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Topic: Help, I need to separate from my husband due to abuse but he has a MI...

  1. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    18 August 2020

    I'm new here and very scared of posting on a forum.

    My husband has been a long time sufferer of anxiety and it has impacted on our relationship and life for well over 10 years. I've always tried to support this as best I can to the point where I've missed family events, functions and just general day to day life events that most take for granted. It started as general depression and manifested in a phobic anxiety. The phobia is mainly illnesses and getting sick (cold and flu). This has made going out hard. I have tried to respect it and help but by helping all I've done is enable the issue. I've now made it ok to control me, tell me not to go out with friends during winter and tell me not to hug my son when he's sick so I don't get sick too. If I get sick, the whole house falls apart as it triggers his anxiety.

    He's sought treatment a long time ago and doesn't like medications because he doesn't like his reactions to them. He feels he is coping and he can function in life. And he can. He can hold down a job (quite good at his job) and no one is ever any the wiser. He always touches stuff when we're out so I don't have to. I'm the chauffeur and shag on a rock most the time.

    My family and friends have been telling me I'm being controlled and emotionally abused into thinking I have to give up these things to support him. When I bring it up I constantly get told I'm being selfish by asking to go to a function as I'm not considering how it affects his illness or what happens if I get sick.

    Our child is now affected by this and can sense there is an issue. When your child asks for a cuddle and you can't give it until he is well again is a big problem and one I can't accept as ok anymore.

    He has also become angry and violent over the last few years. Our arguments are heated and he can blow up in the space of minutes. I'm always the instigator apparently. I make him angry or I came home 15 minutes late from a party I was once allowed to go to for 1hr and he told me when he gives an inch I take a mile. I keep apologising and saying sorry to keep the family together. I'm at the point where I can't do it anymore - for me and my child.

    My question is, what do I do? When he is not stressed or angry and living by the rules things are ok. But I'm just one anger episode away from another outburst. How do you leave someone who is suffering MI when they say you're not supportive?

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5908 posts
    18 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained
    Hey emotionallydrained, thanks for reaching out to the Beyond Blue forums. We know it can be so stressful to make the first post so thank you for having the strength and courage to do so. We're are so sorry to hear of the stress and anxiety you are going through. From what you are saying, it sounds like you are experiencing domestic violence and we know that living with this abuse would be so very difficult. We can hear that this is a really tough and confusing time for you in that you want to feel happy on your own but also feel quite scared at the prospect. Please know that you are strong, valuable and you have a right to live free from abuse.

    We would strongly urge that you contact 1800RESPECT. They offer confidential information, counselling and support 24/7 for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice to people in your situation who just want to be happy on their own. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 

    You might also find some ideas in reading the stories of others. Some threads you might be interested in reading include:   There are also a number of really informative and helpful websites you might like to look at: 
    And please remember that If ever you feel unsafe to contact triple zero and ask for the police. 

    We know it has taken so much courage for you to share your story, so thank you. We hope that you can find some comfort in the forums and please feel free to keep us updated here on your thread throughout your journey. 
    3 people found this helpful
  3. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    18 August 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    Thank you so much for your comments of support. I needed to hear that.
    The links are very helpful as well.

    I just feel so guilty even feeling this way. He has no idea I am thinking this and I feel like I am betraying him and deceiving him. He has been nice and calm the last couple of days since an incident on the weekend where I came to this decision. I know he won't understand or see any fault. I have no documented evidence because I never really accepted there was a problem until recently. I guess I was in the "it'll get better bubble". I'm so confused.

  4. Guest_3256
    Guest_3256 avatar
    324 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotionallydrained.

    Welcome to the BB Forum and for reaching for support. These a re tough times and from what I have read, you must be feeling very emotionally overwhelmed with support your husband's care needs. It sound like you may have enabled his bad behaviour and that can make things really difficult. Unfortunately, IMO, as I can relate, when you don't respect yourself or give compassion and love yourself, you allow others to walk all over you. Having a mental illness and health concern is not a right to treat you poorly. It's probably best for you to seek professional support for yourself. Try not to think about leaving your Husband at this point in time, that's not a solution to what [you] are experiencing. You need to be mentally healthy to be able to care for someone who is not well and if you don't look after yourself, you will having a lot of difficulties in the future, even after you leave. him.

    Just to recap, this is about you, not your Husband, this is about you having an understanding that you need to look after yourself so you can be healthy enough to look after others. If you can make sense from this, it will click.

    Good luck and let us know how things go.

