index cards, part four

more abusive comments and instances, from my husband:

weight and food comments:

told me i looked pregnant when he knew i wasn’t

several times has bought me shirts in several sizes too small, and then when i can’t wear them, says “some day” they will fit

laughed at me when i said i was interested in joining an adult soccer league.

when i wanted (needed) to buy some new clothes, said “aren’t you trying to lose weight?”

when i was eating dinner one night, he made such a hurtful comment about it, that even my teenager told him to quit being mean to me.

we were at Costco, and when i said i wanted a hotdog, he kept saying “i don’t need anything, i’m not hungry” until finally i yelled at him that i wasn’t asking about him, i was asking about me!

he will go without eating at a restaurant (acting the martyr) and then ask me if he can have some of my food.

buys soda and keeps it in the garage then gets mad when i drink it.  he will count the cans and ask the kids who had some.  yet, he gave up soda like two years ago.

i was eating leftovers “eating AGAIN?”

constantly tells me how he doesn’t drink soda any more.  i know, already!

“didn’t you just eat?”

i tell him to stop buying junk food and he tells me to use my will power, then he will tell me to stop buying chips because he can’t help himself.

tells me to not let him eat junk food and to quit buying it, even then i’m not the one eating it.

brags about how he fasts during Lent every year

told me more than once he would buy me a new wardrobe if i would lose weight.

he tells me he is fat all the time (he is not) and that if i don’t talk with him about it, like tell him to keep track of his health, that should, because he is my husband.

dismissing my feelings:

i slept on the couch in the living room for three weeks with our newborn baby because the light at night bothered him when i nursed.  but then he complained that i was not in our bed.

i asked him three separate times to call the doctor to make a therapy appointment, but he just blew it off.  then when he finally did call, he didn’t tell me, and he didn’t make an appointment because they told him the file was closed and he needed me to open it.  but i couldn’t open it because he didn’t tell me he had called!

once, when i did flat out tell him to call the therapist, he didn’t even respond.  he just watched me cry until i got up and left the room.

he overstays his welcome when we go to a friend’s house, but when i try to steer him out of there, he resists.  i usually just leave, then he tells me i am a lightweight for not staying longer.

told him we should go when i could tell the neighbors were tired of us being there.  he said “you can go” and then stayed to drink more.  finally, they just had to tell him to go home.  this has happened twice with two different neighbors.

told me i could snap out of my depression

blows off my concerns of his drinking

doesn’t leave places when i want to go without telling everyone i am making him leave

rarely calls when he is running late.  to the point that we have to change plans because of his lateness.  then he gets defensive about it when i am angry.

used my nice white towels to wash his car once, and when i complained, he told me i shouldn’t be so caught up in “things”

i ask him if i can go somewhere without the kids and he will ask where i am going, why, etc, then say “i don’t care what you do”

i have told him for years that i want a book shelf, and he just flat out refuses.  yet he will spend hundreds of dollars on a new tv or video games, etc.

he will come into the room, change the channel of the show i am watching, without even asking, then he will leave the room.  i will leave the tv on that channel thinking he is coming back, until like a half hour goes by and i realize he is not coming back in.

tells me he will be home in a few minutes, then will stay like an hour or two later without answering my calls or texts.  more than once

doesn’t keep promises consistently.  like helping with bedtime or calling for counselling.

issues with the kids:

insists the kids come with us places, then gets mad when they fuss or complain about it taking so long.

yells at one particular child over every little thing, while favoring another child.

when my two year old fell off the swing, he got mad and told me i shouldn’t need to nurse him to comfort him

uses the kids to check on me and encourages them to tattle on me.

controls when and where we go as a family for vacations, etc, even if the kids don’t really want to do that thing.

makes fun of me in front of the kids all the time, then tells me i am being too sensitive.

undermines me in front of the kids.

makes jokes about how he is not their father.  he is “joking” but it hurts my feelings.

told me he wants to be the fun dad so i can be the bad guy

very rarely helps the kids to get ready to go anywhere and then gets mad when i complain about it.

