the time he was most abusive to me (which started IMMEDIATELY after we got married), he felt I was not what he wanted, that I was a disappointment to him, that I didn't give him enough affection, that because I didn't live up to his expectations, he was angry, disappointed, and resentful toward me and THAT is why he treated me badly. This was all in his attempt to explain how he had changed because he doesn't think this anymore. He also felt terrible for admitting it, saying also that from the beginning, he had lied to me whenever I asked him if he was okay when he was angry, and he always answered that he was fine. He didn't willingly volunteer this information. I was being bold, put him on the spot, and asked him questions about why he treated me badly for so many years. I asked him if he did this because he was disappointed in me. Then the truth came out. In his eyes, he was telling the truth and admitting it all to prove that he's not the same person as he was over a decade ago. To me, however, it made me mad that he's just now admitting all of this. I knew he was disappointed in me from the beginning. I could tell that I didn't measure up, felt overwhelmingly like I would never be good enough. But I guess there was always that part of me that believed him when he said he loved me, that he was happy in our relationship, that everything was fine. I guess the real betrayal is that he was lying to me. All along. So I'm dealing with THAT crushing info right now, just after I had started to believe he was a different person. You know what, though? Bring it. I'm ready.
  10. It's been a long time since I've posted here, and I've missed touching base with all of you. Even though I'm becoming independent, starting on a new career path, even though my self-confidence is growing, I'm emotionally detached from Mr. BS, my life finally feels like it's headed in an empowered direction . . . I haven't left yet. I'm ashamed to even say it. Ashamed that I'm still confused and still caught up in that illusion of being stuck. Friends of mine are in similar situations. I clearly see the abuse in their lives. I can sit with them, validate them just as I'm learning to do professionally now. I can help them through their own situations and tell them, without a doubt, they are living in abuse. But I can't do the same for myself. It's confusing. I've been in this for too long. Mr. BS switches tactics on me and claims over and over and over and over again "I am not the same person as I used to be. I have changed." And you know what? He has changed. Changed the way he operates. He knows exactly what abuse is and makes a point of avoiding any behavior that might even resemble abuse. Emotional, verbal, spiritual abuse--he doesn't walk down that path anymore, because I'll call him out. Instead, he's opted for compliance and is perpetually good-natured, helpful, and eerily robotic about it. I'm trying to rally my willpower to leave despite the fact that I'm not seeing abuse anymore. I think it's still there, my counselor feels strongly that it is, but because it's no longer obvious or visible or even something I can feel anymore, I have to move on to the idea of leaving because our relationship is broken. And that's hard for me. I'm too blasted loyal. Feel selfish for leaving when he's supposedly checking off his own list of good behavior. That's why I'm spinning my wheels right now trying to figure out how to make this feel okay in my own soul. Because I relied too heavily on abuse to be the reason why I needed to get out.
  11. Fluffyflea, Yes, I too can relate to that violated feeling. It's hard to explain, but I feel sometimes like even when I'm desperately trying to regain a sense of self, holding my own, becoming a silent warrior, I'm still feeling exposed, somehow. It doesn't seem to matter what I do, it's an underlying sense that I have with me all of the time. (((HUGS)))
  12. Let his melodramatics attest to what a healthy decision you made for yourself, and a difficult one! It's hard to break away from people like this, who lie, manipulate, and project blame. I don't know if this helps, but since so many abusers have a juvenile emotional mentality, I like to imagine those outrages they throw when we leave as hissy fits, as in, the ones 3-year-olds throw when they don't get the toy they want at the carnival. In abusive relationships, we create these unhealthy bonds that, when broken, leave us feeling significant pain, guilt, confusion . . . but it won't last forever. Just initially. I think it's the residue from abuse that sticks with us for a little while even after we've left. The good thing is that it will eventually be replaced by confidence, a sense of freedom, empowerment.
