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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    Update after counseling
    MissCaptainKirk posted:
    For any of you who were kind and dedicated enough (and willing to read long posts) to follow my story, just wanted to give you an update. I think this thread will be a lot more optimistic than the other one.

    I saw my counselor last night. I talked with her about what was going on, giving her all the details I had glossed over in our previous meetings. I also took one of you guys' advice (I am very sorry, I would give credit but I tried to find who it was that said this and I couldn't) and wrote some things down that we discussed in my first thread.
    My counselor had me make a list of the things I want to change about my thinking and my life, things I wouldn't compromise on anymore. Gonna read it every day if I have to so that I'll stick to it.

    She also gave me some helpful suggestions about money so that I can save it up and also so I can get the things I need.
    At her suggestion, I'm going to make a normal payment instead of a double payment on my car this month so I will have some extra money to get work clothes, and maybe have some left over for a duffel bag or backpack. I tried to find a bag/backpack at our mission store but they didn't have any of either.
    I think I'm going to have to use the money for schoolbooks, but hey at least I am going to school! And graduating this fall! (My husband doesn't care that I'm graduating but I'm very proud of myself, I worked so hard to get to this point, I started taking classes when I was 16 and been heading towards this goal.)

    She pointed out that if I start living my life without letting him control me, the worst he could do is throw a fit or threaten to leave or something. I haven't really got much to lose.
    I don't think he would try to hit me, mostly bcuz I've learned over time he is a complete and total wimp/sissy and he lived a spoiled life, while I spent years taking care of a household/raising sisters/working on a farm and I still workout and he's alluded to the fact that even though he's bigger than me he thinks I'm much stronger than him. I think he'd be too intimidated to hit me. I just wanted to calm any fears that he would try that.

    I still have the fear that if I start doing what I want and he doesn't like it, he's going to cheat on me. I don't think this fear is irrational but it's such a big fear. I really want to get rid of it... I told my counselor about it, and she said that if that happened I always have the option to leave him.

    I really wish I'd never gotten married and stayed single forever. I did love him though, and wanted to marry him, and start a family together. I still love him. But I realize by letting him treat me how he does, it's harming me and it's not helping him change at all.

    I will keep posting on here, I feel like it's been good for me to talk things out on here and get an outside view of things.
    I know I've said thanks about three trillion times, and I mean it every time, but again I'd like to thank everyone who helped me get to this place of realization, healing, independence, freedom...I'll never be able to thank you all enough.

    3point14 responded:
    Why not leave him yourself? Why do you need his permission even to get out of this relationship?

    I'm glad you're going to school, and glad you feel things went well with your counselor. But I have to question why you're putting up with this if you don't love him and wish you'd stayed single? What if he becomes violent?

    You're at a point where this is an awful, abusive relationship but you're still a complete person. You can still see the good in things, and want more, want change, want better. How is it going to be for you after years of this? Could you in good conscience give this man a child? I can say from experience, the longer you're in a horrible situation, the deeper that hurt takes root in you. Why not get out before the damage is completely horrifying? Why not protect yourself?
    stephs_3_kidz responded:
    You don't want to be what you need to be for yourself because you're afraid he'll CHEAT on you?????

    I'm sorry, how is that worse than what he is doing now? He's already completely disrespecting your marriage and beating you down emotionally, if you really want away from him, why would the possibility of his cheating stop you?

    I don't think you really want out of the marriage and you won't take the initiative to change your life because you feel like you're married to him and so that's that.

    It's not the end. You can get out, and you don't need him to tell you that you can.

    I just don't think you want to. I think you're determined to stay and "fix" everything by being submissive and giving him what he wants.

    You're not doing yourself any favors. It sounds like you think that if you make him happy he'll change.

    He won't. And you're setting yourself up for a huge, huge disappointment.
    Aqua14 responded:
    Love the suggestion to start living your life without letting him control you. In one of your last posts in the other thread, you mentioned going to the music festival, how much you loved it, and how he complained about it last time you were there. Maybe next year you should go without him - just go with a couple of friends. Same thing with other events or things you enjoy -- just do them without him. It's much more fun not to have to put up with the whining and complaining (speaking from personal experience here).

