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I posted earlier on another thread about my marriage which is falling apart. We have been married for almost 10 years and it has been an unhappy marriage from the start. Although we weren't in love with each other I thought that we would develop a bond and friendship, especially as we have two children that are now 5 and 8.
I feel that my husband is very abusive and I guess, I need people who are neutral to tell me if his behavior is overly abusive. He is "the nice guy" nice and polite to everybody, doesn't drink, smoke, take drugs, cheat on me or beat me. He is a great father and spends a lot of time with our kids.
He has been a nightmare of a husband, and my already low self esteem is now non existent.
As soon as we disagree about something he calls me stupid, moron, loser etc. Once I picked up Wall Street Journal and he laughed about me reading that kind of newspaper.
Yesterday I tried to tell him an interesting story that I read in the paper and after I had said 2 sentences, he screamed at me: get to the point, what is the point with your story, get to the point already.
Sometimes when I talk, he asks me what I am blabbing or blabbering about.
He rolls his eyes at me as soon as I don't get something right away and undermines me and my decisions. It is almost as if he waits for me to make a mistake and then comment about it. I am almost afraid of making decisions as not to be called stupid. Also, when he feels like complaining about something then it is ok to complain, if I complain about the same thing, he calls me negative and a complainer.
I am drained by this person. We have been in couples counseling and I have also tried to talk to him, but nothing has changed.
I have not worked during most of our marriage. I have been taking care of our kids. My husband calls me lazy. My husband has his own business, but is moderately successful. I am on the phone trying to get customers for the business and I would estimate that 75% of his customers are from my efforts.
He became unemployed a few years ago and used all the equity we had in the house (with my written permission which I regret now that I gave) to open his business. Our house has now no equity at all.
I am 48, my husband is 50. I look at him and not only do I not love him, but I don't even like him. When I argue back he says that I am mentally unstable and need to be on psychiatric medication.
I graduated from a law school in Europe 20 years ago. My degree can not be used in the US, I have looked into that several times. But, at least my degree is a reassurance for me that I am not stupid as I now have been told for 10 years. My husband is American, born and raised in the city we live in.
Although he has lived here his whole life he has no friends at all. He criticizes me for having social problems (I have 5-6 friends) and not making a social life for us as a family. He has said that I am a wall flower.
I don't feel that this marriage is able to be worked on. I am not willing to work on it, I just want out. One part of me feels in spite of everything that I may be making a mistake to get divorced. I don't know if I am afraid of loneliness or of not being able to make it on my own or that maybe I am leaving a good man. My husband is gone all day, he has his business and sits there, no matter if he has clients or not. I am with the kids all day and when I hear his car in the evening coming home, I cringe.
Any input is appreciated.
Is he abusive? You bet he is....you are sitting on a gold mine with your law degree.....you don't need him to earn a living...get out and find work and get out. He has done enough damage to you. I don't blame you at all for not wanting to talk to him, or how you don't care about him. Who could? No one deserves to be treated this way. NO ONE! Believe me the fact that he doesn't actually hit you doesn't mean you aren't being abused.

A couple should be a united stand against the world outside. I am sorry to say it sounds as though you are on your own and have been for a while.

Please don't put up with this nonsense any longer! Start looking for help, it's out there if you know where to find it.

Mileena
OK so maybe you can't be a lawyer here in the US, I don't know about that but surely your degree amounts to something in the law field! Maybe while you are still married and have an income, you can go to school to catch up on some needed courses so you will be more employable? Just tell the A** that you are trying to get smarter since he thinks you are so stupid! HA!

I can't even imagine how bad I would hate someone that talked to me like you describe!:mad:
no doubt.....yes he is abusive, he is emotionally and verbally abusive.
get away from him before he beats you down even more.
you don't deserve this treatment
My answer to your question is another question: How could you put up with this situation for ten long years?
Thank you for your inputs. It really means a lot to me to hear what people think, people that are neutral. I am so used to this situation that I don't know any more how abusive his behavior is.
How did I put up with this for 10 years? When I married him I was in a very vulnerable situation, without a green card. He started being abusive fairly quickly into the marriage and I so badly wanted to leave, but couldn't because I would have gotten deported since he was the reason I could stay in the country. It took 3 years until I got my green card. By then our child was born. The marriage was horrible, but nevertheless I (and he) wanted a sibling for our child and the second child was born. I felt that I didn't want to leave the kids to a day care and we also couldn't afford it, so I stayed.
I filed for divorce a year and a half ago, but changed my mind as I was going to sign the lease for an apartment. I didn't have a job, and still don't and I was scared I wasn't going to make it. My self esteem is also extremely low and I feel terrified. I have no family here, just a few friends. I worry about my kids, how they are going to feel if we divorce. But, I am so miserable that I am not a very good mother anyway so things can't get much worse for the kids.
My husband is a likable person and few people who know him would believe how abusive he is to me.
You're welcome. So now, having got this input, what do you think you are going to do, if we may ask you?
Nelli, you have to ask yourself, how much worse can leaving him be than staying in this relationship? My guess is that he has serious self-esteem issues and is putting you down to make himself feel better.

No, you damn well dont have to put up with it! Not only that, your kids are learning that this is how women are treated. Make plans to move out, do all of this behind his back and when you have a safety net, get a lawyer and go..good luck!
[QUOTE=Nelli;3677777]
I filed for divorce a year and a half ago, but changed my mind as I was going to sign the lease for an apartment. I didn't have a job, and still don't and I was scared I wasn't going to make it. My self esteem is also extremely low and I feel terrified. I have no family here, just a few friends. [/QUOTE]

I too agree that your husband is abusive, but I am really responding to your post because I know what you are going through being scared to leave. I also have not worked in a long time and cannot find a job, I still feel Love for my husband, but know there is no way to fix our marriage and I put up with his lies and abuse because I am so scared that I will not be able to take care of my son, and I (for some stupid reason am also afraid to be alone) I am not from another country like you, but feel like I am since my family lives 3500 miles away. I cannot move back there, I will not even be able to afford to go visit them. My husband and I have spent every holiday with his family, never once with mine, and I'm so afraid to be all alone during that time. I, also cannot rent an apartment w/o a job, and the jobs that I would qualify for wouldn't even be enough to make a payment. I feel like you and I are probably dwelling over the same exact things right now, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I am going to do it though, I have put it off far too long and you need to get out too. You know that you are not going to ever feel good about yourself with that man putting you down. And you are obviously very intellegent. He sounds like an insecure bully who puts you down because he KNOWS that you are smarter than him and he resents it!! He's making you believe that you are not smart enough to make it w/o him, don'tbelieve it, you are smart enough and you can do it!!:) Please take care of yourself and your children and know that I am praying for you.
Verbal abuse. He makes you feel like your worthless. Thats not love. And you know that. Has he been like this all 10 years, or did it happen suddenly? And have you ever told him how he makes you feel? If you guys have been to couples counseling and he is still treating you this way, then I would just leave if I were you. Your self worth is going down the toilet and you need to save any bit of it you can. You are not leaving a good man. He is getting away with too much. Leave and start your own life. Don't worry about being alone, you have your children.
I have known for years now that I should leave him, but haven't been able to. But, exactly, how much worse can it be than it is now? He does make me feel worthless and often I don't dare to say something that I want to say out of fear to be laughed at. I feel like I have been living in a prison for a decade now. I am going to do as much as I can behind his back before I file for divorce. At this point, I can't stand him any more although he is the father of my children and I will need to be civil to him for the sake of the kids. He does have low self esteem and inferiority complex. I look back now and wonder what I have been thinking all these years, but there is no point in looking back. My kids are also rude to me and condencending, that's what they hear from their father. My husband is so controlling that I barely have a relationship of my own with my kids. My husband thinks that he knows everything best and makes most of the decisions for the kids. I can't wait to get out from this prison that I've created myself and get my dignity back.
Sarah, I am sorry that you are also in a similar situation. It is scary to be on your own, but at least you'll have your peace of mind. No one deserves to be put down
I have learned many things through this nightmare of a marriage. For example, it is the personality and integrity of the other person that counts, not education etc. My husband's brother is married to a nice woman who works as a maid, she cleans people's houses. Her husband treats her with respect and would never dream about saying that she is stupid. He asks her for advice and listens to her opinion. I've heard so many times now that I am stupid and that I don't think and this in spite of the fact that I have a degree which you can't obtain if you are completely stupid.
I am so angry and don't know what to do with my anger, especially as I can't move out at the moment. I have also found out that the law is unfair in a situation like mine. My husband emptied our house of equity to open his business. He will walk away with the business when we get divorced and I will get nothing although the equity used for it belonged to both os us. He basically used me, and I guess, I am stupid in some way for allowing it to happen.
you might not like this idea and I may be speaking off the cuff here, but I might just consider splitting and leaving the kids with him.....they don't treat you with respect because he's brainwashed them. I'm not sure that can be undone, and not easily if it can......I'd leave em all behind and make a new start.
:angel:
rosequartz, I have thought about doing it, but my kids are only 5 and almost 8, so I feel that if I just manage to get away from my husband and create a new life, the kids are going to see that I am not lazy and stupid etc. I feel that I want to have my own relationship with my kids on my terms, not on my husband's terms. My husband is now all sulky and makes the kids feel sorry for him and makes me into the bad guy. It is the same story over and over. He insults me and treats me like I am a stupid child, I then stop communicating with him more than I have to and he feels like a victim. The kids now feel bad for him. I can't understand that I have put up with this for so long.
Well, don't get me wrong, but I am really surprised at your situation. I don't think I have ever seen anything like this before. I know kids are easy to manipulate, but a father (mis)using them against their own mother is something quite new to me. I would understand the kids' msbehaving if you were a negligent mother and housewife. If you refused to cook their meals or only gave them bad foods. If they walked about in rags. If they slept in filthy
bedrooms. Etc. Since I don't think this is the case, it's hard for me to understand how the kids have turned their backs on to you. Don't they witness and see your work at home?

