Broken Hearted, What can I do?

Posted by Native Floridian @nativefloridian, Oct 24, 2011

Is it really necessary to allow oneself to be mistreated for the sake of commitment? My heart aches because the man I am with is abusive. His mood swings often come in the early to late evening when he is tired. His eyes glaze over and he is angrier than anyone I have ever known. I don’t know what happened to him but he says things about his past that scare me sometimes. He won’t talk about it but he gets hateful at times and very mean. It is almost like he is taking it out on me, whatever bad things he has been through in his life.Although he does not physically abuse me, he does say alot of things that are very insulting, hurtful and mean when he is angry.

I do not know what to do anymore. I have taken him to medical doctors, psychologists and marriage counseling. He acts like a responsible adult during the daytime but when he is alone in the home with me things change. Sometimes it is like I live with a drug addict or someone with multiple personaility traits. I’m tired of walking on eggshells. I told him tonight after he lambbasted me again (out of the blue) that I do not want him to scream at me and point his finger in my face ever again. He scares me sometimes. It is difficult to love this man anymore. My heart was broken years ago when he first started this, now it is just numb.

@deliasanderson

you married a man who was honest. you knew he had anger issues and he still has anger issues. you loved him then. you seem to think marriage should have changed him. if you wanted him changed, you should have waited till he finished his therapy and then decided if that’s who you wanted to marry. it seems to me that it’s you that has changed and you who hasn’t been honest about your reasons for marrying him..you don’t marry someone to change them, you marry them for who they are.. when people’s spouses change radically for the worst, then they really haven’t chosen this, but you knew what he was all about so what is it about you that has changed?

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Also, typing in caps is considered yelling when you are online, in case you didn’t realize that. I am overlooking it this time because I understand that this blog has gotten a bit emotional and I do appreciate everyone supporting me and giving me advice because it is very helpful. I am basically alone in my home with this man most of the time and he is not like this with others outside of our home, so no one else sees it. I have contacted his family and made them aware of our situation so they will not be too surprised when living arrangements change.

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@deliasanderson

you married a man who was honest. you knew he had anger issues and he still has anger issues. you loved him then. you seem to think marriage should have changed him. if you wanted him changed, you should have waited till he finished his therapy and then decided if that’s who you wanted to marry. it seems to me that it’s you that has changed and you who hasn’t been honest about your reasons for marrying him..you don’t marry someone to change them, you marry them for who they are.. when people’s spouses change radically for the worst, then they really haven’t chosen this, but you knew what he was all about so what is it about you that has changed?

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I appreciate your comments and concern but I am taking into consideration everything that is written on this blog because it is all helping me. My situation is traumatic and it has affected me in ways that I did not expect. I am usually very happy and I have had symptoms of depression lately which I have sought treatment for. Unfortunately, long term effects of this type of stress upon me will continue unless we stop living together. Since he is not willing to change and continues to give me silent treatment and threats of divorce, it is time for me to make a change. I will seek professional help tomorrow and do what is best for my health, as I am unable to assist him in his health related concerns any further without it being detrimental to me. I do love this man but I do not love his behavior and he must learn that life is not about just him and if he is incapable of loving me any more then that I must accept. Some people can not love others when they are so wrapped up in themselves. Sad, but true.

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@enanas

People who behave as you describe your husband do not change when the behavior is long term and no treatment is available. While I respect the sanctity of marriage, it sounds like it is time for you to take care of yourself by seeking your own counselor and an attorney. You may also invest in a voice recording device (I like Olympic) to begin privately documenting your husband’s abusive behavior. You’ll want to be careful that you set up the recorder so that it does not make any sounds at all when you are using it (e.g., no beeps when the recorder is turned on/off and no sound if “play” is accidentally hit). You need a recorder that you can sync to your computer and you need to make sure that the files are password protected and hidden. The files will be large. You will also want some kind of external hard drive to back up your recordings weekly. Make sure to keep the external hard drive at a trusted friend’s house or family member. DO NOT allow your husband to know what you are doing. These files will be important to share with your lawyer and will also be useful with counseling. When you live with a person like your husband you might start doubting yourself or reality. It is very important to keep records for yourself so that you are able to know that your trauma is completely real. In addition to recording events I would also set up a private email address that only you know about and use this to keep a written journal of events. You will just write out your “journal entry” in an email that you send to yourself at the same email. These records will also be very important in helping you obtain the care and support you need to leave your husband or to have your husband removed from your home. Wishing you well. EN

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I thank you for this advice, as I will be consulting a professional tomorrow and will decide with that advice what steps to take to protect myself. Your advice is good and I will keep all of this in mind as I proceed with action to protect my own sanity. I can no longer care for this individual unless he goes into treatment and I doubt that is going to happen. He will not change his behavior, he has made it clear to me that we will not be “making up” this time and I am not inclined to “make up” only to repeat the same cycle and pattern of abuse. I have enabled his abuse of me because i thought that the side affects of his medication should be overlooked becfause I agreed to marry him knowing his illness and his medication. I just didn’t realizze to what extent prolonged use of prednisone coupled with repressed anger could affect his behavior so drastically. It is very unfortunate and I am not in a position to be a punching bag any more. Thanks so much for all of your comments and concern too. I really appreciate you ladies for giving me so much to think about and to support me during a very lonely time.

