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lost and living in defense mode #436322
06/04/18 07:46 AM
06/04/18 07:46 AM
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defensive73 Offline OP
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Hello, I am new to this and hope I am doing this correctly.
Please forgive any grammatical errors.
Brief history: Met my husband when i was 14, pregnant at 15, married at 18. I am now 45 and have 3 daughters.

I have been reading things about Narcissism and have big suspicions that my husband, either has tendencies or is a full blown narcissist. I have had rules I have followed our entire life together such as no make up, no skirts or dresses, i had to ask permission to go anywhere, and he chose who i spoke to or made friends with. He always took care of all of us and I considered it a trade off, I would follow the rules and he would take care of his side. I am not trying to say that it was easy or that it always ran smooth because it didn't. I would say for the most part I was happy or at least blind to any other way of life. 2 years ago my mother had two surgeries and i had to live with her for 6 months and my husband lived at our residence, during this time I was trying to take care of everyone. I work rotating shifts 7 days then change, mI was mentally exhausted and had reached out to my children and him for help. No one came, when my husband would call me the only thing he wanted to talk about was whatever he needed me to fix, or fighting with the children, I told him I could not run two households and needed help. While i was staying there I made friends with a man at work and we started talking on the phone a lot. I enjoyed talking to him because he did not want or need anything from me. When my husband found out of course he was understandably upset and we almost divorced because of it, I have repeatedly told him, there was NO SEX and actually the amount of time we had talked, the phone records proved it. I know what i did was wrong and have repeatedly apologized to him but he does not want to let it go, or even believe what i say. Last August my father in law past and since then my husband is never around, i go days without seeing him. He doesn't respond or answer phone calls, the times he does contact me is to accuse me of having sex with anyone he can. I am currently not really speaking to my children and he continues to lie to them and tell them i am doing things that I am not. I gave him every password to absolutely everything and still i am accused of having secret things. I am living in defense mode and do not know what to do, i answer every question he asks but even when i do he believes nothing i say. He is still actively searching for something to prove i am sleeping around with anyone and everyone at this point, we tried marriage counseling and when the therapist told him that how he was treating me was Emotional Abuse, he refused to go again.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436332
06/04/18 01:27 PM
06/04/18 01:27 PM
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SmilingWife Offline
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Welcome. may we move your post to the "Troubled marriage" section? It will get much more responses there.

I agree with your marriage counselor that your husband is emotionally abusive. Are you part of a faith culture that requires no make up and only dresses or is that his own rules?

Even if you had engaged in a full physical affair he has no right to treat you this way. It is abusive. If he can't treat you with dignity and respect then he should divorce you.

Where do you think he is for days at a time? I will tell you men who are in affairs often accuse their mate of that very thing.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436333
06/04/18 01:28 PM
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Also, how old is your husband?

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: SmilingWife] #436335
06/04/18 01:51 PM
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defensive73 Offline OP
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my husband just turned 50 and please move if this is not the correct place, thank you so much for your help. This is a large site and i haven't had the chance to explore much yet. Very appreciated.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436340
06/04/18 03:56 PM
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I asked how old he is because I wanted to know if he was a grown man who got a 15 year old pregnant. How do you feel about a 20 year old man having sex with a 15 year old girl? So that is the dynamic you began with. That leads to a life of imbalance in the relationship.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436345
06/04/18 05:19 PM
06/04/18 05:19 PM
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mgellan Offline
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Sounds like you're definitely being abused and need to be in a safe place. Are you still living outside the family home? How old are your kids?

Mg


M:1990 DD:July2017 In Recovery DS16 DS14
O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! -- Robert Burns
If you're going through hell, keep going. -- Winston Churchill
Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436348
06/04/18 05:29 PM
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defensive73 Offline OP
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I understand what you are trying to ask, I think. To directly answer your question, No.. The harder part is at the time for me, being a rebellious child and having a single mother who worked 3 jobs to support us, it wasn't wrong to me, if that makes any sense. I met him through mutual friends and fell in love immediately, he made me feel protected, safe, and really special. Even with the jealousy and rules I have to follow, I rationalized all of it. If my daughters (all adults now) ever brought home a man with the type of rules and guidelines I have followed, I would definitely not be ok with it. This is where I wind up lost, I have asked myself these questions repeatedly. I have even asked him, are we with each other because we love each other or is it because we know nothing else. I have tried several times to explain how I feel to him, and each time it ends in a competition of how I have treated him worse.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436350
06/04/18 05:47 PM
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mgellan Offline
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Do you have someplace safe to go to escape the abuse?

