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About Grabforjoy

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  1. Congratulations, Hoping. That took courage and you did it! I, also, think the Dr. route is the right route to go. And remember, there are lots of people on disability who are in control of their own money. You go girl!
  2. I remember thinking the exact same thing..."marriages take work and I just have to stick it out". The thing is that yes, at times all relationships take work. But work and torture are two separate things. Work and losing your identity are two separate things. The happiness and joy of a good relationship outweighs the work. I am remarried now (3.5 years) :-) and I still pinch myself sometimes because it is so "not-work" in the way that my previous marriage was work. Sure, there are times that we will get a bit irritated at each other, or one of us is not our best self, but for the vast, vast majority of our time together we enjoy a peaceful, happy, mutually reciprocal relationship that has never once been abusive. It's so easy to hear the platitudes about relationships and apply them to a covertly abusive one, and find the reason to work a little harder. But unfortunately, it is the victim who ends up shouldering all the "work" of the relationship. The abuser carries less and less of the responsibility.
  3. Hi Melinoe, I am so glad that you found us. Your boyfriend sounds to me to be very manipulative. I really believe that people like him have radars to scope out people who are kind and generous; who need to be needed; who, as the result of past abuse, don't have the best boundaries and are hypersensitive to NEVER, EVER being like their abusers. It's quite common for people like your boyfriend to be in the beginning the perfect partner: the most loving, the most charming, ...everything you could ever dream of...until they feel that they have you in their clutches. I would encourage you to take some time to analyze the happy times. My guess is that, without you even knowing it and when things seemed to be so good, he was sowing the seeds that caused you to decide to give up your job so that you could support him. Was he playing the victim? Was he telling you that he needs you so badly because when you aren't around life seems pointless? Did he somehow elicit in you a very protective instinct that made you feel that your love was what he needed and without it, you feared for his well being? Did he drop hints about how your job was keeping you from him more than he likes? I remember feeling, when I was first dating my abuser, like he had the most amazing ability to see right into my soul. He understood me in a way I had never been understood. He felt like my soul mate in the truest sense of the word. What I now know is that he was incredibly skillful at eliciting information about what I wanted in a relationship, and then giving me back just that. He was a chameleon. And at the same time he was wooing me, he was also grooming me to become his victim. One time, I was describing a beautiful moment with a mother and baby that I experienced (I was a new RN at the time). In describing it, I mentioned that the mother and baby were African-American. My ex said "I know that you don't think this of yourself, but I think you are rather racist." I was devastated that he thought that about me, because I was raised to deplore racism and bigotry. But there was just enough truth in what he said to un-nerve me. It was true, that when describing a mother and child of my own race, I didn't preface the description with the word "white" or "Caucasian", and it made me aware of how my words can create a sense of "us" vs. "them". But to go from that to "I think you are rather racist" was a leap. What he was trying to do was two-fold: 1 ) He was trying to undermine my confidence in who I knew myself to be; and 2 ) He was setting the stage for when he told me that he was of mixed race (Caucasian/African American) and he must have been worried that I would reject him. Likewise, if I had a strong opinion on something, he would call me judgmental. Again, his goal was to 1 )Undermine my confidence in what I believed in; and 2 ) Make me less likely to pass judgment on his outrageous behavior. In our first year of marriage he complained if I used the term "I" instead of "we" when we were in social gatherings. It didn't matter if I was talking about something specific to me alone. He felt that using the word "I" was exclusionary of him. So guess what? I stopped talking about myself in conversations with others, or if I did, I made sure to make him a key figure in whatever I was talking about. Now, about you being abusive. Melinoe, there is something called "reactionary abuse". Another term for it is something like "extreme response to a stressful situation". It does not mean that you are abusive. It means that you are having an extreme reaction to an untenable situation. I remember times when I pummeled my abuser's chest, or pushed him away from me, or screamed at him at the top of my lungs. And I remember the emotions I was feeling during those times were of complete and utter helplessness, desperation and desolation. After all, even the kindest, gentlest animal will bite if backed into a corner and teased, taunted and abused. I urge you not to take on the abuser label. My ex claimed that I was the abusive one as well. In the end, when I was divorcing him and he kept saying this, I finally asked him "If I am so abusive, then why are you working so hard to keep me in this marriage?". He didn't have an answer for that. Labeling you as abusive in pure projection and It's a tactic to keep you unbalanced and in his control. My ex was also depressed. He had a horrible childhood...the kind that touched the maternal, protective place in my heart. He was on and off suicidal the first ten years of our marriage and he would often tell me he didn't think he would live past 35. I now think it was another control tactic. Even if he is depressed, Melinoe, you deserve a relationship with a healthy man. And the way you get that is you become a healthy woman. I don't know how old you are, but I sense that you may be in your 20's. Forgive me if I am wrong. Anyway, I would encourage you to work on yourself. Read books on abuse. "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft is the first one that I recommend you read. You cannot help his depression. No amount of your love will cause him to not be depressed. Nor will it help him to overcome his dependence on alcohol, nor his past. As for moving to his country, I strongly advise you to put any of that on hold. You would be further isolated from any support system you now have. I gave up 23 years of my life to abuse. It has affected my health, my finances, and my lovely children have suffered because of it. I don't want that to happen to you. You sound like an intelligent, insightful woman. I think if you sit for awhile with this, and let your inner wisdom speak to you without any input from ANY of your abusers' voices, you will find your answer. My favorite saying is a Tsoaist one, and it is: "Stillness is the greatest revelation".