  5. monkey_magic
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    19 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained
    Hi emotionallydrained,

    I think you need to pop that bubble. From what you've written things have gotten worse and they usually do in these situations.
    The fact that he doesn't understand or see any fault is a major problem and definitely not a catalyst to change.
    You've done everything you can to support him. You have made so many unreasonable sacrifices and have probably lost parts of yourself in the process. These men are irrational and nothing's ever good enough.

    You said he's become angry and violent over the last few years. This is giving me major red flags and I'd do my best to get out of there. For your child's sake as well. He sounds like a sick man who needs the support of professional's specialising in this sort of thing.

    Sophie has given you some excellent resources. Please use them.

    Worried about you.
    2 people found this helpful
  6. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    Thank you. It's so hard because when things are settled and I don't have any reason to remember the restrictions on life it's ok. No pressure and little reason for him to be stressed or agitated. But as soon as something comes up it's triggered.

    I just don't know how to bring it up without flaring anything up or do I hope it miraculously changes or will it come to a head next time?

    The resources were great.

  7. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to Guest_3256

    Thank you. Whenever I'm alone during the day I feel relaxed and happy. No one asking me to do anything or get them something. I get drained because I'm always asked to do something... not something done for me. Well, not something that is out of the ordinary. It's hard to look after my mental health when the things that make me happy I'm not able to enjoy like going out for a coffee, shopping, going to the beach etc.

    I know there is no right answer in any of this and no easy solution.

  8. VanVincent
    VanVincent avatar
    10 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    You are being controlled and the relationship you are in sounds abusive. For example, you should not need permission from your spouse to attend a function. In normal circumstances you would discuss it.

    Making sacrifices for the people you love is normal but it cannot all be one way.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Ggrand
    Community Champion
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    Ggrand avatar
    9058 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hello emotionallydrained..

    I have been reading along and wanted to call in..

    I lived a very abusive marriage..(38years)..hoping my late husband would change, plus afraid to leave him...

    I have 2 sons that... well I raised and my husband yelled at and abused....One of my sons is struggling with his own mental health now...I am sure if I left the marriage he wouldn’t be struggling so much..

    Yes my hubby had his good times when he treated me nicely, which were very rare..I held on to those times thinking maybe he will change and be a nice person...that never happened, the older he got the worse my life was..

    He totally controlled my life..not letting me go out, not letting me have friends..choosing and buying my clothes..what to eat or what not to eat....I’m sharing this because I care about you and your beautiful daughter..

    What I’m trying to say...is please put yourself and your beautiful son first..I remember my husband stopped me from tucking my children in at night..they were only young...it broke their hearts..not being allowed to cuddle and comfort your son when he is sick..is so very sad...It’s the time when our children need us more..is when they sick and feeling uncomfortable...

    No one can tell you what to do dear emotionallydrained, but I just wanted to share my story in the hope that it may help you in some way...

    Sending you my care and kind thoughts..

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  10. monkey_magic
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    19 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained
    Hi emotionallydrained,

    Are you able to elaborate more on when your partner gets violent? Are you talking about emotional and/ or physical violence? What does he do? Just so that we're equipped in helping you better and can understand more. This is an annonymous space here.

    Like Grandy I too have had abuse in some of my relationships. I'm free now, thank God and will never accept that treatment ever again.

    You are no doormat emotionallydrained and deserve to be treated the right way.

    I really hope we can talk some more.
    1 person found this helpful
  11. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi Ggrand,

    I'm so sorry to read you went through all that and over such a long period. I'm glad you're free now and I hope your son is ok too.

    It is hard and the fear of the unknown and the fall out is a huge toll. I do feel guilty thinking this and he has no idea. We're working on projects in the yard (which have been the scene of many a verbal abuse) and I feel bad he's doing so much work and I'm thinking like this - like I'm being deceitful. So much is going around in my head. I know the advice I would give a friend, but being in the situation is so hard.

    I hope life is much better for you now.

    2 people found this helpful
  12. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    Hi Monkey_magic,

    I was talking to a counsellor today for the first time and she explained the process of honeymoon stage, eggshell stage, triggered event, blame game to deflect the action, guilt then the cycle continues. It's pretty much that. The length of time can differ, sometimes 3 or more months and I think things are ok, then others can be 2 in one week. It's been going on for a few years - I just kept telling myself things will get better when...

