Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page
Forums Threads Posts Last reply
Welcome and orientation

Anxious about posting? Drop in here to say hi, we'd like to get to know you. In here you'll find lots of newbies, info about how the forums work, and you can give us suggestions on how to make things better around here.

4297 25975
by mmMekitty
9 hours ago
Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers)

Space for sharing tips on supporting a partner, family member or friend with a mental health condition, and seeking support for your own wellbeing with other carers.

2340 14989
by Sophie_M
1 hour ago
Relationship and family issues

Anything to do with managing relationships and family, including parenting, separation, loneliness, divorce, family, and friendships.

5961 43817

Space for discussion of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, and eating disorders.

6182 43212
by Petal22
1 hour ago

Space for discussion of major depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymic and dysthymic disorders, and BPD (borderline personality disorder).

5340 39735
by Bob_22
2 hours ago
Young people

Space for people aged 12-25 to discuss life and wellbeing issues. If you are aged over 25, please be mindful that this forum is a space for younger people to connect and provide peer support for each other.

3914 20997
by Croix
1 day and 7 hours ago
Grief and loss

Support following the bereavement of a family member, partner, spouse or someone close to you.

680 4402
by Ggrand
2 days and 2 hours ago

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

  1. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    20 February 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    I haven't been back in a while. I honestly don't know what to write or say. I've been trying to move on as it seems the abusive behaviour for the most part has stopped. He even went as far as to apologise and said what he did all those times was wrong because a chat with someone showed him that he'd been in the wrong. It took me by surprise as it was out of the blue. This is usually what every wife wants to hear, but for some reason I can't move on.

    There's still the controlling behaviours there like limiting behaviours or actions or events that could put us at risk of getting sick - but that's justified under his MI condition. When I do try and bring up things that are still bothering me, I do get met with responses that somehow make me close up again. I don't feel I can have open communication most the time unless it's what he wants to hear. This could also just be my perception. I'm still protective and defensive of myself. I guess I'm still hurting.

    I keep having thoughts of being alone and how much I just want to be alone so I can make my own decisions without having to worry about what it could mean. But every time I've been asked if I still love him or there's been a fight and he's threatened to leave, I've either said I do still love him or I've fought to stay. As soon as the carrot is there, I can't take it. Maybe deep down I don't want to? But looking into my heart, it doesn't feel anything. Will this return? Can I get back the initial love and move on or am I too scarred? Is it me now blocking having a happy family again? I feel like I'm now the one doing the hurting and I'm definitely the one causing the issues. I have forgiven but I still can't forget enough to move on.

    What do I do? Has anyone been in this situation and what did you do? I'm just numb to it all now.

    4 people found this helpful
  2. 815
    815 avatar
    211 posts
    1 March 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi ED,

    I am glad to hear that the abusive behaviour has stopped for the most part. This is a big thing.

    I am said to hear though, that this does not make you happy.

    "I'm still protective and defensive of myself. I guess I'm still hurting."
    This line - it pulls at my heartstrings so much ED. I know you have been following my updates and our progress. But I still feel this. However for me, as time goes on, I feel my defenses lowering, I feel the hurt starting to heal. But I am still cautious. So I understand a little of how you feel.

    I don't know that there is much I can advise for you. But have you thought about speaking someone for yourself, to talk through your own issues? I know we have mentioned this before, but even a visit to your GP to start with? And maybe, I don't know if this is something you've already considered, but perhaps relationship counselling together? Just some thoughts from my own experience I guess.

    Just know that we are all here for you in whatever way we can be on the forums. Please take care.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    2 March 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hey ED

    It's totally understandable you feel this way.
    It's like you've got your successful (to a point) protective mechanisms in place and bec his behaviours ARE still there, even though diminished somewhat, you're still protecting yourself.

    You can only do this for X long until you need to become numb to it all.

