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I’m struggling with a toxic marriage.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.
What bothers you the most?
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His constant putdowns, mocking my successes, arguing, shouting, threatening to leave
I was in a verbally abusive marriage before also. Its hard but at a point you need to get out. Come up with a plan. He will only further your mental health into the red. If you can, there are community resources that might be able to help out. I hope you’re able to get out and start anew.
No community resources. I have no family and my closest friends have died too young of natural causes, committed suicide or left the country…so my support system is zilch. I am exhausted.
My husband refuses to leave even though he has been threatening to do so for three years. Tabi
Thank you for being open about what you’re going through. I see that you’ve already met @heatherf316, who has some great supportive insight; thank you HeatherF.
We all have weaknesses and are not perfect, and marriage can be hard work. Plus, all of us need positive support in our lives; when we don’t see a brighter side to ourselves, in our relationships, that work just becomes harder.
Although this discussion is in another group, I would sincerely encourage you to read it: http://mayocl.in/2gBQljM Many of the members here, have talked about being in a toxic relationship, and hopefully you may get a better idea as to how to deal with all the negativity in your marriage.
In the meantime, I would also like to introduce you to @sherbert, @tbacskay, @baczero, @jlmaxim, @mika7, and @nativefloridian. Although, they are not in exactly the same situation such as yourself, they have talked in depth about narcissistic behavior, and how that can degrade a relationship.
@tabi, do you feel your marriage is worth the effort of continuing to live together,? Have you come up with any ways to deflect your husband’s remarks?
Worth saving? I don’t know. Difficult to answer as we have been together for 35 years.
Deflection…I no longer engage in arguments, shouting, anger etc.
He is so angry….it seems like a bottomless pit of anger.
I don’t deserve it.
Thank you for the introductions.
It’s nice to know that I’m not alone. I’ve suffering since I was 12 years old and I left two abusive marriages, but I had two children with my second husband.
Hi @smilie, welcome to Connect.
I moved your message to this existing discussion “Depression and abusive Marriage” so that you could meet @tabi and @heatherf316. I’d also like to bring @blindeyepug @janinehomewood and @amberpep into this conversation.
Smilie, You are not alone as you will see from the discussions here on Mayo Clinic Connect. We look forward to getting to know you. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? You mention your children. Do they live with you? How are you doing today?
Hi there ….. no, you’re surely not alone. There’s many, many of us who have been right where you are. I was married for 40 years to a man with a personality disorder …. he was “fine” ….. I was “illogical and irrational.” (among many other things) I was determined to “make this marriage work” because, like you, I didn’t have anyone.” Sure, I had 3 grown kids, but as far as parents, sisters, brothers, uncles, etc. … nothing. I felt totally alone. I wound up on the verge of a breakdown, and my therapist (and if you don’t have one … DO get one) told me that if I did not leave the home, he would have to have me admitted to the local private mental hospital. That afternoon I called a friend – not a close friend, just a friend who knew what was happening – and asked her if I could take her up on her offer to rent a room from her. The very next day, I was gone …. just me, my kitty, my clothing, and my stack of journals (and do journal if you’re not already – it’s invaluable). He didn’t seem to care. I was there for 2 years, all the while hoping that he would realize his piece of our problems, and all the while having meetings with my lawyer. Well, he didn’t budge, I filed for divorce, and he didn’t fight it. To this day he is convinced that I was “just nuts.” I never did anything right in his eyes, I was stupid, never knew what I was talking about, and he accused me of “having an affair with my therapist.” During a mediation it came out that he had hacked into my e-mail, made copies, and brought them to the mediation. They had nothing in them except a lot of sadness. The Mediator told him that “you know that’s illegal, she could sue you and have you charged for doing that.” ((I liked that)) So, I lived with my church friend for 2 years, then moved into my own condo, and probably for the first time in many years, I no longer had a knot in my stomach, wondering what was coming next, what I did wrong now, how did I upset him.