    So it is verbal and sometimes physical when he's really angry. Nothing visible. Usually because I've agitated the situation in some way (apparently). It's mainly triggered when his illness is questioned or threatened as his anxiety levels rise and then the anger comes in. If I don't do anything to agitate that then it's ok. But who can live in a germ bubble the rest of their lives. The corona situation has just justified his actions for keeping us "protected" because people have been told to avoid illness!

    2 people found this helpful
  13. monkey_magic
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    19 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained
    Hi emotionallydrained,

    It makes me so happy that you spoke to that councillor. I hope it made U feel validated and gave U strength.

    You are the victim in this situation. It's not the other way around. Perpetrators of abuse love shifting blame. It's not your fault ok.

    It sounds like instead of building you up he has made you feel small. I was in the same situation and had to leave to get "me" back.

    I wouldn't want to live in a germ bubble either it's unhealthy. If you're exposed to "germs" your body builds antibodies that help fight off colds and flu's etc. There's nothing wrong with it. I think he needs to be educated.

    Please don't feel guilty for wanting to do the right thing by you and your child. You have every right to live free of emotional and physical abuse.

    We are here for you.
    2 people found this helpful
  14. Juliet_84
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    19 August 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    Hi emotionally drained,

    I’m so glad that you found this forum and have already had quite a few responses from people, which I hope has been enlightening. It can take a long time to come to the realization that a partner is abusive, but once you do, you wonder how you missed the signs all this time! But these people are master manipulators, always turning things back around on you to make you doubt your sanity. And because you are a good partner, you assume that it must have been something that you’ve done. So you take note and make sure that you don’t do it again so as not to set them off, but the goal posts keep shifting. Until you end up where you are, emotionally exhausted from trying to keep this person happy. But you will never be able to, because his problem doesn’t come from you (even though I genuinely believe abusers do think this), it comes from inside him. He has used his fear of illness to control you, and it has worked to a large extent.
    How do you get him to see that he is abusive? Therapy can help. Having a third party label it may be eye opening. Although in my experience, abusers can just as easily become enraged at being called out, only to suppress it and take it out on you later. My partner was also physically abusive, never something as obvious as a closed fist but lots of injuries, sprained wrists etc where he bent my hands back etc. I just wanted to mention that as sometimes people don’t consider that as fitting the definition of domestic violence but it is.
    It’s up to you what you choose to do with this information and where you want to go with it, but I hope you at least feel validated by this forum.

    3 people found this helpful
  15. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    20 August 2020 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hi Juliet,

    Wow thank you. I'm sorry you have been a victim. The support has been amazing. I was so worried to come on here because then it's real and out there. Everything you have written makes perfect sense. And nothing obvious here either and no one knows. He's liked at work and for 90% of the time when he's calm and clear minded he's ok. He can see his issues are an issue, but can't get help for them. The other 10% of the time when the rational side gets warped is when it's not good and the anger can turn so quick.

    He's got so much going on at work I don't want to say anything and inflame the situation when things are ok at this moment. How did you come to leave or what was the catalyst?

  16. Juliet_84
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    563 posts
    21 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    That’s ok, I think a lot of us have been victims of other people in some way or another, and sometimes it’s only much later you realize that.

    My partner wasn’t all bad either as people’s common perception of abusers usually is. They expect a monster, but he was loving, caring, attentive, particularly in front of other people. But there was another side to him, literally felt like another person, he would be irrational, angry, someone else i didn’t recognize, Jekyll and Hyde type stuff. In the good times, he would acknowledge his issues and promise to get help.
    I had noticed that things had been slowly escalating, but my moment of realization came over something relatively trivial. I was sitting at home having a night to myself, reading quietly and watching a movie. He came home drunk and started up on me. During that argument he ended up spitting in my face. It’s weird, he’s done worse but that was the thing that hit me the hardest. It told me everything I needed to know about who he was as a person, how he saw me and the type of life I could expect, one where I didn’t have a voice. In reality, I was far more educated than him, had a great career and was well respected amongst the physicians I worked with, but I was living in a house where my opinion didn’t matter on anything, I had no say, or no freedom.
    I didn’t leave that night, it took me a year to get the strength to leave, I started doing things for myself, reestablishing my friendships, working harder at my job. And then I just packed up and left one day after some minor blowup that I cant even recall and it felt as though someone had physically removed 100kg from my back.

    7 people found this helpful
  17. Guest_3256
    Guest_3256 avatar
    324 posts
    21 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotionallydrained.

    If you don't mind me asking, do you feel that your resenting your Husband because of his mental health difficulties?