gets mad at them about things that they have no control over and tries to punish them for just doing kid things.  like when my four year old wanted to cuddle with me and not tell him goodnight, he told my son that “mom won’t let you cuddle with her any more if you don’t kiss me goodnight”, and then tells me not to cuddle with him.  HE’S FOUR!!

bugged me about weaning my son.  what does he care?  he’s not the one feeding him

issues with drinking:

gets mad at me when i tell him he has had too much to drink

hit on our neighbor when he was drunk telling her to make me jealous.  later he “walked in” on her in the bathroom

he gets mad when he sees me drink a soda, but never says a word when i drink alcohol

drove drunk with my son in the car, then fought with me about how much he had had to drink.

i had to bail him out of jail for DUI once

always assumes i will be the designated driver without ever offering once, and if i asked him to, he would say no

drives with open containers of alcohol all the time, and will drink one on the way home from work frequently, even after i have asked him not to.

always tries to get me to drink and just can’t take no for an answer when we go out somewhere.  is getting better about this, but he still does it sometimes.  yet he expects me to drive.

 

 

ok, here we are again.

well, two years later, and i feel like i am pretty much back in the same boat as i was two years ago.  i learned on a domestic abuse forum i was on a while back to do an exercise where i list out on an index card each instance of abuse and categorize them by topic, like “manipulation” and “sexual abuse”.  i decided to jump start my current decision to leave my husband by listing out all 300 or so instances.  not every single one of them, but the most damaging and the most frequent.  not so much to share all the dirty laundry of our relationship with the world, but to hopefully help another person see that these things add up over a relatively short period of time.  also, my pile of index cards is growing, and i just plain don’t have a good place to keep them!

manipulation:

used our Progressive snapshot to check on where i was driving and called me on the phone to see what was taking me so long to get to my destination

i wrote him a letter to tell him how i feel about our problems, and he said “if you can’t tell me face to face what is wrong, then i don’t care what you have to say”

told me all the kids had to go to another one of the kids’ games, then when they all complained, told them that i was the one making them go.

tells me things then when i tell him he told me, he argues and tells me i told him, instead.

got mad at me when i didn’t want to participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge and tried to tell me i was making the family look bad if i didn’t.

gets mad at me when we are out and he is drunk (and i’m not) and he wants to dance.  he guilts me into it almost every time.  even though when we do get out there, i am embarrassed and he doesn’t even dance with me, anyway.

asks me to call about something, tells me what to say/ask the entire time i am on the phone, then when i am done, he gets mad that i didn’t say/ask the right things.  yet he won’t call himself, because i am “better” at calling than he is.

tells me i am “always mad” about something.

went to a party and when we left, he said (drunk), “see, i left when you did and i didn’t get mad or anything.”  like i should be grateful that he wasn’t angry.

i wanted to get my tubes tied.  when we had sex, he would say things like, “i can’t wait until we can have sex all the time and not have to worry about getting pregnant.”  then, went behind my back and called our priest to tell him that i was doing this, and he didn’t want me to.  that was the first time i knew he didn’t want me to.

i told him i was going to counselling, and he told me that i would just use the time to tell the counselor terrible things about him. (more than one instance of this)

when we try to make plans, he is very vague, and never gives a straight answer, and then complains when the plans aren’t made.  he will string his answer out until we are frustrated (the kids and i) and then give his “permission” at the last minute, so it’s too late to make the plans we wanted to.

i asked him for years.  YEARS!!! to go to counselling.  said it would be the last resort before divorce.  then, when i finally told him we needed counselling or i wanted to file for divorce, waited six months to finally go with me.  i kept telling him to call, and he just wouldn’t.

got mad at me for not sleeping with him in a tiny little bed on vacation at his father’s house, and gave me the silent treatment all the next day.

one night i told him i didn’t want to cuddle because i was too hot and sweaty, and he said that i was “sad” for not wanting to cuddle, and that it wasn’t that hot.

