What holds me to him

What holds me to him?  I can think of so many answers to this question. 

The fact that I actually married him, said vows, and never wanted to divorce.  This was because I’d been raised to fear the devastation of divorce, not for religious reasons, but for how it had torn apart lives.  I grew up in that fallout. 

Beyond that, I did say my vows before God and witnesses, and I believed (and still do) in marriage as a holy covenant.  I’ve grown older and now understand that this covenant is like a contract, and even though a covenant is a spiritual thing, it’s still contractual; i.e. it can be broken.  God is merciful and provides a way forward when this happens.

We have children together.  I’ve spent (invested) my entire adult life with him.  I have memories (good and bad) with him, but there is no other man I could turn to and say, ‘Remember when son/daughter climbed that tree, learned to ride their bike, cried so hard when their pet died, took their first step, etc.?’  Those memories are shared only with him.  One son has his identical smile, more than a few of the kids share his corny humor and love of puns, two of the kids walk like he does, and all of the kids love their father. 

The kids seem to fall along the spectrum of cynicism, resignation, judgment, acceptance, and some gently held hope for the marriage of their parents.  To have a father and mother that love each other.  For the redemptive miracle of a good ending.  I wish so much for the latter for them and us.

We both love animals.  I know there are other animal lovers in the world, but just like the memories and experiences we share with our kids, we’ve shared loving our fur kids. 

We’re financially enmeshed right now.  He’s made choices that caused a domino falling effect, moving forward like a snowball down a hill that gains momentum and almost takes on a life of its own. In hindsight, I should have fought for all I was worth at a few key points, but those key points came during exhaustion or trauma, and I didn’t see how how huge the ripple effect would be, or how long it would last. 

My health is possibly compromised to the point of nearing disability at times.  Now I’m fighting this for all I’m worth, with all I have, and I won’t give up.  It’s the crazy cycle where the stress of my relationship with him has probably caused much of it, but by the time I really understood the gravity of it, my health was so diminished that I’d become yet more dependent on him.

This leads to not wanting to give up the last few years left of raising the two youngest.  Unless I find a way to become independent financially, I’d either have to depend on him for some support, or just leave them with him, and see them as much as I could.  I’ve considered this.  I’ve even discussed it with them as a possibility, but my youngest is entirely against that option.  Depend on him for support if we’re not together?  If it’s bad now, what would that look like?  I shudder.

He still makes me laugh.  Although I have more and more mixed feelings, it can still feel good to be touched and hugged by him.  He has a beautiful smile that can still make me smile.  It’s when I see all that’s good in him.  It’s when I can see Time shimmer in a transcendent evaporating wave, and see a boy who wanted to be brave and good, and explore life without fear, and live with passion.  Before that boy tried to protect his mother and was thrown across a room.  Before that boy was held under the water by his father until he passed out.  Before something disconnected and left him hardwired and locked into a defensive and deceptive man.  The girl that lives in me wants to stand by this boy.  I don’t want to blame him, or hate him.  In fact, I told him once that I would want to leave him while I still loved him, and not come to hate him and then leave. 

He says that he loves me.  I struggle to observe objectively if his behavior reflects his words.  I want to believe him, so I feel angry and betrayed when his behavior belies the words.

Perhaps I’m afraid.  Maybe I’ve lost hope and can’t see beyond what has been, all I’ve known.  In a place where I see my mistakes and weaknesses in the light of experience, consequences, and hindsight, my choices have brought my naive dreams into ashes around my feet.  I find it difficult to trust myself now after my choices in the past helped bring me to this place.  I doubt who I am, how I see myself, and what lies beneath my conscious understanding. 

The song in Beauty and the Beast says:

“No lesson could teach me
How I could have loved her and made her love me too
If I can’t love her, then who?

I understand the meaning of the song, but deep within, I must wonder why I wasn’t enough, and why my love wasn’t enough.  I can tell myself that it isn’t me, but the old wounds of childhood align so well with the wounds of my adult years.  The meaning of the lyrics can twist into ‘If he can’t love me, then who could love me?’  In those moments, I’m aware of every flaw, every weakness, every unlovely or annoying thing about myself, inside and out.  Who could love me?  In those moments, I see through the eyes of the hidden wounds.  Who could love me if they really knew me?