Mg


M:1990 DD:July2017 In Recovery DS16 DS14
O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! -- Robert Burns
If you're going through hell, keep going. -- Winston Churchill
Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436354
06/04/18 07:10 PM
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SmilingWife Offline
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Originally Posted by defensive73
I understand what you are trying to ask, I think. To directly answer your question, No.. The harder part is at the time for me, being a rebellious child and having a single mother who worked 3 jobs to support us, it wasn't wrong to me, if that makes any sense. I met him through mutual friends and fell in love immediately, he made me feel protected, safe, and really special. Even with the jealousy and rules I have to follow, I rationalized all of it. If my daughters (all adults now) ever brought home a man with the type of rules and guidelines I have followed, I would definitely not be ok with it. This is where I wind up lost, I have asked myself these questions repeatedly. I have even asked him, are we with each other because we love each other or is it because we know nothing else. I have tried several times to explain how I feel to him, and each time it ends in a competition of how I have treated him worse.


Of course it makes sense. And of course you did not think it was wrong. You were 15...14 when you became involved maybe? There are good reasons why 15 year old are not allowed to enter into contracts. And why 20 year olds who have sex with 15 year old go to jail these days. 1) a 15 year old does not have the judgment to make such a decision 2) there is an immediate imbalance of power.

As far as why you are together....I think Love has very little to do with it. People can be in long term marriages where love is not the primary factor...but respect and kindness is required for it to be healthy. The real question is not do you love each other, but why do you continue to stay with a man who is abusive to you?

He felt himself losing control of you when he discovered you were talking with another man (and to be clear I am not defending that which sounds like an emotional affair). So in order to reassert his control he is emotionally abusing you by staying gone for days with no word where he is. Keeping you on edge, like walking on eggshells or shifting sand.

What do you want to do?

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436356
06/04/18 08:05 PM
06/04/18 08:05 PM
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SFB Offline
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D73:

This is an interesting question:
Originally Posted by SmilingWife
What do you want to do?


And start talking to your adult daughters about your situation.

And a lawyer. You are going to need one. Find out who your husband is dating and sleeping with.

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436357
06/04/18 08:36 PM
06/04/18 08:36 PM
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catperson Offline
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Originally Posted by defensive73
. I have tried several times to explain how I feel to him, and each time it ends in a competition of how I have treated him worse.

That's why you don't try to get them to agree with you. They don't have to agree. They only have to know why YOU will be doing what YOU are going to do. Actually, they don't even have to know why, lol. Stop trying to get buy-in from him. it's useless. Instead, just start doing what you need to do.

why aren't your kids talking to you?

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436361
06/05/18 04:50 AM
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Blair Offline
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Welcome to Marriage Advocates. I agree with SFB: your H is having an affair. He's trying to blame the problems on you.

But first things first. Read up on covert abusive behavior and emotional/mental abuse. Start with Lundy Bancroft's "Why Does He Do That?" Put a plain book cover on it and read it away from the home so that he does not know what you are reading. Try the park or the Library.

Go to your local women's shelter and see what they can do. Sign up for domestic violence support groups or classes. (Mine has support groups year round.)

What do you want to do about all of this?

