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Looking through the Mist #410227
05/31/16 04:25 PM
05/31/16 04:25 PM
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Misty Offline OP
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Hello, it's me again, Misty.

I know its been a while since I've posted but I really need advice.

I can't get access to the carport where my old post was so I thought I would start a new one.

Quick summary: Marriage of 6 years to husband who I love dearly, but who emotionally abuses me. We have tried marriage classes, marriage therapy, self-help books, a bootcamp for abusive spouses, individual therapy, and everything else I can think of.

Although his behavior has gotten better, it is still not good enough. I have worked very hard the last few years building a life for myself so I can better handle things if I have to leave him.

Things finally came to a breaking point this weekend when we he made a particularly hurtful statement. We had had an argument on Saturday. On Monday, I opened up to H about how I was feeling frustrated and I needed to realize that I cannot make people love me the way I want and I need to deal with that. He got mad and said "The way you act, how could anyone ever love you." That was it. It hurt me to the core and I left the house and went for a walk. When I came home I told him I needed a separation and that he could move into the guest room while we decide on details. I moved his things out of the bedroom and he was pretty much in shock. I felt sick but I felt empowered.

I realized that I was not only walking on eggshells all day long but I was sleeping on eggshells too. I cannot tell you how much better I have slept with him out of the bedroom. Everytime I would get up to use the bathroom or something, I would worry he would wake up and start angrily questioning me. Not only did he snore loudly but he also flailed around in his sleep. I was constantly worried I would be accidentally punched or kicked while he was sleeping. I would wake up when he moved, worried he would go into one of his fight-sleep modes and I would have to get out of bed quick. It was so wonderful to be able to turn on the light if I wanted and just sleep at peace for the first time in years!

Meanwhile, H is remorseful, he's not sleeping, and we are back to the usual apologies. I am being pleasant but keeping my distance. I told him that I love him but cannot live like this, I am not ready to decide if I am leaving or not, and we need to see what options there are.

I still believe the Steven Stosny bootcamp methods could work if there was someone to hold H accountable. He goes to a counselor and the counselor does know about H's behavior and agrees that it is emotional abuse. H's behavior has been better but these things are still happening. They did prescribe an as-needed anti-anxiety medication. H is supposed to take it before stressful events to help him keep cool, but he doesn't. In any case, he still loses his temper unpredictably. I believe he needs to be on an daily SSRI, but he refuses to go on one and claims that the psychiatrist thinks he doesn't need one. I am a firm believer in SSRI's. I have seem the drastic improvement in people I know from them. They don't help if you don't need them. Maybe I am kidding myself. They don't make an anti-jerk pill. Would I be unreasonable to tell him he has to go on a regular medication? I am not a doctor but it seems so obvious to me and other people that know him that I have talked to that he needs a medication of some kind for anxiety/depression.

So I emailed Steven Stosny's people to try to get the name of someone in my area who can be a counselor for us. There is also another bootcamp in August but I do not want to wait until then. I could also try the phone consultations with Dr. Stosny himself. I have been reading his work for years and it really seems right on with what is happening. Even H agreed after he went to the bootcamp. Of course now, he still says I am putting all the blame on him and I am the one who is triggering him. (Classic abuser talk.) Any other ideas?

How does one handle in-house separations? What recommendations do you all have?


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #410228
05/31/16 04:33 PM
05/31/16 04:33 PM
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Miranda Offline
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Misty

Welcome back, I'm sorry for what has brought you back to us, but glad to see you.

I think now that you have posted, you should have access to the carport again. Would you like me to move your post into your thread there? Or move it to be it's own thread there?

I'm very proud of you. You have done so much, and your recent steps are very brave and exactly right! You're doing great. I don't have much in the way of advice for you, as I'm nowhere NEAR as far along this journey as you are.

Let me know if you want me to move your post, I'll be happy to do so.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Miranda] #410247
05/31/16 06:32 PM
05/31/16 06:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 505
Misty Offline OP
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Misty  Offline OP
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No the post is fine here. Thanks for the support!