    Getting your degree will help you become financially independent of him, which you definitely need to do as it will undercut his financial control. In the meantime you may want to sit down with a counselor to talk about how you each pay marital expenses and divvy them up differently -- it seems to me that you're getting the short end of the stick here as well. A more equitable financial division will also help you save money to support yourself should you decide to leave.

    I wish you luck and courage and peace of mind.
    MissCaptainKirk replied to 3point14's response:
    I don't need his permission to stay. I can leave whenever I want.
    I do still love him, I'm just saying that I wish I hadn't gotten married at all bcuz marriage seems to bring a lot of stress.
    I still don't think he will try to hit me, he doesn't have the guts.

    I want to give it a few months of me being myself and being independent before I just quit and leave. Keep in mind I said months, not a year or a few years. Also there is not a chance in h*** I am having a child with him unless there is a radical change.
    I understand he may not change at all. I think, and my counselor thinks, I should give it a chance. Maybe once he realizes he can't control me, his behaviour will change and we can have a more balanced relationship.
    Maybe. Not saying I think he is going to change for sure. I'm not being naive.

    I also forgot to say that my counselor gave me some options for marriage counseling, and I am going to find one and tell him we need counseling and we are going. If he won't go, then he doesn't care about our marriage and I will know immediately there's no point in me staying. The fact that he is going to sex addiction counseling makes me think there's a chance he will agree to go to marriage counseling.

    If you really love somebody, wouldn't you do everything you could to make the relationship work?
    MissCaptainKirk replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    I can't "fix" him and I know that. I can fix myself. And if he decides he wants to change too, he can fix himself.

    I'm not going to make him happy, at the sacrifice of my own happiness, anymore. In fact I'm sure that the way I'm going to start being will make him really mad. If he gets mad he'll throw a fit. Oh well. He's thrown many fits before. I'll just roll my eyes and keep livin my life the way I ought to.
    MissCaptainKirk replied to Aqua14's response:
    Both of your suggestions sound great.
    I would love to go to the festival w/o him, reconnect w/ my friends.
    And yeah the whole financial situation needs adjusting, my counselor helped me w/ that.

    Thanks for wishing me well, I will need that courage and peace of mind for sure.
    3point14 replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    If you really love somebody, wouldn't you do everything you could to make the relationship work?

    I did, a few years ago. And he was an amazing, charming person when we met. He was super smart and super handsome and the sex was amazing and in general, we were really happy.

    Then we started being exclusive. He was controlling in a low-key way. He would be rude, inconsiderate, not give me rides to "make a point", get mad when I "disrespected" him. I didn't care, I loved him. He was a sensitive guy, when we fought he would cry and cry and I would just feel awful about it.

    I started basically living with him. I worked and paid most of the bills for he and his mother. The first time he hit me, it was "in the heat of the moment". The second time he hit me, it was because he was "depressed". Of course, my sensitive man could never hit me because he was an abuser, it was his parents' divorce, it was because I reminded him of an ex. In his right mind, he would never hurt me.

    Two years later, an off/on relationship that included three hospitalizations for me, a restraining order, multiple break-ins, and more bruises and cuts than anyone could count, I decided that sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone you love is to get the f**** away from them.

    It made me bitter. Really bitter, for a really long time. I hated that the person I loved had "turned into' that, and kept meeting guys who reminded me of him, and dating them, and being surprised when they showed the same abusive tendancies. It made it incredibly hard for me to talk to anyone, and made my anxiety issues completely off the wall. I'm still afraid of the dark. I cringe from my current S/O to this day.

    What I'm encouraging you to do is not pin your hope and time on a "maybe". What I'm saying is (from experience) the disappointment of being a decent person in a horrible relationship is crushing and probably to some degree permanent.

    Marriage I'm sure brings stress. And being married to a tyrant who won't let you take care of yourself is hundreds of times worse. Being yourself and being independant are MILES away from staying married to someone who has no respect for you. I'm not saying you have to get offline and pack your bags now, but I'm saying that for your continued improvement over your anxiety and sadness, for the hope of something better for your life than being some mans' doormat (no matter how much you love the person who woo'ed you), I think you're wasting even just months of your life being with this person, and I'd bet my next ten paychecks that you could be in danger at some point. And nobody deserves that.If you were someone that I knew in real life, I'd offer you my couch. I hope you keep posting here, and I sincerely, sincerely pray you learn your true worth.

