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I think I'm in abusive relationship.

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by SilentM, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. SilentM

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    Guys, my wife just went bonkers.

    She is checking my e-mails and browser history and rummaging through my personal belongings. She wants to know everything I buy and and everywhere I go. She tries to decide what should I eat and drink for me. She even tries to control how I dress and look. I have almost no privacy, no intimacy left. She actually has a nerve to blame me for this. "I do all of this for you" and "You made me do it" and "I was justified in retrospect"(...and on with the blame game).

    I'm walking eggshells here. It does not matter if I do things her way or may way, because she literally sets things up so that either way she will have an excuse to assault me or criticize me. I'm being constantly scrutinized, criticized and accused. I avoid talking to her because every conversation leads to a row. And she is triangulating (trying to make other people say she is right when she is criticizing me in public) to the point that people will actually defy her and accuse of being abusive towards me and our kid. This is the only thing that makes her back off a little - she protects her public image of a good mother.

    She also constantly gives me rants about my family and friends and as a result I hardly ever see them because she does not want to see them and does not want me to see them. Then she mocks me for not having any friends. Whenever I get a job she overburdens me with taking care of the kid and house and even her stuff to the point that I don't have the time to eat or sleep. I get so exhausted I need to quit (or end up in hospital which happened twice already) and when I loose the job she mocks me and berates me for not having a job. She says she is ashamed because of me.

    Early in our relationship I had a suspicion that she might be spilling details about our sex life to her friends and might have outed me a couple of times to make fun. But I had no proof and she assured she would never, so I let it go, maybe I was paranoid. But now that I see how she openly disrespects my privacy and is obviously gaslighting I'm beginning to feel insecure. Looking back at our relationship I see how every step she was increasing control of my life to the point that she made me actually dependent and unable to leave (which I'd do this moment otherwise). Like after we moved out of my flat to our house (which she insisted on) and she took control over majority of our savings and burdened me with rising our kid (which she insisted on having) so that she can do whatever she wants (usually drink). She is becoming increasingly aggressive and abusive over the course of last 6 years with ever decreasing periods of being nice that confuse me and make me hope that maybe I can make things work out.

    The current relapse is most probably caused by me trying to improve things a few weeks back and her being stressed out from work and taking over some duties. I felt that she tried (or pretended) to be nice at first but faking affection exhausted her and she needs to recharge by being abusive. What is happening now is a nightmare because she totally lost it and I have nowhere to run or hide and besides I can't leave our kid. If I go ask for divorce she will turn my life into hell and the court will hand her the house and kid for sure. She actually gloats about it from time to time.

    I know some of you have experience with relationships gone sour, divorces, abuse and stuff can you share some advice do I have any options really, because I try to manage it and act cool but inside I don't feel so well right now...
     
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  2. QuietPeace

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    You are in an abusive relationship, the gaslighting will make you question that.

    The best advice that I can come up with is not something that you are going to like. Cut your losses. More than one time in my life I have had to lose everything in order to get out of an abusive situation. It hurts but in the end it is the safest option.
     
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  3. jessie19

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    I had a similar thing a few years ago, except she charge me with a knife and i had to force her to drop it, but either way GET OUT, its never something anyone deserves to experience and it will mess you up for years to come if something happens to you or your kids and you knew you could have gotten out before it got to there .
     
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  4. Lin1

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    You are in an abusive relationship, get out of it and fight for the custody of your child, by staying with her you are teaching your kid that this type of relationship is okay. I would start recording her etc... so you can use all of those things in court.

    courts want what’s best for your kid they aren’t going to give her 100% custody unless there is evidence you would be dangerous and unfit to look after your child.


    You seem to have witness to her behavior so she actually has less of a leg to stand on juridically.
     
