Negative And Critical Partner

posted 3 months ago in Married Life
Post # 16
Member
1240 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

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@zl27:  No I hadn’t but she isn’t at a place where she is ready to leave him. So me telling her he’s abusive and she deserves better isn’t going to help. She already knows it’s a bad situation. Being ready to leave someone is a process and a lot of people stay for years after friends and family think they should go. She’s at a place where she is giving chances and giving the benefit of the doubt, my online stranger opinion isn’t going to change where she is. Having a talk with him probably won’t change anything but it may help her gain insight and help her further decide if her situation is one she is still willing to be in.

I have had friends that knew for years they “deserved better” and were admittedly in abusive situations, but they loved him and weren’t willing to leave. She has to get there on her own. It’s something she has to decide for herself. Only she can decide when she’s had enough. Maybe a talk helps, maybe it doesn’t. But she is staying either way.

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@bm222:  I would suggest therapy for yourself, a therapist would have the insight and knowledge necessary to help you know how to react to the criticism in your particular situation. Also an empowering activity and outlet for yourself. Obviously hard in today’s climate but whether that’s the gym, a workout class, paint night, art class… something that helps build your worth and confidence in the midst of him tearing it down.

Post # 17
Member
97 posts
Worker bee

I’m glad to hear that he doesn’t do the same to your daughter. Have you talked to him about how he speaks to you and makes you feel? My dad always thinks that he’s giving me advice and is helping me when I think he’s criticising what I’m doing. We had a fight about it a few years ago and he has really reined it in.

Post # 18
Member
480 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I was the daughter in this situation and it wasn’t until I was about 8 that my dad started trying to control me too. 

You owe your children a better life than seeing their mom tiptoe around the ever changing rules, needs and wants of an abuser. 

If you wouldn’t want your daughter being treated like you are by her future husband then you should leave. Because you’re showing her how she can expect to be treated by men when she grows up and what is and isn’t allowed. 

Post # 19
Member
3105 posts
Sugar bee

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@botanistbee:  100% this.

OP, I am the daughter of an abusive narcissist father. I have 4 older siblings, 3 sisters and a brother. ALL of us are damaged in different ways, and none of us has been able to sustain a relationship or marriage. I was his favorite, so I escaped most of the abuse, but I witnessed it. The scary part is that I have blocked  all of it out – I only know details about certain things because my older sister has told me about them. I was 11 when my parents finally divorced, so I was definitely old enough to remember the things I heard and witnessed, but it’s a complete blank. I do remember the shitty things he did to my mom during the divorce. My pattern of relationships can be summed up as a string of bad choices and eventually marrying an emotional abuser. I was trained by my upbringing to put up with things I never should have, and to not “rock the boat”. All this is to reiterate that unless something changes, your husband WILL affect your childrens’ emotional health. Mental/emotional abusers are the worst, IMO.

Post # 20
Member
7804 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Bee–This rollercoaster is his normal and there is little reason to believe he will change. Find a therapist for yourself. This is not a healthy environment to raise children in. They will observe it and accept it as normal and eventually they will become targets also. 

Post # 24
Member
6164 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

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@bm222:  you’ll pray that your son won’t see his father belittling you? That’s not enough and you know it. Take the advice from everyone here an leave your abuser. 

Post # 27
Member
6164 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

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@bm222:  do you have family you can stay with? When IS it ever a good time to leave? Never. People leave when their living situation becomes toxic/abusive, and your situation sounds like it’s been abusive for a long while now. There are help lines, women’s shelters and counseling services and family lawyers that you can speak to right now about your situation. It really sounds like you’ve resigned yourself to staying in this abusive situation and just explaining his behavior as “frustrating”. Please seek help asap.

Post # 28
Member
3105 posts
Sugar bee

 

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@bm222:  I think so, because I wouldn’t have witnessed my mother putting up with him. She would have at least modeled that his behavior was not OK, which would have been a valuable lesson.  The likely custody agreement would have meant his emotional abuse of us would not have been nearly as often, but would have still occurred, because that’s who he was. His anger was like the flip of a switch, and we all learned how to avoid setting him off. Just typing that is so effed up — a child having to figure out how to act and navigate life so their parent wouldn’t abuse them. I still have trouble speaking up for myself, (because growing up if you did, there were terrible consequences), which has not gone well for me in relationships and in my career. And I get really mad at myself for putting up with things, which is turned inward to some level of self-hate. Like I know I shouldn’t have put up with the shit in my marriage for as long as I did, and the shit in several jobs, but simply could not manage to do anything about it because I was so well trained not to. So yes, I think if they had divorced years earlier than they did, I would have been much better off. Having to be “on guard” with my behavior around my dad for only a percentage of the time would have still been damaging, but not nearly as much. I do remember that when he moved out, there was a palpable improvement – like we could finally relax.

Adding that the majority of his abuse was emotional/mental. Although he did physically abuse two of my siblings badly a number of times, two of them occasionally, and me rarely. (Probably because I was the best at not setting him off?) To my knowledge, he never physically abused my mother, and my sister has never told me he did, so I am certain about that. But the things he did to us emotionally are unforgivable. Although I can’t remember, I know I saw/heard him do those things to my mother as well, I just buried it like most of the rest.

eta: I understand why you can’t/won’t leave right now, but I hope you will in the near future.

 

Post # 29
Member
1240 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

So much this!! “Now is not a realistic time to just up and leave. I’ve started a secret savings account a few months ago for when the time comes, but I am not there yet and I find it interesting that some women think telling someone “just leave” is an easy solution because there is so much more to it than that. I’m doing my best right now and I’m not naive to the situation, but leaving is not currently an option.”

It’s easy to tell Op to leave today and go to a women’s shelter. And in some cases that is appropriate. In Op’s situation, she is able to make and execute a plan. She is actively working towards leaving but isn’t there yet. It’s an emotional and logistical process. She’s 10 days away from giving birth! There are many aspects of leaving that aren’t realistic today or with a day-old infant. There are logistics to think of and a plan to be made. Working in her favor she has two jobs and can be financially independent. But recovering from giving birth! Physically being able to pack and move. Getting her finances in order, saving a deposit for her own rental, or figuring out a healthy housing situation for her family. Meeting with a divorce and custody attorney, figuring out what rights she has so she knows when he inevitably threatens her. Deciding when to take joint-funds out of accounts. Timing it so it’s ideal for her.

What she determines is important is for her to decide.

I have Stay-At-Home Mom friends who enrolled in college, an accelerated nursing program which took 18 months, and waited till she had a job as nurse… or one who started working and waited till they had saved up money. These were not women in immediate danger but women who knew they were in toxic situations and were going and planning to leave. Once everything was in order they did.

There may never be a “good” time to leave but you can prepare to leave and be “ready”. When people are ready to leave it’s a lot more likely to work and she’s a lot less likely to go back.

 

Post # 30
Member
3105 posts
Sugar bee

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@elodie2019:  I agree with this. I saved money for a year before I left. Taking time to make a plan when possible can be a very good thing. Women can distance themselves emotionally during the planning time so further damage is not done to them, and they can better protect their children. The firm emotional decision of “I’M DONE” is very empowering and helps the process. No more trying to “fix” someone else, (or yourself since the abuser blames everything on you), is fruitless. Disconnecting on a deeper level while appearing OK on the surface so you can get your plan in place is priceless if you’re in a position to do so.

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