Anyway, whatever you decide to do, it's high time you made your voice heard and your dissatisfaction expressed in this house. They will be surprised, but (I know it is easier said than done) this is perhaps the last chance... for you to regain your humanity. You don't have to scream or shout or argue. Just say you don't like this or that and demand respect. Protest firmly, seriously. Don't pocket their insults. The longer you wait to do this, the more difficult it will be for you to impose your ways later.

This is my opinion.
It's me again. Sorry if I am "over-posting", but I just want to understand what is going on.

What sort of puzzles me is that you say you come from Europe. In this country, it is very usual for the native to look up to someone who comes from Europe. The very name "Europe" usually stands for many good and positive things: education, tradition, ancestors, experience, knowledge, art, etc... Of course, there are also a few bad things, like the wars, colonialism, etc, but all in all the positive things usually tip the balance towards an acceptation and even an admiration of European people and things. I don't know very much about the United States of America, but I should think that the same applies there.

So, being an European and what is more a well-educated European, you would be in the position to easily be absorbed by America, especially when you speak English (as I presume you do) so well. Perhaps English is your first language as well. What I mean to say is: I would expect your husband, like most other Americans, to look up to you rather than keep saying those pointless things about you.

If you find my doubts to be relevant to the case, would you please elaborate on this?
[QUOTE]I would understand the kids' msbehaving if you were a negligent mother and housewife. If you refused to cook their meals or only gave them bad foods. If they walked about in rags. If they slept in filthy
bedrooms. Etc. Since I don't think this is the case, it's hard for me to understand how the kids have turned their backs on to you. Don't they witness and see your work at home? [/QUOTE]

It's easy for a kid to take their parent for granted, [I]especially[/I] if they've never gone without. Reading your story, Nelli, has torn me up a bit inside because my mother went through the same thing.

My stepfather was a terrific father and everbody's best buddy, but he was a horrible husband to my mom and lived to pick on her. My sister and I did it too. I can't say why, except that he was doing it and she was an easy target. She couldn't get a normal job for health reasons, which we never believed, so this hard-working woman was called lazy for most of her life. And honestly, she was not the brightest bulb, but she didn't deserve the humiliation we gave her every day. We accused her of being a drama queen right up until the day she collapsed during her job as a caretaker and died from cancer two weeks later. The fact that she worked all of that time she was actually dying slowly, and no one listened to her complaints of being in pain... she was amazing and I can only see this now, when it's too late.

I hope you get away from this guy. I think you are right. Your kids are still young, and might learn to respect and appreciate you if you can get them away from his influence. They are impressionable right now and do not understand what they are doing.
[QUOTE=Lysander;3681365]It's easy for a kid to take their parent for granted, [I]especially[/I] if they've never gone without. Reading your story, Nelli, has torn me up a bit inside because my mother went through the same thing.

My stepfather was a terrific father and everbody's best buddy, but he was a horrible husband to my mom and lived to pick on her. My sister and I did it too. I can't say why, except that he was doing it and she was an easy target. ...[/QUOTE]

You have a point here: it is easy for a kid to take a parent for granted, especially if they have never gone without.

I don't know how old you and your sister were when you took to picking on your mother. The difference may be that Nelli's kids are still very young, and it's more usual for young kids to side with their mothers rather than their fathers.
Lysander, your story made me feel so bad for your mom, but also for you and your sister. Don't blame yourself in any way because you didn't know better at the time. My 7 year old son told me today that I am lazy. I asked him why he is saying that. He said that that is what daddy told him. I am obviously not angry at my kids, they don't know better, but I so badly want to have a relationship of my own with my kids without my husband interfering constantly. My husband is exactly like you describe your stepfather. Nice to everybody, very likable and a great father. As a husband, he has been a nightmare. Like you say, he lives to pick on me. He is also incredibly controlling. Everything that we have in the house, down to the kids' beds and the color on their room wall, he has decided. He has taken all the paperwork pertaining to the house, my passport, the kids' passports and many other things to his business. Supposedly it is in case our house gets burglarized or burns down. I don't buy that explanation for a second. The truth is he is so controlling that his hands have to be on everything. If I want to see the title to the house or something similar, I have to ask him for it. He gives me money when he feels like it and as much as he feels like. I do have a credit card that I use for food, everything else he decides whether we should buy or not. I feel so suffocated, but can't get away from him this second. I need to first figure out where to live and how to support myself. As I mentioned previously 5 years ago he took all the equity out of the house and put it into a business. We are currently in debt and have no assets and no equity in the house.
Pendulum, you asked why he is disrespecting me and talking down to me. I can only guess, but I think that my guess is pretty good. My husband grew up in a very posh neighborhood. Very wealthy people lived there and also some celebrities. He went to the same school as children of these people and went to their houses which were mansions. My husband is from a pretty simple background. His dad did sales for living and wasn't particularly successful and the mom was a homemaker. His siblings are not very successful and their spouses are not professionally successful either. I, on the other side am from a family where everybody is professionally successful (my siblings are medical doctors etc.) My husband treats his family with a lot of respect although he complains about them behind their backs and has very little contact with them. Anyway, I am pretty sure that he has some major inferiority issues stemming from childhood. Now at age 50, he is not particularly successful professionally. Actually, that's another issue I feel resentment about. Our 10 year marriage has been much about how he is going to have a job that he likes. Instead of focusing on myself, I have been focusing on his career, one that fell apart and now this other one that he started 5 years ago. I have been the perfect victim for him. He married me when I didn't have a green card and he knew that once we got married, I was stuck.
Ironically, we now live, although in a small house, in a middle class neighborhood, it is only a block from a very wealthy neighborhood. Our kids go to a school where kids from some very wealthy families go. It is the same story all over for my husband. Again, he is feeling inferior to others, in the past as a child, now as an adult and I am paying the price for it.
He is also incredibly shallow. He has told me that if I got fat, he would dump me and that a lot of men get something they didn't bargain for, a wife who gains weight after she has kids. My husband has gained about 30 pounds since we got married, but he is not able to see himself realistically. I could go on and on about 10 years of all this. Thanks for listening (reading).
[QUOTE]I don't know how old you and your sister were when you took to picking on your mother. The difference may be that Nelli's kids are still very young, and it's more usual for young kids to side with their mothers rather than their fathers.[/QUOTE]

I was old enough that I [I]should[/I] have known better, but I wonder if Nelli's kids might have bonded less with her because 1) their father is controlling their relationship with her 2) her unhappiness has made her distant from them (this was the case with my mother and me, I think) and 3) the nature of this kind of abuse. If everyone around you is saying that the sky is red, you get to believing it. This kind of thing is horrible to go through because it tears you down from the inside and you can't tell if the problem is you or them.

[QUOTE]He is also incredibly controlling.[/QUOTE]

My mother would mumble to herself all the time, "Control. It's all about control..."

Your guess makes perfect sense to me. Your husband is a bully, and that's what they do. He stays big as long as he keeps you small. It sounds like he feels threatened by you too. I know you would just thrive in a loving environment. You are amazing for having put up with this treatment for so long, and I fear for what lies ahead of you. Undoubtedly you are going to be made to appear the bad guy again if you leave.

[QUOTE]He is also incredibly shallow. He has told me that if I got fat, he would dump me and that a lot of men get something they didn't bargain for, a wife who gains weight after she has kids.[/QUOTE]

The words of a man that thinks a woman is only kept around to serve him and make his life easier...