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@deliasanderson

you married a man who was honest. you knew he had anger issues and he still has anger issues. you loved him then. you seem to think marriage should have changed him. if you wanted him changed, you should have waited till he finished his therapy and then decided if that’s who you wanted to marry. it seems to me that it’s you that has changed and you who hasn’t been honest about your reasons for marrying him..you don’t marry someone to change them, you marry them for who they are.. when people’s spouses change radically for the worst, then they really haven’t chosen this, but you knew what he was all about so what is it about you that has changed?

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HELLO, NATIVE FLORIDIAN, I WRITE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT’S JUST EASIER WITH THIS NEW COMP AS IT HAS ALL DIFFERENT KEYS THAT I DON’T GET YET. IF I WERE TO BOTHER CHANGING TO LOWER CASE WHEN I SHOULD, I DOUBT I’D GET ANY LETTER OFF. IT WOULD INTERFERE WITH MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT. THIS WAY, I WRITE THE SAME AS I WOULD TALK. NO I DIDN’T REALIZE IT MEANS YELLING. IN THIS CASE IT HAS NO INTENTION OF THAT. I HAVE AN ONGOING RESPONSIBILITY AND A LOT OF DISTURBANCE SO I DO HAVE TO GET MY THOUGHTS DOWN QUICKLY. I DO REFLECT BEFORE I WRITE WHILE I TEND TO MY RESPONSIBILITY.

SO SOMETHING MAY DEFINITELY CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE TODAY. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO APPROACH THIS? ECKHART TOLLE IS EXTREMELY ENLIGHTENING. HE HAS ALL THESE 2 MIN. VIDEOS THAT ARE FREE TO VIEW ONLINE AND THEY REALLY HAVE GIVEN SOLACE TO MY SOUL IN DIFFICULT TIMES. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH HIM. IT’S NOT ANY RELIGION THAT I AM PUSHING, IT’S MORE OF FOCUSSING ON THE NOW AND STANDING BACK TO VIEW YOUR THOUGHTS OBJECTIVELY AND CARRYING OUT ACTIONS THAT YOU CHOOSE RATHER THAN BEING DRIVEN BY A CERTAIN EMOTION/HORMONE. IT CERTAINLY IS NOT A ROBOTIC PHILOSOPHY, AS THE STRESS IS ON ‘JOY’ AND OPERATING FROM THAT STANCE RATHER THAN ALLOWING SUFFERING TO DICTATE ACTION. HE HAS DIFFERENT TOPICS SO YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT’S RELEVANT TO YOU NOW. TAKE CARE, AND I HOPE YOU MANAGE TO UNCOVER YOUR JOY THAT HAS GOTTEN BURIED WITH ALL THE UNPLEASANTNESS OF YOUR REALITY. ONE LAST THING, ECKHART’S PERSONAL JOURNEY FROM THE TIME HE WAS A BUM ON A BENCH AND IN ONE MOMENT HE MAKES THE REALIZATION THAT THE REASON WE LIVE IS FOR THAT JOY. SO HE REALIZES THE SELF HE HATES IS ALL THE PROBLEMS HE’S FOCUSSED ON AND HE’S NEGLECTING HIS TRUE SELF, HIS REAL SELF, THAT ONE THAT IS DRIVEN BY JOY AND HAPPINESS ALONE. IT WAS AFTER THAT HE WROTE HIS FIRST BOOK AND HE’S WRITTEN SO MANY BY NOW. IT TAKES EFFORT, SOMETIMES GREAT EFFORT TO MAINTAIN THIS FOCUS BUT I FOUND IT REALLY HELPS ME TO STAY POSITIVE AND SEPARATE FROM OTHERS’ PROBLEMS. WITH THIS ATTITUDE, I AM ACTUALLY, I THINK, CAPABLE OF HELPING OTHERS WITH THEIR PROBLEMS BUT I DON’T MAKE THEM MINE.

I ENJOYED YOUR LAST COMMENTS. COMMUNICATION DOES REQUIRE FEEDBACK BOTH WAYS. HOPEFULLY, YOUR INNER STRENGTH KICKS IN IN MOMENTS OF NEED. DELIA

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hi, i’m sure the therapy will help because you want it to.

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@deliasanderson

you married a man who was honest. you knew he had anger issues and he still has anger issues. you loved him then. you seem to think marriage should have changed him. if you wanted him changed, you should have waited till he finished his therapy and then decided if that’s who you wanted to marry. it seems to me that it’s you that has changed and you who hasn’t been honest about your reasons for marrying him..you don’t marry someone to change them, you marry them for who they are.. when people’s spouses change radically for the worst, then they really haven’t chosen this, but you knew what he was all about so what is it about you that has changed?