    You're a good lady. You don't deserve how you're being treated.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    So, what you're really saying is--you're going to remain in the marriage. You have no real intention of getting out.

    Love doesn't make a relationship "work". And really I'm not sure what it is you love about him. Honestly I mostly get the impression that you want to stay together because having someone there with you (even if it's abusive and toxic) is better for you than being alone.

    I don't know what else to tell you. You have every right to be yourself, to make sure your needs are met--but you're going to stay in an environment where someone pitches a huge fit if you buy conditioner for yourself? Why expose yourself to that? What is it about your relationship that you are trying to salvage?

    I haven't seen you give any reason as to why he is just the love of your life and you can't live without him. He's mean, abusive, controlling, selfish, uncaring--what is keeping you there? Fear of "failure"? Fear of being alone? What is it?

    I really don't think you'll leave him. I think that you think your role as his wife is to do whatever it takes to keep him happy and in control. Nothing any of us say will make any difference until you, yourself, decide to change your life.
    cjh1203 replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    Some relationships are worth trying to save, but I can't see a single thing in this one that makes it worth the time and effort. I'm so afraid that the longer you're with him, the more you'll be manipulated until you don't have the strength to get out.

    I'm with Steph -- when I saw that you're apprehensive about standing up for yourself because you're afraid he'll cheat, my jaw sort of dropped. He's already doing things to you that are so much worse than cheating. And fear of his cheating is no reason to let yourself continue to be browbeaten. She's also right that love doesn't make a relationship work.

    You've mentioned a couple of times that you don't think he'll hit you because "he doesn't have the guts" or "he's a wimp" or because you're stronger than he is. Physically abusing someone doesn't take guts -- it has nothing to do with being brave, or even strong. All it takes is one time when he blows up because you bought yourself some shampoo or something and he'll feel perfectly justified in hitting you. And he'll tell you that you made him do it.

    You shouldn't have to find ways to save money for necessities. You have a job and the only reason you can't use the money you earn for the things you need is that your husband told you you can't. He's told you that he can buy whatever he wants to, and you are allowed to buy only the few things he'll give you permission for -- and he makes you beg like a dog.

    When Guard said that the prison system views as necessities the things for female prisoners that your husband won't even allow you to buy with your own money, that's more than an interesting observation. What does it tell you about where you fit into the scheme of things as far as your husband is concerned?

    I hope you aren't feeling that we're all ganging up on you. I think you can tell that everyone here is very concerned about you and we hate to see you stay with this man one more day. Just please continue to think about the things everyone has said and try to be honest with yourself about your husband and the chances for ever having a decent relationship with him.
    MissCaptainKirk responded:
    I think I'll address this reply to all of you, since y'all are saying the same thing.

    First of all, I don't know why I love him. I don't know why my dad loves my mom, either, and if you asked him he probably wouldn't know.
    I believe, and I think I said this before, that I'm still in love with the man I dated/was engaged to.

    As far as the general concern that I'll never leave:
    I left my mom. I only stayed in enough contact with her to be able to see my dad and my sisters. I love her, and I had kept trying to help her change, but she wasn't ever going to treat me like an adult or respect me until I showed her she had no control over me.
    I am hoping that by showing my husband he has no control over me, he will change the way he treats me. The only way to do that is to stay for a little while.
    I am saving up money and looking for places to live if/when I leave, so that I can leave at any time.

    As far as the concern that he'll hit me:
    If he does (and I still doubt it but I don't want to be naive so I'll consider it) I will leave immediately. I understand it may be hard to believe me, but I am incredibly confident that I will leave if he hits me even once. In fact I will probably have to restrain myself from punching him in the face.

    And while I have a fear of him cheating on me, it isn't going to make me let him control me. If it happens, it happens. It's not like I can stop it by being a doormat, and I know that, but I still have fear. Does that make any sense?

    3point14, thank you for sharing your story. I'm very sorry all of that happened to you.

    cjh1203, regarding the prison treatment I said, funny but disturbing. It's very disturbing to me that I'm being treated worse than a female prisoner. Sort of a reality shock to my brain.