  13. Hi cloudsandsunshine, To answer your question about the wrongs or rights of withholding sex: I think it depends on the circumstance, but I will say, when abuse is present (which it most definitely is in your case), sex can start to feel like a means through which more abuse can happen, then it can be triggering or unsettling. Yes, you are withholding in order to receive an apology, and yes, if he weren't abusive, there might be better ways to encourage him to say he's sorry, but my guess is you are doing this because you feel convinced he won't apologize otherwise. I see it more as you fighting back against his abuse in your own way, rather than it being "wrong" or "manipulative". But that's just me. The bigger issue you seem to be dealing with is his rage at you about your phone battery (isn't it crazy that abusers will flip out over something as trite as a phone?) He's displayed some common abusive red flags worth mentioning: Possessiveness: He seems to want your full and undivided attention, to be the first-to-know, and to lay claim of your time and your whereabouts. Spouses should be concerned about such things as a child in the ER, or curious when you're away for a long time, but not to the degree of chewing you out for not putting him first on your agenda while you're at the hospital and he's not. You were giving him disclosure up until your phone died, not to mention you explicitly told him your phone was dying and that's why he might not be able to reach you, before it gave out. You took the right steps there. Also, his tirade over your Facebook post was a bunch of BS. Accusing you of wasting time on social media at the hospital, or mandating that you don't share info with family and friends. It's your account, you have jurisdiction over what you post, and when. He might have an opinion about what he's comfortable with you sharing regarding the kids, but not to the degree of slamming you that way, or calling you names. Jealousy: Like Hoping pointed out, he seemed to be in a rage because he was jealous of other people for knowing information he felt entitled to keep himself. Jealous of your time at the hospital. Jealous of the time you spent without a working phone. Jealous of the time you spend with your family. Jealous of your relationships with your family. Jealous of any time you spend that's not focused on him. It's not normal of a spouse to act this way--that is a huge sign of controlling behavior, a.k.a. abuse. Physical Threat: Breaking things around your house is a physical threat, or physical abuse, because that same violence he displays toward inanimate objects is meant to send a message to you that he can do the same thing to people as well. And the fact that he's telling you that you "made" him do it (BS) shows us that he has zero remorse for that type of violence, and that if it ever happened to you, he would say the same thing. I wouldn't mess with that kind of behavior AT ALL. I'm afraid to say that he is dangerous and I would be very, very cautious. Sexual Threat: His logic of "I can get it somewhere else" is meant to threaten you, and is an abusive tactic. Going back to the first question of withholding sex from a spouse--if he's treating you this way, threatening you, demeaning you, it's healthy and normal to not want to have any physical contact with him. He's gross. Sex involves trust and respect and is totally vulnerable. It would be natural not to want to be with someone who doesn't make you feel loved, respected, or safe. Verbal Abuse: His yelling, demeaning, name-calling behavior is classic verbal abuse, and definitely not okay at all, and not your fault.
  14. Hi Hoping, in what you've written here, I don't see any reason why you are at fault. First, he chose to be abusive. No one ever made him act that way. Certainly not you. The fact that you had OCD and panic attacks in no way justifies his outrageous behavior toward you, your children, your granddaughter. He has always had the choice to treat you and others with respect. He has simply chosen not to, and that is on him. Yes, he'll blame you for it over and over again, because that's what abusers do, but it's not your fault. Secondly, he cannot handle accountability. His emotional pain tolerance is zero. So he lacks the ability to both accept that he is abusive and feel any remorse about it. All he is interested in doing is deflecting emotional pain onto you, so he doesn't have to feel any of it, and that means blaming you for the pain and suffering he caused you, downplaying his abuse to make it look benign or harmless, and disorienting you to keep you wondering whether or not it's your fault (it's not). In reality, he is the cause of wreckage around him, not you. He just wants you to believe that it's you, because that perpetuates his perfect world, where he doesn't have to feel guilty and he can comfortably continue to dump all blame, pain, and toxicity onto you. Hoping, you don't have to live with this. I'm glad you're looking into living options away from him.
  15. Hi Jayla, It is quite typical of an abuser to say, "I wouldn't have ___________ (screamed/raged/lost it) if you had just ______________ (said the right words/kept quiet/done what you were supposed to)." It's a standard equation he set up for a few reasons: 1) To turn the blame right back onto you. In this equation, he is always guiltless, a victim of your error. It wouldn't matter if you would have brought up the bill in the kindest way, using your words with extreme caution. He still would have set up this equation the same way, moving the goal posts so you can never win. 2) To disorient you. Notice that instead of focusing on his screaming rage (which was the real culprit here), he starts explaining how his living situation might be affected, his mental disorder, all because of you. It's not just blaming, he's trying to use good ol' smoke and mirrors to shift the attention from the REAL blunder (his abuse) onto these other, irrelevant things. All in an effort to confuse you so that you won't focus on his abuse. This sneaky trick is designed to stun you, and is a common tactic abusers use. 3) To justify his abuse to himself. While he's trying to convince you that his rage is all your fault, he's also convincing himself. Sad thing is, they can easy persuade themselves that they are guiltless by using the same tactics on themselves.