Help I'm so stuck

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imsostuck

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Help I'm so stuck
« on: October 28, 2016, 01:09:45 PM »
I just read this thread on here about "he's being uber nice and I don't trust it" that really resonated with me. That's why I'm so stuck. He was an intermittent a$$ for 20 years. We've been together > 1/2 my life. I know this guy. We have 3 kids together... youngest are 15. I tried every dang thing I could think of for years. I told him I didn't feel he liked me, must less loved me. Everything I said was shoved back in my face, as I'm over sensitive, anyone would be irritated by me, get the F*&* over it he said, every time he lost his temper it was somehow my fault.  There were so many moments I thought how can he treat me or our kids the way he does and then a few hours later want sex and act like all is awesome with never addressing what just happened. He's never hit me or the kids. He's not an alcoholic. I know I have it better than lots and lots of wives. I feel like I should be grateful that he has been so nice, and is now doing stuff he's never done in 10 years (I've done 95% of everything), and wants to try and says he loves and misses me since I said I want a divorce ~2 years ago. But it feels false, and I don't trust it. My gut says get the heck out. Keep the walls up. Protect yourself, because another explosion will be coming eventually. I really can't believe he's acted this nice for this long. And the fact that he is being uber nice makes it impossible for me to get out. But I've seen 4 therapists and 2 marriage counselors and I can't change my feelings. So I feel like the mean one, when he's the one who has devalued me, controlled me, and killed my self esteem and had a temper that has scared the heck out of me and the kids for years. What the heck do I do? I feel like I'm waiting for that next explosion as an excuse to get out, but yet I know I've said that before and then I just continue to be the peacekeeper and tell myself it's not that big of a deal. Most of the issues are small, there are just so many of them, and they are so varied. If it weren't for the kids, yes I would have left years ago... I think?! But my self esteem is in the toilet. And I now isolate myself even more than he isolated me for 15 + years. I just have no hope. How am I ever going to get a backbone and just say this isn't enough for me unless some big explosion does happen and I use that moment to leave? I really feel like I'm going crazy a lot of the time. Like am I throwing away a relatively good relationship? Will I regret this? Or will I finally have peace after so many years of tension and suppression and depression. I can't make myself be affectionate with him anymore. But we are nice, and cooperate and chit chat. So I just feel guilty and empty. Help me please.

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SPinSC

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2016, 01:58:07 PM »
Imsostuck - I could have written your post. Really. Word for word. Except that I'm the 2nd wife, 2 of the kids are from his first failed marriage and I've only been married 12 years.

I do have a few suggestions to offer. First, while looking around and reading posts, have you come across boundaries? If so, did you start to implement some? Also, while you were finding this website, is it possible your husband found other websites and had an aha moment - after the threat to divorce?

My boundary skills are shaky at best, but I have put a few into place - such as no sex if you treat me badly that day - and been consistent with them. Slowly, I'm getting better at being consistent. This helps me relax. I at least know what I will do if/when he violates that boundary. He knows, too. I've had to do it.

The other thing is that, after the divorce threat, I talked to him about his possibly suffering from cPTSD - related to his childhood. He did some research and discovered that it is likely true. I personally think that my husband has cPTSD AND uBPD, but those tend to be confused for each other, so.... Anyway, I think my husband has done more research on his time and has begun doing self-work without therapy. I'm seeing so many little, positive results.

That last sentence is the most important. ARE you seeing positive, consistent results? Not the words, the actions. Are his outbursts becoming less often and less loud? I'm not saying it's time to trust it, but it may be time to reward good behavior for a while.

So, I keep my exit plan in place. I know what lawyer I'm going to call. I'm watching and trying to act as if all is good. I am trying to not pick a fight to make things go south. I'm being honest with my kids that I'm not sure if this is a permanent change or not. I hope these are. If so, we may have a real chance! And I'd still rather have an almost healthy marriage with a good man who is learning to  treat me well then to divorce and start all over on my own as a single mom. Only you know what your boundaries have to be and if you'll enforce them or not.

Keep posting! We're glad you found this site. Stinks why, but glad you're here, where folks really do understand.
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Love is an action verb. You will know if it is genuine by the actions that support it, not by the frequency of the spoken words.

