Originally Posted by hurtnohio
Here's an update on my situation. The long and the short of it is that I've been in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage for quite some time. The last 12 - 18 months have been the worst. I've been accused of some very bizarre things and when I wasn't under some kind of false accusation, I was being talked down to, scolded, been called names, etc. We tried counseling for a year until my wife refused to return. We sleep in separate rooms and have not had sex in over a year.
For about 6 months, I was actually praying for death. I wanted God to kill me in a traffic accident. Or I hoped maybe a random stranger would kill me. I could never harm myself by my own hand, but I did desire death and actively prayed for it. I've been told this is a common feeling for people in abusive relationships. Since I began to accept the fact that I might need to leave, I haven't wished for death again. But that was a very, very dark time for me. I tried as hard as I could to please her, and she just got more angy all the time. Since even my best efforts weren't good enough to make her happy, I despaired of living.
But once I realized that a lot of the problems were hers, I quit taking responsibility for pleasing her. I don't wish for death any more. But the relationship hasn't been restored, either.
Our (now my) counselor says I need to leave. We suspect some serious mental issues on my wife's part. The counselor is concerned that at some point, my wife might get somebody to believe her weird stories (the best one was the accusation that I was bugging our home phones, but there have been others!). We never have a conversation over anything any deeper than what to have for supper.
So I've set up a PO Box, and have rented a room in a house with some local college students. Don't know if I'll actually use it, but I do have a (somewhat cheap) bed to crash in if I need it. I've rented a storage unit and have moved a lot of my things into it, but I've done it strategically, so that I didn't leave empty shelves or anything like that in my closet. I have put together some preliminary proposals for divorce (child custody, alimony, etc) and have consulted with an attorney. I have a counselor's appointment in a few hours.
My wife leaves town tomorrow for a week with her family (her visit is unrelated to our issues; but she has so poisoned her family to me that they have completely written me off and they have forbidden me to come back whenever she visits).
Here's the difficult part. The last few weeks have been almost tolerable. Not good. Not affectionate. No "I love you's." No touching (I'm afraid to touch her, because of some past false allegations of abuse). But we've actually acted like we're almost roommates who like each other. We're still roommates, but we're not at each others' throats (figuratively, of course!) every night like we were a couple of months ago.
Here's what I need to talk to the counselor about....is this slight thaw enough to say things might be improving? Most of my friends tell me that without a radical decision on her part to seek help on her own, that this slight thaw really means nothing in the grand scheme of things. And when I'm thinking clearly, I probably agree. But I just don't want to be "that guy" who walks out the door if there's still a chance.
In the past, I've been pulled back from the brink of considering divorce by periods of temporary improvement. One such period was the happiest period of our marriage (she was on anti-depressants at the time, but refuses to take them any more). But the 12-18 monhts of happiness always end with a crash back down to pits of despair. Ridicule, name-calling, smear campaigns....you name it. The only thing she hasn't done is anything illegal or had an affair.
One of my friends asked what "a chance" would look like. And then my friend explained it to me: She needs to confess her part of our problems (so far, she just wants me to get "fixed" and then things will be great!). She needs to commit to counseling. She needs to be willing to go to everyone to whom she's smeared my name and sit down with them, me and her and discuss what's really going on. My friend told me that absent that kind of commitment, this temporary thaw is just that....temporary. And that I shouldn't be basing my future on just a couple of months after almost 2 years of a living hell.
My counselor is warning me of the potential for my wife to become angry, make another false allegation, and that I could lose my son. Or my job. Or my very freedom. The counselor has worked with us for a year, and I'm wondering if she's seeing something more clearly than I can. I'm just so lost.
I'm emotionally ready to leave. I tried my hardest to make it work and things just got worse. I have given up hope. I'm emotionally wrung out from holding out hope on all those lonely nights. All those tears I cried alone, hoping that one more visit to the counselor might make things better. I just want the drama to be done.
But am I giving up too soon? My heart has accepted that things are probably ending and I need to move on. But then I see the smallest glimmer of a change in her and I wonder if I'm being too impulsive? Am I wrong to want out? Could this be the beginning of a bigger change? Or is it the same-old, same-old?
I feel as if with everything I am doing, I am getting ready to head out across Death Valley on a summer day. I know things will get very ugly once I tell her I'm leaving. I'm about to pass the last exit ramp. If I don't pull back from this brink now, I'm probably going to be committed to a divorce (my wife is very black-and-white in her thinking; once I make my intentions known, she'll torch me to all of our friends and family).
I'm going to talk to the counselor in a few hours, but I'd appreciate any perspective here. Those of you who know my story....is it time? Am I acting wrongly here? If your wife had told people things about you that were completely and utterly untrue, would you stay around if she slowly started saying, "Please" and "Thank You?" Am I suffering from Stockholm Syndrome?
This would be so much easier if she were disordered in her thinking ALL the time! As it is, the temporary periods of positive moods makes me wonder if I was crazy the whole time.