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Am I in a abusive relationship?

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  • Am I in a abusive relationship?

    Hey all,
    I've been having some worries as of lately and the more I realize things, the more I wonder if this is something extremely toxic. So to start from the beginning.
    Me and my now husband have been together 12 years. We've only been legally married since October 31, 2017. My husband is very self conscious and has very low self esteem. Granted mine isn't great either but it's improved as I've gotten older. We've had our issues in the past and we've only lived together going on now 4 years.

    A lot of our issues started about a year ago this past February. We had hit kind of a rough spot and things came to a head. I've grown to be very independent and I don't rely on him as much as I used to, even now. I used to be one of those who didn't want to go do anything without him there or go hang out with my friends without him there. Of course, as of lately I've noticed a lot of my friends don't really come around and I think it's because of him, anyway ill get to that eventually. The older i've gotten though, the more I enjoy MY time, my time away from him just to do things I need or want to do without being held back in a sense. Granted, the issues we had last year blew over and things seemed to be fine..up until a few months ago again.

    I was recently diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which kind of messed with my sexual drive for a while since I dealt a lot with bleeding off and on every day for months on end. Following my diagnosis, I received a text from him one morning stating he was tired of dealing with my health issue, the house not selling (we've been trying to sell for a long time, with our specific kind of house it's not easy), his job, and the dog acting up. I basically told him my life wasn't all rainbows and flowers either. See, with him specifically he is VERY hard to talk to. Very judgmental, he criticizes me and many others a lot. He responded to me saying, "Well you don't talk to me and hold everything in so how am I supposed to know?" I told him I had no control over my health thing, it would even out eventually and we could move forward with life with that once it had (which it has). I finally broke down and told him how he is very judgmental with me and criticizes me over a lot of things. Told him I'm tired of coming home from work to do everything with the cooking and cleaning and making sure things get done. I remember one evening he got home and immediately sat on the couch, got on his game on his tablet and didn't move not to mention made a very strong alcoholic beverage that made him fall asleep early in the evening. I was again stuck doing everything around the house. Granted I am very OCD and find things just get done the right way if I do them myself. I know a lot of this was brought into perspective following a conversation I had with a friend of mine back in April of this year. He was having a birthday party and I told my husband i'd like to go but he responded saying it would depend on how his day went at work. By the time he got home, he had kind of a crappy day and stated he wasn't going anywhere else for the evening. The next day I asked my friend how his party went and he said it was good and I basically apologized for not making it to it. He could tell it bothered me and it was then that I just kind of let things out. We usually don't go anywhere, especially after he has had a crappy day at work. He has no drive or motivation anymore. It's like pulling teeth to get him to do anything included chores around the house.

    I've come to realize he is very selfish as well. I am usually NEVER sexually satisfied after we have sex. It's always about him finishing and he rarely gets me off. Granted for me it takes me a while but he's really not into foreplay or anything else either anymore it seems. I know we've both kind of hit a time in our lives where we are just kind of at a stand still. He can be very controlling and very manipulative and guilt trips me a lot. If he wants to do something and I don't, he always has a way of getting me to do it. For me specifically, I am a woman who is heavily tattooed with my collection growing and I enjoy changing my hair color often now as well. He's told me he doesn't care that I go and get my tattoos by myself but i know deep down he hates it when I go a lone. I also found out here as of recently that he's never truly liked any of the colors i've changed my hair to and has always preferred my natural blonde which I'm not going back to for a long time as the darker colors i've changed it to work better for my style, complexion, etc. I also found out as well my mother in law has never liked it either and stated the dark hair does nothing for me. I know it's because of him I no longer have the friends I used to. After we got together 12 years ago my friends basically left. I remember one day YEARS ago where one of those friends stopped by to see me (a male friend) and he got super mad and jealous and ****************ed off. He basically threw my phone at me that day after I came back inside from talking with my friend who I knew could tell things weren't good. I feel like i've been living a lie for the last 12 years. I've come to realize I'm not happy, I'm taken advantage of, controlled and manipulated, he doesn't motivate me or push me to do anything new. I've explained to him how ive changed and grown up and his response was, "Well you never took into consideration how that would make me feel." Now granted, changes happen naturally and sometimes you have no control over it.