When I think these thoughts, even when they come unbidden to haunt me, even when I challenge them and replace them with something healthier, it causes me to pause and ask myself about my feelings for him.  What is caring for him, what is love, and what is need?  Am I so different then?  I can more easily accuse him of not loving me, of being with me because of his need and not love, and yet what am I doing now?  These are the dark thoughts that I force myself to stare into.  I want truth, not blindness.

In the end, after all is said and done, I look into this darkness, look back and survey the years and know that I gave him my heart and soul with the vulnerable passion that’s borne of intention and integrity.  Intentionally and with integrity, I shared my energy, my youth, my thoughts, and the best of me that I could find and offer with an intentional love.  Then I sat stunned and bewildered, wounded and confused, when it was too often twisted, rejected, invalidated, manipulated, resented, envied, used, or just ignored as if it didn’t exist.  Because this is also part of the whole, and part of the reality.  The times he’s acknowledged me, seemed to care for me, praised me, held me, or even just been there for me in some practical way, could sometimes feel exhilarating with relief.  Anything positive from him would fuel hope that gulped at the future:  Yes, yes!  It doesn’t have to be a nightmare.  It can end well.  It can turn around.  It will be okay.  It can be different.

Except it’s the same, year after year.  We grow older.  I’m more aware that my frame is made of dust, and his as well.  I have less patience and tolerance if he lies or manipulates or behaves badly, but I also have more compassion for him as well.  Scarred from the covert emotional abuse, my compassion sometimes feels numbed.

In time, I learned about trauma bonding.  It’s a powerful force, and I’m probably riddled with blind spots when it comes to trauma bonding.  Does this explain what holds me to him?

It’s acknowledged that women typically have difficulty leaving an abusive husband.  Do you think that it’s even more difficult to leave a passive aggressive husband?  What broke your bonds and caused or helped you to leave?  What holds you to him?

 

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20 Responses to What holds me to him

  1. GainingStrength says:

    PJs – What held me to him was his brainwashing. His covert, psychological, verbal, and emotional abuse (Did I miss any?). He would tell me something like “even the fat women at work dress nice” (I was a stay at home mom) and I would try to change how I dressed and he would not notice, not a single word or look. I would try to please him and I lost myself in the process for nothing.

    Happy memories with him are a rarity, truly they are. He doesn’t remember or just doesn’t want to talk about when the kids were young or we were young.

    Even now in the midst of the divorce I still go back and forth, am I doing the right thing? I’m not doing the right thing, am I? Back and forth and then back and forth. I KNOW I’m doing the right thing. Since I found out about him and confronted him he is just waiting for me to “fix” the problem. He has done nothing but be mean and meaner during this time. Cold, distance, blaming, blaming, blaming, and more blaming and the cruel things he says are stunning. Otherwise he acts like he can’t wait to leave and get rid of me, because it’s my fault. I try not to get into conversations with him because my frustration level rises rapidly and I walk away. He makes no sense and of course, it’s all my fault. I told him to make a sign and just hold it up that says “it’s your fault” and it would save us many hours of talking. 🙂

    So what held me to him will take years to undo. I am just grateful that I am getting away from him. The really sad part though is the effect it had on my kids.

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    • jaded says:

      Gaining: I’m kind of old school when it comes to pleasing my pah. I used to make sure to change and do my hair and put on makeup before he came home from work. I wanted to make sure that he thought I was pretty and wanted me, I wanted him to be happy to see me and I wanted to look nice for him. Only it backfired on me, he would get jealous, thought I had gone out…. I eventually stopped trying until I woke up 15 years later and looked in the mirror and thought I looked old and tired and fat. And I was. That was the start of the journey for me back to myself. Guess what happened? The abuse intensified even worse because I slowly took care of myself, had less time for him, lost weight and started to dress up a bit more and put makeup on and get my hair done. But oh how I felt amazing. Still do! He’s still jealous, tells me that he thought I was attractive, someone else will too but I don’t care anymore. I don’t want anyone right now. I just want to be me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exodus says:

        “The abuse intensified even worse because I slowly took care of myself, had less time for him, lost weight and started to dress up a bit more and put makeup on and get my hair done.”
        Same here Gaining. Just yesterday my husband came home with what he called a ‘ truce’ ( he had been very ugly toward me before he left to go out). His Truce was an expensive tin of Walkers Shortbread that had a picture of Queen Elizabeth on the front. He raved about this tin of cookies and how valuable that tin will be some day. Was he joking? I was speechless. Not only is it a complete waste of money and unnecessary but cookies that are 500 calories a piece when I’m trying to eat well and lose weight??? ( I’m probably slightly exaggerating the calories but only by a few I’m sure). Just the other night he shot me one of those degrading looks and said, ‘ I’m not going to say anything but well…” as he looked at my body. The man is truly cruel or insane or both. He never buys me anything healthy, never buys me anything that I want or need and even when my doctor told him years ago that it’s extremely important for me to eat before 7pm, my husband has made certain that he never came home before 9pm and even worse, never calls and expects me to jump up, throw on my apron and bonnet and cook him a meal when he walks in the door.

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        • GainingStrength says:

          Exodus my husband would do that, too. I’d tell him I was going to start a diet and presto he would go to the store and bring home ice cream, cakes, pies, etc. Not all at once, but a steady stream until I gave up and then…..no more ice cream, cakes, pies, etc. When confronted with this he would say (cue the innocent hurt look) “oh I forgot you were doing that, I was just trying to be nice and get you something you like, I guess I won’t do that again (And he would do it again and again and again. Did you notice no apology?). The support that man gave me throughout our marriage is/was…what is the word I’m looking for?…hmmm…Oh yeah, nonexistent.

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    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Gaining, I’d be interested to hear what your back and forth thoughts sound like. It sounds typical that he’s ramping up the coldness, distance, and blame tactics.
      You made me laugh about the sign thing!
      I don’t know that I can ever ‘undo’ the tangled mess of my thoughts, triggers, and reactions at this point.

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  2. Exodus says:

    I would guess that the reasons you and the rest of us stay with our husbands are all of the above.

    Despite all the misery that I endure every single day with my husband and in my horrible neighborhood, I still have many blessings in my life. I have a hard working husband who is passionate about his work and earns a decent living ( even though he doesn’t value it). I have a home to shelter me, beautiful gardens that provide shelter for wildlife and food for our table and beauty for my soul. I have lots of rabbits that live in harmony with me and don’t eat all my crops. I have a wonderful car that gets 50 miles to the gallon and leaves a smaller footprint on the earth. I love my curly hair now even though I spent most of my life hating it. Once I decided to accept my curly hair and quit trying to make it do something it’s not meant to, it makes me happy. These are some of the things that mean the world to me because they ARE my world right now and all I have that provides joy. That’s a lot more than some people have and I’m very aware that this is the best of the worst that could be happening to me right now. Ideally, I would like to be sharing what I have right now with someone that I am in love with. I’d like to know that my life has the potential to always improve because I don’t have anyone in it that would prefer that it doesn’t.

    The list of negatives in my life is much much longer and my husband reminds me of them every day, day after day.

    There is no way for me to dismiss or diminish the abuse and it’s effects in my life and the toll on my health. I am aware that I’m severely traumatized by the abuse and that I won’t begin healing until I end the abuse by making a clean break and begin to replace the old tainted experiences and memories with new ones. Expecting my husband to change is unrealistic and perhaps insane. He’s not like my curly hair that responds positively to being loved and nourished. He’s evil. Evil doesn’t like happy harmony. Evil is all about drama and chaos that keeps people in a state of fear and uncertainty.

    I live with the fear of the unknown and making an even worse mistake. I live with the fear that I’m so flawed that I am incapable of making intelligent decisions. I live with the fear of being so poor and alone that I end up in a pauper’s grave. I live with the fear that if I met someone that I really loved that I would lose them. I live with the fear that I’m really just a complete dud and that I should feel grateful that my husband wanted to marry me. Speaking of which, It occurred to me the other day that I don’t feel the least bit flattered that my husband wanted to marry me. I realize now that he is just an opportunist and he married me because I was strong, smart and would care for him like his mother did. He didn’t marry me because we shared the same values, ethics and morals, interests or anything else. He didn’t marry me because he appreciated anything about me that he wanted to nurture. My husband is a chameleon- a people pleaser with an agenda and once that agenda ( to marry me) was carried out, he reverted back to his more authentic evil self. He was just using me for my money ( which I no longer have thanks to him) and my professional image. I won’t expand on how my husband and I met in this post but, I am curious about how everyone here met their husbands. Maybe that would be a good topic to explore?

