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Rostou

Holding my self-confidence and beliefs when undermined

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Rostou

I have been working for all of our relationship on staying in a good frame of mind; retaining my self-confidence; and keeping a clear perspective though my husband of many years is abusive in many ways. This means I know a fair bit about abuse. And yet I never seem to know enough. So, though I think it is true to say I have come a long way with regard the goals I mentioned, I seem to be regularly putting out "spot fires" with regard how I am coping.

 I just haven't reached the level of being unaffected by my husband's behaviour and the negative things he says. And I haven't mastered the art of keeping to myself all of what I am thinking and which might trigger my husband. If I could just say much less and be less reactive sometimes, I think my husband would be less provoked and undermining. Not that it is always easy to realize beforehand what might set him off. Hence my need to deal with "spot fires" in myself, the worst ones being in my emotions and how they affect me badly. I need to keep my self-esteem reasonably intact and he is very good at attacking it, as it seems many people prone to abusing are.

I just wanted to express myself about this here and hopefully to get some support for my dealing with my issues, if that is possible.

Just yesterday I made a comment to my husband, coming out of a relevant context, about not wanting to experience the abuse of his older brother. This brother is like a calculating provocateur who is always trying to slip in a nasty judgment & get a reaction. Actually, I have been able to handle my brother-in-law quite well without creating dramas, unlike how his partner reacts to him. But saying what I did to my husband yesterday resulted in his saying "You seem to have trouble getting along with people." Now that is not generally true of me and I know it and he is not wise about people, but somehow I started, as I typically do after he makes negative and untrue statements about me, getting sucked into his untruth about me  even though I could intellectually see that. And that started to bring my mood & sense of being okay down.

For the above reason and other examples I have been thinking about, I'm thinking I need to improve in keeping things to myself with my husband, especially as I am a good communicator and know I can't say anything to change how he acts. And I'm thinking that maybe I am too easily influenced sometimes and so I need to know what to make me less like that. Just tonight I saw a police real life show in which one guy kept ranting at the cameraman while another guy (in whose car he had been) was being booked. I found that ranting to be quite stressful but was inspired to keep repeating aloud to myself (I was alone) "I don't want to hear this ranting" .... and it really helped. I am now wondering whether there are some things I can do when my husband goes "off".

By the way, I am not in a situation to leave my husband and I would really appreciate support for myself & my actions.

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Bennu

Many of us in abusive situations grew up in abusive homes. In our childhoods some of us learned how to spot abuse before it came and how to calm down the abuser. What we don't often realize is that we did not eliminate the abuse, we just moved it over. Someone else got it. Those same tactics do not work in a marriage where we are the prime target for the abuse. The abuser needs to abuse. It is damaging to our sense of self to be with someone who is abusive. Where we need love and caring we get someone who only wants us to serve their needs. It is not getting the love and care that we need, and even worse it is getting treated like nothing. It is worse than being alone. Withdrawing to try not to provoke still provokes because the abuser need provocation because he needs to abuse.  They will abuse you about having withdrawn. There is no way to win this situation. I am sorry. 

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Rostou

Thank you Bennu. Wise words. I'll ponder them.

I apologize for the delay. So much has been happening.

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