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10/18/2011 07:22 AM

I can't go back to the way things WERE...


My spouse is very sad lately. I think it is because I have been changing and I cannot go back to being dishonest with myself. I can't go back to trying hard to please him when it will never be enough. I just can't. But I can't leave yet either. I've put myself in a virtually untouchable position, a "safe" position. The abusive behavior has stopped, because of this. Now he is sad, and it is drawing me to question why I have pulled away so much. I remind myself by reading things that I've written, things that brought me to consider coming to an emotional support group. I care about my husband in that I do not want to hurt him. But I just can't go back to the way things were. That is a comfortable place for HIM, but not ME. I am scared, not of being hurt, but of hurting my spouse (mentally). I don't want to hurt anyone. I just want to be happy and at peace. I apologized yesterday for being so difficult. I did this because I didn't know what else to do. I began to wonder whether I really want to leave. I do want to leave when the time is right, but I don't want to hurt him. It is a very tough place to be right now. I want to smile again. I want to be happy. I just can't do that here. Thanks for listening.

10/18/2011 07:47 AM
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

Oh, that is not abuse ending. It's going full force. Why should he be sad that you realized he was hurting you? What is NOT abusive about that? Why is it hurting HIM that you aren't letting him hurt you? It isn't hurting him, except that he's possibly feeling very sorry for himself that he lost a bit of control. But he's working hard at getting that control back. Don't let it fool you, it's just textbook cycle of abuse going on.

10/18/2011 08:27 AM
Meg1129Posts: 14598
Group Leader

Izzy is right. You have been trained to put his needs ahead of your own and so now you feel guilty for setting up boundaries and enforcing them. I remember feeling that way with my ex too. Mind you that this man had tried to kill me on a few occasions and beat the living daylights out of me. At the time I told him I wanted a divorce, he had no job and nowhere to go. He was going to have to go to a homeless shelter. Talk about feeling guilty! I cried for weeks over that. I felt absolutely heartless and believe me, he made sure to play on my feelings as much as possible. My therapist kept telling me that he was 100% responsible for where he was at. I could see it and I agreed with that, but I still felt awful. In the end, he left. He was gone for two days when he came back BEGGING me to let him come home which I did. He was on his best behaviour for a while, but then slowly the abusiveness started creeping back in until everything was back to where it had been before he left. That's when I realized that that is who he was and nothing was going to change him. He could only put on the Mr. Nice Guy act for so long.

It's time for you to start valuing yourself more than you do a man who has hurt and abused you and then made you feel guilty for expecting to be treated better than that.

10/18/2011 08:57 PM

Well, I've been ignoring his needs completely. I've pushed him away in order to feel better within myself. Now he is sad and appearing to resign himself to the fact that our relationship is a failure. It feels so terrible right now. I just don't know what to do. It just hurts. I know he hurts too.

10/18/2011 09:37 PM
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

What needs does he have that you need to fulfill? The only things that a partner needs from another is respect and communication. That's it, everything follows from there. And if those things are lacking on one end, the other partner will NEVER be able to compensate, and should not be asked to. I'm sorry you are hurting. I still don't think he is except for the sake of his own pity party.

10/19/2011 12:49 AM
NaniCamPosts: 288

I lost my post, but I wanted to say that I understand. I didn't want to hurt my passive aggressive spouse either. But I could no longer continue to experience his covert abuse. My wounds don't show on the outside. But I needed to do the right thing and got a divorce. I will add, I hate it. I wish I could have stayed and that he would change and all would be well. I gave up 33 years of marriage.

A friend told me that if I had stayed and sucked it up that he still would not change. My leaving may actually be helpful to him. I suppose only time will tell. I am angry that he won't. I don't like the life I now am facing. But, sometimes life is just plain not fair.

We have to be kind to ourselves when we know that to stay would only create more abuse.

There are days when I wish that I didn't have to wake up. I am still grieving what I thought I had, and the hope of one day growing old with my spouse.

Unafemina, please be kind to yourself.

10/19/2011 04:08 AM

Nanicam,think it is important that we make a distinction between what love is and what abuse is.Abusers are masters at emotional manipulation.They use guilt,blame,shame and self-pity to twist things so that you will stay with them so that they can further abuse you.


Love respects you.

Love does not try to control you.

Love does not harass you.It respects your choices.

Love does not hurt you.

Love is not a constant struggle.

Love does not try to change you.

Love does not attempt to manipulate you.

Love does not try to hold you down to build itself up.

Love does not make you wonder "Am I crazy?"

Love makes you feel good about yourself.

Love encourages you to interact with friends and family.

Love is always there for you.You can count on it.


Abuse disrespects you.

Abuse tries to control you.

Abuse pesters and harasses you.Does not respect your choices.

Abuse makes you feel hurt and confused.

Abuse is a constant struggle.(Why is he acting this way?Why can't he just treat me better?Is something wrong with me?Why can't I stop loving him even though he hurts me?)

Abuse tries to change you and blame you.

Abuse manipulates you to get what it wants.

Abuse tears you down.Puts you down.

Abuse makes you think your crazy.

Abuse makes you wonder "What is wrong with me?"Destroys your self-esteem.

Abuse isolates you.Is jealous of your contact with anyone other than him.

Abuse disappears when things get tough.Puts it's needs ahead of yours.

How many of these things apply to your relationship or former relationship?Is what you are feeling for him REALLY love or something else like addiction?Just because you FEEL something does NOT mean you have to ACT on it.Sometimes we have to let feelings PASS.They need to pass because they are leading us down the same old destructive path.

The definition of "crazy" is doing the SAME thing OVER and OVER even though it has not worked in the past.Doing the SAME thing and expecting a different result.Abusers do not not change.They see ANY contact with them as encouragement.It is important to maintain no contact.It is important to make the distinction between love and abuse.



10/19/2011 05:07 AM
NaniCamPosts: 288

Thank you, Lanna.....these are excellent points. Unfortunately, only one or two apply to my situation. But those are enough. Once the sale of our house is final I should not have to have any contact with him.

I understand the difference between love and addiction. I loved my husband very much. I just never knew he was abusing me. It was the most subtle thing I have ever known. But, now I know....

Post edited by: NaniCam, at: 10/19/2011 05:09 AM

Post edited by: NaniCam, at: 10/19/2011 05:09 AM

10/19/2011 06:45 AM
Posts: 990

He only feels sad because he is losing some control of you.

10/19/2011 08:10 AM

He wants me to be affectionate. I am not affectionate. I don't want to be affectionate. He came to me later last night and told me he loved me. He tried to be loving, with words. I think it is because he doesn't want it to end. He knows if he accepts it and moves on, I will move on and not beg him to come back. I don't think anyone wants their marriage to fail, especially after 16 years. Nanicam, I can identify with what you are saying. 16 years is 1/2 of 33 years. I don't know if I can go that long without becoming physically sick. Already I have been suffering from depression, and I am sure a lot has to do with a failed marriage. Physically I am drained.

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