Hon, you have to decide whether you are worth it or not. You say you have no-one around …. what about your church if you have one? does your pastor know your situation? And …. if all else is absent ….. there are womens’ shelters for women just like you ….. they can be a valuable help and resource for you. Don’t keep putting up with this garbage …. it’s just not true. YOU ARE WORTH IT! GET OUT!
@smile Hi. I am a survivor of abuse from my first marriage (mental, physical and sexual) . I will attempt to make a long story short. You are not alone – and that is what is so sad. At the time, I was young, educated and attractive with a good job an an extremely low self-esteem. I am also an incest survivor. I was sexually and physically abused from ages 10 to 13 (as were my three older sisters). I found what I thought was a strong, intelligent man who would take care of me. He also made me laugh. I saw clues that he was abusive before I married him, but there were always reasons and, besides, at least he seemed better than what I had known growing up. The abuse got worse when we married. But it was always “my fault”. If I wasn’t so stupid or clumsy or whatever that “made” him mad, everything would be fine. He also could be extremely nice when he wanted to – buying me flowers and signing to me with his guitar. He was also an attractive man. I put up with the abuse for years until I got pregnant with my first child. Then the abuse got even worse. When my daughter was born, he started being abusive to her. In fact, he almost killed her. I decided that I needed to get a divorce. He told me no one would want me – especially with a child – and I was lucky he put up with me. I was told I was too stupid to be without him, that I wouldn’t last on my own. I was told I was fat and saggy (skin) and ugly. I felt horrible, but I knew in my heart that I would not raise my daughter in the type of environment in which I had been raised. I was alone. I had moved to a new city and state with him, hundreds of miles from family and friends. But there was one woman at work who knew what was happening. With that support, I got an attorney and filed. When he was served, he came home and put a gun to my head. To this day, I will never forget what he said “You’re willing to leave me, but are you ready to die?” I just cried and apologized and kept my cool until the next day. Then I got an emergency restraining order against him. I had to sell my house and move. His parental rights were eventually removed. I remarried and had two more children. My husband adopted my first daughter. I will tell you now – abusers lie! They are mentally ill but refuse to think anything is wrong with them. It was my faith that got me through and to where I am today. I have been through therapy (which I strongly urge you to do). I decided that living alone was better than living with my abuser. It took faith, time, patience, legal help, mental health help and finally believing that I was worthy of good things for me to break from that abusive marriage. I learned that if I can’t enjoy my own company, who else could? It took time before I started dating again and got remarried. I had to heal myself and be strong before I moved forward. The biggest first step is leaving the abuser. Staying in the marriage for the “sake of the marriage” is so unhealthy. They don’t care, they don’t change. They will keep using you as a punching bag – be it emotionally or physically – until YOU decide enough is enough. Life is too short. There is nothing to salvage in your marriage. Perhaps you’re like I was and other women who I’ve spoken with – what if he does change and ends up with someone else?! Well, chances are he isn’t going to change. And if he does – good for him and his new partner because I wouldn’t wish the old “him” on my worse enemy. I am happy! I have traveled different places around the world, I have moved up in my job, and I have four wonderful grandchildren. I did not want my daughter to have the example I had. I wanted her to see me strong and healthy and confident – as that is what I want for her and all my children and grandchildren! YOU CAN LEAVE HIM. YOU ARE CAPABLE. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK – OR THAN HE HAS LET YOU FEEL YOU ARE. YOU ARE WORTHY! I am keeping you in my prayers. Keep us posted on your progress. There are too many kind, loving, worthy women who hang on to sharks thinking they are going to some how change – all the while getting bitten to pieces and loosing more and more of themselves. It is never too late. Live the rest of your life FREE.
Try reading Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft. It has been very helpful to me.
I read that one. There’s a lot of excellent books out there on narcissism …..” constant putdowns, mocking my successes, arguing, shouting, threatening to leave” ……. this is just a partial list of Narcissists. Another good one which was the first one I read was “Trapped in the Mirror” and also “Why Does He Do That?”
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