  4. Hi Reenie, Welcome to Our Place. I know that you will get the support you need as you continue on your journey to be free of abuse. And believe it or not, you have already started your journey and are well on your way! I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Your husband sounds very much like my ex. I left him when I was 44 years old, after a 20 year marriage and now, 8 years later, I am happy and in a wonderful, healthy marriage, living an abuse free life. But 8 years ago, I was exactly where you are now and I felt that I would surely die an early death if I kept living my status quo. There is hope, Reenie, and reading "Why Does He Do That" will put your experiences in a perspective that you've never seen before. You will likely find that your husband fits the description of an abuser to a "T". He is a mean, vindictive, shaming, abusive man, Reenie. You have to be a very strong woman to have survived him. Living without abuse will give you and your children a future brighter than you can imagine.
  5. I think he was intentionally asking you to do something that he KNEW would be against the basic grain of who you are. One time my ex asked me if I would kill him when the time came, after he went to great lengths to convince everyone he had early onset Alzheimer's. When I told him no, because I couldn't do that and I couldn't put our children at risk of losing both parents, he called me selfish. It was a set up. Pure and simple and I think your husband was setting you up.
  6. Future, Are you in the States? I am, so I don't know if my advice will be as applicable if you live outside the US. But anyway... First off, I think you are very wise to see this latest argument as a true threat and very worrisome. I am glad to hear that you have a place to go to and the money to get there. Be safe and do not let on in any way shape or form that you are planning to go away. Secondly, I think it is a very, very bad idea to go on a trip with him. He is very scary and I am concerned for your and your son's safety. Thirdly, this has to do with the custody issue, and hence my disclaimer above. I too thought that 50/50 was reasonable at first. I wish I had fought for a different time share. You have evidence of his instability and he made a threat to you and to your son. If I were you, I would go in asking for 100% custody with supervised visitation. You more than likely will not get that, but then again you will more than likely get much more than 50/50. Ask for more than what you will accept. I learned that the hard way. Keep documenting. If you can remember instances when he was emotionally, verbally or physically violent in any way toward you, in front of your son, document it. If you cannot remember the exact date and time, you can estimate by saying "On or around 5/25/2016 at around 5 to 6 pm...". Be brief and to the point. I did that and it went a very long way in making my case.
  7. Future, Your BF's behavior is affecting and will continue to affect your son. Seeing and hearing the fighting, and the affect that it has on you is a form of violence perpetrated by your boyfriend toward your son. Please read the ACE (adverse childhood experiences) study found here: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about.html It shows a very significant correlation between abuse and neglect (to include witnessing the abuse of a child's mother) and poor physical and psychological health outcomes for the child. My children were very much affected by the emotional abuse of me by their father. Both from witnessing it, as well as from the fact that as I became depleted, I was less of a good mother to them. I will never forget seeing my 8 year old son's little face, bright red, with his little fists balled at his side as he screamed at his dad "You leave my mommy alone!!!!". I was holding my newborn daughter and was crying my eyes out because my then husband was being such an A$$ hole to me. My son is now 24 and we have a wonderful relationship. But he suffers from anxiety and is always worried that he will say or do the wrong thing. He has had to overcome significant obstacles created, in my opinion, by the fact that he grew up in a home where there was verbal an emotional abuse by his father toward his mother. And do not forget, your boyfriend WILL turn his sights to your son as you son becomes more independent. My ex did and one of my biggest griefs in life is that I did not leave sooner, so to at least lessen the impact his father had on him. It's scary to leave...I know. But believe me when I say, it is so much harder and scarier to stay in.