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12PointBuck

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2016, 02:00:01 PM »
Hi imsostuck,

Sounds like 20+ years of abuse has trapped you in the FOG (fear, obligation and guilt). You have no reason to feel guilty about wanting to be treated respectfully and with love, we all want that and we all deserve it. You are no exception my friend!

My gut says get the heck out.

After ten years of ignoring my "gut", my intuition, my instincts, my "radar", I was in the same place you are now. It seems most of us in PD situations wind up exhausted and wanting to be done with it but it takes a huge commitment to leave.

I guess I got lucky, my exPDgf flat-out told me "this is all fake, everything we had is fake" so that helped motivate me to get out.  :aaauuugh:

Listen, it's hard; I spent a year isolated in a cabin in the mountains figuring out what the heck happened to me. I was deeply depressed, which is very unlike me. I spent months being hyper-vigilant thinking X might pop up again here in my new community. I'm still a bit PTSD but I promise you things have gotten better.

As depressing as my lonely year of extraction was, it was light-years better than the 10 years of complete confusion and abuse I suffered.

My advice is if at all possible, follow your gut. Esteemed OotF member Coyote will likely direct you to the "TOOLBOX" tab above to give you ideas as to how to plan and execute your eventual escape.

In truth, you are not truly stuck, we all have the free will to determine what we will and won't tolerate. Will it be easy? Nope, but how easy is it now?

I will say that over a year of being "free" has resulted in my gaining my soul and spirit back; I am still fragile, damaged, wary, but I can still trust and believe in the good in people. Ultimately you will walk away from this situation armed with the tools to recognize PDs and be able to avoid them like the plague.

Please keep faith, keep studying, and keep examining your reasons for tolerating this intolerable treatment. I know you have the strength to do this -- you found OotF after all, that's a great start.


Edited to add: please understand I come from the point of view that there is absolutely no helping the PD, nor is there any chance the PD will ever change. I came to this conclusion based on the fact I can't find more than maybe 1 or 2 examples of PDs who have successfully changed due to therapy or other methods. This works for me but there are other, more compassionate souls here who believe with some understanding, PDs can quite possibly change their behaviors. For me, the key to getting out was to establish that X was never going to change (never did over 10 years).
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 02:08:04 PM by 12PointBuck »
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imsostuck

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2016, 03:41:18 PM »
Thank you both for your replies. Yes I've read so much, and have tried so much, and have been told I have C-PTSD and I've developed so many health issues my multiple doctors and surgeons attribute directly to chronic inflammation from stress. I do see real changes in his behavior in the last 18 months, but I can't believe it took me being "done" for him to decide he cared. And I feel if I could ever completely go back to being "with" him totally, that he would most likely revert to his prior behavior. I don't know that he can change this dramatically. And yes I still see aggression right under the surface and it comes out now and then. I think he's desperate to keep me and the life I make so easy for him. But I just feel empty and hopeless. I agree, I never wanted expensive gifts or fancy trips. I just wanted to feel loved, respected and appreciated for who I am inside, and that my feelings matter. But for him, it's always been about what he feels and wants. And his outbursts he says I'm just supposed to deal with because he has a right to "vent". And that I am over sensitive. I could go on and on. Details don't matter really. We all have stories, and honestly I know mine isn't nearly as bad as most others that are on this site (I'm assuming). So given that he's being "nice" I have stayed, and felt the FOG consume me. I wish more than anything that he'd just go ahead and lose it and then I could leave. Waiting for the eventual (I feel inevitable) explosion is hard. But I do reward him for his nice behavior. I think we have rebuilt a friendship that was lost. But there's a point I can't go beyond, if you know what I mean. And that leaves me empty and tense. I also have a lawyer and a realtor. I just feel so guilty and empty. No way to push myself back 100%, and can't make myself leave. So here I sit on the fence. Waiting. :(

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SPinSC

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2016, 03:53:04 PM »
Yes, I see you ~ we're sharing that fence.  :wave: So much in common it's almost spooky.

I will say that declaring a few boundaries, outside of his occasional complaints that I get to make all the rules, has helped me feel more like I'm being heard.

I do dread weekends, though. At least during the work week, I get big chunks of time away. On weekends, we're stuck around each other all the time. He can't drive, so depends on me to get anywhere. I enjoy the weekends that he chooses to indulge in his hobby. I get a few hours of peace with just me and our DS8.

