(Closed) Feeling like the world's biggest failure…thinking of ending my marriage

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 47
Member
1483 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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@hobbitsvselves:  I remember that. Great collumn. Loved Sugar. 

Post # 48
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

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@hobbitsvselves:  This is exactly the column I was referencing, thank you for sharing. LOVE Cheryl Strayed. Love love love her.

OP, your update breaks my heart. What you are experiencing is no way to live. Honestly, you could get couples counseling and work years to completely revamp the relationship, but given his level of control and how young you are, I really think divorce might be the best option. Individual counseling for sure. And definitely start to change your life. Don’t look to him for permission. You are in control of your own life. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. <3

Post # 49
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Why is no one else seeing this–he is abusing and manipulating you! He’s not hitting or calling you names, but he is controling you none the less. He has created a situation where he is your everything–no friends, no real source of income. That is from Abuser 101. There are many ways to control someone, he has done it in a stealthy, sneaky way, but the end result is the same.

In the end you will more than likely have to leave him. Guys like this don’t like not being in control. They don’t like changing, and most don’t. But you aren’t ready to leave yet. You need to find some strength. (If you don’t leave him, you will eventually become such a depressed shell that you will find some way to get rid of the pain-suicide)

  1. get into some individual counseling. Find one that works on a sliding scale so you don’t have to worry so much about money. If he asks why you are doing it, say it’s so you can be happier in your marriage. One thing to explore is why not rocking the boat is more important to you than your own self worth.
  2. Can you find another part-time job and have that deposited into your own bank account? O find a job that gets tips, so he won’t know how much money you are making. If he doesn’t want you to have control over your own money, then you need to contact an organization that deals with abused women. They can give you tips on how to leave when you have no money.
  3. Start applying for all the things you wanted to do. Can you barrow the money from friends or family? Apply for the Peace Corps or Americorp or the JET program.

I hope you understand that what he feels for you isn’t love and what you feel for him isn’t love. He likes to control you and loves the idea of you, not the real you. You don’t love him, you are dependent on him; that isn’t love.

The getting out part will be difficult, but you can do it. And once you do, you will feel so much better. Not one person I know who has made it out has regretted it. In fact they wonder why it took them so long.

Post # 50
Member
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

“Codependency, by definition, means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself,” she tells WebMD. “It’s kind of a weird phrase, and it doesn’t sound like it means a one-sided relationship. But that’s what it is. It means you’re trying to make the relationship work with someone else who’s not,” Tessina says.

You feel trapped but you aren’t trapped. The only thing that is trapping you is you. In reality you are controlling you not your husband. So start controlling you in the way you want your life to be.

Change leads to change. Your change will lead to his change but he will make that change himself. He will take responsibility for himself not you taking responsibility for him. I’m not saying it’s going to be all good change or an easy change but it will change. You can’t control what someone else does. All you can do is control what you do. Just tell him what you are going to do; I’m going to get a job, I’m going out with friends, I’m going clothes shopping or I’m leaving the marriage, if that’s what you wantyou choose. You might be surprised; your change might actually cause a better change in him. A change where both of you stop trying to control each other and end up having a much happier marriage.

Change is tough for people they tend to fight it. He probably isn’t going to like it and some fights will ensue but, if he chooses to stay with the “new” you and accept it and you choose to stay with him the other side of that will be better for you both. But take responsibility for you, and you will basically allow him to take responsibility for himself. Right now he isn’t. He is depending on you so he doesn’t have to look at himself. He doesn’t have to question why he can’t let you have dinner with girlfriends. Why he doesn’t want you buying things for yourself. IMO he sounds like he is afraid you will run away if he gives you a little freedom. Usually some past hurts cause behaviors like that.

I have no idea why but taking responsibility for oneself is contagious.

I had an emotional communication issue with my SO that was so beyond my understanding.  I tried to talk to him. Society says when you have a problem talk it out right. Well he couldn’t look past his own issues. It was easier for him to not to and to not allow me to express emotion. So I thought about it and obviously my needs were not being fulfilled. I took responsibly for taking care of my needs and told him I was and what my plan was. His response was no your right you should be able to express your emotions. Then he slowly started to as well. It was all very slow but it all worked out. It brought us much closer and we are both much happier even though it was rather hard at first. I took responsibility for myself he took responsibility for himself. It took time though and it’s still happening and there were fights.

Post # 51
Member
42 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2014

 

From all the posts that I have read, initiated and given advice to I have to say that this one worries me the most.  I think that your thread needs input from all angles.  There might even be a helper bee that may respond to this that has been in exactly the same position and has improved her life significantly.

 
You love / care for your husband, he is your childhood sweetheart however you feel that you want more than this in your life.  Your husband does not sound reasonable and getting him to change or even go to therapy would be as difficult as changing the direction of a moving train.  Life is short and we all seek happiness. 
 