    Yes I've been in similar but found out some really heavy stuff and ended the marriage.
    It was my "reasons for escape" and then I kept on finding out worse and more over time over how much he'd infiltrated my personal accounts etc.

    For years I felt the "marriage" was in limbo.
    Maybe well over a decade but thinking back it was ALWAYS like this.
    He just used manipulation stuff to draw me back in.

    But I never felt truly "connected" to him.
    There was sex but zero intimacy.
    I thought it would grow over the years.
    But his MIs will always prevent this for him.

    It's going to be difficult for you to feel you can trust him again.
    I don't see the point either bec he keeps doing his things and simply doesn't see the point of changing his behaviours towards you.
    He's using his MIs as an excuse, we both know that. He probably does too!

    Another sad thing is to see your unhappiness still.

    I feel that beautiful freedom now that the "marriage" is over and done with.
    I'm still getting used to moving about the home without judgement or criticism, but I'm thinking of exHs words less and less, sometimes weeks between now, yay.

    As your child becomes older... you may see a way to get out, even if you had marriage Counselling now, and H and you stayed with it for a long while, I'm still not sure if your feelings would return.
    They might but if he won't come to the party with Counselling, well IDK.

    Counselling doesn't guarantee a FIX in a damaged marriage anyway but it CAN help!

    Bestest wishes
    Love EM

    2 people found this helpful
  4. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    14 April 2021 in reply to ecomama

    Thank you 815 and EM.

    Your support and always being there with a response means so much. I honestly feel I can't talk to anyone else.

    I've spoken to the support lines a couple of times but only to get clarification on what was happening. I can't physically go to a Dr because of his issue with me putting myself at risk (of getting sick) when I don't need to. I could do online and then get a referral for an online person - but he's already said we don't have the $$. I manage the finances and we could make it work. I don't know if I can do it at no cost?

    But a recent incident has shown me what he sees and how he truly believes I'm not really a victim and what he's done is "not as bad as other DV victims". We had another fight where I tried to take back a little bit of control over something pretty small. I've been reading a lot and it says how you need to set boundaries (I know you all know this lol) and create rules and instances where you don't back down so you can show that you have rights and boundaries too. I did this and was met with aggression (he did have a tough week at work and was stressed, so maybe I shouldn't have pushed the issue) to the point where he slammed the car door and stormed off toward the shops we were going to. He threatened to do something that would kill or severely injure himself! I was the one who then had to retreat and talk him back to the car. It took 30 minutes of talking and me trying to then explain myself but eventually backing down.
    The part that really got to me was when I said about being a DV victim and being mentally and emotionally scarred still and trying to pick myself back up again ALONE because I had no one to talk to, I felt all he did was put it down and dismiss it. He has a big thing about people "playing the victim card" and victim mentality, so he assumes that I am in that crowd - when I'm not. I try to play it down if anything. I didn't even think of myself as a victim until I sought help. But physical, emotional and verbal abuse is DV. But because I have control over our finances and he lets me see my family, he's not like "all the others". I said there were varying levels and you don't have to tick every box for it to be DV.

    But in short, I apparently need to forgive because I haven't moved on and gotten over it and still causing an issue from last year! I said I had forgiven because I was still here, but I am still hurt and emotionally and mentally affected...

  5. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    6608 posts
    14 April 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained
    Hi emotionallydrained,

    It's great to see that you've made some valuable connections here in the community. We're so sorry that your partner has been so dismissive and aggressive. Please know that your experience is valid, you are not 'playing the victim card'. It makes perfect sense that you are still hurting and affected by trauma. Aggressive, manipulative behaviour is not healthy, and you deserve to be treated with care and respect.