While I have no answers for you, at least you know you're not alone. Someone in this crazy PD/SO world understands what you're going through and can say, 'Yes, that is bad and you do deserve better.' I even understand the one foot out of the door feeling. And feeling stuck. Before I had my son, I was going to leave a month after DSS graduated high school. DS was born two years before that happened. DS is now 8. And I'm still here.
I choose this day to rise up and be my best self, not succumbing to that which I sense is inside me, trying to drag me down.

Love is an action verb. You will know if it is genuine by the actions that support it, not by the frequency of the spoken words.

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westexy

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2016, 04:14:55 PM »
Hi I'msostuck! Lots of us with similar stories. May I just say that in your short post, you don't sound stuck to me at all. You sound like you really do know what is right for you, but you are fearful of doing it. Some of the best advice I've received about my situation is to not make any decisions or big changes when I'm emotional, confused, stressed, etc. It sounds like maybe you need a little more self care to achieve a calmer decision making mind. I don't know what more self care might involve for you, but one thing that has helped me tremendously is meditation. To keep this short, I thought it was baloney before I tried it and it has changed my life.

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cmh1984

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 05:04:32 PM »
I get worried about that too.  You're not alone in that.  I am carefully planning to leave.  But this past year was the first year in nine where we had no physical confrontation.  Last month, three incidents.  This month, none.  I am riddled with guilt, I fake it when I am home... I have to, but it drives me crazy.

My fear is that we are in his parents house with our three kids, we plan to move, but when we do will we be right back to the daily terrorizing behavior he showed last time we lived away from anyone else?  It was BAD.  So bad, I am certain I can't even give it another shot.  More because he wont take responsibility or admit what he did.

You have a lot of sound advice from posters prior to me on this thread, take it to heart.  Make a calm well thought out decision based on your needs, self respect, respect for your children, and go.

From my experience my uNPDso puts his mask on anytime he thinks I might leave, and so long as I don't trigger the drop.  Doesn't necessarily mean everyone is like that though.

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imsostuck

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2016, 05:56:52 PM »
That's so true about them putting the "mask" on. And he lets me have no boundaries, which feels so invasive and confining, so I have to work on that. Finding a time to be able to meditate is going to be really hard as I don't have any time to myself. I run and walk, and that's my alone time to think. And what's interesting is I feel so strong and determined to leave when I'm alone, but I come back and he's all nicey nicey chit chat... and then I lose that determination and the guilt and doubt sets in. But, knowing that there are others that feel the same way does help. Thanks all of you for your responses. One day at a time... and geez it's been so many years. I can't believe I'm at this point. But I can be nice back. I am just not dropping that wall I've built to protect myself. He's hurt me too many times.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2016, 06:07:00 PM »
Thank you both for your replies. Yes I've read so much, and have tried so much, and have been told I have C-PTSD and I've developed so many health issues my multiple doctors and surgeons attribute directly to chronic inflammation from stress. I do see real changes in his behavior in the last 18 months, but I can't believe it took me being "done" for him to decide he cared. And I feel if I could ever completely go back to being "with" him totally, that he would most likely revert to his prior behavior. I don't know that he can change this dramatically. And yes I still see aggression right under the surface and it comes out now and then. I think he's desperate to keep me and the life I make so easy for him. But I just feel empty and hopeless. I agree, I never wanted expensive gifts or fancy trips. I just wanted to feel loved, respected and appreciated for who I am inside, and that my feelings matter. But for him, it's always been about what he feels and wants. And his outbursts he says I'm just supposed to deal with because he has a right to "vent". And that I am over sensitive. I could go on and on. Details don't matter really. We all have stories, and honestly I know mine isn't nearly as bad as most others that are on this site (I'm assuming). So given that he's being "nice" I have stayed, and felt the FOG consume me. I wish more than anything that he'd just go ahead and lose it and then I could leave. Waiting for the eventual (I feel inevitable) explosion is hard. But I do reward him for his nice behavior. I think we have rebuilt a friendship that was lost. But there's a point I can't go beyond, if you know what I mean. And that leaves me empty and tense. I also have a lawyer and a realtor. I just feel so guilty and empty. No way to push myself back 100%, and can't make myself leave. So here I sit on the fence. Waiting. :(

This was me, I could have written this post! I put up boundaries - some small, one large one. He didn't like it, but I thought we were working through it (albeit reluctantly). It's hard, I see the aggression simmering under the surface. It's always there. I mentioned this in T, he just looked at me with a strange expression on his face and didn't really say anything. I was like you - nothing fancy, just be there for me, support me, encourage me to be my best. I was waiting for him to start working on himself, his issues, for any signs of true change. Kept waiting. Found out last week he'd rather start with someone new than work on our issues. No more agonizing for me - staying because I knew he'd be hurt if I left (before gf), staying because I knew he would come unglued - he's made the decision for me.

