If your going to read my story and offer advice please read it all rather than skimming over it. Thanks for your willingness to offer advice!
Putting a full history of a 17yr marriage on a forum to strangers isn’t really possible. I'll make it as short as i can sparing alot of details.
Married 17yrs. 23yr old daughter away from home in college and 12yr boy at home. Husband was raised in city in California. Spoiled rotten as an only child. Semi-well off. Grew up to be known as a “player” in his old days lol. I was raised in Arkansas. 5 kids total. Very poor grew and killed everything we ate. I’ve previously been to counseling to help overcome issues stemmed from childhood (codependency etc). parents did what they call shame based discipline. Putting your nose in your urine for punishment for bedwetting. Making you hold the electric fence for our cattle. At the age of 7 I was caught “discovering myself” and my punishment was mom ripping all my clothes off and forcing me to repeat what she caught me doing on the living room floor with all siblings and our cousin kids all sitting in the room watching. I could go on and on with the stories but you get it. Just messed up.
We married after knowing each other 8 months. After first year he started displaying a very ugly side. Years later I learned this was verbal and emotional abuse to the extreme. Yelling at me for everything, cursing me out, etc. Very bad temper. I lived about 13yrs constantly worried about what may make him mad. Ensuring things were ok so he wouldn’t get mad. My daughter and I always hid things from him so he wouldn’t go off on us. He had always been a daily pot smoker too. He lived in his recliner. Never participated in life. Didn’t like being around people. Expected porn type sex in the bedroom. And there are just no words to describe how badly he treated me.
After years of the typical trying different methods to “change him” begging for counseling or anger management only to have him snap at me about I was just too sensitive. Or if I didn’t do things to upset him he wouldn’t act like that. Anyhow, I finally reached a point to where I just didn’t care anymore. I’d of been happy if he just killed over or disappeared. I’d kind of “checked out” and didn’t care. I told him I was done this time. Told him I didn’t love him. Deserved to be treated with respect, tired of protecting my daughter from her dad, etc etc. By then our daughter was grown and out of the house and our son was 9 or 10. This was just a few years ago.
He freaked out. Crying, sobbing, begging pleading. Threw his pot away, begged me to please help him change. He wanted counseling and anger management. Said he was so so sorry he’d been treating me so bad. Blamed most of it on the pot. I felt stuck. I saw this new side of him. So naturally we hit the counseling and I was pretty shocked. I saw a whole new man. He started visiting and talking to people. He wanted to go do things together. He laughed about things or tried cracking a joke now and then. He started doing things around the house to help out. He started trying to loose weight and present himself better as if he cared what others thought. He started showing me a new kind of affection as if he really cared rather than touching only for sex. I was totally elated. We spent the next 8 months or so in this honeymoon phase. We even renewed our wedding vows. As to be expected this cloud 9 feeling wore off for us both slowly. Within a year he was no longer enjoyable to be around. Don’t get me wrong, he did NOT go back to being so abusive to me. He just turned back into a lump on a log. Never touched the pot again though thank god. But he just sits around Barking at things. Not really being mean just nothing to be attracted to. He would get upset about things and raise his voice and yell or slam things but never cursing me out or acting as bad as he use to. He was no longer fun to be around. My son and I started hiding things from him again to prevent him from getting upset.
There are mistakes made by both of us. He engaged in some of his old behaviors and I started allowing it. It happened so slow I didn’t notice it though. Then here comes another major hit to our marriage. I’d been seeing doctor and therapist for a back injury and somehow got addicted to opiates the pain med my doc was giving me. I got bad. Hurt us bad financially doing this behind his back. I tried getting off even went to the doc that got me on them and begged him to do something. He told me I had to do rehab. I couldn’t do this. I was traveling for my job teaching and doing employee motivational seminars, I ran our soccer organization, I just couldn’t. So I engaged a friend and we slowly weaned me off that crap. Hardest thing I ever did. I was so so depressed afterwards. How I was on that stuff and what I did. Horrible. He found out and you can imagine his reaction. But…. He went with me to see a phychiatrist and all. He said he loved me and would stand by me. This all ended well.