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  5. Chip

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    There is absolutely no question that the relationship is abusive. This isn't something that's going to be reparable, at least, not without years of therapy. What you have is someone who is exceptionally insecure, who does not believe she is worthy of having someone love her, and likely also someone who has felt out of control for much of her life. And so she's trying to take control in any way she can, desperately trying to keep you, not realizing that her actions do the complete opposite. It is also possible she is dealing with narcissistic personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder, in which case she is simply not capable of thinking of your needs. Additinoally, if there is an alcohol problem, that's indicative of deeper issues as well.

    I would take steps to get out NOW. I would not negotate, discuss, nor would I listen to any promises to change, because with the behaviors you've described, that's all deeply driven by her unconscious messages, so even if she wanted to drastically change overnight, it would not be possible. Go to an attorney and have a factual discussion about your situation. It may be *entirely* different than what you believe. A lot depends on the state; these days "no fault" divorces are a lot more common, and things are not always "wife gets all" any longer. Even in the worst case, if she gets the house, she won't be entitled to whatever equity stake you have, so she would have to make an arrangement to buy you out.

    I would start *today* putting money aside. Hide it in whatever way you can. Open an account at a different bank. Don't move money between accounts, take it out in cash and re-deposit it. Get cash back at the grocery or other shopping and put that in your account.

    You may also want to pay attention to yourself and your own sense of worthiness, as someone who believes in his own self-worth would not stick around and tolerate someone behaving in this way. (Insecure people tend to pick other insecure people, in part because, unconsciously, they don't believe they are worthy of anything more.)

    Worst possible case, she gets the savings and the house... you aren't in a bad position to start over if you have to. Anything is worth getting out of this, from what you describe.
     
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  6. BiGemini87

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    Like everyone else has said, this is without question an abusive relationship. Don't give in to the despair of thinking they'd rule in favour of her. Get enough evidence stacked against her, find yourself a good lawyer, and get the hell out as fast as you can. If you're worried about your child, factor that into your discussions with your lawyer.

    Because what she's doing to you is most definitely not okay. Whatever's wrong with her doesn't justify her actions, and nor is it your job to fix her problems. Neither you or your child should be exposed to her any longer than you have to be. I implore you to seek legal counsel and get out as fast as you can.
     
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  7. SilentM

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    Thank you all!

    Just to be clear this is not physical violence and the threats and insults are ocassional so it is impossible to record it. The typical behavioral pattern consist of three stages: setup, ambush and retribution:
    - setup is when she makes immediate requests which are impossible to fulfill at the same time
    - ambush springs when I react to the request (or don't)
    - retribution comes whenever she needs a justification for her behavior

    Example: I'm washing dishes and she is sweeping the floor with a broom. The broom gets broken - unintentionally, but this disrupts her. The shop with the brooms is 100 m from our home. She pretends to be helpless and asks me to fix the broom or buy a new one.
    - If I refuse and tell her to do it herself, she will react with anger and after some time (days, months years) when I need help (with something I cannot do myself) she will bring it up to either try to make me feel bad or justify not helping me.
    - If I delay fixing her problem, she will accuse me of ignoring her and wasting her time and the floor will be left as it is (because the "floor sweeping time" has run out) unless I sweep it myself (which in her opinion I do wrong). After some time (days, months, years) when something seriously urgent arises she will delay taking action to show me "how it feels" and will be ranting about how unfair I am.
    - If I go and fix the broom problem immediately, on my way back I will be greeted with angry noise of clunking dishes and cupboard doors slamming. Obviously I have failed in my duty of washing dishes in time and she had to do it all by herself, least she would be left without a clean plate. This will serve to justify skipping daily chores and parental obligations in favor of drinking and hangover for days to come. Also this is where the vicious circle snaps because she can make further requests. After all she sacrificed her time for me, so there is no reason for me not to return the favor for days, months and years to come, right? Needless to say: the new broom I bought is good for nothing.

