I have been married for nearly ten years and my husband was emotionally abusive for about 5 of those years at the beginning. It was extremely intense when i was pregnant with the kids and when they were babies. It got too much and i couldn't take anymore. I told him i wanted to leave but he said he'd change and he has. Massively.
All the EA behaviours have gone including the financial abuse too. Things have really improved and I'm alot happier and we have become stronger as a couple.
But. And it's a big but, i cant help thinking of the past. He treated me horrifically and just thinking about it brings me to tears even though it's been 5 years. I just can't seem to forget and forgive. It's making me go round in circles. I feel i have no self respect by staying with him and don't know what to do. I still can't trust him not to hurt me and my self esteem was non existent and it's taking me a very long time to get it to where i am now but i still have alot of work to do.
Has anybody else been in a similar situation?! How did you let go of the past?
I have done mindfulness but one reason i can't let go is that some of the things he did like major financial fuck ups, which he never let me have a say in, affects me and my children today. It's really complicated and its a reminder everyday to me and undermines my self respect.
I don't think things have been as bad as yours but yes I've been in that position. And yes I still have this lack of trust hanging around there
For me, it's the difference between unconditional trust and a much more careful trust iyswim. So where before I would have expected him to think about me and put me first, the same way that I was putting him first, I've learnt to put myself first and be careful, look after my own interest and always be watching my back.
I suppose written down like it sounds awful. It's not. It's just very different to it was before.
Re time, it does take a hell of a lot of time IMO. I'm just starting to let go of resentment and being weary/suspicious. Things are getting better and better. But it has been about 7 years now that things are much more settled.
greenpeppers i find myself looking at others being "normal" and it makes me sad about my situation. For example, something simple like my friend's husband just being kind and helpful when she had a baby recently, brings it home how i never had that and it reminds me of how horrific things were and i feel so sad for me.
I don't purposely look at other people but when ppl have babies or i see a couple just being jovial with each other it makes me so sad.
Do you feel like that? Because i think that is one of the reasons i cant forget it. Just normal everyday things trigger bad memories and it all comes flooding back. I honestly don't go searching for it.
You really can't compare to the image others portray either.
One friend of mine looks like that from the outside - I was shocked to be told they have been in separate bedrooms for years & she's hanging on by her fingernails - he is not nice to her.
2 of my female friends (who I have little to do with nowadays) tricked their partners into getting them pregnant - both of these men thought they were on the pill and DID NOT want DCs. The men are still oblivious to the truth - I see my 'friends' in a completely different light now. How big a lie can you live with someone?
I could go on... there are many examples of relationships that look wonderful from the outside.
I'm not saying they are all shit - you just never know what goes on behind closed doors.
He has apologised and says he deeply regrets it but that's it really. We obviously don't talk about it on a regular basis or anything. But every now and again i will begin to feel upset and it will fester for a few weeks and then i will pour it all out and then after a while i feel ok and then maybe 6m later i get upset again and the cycle is repeated again.
As for his good points, now that the abuse is over, he is actually an ok husband. He has a few flaws, but don't we all.
But this is what i tell him- that if he was just like how he is now from the beginning, we would be happy. But I've had to go through hell with him to get to ok when quite frankly ok just doesn't make up for herself shit I've been through.