Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:50 PM
My husband says he WILL NOT see a therapist.
We split up for a year in 2002. At that time, I had been asking him to go to counseling with me, and he refused. He did go on his own AFTER I left -- I don't know if he went once, or more. But it took me leaving for him to even try it. And it took him almost the whole year to realize that he was going to need to make some real changes in order for me to come back.
He did make those changes. He started saying, "I love you" -- something that had been almost impossible for him before, and which he hadn't said to me in years. He agreed to once in a while spend time with my parents (I'm talking about dinner once a year, sometimes twice, and going to their house with me at Christmas or Thanksgiving -- he doesn't have to do both; and his parents are dead so that's not the issue).
But what started in 2008 was that he began to withdraw and a pattern of mild verbal abuse began. And with my depression kicking off, the jabs really hurt. I've spent the last two years feeling like I live with a demanding parent.
The decision to move out was difficult for me to reach, obviously. But once I said that, suddenly, he has the power to be nice. And although he's doing a lot of the things I have been begging him for, I'm actually angry with him because he made me once again doubt my decision. Plus, the man I spoke about, who has been patiently waiting for me on the sidelines, has had it with me at this point. I could very well alienate him for good. That will further pi** me off where my husband is concerned.
I love him, and I've loved him so thoroughly and completely for a long time. For 16 years, I loved him and accepted him for who he was and what he could give (minus that one year where we did some negotiating). When we got back together, it was our ninth year, and I had told him one of the things I really wanted if we did get back together was for us to get married. In fact, I wanted us to get married for our 10th anniversary. He agreed, and we went ring shopping. Then after I moved back in, he said, "Let's wait until you find a job and get settled (I was laid off then). After I got a job, the excuse was that I didn't seem to like the job, and we needed to wait to see how it went. So then I quit to start my own business, and while I worked on that, he didn't feel the time was right. Finally, at year 14, he was "ready" to get engaged. So we got married for our 15th anniversary instead of our 10th. How many women would be that patient?
And, because he has such deep trust issues, I signed a prenup. I did that to make him feel okay about everything. I don't regret that; even if we didn't have one, I'd never take anything from him. I don't believe in that. What he has, he's worked hard for. So for me, it was a gesture to make him comfortable.
I had enough of the medication that was working for me to get me past the wedding and honeymoon, and then I was out, and I had to switch. That's when I started to go downhill. That's also when he became exasperated with my low-paying job (as though I was thrilled about it). But when you're doing all you can, applying for every job under the sun, dealing with depression and constant rejection, the last thing you need is your spouse telling you that you're a disappointment because he thinks you're not trying, and that you're selfish.
Like I said before, I thought that now that I had a stable job that I love with really good, really big company, he would relax and maybe start seeing me as an equal. But then the complaints became that I don't do enough around the house. So now I"m trying to clean the crap out of this place and do more yardwork to keep him happy.
I know that I can't spend the rest of my life like this. I love him, but I don't think we're good for each other right now. I think I need some time on my own, so that I can rebuild a decent self image, prove again to myself that I can take care of myself. And honestly, I don't think my husband will do any of the hard work he needs to do on himself as long as I'm around, accepting him the way he is, and letting him continue to be dysfunctional. A friend of mine told me that my leaving might actually be the kindest thing I could do for him.
So I'm beginning to get things set up -- I finally got up the motivation today to start clearing out old files. When that's done, I will start on my clothes and the rest of the stuff in my closet. I know I won't be able to deal with packing and moving with everything in the huge mess that it's in right now. At the same time, I'm trying to be as responsive as I can to my husband; showing him that I appreciate his efforts, and continuing to do the things he's asked of me. I am hoping I can leave with him knowing that I'm not leaving because I don't love him, but rather because I have to take care of myself, and it's just something my gut keeps gnawing at me to do.
I'm still so terrified of it. I don't think it's the wrong thing to do for me, I just don't know how he will take it. I don't want to lose him completely. I don't want him to turn on me and be angry and hate me. That will hurt so badly. I don't know if I'm strong enough to handle that.