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #410333
06/01/16 02:47 PM
06/01/16 02:47 PM
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Posts: 505
Misty Offline OP
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I need some advice. I am preparing a letter to read to H at his counseling appointment tomorrow. This is the format of the letter:

1) Affirmation that I love him with references to happy memories of us together and the wish that our marriage can continue

2) List of abusive behaviors that H has done that cannot continue

3) List of loving requests I am making during this time of separation. This list includes the following items:
Rereading the Stosny CompassionPower book (H mentioned this morning that he has started doing this as I requested)
Sign up for August bootcamp
Practice HEALS for 6 weeks as recommended, using counselor to help as needed
Make an appointment with H's psychiatrist with me present to discuss possibility of antidepressants for H (This is the tricky one. H is adamant he does not need daily medication. I have talked to several therapists who believe with his behavior he needs a serious evaluation.)
H see his therapist at least once a week to get help working on his temper as we are in a crisis situation

4) List of how I want to interact during our separation. I am asking for time alone, avoiding of sensitive discussions and activities, and spending positive time together to fill up our love banks again.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Is this too harsh or is it not firm enough?


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #410334
06/01/16 02:53 PM
06/01/16 02:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
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Miranda Offline
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Misty

I do NOT think it is too harsh at all.

I cannot put into words how proud I am of you.

CANNOT.

You are amazing. You are an inspiration. You are a total badass rockstar.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Miranda] #410342
06/01/16 04:44 PM
06/01/16 04:44 PM
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I agree. That is a great list and you are doing a super job.

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: SmilingWife] #410345
06/01/16 05:43 PM
06/01/16 05:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
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Misty Offline OP
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Miranda, SmilingWife, thank you both so much for your support. It means so much to me!


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #410348
06/01/16 06:46 PM
06/01/16 06:46 PM
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HI
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Orchid2 Offline
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HI
Misty,

Take a read on a book called: Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. It might help you define what boundaries your personality requires that you never really allowed to mature. Many of us bury our boundaries in the belief we need to set that aside to help others which can turn into staying in an abusive R.

In addition to your counseling, that book may help.

Pay attention that your H's apologies are not driven by selfish reasons vs genuine apologies resulting in true improvements.


Take care,
Orchid

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Orchid2] #410353
06/01/16 08:19 PM
06/01/16 08:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 505
Misty Offline OP
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Orchid,
Thank you for the book recommendation. I remembering reading it around 5 years ago. H hates boundaries, but I keep trying to set them anyway. I think they have a version of that book for married couples I should read.

I did find a counselor who can help us with the CompassionPower techniques. If H doesn't cooperate, I will use her to help me take the steps I need to take. She also specializes in boundaries, values, and ethics as well.

Unfortunately, I think H's apologies are not genuine. Most of them are of the form of "I am sorry you got upset." or "I'm sorry you misunderstood me." Those aren't apologies! And no tacking a ", but you made me do that" on the end either! Ugh.


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #410362
06/02/16 12:12 AM
06/02/16 12:12 AM
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Blair Offline
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I think you have a great plan. Hope it goes well for you and your H tomorrow.

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Blair] #410459
06/03/16 11:48 AM
06/03/16 11:48 AM
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Posts: 505
Misty Offline OP
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It was a discouraging session. I read the letter and H was very hostile about it. He did admit that he has committed every item of abuse that I listed but argued that either the item wasn't "abuse" or that it had been over a year. Both of these are simply not true. He does not remember them whereas I remember them all because of how painful they are to me. His counselor did seem very interested and asked for a copy of the letter and wants to go over each thing with H. They also agreed to meet more frequently. I told the counselor that from my standpoint the focus has to be on controlling H's temper.

So even though H begrudgingly agreed to the things in the letter, he still insists he is not abusive and it is an "us" problem instead. What hope is there as long as he doesn't admit he is abusive?

We decided to keep the separate bedrooms but are not really "separated" now. I guess the important thing is that we are going to be working on the emotional regulation techniques.

It is a confusing time.


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #410462
06/03/16 12:14 PM
06/03/16 12:14 PM
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SmilingWife Offline
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It is not surprising your Dh didn't like the list. But it is encouraging to me that he agreed to the session and that the counselor asked for a copy. Let the counselor do his job in guiding your Dh to see those are abusive actions and treatment.