    PJ’s. I completely understand why you stay. It’s extremely difficult to ‘ euthanize’ a relationship that we’ve invested so much emotion and time and energy in and adding children makes it even more difficult because you see the finer qualities of your husband in them as well. The death of a relationship is no different than the death of a loved one and I believe we all go through the same stages of death that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross describes in her book. None of us are all bad or all good so of course we’re going to naturally focus on the good when we’re facing the prospect of losing it. I do that with blue jeans as well. We’re supposed to be intelligent enough to be able to problem solve in our relationships and compassionate and loving enough to want to make sacrifices and compromises to make things work. Unfortunately, humans are just too complex and when we are broken or our spouse is broken, then the odds of healing are stacked against us. I’ve surrendered to the reality that nothing will change until I make it happen. In the meantime, I have to make the best of what I have.

    My crazy mother ( who was not all bad either) once told me that the longer you stay in an any abusive relationship whether it’s work or personal, the more you learn to tolerate it. She’s right but she fails to acknowledge how her her abusive marriages ( domestic violence by her) and parenting style conditioned me to feel more secure in chaos and drama than in happy harmony. If it wasn’t for my childhood surrogate parents, I would have never had any role model for what a health relationship looks like. Even so, that wasn’t enough to outweigh my familial conditioning.

    The bottom line PJ’s for any of us is that we need to take inventory of the pluses and minuses of our relationships and examine both in depth and then decide what we need to do. Everyone’s wants and needs are different. Thomas Jefferson used to make a bit ” T” on a page of paper and write down the positives on the left and negatives on the right or he would write down the action on the left and consequences on the right. That’s truly how he decided everything. I use his method quite often when I’m struggling to make a decision.

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    • Seeing the Light says:

      Exodus, terrific comment.

      Something you said reminded me of something I had read recently. You said, “My crazy mother ( who was not all bad either) once told me that the longer you stay in an any abusive relationship whether it’s work or personal, the more you learn to tolerate it. She’s right but she fails to acknowledge how her her abusive marriages ( domestic violence by her) and parenting style conditioned me to feel more secure in chaos and drama than in happy harmony. If it wasn’t for my childhood surrogate parents, I would have never had any role model for what a health relationship looks like. Even so, that wasn’t enough to outweigh my familial conditioning.” You were conditioned to feel more secure in chaos and drama than in happy harmony. Exactly! If I may quote Gregory Jantz in “Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse,” he says, “If you were emotionally abused in the past, you may gravitate toward emotionally abusive relationships in the present and in the future….If you feel you are worthless, incompetent, damaged, and guilty due to the messages of emotional abuse, the underlying themes of a spiritually abusive environment will hit all the right chords. Those chords are in harmony with your abusive past. This harmony, however, is a cacophony of lies.” Oh, this makes me so angry! I remember being treated so well by a young man so many years ago before I got married. He was a gentleman – nice restaurants, flowers, respect. I couldn’t stand it. I had to end it because it was making me so uncomfortable. Now I understand. My own childhood with a narcissistic father with a religious bent and a borderline mother set me up, too. Being treated well wasn’t in harmony with the music I was used to. And now my own children will be used to the same distorted chords. How much damage can be undone? Ugh!!!

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      • Exodus says:

        I need to get that book! Is it helpful to you?

        I know your children have suffered but it’s never too late to help them heal the wounds. Just be honest with them. Parents don’t instantly become wise sages who get it all right during their children’s lifetime. Parents are growing and maturing just like their kids in many ways and so, just tell them that you understand how they must feel and that you want them to know that what they witnessed was not what love is all about. Let them know that you know the difference even though you made a bad choice. Tell them why you made a bad choice. I think they would appreciate that so much and that it would make all the difference in the world. When I think about my ggrandmother who was abused, I don’t think of her as being a pathetic stupid woman at all because she made an effort to save herself and her daughters from further abuse. It’s really about our character and how well we endure something and how well we rectify it that makes the difference in the lives of others.