Other than that pill situation nothing else major with us. Just daily life of him vegging and not helping around the house. Being grumpy and snapping at us for honest mistakes etc. Little things like when I forgot to pay the cellphone bill and now it was 5 days late he blew. Took the other bills from me and said stuff like “obviously I can’t trust you to do **** and will have to do it myself!” My little dog in the house was running circles around the living room acting silly and instead of laughing about it he’d just roll his eyes as if to say “stupid dog”. He’s very very responsible and particular about stuff. Almost ocd. Like when I pay a bill I have to write the account number in the checkbook register and the confirmation number. Then also write the info on the bill itself, ck number confirmation number etc. then also put it on this sheet he has that keeps up with bills. It think that’s so stupid to be so so picky but it’s just the way he is.
Over the last 2 years I’m back to wishing I’d never married him. I feel like my brain is in some whirlwind of confusion. I’ve gotten to where I’m blocked from seeing any good in the marriage. It’s not only his temper or tendency to blow verbally but just his dead personality all over. I’ve daydreamed about him dying and allowing me off the guilt of leaving him.(I know that sounds icky). Not only do I not love him but I don’t even LIKE him or being around him. I decided I needed to find a way out of this without it turning into another huge ordeal like it did last time. I started seeing a counselor last week. Only been once now have another appointment this upcoming week. She says it sounds like the bullet left the gun a long time ago but my finger is still on the trigger afraid to pull it.
Well, he found out I was going and didn’t tell him. He was so angry. Saying the only reason I’d go behind his back was to find a way out of the marriage. Yelling at me about how could I destroy our family like this after everything he’s done for me helping me past that addiction I dealt with and all. Look at everything we’ve built together and how could I just throw it all away. I’m going to devastate our son how can I do this to him. The next night he got up a few times in the middle of the night and I could hear him slamming things and stuff. The next morning he was so nasty to me said “I’m glad someone feels they’re happy enough to sleep!” Told me I was selfish and nothing he did was good enough. Said I keep raising the bar on him higher and higher. Here we go again right?
The next day which was 2 days ago, he woke me up at 3:00 in the morning! Saying I love you, I’m sorry I still hurt you. Asked me to scoot over so he could hold me. I denied about 4 times till I finally did just to shut him up. He gets up that morning as if nothing was wrong. Weird. He’s been acting so happy, talking, laughing, cracking jokes. He’s obviously in his crisis mode again and is doing everything he thinks I want him to do in order to get me to want to stay. Thing is it’s pissing me off. It makes me sick. I know this isn’t really him. My son is soaking it up! Yesterday my son asks “what’s up with dad!”. For a few hours yesterday when we were running errands I respond to some of his conversation and laughed about something then later told myself there is NO WAY I’m getting sucked in to him again so he can change again in a few months and then me be beating myself up because I’ve done it again. So now he’s saying what’s wrong with me cause I was in a good mood earlier. I hate this. I feel stuck. I still just wish he’d go away. I can’t leave now. It would turn into a huge emotional mess with me being the bad guy for ripping his heart out again. I’d be the one destroying our marriage and our family. Although I think of it more of saving myself from spending the remainder of my life wishing I had something different. I want someone that I can enjoy doing things with. Someone that laughes, jokes, enjoys life. Don’t take things so serious. Don’t get mad at me if I make an honest mistake. But of course that’s how he’s acting right now.
I read so much about people "getting back what they had" or "rekindling the relationship" but what if it was never really good to begin with? I was a wreck emotionally when i was younger thanks to my wonderful parents. I managed to look for abusive men and he seemed to look for injured women as his ex wife was not much different than I. During some of the best times of our marriage I was in love with the idea of having a somewhat normal marriage where we enjoyed each other.
My head is so screwed up right now. I feel angry too. Not sure why but so angry that he’s doing this right now. It's almost like "how dare you push me out and treat me like a dog then act like this when i'm trying to do the right thing and what's best for me and our son". If we were apart my son could enjoy BOTH of us without the fighting. And hopefully there's still time to teach him how a healthy marriage should look like. He's already gotten to where he calls me to come or asks me to get something for him. Can't believe I've allowed this.
Thanks for your patience in reading this long story!