    We'd recommend that you get in touch with 1800RESPECT to talk this over. The counsellors are lovely and can give you some support and advice. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or visit  https://www.1800respect.org.au/

    Please know you can reach out here anytime you feel up to it. 
    1 person found this helpful
  6. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    14 April 2021 in reply to Sophie_M
    Thank you Sophie. I will give them a call when I can because I do need to speak to someone about that incident and get some advice.
  7. Juliet_84
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Juliet_84 avatar
    713 posts
    14 April 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotionallydrained,

    As someone who was once in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship myself, I hear a lot of myself in you. Your husband seems very comfortable in using his illness as a means of controlling and keeping you in line, and the focus always seems to be on his needs. Can I ask, what is he actually doing about his illness? Is he seeing a specialist or receiving treatment with the view of taking meaningful steps at getting better? The reason that I ask is that most (almost all) people with an illness, be it physical or mental need to see a specialist, take medications and steps to manage their illness. Whereas I almost feel as if he is making it so you just need to accommodate his every request, and if you don’t then you are blamed for not being understanding of his illness while he does nothing about it. Another thing that I l noticed in you post is that seem to not trust yourself, as though you are seeking validation from him that this is abuse and that he will confirm your perception. In my experience, this is something that is unlikely to happen. Even when faced with irrefutable evidence, such as physical violence, my partner would deny and duck and weave and gaslight and minimize and question my recollection of events, as if we have some reason to distort the truth and aren’t devastated by it all. But it’s very common for domestic violence perpetrators to minimize, deny or explain away their behavior, which is why individual counseling is so ineffective and group counseling is preferred where other members challenge their behaviors. My point being, you don’t need to question yourself, listen to your gut, if it doesn’t feel right then it usually isn’t. You don’t need someone else to validate your experience for it to be real. I hope I haven’t overstepped the mark, but I can hear the uncertainty in your voice and I am hoping that I may at least be able to offer some clarity on some things based on my experience.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    14 April 2021 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hi Juliet,

    Thank you. You haven't overstepped at all and I didn't think of it like that and didn't realise they don't see it that way. I appreciate your comments and taking the time to speak to me.

    I agree with the counselling and do think that a place where we can be challenged by a third party and he can hear it from someone else how I am feeling would be of benefit. I just don't think he will go. In fact, I know he won't. When I have tried to bring it up he says we don't need to, you just need to stop being nasty and looking for a fight all the time. He says he can't change the past but acknowledges it was wrong. I now he's just referring to the physical side of it and he doesn't believe he emotionally abuses me or restricts me.

    He believes I just don't support his illness enough and try and belittle it or make fun of it when I try and question something or try and push the boundaries a little to where I think they should be. His fear is always an overriding factor and I know it's always worse when those fears are challenged or he's stressed. When he's comfortable, all is ok and he's a great guy.

    He was seeking help, but he's had several people and been on medications before (for depression not the anxiety) and they've not helped he said. They've made him feel worse. He's a tough person and managed on his own. To his credit, he's done pretty well and no one really knows he has an issue outside of family, but that's because I do enable a lot of the things that could present an issue (like an event) and make them easier for him by either not going or by taking measures to make it safer.

    You're right about the uncertainty, because when I try to talk about it, I'm met with it's my fault because I try and look for a fight and I'm using his illness against him.

  9. Guest_1643
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_1643 avatar
    4854 posts
    14 April 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    hey there :)

    i relate to a lot of what ur going through

    i wander if this is a common stance ppl take who don't want to take accountability for their behaviour - a real anger at those who they see as "playing the victim"

    my family say that a lot - they don't like ppl who are victims and think everyone needs to pull their boot straps up or whatever and just get on with it and be tough

    i wander if in ur case (and mine too) you aren't playing the victim and no one he's saying is doing that truly is, it's just a classic gas-light, to make u doubt if you're being oversensitive.
    Having emotions is human. When told by someone else that yours are "too much" and "not warrented" it can be pretty harmful and damaging. Getting in touch with ur feelings may be helpful - it can be anger, sadness etc...
    I sometimes allow time to cry in the shower. It was scary at first, but after a while it became a healthy way to feel.