Leaving your partner for a ‘better life’ seems a major hurdle however it’s achievable if you could do it one step at a time.  The first step was joining this forum.
 
Are you frightened that he will get violent if you left him? Or is it that you are worried that he would harm himself if you left?.
 
Although I have only mentioned the topic of leaving him, it would equally be possible that you could ‘Reframe’ the current situation that you re in (different job, doing things that you enjoy and are passionate about, doing excerice and so on).  Having a job whereby you don’t have contact with the outer world is unhealthy.  If you found a job that you enjoyed doing then you would significantly increase your mood (Pref full time). You only talk to your husband at the moment and don’t have a social life – it is likely to be one of the contributing factors to your low mood. 
 
In order to improve your life you would have to make a number of changes which requires risk taking.  However if performed on a regular basis logically they would seem less risky.
Each positive step you take will give you more confidence.
 
Note/ I would advise that you document your personal development plan so that you can see that you are progressing in the right direction with improving your life.
 
What you want to achieve?
When are you going to do it (target dates)?
How are you going to do it?.
 
If you do not document anything then you are more likely not to go back to the life that has made you unhappy and you will only get unhappier.
 
The Silver Fox.
 

Post # 52
Member
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

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@selfishbee:  So I was inclined to say “Work it out”, but then you said that he knows how you feel, but he isn’t listening. That worried me. Then you said that he doesn’t like it when you hang out with friends, and doesn’t like it when you mention doing new things like yoga or non-profit work.

That really alarms me! Abusive significant others will seperate you from everyone you love before they start abusing you verbally or physically. If he already has you feeling trapped away from friends/family and unsure of how you would logistically live without him, you could be in serious danger.

My ex did these same things to me–got me away from my dream school, away from friends and family, living together and engaged. When I had no one else to turn to, he started roughing me up. Who was I going to tell? Where was I going to go?  It got worse and worse the longer I stayed, but I was so worried about not going home and having so few friends to talk to… I stayed way longer than I should have. And while I did get out, some women just aren’t that lucky.

Post # 53
Member
1751 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I feel the same as you. My Fiance and I have been together since we were 17, and we just got engaged at 22. We moved in together at 20/21. I feel like we are growing up together and we’re changing ourselves each day. I feel as if I need to go out and experience things on my own, like taking a trip to California, or studying in Europe. The difference between us though is my Fiance is completely supportive of that. Studying in Europe was his idea!

It’s normal for us to feel these things. We are young and everchanging. You just gotta find the person who is okay with that! 🙂

Post # 54
Member
780 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@selfishbee:  

I’m going to be straight up (with love, albeit, for someone I don’t even know, so, please, just hear me out)…You are 20-m****fk***-four years old.  24.  STEP AWAY FROM THE HOPELESSNESS DEMON.   And here’s why.

I had a six year old child at that age.  With a guy who I got to know in the exact same situation – 17, fell rebelliously in love, etc.

I left my daughter’s dad, by choice, with literally nothing but the clothes on our backs and a baby bag of two diapers.  Resumed college when she was 8.  Finished, WHEN EVERYONE WAS TELLING ME IT CANNOT BE DONE, PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK AND NOBODY BACKED ME, just two years ago at 38.  

Who gives a shit if he (and no judgement on him; “he” can also mean parents defining/designating for you, or other people) “doesn’t want you to ‘need’ to work?!  Who gives a shit??  What.Do.You.Want?  Don’t take this any way but in earnest concern:  You are so young yet.  Take it from a beautiful, strong, young at heart individual who has defeated all odds since 17.  

Have you discussed this with him?  (have not read back on updated posts; only read the original post, so if there have been changes, pls disregard my strong will here, lol).  Why do you feel you have to go it alone?  I went it alone.  With a child.  Not questioning the validity of your feeling of “alone”, but there is strength there, in that place, if “alone” is your “only out”.  Most times it is not, but I am not going to declare that it doesn’t happen; seen enough individuals fight against all odds “alone” to know that it is a difficult place but it does open opportunities.  

Sometimes sadness, isolation, what-ifs, etc., makes a situation look only “embarrasing/hopeless”.  No, not the case.  It brings clarity, strength.  I was reading something about Lincoln the other day, when in one of his depressions (yes Lincoln suffered depression), and he recalled a saying that made him more angry (to action) than defeated: “Know who your supporters are.”  If you are your own supporter, that is enough.  Good luck and best wishes, from one who made it from a similar situation.  (sorry for the damn novel I left, ugh, but this shit hits home).

 

 

Post # 55
Member
780 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

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@WhiteIris:  

Fking THIS.  What you said.  We can all go home.  *fist bumps

Post # 56
Member
18 posts
Newbee

The other posters are spot on… this is definitely a situation where you’ve been isolated from other people, discouraged from working, definitely not encouraged to pursue your higher education… and all of this is by no fault of your own!  The good news is that these are all things you can talk about with a therapist and you DON’T NEED his approval or support to do that.  That’s the problem right there… you feel like you need to ask for permission.  He doesn’t need to go, just you do, and it really will help you to get on track and start pursueing some things on your own.