    I've recently opened up to my mom about all of this and she and I have never talked about things like this. She knows i'm depressed and not living a happy life. This weekend we spent a lot of time all together with my family and even my aunt saw that he was putting on a show. He doesn't like a lot of my family and openly expresses it to me. My aunt contacted me yesterday to ask how we were doing because she knows about things as well. He saw my text and asked what I had told her. I lied basically and stated she had asked me a few weeks ago about the tension she felt in the house one evening when she came over. Told him that i had told her that we were dealing with some things but were working them out. I feel more like a piece of property than his wife and partner. My brother in law and my father in law are all the same or have been the same in the past as well. My husband and I had another long talk this past Friday and while he wants to work things out still, I feel he has just pushed me further and further away. I never want to come home after work because it's up to me to do everything and we end up just sitting there all night and we barely go out and do anything. I've told my mom and my aunt I feel i would be happier in a apartment by myself anymore. My own space, my own rules, to be free. My friends see how unhappy I am and many have dealt with the same things I have. My mom thinks we need to seek professional help in which I did talk to him about and he refuses to pay someone to tell us what our problems are. It would take me hours to type out everything i've gone through but I hope this explains a bit. Am I in a abusive relationship? Do I need to get out before things get worse? He has NEVER laid a hand on me to hurt me physically but has hurt me mentally and emotionally. This has built up over the last 12 years and has only gotten worse. He is constantly asking me where I am, what I'm doing, who I'm with, what we are talking about, etc and I can't do it anymore. I don't know where my future lies from here and right now i'm in a major state of depression and my whole life feels like it's falling apart.
    Last edited by Ashlee T.; 08-08-2018, 07:48 AM.

  • Hey girl! I'm always glad to see you pop in! We go way back!

    I remember your posts in 2016 outlining why you all didn't want to get married. And specifically your "I have a problem..." post. I can't remember how old you are but my honest perception of the situation is that you two are just not right for each other. I think you're not compatible and therefore you are bringing out the worst in each other. It sounds like you are both deflating gradually over time. Twelve years is a long time, but the true test is the past 4. Living together is a true test of any relationship because that's when you really see what life will be like with someone.

    He definitely sounds like he has his issues.... but the primary issue I see is TWO people who are simply not happy together, have gone through the motions (living together, marriage, etc) due to the longevity/comfort of 12 years together, but not because they were truly in love and happy.

    Give some serious thought to what this all means for your life. For his life. Decide to stop fighting. Decide to either consider counseling as your last ditch effort, or peacefully and mutually end this relationship. It's not abnormal to wish to be single when times get tough, but your tough times in this relationship have been longstanding. It's time to make a choice. Sending you hugs!
    "Be what you're looking for."


    • Hey BD,
      Yes we do go WAY back. I still pop in from time to time but here as of lately it's mostly just if I need other's opinions on something, especially now with this. To specify, I just turned 28, he is now 30. We've been together since I was just shy of 15 so we never really grew up apart in a sense and really experienced life on our own and it's always been with each other. We've done a lot together. We went to High School together, our mom's worked together at one point, we went to college together, bought our house and are now married. Yea my "I have a problem.." post was actually the start of realizing things I think and that was a year or so ago. I've been told multiple times by my friends who are watching me from the outside that things aren't healthy, things aren't right. My best friend told me relationships have problems but it's usually never the same problem and this is the same problem.

      He told me just the other day and this morning he wants us to work. Granted I do to but i'm to the point where I think his behavior has just pushed me further and further away. He got mad at me over my aunt's text to me yesterday, saying if I was lieing about what I've told her we were done, granted if i told him what all she knows he would've been even more ****ed anyway. He throws little empty threats like that at me all the time. Even the other day I had to repeat myself after he asked me a question and i replied the second time a little snappy and he responded saying, "don't get snappy with me, i'll walk." I love him yes, granted i do but I just don't see him as my future anymore and I haven't in a long while. I told him maybe we need to separate a little while, maybe I'll go stay at my mom's or something for a few days and he doesn't think that'll do any good. My mom and my aunt and many of my friends feel I need to separate from him as well. It's a lot. It's a lot of stress. My depression and anxiety aren't helping right now either.


      • Aww, WM. It sounds like you two should have never got married. I've never been a fan of getting married before at least mid twenties. In your case, you two were together before then but not living together except for four years and not married except for less than a year. You two have not had a chance for your personalities to develop free from the other. Maybe getting married was an attempt at a fix for the problems in your relationship. I think professional help is the only way to save the marriage. You could go yourself and work on him to go. Find someone who is fair to both sides and that both you and he would trust.
        I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
        Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

        From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


        • I definitely agree we shouldn't have gotten married. Granted after we did and a little while before we seemed happy but even as I look back on that, it was still me dealing with everything as I am now. We were considered common law married and that is how it should have stayed. He refuses to get any sort of help no matter how much i push the issue to be honest.


