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Emotionally abusive and controlling, but I love him. Should I leave?
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Emotionally abusive and controlling, but I love him. Should I leave?

I have been married for over 4 years. My husband is in the military. We "dated" for 6 months before getting married, but we had only physically spent 17 days together (started long-distance). I was barely 20, he 24.
Once married, I started to see. He is very controlling and jealous, and though he denies it is emotionally abusive.
One time I he said he wouldbe at work late, so I stopped at Target with a friend after work & got home 1 hour late. He was home, and he yelled at me in the street in front of people b/c he didn't know where I was for an hour. There have been other situations like this. I stay late at work frequently, but he yells if I don't call him every time and let him know where I am and how long I will be staying. And if I stay later than that, I have to call him back with an update. He always tells me that I don't make enough money, don't clean enough, always late, etc.
I have met someone who has showed me that guys CAN be nice. Nothing happened, or will happen, but he showed me what a man should be.
Divorce has been brought up 2 times in the last year. Things are going better now, but I am feeling ready to leave. My brain knows there is someone better for me (we've nothing in common), but my heart still wants to snuggle up into his arms. I can't tell if I love HIM, or if I love the security of SOMEONE.
My family and friends wanted me to leave for yrs due to his behavior. The thought of leaving makes me sick, but he won't go to anger mgmt or counseling ("no time").
How do you know to leave when you think still love them?
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20 Comments Post a Comment
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164559_tn?1233711618
You pack your stuff and leave.  This is your life, you only get one and do you want to waste it on someone who abuses you?

You married too young to someone you didn't really know.
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Avatar_n_tn
as a military wife myself, if you want to stay with this man, go see a chaplain right away.  His NCO can force him to take action as well.  Get yourself some help!
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Avatar_f_tn

If he refuses to see a counselor with you, then there is nothing more you can do. His behavior is probably hurting your self-esteem, etc. Not a good situation.... it sounds like you may have to leave.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the responses. I am finding this very difficult, but I guess one of the things I have to look at is that my friends and family all want me to leave after seeing his behavior. On one occasion he kicked me out of the car in the middle of a several-lane wide road because I had gotten lost while driving his mother's vehicle (we were out of state, and I didn't have a map or cell phone).He had said he was so angry that he literally couldn't sit in the same car with me. He never apologized.
I have to give some thought to the fact that if your friends and family across the board want you to leave, there might be some wisdom there. You can't see the forest from the trees, and I think I cannot see the relationship clearly because I see what I want to see. I'll think "Oh, he hasn't done anything really mean in awhile. He hasn't given away gifts he made me or kicked me out a vehicle, berated me in public, in awhile." But then I realize that he was using curse words to address me only two weeks ago, and I have to re-evaluate.
I have been making plans for awhile now, only because I was certain I would never actually use them. Now a time has come where I have to do it fast to avoid losing something important. It is scary!
I know in my head that it would be better in the long run, but it is liking pulling out a tack from your foot... even though you know in your head that it will be better to have it out, you either have to have someone else do it, or you take off before anyone can try! You can't bring yourself to do it because you are scared of the pain. I guess that is where I am at right now.
Help!
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13167_tn?1327197724
Sweetalexis - if he made you get out of the car on the highway,  I think leaving is a good idea.

But I also don't think you should necessarily leave for another man.  Leaving is one thing,  and it sounds like a pretty rational decision at this point,  but really,  to jump right into another relationship immediately is probably expecting way too much.

Best wishes.  Thank God you didn't have any kids together,  and can make a clean break.
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Avatar_n_tn
Okay, I take that back.  After reading your other posts, REPORT HIM TO THE MP's!  He'll more than likely get chaptered out and jail time!  The a$$hole deserves it!!!  You NEED to get out!!!!!!!  NOW!!!
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172715_tn?1285498090
Make your plans to leave but also talk to the chaplin and your husbands NCO. You might need some protection when you do leave and it will be easier if you have the right kind of help for you and  your husband before hand. Word abuse always leads to physical abuse, it's just a matter of time. Then there maybe a honeymoon period after he says he's sorry for an incident.(If he says he is sorry that is) Don't involve another man at this time.  He may get hurt in more than 1 way.  It would be a rebound relationship anyway and those do not last. Do whatever you have to do to protect yourself and your family & friends and get counseling. Find a support group in your local paper for abussive relationships(they're free, but may take a small donation for overhead) Do not get involved with any man for atleast 1 year-you must break the abuse cycle. Be divorced from this man, abussers most of the time, don't get better. You don't deserve that treatment no matter what he says or what you've done! Your problem is low self-esteem though and must be addressed.  If you don't believe in divorce then you can stay married but live seperate.  Unfortunetly you wouldn't be free to date or get married. God says divorce is not good but you don't have to stay and get belittled or beat up. God also forgives our sins if we ask for it. Want to know more, just ask me or your chaplin. God Bless You & Keep You Safe.
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Avatar_n_tn
"I have been making plans for awhile now, only because I was certain I would never actually use them. Now a time has come where I have to do it fast to avoid losing something important. It is scary!"

