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    • #136450
      Sunnymayday
      Participant

      I can’t quite believe that I’m on here.

      I’ve been with my husband for (detail removed by Moderator) years, married for (detail removed by Moderator) years. Two teenage children. We have a nice house, I have a good career, lots of friends, interests and what appears to be great life.

      But I’m drowning inside and I don’t know how much longer I can keep going.

      I knew that he was hard from the day I met him, but I thought that I was strong enough to handle it and save him.

      I have seen a counsellor and just finished reading the Verbally Abusive Relationship book which she recommended. It has hit me, very very hard, that I am in a very abusive relationship. I have been abused for (detail removed by Moderator) years. I have been worn down to the point that I no longer recognise myself and I am physically and mentally exhausted.

      I am doing everything the counsellor says. I have sleeping tablets. I have told my mum. My friends. None of whom were shocked as they all saw it years ago.

      My husband knows, but thinks that he can fix it by being nice. Then, the next minute he is crying, or gaslighting, or criticising again. Chasing woman. He is in love with my friend. It’s endless.

      And I can’t yet see a way out.

    • #136455
      nbumblebee
      Participant

      Hey I wanted to reach out.
      Im here too where you are.
      Been married the same time as you and have recently realised things arent right that he is nasty and controlling and has beaten me down to skmeone i dont recognise. You are not alone.
      This takes time though ive been on this forum 6 months now and am still trying to find my way figure things out you are doing so well to have come so far.
      I dont have much advice apart from talk, seek out as much info on abusive marriages as you can learn about his tactics arm yourself. Dont do it alone get some help talk to those you trust and proffesionals who can help you find a way through or find a way out.
      Its not easy none of it is but you are in control now. X

    • #136464
      Lottieblue
      Participant

      Hello @sunnymayday,

      The most important thing is to read around these notice boards a lot. You will quickly see that there are some people who really know what they are talking about, and who give really, really sound advice. The book you have read is very good, and there are a couple of others: Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven, and Why does he do That? by Lundy Bancroft.

      I also was in a long marriage. I also have young adult children. I also was utterly destroyed. I left to save myself. If you go on to the “Women over 50” board, you may find threads that are particularly helpful to you as they tend to be started by women who have been in longer marriages.

      It is possible to leave, but you need to start building up your support network and getting your ducks in a row. It’s great that you have a counsellor – get in touch with Womensaid too, by whatever means you can. Keep reading. Knowledge is Power. And keep a journal. This is really important. At the most, it can be used as evidence should you ever need to call the police; at the least, you can use it to remind yourself how you felt at the moments when doubts set in.

      Last of all, keep coming back. This forum is, or has been, a lifeline for so many women. It gives us the strength to hold on.

      X*x

    • #136471
      Elderberry
      Participant

      Hi. I just wanted to reach out too. I’ve been in a long marriage and have children as well. I’ve realised that the relationship is abusive after talking to a counsellor. I thought it was something that had started recently but looking back now it isn’t. I had the same response from friends and family who have said they have always seen this but never wanted to say anything to me. I’ve had the same cycle of my husband of being really nice and then the criticism and name calling etc starts again. It is really exhausting. I can’t quite believe it’s happening either.

      Stay strong, there is a way out. Recognising that the relationship is abusive is the start of it.xx

    • #136475
      Sunnymayday
      Participant

      Hello again, and thank you.

      Looking back, I think I blamed myself entirely until around (detail removed by Moderator) years ago. Then something happened that led to the first real c***k. I’m now certain that I’ve been depressed since then.

      Then we’ve had two years of lockdowns, his physical and mental illness. Him falling out with more of my friends. And, most painful of all, him openly falling in love with my friend. And, throughout this, I was still expected to just carry on and take the criticism.

      It took me a further four months of being told that this was abuse for me to actually see it. But now, I can’t unsee it. It is there constantly, even when he is being nice I know that it is because he has an ulterior motive ie to suck me back in.