  8. Oh and another thing...I would only apologize once for the affair. That's it. Because people like your husband and my ex will FOREVER try to make you pay for it. And absolutely refuse to talk about it ever again with him.
  9. TTFM, You know, I would bet a million bucks that he was hoping you would have an affair so that he could lord it over you and control you more. Your affair was a call for help from a woman drowning in pain. And it sounds like the affair gave you a glimpse of the woman you used to be and showed you that you could experience happiness again. How do I know this? Because I did the exact same thing. I had an affair at a point when I just couldn't take the crazy making BS that my husband was throwing at me every single day. It was that act of a desperate woman, for sure. But it gave me such strength to end a marriage that was with out a doubt, going to cause me an early death (and not from physical violence but from the emotional, mental and physical stress that living with that man caused). HE ruined your family. Not you. He did. And he will continue to ruin you and your son unless you build up your healthy boundaries. It's OK to say to him that you no longer love him and you don't want to be with him any more. You don't even need a reason. And yet you have many, many reasons. And it is perfectly reasonable to tell him that you don't want to interact with him. When I was preparing to leave my abusive ex, I told him "I will only talk to you about issues related to our children. I refuse to talk to you about anything else unless there is a neutral third part present". He tried to test those boundaries but for the most part I held firm to them. It was one of the best things I did and it was the result of advice I received on this forum and from a lawyer. But before you tell him this, change the locks on the house. You can even tell him via text or email. He is a dangerous person. Good luck. It's difficult but I think you will find that it will turn out to be one of the most valuable things you ever do in your life.
  10. Whitebutterfly, It is because your husband is not abusive 100% of the time that this is such a comfusing place to be. So much of what you write reminds me of my experience with Mooch. As my son grew older and more independent, the blow ups with his dad became more and more frequent. I often was dragged into them (sometimes willingly, sometime not) because either one or both of them were acting horribly. I remember seeing my son taken down to the ground for being "out of control" or "disrespectful". I remember being so confused because what Mooch would tell me about what happened sounded reasonable, and what my son told me about what happened sounded reasonable. I was constantly questioning EVERYONE's reality, not just my own. But this didn't happen all the time, or the majority of the time. We had really lovely times together as a family. But it happened enough to have very long lasting effects on me and my children. A little bit of poison goes a long way. The key here is that your husband is the adult and the parent. And while we are all human and have our times when we shout, scream and behave badly, the non-abusive parent feels terrible about it and apologizes and tries with everything in him/her to do better. The non-abusive parent would never place all the blame on the child. I have a 15 year old daughter with pretty significant learning issues. So her normal teenage angst is compounded by the fact that school work causes incredible stress for her and she can decompensate quicly and become very difficult to deal with (as many teens can be). We had a week, a couple of weeks ago, where she had several big tests and was being, quite frankly, a brat, and I was having a rough week at work, and after trying my best to be patient and calm, I just lost it with her. She tried my very last nerve and I did not exhibit my best mothering behavior, to say the least. Afterward, I sat down with her and apologized for losing it and yelling my flipping head off at her. I told her that while her behavior was out of line, she did not deserve my screaming at her. We talked about triggers (hers and mine) and how we both could have dealt better with them. And in the end, we both had a better understanding of each other. If this had been her father, it would have all been her fault. He may have apologized, but it would be a shallow one, ("Sorry I yelled. Now are you sorry for disrespecting me and yada yada yada?") WB, I do believe that your husband is harming your children. But I also understand your hesitancy in removing them from the 99% good guy. I gently challenge you on the fact that he is a good dad. I think his goodness is like an iceburg and what lies beneath the surface is large, and Icy and dangerous. A good dad puts the mother of his children first and foremost because he understands her importance to them. A good dad would rather impale himself on a sword that cause his children to take the blame for his moments of not being a good parent (moments we all have). And while the idea of taking your children away from him seems cruel to all involved, I wonder if having a happy and healthy mother would WAY out-weigh the fact that they don't see their dad every day. I think it would. I hear you when you say that you don't have the means to support your children. That must be a very frightening scenario. But remember that your husband is responsible for supporting them as well (and probably you, for a time). Most states allow spousal support while the stay at home parent receives the training necessary to re-enter the work force. And I believe that all require some form of child support until the child reaches 18. And while you may not currently have the social support system in place, that doesn't mean that it will always be that way.