What exactly do you mean by you have to leave fast to avoid losing something important?  This is very concerning to me.

I was married to a very similar man.  It doesn't get better.  He refused to go to any sort of counseling, that means he doesn't think there is a problem with his behavior.  The fact that you have stayed with him for so long is showing him that you are all right with it as well.

You know you deserve better or you wouldn't be on here.  Verbal and emotional abuse does turn physical.  You say your family and friends want you to leave.  Call upon one of them to give you a place to stay.  Get a restraining order and be done with him.  Hire a good lawyer (if you don't make a lot of money you can find someone who will work with you) and divorce him.  Make sure you cite the abuse as the reason for the divorce.

After that take some time for yourself.  Do not jump into any new relationship until you have some time to heal.  To answer your question, I think you are in love with the security of being with someone.  Getting invovled with someone else too soon will just be for dependence and you need to learn how to stand up for yourself and depend on you.

You are lucky.  You have famliy and friends to support you.  So many women in your situation have nobody.  Listen to them and what everyone else on here is telling you.

Best of luck to you!  
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Avatar_f_tn
im a military wife. id say just leave. dont involve them, it will just make things worse. pack and leave when he isnt home. get him served and start your divorce. he isnt going to change and his behavior is very scary. im guessing there are no children since you didnt mention or i didnt read that part. it makes it much easier. you know men shouldnt treat us like that . it isnt love. he doesnt know and probably never will. you are too young to live this way. even love isnt always enough! there needs to be respect, compassion, ect. you are worth more than this man. like i said leave when he isnt around, if he is, you can have the police there to make sure it goes smoothly. remember things are important, but your safety is. good luck and please keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
It made me cry to read your responses. I would like to clarify that nothing happened with this other person, but spending a few hours talking to him made me realize that there really are nice guys out there... that I could have something so much better than what I have now. I do not want to leave FOR him... I was saving for this long before I met him. If I end up seeing him, great. If not, ok. I am just content to have proof that it can be better. I had never met a nice guy or witnessed a healthy relationship, so I was skeptical as to their actual existence. I worried that eventually all marriages turned out like this, and there was no point in leaving because it didn't get better.
I have signed up for classes for this semester, but I am seriously considering dropping them (with plans to continue in my new town in the fall). I would/will be relocating, and the stress of the divorce and move (complete out-of-state relocation) would probably be too much to successfully complete my classes anyway. Plus, I would have to either continue with this farce for another 4 months, or figure out somewhere to live around here between whenever I told him and May. This way, I could pick up and leave without a time frame.
Is it silly to hope we can make it through this without it getting ugly?
Aagh! Has anyone utilized any sort of divorce support group, and if so, did it help? I have no family or close friends where I am now, and going through this alone might do me in.
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172715_tn?1285498090
Look in your local paper for abuse support group as I posted before.  Many of the people who attend will probably be going through a separation just like you are. Either way it will be personal support. Face to Face
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Avatar_n_tn
I didn't have any support group but like I said I have been through it myself.  I will always listen if you need someone to talk to.  It may not be the same as in person support, but at least you know you won't be alone!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been talking to my best friend throughout this, and she offered to drive up to go with me to see a divorce lawyer next week. I also have plans to go spend the last weekend in January with her (as I plan to move to the town where she lives). That way I can psych myself up by realizing that it could be like that all of the time. Hopefully I can come back and have the courage to make a clean break. In the meantime, I am just carrying out the motions, and not putting out extra effort in any fashion at home. I am hoping he will be less likely to resist if he isn't impressed with my attitude/behavior. That probably sounds childish, but it will also make it less of a shock. I don't want to spring a divorce on him in the middle of a stretch of getting along (which is what we are having right now) with no explanation. I certainly don't want to get in to the fact that he is emotionally abusive... I have tried to talk to him about that before, and he thinks I am a crazy drama queen.
I have never been so terrified in my life.
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172715_tn?1285498090
There is actually more fear of the unknown than what you will really experience when you make your move.  Be strong and keep in touch.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have made appointments with two different lawyers this week, one tomorrow and one Friday. A friend will be accompanying me tomorrow, as it will be my first real big step and I am likely to break down.
But, I have been sure to keep strong communication with supportive friends and family who keep assuring me that this is the right thing.
I will take deep breaths, and worry about one day at a time.
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172715_tn?1285498090
Good Job! Keep on breathing. But why 2 lawyers?
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Avatar_n_tn
I had made two appointments so I could decide who I liked better... in approach, personality, etc.