It is possible for humans to change their thinking and actions if they really want to.

Keep on with your strong boundaries. You are doing great.

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: SmilingWife] #410470
06/03/16 01:35 PM
06/03/16 01:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
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midwest
Miranda Offline
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Even if you didn't get the response you were looking for from the OTHER person, YOU were still successful. Because YOU did the right thing.

Don't let anything take that away from you, Misty. You did great. I'm proud of you. You acted in accordance with your values and your boundaries. You did what you set out to do. What the other person does is on them, not you!


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Miranda] #410473
06/03/16 02:50 PM
06/03/16 02:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
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Misty Offline OP
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SmilingWife, Miranda, you are right. I did what I set out to do. Shine a light on his abuse so it is not hidden from everyone and he has to face it.

My plan is to work really hard on our "dates" to be pleasant and avoid the sensitive subjects so we feel more loving to each other. We will be working on the CompassionPower techniques. I will remind H to make the psychiatrist appointment he begrudgingly agreed to do.

The biggest change will be in me because I am committed to ending this one way or the other. I am also happy that I will get at least 8 hours free from stress every night with my own bedroom. H was very understanding when I related how much better I slept away from his snoring, moaning, flailing, and punching. He said he was sleeping better now too.


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #410475
06/03/16 02:57 PM
06/03/16 02:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,383
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Miranda Offline
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Both of you sleeping better is bound to improve things regardless!

I'm so proud of you, Misty. I know I've probably already said that. But still...


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Miranda] #410476
06/03/16 03:25 PM
06/03/16 03:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,969
holdingontoit Online
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Well done. Impressive strength, determination and backbone. I am sure that was not easy for you. I hope you feel proud of yourself. And good job to head into "date night" with an understanding that you need to be pleasant. Stick works best when there are also sugar cubes available.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: holdingontoit] #410868
06/10/16 11:35 PM
06/10/16 11:35 PM
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catperson Offline
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Misty, are things improving?

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #440476
12/12/18 07:45 PM
12/12/18 07:45 PM
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Misty Offline OP
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Hello everyone! I don't know if you remember me.

So its been a few years since I last posted. I have been very busy dealing with some family illnesses. My marriage seemed to get better for a while. My H's abuse got better, but still existed.

After my son left for college, I had slowly been getting to the point where I was ready to leave H because of his behavior. I was ready to make the leap and had been investigating apartments and facing reality of what life was going to be like.

After H's most recent AO (yelling, name calling, etc), I decided I had had enough. I reread Lundy Bancroft's books and found some YouTube videos on abuse. One channel in particular resonated with me: Austin James. In his videos, he talks about his 30 year history of being an emotional abuser and his recovery. H agreed to read the books and watch Austin's videos.

H claims he has had an epiphany after watching Austin's videos! He is remorseful and agreeing to work much harder on things. He is finally using the word "abuse" to describe his behavior and no longer blaming me for "pushing his buttons". He is admitting he is the cause of the relationship problems. He is saying everything I always wanted to hear him say.

I do not trust him, obviously, and he understands that.

I insisted on a written plan that he and his counselor would follow, including the following:
1) Frequent counseling sessions with his IC.
2) If he commits any red light abuse behaviors, he has to immediately separate until I say (if ever) he can come back into the relationship.
3) Every red light or yellow light behavior has to be reported to his accountability person. This is a gentleman in his bible group who is now aware of H's problems with abuse and has agreed to take on this role.
4) Every Thursday night there is a feedback session between me and H, in which I report on his behavior that last week. If he has any concerns about my behavior, he can request a different time to discuss them.
5) I can report any grievances I have with his behavior at any time if I want.
6) H has to tell me what activities he is working on with his IC, so I can make sure it is focused on H's attitudes and behavior.


In the last couple weeks, his behavior has been so much better, but I don't trust things. I have seen some of this "honeymoon" behavior before, but what seems different this time is that he is saying "I will never do those behaviors again" not "I will try not to..." This is a big difference. He is taking complete responsibility and seems humbled.