  18. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    22 August 2020 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hi Juliet,

    That does sound very similar. 90% of the time things are ok when he's rational and calm. As soon as something challenges his stress levels or something doesn't go right, he starts to get angry. It can be a slowish build up or just a sudden outburst and then 30 minutes later it's forgotten. Things have been ok this week since a blow up on the weekend and now I feel guilty and anxious about feeling this way. I don't want it to escalate and I don't want to affect his relationship with is son, but I can't keep living this way either. Whenever I try and talk about my feelings or incidents that have bothered me (like being told to drop my son to a school friends party and not stay for a reason I can't even remember and then pick him up again in a hours time) I get "you always look at the negative, look at the positive that he's going to a party and I'm making progress". Other incidents like that where I have to sacrifice because he's making progress letting him go out. Just writing this I feel guilty. It's such a roller coaster. :(

  19. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    22 August 2020 in reply to Guest_3256

    Hi Jsua,

    No, I don't resent him because of mental health issues. I resent the fact he can't get help and thinks he's making enough progress. I resent the fact he can get so angry at me, physically hurt me and then not even apologise or acknowledge he was in the wrong. Instead it is me apologising and accepting I antagonised or cause him to get angry. I resent that he can't see I'm unhappy even when I say I'm not happy or I'm feeling depressed. As soon as I try and say anything that challenges his feelings he turns it around to make me feel bad. Like I'm not supportive enough or I'm only looking at the negative and not the positive that he's making progress to go out places. Missing significant family events like a wedding or parents 60th birthday are not being negative, they are sacrifices.

    3 people found this helpful
  20. Juliet_84
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    24 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotionally drained,

    Yes, that was the cycle that we used to have also. Huge argument followed by a week or two of loving behavior, where I actually even doubted if things were bad at all, and then another blow up. My partner used to say a similar thing to me, but any time I would bring up something that was bothering me he would say “if you don’t like it, leave” basically shutting it down right then and there and completely minimizing my feelings. Yet the slightest grievance that he had was expected to be given my undivided attention. The respect didn’t go both ways and I was left feeling very small, I felt as though I didn’t have a voice. I once read a book that had a profound impact on me, it’s called “why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men” and it basically explained everything to me. It’s actually a free e-book online and it’s well worth a read. Deep down somewhere they do know that they are doing, even if it doesn’t seem that way, but it can take a huge amount for them to ever admit it or address their actions and many never do. It’s well worth a read, even just to give you a bit of insight, knowledge is power

    2 people found this helpful
  21. Ggrand
    Community Champion
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    Ggrand avatar
    9058 posts
    24 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hello emotionallydrained....

    I listened here, shaking my head when you are blaming yourself for antagonising him or caused him to get angry..That is so not true... I used to apologise to my late husband when he hit me..because he said I caused him to do it....I have learnt from my psych it was my fault, he got angry and hit out..No excuse is ever big enough for your partner to physically hurt you....That is assault..and against the law...

    Mental health whether it is anxiety, depression, ptsd does not cause a person to be physically or verbally abusive...Having mental health issues is his excuse....to get away with doing these things to you...

    When my sons were small, his abuse was alway on me...as they got older he also abused them as well...So please be careful and protect yourself and your son...You’re son growing up in such an environment, could teach him the wrong values in life towards girls, women etc...

    I sacrificed my family and friends to keep my late husband happy...I could never get sick, or he got angry, because I wasn’t able to serve him the way he expected me to....Looks like he does that when your son gets sick..Doesn’t want you to hug and comfort him....because he then becomes 2nd in your time and care to him...You say you cannot talk to him about your unhappiness or depression...because he turns it around and makes him the victim....It’s all about power, controlling you and your actions towards him....I felt like a servant to him...

    I really hope that you follow your heart in what you want/need and decide to do....Please remember Dear emotionallydrained...abuse is wrong...no matter which form of abuse it is....

    Please stay safe and look after you and your beautiful son...talk anytime you feel up to it...I’m listening and when I can I will pop in to help you if I can...

    Sending you my care and all my kindest wishes for you lovely emotionallydrained...

    Grandy...

