how can i leave when he is so “nice”?

i have been reading and reading and researching about when i should leave.  

should i wait until he is in a good mood to have “the talk”?  should i just take off and leave a note?  what about the kids?  do i tell them before we leave and just hope they go along with it?  i know three of my children would probably be like, “ok, let’s go!”  but i don’t want to scar them for life. 

do i tell him i want to divorce and then make him move out?  fat chance of that, either way, since he paid for “our” house, and “our” van, and “our” bills.

do i tell him and then put up with us both living under the same roof until our assets are divided?  ugh.  no.

i just don’t know what is the best option for me.  especially since he has been so much nicer lately.  sort of.

he tells me what he thinks i want to hear, which is how much he loves me, how i can do whatever i want and he will support me, and that he will do whatever i want him to do.

but, he still abuses me.  he manipulates me.  he tells me what to do.  he flat out says “NO!”  if i don’t do something he wants me to do.  kind of like a two year old.  he abuses my children in much the same way, but of course to a much lesser degree.  he actually loves them.  he took me on a date a few weeks ago, and while it was fun, he told me multiple times about how his friend always posts all this stuff on facebook all the time when he and his wife go out.  so, of course, he kept telling me to take pics of us kissing, etc., and post them to facebook, which, by the way, he says he rarely goes on, but is on every day.  we had time before our movie, and so we walked around the top floor of a store that had an open balcony to the first floor below.  his “joke”?  “wouldn’t it suck if i threw you off this balcony?”  haha.  he kept going out of his way to tell me i’m “his girl” and how beautiful i was all dressed up.  um, where were those compliments for the last twenty years?  i can count on one hand the number of times (when we aren’t having sex) that he has complimented my looks.  now, criticizing my looks…that i can’t even begin to put a number on.

another way he abuses me is to tell me things like “you are so capable that i find it hard to do things as well as you do”.  doesn’t really sound abusive, does it?  but it is abusive when it means “i don’t want to do anything around the house, so i will compliment you and trick you into doing it all so i can go mess around on the computer, instead.”  he also tells me how i feel, or what i mean, or what i like.  who is he to know how i feel or what i think or what i like?  he’s not inside my head.  

these are not things that seem abusive on the surface, but are abusive when taken from years of the same patterns of behavior over and over.  it’s abusive when he suddenly does something nice after years of doing nothing, then expects me to fall all over him with gratitude.  when he tells me how good he has been lately, that’s abuse.  like, “i could be way worse, so give me credit.”, instead of just admitting the wrong, and trying to do better without qualifying it with a mild threat.  telling me that if he were to die tomorrow, i would be getting around half a million dollars from investments, etc., is abusive.  how?  he is really saying, “you need to stick around because my behavior is unlikely to change, but eventually you will get some money for all your troubles.” manipulation!!!  or, “you better appreciate the new kitchen cabinets, because they were really expensive, and if you leave, they will be a waste.”  manipulation!!!

i have prayed for literally years that he would cheat on me (again) so I could have a “good” reason to leave.  so it wouldn’t be my fault, and so that i could be able to say, it was all him, he is the bad guy.  instead of what i am sure i will hear if i leave now.  “but i tried so hard…i did everything you asked…i never hit you or hurt you physically…i provided for you and all the kids for so long!”

how can i leave when he is so “nice”?




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