I completely understand how you feel, as I have been through every bit of it. Like you, I didn't know at the time that I was being verbally/emotionally abused. I mean I didn't know there were terms and definitions for what I was going through. I only knew I didn't like how he treated me, I didn't like how he made me feel, and that I wasn't going to put up with it. Soooo, I ceased to like him or have any respect for him. He was my boyfriend of only a few months but before I left him, I also had an ongoing affair with an ex boyfriend. I enjoyed the affair for several reasons, and revenge was the sweetest reason of all. Boyfriend had no business thinking he could mistreat me. He had no business mistreating me and being of zero use to me in bed to top it off. And I do mean he was useless in bed......in every way imaginable. At first, this was not intolerable to me because I cared about him enough to think we would be able to work on that part of our relationship. But as soon as I moved in with him, he immediately began mistreating me. I quickly lost respect and wasn't going to bother working on anything except moving back out.
Your friends are right that you are being abused. Anytime you are controlled (I can't seem to make a right move
) and/or made to feel bad about yourself (I do feel beat down and exhausted
) you are in an abusive relationship because THAT is abuse. Whether you know the exact definitions is not for you to question but to find out, and you can find out by googling very simple criteria like "symptoms of abuse
" or "signs of abusive men
Here are two articles that will help you identify abusers, and you will likely see your husband several times..... Toxic Men Romeo's Bleeding
I know you find it surprising that you are numb right now, but there is logical explanation. One is the fact that he has so aggressively and methodically destroyed the love you had for him. Another is he has also destroyed whatever respect you had for him and your marriage. And another is he has hurt you so badly since not returning your love, as well as showing you he does not love you (treating you badly is the opposite of loving you) obviously makes you feel unloved and unworthy.
Being abused destroys a woman's self esteem in many ways. Every woman needs to feel she is worthy of love and desire. You needed the affair to help you restore your self esteem and sense of worth. It is difficult at this point to give a darn about how he feels anyway, but the affair basically had nothing to do with him. It is something you needed as a result of his mistreatment. Plus, you cannot stand the thought of him touching you, which is also result of his mistreatment. Yet, you do need good lovin' which I call maintenance. The only thing is it would be a good idea not to lead the other guy on. He's serving a purpose for you right now, so it would be best you both are aware that a rebound relationship is a bad idea.
You are also lacking the self esteem required to make a decision about your situation. You want out of it but keep making all kinds of excuses to stay in it. Using him for convenience is not fair play, and you don't seem to have the confidence to just leave and free yourself from this debilitating emotional bondage. You seem to think you cannot make it without him, but that is not true. All you need to do is fight to get your self esteem back and know you DO NOT deserve this. You do not deserve to be treated this way. Please don't respond back to tell me "I know I don't deserve this" because if you knew it, indeed you would not still be there and would not be posting this thread on a marriage forum.
Yes, counseling is the answer, but not just marriage. You need abuse counseling to help you find yourself again and restore what he destroyed and to help you figure out why you tolerated being abused.
If you want to consider saving the marriage, you first have to leave. After that, you should demand that you both attend marriage counseling. The reason for leaving first is to physically remove yourself from the situation completely in order to end the abuse, as well as to let him know you are serious in refusing to tolerate abuse any longer. He needs to get the message that counseling is necessary for there to be any hope of repairing the marriage. He will beg and plead and make all kinds of promises. He will agree to counseling. Frankly, he will agree to anything you request in order to convince you to come back. He will say anything and everything he knows you want to hear. But you have to stay strong and refuse reconciliation until he proves himself sincere by attending counseling for abusers
and marriage counseling for at least 2 or 3 months. Without this display of sincere effort on his part, you will simply return to the exact same abusive situation, so there is no point in going back and giving in to all his begging and pleading.