    4 people found this helpful
  22. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    24 August 2020 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hi Juliet,

    Thank you! You write almost like it is me writing. It seems we've had/having similar experiences. We're in an ok stage at the moment where stress is relatively low (for him) but as you said, it makes me then feel guilty or doubt it's bad. But I re read a note book I have been keeping the last couple of years about incidences and I realise it's not ok and then wonder how I could let it get to this and how I didn't reach out earlier. Right now is the hardest time in my life to leave if I have to because I have no family support - they are all in lock down in Melbourne. So no one can get to me to help. I don't have any really close friends either as they are also in Vic. This year has been a struggle for so many people in that regard. I know he doesn't suspect I'm thinking this which is playing on my mind even more.The guilt is taking over my mind and as you said, then makes me doubt it all.
    But our son is sick again and it's the same thing - making sure we don't get sick too because it challenges his fears too much.

    Thank you so much for replying on my thread. Your support and words have been such a comfort going through this alone. I try not to tell my parents too much because they can't come up to do anything and they have enough worries on their plate. I talk to my best friend which is such a help.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    24 August 2020 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi Grandy,

    Thank you so much. Your words have given me comfort also. You're right, I do blame myself and I do feel guilty a lot. Sometimes I know I have unintentionally antagonised because I have gotten frustrated and then retaliated with an inflammatory comment. He'll give me a warning he's anger is building and I know to back down. But sometimes it doesn't take much for the anger to build. But then a few hours or day he's calmed down again - usually after I have apologised. I think he justifies getting angry because he's given me warning he's getting that way.

    The worst part is he doesn't have a good opinion of some women. He's seen women use DV as a means to get back at their husband's when they have not been victims, so he thinks most women can be manipulative. But someone who sees those traits can see them anywhere I guess.

    Thank you again for your support. Each comment has been a relief to read. I would love to keep contact in this thread - I'm just not sure how things will pan out.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5908 posts
    25 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained
    Hi emotionallydrained,

    It's great to see that you have found some comfort in the support of our wonderful community members, and to hear that you've been opening up to your best friend. We can understand that navigating this situation may be especially difficult in the pandemic environment. We think you are so strong. Please know that there is support available to you even in these difficult times.

    If you need support and advice around leaving the relationship we would strongly urge that you contact 1800RESPECT. They offer confidential information, counselling and support 24/7 for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice to people in your situation. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 

    It might also be useful to get in touch with our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. Our friendly counsellors will be able to give you some advice around navigating the pandemic environment.

    Please feel free to keep us updated whenever you feel up to it.
     
    1 person found this helpful
  25. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    31 August 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    I'm back and I need reassurance.

    It's been just over a week and things were better. There were no arguments that were bad and things were ok. Then my 6yr old got sick again and all my reasons for thinking things aren't ok came flooding back.

    Every time my child gets sick, we have to go into a lock down and my child is restricted on where they can go in the house to limit germs. (My H's MI is a phobic anxiety over getting sick.) The last few times my child has been struggling with this and saying they are getting frustrated and even getting angry because mummy can't do anything. I can't even hug him because I can't get sick myself. I'm sure my child sees a mum who can't make a decision without daddy's approval because I doubt myself or have to make a decision based on what my husband would want but not what I agree with.

    I need to know... at what point is it "supporting someone with a mental illness" and what point is it "controlling behaviour and not MI and am I within my rights to consider other options"?

    I'm constantly being told I'm not supporting his issues and not compromising. Today I was told I put us all at risk by getting out of the car to pick up my child from the school gate instead of the pick up zone. Why would I do that? I said it was a nice day and pick up zone was full. He said why couldn't I do a lap? He said I don't respect his issues and if he has to get a covid test it'll be my fault and I'll say "I'm sorry" when it happens but he'll be angry and he'll pack my bags for me. I've lived in fear of getting sick for years because I know how he reacts, but covid has made it worse.

    Am I crazy? Should I stop being selfish and support and respect the things that increase his anxiety and not do them? Please tell me if I'm not supporting someone with a mental illness properly. I don't want to be the person who disrespects MI because I don't. I know it's an illness... but sometimes I think his brain is using it to keep his own fears in control by keeping us under control?

    Please help....

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Sleepy21
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    31 August 2020

    Hey there! Love your awareness and insight - to answer your question - you are NOT imagining things, and sounds pretty real and upsetting to be treated this way. Sounds a bit like gaslighting on his part.

    This is very familiar to me and I think he is being insulting but asking you to accomodate his problems, ie so he

    I quite admire you - when I went through something like this I truly couldn't even question the person who acted this way towards me (then blamed me for it, 10/10 times), I thought he just had problems and was saying those things, not meaning them, just unable to get the right words out....

    Hurtful words are hurtful words, and it's a choice to use hurtful words and language, and to put you at risk - that's a choice that the person makes.