          • I'm sorry, girl. I think his actions are speaking much louder than his words. What is his recommended method of "working it out" since he refuses to go to counseling? What does he propose you do as a COUPLE to make things better? I don't always think counseling is the solution.....counselors are like any other profession, some of them are awesome and some of them are a waste of money. BUT, if I was at the end of my rope in a twelve-year relationship, I'd be willing to give it that last-ditch effort if I had any desire whatsoever to salvage it. He says he does, yet he's not willing to make the effort. You say you really don't have the desire to salvage it (I don't blame you, just stating the truth), yet you're willing to make the effort. Makes no sense, does it? See.....actions speak louder than words.

            As jns alluded, counseling is only effective if both parties go into it wanting it. If both parties go into it with the desire to win over the therapist to get them on THEIR SIDE, then it just turns into a competition as to who can win. What is the expense of being "right" in this situation? Divorce. There are worse things in life than divorce, but you need to be 100% sure it is what you want if you're going to do it because running back and forth after divorce and ultimately ending up in the same position is pointless.

            **Are you prepared to handle a divorce in a mature and uncontested manner?
            **Are you prepared to finalize a divorce and cut off all ties to him?
            **Are you prepared to feel lonely and regretful at times? Being single can be GREAT, but even at its best there are times of loneliness and fear of never finding the right person for you.
            **Are you prepared to say your final goodbyes to him, his family and friends?
            "Be what you're looking for."


            • His method of working things out are making sure I am showing him affection like he does with me, actually trying new things and going out and doing more rather than sitting at home all day every day like we do (that has yet to change yet). Counseling is basically out of the question, no matter how much I recommend it or say we need it. He won't do it. It's a lost cause in that department. I'm to my wits end with everything. This morning he actually went through my phone while I was in another room. I've talked with my mom and my aunt about things and he saw where my mom had asked if we were okay. I can't be straight with him, I never have been and I don't know why. He also showed me where he had been looking at apartments in an area of the state he likes as well and stated, "I am being serious this time." Makes it sound like he wasn't serious before, I don't know.

              We'd have a lot to deal with if we divorce. Thankfully we don't have children other than a dog and she's been his since the day we got her so she would definitely go with him. I personally can't see me having any issues with handling things maturely, it's him and his family I worry about. He has friends sure but none of them come to hang out or are really involved. I'm pretty isolated as even my own friends don't want to come hang out. His family is small, consisting of his two brothers (one doesn't count, he's not around), his parents and an aunt and uncle. How I've been treated by his mom and his youngest brother recently, I honestly don't want much to do with his family anymore either. He's already told me if we split he's not coming back to me which is something he's hammered into me since day 1. My life is a mess right now. I don't know what to do or where to go. I have no escape, no outlet, no serenity, nothing. I just want to be alone anymore and I can't be and at the same time I don't want to be.


              • I don't think counselling solves everything. Yes: it has helped many couples, but both partners have to want to work things out. I think you're now at the stage where you are deeply unhappy and he doesn't want to do anything to change that. He sounds terribly insecure and controlling. That isn't a marriage: that is a prison. I realize divorcing means a lot of paperwork and admitting to everyone the relationship didn't work, but you can't stay married out of fear of what other people will think. You have to be brutally honest with yourself and ask why you're staying in an abusive, controlling marriage. What do you think you deserve in life? You need to learn to stand up for yourself. He is supposed to be your husband: a shoulder to cry on, someone who emotionally supports and cherishes you, someone who never shouts or critizes. From what I can tell, he's none of those things. But only you can free yourself. Definitely have a deep conversation with yourself.


                • We had another long talk last week with things. He agrees that he is part of the problem with us and wants to work on things, make things like they were when we got together 12 years ago. I'm numb honestly. I want things to work sure but my heart, mind and soul have already seemed to have moved on. He's just pushed me away. I haven't really seen any improvements. I did for the first few days but it's gone back to how it was. He's annoyingly clingy now and smothering. That's not what I want to deal with. I have my own demons I'm fighting right now and that just isn't helping. Just last night I had to stop at my parent's to take care of their dogs for the evening while they've gone camping, I couldn't even spend any time over there by myself without him coming over (we live 5 minutes away from my parent's). Then he got all suspicious because I was going through my texts on my phone, deleting old ones and he goes, "Who are you talking to?" I said no one, he says "I just saw you delete a text thread." I said yea, I'm deleting my past texts and he just gave me this look and was very judgmental over it all. I'm not hiding anything from him. He freaks out if I talk to my mom or my aunt or anyone. It's like he doesn't want me to talk to anyone yet says he's fine if I talk to people. I just don't get it anymore. I'm at my wits end and I'm starting to feel more and more that it's time to split and I go back home for a while even though he'll tell me splitting for a little bit won't help and will probably just do more damage. I'm lost...