[QUOTE]Lysander, your story made me feel so bad for your mom, but also for you and your sister. Don't blame yourself in any way because you didn't know better at the time.[/QUOTE]

Thank you. It is hard to forgive myself. I know my mom would have forgiven me, but there is still the pain of knowing that she should have had a different life. I sincerely hope you do.
Lysander, I just read your post and have to respond. Try not to blame yourself. As you say, your mother would have forgiven you. My kids, who are 5 and almost 8 make fun of me, make fun of the way I talk (I have an accent), call me a drama queen (like you say your mother was called too) call me lazy, tell me that I don't make any money and they wouldn't even be able to go to school if it wasn't for their father, but I don't even think of blaming them. I am sure your mother saw it this way too. I am so sorry that she died before you had a chance to talk about all this with her. I also want to tell you this: No matter what, it is still the adult's responsibility (in this case mine) to get away from this situation. The fact that my husband is abusive is one thing, but I still have to take responsibility for my life and take the necessary steps to leave my husband. Your mother probably felt that she couldn't leave, had nowhere to
go and that's how I feel at the moment, but there is always some solution and we adults have to come to a solution, our kids can't do it for us. In other words, you were a child and you did what you could do at the time although it doesn't feel right when you as an adult think back about it. I wish you the best and don't let quilt be a part of your life. I am never going to blame my son for imitating his father. My son is almost 8 and very bright and he knows very well what he is saying to me is rude, but he is just a child and this is the best way he knows to deal with this situation. When I leave my husband, I am sure my relationship with my kids will change to the better. I wish you peace of mind. I just want to ask you if you are able to discuss this with your sister?
You are so kind, Nelli! I have told myself these same things, but hearing the words from you, being in your position, touches me deeply. It is probably as close to hearing it from her as I could get, and I think I have gotten a bit of unexpected closure from talking about it.

It has been hard to discuss this with my sister because she tends to block things out. Over the years, I have heard various reactions from her about it, such as:

Contempt: "It was her fault. She put herself into that position. She should have been stronger and left him."
Justification: "How could we take her seriously? She complained all the time."
Sympathy: "It was hard for her because she couldn't support herself and was taught to depend on men for happiness."
Denial: "She never let it get to her. She had good self-esteem despite everything."
Lysander: You say it is hard to forgive yourself. My interpretation of this is that you would like to apologize to your mother. This is a very interesting phrasing. It tells a lot about you - maturity? Most people actually think that their parents have to apologize to them. Period. Very few would dare to think that they have to apologize to their parents as well, in many cases.

Nelli: I, too, have an accent. Although I speak the same language as before, I come from another region in this country, and people notice this whenever I open my mouth to speak. This makes me a special person, doesn't it? :) Perhaps as your children grow up, they will become prouder of their European ancestry, and things may gradually change in your favour. Do your relatives in Europe know about what is going on with you? Have you ever thought of asking them to help you financially now that you may need this kind of help?
I'm coming up with another question for Nelli.

Somewhere in a previous post you wrote about your feeling of having married below yourself. So my question is: having a degree and not being able to follow your profession in the USA and having to limit your talents to house chores, this situation certainly makes you frustrated or what? Do you also feel that being a homemaker is below yourself? I am not saying that you do your job at home poorly, but probably your heart is elsewhere. So housework must feel to you drudgery, right? Perhaps this creates some additional conflict between you and your husband.

You must have come to the USA in order to pursue your career, and you needed a green card to stay and be able to work legally. Your husband knew about this. Perhaps he casts in your teeth that he has given this green card to no avail, because you were unable to get the job you are equipped for and at the same time you have become an unfortunate housewife. I am not saying you are to blame for that, but I am simply trying to understand where the focus of your dissension with him lies, apart from his being "insensitive" and somewhat rude with your feelings.
Pendulum, the whole situation is complicated. No, my husband never wanted me to work outside the home. He always used to bring up the story how his mother had to go back to work when he was 7 and how he to this day feels bad about her not being at home when he came home from school. Nevertheless, my husband wants me to contribute and support his career. I am honestly sick and tired of trying to get clients for a person that was born and raised here in this city where we live. It feels like our entire marriage has centered about my husband's careers. He is now 50 and he is still trying "to make it". It has never been my turn. I am not even talking about working as an attorney, I found out very early on that I wouldn't be able to use my degree here, but I wanted to do something. Even now there is no time and space for me. Just last month there were some real estate classes I wanted to take, but my husband said that he can't take care of the kids in the evening so that I could go to the classes. I am so suffocated that I can barely breathe. The bottom line is that my husband is very controlling and marrying somebody without a green card gave him control over me. I am not the first nor the last woman in this situation. But, it is like the saying goes: "if you marry for money, you end up earning every cent of it". I married for green card and have earned every single piece of it and more. The problem is that being controlled by anyone is a big issue for me. My mother was extremely controlling and after moving away from her at age 18, I was very independent. Then at the ripe age of 38 I found somebody who basically took over my life for me.
I have other issues too. My family was always talking about education, that was very important to my parents. I married into a very cheap, not very educated and not very successful family which brings up a lot of issues for me. On top of it, I have been put down by a member of this family, my husband.
Thanks for answering.

I am all thumbs now. I am not sure if I wil be able to say what I mean to say, in part because of my linguistic limitations. Anyway, here are a few things for you to consider.

First of all, being an attorney probably doesn't make things very easy for you in a foreign country. Not only because of the different language (although I am certain that you master the English language), but also because of the different laws and protocols. It certainly would be easier for you to find a position if you were an engineer or even a physician, or if your profession belonged to the technological field, if you see what I mean. Maybe, however, it wouldn't be too difficult for you to find work in the diplomatic field (working for your own country abroad) or in a subsidiary of a company from your own country. Do you have teaching skills?

Secondly, it would help you to perhaps change a few words you are currently using. You might argue that this is pure cosmetics, but I know that words play a part in how we see and address our ongoing problems. Your husband can be a [U]jerk[/U], but I think it would be more correct to say he is in an unhealthy condition. It is hard to sympathize with a jerk, but it is humanly possible to find a solution to heal or help someone in an unhealthy condition. Probably your husband needs help. Ok, you are not his therapist nor his doctor, but if you could find a way of helping him, you might even help your marriage or at least make it end in a less dramatic note. So, after saying that the situation is complicated, you might add and admit that it is nevertheless workable. Only death is not workable, but I may be wrong, too.

Thirdly. He is fifty. I much understand his world vision or view, although I am probably more open-minded than him. It may be very difficult to change his world views, because he is already so very much entrenched in it, but I think negotiations are feasible. To me, you give the impression of giving in too soon. You say something or you propose something or you ask something, and typically he says no. What do you do? Apparently you do nothing. You accept it. You sulk. In a way, you are feeding his control over you. I am not telling you to be forceful or to fight him, because this would lead to a war, but don't give in so quickly. You say he doesn't listen to you. Probably he does, but he pretends he doesn't. Or perhaps he doesn't just because your words are not strong enough, ineffectual.

When he said he couldn't look after the kids, you would have answered: "But you can. I will tell you what you have to do. I will write it down. The kids will love to have their father looking after them for a change." Basically, your husband is afraid of change. If there is a change, he may lose his power and control. He thinks that would be the end of him. You have to show him that it is just the opposite. He will gain insight if he gives up some of his control. He must be reassured again and again. It is not an easy task, because he is so stubborn, but somehow I think he has soft spots that are waiting and even longing to be touched. Do you ever touch him?

Perhaps he doesn't want you to go out to work because he is jealous of you. Have you told him that it is not only to satisfy your personal hunger for being professionaly useful, but also to relieve his own burden?

Fourthly. Another point that needs to be addressed: don't get me wrong, but it is the way you apparently look down on his family and also on him. Even if you never use actual words to describe your "contempt," your behaviour may show it. You say they are cheap. I don't readily understand what you mean by "cheap". I hope you don't find them to be dishonest. If they have menial jobs, if they repair houses or work as housemaids, if they haven't been long enough at school, this doesn't make them less desirable as citizens. You come from a family and possibly from a country, where education was highly prized, but have you stopped to think that the less educated ones provide the very basis on which the more educated ones have the privilege to stand? Perhaps you would gain something from learning to accept the differences and substituting gratitude and appreciation of humbler positions for a certain disdain.

Lastly. In short, there are a few points in your attitude that are worth investigating further and then changing accordingly. You will do that not necessarily to save your marriage (this remains an area to be worked by the couple, not by you alone), but to become a better person (not that you are not good enough already). All of us can become better, you know, it is not only you. If you change and become a more assertive person (assertiveness doesn't necessarily mean running away from home as you did once, away from your mother), you may help your husband change as well. Unless he is totally blind to see, which I don't think is the case.

Thanks for listening.
pendulum I usually think you've got your head screwed on straight, but this time I have to respectfully DISAGREE......
that's an AWFUL lot of effort to waste on this situation....
you're basically trying to tell her ways to improve this abusive situation, like she's somehow responsible for the way this ungrateful disrespectful man is treating her......
this guy is a controlling, insensitive buffoon and I don't think she should spend one more second with him.......
Rose, what I most like about you is that you never mince your own words. :)

Maybe I am trying to be too optmistic. But basically what I am telling her to do, if ever I am entitled to do so, is: beware of repeating the pattern again in a new context. First, her family house, now her own house. What next?