        Holy cow woman! I too had a decent man in my life- my first husband. He was and is still the most wonderful human being I’ve ever known. He was so thoughtful, sensitive, such a wonderful intellectual nerd but so much fun and he had such integrity. My grandmother loved him and so did I. I became extremely uncomfortable with him and his wonderful family because my mother kept planting seeds of doubt in my mind all the time. One minute she would tell me that I was too good for him/them and then the next day she would tell me that I was a ‘ free spirit’ type ( I HATE THAT PHRASE) that doesn’t belong in academia. I was such a mess and I felt horrible about being one and I filed for divorce. It really killed my husband.
        I remember the first time I saw him on campus. He was very tall and lean and dorky sort of. He had on jeans and on an ugly flannel looking coats and a cowboy hat, a ponytail and cowboy boots. He was NOT a cowboy by any means but he would wear that to be funny. Anyway, I saw him and I said to my gfriend, ‘ I’m going to marry him’. She thought I had lost my mind because she was a preppy elite. My husband graduated no 1 in his class. He was a genius and I loved that about him. Anyway, one day I had PMS and was feeling grumpy. He learned that bananas were good for PMS and went to the grocery stores and purchased hundreds of their old bananas and he made a river of them from my parking space up to and into my apartment. In the center of the living room floor, he made a heart and wrote ‘ I’m bananas about you’. He always left me notes, every day. He would drive his old Pinto to my apt every morning and put a note on my door for me to wake up to. We also made a pact, the first winter together, that we would meet at a specific spot on the beach to drink coffee and watch the snowflakes. We promised that no matter what we were doing, we would always meet there and guess what? We always did. He always showed up and showed up on time! He never lied to me, never made promises that he couldn’t keep and he NEVER made excuses for anything. This is the man that my mother hated. Why couldn’t I see through her madness?

        From our once good experiences with men, we need to recognize that they chose us because they saw us as worthy of love and affection. So, it’s possible for us to attract the right kind of man and with our wisdom from experience, we should be able to sustain a good relationship. Surely there are other men out there who would see that in us now.

        Do you remember the movie, Carrie? I always felt like Carrie whenever someone was nice to me as if they were either feeling sorry for me or patronizing me or were planning to be mean to me. I never felt comfortable saying thank you when someone complimented me because I wasn’t sure if they were serious or not and would start laughing at me.

        YES, it pisses me off too!! Our childhood was stolen from us.

        ((( Hugs )))

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        • Seeing the Light says:

          Yes, the book has been very helpful to me. It is a Christian book. I underlined and marked it up so much with things I wanted to go back to and remind myself. It was very validating and helped identify the effects of childhood emotional abuse and why we end up doing and feeling some of what we do. The big hang-up was when I tried to start applying the healing affirmations. He recommended writing some positive self-talk and repeating it to yourself. Well, I tried to start with things like, “I am not a monster,” “God loves me,” “I am as good as my husband,” “I’m not evil,” “God wants good things for me,” and so on. When I started to do it deliberately, it was like I couldn’t breathe. My chest got tight. I thought my airway was going to close up. It was scary. So I stopped. I haven’t tried again. I don’t think my brain or my body could handle thinking positively about myself. It’s been so long. (Sometimes I wonder about the demonic influence he has brought into my life). My body is in such bondage to this whole mess. I wake up in the morning and feel calm and decent for about 10 seconds. Then I consciously get hit with my life and my body starts reeling with adrenaline, breathlessness, and exhaustion before I even roll over or stand up.

          I appreciate your remarks about the children. Yes, if anything, they will get honesty from me. I am a straightforward person and that will be my approach with them.