    I'm pro-feeling. Yes to feeling. Let the feelings out. And I think trying to stop someone from feeling or expressing any feelings can be very damaging.
    I hope u are okay and am concerned for you. It doesn't sound like a very safe relationship.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    14 April 2021 in reply to Guest_1643

    Thank you :) I'm sorry to hear you've had battles as well. xx

    I too allow myself time to cry in the shower. It's a release and then I put my big girl pants on face the day. I have had a gift of being able to forgive and forget a lot of things easily and I've now taken to writing events down as they happen because I do forget them. It was a blessing at first because I was also able to move on quickly and not let myself be hurt. But then I realised I was allowing the cycle to continue and it was actually affecting me - taking a small piece each time. Now I'm more aware of it, I think that is what is causing the problems becuase I am more combative back and I am almost the non caring wife now because I've become so immune to it all.

    He thinks because I'm not the scared wife that I'm not a victim. If I was truly scared I wouldn't fight back or "cause arguments". I'm not a confrontational person but I am someone who defends themselves - moreso now than I ever did because I've become conditioned to being attacked - whether deliberately or subconsciously. My reaction is to withdraw and I do. I am quiet a lot of the time and don't really initiate the conversation. It's lucky because most the time we talk about his work or events of the day.

    I know I'm making him out a monster, and he's not most the time. His illness has allowed fear, anger and stress to manifest and it's controlling. He has dealt with a lot of people in his life who are genuinely playing a victim when they are infact the perpetrators, so I can see why he's jaded with that. But I know I'm not and that's what hurts too.

  11. 815
    815 avatar
    211 posts
    15 April 2021

    Hi ED,

    I'm glad you have come back here to provide an update. Although I am saddened by what has happened. However maybe in a way, these few incidents have been what you have needed to try and seek some support for yourself, and see things how they truly are.

    Just on the relationship counselling, I'm sure I've mentioned this before so apologies for repeating myself. I honestly didn't think my husband would go either. I told him that we can't seem to fix things on our own, and that we both needed help to do that, and that's when I asked if he would see a relationship counsellor with me. He said yes so I booked us an appointment and told him the details. I left it up to him to decide whether our marriage was worth fixing.

    I don't think I am in a position to provide any sort of advice to you right now. However please do know that I am here and thinking about you and hoping that you will get the right support from those on here, and those around you, to make the right choices for you to find happiness for yourself again. Whatever that outcome may be.

  12. Juliet_84
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Juliet_84 avatar
    713 posts
    15 April 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotionallydrained,

    I’m glad you took my perspective on things in the way that it was intended 😊 there’s always a worry about overstepping the mark or being misunderstood when it’s not delivered in person. I think that is what a lot of people don’t understand about domestic violence or controlling behavior (and also probably don’t understand why people stay), rarely is the person as “bad” as we have been led to believe. Instead they can be loving caring people at times, but often have very poor coping techniques and also some unhealthy underlying thought patterns.
    Like you, I was always accused of “not being some shrinking wallflower” as I would always call my partner out when I was treated badly. But I’m glad I did as it’s important to hold people accountable for their poor treatment of you, letting people get away with it only allows that behavior to go on and get worse.
    Part of the problem is that you are expected to meet all of your husbands needs, while he ignored yours. I hear you that getting him to therapy is near impossible. Perhaps you may have some luck if you explain that things won’t survive for much longer if you don’t? I find when people are forced to confront the alternative they may consider it? The other problem with therapy that I’ve found is that your partner may then try and manipulate the situation and become the “expert” at home. Perhaps do some research into counselors with specialist in domestic violence and have a call with them before you go. The other thing is that you may actually benefit from seeing someone individually if he refuses to go, and if you go without him the desire to control the situation and what is going on may actually lure him there?

  13. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    15 April 2021 in reply to Juliet_84

    Thank you both 815 and Juliet. I appreciate all your advice and support. I don't have much support close to me, in fact, none in the same state. I have my family and my best friend 2 states away - so it's just phone calls. When I do see my parents, it's all happy because I'm just so happy they're here. Only my best friend knows half of it - she is the one I speak to about all this and I haven't even divulged the full extent. She definitely knows enough to get the picture.