I hope she will understand me and find some fairness in my words, if anything.
yes pendulum, that's a good word....you ARE optimistic.....LOL
I think yes you are trying to be fair, but in this case maybe being a little too fair to the husband, but then again, we are only getting one side of the story.....
but we have to go by what Nelli is telling us at face value, and I think it's beyond repairable unless she wants to be a doormat the rest of her life......
the dynamics have already been set in stone in this relationship and I don't think much will change it.....why would he change if he doesn't feel a need to?
[QUOTE=rosequartz;3689383]yes pendulum, that's a good word....you ARE optimistic.....LOL
I think yes you are trying to be fair, but in this case maybe being a little too fair to the husband, but then again, we are only getting one side of the story.....
but we have to go by what Nelli is telling us at face value, and I think it's beyond repairable unless she wants to be a doormat the rest of her life......
the dynamics have already been set in stone in this relationship and I don't think much will change it.....why would he change if he doesn't feel a need to?[/QUOTE]

Opt[B][U]i[/U][/B]mistic. Yes. Sorry for the wrong spelling.

No, if he doesn't really feel the need to change, then there is nothing to be done. However, to me, it looks like as if he were sleeping, if you see what I mean. Unaware, that is.

Oh, no, I never meant to say she should be or remain a doormat. But I wish she would leave this marriage, if she has to, with her self-image (is there such a word?) repaired, not pouting like before.

Anyway, let's hear what she has got to say, before the thread is brought to an end.
Rose and Pendulum, thank you for your responses. Pendulum, thank you also for your responses on the parenting board.
I honestly don't think that our marriage is salvageable. We have already tried counseling and talking with each other and I see a slight improvement and then things go back to "normal". My husband is of course not the only one at fault (it takes two to tango). I come from an abusive family and didn't know how to demand respect. We bring out the worst in each other. My husband has deep seated feelings of inferiority which have probably been compounded by me. I don't know if I am seeing things clearly, but I feel that my husband has used me and I don't know whether he has done so in a calculated way or if it just happened that way. As soon as we started dating he quit his job in order to try to figure out what he wants to do for living. He was not happy with the job he had. He was 40, had almost no friends and lived in a rental house. He had financial problems and had just finished paying off a large credit card debt. I felt very vulnerable because I was in the country without a green card. I was dating a few successful men, but my self esteem was so low that I thought that they would break up with me, so I broke up with them first. I knew that my husband wasn't in love with me when he proposed. At the time I was fairly attractive, tall and thin and he felt I was somebody to show off. On top of it he could brag with me being an attorney and he also liked the fact that I am European. What was in it for me? Except for the green card, he seemed nice, not an abuser like my parents (how wrong I was).
Very quickly into the marriage he started putting me down. I know this sounds dramatic (my husband calls me drama queen), but I felt like I was in prison. There was no way out. To leave him would mean to get deported and I had to endure. He wanted me to try to get him work which I did. I called around, sometimes he worked, more often he didn't. Now I realize that I should have focused on myself and getting a career for myself, but I did what I thought I should do at the time. His career failed and about 5 years ago he took the entire equity out of our house and opened a business. He thought that he could just sit in his business and the phone would ring. That didn't happen. Again, I was making phone calls to get him work. About 3/4 of his clients are because of my phone calls. I know that I sound as a victim, but I do regret that I didn't look out for myself instead of trying to get his career going and on top of it, losing all the money that was in the house. Maybe I am asking for too much, but I was hoping, since I was the foreigner in this country, that I would marry somebody who has a job and who would encourage me to try to find a career, not vice versa. I feel my husband has used me because legally, when we divorce, he can walk away with his business and I have no means to support myself. Don't get me wrong, I let him use me, I signed the documents for him to empty the house of equity and I got him work, he didn't force me. Throughout our whole marriage he has put me down.
My husband's family is not dishonest, but they are by far the cheapest people I have ever met. When we got married his parents and his siblings bought us nothing as a wedding present. I found that pretty unusual. They are also very cold and robotic. His parents live in the same city as we and to this day they can't remember our kids' names. They see the kids about 1-2 times/year, always on my husband's initiative. They are cheap in a way that is almost laughable. For example, my father in law had a bag of peanuts in his hand and my 5 year old asked if he could have a peanut. My father in law said: no, they are mine, I am going to eat them. My husband's parents go to very expensive restaurants and lavish vacations, but when we go over to their house, they always wait for us to come before they order pizza so that they won't have to pay when it is delivered. My husband's siblings are as cheap. I have many stories and thy are almost unbelievable. So, yes, I do feel that I married beneath me. I just want to get as far away from this family as I can. The thing is my husband treats his family with great respect. No matter what they do or say, he never says anything rude to them. He saves the rudeness for me. He talks about his sister as if she is this highly successful person and very intelligent when the truth is that she has a mediocre job and doesn't take care of herself, doesn't even comb her hair. My husband told me once how it was very disappointing for him when he was a teenager that his sister was not pretty and none of his friends found her attractive. She was nothing to "show off" which he apparently felt that I was. His sister is very jealous of her brother and can't even hide it. She constantly makes remarks that only snobs go to private school (we stretch ourselves very thin so that our kids can go to a private school) while her children go to a public school. She has also said several times that we live in a very bad neighborhood made other derogatory comments. Although she has come to this city many times the last 5 years, she has never seen her brother's business. She refuses to go and see it. But, this is the woman my husband looks up to and he would never dream about saying anything rude to her. He gets furious if I say something about her, for example that she shouldn't comment to my 7 year old son about his school and show so clearly that she is jealous of her nephews.
My husband has also (in my opinion) been inconsiderate to me in other ways. For example, when I met him I had a one year old car that I was paying off. My husband never helped out with a cent for that car which was ok because I had bought it before i met him. When we got married and had our son, we sold my car. By then I had payed it off completely with money from my father. My husband took the whole amount we got for my car and put it as a down payment on a brand new SUV for himself. He gave me his 6 year old car which had stalled on the freeway and he had to call AAA to tow him. Maybe I am wrong, but I feel he should have kept his car and given me, his wife, the nice car, especially as I was driving our son every day.
Sorry that this is so long. Thank you for reading. It helps me to vent.
Hi nelli,
I hear you. Geezzz, you'd think that intelligent women wouldn't make these types of mistakes in life, but unfortunatley s ----t happens to us all.

Mee tooo, I married a man 16 years ago, we have 2 teenagers. This is my husbands third marriage, and my second marriage (briefly married for 3 months previously) and he is not a bad person, but his values and moral framwork are different to mine. His background is struggle street and very working class, mine is one of intellectual and accademic excellence - so we have a bit of a clash of culture and values and it is beginning to take quite a toll.
When we got together all those years ago, I'd just separated from hubby no. 1, who was verbally abusive, and urrent hubby was divorced 6 months and we just kind of fell into each other's lap without any consideration for our very marked differences. Two children followed very quickly after, (1 is special needs), and then I too was trapped!

Trapped by my responsibilites of caring for two little ones, rno family around to help, running a household, working, studying, maintaining a marriage and something had to give up, and it was my work and career. I hadn't worked for about 8 years and returned to university to complete a double degree. Hubby very insecure about this, now returned to P/T work and hubby constantly making unsavoury remarks about the "other men at my work" and how "they'd have to have deep pockets" etc etc. etc.

[COLOR="Purple"]Yes this is emotional abuse! [/COLOR]I am not free to do as I please. When arguing he will not fight fair, and continually resorts to personal attacks rather than sticking to the issue at hand.
He is ultimatley quite insecure, he's married above his station, and fears loosing you, and his only way of feeling secure strong and "big" is to subjugate and controll you and your activites using any means possible.

[COLOR="purple"]Sound familiar? This is mine and I fear also your marriage too.[/COLOR]
OK- now what to do? Life is short, death is long, make use of the time you have, be the best you can be, and above all try to be happy by doing the things that make you happy and make you feel like you.

Gosh, I really should take my own advice, but I've been quite unwell recently with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, monster anxiety, CFS and supposedly PTSD & BPD.
But during my depths I did realise that this situation is affecting my children, and I thought that my duty is to raise them as best I can, and this means craeting a safe and happy home for them to grow up. For the moment I am trapped, but I am exploring my horizons by extending my social activites to broaden my sopcial circle beyond serving just his needs.
I've bought a little sail boat, and the kids and I are going to learn to sail. We have sailed previously, but this is the first time we've owned a boat. hubby is very very unsettled by all this. . . . . . . but just too too bad to him.
Nelli, I urge you to get out and have a life of your own so that your concerns about your husband can be jsut another blimp on the radar rather than a whole storm. Having a life and career of ones' own is a great security for women of any age, and this I think is for us too.

Well, this is my tirade for the day, i do wish you well, and please let me know how you're getting on.
Best wishes, waratah :angel:
The more I read about your case, the more intrigued I am by a few apparent "inconsistencies." :) You say you come from an "abusive" family, within which you didn't know how to demand respect for yourself. Yet, this was the same family that stressed the value of education so much that you were able to get your degree in Law. Also, somewhere you said that your father was an alcoholic. Yet, he did help you pay for your car. Well, let's assume that your family was really abusive, but what really comes to my mind is that they were rather simply humans with mixed bags of good and evil, like most of us. Ok, I will spare you my comments upon your husband's "cheap" (or ludicrous?) family. [I]A peanut is a peanut is a peanut.[/I] Do you remember that?