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436391
06/05/18 08:10 PM
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defensive73 Offline OP
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sorry so long to respond, I don't login while he is around, This is why I feel lost, I want my family but I also don't want to continue this road. I want respect and TRUST, kindness, and emotional stability. The problem is I want this with him, my daughters are not speaking to me for a few reasons, one because at first they were upset about the friendship with the other man, then he has told them so many lies and I haven't wanted to bring them into this so they have never heard what I have to say and just believe him. We did have a family meeting trying to mend everything but it turned into a bash mom session with a laundry list of reasons why this is all my fault. Mothers Day this year I had told everyone I was shutting my phone off because I didn't want to see all the happiness that other people were having, while I spent the day alone. Him and I had a joint facebook and when i turned my phone on in the morning I looked, and he had posted the most horrible things about me on it. Saying how I told him that I was having an affair and I blamed him, NVR HAPPENED, just a huge post full of lies. I deleted the post and the account, he had even wrote that the bruises I had received from him were lies and he never hit me, he said he was protecting his truck and I ran into his hand. On my strong days I can take myself out and look at this from a different perspective and I see how twisted this is and how I should just RUN away, other days I just want to fix him and feel the most love for him. I remember the good times and great adventures we have had in our life and I miss them ... That is what I keep trying to get back, It hasn't been all bad or destructive, but yes the rules and controlling jealousy have always been there

Thank You all for your responses .....

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436397
06/05/18 10:47 PM
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Blair Offline
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It's time to let your daughters know what happened. Your H already involved them, and they are adults.

Or, you can wait until you get more information on whether or not your husband is having an affair before you talk to your adult children.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436399
06/06/18 01:23 AM
06/06/18 01:23 AM
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SmilingWife Offline
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Do you think he is having an affair?

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436401
06/06/18 02:58 AM
06/06/18 02:58 AM
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catperson Offline
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So...you are being the victim. No offense, but that's the role you are playing. Especially with your daughters. You're essentially refusing to defend yourself or explain yourself, while waiting for them to come to your defense and thereby feeling bad because they aren't.

But they're expecting you to tell them the truth, And you aren't.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436419
06/06/18 06:18 PM
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defensive73 Offline OP
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I have tried to explain to my children, That was what the family meeting was, that didn't turn out well. I am not waiting for them to come to my defense, what I did expect is a little fore thought to know me better than that. Nor can I comprehend bashing one parent to validate my feelings, that would be me doing what he is. Two wrongs does not make it right. Several times during the our discussion that day, I tried to voice the lies and I did get some through, but then they would switch topics. I am sorry, I disagree with you Catperson, I do not think I am playing the victim with them. I have been very careful on how I speak where they are concerned, for fear of that very thing.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436422
06/06/18 06:42 PM
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SmilingWife Offline
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Originally Posted by defensive73
I have tried to explain to my children, That was what the family meeting was, that didn't turn out well. I am not waiting for them to come to my defense, what I did expect is a little fore thought to know me better than that. Nor can I comprehend bashing one parent to validate my feelings, that would be me doing what he is. Two wrongs does not make it right. Several times during the our discussion that day, I tried to voice the lies and I did get some through, but then they would switch topics. I am sorry, I disagree with you Catperson, I do not think I am playing the victim with them. I have been very careful on how I speak where they are concerned, for fear of that very thing.



Family meeting? Does that mean your husband was there? 'Meetings' like this that include an abusive party are rarely, if ever, productive. So if your children will talk to you without him around then I would try that. But if not, I would just go about living my life and letting my life be a testament to the kind of person I am. They will either come around to reason or it is possible they have been poisoned already by their abusive father.

And what do you mean you don't want to 'bash' your husband? So you haven't told them he is abusive to you?

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: SmilingWife] #436436
06/07/18 07:53 AM
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defensive73 Offline OP
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I have told them or tried too, but he has a answer for everything.. when I had the bruises on my face, he told them that I was angry and started to hit his car, he tried to block me and I ran into his hand.. he has a justification for everything and of course this is all my fault.. I take some responsibility for it.. That is how they were raised .. if they wanted something.. go ask dad.. if dad didn't like something then we did not do it.. all of us did everything not to make him angry.. his feelings came first ..what he said went

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436439
06/07/18 02:29 PM
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mgellan Offline
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What plans are you making to leave? I don't think there's any scenario where it's acceptable to live with such abuse. Get to a women's shelter and start getting some help, Def, it doesn't sound like there's anything you can do while you're still at home under his control...

