TO – thmpper: you said,
You know, I was with a man like this for 15 years, and needed extensive counseling after I finally mustered up the courage to leave him. It was a hell I wouldn’t wish on my own worst enemy. If he loves you, he loves you completely, no matter what you look like. I hate to see someone else waste their lives on someone who doesn’t appreciate them. If you need to go to a counselor to get a professional opinion on this relationship, I would encourage you to do so. That relationship (very similar to what you’re describing) completely robbed me of ME. I didn’t even know what my favorite color was in the end. Please, please make yourself a priority in your life. Postpone the wedding if you’re not ready to split. Give yourself some time to really examine and evaluate the situation.
Great post… this is indeed what an emmotionally abusive relationship looks like when the person being abused lives on egg-shells for years (trying to be EVERYTHING to their partner), and ultimately has all the life and joy sucked out of them
You mention not knowing your favourite colour… here is one of my stories…
I remember going out to eat with a friend when I was first seperated, and while we were sitting at dinner my cell-phone kept going off with calls or texts, I’d excuse myself and pick up / check. Only to be getting more and more visibly upset. With the DRAMA that was unfolding. Everyone (including my kids and Ex) making demands of me. WHERE ARE YOU… WHEN WILL YOU BE HOME? (Teenage Kids). I DROVE PAST THE HOUSE AND DIDN’T SEE YOUR CAR (Ex Husband checking up on me).
Finally at one point, my friend said to me in a very calm voice… turn it off. I was stunned… I had NO IDEA THAT THAT WAS AN OPTION. I was sooo used to being manipulated by the people in my life that there was no sense of what was an appropriate or inappropriate boundary any more. That was the “date” that changed my life… I came to realize how messed up I was as I sat in this Restaurant, totally clueless as to what to order from the Menu… because for 15 to 20 years, I had been just “handing over” that option to my Ex-Hubby BECAUSE it was SO MUCH SIMPLIER than hearing him say “You are not going to order that are you… it won’t be very good… it’s too expensive… or you should eat something with less calories” etc.
Shortly after that meal with a friend I realized how much I really needed to find a therapist to FIND ME AGAIN. It took a long time to claw back 20+ years of my life.
And as you say… an Abusive Relationship is something now that I can honestly say I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
Life is too dang short… IF ONLY I knew all that I learned in those painful years… when I was 20 (age when I met my Ex) how different my life might have been !!
Agree, the OP needs to listen to all the great advice she is getting from women (including us older women) in this topic.
It isn’t a case here of wishful thinking “There but for the Grace of God go I”… it is a case of heartfelt care… “That was me, for the love of God do not take the path I took”