          It has got to be hard to have had such a wonderful man and lost him that way. I am so sorry. We were so blind, weren’t we? I remember once in college during an argument with someone telling them that I wasn’t naive. What a fool! I thought I wasn’t naive because I wasn’t fooled by the “dangerous” party crowd I was hanging out with. Little did I know the real danger was in the “Christian” circle I was soon to enter. (Those party friends were real people who never used me covertly, who said what they meant and meant what they said). I didn’t know about the wolves in sheep’s clothing, and I walked in like a blind sheep. And when it comes to mothers, we want to trust them and their counsel. We’re supposed to be able to believe they have our best interests in mind. It’s goes against nature not to be able to trust one’s mother. I find myself thinking about the guy I mentioned more these days and wondering if he has had a happy life. I hope so. We are worthy of that kind of love and affection. The good guys saw it and believed it.

          Yes, I remember Carrie. I know what you mean. I’ll bet most of the people who have been kind to or complimented you were sincere. You have just been set up to doubt.

          Ugh! Life! What a mess!

          (((Hugs))) back to you 🙂

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    • WritesinPJ's says:

      “I live with the fear of the unknown and making an even worse mistake.”
      This.

      “I’ve surrendered to the reality that nothing will change until I make it happen. In the meantime, I have to make the best of what I have.”
      Yes.

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  3. Seeing the Light says:

    First off, I would ditto a big chunk of what Exodus had to say. Terrific comment. I also resonate with the brainwashing mentioned by GainingStrength.

    When I read your post, PJs, I thought, wow, she still has a heart for him. You speak of him like there is still something there and that makes me wonder about restoration, but you have mentioned the trauma bonding before and I think there is a good chance that is the source of much of your attachment. I’ve read about this before and it can be intense, even in the absence of any real respect and love between two people. I know a couple well that has a very stormy relationship and since I’ve started reading volumes I have come to believe their intense connection is an unhealthy co-dependency rooted in trauma bonding. They don’t respect each other and lie to each other frequently, but are profoundly attached.

    I think whether it is more difficult to leave a passive aggressive man or an abusive man that is more overt depends on the woman. I would have shut things down after the first volley of a physically abusive relationship, but got blindsided for a very long time with this covert game. So I would guess that it depends on the woman, her makeup, her propensity for feeling guilty and all that.

    One of the things that helped to break my bond with my PAH was the ongoing revelation of the facade breaking down, seeing who he really was over against who he pretended to be. I realized I had no actual bond with who he really is – if there is even anyone in there. (I do believe mine is a narcissist and/or a sociopath). The real deal breaker was one day when I was trying to have a serious conversation with him about our issues – in kindness and compassion, not argumentative – but also breaking through the false image of who he pretends to be. He looked at me with such profound contempt that I knew all the previous time with him had been a lie. I knew that he despised me. Since then, he has feigned smiles, shared little jokes, and tried to pretend he has kind feelings toward me, but I saw through the veil and I can’t go back.

    PJs, I wanted to recommend a website to you. I hope you don’t mind. It’s leslievernick.com. She is a Christian counselor (Leslie Vernick). She has written a book about emotionally destructive marriages and has videos on her website. I have watched the videos but have not read the book. I found it incredibly validating. (In one video on youtube where she is being interviewed, she lists indifference as abuse. This is so true!) It has helped me a lot to come to peace about where I stand in this relationship. I am still under the same roof due to custody concerns, but her counsel has helped me so much. I keep trying to come to grips with how to adjust things here while I try to work within the current paradigm, and I keep my eyes open for any indication that I can move forward safely. I hope for you to be able to make a change. If it helps any, she talks about how staying in it with the destructiveness continuing isn’t any good for the abuser and may not be good for the children either. You might find that drawing a line in the sand and following through could be a step toward restoration as much as toward finality and divorce. Either way, it ends the destructive nature of the relationship and begins the healing. Each woman has a unique situation and has to decide for herself, but I hope you might find something helpful here. She also talks about developing your own strength even if you stay in it. I long for peace for you.

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    • Exodus says:

      I knew a woman who was married to an abusive man and she would talk about how he was so abusive yet the entire time he was abusive they had sex. I asked her how she could possibly be attracted to a man that abused her and she said, ‘ I just liked the sex with him. I have a strong sex drive and sex with him was great’. She also told me that she could not live without sex and that it was too hard to find anyone to have an affair with where she lived. I wondered about trauma bonding but I sort of got the feeling that she was just a very superficial person with no depth whatsoever. I thought maybe she had just shut down emotionally but then she interpreted the other abuse as offensive and hurtful. Makes no sense to me. I’ve tried and tried to understand how and why she could enjoy sex with a man that hurts her. Our perception of anyone or anything is so complex and unique.

