Thanks all. I will keep going to therapy and hopefully get some self respect back. I have to hide the fact that I'm going to a therapist because he gets mad.
I've listened to his blame game for so long that I guess I believe it all . I'm wife number 3 and I guess that once he saw my love and devotion for him he'd be better towards me, but he took that as weakness and made me a doormat.
Not to be harsh here, but to help you get a better perspective on what is going on... he did not make you a doormat. When he saw that your love and devotion he decided to abuse you. You are the one who made yourself a doormat. You need to realize that you own your own actions.
He chose you as a wife because he figured out that you have no boundaries. You allow yourself to be abused and that's what he wants, a woman who he can abuse.
Abuse is about control and control is about him using the control he has over you to make himself feel better. He can beat you down and then sit there and look at you with contempt, feeling that he is better than you. Plus, people who abuse are unhappy people. And a lot of unhappy people what everyone else around them to be unhappy. If he’s suffering, he needs to make you suffer.
Years ago, I left an abusive husband. In the intake session for abuse counseling, the counselor asked what I expected to get out of counseling. I told her that I wanted to find out why I picked a man like him so that I did not do it again. Her response was that she already knew the answer to that… I did not pick him. He picked me. And he picked me because I did not have healthy boundaries.
She explained that abusers are very good at picking the people who let themselves be abuse. The way they do it is with elimination tests.
When they first start dating they will do little things. A woman with healthy boundaries will drop them like a hot potato when they do these little things. If the woman stays and makes excuses for the little thing, then they try something just a bit more abusive. And on and on it goes. The woman who stays with the abuser long enough is the one who has no boundaries, the one who makes excuses for his behavior. You were the last women standing, the only one who continually allowed him to abuse you. So... he married you because he knew he could abuse you and control you.
Yea, I felt like an idiot when she explained that to me because I knew she was right.
When we first started dating, he did some small but strange things. For example, I have very pretty, long natural blond hair. I usually just wear it straight. When we first started to date, he said that he did not like my hair and wanted me to change it. WTH? I did not change my hair style, but I made excuses for this nonsense. I thought, well he does not like my hair, ok. I like it. A few weeks later he complained about how I dress. He said I look like a snooty, uppity person because I dress nicely. Well yea, I like to dress nicely. I never paid full price for my clothing, but I shopped the deep sales at the best stores. But I felt self-conscious at that point and started to just wear jeans. I should have dumped his sorry behind at that point. I should not have changed the way I dressed. Do you know what his complaint was about my dressing after we married? I did not dress well enough. But when I did dress nicely he would bring up the snooty dressing thing again. Basically, he just needed something to put me down about.
And this kind of nonsense continued through our relationship. The little nitpicks, the put downs. After we married it got worse… to the point that every word I spoke was picked at, especially if it was when we were with other people. We’d get home and he would yell at me about how stupid everything I said was. And I was actually stupid enough to try to explain and justify.
Yep, I was the last stupid woman standing. The only one who did not dump his controlling butt the first or second time he did his elimination test. But I’ve learned. I have strong boundaries now.
You need to learn to set boundaries. Boundaries are not on his behavior. They are about what you will accept. The problem that I see with what you are saying about the counseling you are getting is that you are there mulling over why you are putting up with this. Instead a good counselor would be helping you write out strong boundaries and helping you determine your actions when he crosses your boundaries.
There are some very good books on Amazon (or any book store) about how to set healthy boundaries. Get one or two, read them, set your boundaries and enforce them.
Here are a couple of links to get you started: Boundaries for Abusive Relationships Examples https://terricole.com/setting-and-en...hy-boundaries/ https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-ar...do-i-get-some/