I admit that it may be difficult for one to demand equality from one's parents, since the relationship between a parent and his kid(s) is typically hierarchical. What sort of baffles me is that you carried this pattern into marriage, which is supposed to be a relationship of equals, and refrained from nipping your husband's abusiveness in the bud. You say that you knew that your husband wasn't in love with you when he proposed to you. I would interpret this twofold: first, perhaps it would be more important for you to feel loved by him than to love him, and if you had that feeling, things might not look so dreary in your marriage. Secondly, it seems that there never was deep intimacy in your marriage, neither physical nor verbal intimacy. Both of you seem to have fed your marriage on understatements, allusions, innuendoes.

[B]Yet, it is not fair and indeed it is of little consequence for you to keep looking back and being reminded of past mistakes. Sorry.[/B]

If a divorce is the only way for you, I would suggest two lines of action, but of course it is up to you to decide if they apply to your case or not:

1. Talk to your husband about your intention as soon as possible. I think he is the kind of person who doesn't like to be kept in the dark. Do not hide the bad news from him, keep him as fully as possible informed about your plans. I may be wrong, but this would be the way of neutralizing a possible violent reaction and giving him the time to reorganize his life and business. And you, too, [B]must have some time to reorganize your new life[/B]. Start now.

2. Talk to a lawyer. Don't make things in a haste. Check to see what your rights are. As your husband, he can't simply discharge you. He has his kids and he must go on providing for them, if not for you, too, until you are able to stand on your own.

Lastly, do you have friends in this country? Talk to them, too. Don't be afraid of asking their help and support, if necessary. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Your family is far away. I guess you would help your friends if they ever needed your help, wouldn't you?

Look after yourself. Count up to ten. Look after your health. Your health will be the most important asset for you in the upcoming times.
Nelli,
You seem like an intelligent articulate and worldly woman.
Please do look after yourself really well. These difficulties in marriage can really sap your energy and rational thought to make good decisions and assessments of what you need to do next.
I'm on the other side of world, but again in a similar situation too, take time to figure it all out, move slowly through what needs to be done, support yourself with really really good people because there will be some really dark days and some really great ones too, find great counsell, although the situation may not develop to this, then it will be there for when it is needed, but most of all - [B][COLOR="Indigo"]develop a life of your own and with your children.[/COLOR][/B]

[COLOR="Green"]A story:[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]An independent professional mature woman sailing friend, with one 11 year old daughter is married to one of the biggest no hoper loosers you'd ever meet - he's the most uncouth disaster, arrogant, rude, dismissive, mysoginistic. My other girlfriend and I were talking one day, and wondered why she was still married to him, the sailing friend overheard and joined our conversation (we're all close freinds - so this was all OK) and she said, "as she was the higer income earner, she could only have worked full time as she does, because the husband stayed home to look after the daughter." now the situation in their marriage is changing because the daughter is getting old enough to be more independent and doesn't need a parent to be home for her 24/7. Seems to me that hubby has reached his "use-by date", and she will eventually divest herself from him. All in good time. [/COLOR]
I think there is some wisdom in this. Not rushing into anything too dramatic all at once based on an emotional feeling of being trapped and hamstrung. This woman sailing friend is no raving beauty, but has a strong sense of herself and her abilities provided through her professional work and broad social network. Her husband is of little or no consequence in her life, and this is just the way she likes it tooo. She has her own life to live, and doesn't live it through her husbands eyes or his expectations.

Now, I'd like to be like this too, and I'm trying to be more independent, and everytime I step out the door, my husband has some negative and derogatory remark to make about my appearance, or my motives for going out to the movies with the girls. But I really don't care about his comments anymore because I got soo sick last year and he was very supportive because I was bedridden and dependent. Now I am slowly getting stonger, but can not take on too much or I go downhill quickly again.
My point is this - Do what pleases you, try not to live your life to your husbands expectations, but instead live to your own. Make your life your own, and hopefully his pressence will fade into insignificance as it does in my sailing friends marriage. Now I'm not suggesting this is an ideal situation, but it may justbe one that is workable for you and for the children.
Then when you are secure emotionally, socially, financially, you can make you move knowing you will be all OK - but until then, your reactions seem likely to be based on responding to your emotional distress - which is quite understandable given your situation.
As we appear to be in similar situations, I'd really appreciate if you would let me know what your thought are on this.
Best regards, waratah :)
Nelli,

I am truly sorry for all you have had to endure. I hope you find a way out. You sound resourceful....just wanted to add my 2 cents!
Waratah, healtseeker and Pendulum, thanks. Waratah, yes it sounds as we have a lot of similarities in our lives. Speaking of health issues, that concerns me a lot lately. I feel that my health is going downhill because of all the stress I am going through. I have to take valium just to go through the day. I've had several health scares and even a few surgeries the last few years and no cause was ever found for anything, but the symptoms were there.
Good for you that you are trying to make a life for yourself with your children. That's exactly what I want to do. So far my husband has controlled my relationship with my kids and I want to change that and have my own relationship with them. My husband is incredibly controlling and just tonight he was screaming at me how I neglect the kids and sleep all day ( I sleep until 9 am because that's my way to escape from the depression). The kids get up early and play and watch tv until I get up. I have decided to take the kids out of town for a couple of days and stay at some hotel with a pool and just have fun with them without my husband criticizing everything I do.
Pendulum, my family of origin situation is somewhat strange, but not that unusual. My father was an abusive alcoholic who got drunk almost daily, but he was very functional, never missed a day of work and was pretty successful. He died a couple of years ago, pretty well off, but his second wife inherited everything.
My mother was incredibly abusive and obsessed with education. She was an abusive mother and very neglectful, but made sure we became doctors or lawyers. I honestly don't know how I could have allowed myself to be married to an abuser for 10 long years after finally escaping the abuse from my parents. But, I guess we tend to repeat the pattern, abuse was all I knew.
Thank you for all your support, it has helped me to write and vent about all this.
i was just wondering if you ever thought about going back to europe to live. you said you cant get a job with your degree in the states so is there a possibility that you could go back to europe and start a new life. i know you have the kids to consider and everything too so its not easy but was just wondering if you ever thought about it.
[QUOTE=Nelli;3694552] Speaking of health issues, that concerns me a lot lately. I feel that my health is going downhill because of all the stress I am going through. I have to take valium just to go through the day. I've had several health scares and even a few surgeries the last few years and no cause was ever found for anything, but the symptoms were there.

[COLOR="Blue"][I]Nelli, you have to make yourself a priority in your life. Taker really good care of yourself and your health, it is crucial![/I][/COLOR]

So far my husband has controlled my relationship with my kids and I want to change that and have my own relationship with them. My husband is incredibly controlling and just tonight he was screaming at me how I neglect the kids and sleep all day.

[COLOR="blue"][I]Yes mine can be very controlling too, and I'm always having to "test the breeze" to establish what type of communication we're going to have on any given day.[/I][/COLOR]

my husband criticizing everything I do.

[COLOR="blue"][I]Yep, I believe this is how he gets to feel better about himself! [/I][/COLOR]

He died a couple of years ago, pretty well off, but his second wife inherited everything.

[I][COLOR="blue"]Geeezzzzzzz, mine toooooo! [/COLOR][/I]

My mother was incredibly abusive and obsessed with education. She was an abusive mother and very neglectful, but made sure we became doctors or lawyers.

[I][COLOR="blue"]My family also high achievers, doctors, lawyers, surgeons, dentists, and I began my woking life as a cook. . . . . . family very disparaging. I am now teacher of Economics and Business with double degree. Still not quite good enough though.[/COLOR][/I] :(

I honestly don't know how I could have allowed myself to be married to an abuser for 10 long years after finally escaping the abuse from my parents. But, I guess we tend to repeat the pattern, abuse was all I knew.
this.[/QUOTE]

[I][COLOR="blue"]Yes, yes, yes, why oh why oh why do we repeat this pattern? I do not know the answer to this, only that we do have to somehow make it better for ourselves and our children.[/COLOR][/I]

[I][COLOR="blue"]Your trip to a hotel with a pool with the kids sounds like a really lovely idea, I hope you get to have some rest time and enjoy the hotel's facilities. Time away from the nagging critical one is likely to be just what is currently needed. Hope you begin to feel a little better soon. :)
Take care now Nelli, and do let me know how you're getting on.
Waratah[/COLOR][/I]
[QUOTE=Nelli;3694552]... [B]I have to take valium just to go through the day.[/B] ... My husband is incredibly controlling and [B]just tonight he was screaming at me how I neglect the kids and sleep all day ( I sleep until 9 am because that's my way to escape from the depression).[/B] The kids get up early and play and [B]watch tv until I get up[/B]. ... [B]but his second wife inherited everything.[/B]
My mother was incredibly abusive and obsessed with education. She was an abusive mother and [B]very neglectful[/B], ... [B]But, I guess we tend to repeat the pattern, abuse was all I knew.[/B]
...[/QUOTE]

I have been trying to guess where you came from in the first place. This piece of information is possibly redundant in the big picture, but I think it would help me to understand "where you are coming from", if you see what I mean.