    This is learnt behavior. Her mother does this to her husband all the time and over the years she convinced her children that he is the abusive one. At this point in their relationship she gets away with bullshit like (by means of example) "he got me so upset that I broke my favorite broom" or "the broom broke because he sabotaged it". She is obsessed with her husband and turns every conversation into a rant about him. And my marriage goes the same way, just as my wife's former relationship has ended. Her first husband bought her off to get rid of her and have a new life with a new wife. This is why I don't believe I stand much chances.

    This. I want to start therapy next week but not quite sure where to seek help (COVID makes things worse). I think that the easiest route is starting with psychiatrist to treat depression.

    I don't think my wife has an antisocial or narcissistic disorder. She had a number of traumatic experiences in her life, starting with being sexually assaulted in her teens by a family member (which the family refuses to acknowledge), her mother almost died, she got divorced, got some serious health problems and bunch of surgeries that render her practically infertile, she came out as bisexual twice to her family and friends (which the family refuses to acknowledge). There are other things too that I suspect but she never tells me about and denies if I ask. After giving birth she got f***ed up in the head and totally gave in into the darker side of her personality. It feels like she has permanent postpartum psychosis and depression that she tries to self medicate with aggression and alcohol abuse instead of seeking help.

    When it comes to me, I was often accused of being egocentric, unempathic and not giving enough support in relationships and this is how my wife likes to perceive me as well. What people do not see is that by nature of character I'm experiencing more negative thoughts and emotions than most people do and thus most of the time I'm busy with managing them and maintaining balance inside. To me it feels obnoxious and annoying when other people overburden me with their problems while I'm busy dealing with mine. My feelings is my responsibility, their feelings is their responsibility. I know this is mostly a communication problem and I was trained to defuse such situations. The problem is that the training assumes that people want to avoid the conflict which is not the case in my marriage.

    For example my wife is obsessed with buying a bigger house. I told her: "We cannot afford it now and perhaps we never will. We must make the best of what we got. We are not poor and most people around are in much worse situation. As much as I'd love to move to the bigger house, thinking of it makes me feel defeated, because I don't earn as much as I hoped I would at this point. So I don't want to hear about it until situation improves and I cannot improve anything when we are arguing or I'm feeling down all the time.". Does she stop? Nope. A few weeks of pause and on with the subject. So at some point I will get angry or simply ignore her talking to me which is great because she can use it at her convenience (setup, ambush, retribution). Next time she gets angry or gives me a silent treatment she will justify it by saying "I've learnt this from you". The worst part is that kid picks it up already and justifies her bad behavior with real or imaginary insults. "The fact that someone did something bad is not a reason to do something bad" is like a mantra to me. But it's hopeless because copying behavior is stronger than reasoning.

    My wife was to marriage therapy once (with ex) and it did not work. I think this is because she "enjoys" being self-destructive and projecting it on other people and thus is unwilling to change. I don't understand why. She might not love herself, she might not love me but shouldn't she try at least for the kid's sake?
     
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  8. QuietPeace

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    The things that you list in her behavior are clearly abusive. It really does not matter if she could be diagnosed with a cluster B personality disorder, she absolutely shows indications of it though, even if she is only subclinically a narcissist or antisocial. You need to get out and if at all possible take your child with you. Seek out the help of an attorney and be clear about what is happening, both you and your child are in danger, even if only emotional danger. Your life cannot be complete in this situation and your child will grow up to expect being abused and get into a similar situation, I know this is how I grew up and I continually get into abusive relationships.
     
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  9. BiGemini87

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    It doesn't have to be physical to be abuse. Regardless of anything that's happened in her life, her actions in the here and now are her own. We all have our demons, and while they can make day-to-day life difficult, it is up to us to be aware of them, aware of what triggers them, and try to do better.

    This is coming from someone who had a lot of unresolved anger and had a tendency of blowing up on the wrong people because of it. I won't go into my life history, but let's put it this way: If I could make the effort to do better, so can your wife. Nothing, absolutely nothing excuses the way she treats you, learned behaviours or not.
     
    #9 BiGemini87, Nov 4, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
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