  11. EaglesNest, Apt in your name = the cost of glorious freedom. I had to look at alimony and child support that way...paying him every month was so difficult but sooooo worth the freedom. Sometimes people who don't get it may look at me like I was a sucker, but I am no sucker. I got free of a very, very difficult situation. In terms of his riduculous demands...in the words of the judge who ruled on my case...sometimes you just have to say no. He can ask but you don't have to agree. As for your age...I was 44 when I left my abusive ex. When I turned 48 I married the man of my dreams. He was 57 at the time, and says I am the soul mate he never had. It's never too late to find love. My mother in law is 84 and has a sweet boyfriend...they are thinking of moving in together.
  12. Definitely see a lawyer, In Need. A friend of mine had a car repair business with her abusive alcoholic ex. She was awarded the business in the divorce. I think you could make a very strong case that your H will destroy the business if left to his own devices. Signed affadavites from employees regarding his treatment of them and of customers may make the judge even believe that he is purposefully sabotaging the business (which I am sure he is). In Need, I understand the doubt you feel in regards to whether to believe the employees or your H...I remember feeling that too. But take a step back, and look at what you wrote...EVERYONE in his live, EVERY ONE cannot stand to be around him. Is everyone wrong? No. You have so much validation that he is a narcissistic a s s. But in the end, the most important thing is that you begin to live the life you were given, free from mistreatment and abuse. If it comes to pass that the business is lost, I think eventually you will see that it is a small price to pay for freedom. I am in a huge amount of debt and had to pay my loser of an ex a whole boatload of money in alimony but I wouldn't change a thing. Getting out of there was the best thing I ever did.
  13. Cubist, Welcome back. My dear, you are living in a horrible situation (as if you need me to tell you that!). Actually, maybe you do. I think, in order to survive, that we all minimize the horrific conditions under which we live. Your husband is very cruel and it is no wonder that your health is suffering. your situation sounds very worrisome and very unstable right now. Have you consulted a lawyer? Do you have your medical condition documented clearly? If so, you may be able to convince a judge that you are disabled. You have been married a long time and so you may be entitled to higher support because of this and because of your disability. Are you in the US? A lawyer would be able to tell you what you could be entitled to under the law. You said to Quaddie that it is money that you need to be able to get out sooner, rather than later. Do you and your husband have any savings? Do you have access to your accounts? Remember that you are entitled to half of that money. What some women have done is that they plan their escape for right after a pay day and then on the day of the escape, they withdraw half the money. This at least gives them funds to pay for the initial escape (rent, food, whatever). If leaving the home is absolutely not possible, then perhaps moving into a second bedroom is in order, along with telling your H that you want a separation. If he escalates AT ALL - becomes threatening towards you AT ALL, then it's time to call the police and to get a restraining order. And remember, he is not above lying and saying you abused him so whatever you do, don't engage with him at all. when my abuser felt my pulling away, he orchestrated a fight in which I had to physically defend myself. He then went to the police and convinced them that I attacked him and I was charged with battery. Your H sounds like my ex in that he has no conscious when it comes to making you suffer. I know there is a lot to think about, at a time when you probably are most suceptible to the fog of abuse. Just put one foot in front of the other. Call a domestic abuse center. Consult a lawyer. Those are the two things I recommend for right now. Hugs, Grabby
  14. Bennu, he's a horrible person and of course he messed you up...he would mess anyone up who is unfortunate enough to love him. I wanted you to know that you sound so much stronger than you did when you first started posting and that I hope you feel proud of yourself and how far you have come. This is truly a back and heart breaking journey but in the end, it is so worth it. And you didn't break your family, he did...it bears repeating over and over and over. (((((((Bennu))))))
  15. Bennu, You are right, this is infuriating and unfair and another example of his projection of his own shortcomings upon you. When I left my abusive marriage I was bound and determined that I was going to create a happy family for my children (one was 17, one was 8) on my own. My home was going to be one of peace, healthy boundaries and celebration. And in the end I was successful. I have to admit it always felt really good when my ex would arrive to pick up our daughter and he would see a happy, peacefull home decorated cheerfully for whatever season we were in - it was a thumbing of my nose at him, so to speak. Our spouses are the ones that destroyed the family. And you can recreate a happy family because you are strong, and brave, and non-abusive, and are the one good parent that your kiddos have. Hugs, Bennu. PS: I have to tell you how impressed I have been at the change in you...go back and read your early posts. I can almost see your increasing strength by how you sound today, compared to then. You keep doing what you are doing!