      If I didn’t have the children at home, I would have left around (detail removed by Moderator) weeks ago. But I feel totally trapped. Trapped and utterly exhausted. Not sleeping. On edge constantly. Lost weight. Crying.

      And he says that I am killing him. He thinks it is menopause and I just need tablets.

      • #136484
        Kitkat44
        Participant

        Hi @sunnymayday

        So much of your post rings true for me too.
        I’ve been staying for my children but am at the point I can see I’m never going to be the mum I was and can be if I stay here. The children don’t understand all the subtleties of abuse – it’s their norm and I don’t bad mouth their dad it’s not for me to share how I feel about him and criticise his behaviour to them. They do share when they feel they have to do what he says to not annoy him and he has been awful to one of our boys but is working on changing that.

        Mine also mentions menopause a lot, it’s another tactic and inability to take responsibility of their own actions. And the acting the victim to appeal to our caring empathic side to add guilt to our struggles. I went to my GP and et him know what I was dealing with, and I wanted it on my records just in case.

        I’m so sorry you are having to deal with all this, I can feel your hurt and sadness, I’m glad you found this space.
        Take care sending love
        Xx

    • #136476
      Grey Rock
      Participant

      Hiya. So glad that you’re here and posting. Just wanted to say that triangulation is often part of an abusive person’s strategy to break us down and isolate us. My ex did a similar thing with one if my best friends. Said he loved her and went on about her all the time. Showed me horribly affectionate texts he’d sent her. Hinted, insinuated and finally told me outright that things had gone on between them until I finally confronted her. She was hurt and horrified and our friendship broke down. Later, after I’d left, he admitted he’d made it up because I was ‘too clise’ to her and she was ‘interfering’ (saying I shouldn’t put up with things, and had also challenged him on his treatment / attitude towards me). One of my biggest regrets about everything that happened is that I let him break that friendship. She still won’t have anything to do with me. Just wanted to mention this as women’s aid told me this is quite common.

      GR xx

    • #136496
      Stuckinturmoil
      Participant

      I have also been with my husband decades and I only realised about 5 years ago that I had been making excuses for his behaviour. I have school aged children.

      I just don’t know what is holding me back from leaving him. I think it’s that not every day is a bad day.

    • #136498
      Sunnymayday
      Participant

      I’m calmer now. I took a fairly huge step today, which has made it clear that I’m not prepared to put up with the stuff with the friend in my face a the time.

      She is, I think, also at fault. Stuff has happened which I have just tolerated, even though it was killing me. It wasn’t jealously, it was the utter lack of respect for me, and also then the constant comparing me to her afterwards. Even as recently as last week he was comparing me, saying that any reasonable person would objectively agree that she was better…

      I feel quite empowered after the decision I made today to remove that relationship from my vision. I know that I will pay for it later – not physically, but he was certainly challenging me when he asked why I did what I did. But at least, for now, I feel like I have a tiny bit of control back.

      The more things I remember, the more hurt and islet I feel. Anger is starting now as well. And anger at myself for putting up with this for so many decades.

      I’ve also told my doctor because I wanted it on my records, and she has been fabulous.

    • #136499
      Sunnymayday
      Participant

      I’m calmer now. I took a fairly huge step today, which has made it clear that I’m not prepared to put up with the stuff with the friend in my face a the time.

      She is, I think, also at fault. Stuff has happened which I have just tolerated, even though it was killing me. It wasn’t jealously, it was the utter lack of respect for me, and also then the constant comparing me to her afterwards. Even as recently as last week he was comparing me, saying that any reasonable person would objectively agree that she was better…

      I feel quite empowered after the decision I made today to remove that relationship from my vision. I know that I will pay for it later – not physically, but he was certainly challenging me when he asked why I did what I did. But at least, for now, I feel like I have a tiny bit of control back.

      The more things I remember, the more hurt and iet I feel. Anger is starting now as well. And anger at myself for putting up with this for so many decades.

      I’ve also told my doctor because I wanted it on my records, and she has been fabulous.

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