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Thanks for the feedback. I like Eckhart Tolle too. I like your attitude too. I too try to keep a positive attitude. it is not always so easy in the midst of adversity. The distractions of another’s problems coupled with being a target for anger can be an extremely difficult situation.

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@deliasanderson

hi, i’m sure the therapy will help because you want it to.

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I think that therapy is a good source for guidance in a difficult situation. Sometimes it is difficult to separate emotion from the equation. Confusion can set in when too much is going on and decisions need to be made. i’ve received professional advice this week and feel that I have all angles covered, psychological/emotional, legal, medical and finally, I’ve shared the situation with family and friends and am no longer flying solo on this. I appreciate all of your advice and support here on the mayo blog because it is good to know so many people have concern for others, even strangers that turn to the internet for help.

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Peace Keeper, I understand your philosophy but there are people that truly need this Master Physician to work through human physicians in order to heal them. I don’t think that discouraging others to seek medical attention is a productive thing to do on this forum. Not everyone on this earth gets a miraculous healing like you. I am not discounting your experience and believe your experience is your reality. Please realize this and know that although everyone’s opinion is respected here many have been helped by medical doctors. I am happy for you and happy to hear you are enjoying life again. Blessings!

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@debera

Sorry life is too short. How old is he? Has he been checked for bipolar. What time of day does this start?

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Just fyi, I’m an avoidant type with childhood issues. I’m trying to go to therapy and it’s just not working …I can’t talk at all. So, ultimately, I’m just ending up with a feeling that it’s just another thing I have failed at. The result is feeling worse. And then add to that, the fact that now I’m more aware of how screwed up I am and how much my past has affected me but with no resolve to go with it. Then take away the coping skills I have relied on to survive all of my life …because now they just look like it’s been a futile effort. That’s my summary of pushing myself into ‘therapy’ to ‘get better’. I don’t think this is better. I’ve been contemplating if addressing issues head-on is always the right thing to do.
I don’t know if this would interest you but Wikipedia true self & false self and read similar concepts. I found Alice Miller to be particularly interesting. I was also trying to find more information on Joan Riviere, negative therapeutic reaction, & “defensive organization” but general look-ups have lacked the detailed information I was seeking.
I guess my reason for commenting here is that the comments I’ve seen (either here or on the ‘loving someone with a personality disorder post’?) regarding people’s willingness to change have gotten to me. Willingness just is sooo not the issue with me and I wanted to add another perspective of what someone might be thinking.

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nf i think you are so right. quite often it takes more courage to seek human help than prayer alone. we are made of flesh and blood and even though we are aware of our spirit it is through our senses and cognition that we survive. from prayer, i believe comes the answers and the clarity of the next step in our journey and as humans we can see with our eyes God’s message in a number to call, an office to go to, a friend to unite with, etc…etc and then we use our ears to listen, our feelings, thoughts and voice to respond. God, I believe gives us strategies to help ourselves and these include reaching out to others. He expects us to deal with other humans in this world as both a helper and a helpee. everyone has their ups and downs and sometimes we are in a position to help and sometimes we need help. you are right perhaps miracles do happen but on a day to day basis, society is set up to care about its members and people should use these services if they feel they need them and quite often this is the answer to their prayers.

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@debera

Sorry life is too short. How old is he? Has he been checked for bipolar. What time of day does this start?

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NF, you comment on a lot of posts. Please, comment on the one above. I’m not looking for some big answer or a conclusion …just your thoughts. What you were thinking, if you looked up any of that, do you think your husband might have similar feelings? While sorting things out for myself, I also like to hear the opinions of others. Especially, those that come from another point of view.
The perspective I wanted to add is that maybe your husband doesn’t feel he has control over his emotional well-being. But, know that I admire the effort you have made to find resolve and work it out. I also whole-heartedly believe that you should put you and your family first if he treats you badly.

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@debera

Sorry life is too short. How old is he? Has he been checked for bipolar. What time of day does this start?

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Anon: Why can’t you talk? You see, I don’t understand that. If you really want to get better, you need to open up with a therapist and learn what it is you need to do to help yourself. I also think that you’re thinking and analyzing this to death, you need to just make a list of your issues and work down the list. Start with all of the people that have truly ‘hurt’ you and why and go talk to the therapist. They are great at giving you insight as to what you may have done to cause someone else to have the ability to hurt you. sometimes we are just innocent victims and other times we are just plain naiive about people, like choosing the wrong friends, spouses, etc. Like I’m not the best judge of character, well, I’m much better now than I was in the past but that’s because I learned the hard way. I appreciate you wanting to add another perspective to this blog because that is important. I’ll take a look at the Wikipedia references you mentioned and comment later. I’ve got a plane to catch early in the morning.

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