Your English is quite good, almost faultless (but who am I to say anything? English isn't my tongue, either). Anyway, I have been looking through your style of writing, your grammar "mistakes" (very few indeed), your punctuation. I have been reading between your lines, etc, in order to find out your original language. I have a couple of hypotheses, but let them be. As a side effect of my personal research, however, I think (I may be wrong) I have found out not your original country, but a few important data about you as a person, and I want to share them with you. Tell me if they make sense or not. I have also highlighted (in bold type) relevant excerpts from your latest post.

Your husband has not the right to scream at you like that, although I can't tell for sure if something you or someone else said was a trigger for his explosion. Yet, there is something in his words that makes a liitle sense to me. Don't get me wrong, Nelli, but... I am afraid that negligence (and possibly sloth) has been a pattern for your life.

On the one hand, you think you were neglected by your family; you feel as though they never really heard you, as though they, instead of yourself, decided what you had to do (career) in your life. They didn't give you any choice. Of course, there is a lot of resentment in your heart.

On the other hand, it's true: in a sense, you might be repeating the same pattern with your current family: you sleep, you numb yourself, you don't react, you swallow without digesting. The first person you are neglecting is yourself, and then - please don't be angry - you [B]might[/B] be also neglecting the others. What I want to stress is that something in your husband's words could possibly ring true, although he utters it in a very disrespectful way.

I think you are a reactive sort of person, but it takes a long time before your reaction surfaces. Maybe the only time in your life when you acted on an impulse was when you ran away from your parents' home. One of good things about you is that you are able to see the two sides of each case (yes, that would make you into a good mediator), the good and the bad in everything. A "bad" thing about you is that seeing the two sides makes you procrastinate your decision. It makes you sit on the fence, so to say. Even when you know what you have to do, you may tell yourself: "What does it matter what I do? It won't make any difference. They won't hear me - they have never heard me. I'd be better to sleep rather than to face it." That is where sloth comes in.

Taking valium compounds the problem. So does watching TV. Maybe eating the wrong kind of food. You are trying to escape depression, but you end up creating a vicious circle, and depression hits you again. You have got to heal your depression, not hide it.

I don't have the exact cure for depression, but I would say it begins with activity, with making decisions and following them through, with stopping the numbness, with some dose of discipline.

Oh, dear. Does it feel as if I were preaching to you? Sorry, I don't think I have the right to preach. I was rather trying to analyse the situation and put forward a way-out.

I won't write much any more. Just before I finish... Since I started following this thread, one or two ideas have been going through my mind. I think you might need warmth (perhaps you come from a cold country and a "cold" family, and I would translate warmth as compassion in your heart) and a regular practice (awakening!). You possibly have some forgiving to do in your life (and possibly some apologizing, too). These ideas seem to point out in one direction: a spiritual practice, maybe a blend of Eastern and Western practices would be very helpful for you.

I apologize to you if I have inadvertently made any unfair or unpleasant observation about you.

I truly wish you the best.
[QUOTE=pendulum;3694700]Your English is quite good, almost faultless (but who am I to say anything? English isn't my tongue, either). Anyway, I have been looking through your style of writing, your grammar "mistakes" (very few indeed), your punctuation. I have been reading between your lines, etc, in order to find out your original language. I have a couple of hypotheses, but let them be. As a side effect of my personal research, however, I think (I may be wrong) I have found out not your original country, but a few important data about you as a person, and I want to share them with you. Tell me if they make sense or not. I have also highlighted (in bold type) relevant excerpts from your latest post.

[/QUOTE]

Pendulum, why is this so important to you? Abuse is abuse, no matter where it resides. If she wants to keep this information to herself, we should respect that...rather than dig for it.
Uh oh, gotta jump in on a couple of other things here...


[QUOTE=pendulum;3694700]On the other hand, it's true: in a sense, you might be repeating the same pattern with your current family: you sleep, you numb yourself, you don't react, you swallow without digesting.

Taking valium compounds the problem. So does watching TV. Maybe eating the wrong kind of food. You are trying to escape depression, but you end up creating a vicious circle, and depression hits you again. You have got to heal your depression, not hide it.

I don't have the exact cure for depression, but I would say it begins with activity, with making decisions and following them through, with stopping the numbness, with some dose of discipline.[/QUOTE]


I have to respectfully disagree here. Unless you are a doctor, you should not give advice on depression...or suggest what has worked for you. Valium is a prescribed drug and she clearly had to have clearance from a doctor who assesed the situation. These drugs are for people with tremendous anxiety so that they can function. And I hardly think sleeping until 9am is "sleeping all day". I think Nelli is functioning how she can...in her own way. I just think it is wrong to make her feel like she has to defend this.

The subject here is her husband's constant badgering and how miserable she is. I agree with the other poster on possibly returning to a country that she could use her degree. Is that a possibility?
[QUOTE=healthseeker;3695695]Pendulum, why is this so important to you? Abuse is abuse, no matter where it resides. If she wants to keep this information to herself, we should respect that...rather than dig for it.[/QUOTE]

I am not asking her the question, I respect her silence, but I have to admit I have an interest in (or maybe I am simply curious about) people's origins. Knowing your homeland, the language you speak, etc, imparts important information about you and about the way you behave and think, why not? It is not so much about stereotypes, it's about your history and background.
[QUOTE=healthseeker;3695721]Uh oh, gotta jump in on a couple of other things here...





I have to respectfully disagree here. Unless you are a doctor, you should not give advice on depression...or suggest what has worked for you. Valium is a prescribed drug and she clearly had to have clearance from a doctor who assesed the situation. These drugs are for people with tremendous anxiety so that they can function. And I hardly think sleeping until 9am is "sleeping all day". I think Nelli is functioning how she can...in her own way. I just think it is wrong to make her feel like she has to defend this.

The subject here is her husband's constant badgering and how miserable she is. I agree with the other poster on possibly returning to a country that she could use her degree. Is that a possibility?[/QUOTE]

You are right. I am not a doctor. Of course she is taking Valium from her doctor's prescription. I am not telling her to stop it, but even legal drugs are just treating the symptoms, not really curing your depression. You don't have to be a doctor to know about this. And I don't really think she is happy or satisfied to have to depend on Valium. Who would be so, by the way?

Of course she is functioning as best as she can. But she came on to this board for advice and input. I told her what I thought, and my attempt all the time was to be as respectful (and as truthful to myself) as possible. Not everything I say is possibly useful, but I don't say it as a whim; it really comes from my desire to help.

I don't really want her to feel bad about herself, but I want to challenge her with some difficult ideas and tasks. Maybe I am pretentious. I am yielding my palm...

Coming back to her country is always a possibility, why not? The problem is that she will probably have to take the kids. Will someone be there to help them out in the first times? Or will they have to start from scratch?
Pedulum...I get that you are trying to be honest and that is the main reason I always love reading your input, as we post so often on the same threads. Yes, background is a HUGE factor...but it is her's to expose.

As for the valium...did she ever say that she is dependent? I totally agree that many, many medications are just bandages instead of cures. But, if used properly, sedatives give your nerves a bit of a break to "get your bearings"...and that is their purpose. So, if that is what she needs, so be it. She is in a terrible situation.

Nelli...can you see how many people here care about you? My goodness, here Pendulum and I are posters that tend not to mince words and are usually on the same side of the fence. Here we are assesing your well-being! Please jump in and let us know how you are doing. I think stealing away to a hotel is a great idea. Give yourself what you need to make a clear-headed choice on what to do. So, how 'bout it? Can you go on vacation to your homeland with the kids and just forget to return? You could make a great living there. I think you are going to have to do somehting pretty radical to get away from his controlling ways. Please get out and live your life!
[QUOTE=healthseeker;3695868]Pedulum...I get that you are trying to be honest and that is the main reason I always love reading your input, as we post so often on the same threads. Yes, background is a HUGE factor...but it is her's to expose.

As for the valium...did she ever say that she is dependent? I totally agree that many, many medications are just bandages instead of cures. But, if used properly, sedatives give your nerves a bit of a break to "get your bearings"...and that is their purpose. So, if that is what she needs, so be it. She is in a terrible situation.

Nelli...can you see how many people here care about you? My goodness, here Pendulum and I are posters that tend not to mince words and are usually on the same side of the fence. Here we are assesing your well-being! Please jump in and let us know how you are doing. I think stealing away to a hotel is a great idea. Give yourself what you need to make a clear-headed choice on what to do. So, how 'bout it? Can you go on vacation to your homeland with the kids and just forget to return? You could make a great living there. I think you are going to have to do somehting pretty radical to get away from his controlling ways. Please get out and live your life![/QUOTE]

It is not right to talk about oneself on somebody else's thread, but I have to say thank to you. I became particularly interested in Nelli's case (I have found myself almost enmeshed in it LOL), because of a few things: Consistency, propriety, clarity, a certain stoicism, her feedback... I also identified myself with her being a foreigner, as I often feel like a foreigner in my own country myself LOL. And of course her story has touched ... my heart.