I had my first consult last night, and the guy is great. The fact that he is a man is good because I think my husband doesn't really respect women on the same level as men. Also, he has made it clear that it will be his job to handle everything, and I won't have to worry about fighting with my estranged husband for the next year (that would be a nightmare). I am supposed to call him today and give him my credit card number for his retainer so he can file the initial paperwork that starts the 60-day waiting period clock. I have been putting off calling him because I feel like that will be the running leap off the cliff... no going back. The first step that I have had to actually commit to.
Aaagh! I keep talking to other people who have gone through the same things and worse, and they said they were scared, doubting themselves... so it helps to hear that I am not the only one who feels this way.
I am about to call the lawyer and give him the retainer... and I feel like I am going to have a heart attack.
My best friend came up from 2 hours away to go with me yesterday, and she strongly advocates leaving sooner rather than later. I had been thinking March... she suggested that she could help in two weeks. I have very mixed feelings about this.
I am scared to do it that fast, but I don't want to continue living what I know is a lie for longer than necessary. I keep telling myself that it will be better once I have left and gotten settled, but I am still more terrified than I have ever been of anything in my life. I am going to talk to my boss today (if I don't move in two weeks, it will be in four weeks). I would hate to leave with only two weeks notice, but I have to think about it will do to me to remain in the lie.
Luckily, my lawyer said that after I leave I won't have to see him or talk to him anymore (he said that is what I am paying him for). It will hurt, but it will be so much easier... either he would be mean and cause me additional stress, or there might be a slim chance he would try to get me back... and after 4.5 years with an emotional abuser, moving around with no support system at all, I have lost the strong woman I used to be.
I guess that really isn't a question so much as a blog, but oh well.
Please feel free to share similar experiences. I feel like I am completely losing control.
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Avatar_n_tn
So I called the lawyer and gave him his retainer (told him not to file yet, though... do it right before I leave).
I talked to my boss and told her I was leaving. It was sad, because I really like and respect her as both a boss and a person. She said that she will be very disappointed to see me go, but she understands that this is something I need to do.
I am in talks with a potential roommate (who lives in a house with 4 other females... I would be #6). On paper everything sounds perfect. As long as we get along when I meet her, it is a done deal. How lucky... everything I need, and only 2.8 miles from my best friend in the world. I guess in that way I have been blessed.
I have made myself a "to-do" list, and a "what to pack" list. Both are actually pretty long... but I want to make sure I can get everything down on paper now, since I will probably be low-functioning as the day approaches.
My mother has added a phone line for me to her cell phone plan (only $20/month extra, which is cheaper than getting my own individual line). My phone won't get here until next week, but I will have a private phone then (right now I share with my husband- nerve-wracking!)
I plan on opening my own individual checking account on Tuesday so I can change my direct deposit info.
Oh, it is really happening! I am sad, and terrified, and excited, and impatient, and anxious... I am really running the full gamut of emotions right now. Eeee.
Well, someone asked me to keep this thread updated, so there you go. Maybe someday someone else will read all of this, and feel better for not being the only one to have these feelings.
In the meantime, I am taking some classes, and teaching myself italian on my own. Good to be distracted.
Ciao, bellas.
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Avatar_n_tn
This is a great thread!! I'm curious to see what happens next.
I am in a similar situation. Been considering leaving for years actually.
I am in a lesbian relationship. Yes, women can be abusive too.
Verbal/emotional abuse became physical (hitting, spitting, pushing, throwing coffee and tea).
The physical abuse was not frequent and it only happened on a few occasions. But it happened.
The last time was a little over a year ago. Things have been better since then but there is still
verbal/emotional abuse - insults, criticism, judgement, etc.
I concede that I am not without responsibility here for my part. I gave up control early in the relatinship
just to keep it. When I realized what I had done I talked to may partner about it and wanted us to get counseling together. She refused. And let me tell you. trying to get control BACK is nearly impossible.
Once people have control of you they want to keep it.
At any rate it has been 5 years since the beginning of my awakening. 3 years of counseling and I finally have the strength/courage (despite being called a coward by my partner)/money and plan to leave.
I haven't told her yet. I have been discussing it with my therapist.
My partner has a 14 year old daughter who lives with us and with whom parting is going to be hard.
I hope to still be involved in her life after, though my partner has threatened that if I leave I will not see her. I think this is just a threat but I won't really know until I go.
I too feel scared, excited, nervous. I look forward to having control over my life completely again and living without frequent conflict. I do still love or at least care for my partner and feel guilt for what I'm certain to her will feel like abandonment and that no one cares about her.
It is a difficult time.

TDub
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5973125_tn?1378579463
You should leave you have no right to be treated like that. He's a hazard to your health. I was in a similar relationship with a guy in the military. I looked for a why out for around a month. I got it in my head that the time he gets angry with me I'll use that to get out. It finally happened and I left that day and haven't looked for back. I am now with an amazingly sweetheart of a guy that would do anything for me. I too looked for reasons to stay but the cons out weighed the pros. Sometimes you have to push yourself to help yourself. I don't believe you'll regret leaving. I didn't. Good luck sweet lady.
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