when i was pregnant with our first child, we went out to eat.  he asked for the waitress’s phone number right in front of me and the couple we were eating with “just to see if i still can”

we broke up for a few months early on, and the whole summer we were broken up, he kept badgering me to move in with him as “friends” to “save money.”  he had broken up with me.  i hadn’t wanted to break up in the first place.

tells me it is my responsibility to “keep me (him) in line”  implying that if he is being abusive that it’s my fault for not telling him to knock it off.

accuses me of taking things all the time.  then, when i tell him i have no idea where the thing is, he says that’s “peculiar”.

told me that i should only write positive things in my journal, trying to censor me (after he read it and then lied to me about it).

we were going to put in new cabinets (still haven’t) and he said to me that i shouldn’t leave him after this, because it is expensive.

told me that if i stay with him, and he dies before me, i will inherit a lot of money.

tells me that he “never uses” Facebook or plays games on his phone, yet he does it every night.

WOW!!  that is all just one category.  i think i will publish the rest under multiple posts to keep from overwhelming you!  just trust your gut when you think you are being manipulated.  because you probably are.

 

therapy is a wonderful thing, unless it’s with your abuser.

therapy with a qualified domestic abuse therapist is amazing.

just having someone there to listen to you without judgement, anger, dismissal, fear, condescension, sarcasm…it’s a wonderful thing.

but…the thought of my abusive husband going to see a therapist on his own terrifies me.  what lies will he tell?  what kind of unconscious validation will he get from a therapist that only sees his side of things?

the urge to go with him is powerful.  but not recommended with an abusive relationship.

according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline website,

“Therapy can be very effective for some couples who are working through difficult relationship issues. However, if abuse is present in the relationship, we do not recommend that couples seek counseling together.

……

The primary reason we don’t recommend couples counseling is that abuse is not a “relationship” problem. Couples counseling may imply that both partners contribute to the abusive behavior, when the choice to be abusive lies solely with the abusive partner. Focusing on communication or other relationship issues distracts from the abusive behavior, and may actually reinforce it in some cases. Additionally, a therapist may not be aware that abuse is present and inadvertently encourage the abuse to continue or escalate.

…..

A better option for abusive partners who want to change is a program designed specifically to address their abusive behaviors. These programs are often referred to as Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs (BIPPs), although what they are called can vary from state to state. BIPPs focus on teaching accountability and non-violent responses. These programs can be effective, but only if an abusive partner is truly committed, as real change is a difficult process that can take months or years.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, or if you are an abusive partner who wants to change, please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 or chat online everyday from 7am-2am CST. Our advocates are here to support you and talk through your options.”

gotta journal for my sanity

i have always liked to write, mostly in an informational way, and to help others to understand things in a new or different way.

but, sometimes, i just want to write for myself.

so, ten years ago, when i wanted to leave the last time, i decided to go see a therapist.  she told me i should be writing all my feelings out in a journal.  i did.  then my husband found it and read it.  that was the end of my writing in a journal.

over the years i have tried off and on, but i always would censor myself.  what if he would find it and then get mad, or be offended?  then i would be on the defensive again.  not a fun place to be.  so i stuffed all my feelings, and let them stifle.  for ten years.

this summer, i began to journal again, on the advice of a new therapist.  i told him that my husband had read my past journal.  he told me to hide it.  or, let him read it, and let the chips fall.  well, i’m too much of a wimp to just let it all hang out, so to speak, so i have it hidden.  that makes it difficult to deal with, sometimes, especially if i leave it in my purse (i like to write while i wait for the kids after school)  and forget to put it back.

i guess my point is, now that it is hidden, i don’t censor myself.  i let it all go.  i can honestly say that my life is much more calm and i can stay way more focused on how he is treating me.  i can see patterns and detect those times when he is just being an ass versus those times when he is choosing to be abusive.

i can also write out when he is being nice, and try to decide if it’s genuine or part of his manipulation.

clarity.  it’s a good thing!