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Help me figure out why I feel this way?

(5 Posts)
MrsMcBoatface Sun 27-Mar-16 11:48:49

My H is selfish and emotionally abusive, I know this. I've had counselling, spoken to solicitors, and the only options I seem to have are to stay and put up with it or to leave. There doesn't seem to be any compromise. I've told him I want to leave...he ignores. It's going to be a tricky divorce, financially, and I'll be worse off which scares me. So I'm still with him but planning.

This morning I mentioned something I was interested in, he ranted and raved at me saying I didn't know what I was talking about, that I was disorganised and he couldn't believe that I could be so stupid and no wonder I'd never achieved anything (paraphrasing a bit for effect but it was a totally unwarranted verbal attack). My blood was boiling, heart thumping, but I just kept cool and let it go as there's no point engaging and I feel stronger keeping my cards close to my chest, so to speak.

We were going somewhere. A few minutes later he damaged something really important to him (think a paint scrape on his precious car, similar to that) and was devastated. It was clearly his fault. I could see for a split second he wanted to blame me but there was no way.

My question..I felt a great rush of sadness and pity for him. Wtf? I should have been a bit glad or sneery. Is this Stockholm syndrome? Am I just a really nice and caring person? hmm or do I love him and it manifests as pity? I don't want to see him hurt but can't go on like this.

givepeasachance Sun 27-Mar-16 12:07:50

I think you become part of them, you see their pain before your own. It's a protection thing, they are a danger and you need to anticipate that danger, so need to get in their head. Love has nothing to do with it, that ain't love, it's survival.

It comes from the well known 'stepping on eggshells' phrase, which always struck me as such an innocuous phrase to describe such a toxic situation; that you learn over time to anticipate their feelings and in the meantime forget and suppress your own.

Anyway, when you leaving him?

TheStoic Sun 27-Mar-16 12:39:00

Your reaction is simply proof that his hideous behaviour towards you hasn't changed you as person.

You don't want him to be upset because - I assume - you wouldn't take joy out of anyone being upset.

Leave while you are

PuellaEstCornelia Sun 27-Mar-16 13:05:17

What The Stoic said. Yours is a perfectly normal reaction.
Mind you so would the glad or sneery one!

MrsMcBoatface Sun 27-Mar-16 14:02:50

So right, I just can't sort out my head right now! Thank you stoic, I tried playing it out in my mind with someone else having the accident and I'd feel sorry for them too, in my case I know how much H values this item (more than my feelings actually!) and it hurts me to see him hurt which is why I feel so mean when I react to him. Doesn't make leaving easy.

Givepeasachance I appreciate that, helps to see it as another manifestation of this toxic situation. I hadn't thought that I was suppressing my feelings (just hiding them from H) but I do anticipate his reactions to everything. I still feel like I need a reason to leave, even though I technically know I don't need one. I'd like to point out to him (as I'm going out the door) that he was so scathing about me that he should be glad for me to go. But I need to be on my way out for that to have any effect.

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