Mg


M:1990 DD:July2017 In Recovery DS16 DS14
O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! -- Robert Burns
If you're going through hell, keep going. -- Winston Churchill
Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436444
06/07/18 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by defensive73
I have tried to explain to my children, That was what the family meeting was, that didn't turn out well. I am not waiting for them to come to my defense, what I did expect is a little fore thought to know me better than that. Nor can I comprehend bashing one parent to validate my feelings, that would be me doing what he is. Two wrongs does not make it right. Several times during the our discussion that day, I tried to voice the lies and I did get some through, but then they would switch topics. I am sorry, I disagree with you Catperson, I do not think I am playing the victim with them. I have been very careful on how I speak where they are concerned, for fear of that very thing.

How old are they? Early 20s? You won't find much forethought in kids that age. Mine's 29 and is just now starting to act and think like a real adult.

If your own kids are switching topics, ask yourself why? Not why they're doing it, but why is it being allowed to happen? Switching topics is a show of disrespect or at least a LACK of respect. They learned that. I'm not trying to dis you, I'm trying to help you see that your own actions are contributing to the problem and you can now choose ways to change that. That's why you're here, right? We can help you shift the dynamics. For instance, you bring up "your dad had an affair and I-"; one kid says "I really hate that you made me pick up my clothes every day"; you would THEN want to say "You interrupted me and that is rude. We are not here to talk about how you were raised, I'm talking to you about why your parents are divorcing. Please keep on topic." See how that moves things more in the direction you want? It may be a little scary if your kids aren't used to you speaking up for yourself - and that's my guess because disrespect is learned over time, they probably saw their dad disrespect you (so they do) and the also probably saw you accept it. So this is where you can change the path your discussions - and your life experiences - change over time. By you standing up for yourself.

Now, if this is a family with abuse, the issues are quadrupled. I hope you'll see a therapist to understand just how deeply the issues go. For example, if the father is abusive, even just to the mom, the kids will subconsciously kiss up to the dad. They KNOW you will never hurt them but they FEAR that he won't accept them or love them, so they will side with him without even realizing they're doing it.

Have you read this book? I hope you will, soon. It will explain a LOT about what happened to your marriage and your life (and how none of it was your fault).

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436445
06/07/18 04:18 PM
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Cat exactly. I know if I stick up for my mom in any way in front of my stepdad *she* will be the one be punishes later. And because he's put the fear into her for so many years, if I stick up for my mom when we're alone, she will tell him and again he will punish her later. Because that is how he deals with bad feelings, to punish her and feel that righteous anger thing. So while she chooses to stay at his mercy, I will never day a word against him to her.

She knows from my actions if she ever wants help getting or staying out, then at those moments I put everything else on the back burner to help her, because to this day there is nothing in this world I want more than to see her free of his tyranny. But even when I have, his grip on her was too strong and she went back.

Defensive, what can we do to help and support you? I cannot give you any words that encourage him to stop. Only getting far away from him will do that.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: Blair] #436453
06/08/18 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Blair
Read up on covert abusive behavior and emotional/mental abuse. Start with Lundy Bancroft's "Why Does He Do That?" Put a plain book cover on it and read it away from the home so that he does not know what you are reading. Try the park or the Library.

Go to your local women's shelter and see what they can do. Sign up for domestic violence support groups or classes. (Mine has support groups year round.)


Have you started reading the book?

Have you talked with your local women's shelter?

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #436456
06/08/18 12:12 PM
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Defensive can you clarify if you have a job? I thought at first read that you do, but now I am not clear if the rotating shifts you talked about is a job or if you were referring tomcaring for your mother.

I know it is difficult to think of uprooting your entire life. It is easier for us to help you if we know more about you.

Do you and your husband own a home? Are You living there? Do you work?

It is good that your children are grown. Dealing with custody is the hardest.

Re: lost and living in defense mode [Re: defensive73] #437932
08/23/18 10:40 AM
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HI
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HI
D73,

How are you doing?

Orchid


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