I have been in your situation actually, and for me, breaking up really is the only thing that fixed it.  It’s hard to pursue friendships when you have a social contact at home and he’s not encouraging you to do so!  But you really would be much happier if you did this, and it might even make your marriage more tolerable.  Going to an online forum is a great step!  It’s a private thing that you can pursue without him, so that’s fantastic.

I also think finding a new hobby might really help.  For me, taking up running really changed my life.  I started meeting people at a running group, and I became really obsessed with all the new goals I had and new things I was learning.  It was great for my body and my self esteem, and then I even ran a whole marathon!!!  What is something that you always wanted to do… something that is a huge challenge?  Just think about what the very first step would be to achieve that and go out and find other people who are doing it… either online or in real life! 

Post # 58
Member
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@selfishbee:  I agree with others that your husband is part of the problem, but the larger problem I see is that you are unhappy with your own life.  There are two options you have, as I see it.  You can stay, and work on your own happiness.  Or you can leave, and work on your own happiness.  

When you say you want to work at a non-profit, what prevents you from doing that?  What prevents you from taking a yoga class?  What’s stopping you from taking out loans to get your master’s degree (and what would you get it in)?  Regardless of whether you decide to stay with him, you need to make your life better for yourself.  What can you change today that will help in that process?

Post # 59
Member
1751 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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@selfishbee:  When I was younger, before I met my Fiance, I was in a controlling relationship. He wasn’t physically abusing me, but he was mentally abusive. I couldn’t go out with my friends, not because he didn’t trust me, he didn’t trust other guys. If I went somewhere, he would call me until I answered then guilt me into leaving. I had to wear things he would approve of, because if my shorts were too short or my shirt too low then I was trying to attract other guys? It was ridiculous. We eventually broke up after 4 years (2 years dating-2 years “together”) and I went basically straight into a relationship with my current Fiance.

This is why sometimes I feel as if I am missing out on life, on being a 20-something year old. But, when I think about it, and talk to my Fiance about it, he encourages me to do whatever makes me happy. He is so supportive and understands where I’m coming from. I’m so sorry your husband isn’t listening to you or believing that you can be anything but unhappy. We only get one life to live, please do not waste it!

I’m not sure counseling would help your situation unless your husband went too. You are not the problem. He has you brainwashed into thinking you NEED him. If he isn’t willing to sit down and talk everything out and agree to back you with whatever it is you want to do with your life, then you can suggest counseling, and if not, leave.

When you picture your life, what do you see? What do you want? Where do you want to be in 5 years? Alone? Married? When you picture these things, are you picturing your husband along side of you? Again, I’m sorry you are going through this. Being around your age and feeling some of the same feelings you are, I truly feel your hurt when I read your posts. *HUGS*

Post # 60
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

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@selfishbee:  Does you family know how unhappy you are? Would they want you to stay married to someone that is slowly killing you inside? Don’t you think they eventually will get over their disappointment, especially once they know how unhappy you are?

Post # 61
Member
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I don’t even know where to begin.  This sounds… really familiar in some ways.

OP, it sounds like you have depression.  I say this as someone who watched her SO struggle with it as it spiral and had to struggle with my own feelings of helplessness as he went to counseling, tried who knows how many anti-depressants until they could find the right chemistry, and pieced his life back together.  It’s no wonder that you can’t love him when it sounds you don’t have any love for yourself.  However, it also sounds like you resent him for where you are, and essentially, you blame him.

Is it really so much that this is all him controlling your every move and trying to belittle your ambitions or is it him trying to fix this the only way he knows how?  I realize that you’ve expressed concerns to him, but so much of communicating is how you say things.  It sounds a lot like he doesn’t understand what you are going through and why this is important to you.

In that, I can sort of understand him.  I still do not fully understand what my DH went through with his depression.  I don’t understand the chemistry, and while I kind of know the why and the how (it was a lot of little things that resulted a situational depression and his brain chemistry changed), I will never completely understand it.  It’s so foreign to me and so contrary to what I know and experience that I still go through times where I struggle to understand it.  At the time he would try to explain things to me, and I failed to understand.  I also hurt him because some of the things I said I thought I was helping, but I wasn’t because I didn’t know what was going on.

I truly think you need to see a therapist or psychiatrist who is able to best help you work through this.  DH’s therapist once told me that the best way for me to understand his depression was that it was anger turned inward.  He felt helpless against things he couldn’t control and that anger lead to the depression.  That time turned into a therapy session for me because having a partner going through this affects both people.  I don’t think these problems are going to go away if you leave him.  All these problems sound cosmetic, surface.  From what you’ve written, it sounds deeper than that.

Please take care of yourself and seek out help.  If he’s worthy of you, then he’s in this for the long haul.  But you need to start working on healing yourself.

 

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