I found a new counselor for myself who specialized in abuse victims. On her web site, she had an article that really reinforced everything I learned about MC and abuse. MC does not work with abuse cases. I have only seen her once so far and she is emphasizing helping me heal. I know I have gotten much stronger and independent in the last year. I don't want a divorce but am done playing this game I've played for the last 8.5 years.

So either H has really woken up and is going to change now or I am ready to leave.

Wish me luck! Is the plan missing anything?

Thanks for all your support!
Misty


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #440477
12/12/18 08:23 PM
12/12/18 08:23 PM
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catperson Offline
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Misty, I am SO happy! Even if this doesn't hold up, the progress you're making personally is amazing. I am SO proud of you.

I think the only thing I can think of to add would be to specifically include some bonding time, so that this isn't all just seen as some sort of punishment, you know? You know how Harley says to spend 10-15 hours a week together, to stay in love? For you, I would suggest just planning one outing each week - a movie, bowling, picnic, anything, just so you both remember that you got together for a reason - to enjoy each other's company.

Maybe also buy a journal or a spiral notebook, and keep it handy (or else go to it every night), and write down specifically things that happened that need to be worked on. My H never believed me about what he did until I had it written down and he couldn't deny it. You're right, the honeymoon period may not last, so keep that journal handy to show him the progress - or lack of.

Very hopeful for you. smile

And thanks for letting us know!

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #440481
12/12/18 09:13 PM
12/12/18 09:13 PM
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Misty Offline OP
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Oh those were in the plan too but I forgot to add those to the list in my post!

H journals every morning on his progress in his journal. I have actually seen him in his office writing in it and reading articles.

I also have a private journal but I have not written in it as much as I should.

We are trying to do bonding too. Walks at the arboretum, board games, tv, movies, etc. I'll make sure to remember to keep it a priority! I am also trying to do some of the things I know H enjoys like cooking nice meals for him to reinforce how good things can be between us.

I have an advent calendar with rings for tying candy on for each day in December. Since H and I are both doing Keto, I instead put little supportive messages on each day like "You are a great father!" or "Let's enjoy a cozy fire together" or "I look forward to a wonderful future together". I was afraid it would seem corny, but H really enjoys it. Appreciation is one of his languages of love. I noticed he is saving all of the little notes after he reads them.

Thanks for the continued support, catperson!


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #440483
12/12/18 10:40 PM
12/12/18 10:40 PM
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Orchid2 Offline
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HI
Aloha Misty,

Thanks for your update. It is good you are finding tools that are showing hope.

Yes, it is up to your H to decide if he will make improvements or not.

Can you please forward a copy of the article from your IC"s website? Maybe a link to that article if it is from an outside source. Don't want to compromise your location or anything but general info like your reference to those videos is helpful. Links to those would be great as well.

We use and share tools that we find helpful. I believe in turn this has helped many others. So many of us are coming to terms about the persons we are married to and having to make hard decisions as a result.

A friend of mine just called the other day to tell me she recently got divorced. That she realized she had been a victim of abuse for years and in time it wore out on her so much that she hit a turning point where the marriage had to end. She said she feels a big relief that she never anticipated despite the hardships of being divorced.

So in addition to getting a good update from you, what you shared is equally important. smile

Mahalo,
Orchid


Orchid
Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #440484
12/12/18 11:40 PM
12/12/18 11:40 PM
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I so wish I had made the changes you're making early on like you did. I've put up with so much for so long that I now just wish my H would go away and never come back. I have good hopes for you guys.

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #440491
12/13/18 02:01 AM
12/13/18 02:01 AM
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Misty so good to hear from you and I am happy you are standing up for yourself.

Stick around,....,it is nice to see ‘old’ faces here.

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #440498
12/13/18 04:58 AM
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You are simply amazing! Fantastic progress!

Re: Looking through the Mist [Re: Misty] #440505
12/13/18 01:54 PM
12/13/18 01:54 PM
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holdingontoit Online
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Thanks for the update. Glad to hear your H seems to have woken up. I hope it ends up being more than enough and just in time.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
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