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Don't know what to do


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I’ve come here for some mental help. My husband of 30 yrs has become more abusive by the month. He will get directly in my face and yell or put his clenched fists in my face and scream at me saying something like “Say another word. Say something. Go ahead”. I try and back away but often he will hold me and he eventually stomps off. I fear for my physical safety and I’m a mental wreck.

What role do I have in making him angry? I have gone over this move by move thinking of how I provoke him. I don't know. I know it sounds like I’m not owning my part, but I honestly can say his anger has been escalating for 3 years and I can’t figure it out.

If I ask him a question while he’s watching TV, or anytime,he'll stand up, throw something and scream “I’ve told you not to ask me. I’m trying to watch the god damn TV. Shuck the F up”. He gets nose to nose with me and he goes on a loud rage. What did I ask him today that caused a similar reaction? I asked him if he had any plans for the weekend. The type of casual conversation people have with the person they’re married to. We speak very little. I’ve learned to remain silent.

Why do I stay? Never in my life would I have believed I’d find myself in this position. He has taken all the savings we have. I have 5 thousand dollars stashed and that is it. Friends have disappeared. My car is questionable as far as being reliable for many more years. The only out I can see is living in my car.

Where and why did his anger begin? Only a few years ago and it came on intense. Does he use drugs? I doubt it because he maintains a management position and never misses a day. He doesn’t drink at home. I asked him to go to couples therapy and he never showed up. His reason was if I have a problem GO! I stopped going because I was running out of visits and didn’t want to use all of them.

He stopped being intimate with me several years ago. When I’ve pursued intimacy or closeness, I’ve been physically pushed away and screamed at to leave him alone. So now I do. Many years ago, he did have HPV and insisted it was from masturbating. Three years ago, he told me hours before my mother’s funeral, that the night before, while he was at a company function, he was with a female co-worker he works closely with and he reached out and held her hand. She pulled away. The night before the funeral he came home late. Why did he share this if it was nothing? He said because he was concerned that she might take this to HR and he wanted me to know he may be in some trouble. Doing nothing could cause trouble? I never heard about it again and apparently nothing came of it at work. Months afterward, he did stay out late, not past midnight, always on company business. That could be true or not. The timing is curious, to me. It was at that time the intimacy left, the anger escalated and doing anything together ended. And he has a physical problem, redness on his irritated penis and will not see a doctor because “he doesn’t want to know what the hell it is”. How do I know that he has a sore penis? He actually spoke to me to ask me if we had some cortisone cream.

I can’t speak without him exploding and my world has gotten smaller and smaller. My fault for not reaching out to old friends. But feeling lousy about myself and when I did share some, the casual friends slowly disappeared.

How do I go to a shelter if I haven’t been hit? He only screams, threatens or pushes me. Occasionally he has thrown me to make his point --- to go away.

I’m scared to stay or leave. How did this happen that I have lost anyone to turn to. It was so slow I didn’t notice. I feel pathetic. I was not always like this. How did I allow this to happen to me?

I no longer work because I lost my job after I took a family medical leave to care for my dying mother and shortly after that I was diagnosed with Lupus. I used my personal savings and small inheritance to cover the monthly expenses since I wasn’t working. That’s now gone. I’m eligible to collect social security @about 800 a month. I don’t know how to afford to live on just that. I suppose it can be done somehow. How do I buy medication and health ins?

I can’t handle this never ending and always present tension and aggression, and I don’t know what to do.

Can someone please give me some advice?

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Have you tried talking with some sort of social worker? Maybe those people can give you better advice when you meet them in person. Both in financial way and the situation with your husband. I can imagine your situation being very hard for you! Wish you the best

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Hello, Lizze, welcome!

There's not a big difference between physical and verbal/emotional abuse; just that the later can be easily proven to the police... I'm sorry I don't know how to proceed, but there are so many people both dealing with and some also have successfully dealt with abuse in marriage that there have to be ways to solve the problems, there have to be some inspiration "out there". I think it's mostly important not to give up your struggle to leave him and to build a life on your own (even if you don't receive good advises on how to do it in the next weeks or months).

Have you already mentioned to your husband that you want to divorce him? If yes, how did he react? If not, I think it's an important thing to do, no matter how unsure you are about the way how you would cope alone. He needs to know that yo won't tolerate his behaviour anymore and he needs to be pushed to think about your role in his life (and possibly also about some improvements he could do to prevent your leaving - but I personally doubt this :( , mainly when he isn't able to even recognize that he has problems and he causes problems and suffering to you, too). If he argue that you cannot leave him because you don't have money etc., you might argue that you'd be rather on the street (homeless) than with him - perhaps that would show him how big the problem is. However, it would be, of course, much better to have at least some plan for the case if he said "OK, just go to the street". (Perhaps you could disappear for some weeks, living with somebody willing to help you, and see if he changes his mind and lets you there with him until you'll find a better solution. Sorry, those are all just my fantasies and I don't know enough about you to know how much they are wrong or useful...)

Some thoughts about the financial aspect of the separation:

You say you don't have friends who would help you, who you could live with. And what about family? Even some distant relatives? Couldn't you stay with some of them?

I know a divorce with a "too complicated person" can last for a very long time, but in the end, you should receive half of the money - as far as I know, in a marriage, there is legally no such thing as "his" and "her" money - this protection after separation is a part of the reasons why marriage exists.

Have you searched for advises elsewhere, too? I've found some resources that might be helpful insightful for you (?):

National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224


http://compassionpow...erbal abuse.php


This is a website about therapist abuse, but perhaps the descriptions of the victims might help you (mainly to know yourself better, to feel understood...), although your abuser is not your therapist - they seem quite "general" to me:


And this is also in the context of therapy, but this time about solely emotional abuse: http://www.naswoh.org/?page=mallon - one interesting quote about/by the author:

One of the most important books she has read in her own journey to healing has been “Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion Of Identity” by Marie-France Hirigoyen.

Michelle says, “Without the detailed explanation of the intentional and manipulative aspects of the abuse that I was able to come to recognize from reading this book, I would still be reliving the events over and over again trying to understand what I missed that could have prevented the destruction of a malignant relationship that I had been deceptively led to believe was a supportive, helpful one. This book held the keys to open the prison door behind which this abusive therapist had locked me.”

Don't let your husband cause you more damage, as PTSD, for instance... :(

Good luck!!!


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Welcome to the community, Lizze.

I'm so sorry you are going through this. :( Your husband is being verbally and emotionally abusive. Living in this type of environment on a daily basis can be very harmful to you. :(

What role do I have in making him angry? I have gone over this move by move thinking of how I provoke him. I don't know. I know it sounds like I’m not owning my part' date=' but I honestly can say his anger has been escalating for 3 years and I can’t figure it out.[/quote']

You are not responsible for his feelings or his behaviors, Lizze. It sounds as though he has some major struggles. His outbursts reflect on what is happening with him.

I can understand how leaving him after so many years could feel very frightening for you. Do you have any family that might help support you during a transition to living on your own?

I can’t speak without him exploding and my world has gotten smaller and smaller.

This can wear a person down' date=' erode their sense of self. :( Would it be possible to get professional help for yourself? It might be easier to make a move away from your husband if you feel supported. Even if you don't leave him right away, the therapy could be beneficial to you during this difficult time in your life.

I can’t handle this never ending and always present tension and aggression, and I don’t know what to do.

This sounds very painful and difficult. :( I hope you can reach out for the help you need to get yourself out of this abusive environment. Reaching out here is a first step. We are here to support you.

Take care, Lizze.

Edited by IrmaJean
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