    I guess I'm just struggling with the line between what is being respectful and respecting your partner's needs/wishes/feelings and what is worth defying that? I always try to respect people and am very accepting - I try and see the good in people and usually play devils advocate in defending someone's actions - unless they're just blatantly wrong! He thinks I defend everyone except him and I only argue with him. It might be true to some extent, but I thought about it and read something where it said I'm probably not so combative to family or friends because they haven't wronged me or spoken poorly to me. Rightly or wrongly, we react to perceived attacks.

  14. Guest_1643
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_1643 avatar
    4854 posts
    15 April 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    "he thinks i defend everyone but him"

    Why is it a competetion? Between him and them?
    U can defend ppl and that doesn't take away from defending him

    I remember when I was in an abusive relationship I went backpacking alone and stayed in a friends place that was vacant while she was on break. I had to get let in by a neighbour.
    I went up to the neigbours door and saw her as she was just coming home from work. She said we'd go into her place together and get the key - and her husband opened the door for us. He had a beautiful smile, a lot of tatoos and had one of their kids on both arms. "Hi beautiful" he said to her.

    I thought it was such a beautiful image, her coming home from a hard day and having her man at home with the kids, warmly welcoming her. I told my boyfriend and he became crazy jealous that I was sexually attracted to the man and that it was inappropriate.

    He'd say that also - i'm nice and warm to everyone but him.

    I feel like - why is he trying to empty from your cup of kindness and take it all for himself.

    Ur allowed to give your warmth and kindness to ppl other than ur partner. That is not unfair. That's humanity

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Guest_1643
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_1643 avatar
    4854 posts
    15 April 2021 in reply to Guest_1643
    p.s. i wasn't interested in the man at all i was just struck by how beautiful they both seemed and nice to each other, and the idea of coming home to someone who had just taken care of ur kids all day seemed beautiful to me at the time. I still feel upset about myself as if I have done something wrong :( that was how he had made me feel. So I can understand to some extent.
    1 person found this helpful
  16. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    15 April 2021 in reply to Guest_1643

    That is such a beautiful image of the man with the kids greeting his wife after a hard day.

    I can't believe he'd be jealous over that... I can see you were just observing what love can be like and what is wasn't for you.

    I think I miss that too and know it's never going to be back in our relationship anytime soon, if ever... I can't even get a kiss because of his phobia. We have sex but it's no kissing because he can't - I feel like Pretty Woman just doing the act without the emotion. And he always instigates because I'm never in the mood these days and I usually say no... but give in because he needs it or he wants to be nice to me. Again, guilted into it. I do wish things were normal and once upon a time they were, but I can't see them going back and that's a problem too.

    I feel so guilty saying all this. He's mostly a good man and does a lot for us, but he doesn't see how actions or inactions are hurting me and my mental health and when I bring it up I'm being difficult or making fun of his illness. That's where I come unstuck, where is the line between respecting the illness and being potentially selfish on my part?

  17. 815
    815 avatar
    211 posts
    16 April 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi ED,

    I just wanted to say this after reading your last post - you need to put yourself first sometimes too.

    And it is similar to what Juliet was saying, you can defend other people, or you can comment or observe love between other people that might not be how your love is - and that shouldn't take away from being able to defend a partner, or how much you love your partner.

    I've had a similar conversation with my husband lately when he was upset that I picked up my phone to reply to msgs. He was upset because he felt less important than whoever I was replying to. When I spoke to him about it, I told him that I understand that he was upset and angry and I didn't expect him not to be, because his feelings in the situation are valid. However I also wanted him to know that just because I picked up my phone, it does not mean he is any less of a priority or that I care any less. I think after sometime he understood this and was willing to move forward.

