- 8 years ago
- Wedding: March 2015
That said, this incident you’re mentioned happened three years ago. How much does someone grow and mature between 21 and 24? I would say it sounds like a clingy and lonely boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean he’s controlling. I see it as immature. Going out with friends for lunch is different than going away for a weekend. He’s response to a weekend getaway three years ago doesn’t mean that all outside interaction is out. This doesn’t sound like a rational response to something that occurred years ago.
When OP mentions that she’s talked about it a little, but he doesn’t understand and knows they need to have a very in depth discussion about it, I do start to wonder how much of it is communication. When it begins with OP wishing he would do something awful then to saying he is controlling and manipulative, I do wonder.
But I suppose the real question is if her husband is the cause of all these problems or if leaving him will fix them. I still believe from the tone and the circumstances outlined that this sounds like depression and if it’s been going on for as long as it sounds, then it’s changed both OP and her husband. Unless you have lived it, you have no idea what it is like watching someone you love struggling to simply do anything because of the cloud that just takes over everything. I don’t like who I was when he was going through depression.
However, I don’t see it as he is the cause of her depression, nor do I see him as controlling her every move. I see a bunch of circumstances that combine to show someone who is not happy. They also happen to be married and thus far that has not added to their happiness. The instances are limited in explanation and context and even with more detail it’s unlikely that they will paint the whole story. I see it differently because the desperation and the hopelessness looks like depression to me.
They may want different things. Their differences may not be able to be overcome, however, if this is depression, the time to decide whether or not to leave him, isn’t when you’re not getting treatment or help.
Again, OP, please consider going to see someone about this.
@selfishbee: While it does sound like a frustrating situation… I don’t think that jumping to the “HE’S ABUSING YOU – GTFO” conclusion/solution is helpful or appropriate. OP, in your original post you even say yourself:
“Sometimes I wish he would just do something awful so I would have more of an “excuse” to leave…”
and I’m afraid that you will use the words of some of these well-meaning bees as just that excuse.
I would take the advice you’ve been given about getting counseling, but I would even more encourage you to find a non-profit organization to volunteer at once or twice a week. Choose a place where you will be working with lots of different kinds of people. Then just do it.
And remember: Your husband is not controlling you. You are controlling you. Only you can control you.
I agree with a number of bees who said your husband is being emotionally and financially abusive. Abuse doesn’t have to be physical beating or threats of, and the way that he eroded your self-confidence and independence through the examples you’ve given is very abusive and detrimental, because you have refrained from behaving or thinking for yourself, or to develop to your full capacity.
I know this situation may appear puzzling or even frustrating to the posters who ask, “why are you letting him do this?” I would respectfully ask people not to ask such questions, or to imply that OP is controlling herself, or even insinuating that she embellished some of these stories. Emotional abuse is very subtle but effective, and when it has been going on for years, the survivor often instill these sense of worthlessness or helplessness into themselves and believe in them.
OP, you have done a brave thing in disclosing and recognising your unhappiness and the reality of your relationship. Please take one thing at a time. You mentioned that:
I will have to get a different job to be able to support myself, or a 2nd job. If I decide to leave I want to have everything in order so he can’t convince me that I’m crazy and unable to fend for myself.
I agree there are two options. Either leave and find yourself, or stay and work on yourself with him. Either way, the problem is that you need to find the confidence in yourself to pursue what you want. Nothing you have said has really indicated that he is stopping you from it, it just sounds like he is afraid of change. So I would work on yourself, get a job, go to grad school, volunteer, do whatever you want and don’t pay attention to what he thinks of it as far as snarky comments goes. If you do this stuff to make yourself happy and he really can’t deal with you being a different person and won’t try to work with you on it, then I might consider leaving.
I just think from what you described, even if you left him, you won’t be happy until you find what you want for yourself in life. So if you do love him, why not attempt to make the journey still married to him? At least you can say you gave it everything you had before you threw in the towel.
My first boyfriend left me after 4 years for someone else. I had always been insecure and had low self confidence. I didn’t date anyone after him for years and kind of became a homebody which isn’t who I am at all. Finally, I decided to pursue my dream of traveling. I was terrified but I found a way to do it. (Beg, borrow, steal. Do whatever you can to make it happen)
I was gone for a few months and traveled Africa, Europe and Great Britain. I didn’t know a soul in the beginning but as I planned for this trip I found travel agencies and a group of people through my college who were strangers but going to Africa. Some days with the groups I would head out on my own and some days I would sightsee with people from the group. I traveled with different groups over the few months. i just decided to make it happen….and I did. I recommend Contiki Travel. They have 18-35 year olds and about half the people doing Contiki are alone. (Some people book the tours with friends or family members. It’s a big mishmosh of people from all over the world). I’m so glad I went alone because I made SOOOOO many more friends being out of my comfort zone. I did two different contiki tours for Europe and Great Britain (with different people each tour) and I went with the school group to Africa. I was fortunate to meet the Africa group for the first time a week before we left but they all started out as strangers.
I had never in my life been away from home like this. The morning I left to go to the airport, I FREAKED OUT. I even cried and begged my parents not to make me do this. (It was my choice and decision all along.) Most people would kill to have an opportunity like this but I have been sheltered my WHOLE life and had no clue how to be on my own let alone for months in different countries around the world.
Guess what? I had the time of my life. I traveled to 17 countries. I went bungee jumping off the world’s highest bungee bridge in South Africa. (I was terrified but I knew I’d spend a lifetime regreting it if I didn’t do it. All the guys chickened out. lol) I paraglided over the Swiss Alps. I climbed the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes, I didn’t know where I was going so I’d ask directions. I got lost. I had to change a flight in a country where I didn’t speak the language. I made mistakes but I figured it out and I gained so much confidence because I realized #1 I was free to be myself. No one knew who I was so I didn’t have any expectations from anyone. #2 That I was more capable than I ever realized. I had it in me all along.
This is getting long so I’ll wrap this up. The point is that you’ll never know if you don’t try. Don’t put this off. I was 24 when I went on this trip. I’m 27 now. I can say with ABSOLUTE certainty that this world trip was the single most wonderful and life altering event in all of my life. I’m more the person I want to be and I’m so much more confident and cultured. Please TRAVEL. Get out there and see the world. Don’t wake up with regrets. All we have is this one short life. It just goes by too fast so GO FOR IT. The best advice I can give is that there will never be a perfect time to go so you just have to decide to do it and make it happen!
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