That is the "problem" of this Board. Unwittingly we became involved with people (so much that we often forget to eat LOL), but we can't really reach them. I will be glad to learn that all these posts have served at least as an encouragement for Nelli.
Thanks to all of you who have posted to me and come with suggestions and advice. I really appreciate it as it sometimes is hard to see a way out from one's situation.
Although I really like California, I have considered moving back to my country and tried a couple of years ago to persuade my husband that we move there with our kids. This was my way to try to save the marriage. Our kids speak the language almost fluently and are also citizens there (they have dual citizenship) and would have no problems living there. I told my husband that I am going to support the family until he figures out what he wants to do. I am from western Europe and the living standard in my country is about the same as in the US, so moving there would not be a cultural chock in any way. My husband thought about it, but refused to move. His reason was the climate with harsh winters and since he was born and raised in California, he said that he couldn't handle cold weather. I can not move on my own because of my kids. They love their father and he is very good to them and I would never want to "kidnap" them away from him. On the other side, I can't move by myself since I can't imagine living in a different country than my children.
Anyway, our marriage is now at a point that I wouldn't even want to move anywhere with him any more, I just want to get away from him. I actually can't understand why I have put up so long with being treated so disrespectfully. I think the problem is that I don't trust my own feelings and this was the reason I started this thread. I wanted to hear from other people if my husband is really abusive or if I am exaggerating and being the drama queen he says that I am. But, now I really want to end this marriage and have to think about how to do it. It does feel scary, but sometimes you have to close your eyes and jump. I feel that my health is going downhill because of all this stress and I feel that I shouldn't delay the divorce too long. Actually, I just had another health scare which I am convinced is a result of all the stress I feel.
I know that Valium is not an answer to anything, but it has saved my life on many occasions. It has taken the edge of the anxiety and allowed me to get through depths of despair. I am not dependent on it. I take it when I am in a crisis and then I don't take it for a long time until I need it again.
Wararah, Pendulum, Healthseeker, Shorti and everybody else that has posted, thank you.
[QUOTE=Nelli;3697642]...
Wararah, Pendulum, Healthseeker, Shorti and everybody else that has posted, thank you.[/QUOTE]

Nelli,

My two last remarks to you.

1. Moving into another country, even if this country has the same living standards as the one you are leaving, is almost always a problem, at least in the first few months. Even for many children, even though it is said that children can adapt very quickly. I have just recently had the experience of moving into another part of the same country, and it has been a cultural shock for all of us, even for my six-year boy. He still misses his old home, his old town, his pals, etc. So I don't know if you should consider a move back into your country to be an easy solution, a stress-free solution. It isn't, in my experience, and I am talking about a move within the same country. I am not saying it is a bad solution, but I can't personally agree that it wouldn't pose any problems to the family. Of course, problems that could be overcome over time and with some tact.

2. It is clear that most, if not all, posters have agreed that your husband was beeing abusive to you. In a way, you have gotten an answer for your question. Yet, that your husband is wrong doesn't really prove you right. Ok, you can call me the Adocate's Devil. LOL It could be the case that both of you are wrong or perhaps both of you are right in part. I don't think this will change your intention of divorcing him, anyway. That said, I really hope you can find the best way of doing it - the most civil way, so to say, and that both of you and the kids can move on with your lives and regain your health and peace of mind.

Greetings from the other side of the world.
Hi Nelli,

I disagree with pendulum about moving to another country with your children, UNLESS, you have an exisiting really great family support network where you intend to go.

My feeling is that as you are an intelligent and articulate woman, that you will be indeed fortunate to find fairly decent employment in whatever field you choose. So , OK the work may not be what you are qualified to do, (attorney?), but it could be in a related field. e.g patient advocacy, disablity legal coordination, private investigator of insuracne claims, professional indemnity risk analysis, geezz there are so so many different jobs out there, just make a start and apply for a couple of vacant positions here and there. Whatever suits you at the moment - just give it a little try, please!.

One thing I do know is that moving locations does not stop your problems from following you, and I imagine it would be particullary difficult to transport those kids out of the USA without Dad's permission too, and doing it illegally will only serve to make you a felon - DO NOT DO IT! (I know someone somewhere suggested going for a holiday O/S and forgetting to return - not too smart at all)

Anyway, perhaps if you can broaden your horizins a little, have a little job somewhere, build your own life with the kids in USA, then when you feel a little happier, then look up and look around and if the landscape still looks bleak, reassess your direction then.

Also Nelli, please keep posting and let us know how you're going - we're listening

Regards, waratah
Waratah, ( removed ) I feel like you so well understand my situation and have great suggestions. I am at the moment in a depression and it is hard to see any options although I know they are out there. I have read your posts on both this board and other boards and know that we have quite a bit in common.

I am not going to take my kids to Europe to live. I actually like it here in California and this is where my kids were born and they have their school and their friends here and all their activities. I do want to try to expand my life though. I have let my life become pretty narrow and want to change that. My plan is to get involved in some things and meet new people and get new interests and broaden my horizon. One thing that I have finally fully realized is how short I have been selling myself. My whole life I always went "second class". A good example is marrying a man whom I did not love and who had nothing to offer me, financially, nor emotionally. Now, I want to go first class, meaning that I want to try to have a life that is good, not settle for the crumbs any more.

I will keep posting and do so yourself. I am interested how everything is going for you.
[COLOR="Blue"]:wave: Hi Nelli,

Amongst other things in my life, I too have been in a bit of a depression too, but have to admit that I've faced worse times before this.

It seems to me that depression messes with your ability to think, and especially to think 'clearly' and 'rationally' about your life and the direction and choices you see ahead.
Recently, I've lived this way too. Thankfully, I now have some medical help, and the dark clouds clear but are never too far away. Oh, well . . . . . . Back t topic.

My feeling Nelli, is that [I]'modern woman' [/I]was never designed for traditional marriage, and the current state of divorce is testament to women's dissatisfaction with this "lemon" we've been sold on - i.e marriage! I married a man, who is a tradionalist, this is great for the kids, but terrible for me. Marriage doesn't meet all my needs either.

Hubby doesn't like me working, and prefers I be a stay at home mom available to kids and him 24/7. When we married I was a career girl, Marketing Manager in large organisation, travelled, partied, socialised, etc etc. But since marrying, all of these wonderful social connections have disappeared as I haven't been able to pursue them due to time, AND, because hubby wishes to monopolise my time, energy and focus. Now, I'm not saying he is a 'bad man', [B][I]but,[/I][/B] we definitely have very different ideas about so many things and particullarly how each of us want to live our lives. And these differences bring us into conflict from time to time.

e.g. Recently I bought a little sail boat - he hates sailing. I think 14 yo son can suck his thnumb in private - hubby disagrees. So one doesn't have to look to far so see there are just so many things we disagree on.

But I find that if I continually look for these discrepancies, I'll continually find them too.
So. . . . . . . Now Stop looking, and now wish to focus on positive things, like what I'd like to do, e.g sailing, socialising, being with people who make me feel great, working P/T, and gradually my thinking about hubby's wants, needs, and demands seem to fade from view, I can still see his outline (metophorically), but I can see my own wants, needs and demands far more clearly now. He and his expectations no longer take priority over my own, and I actively but quietly and slowly begin to [B]build my life again[/B]. It's a slow process, a little bit at a time so as not to cause too many disruptions and thus a big reaction from hubby. But gee it does feel great to go to work again. I do so hope you will try this again.

Life is just far too too short for such misery and dissatisfaction, but hey, it could be far worse too. You could be disabled in some significant way, without prospect of employment, have very serious health issues, no financial support, be living in a horrible place, be in pain, cold, hungry, and even destitute.
So, my feeling is that whilst things are not at all rosy, which they certainly are not, they could be far far far far . . . worse. Some people live in those conditions daily, and I often wonder how they go on - the will to transcend life's difficulties must be so tremendous, that they will themselves forward. Amazing!
We on the other hand, ahve only to tollerate our husbands diparaging behaviour, and whilst this is very wearing over time, it will not kill us or out spirit to propell ourselves forward. And I think they know this too, and possibly this is also why he is constantly trying to belittle you and make you subservient to his wishes. You are strong, we are strong, because we have travelled this far, and we're still standing looking at the horizon and future possiblities. That's a forward looking perspective, not one that's looking backwards. There's a lovely quote about this . . . . . . you've probably heard it before:

[CENTER][I]"you can't see where you're heading if
you're constantly looking in the rear vision mirror"[/I][/CENTER]

I have to catch myself when I focus on past hurts and injustices as it destroys my fragile self-esteem , and convince myslef to look at all the wonderful things I have achieved in my life. I hope you will do the same too.
Yes, live is not rosy, Yes, it's not what you wanted or signed up for, I get this part, But focusing on[B] YOU[/B], and [B]YOUR NEEDS [/B]may help, I hope, to grasp a clearer vision of where you're heading now and for the future.