There's no need to feel guilty, you did nothing wrong. It's a tough situation to be in. My walls have been up for many years. I refuse to let them drop, I can't. If I do, I fear he will take that as a green light to revert back to his old ways. He's even told me I need to get back to "normal." Not happening.
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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moondance

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2016, 08:21:45 PM »
   I'm in the same place you are. Even went and looked at an apt., but it just didn't feel right and things were fairly calm at home so I chickened out.  Thought maybe its best to stay put for the winter and try again in the spring; but I knew it was just a matter of time until his next outburst, angry accusation, or threat. And unfortunately, I was right, it happened today. You can read about it on the common behaviors forum.  So now I'm again at a place where I want to leave, but have no apt. in place and no savings.  I saw a great quote about this situation that said "the abused woman stays because the fear of going is stronger than the fear of staying. When the fear of staying becomes stronger than the fear of going, she will go."  That gives me hope. I know I don't deserve to be treated this way, no matter what his traumas and emotional scars are, it doesn't give him the right to bully me.  When your situation at home becomes intolerable, and I'm not saying it will, but that's when you'll find the strength you need to go. That is what I hope for for myself and any person in this situation.

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TurnThePage

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 12:34:14 PM »
OMG!  I feel so much of this post.

I was ready to call it quits just a few weeks ago....then he starts doing things he Never has done our whole entire married life (going to concerts etc...)  basically hoovering like heck!   Others see it and say..."he's trying"  Ugh!  Making me feel super bad for suggesting divorce.

Then the other night he rages at me for not cooking his onion rings properly!  Yes....had me a blubbering mess for not cooking them  done enough!

I too feel that others have it worse than I do and I should appreciate what I have.  But there comes a time when you have to say "Am I settling?"

Don't Settle!   Know your worth!

I am struggling with all of this too...Stay Strong! 

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imsostuck

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 03:30:40 PM »
Thank you! Yes I'm settling. Yes I've put up with so much nonsense and I am embarrassed that I have. I just was trying to keep the peace, but at the cost of my own self worth. I have no boundaries, and when I try to set them or tell him he's crossed them it's my fault. I should have left years ago, but now I've given him the chance to look like Mr. Awesome when he didn't any of these things for 22+ years.... I should have walked when he was at his peak A$$ behavior. Now I'm stuck because he's being nice. There's just too many sides to this. I read another thread on how they say they don't remember all the cruel hurtful moments, and things they said. He also says he doesn't remember all of the times I pleaded with him with my heart on my sleeve to see that I felt unliked and unloved and he didn't care and now says he doesn't remember, that I didn't get through to him how serious it was. Ugh. It's all my fault one way or another. Because he's Mr. Awesome and I somehow just can't be happy in his opinion it's something wrong with me. Lose - lose situation no matter what. How the heck to do I get the guts to just get this over with IF he doesn't do something big. Most of the things are typically little demeaning things, that make me feel like my wants and needs and thoughts are unimportant or just plain wrong. So it's hard to just pick a day and say this is the day I walk out. With 3 kids impacted, too. :(

Thank you so much for your support in saying this is where you are at, too. It really does help. I'm tired of thinking and hearing it's not that bad. Because in a way I know that's true, but my heart is done.

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seeking support

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Re: Help I'm so stuck
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 07:27:54 PM »
I was in my relationship a much shorter time than most of you but I was feeling the same ie should I stay or go? I felt guilty but also kept telling myself and fooling myself that he means it this time, he'll get help and he'll change and stop all his rages. He then took a rage too far and I felt I was left with no choice but to get out. I'm not happy and I still have very mixed emotions but overall I'm glad I had the choice taken away from me otherwise I know I'd have stuck with him for years giving just one more chance. Go with your gut. If he's really changed he'll let you have space but my guess is that if you say you're leaving he'll show his true colours and you'll know you've made the right decision not to waste anymore time on him.