I am so confused about my marriage

paradise_2007April 28, 2007

Hi I have been married for 21 years....In that time I have been very controlled by my husband I have had physical abuse and mainly mental abuse....I believe he has a personality disorder that is undiagnosed at this stage....I left the family home 18 months ago as I had somewhat of a mental breakdown and could not take anymore, I needed to find myself again....I have been struggling doing that for that time....My husband loves me very much I know and would do anything to get me back....I am not sure if I am in love with him or not because all is see is the hurts and I cant seem to see the good times....just the last month I have been thinking about him all the time and really think we should make another go of it, but I am very scared. I cant take anymore mental abuse and guilt trips....I feel maybe we should try marriage counselling or something but I seem to want this but still shut him out everytime he rings and tries to talk to me, its like I have put up this wall that cant come down....I am so confused and really dont know what to do.

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I find, when one really doesn't know what to do, the best thing to do is nothing. Give yourself more time. You sound like you're doing a lot of work on yourself--that's great.

I have to ask though--what has HE been doing to fix himself? While you've been separated, has he been getting help? Has he been getting counselling? Medication, if needed for his problem? If not, then nothing's changed and you simply cannot go back to him. HE needs to get the help he needs or you'll be getting right back on the same merry-go-round. Have you spoken to him? told him why you had to leave, discussed the problems in your relationship, asked him how much he's willing to give to repairing your marriage? Without that communication, and without his willingness to participate, nothing will change.

Yes, marriage counselling would be a good thing. And there's no reason why the two of you cannot go for it while you're still separated. Why don't you offer the option to him of having a few sessions, and seeing how things go. No promises, no guarantees. Just the offer of being open-minded. That's really the best you can do. But do wait until you feel strong enough to cope with him, and are sure you are at least thinking of trying to rebuild a life with him. Until you know your own mind, don't let anyone push you into anything you aren't ready for.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 10:43AM
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This phrase jumped out at me...

"My husband loves me very much I know and would do anything to get me back"

First off, what in the world makes you think your husband loves you very much? If he has abused you to the point of literally "driving you crazy" he probably does not love you at all. Of course he would 'do anything to get you back'...he is a control freak and wants to control you, that does NOT mean he loves you.

Do you have any idea what your husband's personality disorder is? Borderline, Narcissistic, something else? If he is willing to and can get help for that...either through counseling or medication, you may have a shot, but this is really a problem that he needs to get fixed for himself.

I know I've mentioned this on other posts, but be very cautious of marriage counseling. Your main problem isn't your marriage...it is his personality disorder and it should be addressed separately, probably with a psychiatrist. I've heard of many instances where abusers actually abuse, lie and degrade in marriage counseling sessions (many counselors are clueless) and also where these clueless counselors suggest even more control is given to the controller...which can back fire big time. Obviously, you may want to seek help or talk to someone too, but please don't be sucked into a bad counseling situation with your husband. His problem needs to be addressed and 'fixed' first and then you can work on your marriage.

Obviously, I don't know how bad it is, but if "he" truly drove you to the point of a mental breakdown, I would think it's probably good riddance. Love may conquer all, but sadly I'm not seeing that he loves you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:06AM
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Hate to quote Dr. Laura (phew!) but "love isn't enough".

I'd look ahead without him. Of course you think about him all the time. That's natural enough after 21 years. Just be sure to keep the reality and fantasy separate.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:45AM
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If he has a personality disorder, that needs to be worked on before the marriage has any hope of surviving. Seriously -- If he would do anything to get you back, working with a counsellor to diagnose and treat any possible personality disorders would be the number one prerequisite to any possible reconcilliation. If there really is an underlying personality disorder (and there might be) -- it's a very, very serious thing. They're tough to fix and, as you well know, horribly damaging to a spouse to live with. Going back to him just because he's 'sorry' and 'means well' and 'will try to do better' -- but still undiagnosed and untreated. Well, you know what that will get you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 12:20PM
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If your husband has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I think that is very difficult to treat. The person is very self-centered & thinks that everyone else has the problem not him.....he's perfect. After 21 years of abuse, it is very doubtful that things will get better, unless he is willing to have lots of therapy OR you are willing to tolerate the abuse and then you are back where you started. Carla is right, he needs to fix himself first!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 3:04PM
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All these great posts.......I thank you very much, I am so confused and all these posts point to him getting him sorted out first, I think that is a great idea.......He is so nasty and aggressive, and plays huge guilt trips on me all the time, some days I feel strong others I let him get to me.......I guess time will tell, but thank you all so very much for the time you put into posting back to me, It sure has helped me emensely...Thank you

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 6:11AM
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I suggest you contact an organization for abused women and ask for a referral for some counseling for yourself. THis should help you to understand your own feelings and what should be involved in any effort to reunite. It is importnt for you to understand what that would mean for you and for your own safety and peace of mind.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 2:47PM
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Until your husband takes care of whatever mental health issues you believe is making him treat you this way, then there is no reason to believe that anything has changed or will in his home. If he is bi-polar or has other underlying health issues (even diabetes cause some to act irrational or fly into rages) that can be treated with medication and therapy, then things might be different if he seeks professional help. If he has a "personality" disorder as you say you suspect then it is an even more difficult road. Personality disorders can not be successfully controlled through medication and take years of psychotherapy to make any progress. I have worked with many people through my job that have not been successful in making the needed changes because of a personality disorder. I have even had a therapist state that these are the most difficult disorders to treat because very few who have them are capable of recognizing the need for change. Please focus on getting your own life in order and learning to care for your own mental and physical well-being.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 4:51PM
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