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hoping

Will It Last? Will He Change? Was I Abusive Too?

9 posts in this topic

My husband has been trying to be nicer to me and I told him he has not been doing well enough. He said he will do better. He said he can change himself, that he has done it with other things. He said the reason he treated me so mean, is because I was hiding things from him and he didn't trust me. I told him that I had obsessive compulsive disorder and was hiding that and panic attacks later from him. I told him it wasn't that I was hiding something bad I was doing. I felt from right after we got married he started treating me in ways I didn't like. He would tell things about me to friends that I didn't want them to know, it embarrassed me. He said the reason he did is because he couldn't believe I didn't know these things. I thought that your husband was suppose to have your back and not tell things that made you look bad and instead tell the good about you. I still think this is the best way to be unless he is just talking to his friend by himself and not making fun of me. Anyway, he would also say verbally abusive things about me to others because he said he thought I was lazy. I told him I was not lazy, that I was having emotional and mental problems. I told him that I was still having a difficult time dealing with the divorce I got shortly before we married, I started having problems with the obsessive compulsive disorder after we married and I didn't tell him at this time, but I thought it was best for my daughter to work only part time. We later had a child who was disabled and spent months in intensive care, so I quit working to see her during the day and go home in the evening to be with my other child. Our disabled daughter passed away and two years later had another child. When our youngest was three our older daughter started running away from home because she said that my husband wasn't treating her right. She caused us a lot of trouble and my husband was afraid for her to come home and continue to live with us, so I ask my sister if she could live with her, she said yes. I reminded him of these things, and told him I started having panic attacks and was getting more emotionally unstable so that is why I wanted to move back to where we were from. We did and I worked part time while having panic attacks and feeling like I was going to pass out sometimes while driving. I quit 3 months after I started the full time job and went back to working part time, while still having panic attacks and feeling like I could pass out at times while driving. While working that job, my boss touches me sexually one evening while working alone with him. I quit working there and took some time off. Later I went back to work part time.

I am telling this in hopes of others seeing if I was part of the reason he treated me as he did. I don't think he should have treated me emotionally and verbally abusive regardless, even if he did think I was lazy. I did other things that I know were not the way I should have dealt with things but at that time this is what I thought I should do. My husband started working away from home a lot and I couldn't deal with my problems, the abuse, so I started looking for a way out which was an affair. One of the biggest mistakes of my life. Another thing I did was spend money that we couldn't afford for me to. It was the way I dealt with my life and it wasn't a good way.

I thought of something later after I posted this. I believe he has been emotionally and verbally abusive to our young granddaughter, she isn't me and didn't do the things I did, so why was he abusive to her? Of course, he probably doesn't think he was abusive, just upset and grouchy to her. I know he was more than a little upset. I would call it abusive. Why is it so easy to believe what he says?

I filled out papers for a low income place to live and I got a response that I am on a waiting list. Even though he is being a lot nicer, I'm still leaving my options open.

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Hoping, instead of thinking you caused him to behave badly, did you ever think that he may be the cause of your decreased mental stability? I know my abusive ex caused mine. Getting away has been a huge improvement. If he's treating others badly too, that a big confirmation that it is him, not you.

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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.  

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Bennu

I do think he added a lot of stress to my life which could have made my O.C.D. worse.

I have been wondering if my husband has changed some or if he has only changed his actions.

I wonder how much of what he says is abusive. Am I seeing abuse in so many things he does and they are not abusive, just things I don't like to hear him say because they are annoying or I don't agree he should say them. I don't feel like I can see clearly right now. I was having these thoughts before and now they are worse because I talked to him about his abuse. He told me that he was have feelings that he didn't usually have or more feelings than he usually has, so I thought that maybe God had answered prayers and he was now starting to feel empathy. I told him I was glad to hear that he was having more feelings because I didn't like the way he had been treating me and I had applied for a place to stay. I know this is not suggested, but as I stated I thought maybe it was an answer to prayer. He told me that he had been trying and I told him it wasn't enough and he said he would do better. Since then except for a few times and the times I'm not sure if he is being abusive or saying things I wish he wouldn't, he has been a lot nicer. He told me he would buy me a couch and tried to put the grill back on the dishwasher, said we didn't have the money to do everything I wanted to do. He started taking me out to eat more. Since he was saying he would do more and spend more,  I told him it wasn't so much the money or things, it is how he treats me. He has been answering more of my questions. When he has joked about something, I ask him if he is serious or joking and he has said both. I told him it is either one or the other. I have thought about it, and yes, it can be both, but to me that can cause confusion because I may think it is a joke only. I guess that is what sarcasm is, a serious joke to cut someone down. That's why I don't like it, he could and probably is most times using this so called serious joke to cut me down. I think he also does this to cover up whether he is serious or not. If I don't like it, he can say he was only joking. I use to think he was so strong at saying what he thought, but now I know he doesn't always state what he thinks. The answer he gave me that started me to asking myself again if I was almost as much at fault about our relationship was when I got tired of hearing him complain about someone being abusive and entitled and told him that person sounded familiar. I did it to see if he felt any different about me being abusive too. I found out he didn't, and he didn't like me saying he was like that person. Thank for listening

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whitebutterfly

You are right, he chose to be abusive to me. I am wondering if I was almost as abusive as him in the past, to him and our children in different ways. Thank you whitebutterfly

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Hi hoping,

I have an idea for you to see if he has really changed. An abuser will pretend to be nice when they feel they have to because you have mentioned leaving. A genuine good person will be nice to you whether or not they feel that you might leave them. A genuine nice person is nice because they are nice. An abuser is only nice until they get you trapped again and then revert to using you to take out their frustrations and take advantage of. Make him feel secure again. Tell him that you don't know why you ever though you could leave. You need him and you could never leave him to be on your own. Then see how he treats you.

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Hi Bennu.

That is a good idea. I am feeling better now, but after he told me I was abusive in the past, I started to think of all the mistakes that I had made. I ended up a little depressed but didn't go to bed to get away from him as I do sometimes. I did later sleep a lot when I did go to bed. I feel better now. I am still considering leaving. For now, I don't want to talk to him about who did what or was the worse in the past. I was hoping he would change his opinions of how he treated me in the past, but apparently, he thinks that he wasn't any worse than me. I tend to believe if he had of treated me differently that I would have trusted him more and tried to talk to him about things that were bothering me. Also, the times I did try to talk to him about the finances and the children, we hardly ever agreed on how to deal with them. One of the things that he did that I feel damaged our relationship so much was his cutting me down to my face and in front of others and his temper toward me.  As far as I am concerned, I have never felt that I could trust him or have never felt the connection I would like to have with him for very long.  I don't like the way he treated me or the children. We have different opinions on how to treat people. When I look back on our marriage, I feel a lot of emotional pain from being around him.

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Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. No one is perfect. But the fact that you feel bad that you might have made anyone feel the way he makes you feel means you are NOT an abuser. His instinct when being called out for abuse was to turn it around on you. Not reflect on his own actions the way you did. My guess is that he will find a way to make you feel bad to take your scrutiny off of him. My counselor is pointing out these same kind of behaviors to me and showing me how I'm taking responsibility for my actions AND his actions. I know it's hard sometimes when you've been so manipulated for so long to hang on to the truth. I'm so happy this place is always here to come back to to help me when I'm having trouble seeing through the fog.

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clurichaun

Thank you so much for your encouragement.

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