                  • Here's something to think about: Who were you when you got together 12 years ago? If you have to go back 12 years to get to where you want to be, is that something you ever truly had or just something that was fleeting that you've both been hanging on to ever since?

                    EVERYBODY has their best foot forward at the beginning of a relationship. That is no time to judge compatibility or what the future will be like with that person because we all know.....the newness wears off and reality sets in. So....what you had 12 years ago when you first got together wasn't a reality with him. What you've had since then is a reality.

                    Relating to your experience on a much smaller/shorter scale, I can remember being in a relationship that started off absolutely amazing. He was my dream guy and he treated me like a cherished and loved queen. It wasn't long until that started to wear off and I started to see the real him. The controlling and emotionally abusive him. But I hung on always clinging to "what we had in the beginning". I can't tell you how many times I said: "if we could just get back to the way we were when we first started dating". Two years later I realized I was depriving myself of a happy life all to cling to a fleeting moment in time I had years before that I had never seen again and truly was never going to see again with him. How silly, right?

                    I know now that even though newness wears off..........if you're with the right person you just replace that newness with respect, love, friendship, growth, intimacy and you only get stronger with time.
                    "Be what you're looking for."


                    • We were so young when we got together. I was only 16 and he was just turning 18 basically. We were babies back then, now 28 and 30. There is no way we could go back to what we had at that time, we knew nothing about ourselves or what we wanted at that time. I just feel like we did things very, strange at the start and while yes we were both happy, it was because things were new and we were young and stupid as I basically call it!

                      I just had to basically pull teeth to get him to go where my parent's were camping this past Saturday. I needed to get out of the city and into the mountains, to be away from the familiarity of home but we at least went. I know Friday morning my aunt and my parents were a bit worried about me and my aunt told me she was super close to coming back to town that evening to come get me. He would have flipped out I know that as he believes things are working themselves out but I know deep down, things are not moving forward positively as we've discussed. He's pushed me away, my heart mind and soul have separated already from him. I know I'm not happy. I know I'm in a heavy state of depression now too. The simplest things I used to love to do I no longer do. I can't even take a bath without him bugging me about something. He knows I need me time and he knows I need to be supported and motivated and agrees I need it but I have yet to see anything change with that. At this point I feel I would be happier alone than with him. I'm to the point where I just want to move home.

                      I don't know that he exactly trusts me either like he says he does. I can't even talk to my family without him wondering who I'm talking to or what we are talking about. He is very selfish, very insecure and while it's always been there, the older we've gotten it's just become worse. I don't want to hurt him, I don't want things to end badly but I'm to the point that I just sit in my car in the parking lot of my work actually I get off because I don't want to go home and deal with things.


                      • I second Beautiful Disaster's post. Everybody does have their best foot forward at the start of a relationship. I don't think there is any point or gain to be made by living in misery for the promise of "what if". He is as he is and will never change. Nothing you say or do will change him. Be brutally honest with yourself about what you're feeling: not just about the relationship, but about yourself, too. You deserve the best in life. Believe it.


                        • So a bit of an update. Things really aren't improving. He knows something isn't right. I almost walked out last Monday after a few comments he had made. I can't even visit my mom without him bugging me. Before I left my mom's last Monday after trying to get his resume printed for him he says, "I love how you use printing my resume as a cover." I replied saying I was not covering for anything but he never specified what he meant by it. I think he knows it's ending. That day also he tried to grab my phone out of my pocket and I pushed it back down and told him it was fine where it was and his comment was, "Geez get all defensive." And I basically let him have it after, telling him he needs to quit and back off me a little bit. I talk to my family and my very few friends I still have and that's it. Then his remark was, "well maybe we should just quit as there aren't any changes being made." I almost just dropped everything I was doing with our dinner that night and left and went back to my moms. Now he's constantly clingy and smothering. He keeps asking me if I'm happy or if I'm still into him. I'm at my breaking point..


                          • I feel bad for you, Winged_Muse: you're living in misery and are constantly stressed out due to his behaviour. Again, I would not stay in such a relationship myself. I think you've got to ask yourself if the relationship is worth all the hassle and stress. To me, it wouldn't be. He will NEVER change. I think you deserve better. I know this is easy for me to say, but ending things would be kinder to both of you. If you're constantly in the wrong, then he must be stressed out himself. You can't be someone you're not. If he can't accept you as you are, then you are both living in misery. Ask yourself: why are you staying in the relationship? Is the hope eroded? Be brutally honest with yourself.


                            • What do you say when he asks if you're happy and still into him? Do you tell him the truth?



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