    People who are abusive to their partners are often very calm, friendly and capable of managing their emotions in dozens of other circumstances daily, proving they do have control over it - and are choosing to act abusively.

    It's okay to hold him accountable for his choices - they're not issues, they are bad and harmful choices he makes.

    4 people found this helpful
  27. Juliet_84
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    31 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotionallydrained,

    This definitely isn’t normal behavior, but I can understand why you doubt yourself as controlling partners have a way of turning things around on you and making out as though you aren’t supporting them enough. That is one of the ways they use to exploit you as most reasonable partners want to be supportive, and they know this. That being said, I found that I always had the most success in getting through to my partner when I stuck to the facts. Don’t let him manipulate the conversation, say that this is not normal behaviour and he needs to see someone about his anxiety. He will try and drag you into his drama, but stay strong. This is his problem, not yours.

    As hard as it may seem, I think that you need to start emotionally distancing yourself from him to a degree. He is having way too much power over your moods and you can’t keep dealing with this level of stress. Don’t fool yourself into thinking “oh things are better this week, maybe things will be different” , just keep reminding yourself that this is the pattern. It will save you the heartbreak each time he lets you down. If I were you, I’d start cultivating things outside of the relationship, seeing friends, taking up a hobby etc. There is nothing to be lost by enriching yourself.

    3 people found this helpful
  28. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5908 posts
    31 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained
    Hi emotionallydrained,

    It sounds like a highly stressful situation - it does not sound like you are being selfish. We're sorry to hear that you're having to cope with so much. If you have the feeling you are living in fear, it might be a sign that your boundaries are not being respected.

    If you need some support we would strongly urge that you contact 1800RESPECT. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 

    If you are not ready to speak to someone yet, it might be helpful to you to take a look at some online resources around controlling behaviour in relationships from trusted resources such as 1800 RESPECT or Relationships Australia. For example, this is a Relationships Australia page on "Domestic and family violence - controlling and violent relationships" - https://www.relationships.org.au/relationship-advice/relationship-advice-sheets/relationship-difficulties-1/domestic-and-family-violence-controlling-and-violent-relationships

    Or, "How to set boundaries in relationships" - https://www.raq.org.au/blog/how-set-boundaries-relationships

    We hope that you've found some comfort in the kind words of the community. Please feel free to keep us updated whenever you feel up to it.
    3 people found this helpful
  29. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15281 posts
    1 September 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hello Emotionallydrained, I've read all the replies which have all been very good, but if I can say, is that you're not disrespecting MI but know and realise that unless he seeks the help he needs, it would be impossible for you and your child to continue living under these conditions by emotional and physical (spitting) abuse.

    The world can not function around a person's irrational beliefs and cause you and your child to abide by them when you don't agree.

    If you abide by his demands then your chance of developing your child will certainly be weakened.

    I can't tell you what to do, but surely you deserve better and not be controlled by his orders.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    4 people found this helpful
  30. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    1 September 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hi Sleepy21,

    Thank you for your support. Unfortunately my awareness and insight is only a recent thing... say the last year or 2, but I've only just started to act on it and seek advice and comfort. I too thought it was me and I wasn't being supportive enough and I was the problem. But I can see the only thing I did wrong was enable the behaviour from the start. It's been over 10 years, probably creeping up to 12.

    I just don't know how to approach it or even talk about how I am feeling. I know I won't articulate it right and I know it'll go one of 2 ways. He'll dismiss it or get angry and throw the toys out of the cot. Being a person who likes to be in control, I fear it needs to be his decision or his doing. I just need to be prepared to be told I'll never change or I'm just like *insert person of the week he dislikes here* and playing a victim.

    History says that day is coming whether it be a week or 6 months. I'm just living in anxiety stressed about how it'll all play out and worried about whether I'll be strong enough to say enough is enough when it does happen. I've always backed down before.

    I've lived waiting for the day it changes for good. There's been changes and some big ones on his part and he will bring those up each time, but the anger he can display toward me and the hurtful things he can say in a moment of anger I can't forget. I'm sad most the time and he asks what's wrong, but I've just shut down because when I've tried to talk it just someone ends up about him. His troubles, his battles. Sometimes I just need a hug but he can't give me that either because affection is too risky because he might be sick tomorrow. He thinks he's protecting me, but I've realised he's really trying to protect himself and the guilt he'd feel if he got me sick (.00001% chance because he's not sick!) I've tried so many times to reassure him, explain there is no risk... but the fear is greater so it's easier not to challenge it.

    1 person found this helpful

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