Kind Regards as always
waratah :)[/COLOR]
[QUOTE=Nelli;3680429]My husband is so controlling that I barely have a relationship of my own with my kids. My husband thinks that he knows everything best and makes most of the decisions for the kids. I can't wait to get out from this prison that I've created myself and get my dignity back.

I have learned many things through this nightmare of a marriage. For example, it is the personality and integrity of the other person that counts, not education etc. My husband's brother is married to a nice woman who works as a maid, she cleans people's houses. Her husband treats her with respect and would never dream about saying that she is stupid. He asks her for advice and listens to her opinion. I've heard so many times now that I am stupid and that I don't think and this in spite of the fact that I have a degree which you can't obtain if you are completely stupid.
I am so angry and don't know what to do with my anger, especially as I can't move out at the moment. I have also found out that the law is unfair in a situation like mine. My husband emptied our house of equity to open his business. He will walk away with the business when we get divorced and I will get nothing although the equity used for it belonged to both os us. He basically used me, and I guess, I am stupid in some way for allowing it to happen.[/QUOTE]

Hello Nelli ~ My heart breaks for you. It has taken me years to figure out where I went wrong, and how things got so bad. I am so sorry for what you are going through personally, if you were my neighbor, we would know each other. I have very little advice, but a big aching heart that will tenderly pray for you. Please be strong and I am glad that you are taking steps to get out. I understand being controlled and how debilitating it can make you. I hope that you can (while he is at work) start to establish a relationship with your children that allows them to know you more, who you are in their young lives and that you will always be there. Do you get to take them to the park? Can you all do an activity or craft together, something that could help bond them to you stronger and allow them to see what a great mom they really have. They need to know that because you love them, you feed and care for them and always will. About being alone and loneliness, you already are. You are there on so many levels. You are a very smart woman and extremely capable of many things, like a career, socializing (you are doing an awesome job at it here), maintaining a household, making sound decisions (I can hear it in these posts that you don't want to be hasty concerning major decisions that will affect you and your kids), you are planning to enable yourself to have a better life and better surroundings. Many people will come alongside you and support you through this season in your life. I hope that you get to do something for yourself, something that brings you joy and satisfaction. Build things into your life that are of value to you, it will bring you confidence to have some of your needs met and yes you do deserve to have your needs met. You deserve to be loved, hugged, smiled at, asked how your day was and actually being listened to, to share your hopes and dreams, your passion and desires, what you like to eat, I love to know my friends and family and enjoy hearing about their lives and what makes them happy and what their aspirations are. I want you to have hope for your future, your brand new, never lived in before, future. I am holding you close to my heart, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

How are you today? We will all listen to you, you have a voice here. You are a strong and wonderful person. I know you are because look at what you have been through and are still enduring. You don't want to cause this man harm and look how he has harmed you and your life for ten years. Wow. You are very strong.

About the anger, I can tell you what I have had to do for my own life's sake. I forgive, I pray, I lift it up, I grieve, it is entirely too much for me and when I get angry and it stays I can barely function and accomplish even the smallest of tasks at home. Some things I just consider as loss, there is pain in that offering. That is what is there, pain, your hurt and pain are real. You are wounded and have quite a bit to grieve over, allow yourself to mourn your losses. You are coming back stronger than ever and you will always know where you have been and you will keep pressing forward to have a better life from now on, no matter what. Guard your heart, don't let him have access to it anymore. I have to go, but I will check back soon. Please know that I have a hug for you, arms of friendship wrapped around you, you are worthy.....G
Hi gwoman,

Gee that was truly a lovely post.
{{{{{{ big hugs }}}}}} to you & Nelli.

Regards, waratah

p.s It never ceases to amaze me how women across the world and across cultures are just so so supporting of one another. Now if women ran government, business and the economy, then imagine what a world we'd be living in then . . . . . the possibilities?
Waratah and Gwoman, I feel so touched by your posts. Depression and anxiety have been a part of my life and still are, but I have decided to fight them and do the best I can with my life. I, too, wonder how things got this way. One bad decision led to another and so on. My consolation are my two kids. I want to try to raise them the best I can and I hope they will have happier lives than I have. I have a history of abuse and neglect from my childhood and I never learned how to stand up for myself and expect good things in life. I really want to change that now.
My husband and I barely speak any more. We talk only about the kids and what needs to be done for the kids. I really have nothing more to tell him. I have never been in love with him, but now I don't even like him, nor do I feel any respect for him. He doesn't have the guts to stand up to his family, instead he has been taking out his frustrations on me for 10 years now. I don't feel any loyalty to him any more either. I have told the friends I have how he is treating me.
Gwoman, I can so well relate to you about wanting to be in love and feel connected to someone. I feel that, too. I feel so lonely in this marriage, I feel like screaming.
Looking back, I can't even understand that I have let myself be so humiliated. What was I thinking? On one of our first dates, my husband read me a poem that was written to another woman who had dumped him how much he loved her and was attracted to her. And, he thought that this was a good idea to read to me whom he just had started going out with. He also kept bragging about his 2 ex wives (I am his third wife) about how smart and beautiful they were. This bragging continued when we were married at the same time as he was putting me down. I finally addressed this in couples counseling and he has at least not talked about the ex wives any more.
When I think about how much degradation I have taken from him, I have to ask myself why did I put up with it.
I have signed up for a couple of classes and am slowly but surely going to take steps to build a life for myself and leave my husband. I know that it won't happen overnight, but my goal is to leave him within a year. Meanwhile, we are going to live as room mates which is about how we have lived for much of our marriage. The intimacy has been minimal and he has shown very little interest in anything I have to say. I know that many people feel that you have to try to save the marriage for the sake of the kids, but some marriages are so empty that there is nothing to save.
There was nothing there to begin with.
Waratah and Gwoman, I wish you the best. Please keep posting, so that I know how you are doing.
Nelli,

I really like your plan. I think that you can do whatever you put your mind to.

I think it is important to not continually beat up o yourself for how you got here...you are human! It can only waste energy that you can use to make your plan out flourish.

I hope you can look back on this one day with pride and use that to help another and then another.
Hello Nelli, you sound stronger and stronger every day. I am so proud of you! You are on your way and have a wonderful plan, I am so happy for you and your kids, they are witnessing your strength come out and live, they are going to watch you live life in a way that will give them hope and they will be able to make better decisions because of it. You are going to be there for them through everything and that is the best.

You stated in your post, 'what was I thinking', I don't know how many times I have said that and deep down inside I know (now, I did not know this then), I was living in a devastated / in shock kind of place. Very disconnected and not in touch enough to make major decisions. I was working and taking care of my only daughter and that is where I should have stayed. I had an ache to share my life with someone and for them to share theirs with me, and watch all the wonderful things I got to see my daughter do, like her first step.....well, you see my heart. You can certainly share your wonderful moments here, any of your moments. You will never be alone, we are here. I hope you have a good night and we'll talk more later......G
Hi nelli,
I have to agree with gwoman, you rock girl!
x x x , waratah {{{{{ hugs }}}}}
Hey Nelli & Waratah ~ You all are on my heart, in my thoughts and prayers ..... I hope some day I get to meet you, I know you are great women! And we are already very good friends and close, just like sisters.....G
Hi Nelli,

Take your time and plan out what you need to do to free yourself from this abusive bully. Thank God you are not experiencing physical abuse, which gives you time to prepare your exit. Abuse, is abuse but I am simply saying your life is not in danger although your spirit is. You have time to think this out carefully and plan your future.

I do not want to talk too much about me since this is your time. But I will share a little about my situation. I am extremely unhappy in my marriage and would like to leave. We have four children whom we both love dearly (ages 5-11). However, we cannot get along with one another. I work full time and I am back in school to finish my degree. I, along with my mom's help, take care of the kids.

I am trying to make it short here. My husband lives as if he is still single. He takes care of himself, washes his own clothes but will not do any work around the house. He is in the military, involved in a band, and works long hours. So he is gone a lot. He takes the kids to school and to their various activities but that is the extent of it. He does not spend quality time with them. He yells and criticizes instead of coach and discipline. To put it simply, he lives for himself and comes and goes as he pleases. I am basically a single mom without a husband although a piece of paper says I am married. I am leaving out some sadder information but you get the idea. I want out.

I am taking my time to get everything in order. I went to see a therapist for my own peace of mind. I needed to have the tools to be able to handle the stress and emotional neglect, and in some cases, abuse. I refuse to let his words affect me. I am getting my degree to get a higher paying job. I am keeping busy with the kids so I am surrounded my positive moments, not just the negative. I am seeking advice on what to do to ensure when we go to court, I get full custody of my kids. I am also documenting everything.

So like I said, take your time to make sure you are making the best decision for you and your kids. If he is not open to counseling, plan to put on your walking shoes. Seek legal advise if you can. There are help centers out there who can help you work through this because they are familiar with the laws. It is difficult to think straight when you are bound by your emotions. Please get help.

Nelli, do not take anything he says to heart. They are just his words and he is bullying you to make himself feel better. What a loser! What a [U]small[/U] man. You just focus on getting help and support for yourself...and your kids.

May your guardian angel guide you through this difficult time. :angel:





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