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Workaholic, EA - the problems that never end?

(4 Posts)
HortonHearsAHoo Mon 08-Apr-13 13:43:02

Any thoughts on this would be really welcome, I'm at a loss.
Married for 11 years. 2dcs - 8 & 7.
I had a difficult first pregnancy, I was difficult at times...but... this is when H's rages began. And I mean, full-on, screaming abuse. To begin with it was every 6 months..and I believed what he told me. I blamed myself, and he blamed me - he said it was a combination of hormones, illnesses (including cancer and consequent treatment and ongoing medication), my dissatisfaction with giving up my career, my bereavements, my unhappiness at his increasing time spent at work (he leaves at 6 and comes homes at 8), my unhappiness that he wouldn't help with the kids or the house- it was all my fault. His anger is very vicious and abusive (not physically) - i've been called everything imaginable.
I started confiding in my friends about the things he's said to me - ie. that I'm mental, unable to cope with my illnesses, I'm irrational, he hates me, etc. etc. My friends have been fantastic in supporting me - reassuring me that his rages are not my fault, and that I am a good person. I stopped retaliating and stopped complaining about his long hours and gave the response of 'oh well, never mind' if he didn't ring, or was late, once or twice not coming home till the next day.. (he's always assured me of deadlines and emergencies.....) And as a result... he lost his temper anyway because I didn't make him feel welcome in his own home anymore. The rages were daily. It didn't seem to matter what I did. A year ago I told my H that having come to this realisation I would not put up with it. We went to Relate but I was basically told that I had a very charming husband and if I stopped pushing his buttons then he wouldn't feel the urge to be verbally abusive.
Relate has helped him control the noise level of his outbursts but now I'm dealing with a very sulky man, who has stopped nearly all physical contact, doesn't want to see his friends or family, and is throwing himself further and further into work. He's obsessed, it seems it's all he's interested in or talks about - it's all he does, to the point of complete mental and physical exhaustion.
Six months ago, I found a stash of porn in the garage, something which I'm not comfortable with - we had a talk about it early on in our relationship when I found it in his old flat. This time it had been in his work bag and when confronted he told me it was a one off when I was away for half term as our sex life had been non-existent. Things have got worse again since then.
Despite all this he is desperate not to lose his family. I gave him an ultimatum and he's agreed to go to individual counselling which does seem to be helping him understand his reactions.The anger hasn't stopped but he is trying to control it. I think he's suffering panic attacks, but he denies any health problems. He has occasional bursts of positivity... admitting and doing something - sporadically - about his lack of shared household jobs (I work part time), buying flowers and gifts or cooking a meal. But a good mood never lasts more than a day.
I've just found out that his porn stash was much bigger than he first admitted to and that his buying of it and watching it went on over the best part of a year when I was taking the kids out at the weekends to allow him some rest from his job....
In the past he has been my best friend, great fun and brilliant company but it's as if he has a split personality..Just seeing less and less of the side of him that used to enjoy life, and thinking it's all just been about him. With his volunteering for therapy I'd like to take it step at a time to try and rebuild trust and all the rest.. but something bad always happens and we're back to the start again. How long do I give it before I go completely insane?
Given your wealth of experience..do you think, with professional help, men like this can change?

CailinDana Mon 08-Apr-13 14:17:09

A relationship should be a partnership where both parties support and care for each other. It sounds to me like you've been your husband's punching bag for the last 8 years. I don't know how you could have an ounce of respect left for him.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 08-Apr-13 14:21:31

Wow - you have put up with a lot over the years.
Ask yourself WHY???
Because he made you feel worthless and like everything was your fault when it was NOT your fault at all.
Now you are posting as you are finally coming to the realisation that you don't have to put up with this behaviour!
So don't put up with it. It will not change long term.
Only you can decide what needs to happen but reading your post, I think we all know what you should do!!
Good luck.

HortonHearsAHoo Mon 08-Apr-13 15:25:41

Thanks. I've had the weirdest 24 hours, haven't slept and have got to the point where I just feel I can't trust my judgement anymore. Still, in my optimistic way, I was hoping for a success story saying therapy had been the answer...I think it's becoming clearer, thank you.

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