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    • lonelywife07 says:

      Seeingthelight….I ordered that book! I read some of it on Amazon….OMW…it was good!! And I watched a few videos also! I think ALL of us women owe it to ourselves to read this book! Maybe we can have a book club!! 😀
      I watched the video on CORE….and I knew this, but she made it more apparent to me….I’m not being true to myself. I’m enabling PA Man to treat me this way…and it needs to stop.
      God is NOT happy with this, and it’s NOT honoring to HIM!!!

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      • Exodus says:

        A book club would be good or at least a list of resources that we found to be invaluable.

        You’re right about how we are not honoring G-d when we do not honor ourselves. This is the core of my shame. I know that G-d wanted better for me and I know that I have failed to believe that I was worthy enough to receive His blessings. But, I can also say that when I’m at my lowest, He always sends me a message through another person just at the perfect time. We’re never alone ( just lonely).

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    • Exodus says:

      I watched her videos and wow, she’s really good! Thanks for sharing a link to site!

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    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Seeing, thanks, I started to look at some of her stuff and will get back to it when my windows of space here open up.
      I do still have a heart for him, and I don’t think my hope and belief that he wants to be different has been entirely eradicated. I do think I’m recognizing that my ability and capacity are diminished to the point that it’s a moot point whether it’s true or not.

      I think many couples can get back on track. I don’t think we were ever on the track here. He consistently ‘says’ that he wants that. His behavior? Typically inconsistent.

      Thank you. I do long for peace, and for all of us here.

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  4. newshoes says:

    PJ you made me cry. These words rang true for me as well: “I understand the meaning of the song, but deep within, I must wonder why I wasn’t enough, and why my love wasn’t enough.”

    So many years now, I have thought about how I love him, muddling through our relationship as best as I could with a pa man, how I thought I must be such a bad wife to deserve the kind of treatment he was giving me day in and day out. In the good times, I thought “ok this is it, he’s changed, I’ve done something right, I’m going to continue doing this” until the shoe would drop and the shit would hit the fan again and always for something random and at the wrong time.

    And you must all know that no matter what we do (whether we throw ourselves down and become the carpets they want) it woulnd’t matter, you can be a great wife, a bad wife, the end result will be the same. They will emotionally ABUSE US because that’s what passive aggressiveness is – ABUSE. And it’s not acceptable.

    I understand what makes you stay with your pah, I get it because I stay for the same reasons and no matter the reasons, it’s that dependence upon another human being in the hopes of your love in return. It hurts. Thinking of leaving hurts, thinking of staying hurts. Everything all the time, hurts. The good times, hurt. Because you know it’s a matter of time before they abuse you again. The bad times, hurt. Because they’ve abused you again. Leaving hurts, because you will miss them, you will miss the memories that were created whether they are bad or good, and it equals to failure which for someone like me (a perfectionist) is hard to take. Staying hurts. Because you know, that this whole abuse thing, is unacceptable and it will happen again. For me mentally, this plays in my mind over and over again like a broken record: “don’t I deserve better, am I such a bad person that someone needs to hurt me, I’m worthy of kind love just like everyone else” and it’s boils down to a self respect thing too for me, if I don’t take care of myself and I cannot trust my pah to hold me dear, then what good is it if I stay. Breaking up a family hurts, the kids are upset, the parents are upset that their kids are upset. All in all, it hurts.

    Like

    • GainingStrength says:

      newshoes,
      The difference is, if you leave there’s hope the hurt will dull with time and hopefully disappear completely. If you stay, you are guaranteed massive hurt. Today my husband was verbally extremely cruel to me this morning as I was leaving to go to the store. When I returned he acted like he had said nothing wrong. Pure insanity. Now that I see it and know what he’s doing, it’s hard to be civil to him, really hard.

      Come on divorce, momma needs a new life!

      Like

    • WritesinPJ's says:

      newshoes, your post deserves its own space somewhere. If words can bring beauty to bittersweet pain, your poignant description did.

      Like

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