    I don't think I'm expressing myself very well, but the point is:
    1. I know I'm being mistreated and that I don't deserve it.
    2. I know that my actions and my love will not "fix" my husband.
    3. I am preparing to leave.
    4. I am giving our relationship a chance, to see if by losing control over me and by going to marriage counseling my husband will change and our relationship can heal.
    5. If he doesn't change, since I will be prepared to leave, there is no excuse I can give myself for staying and I can walk out the door without feeling like it's my duty to stay.

    If I didn't address a concern anyone had, please ask me about it. I'd like to take everything into consideration.

    I realized today, and sort of laughed to myself about it, that for some reason I am able to stand up/walk straighter with my shoulders back. I usually stand/walk sort of shlumped over with bad posture and it was always hard to walk upright with confidence, like there was something pushing me down.
    I am, from this day forward, a free person.
    alaska_mommy responded:
    I also want to say (in addition to my post on your other thread), congratulations on graduating in the fall! That is HUGE accomplishment, whether your husband sees it as such or not. You are on your way to bettering yourself, and that is commendable. Now you just need to ditch this dead weight that is holding you back--then you can really reach for the stars.
    alaska_mommy replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    Also, I think you love him--and your dad loves your mom--because the relationship is comfortable. It is familiar. It is what you've grown up with. It's predictable--you know how he is going to act because he acts just like your mom did. It's "safe" --in a twisted sort of way. It feels right, even though you know it's wrong. And that's probably why your dad stays too. When you don't know anything else, you usually end up in a relationship that mirrors the one your parents had. And the best way to avoid that is stay in counseling and get a new perspective on what is normal, healthy, and expected in a relationship.
    tmlmtlrl replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    I'm glad that you have a plan. And it's nice to hear you are walking a little taller.

    I think that if there's a chance that he will hit you it will probably happen sometime soon because he's not going to know how else to handle this new you. I sincerely hope that does not happen at all. It just seems like the natural next know when someone throws a temper tantrum and don't get their way that the tantrum turns into kicking and throwing fists. Think about it as with a child (it is the same). If he is against hitting you then it will start with hitting the wall or breaking something.

    I have to say most of your posts about how he treats you bring me to tears. That was why I was curious where you are, because I have this motherly feeling that I want to take care of you/save you from this situation. However, I sadly learned long ago that I cannot just save people -- you have to save yourself.

    The fact that you keep laughing at the prison comment bothers me. Maybe it is just a defense you are putting up because you don't want to really process it as reality. It is true. It absolutely sickens me to think you would have to ask to buy conditioner. That should just be something you pick up at the store while shopping for your other necessities like soap and detergent. That alone (him saying you can't buy conditioner) would be enough for me to tell someone to go screw themselves and walk away.

    You have to remember that just because you understand why someone does something it doesn't make it ok. Also that it is ok to love someone and not be with them.

    I get it that you want to earn your way out, so to speak. I think he will continue to show you how hurtful and disrespectful he is towards you. And of course he knows he has to be some sort of nice to you once in a while. It's called picking you up and putting you down. Eventually these little up/downs wear at you and you just get so tired that you don't care anymore....and then he doesn't have tobe nice anymore either. Please don't let yourself get to that point.

    Your logical mind and personality are very strong and kind. Your emotional side, the side of you that your mom trained to put you down and figure you don't deserve anything, that needs to get put into check.

    Keep us posted because we are all worried about you. And when he pisses you off and you need to vent this is a great place to do it. I hope you will stick around in general. It's always nice to have another personality around here!!
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
    GuardSquealer replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    There are lots of people that stay in abusive relationships for whatever the reason. Generally I believe their self esteem gets beaten down and they just give in.

    It might be a harsh comparison but generally our inmates are treated better than the description you have given of both your childhood and your marriage.

    They are provided with a safe place to live, 3 meals a day, clean, neat clothes to wear, and personal hygiene items as needed. They also recieve monthly pay for their work that they can buy needed items with. Actually many of them come from enviroments such as what you have described and this is their first taste of how it feels to be in a safe place where they are not abused. Most of them live better here than they do on the outside.

    I wish the best to you. If there is anything I can do to assist you if you decide you need help to change your situation just let me know. You are not much older than my daughter and I would never allow her to be treated the way you have been and are being treated.

    Seems that your whole life you have been treated unfairly and maybe it is time for some change.

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