    You can take time for yourself, and that doesn't mean that you care or love him or support him any less. And if he thinks that, then I'm not sure what else you can do. Because the truth of it is, you probably can't support him in the way he needs if you aren't happy for yourself. You need to be supported in this too.

  18. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    10 May 2021 in reply to 815

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to pop back in and say thank you to everyone who has supported me and been there to listen when I have needed it the most.

    I have an update that is good news... in short... it all came to a head one night where I got the courage to say what I needed to say and had been feeling but hadn't been given the chance to say.

    The night before I had made my mind up that I would get up the courage to leave - the next argument would be the last and I would say as much. I was calm and at peace with my decision for the first time ever. No anxiety. The the very next day something happened that was not what I was expecting. He came to me and admitted he'd made huge mistakes and that he was sorry and asked if I could forgive him.

    I said all the things that had hurt me, I explained how my trust and faith had been broken and that I had been broken. I said that I had wanted to leave. He hugged me for the first time in months and apologised!

    I have no idea what came over him or what happened. I had been praying for peace and an answer and thought the night before where I was at peace with my decision was it. Then the curve ball literally out of no where.

    Things have been so different since that night, we are talking, he's relaxed and he's making a conscious effort to try.

    There is still a long road, and a road of healing for me, but I still feel at peace and I've not cried since that night and we've not fought either. There's still a lot to work on, but it's looking better.

    Thank you so much again everyone for your support! You're all wonderful people to freely give your time and come onto this forum because you care. I will be here reading other people's posts and helping where I can to pay it forward.

    1 person found this helpful
  19. 815
    815 avatar
    211 posts
    11 May 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi ED,

    I am SO pleased to read your update! It really made me smile to know that after all this time things are starting to change for the better.

    Life can be a bit funny like that. You think you know where you're headed and then something else comes along.

    I know it will take time for your heart to heal, but at least the healing has started and you are healing together with your husband.

    I just want to thank you for all the support you have provided me throughout my journey too. It has been invaluable. I'm glad you'll still be in and around the forums as I will be too, like you, paying things forward.

    Take care and I do hope to hear more updates from you from time to time also.

  20. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    13 July 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    I think I'm the one with the problem.

    Thigs were looking up and improving and we had a good chat. But 2 months later I'm finding myself feeling unhappy again. The happiness was short lived for me.

    Nothing bad of note has happened. Not like had happened before. He's made a real conscious effort to change and control his anger.

    But I guess from all the reading I've done, there are instances and traits that are still flagging for me. I can't even put my finger on them. At the time I know that they affect me, but when I come to reflect or think back, I can't even remember what I was angered about or it must have been in my mind.

    I still feel lost. I still find myself wishing I was alone and not in this relationship anymore. I look at him and I sometimes think I don't want to be here anymore. I have forgiven for the past. I am not angry at that anymore, but I still can't forget. I don't want to punish him, but I am now the one with the anger issues. I am a full glass that spills every time someone knocks it.

    He has his intimacy drive back, but I don't. I have no interest in being intimate. Maybe because that is still no kissing or anything I like before hand. It's either what he tells me I want/need or just straight into it. I'm back in the going through the motions and I can tell I'm not happy. I lack motivation and inspiration.

    I used to be a really bubbly, happy person. I'm not that person anymore and I don't know if I can be while in this relationship because what I need to be that person he can't let me do.

    I don't know if it's because I've been conditioned to hold back and question things for fear of getting in trouble or upsetting him. Or if I'm just making issues that aren't there.

    I feel like I have PTSD or something. I'm triggered so easily and he can't understand why. He thinks it should all be ok now because he's changed.

    I'm wondering if I don't want it to be fixed. I think I left in my heart a while ago and I'm not sure how or if I want it back and what that looks like. There are still compromises there with his anxiety issues and I feel like I've been living this for 10 years. I'm tired.

    Covid hasn't helped and has triggered me even more. To me, I've been living covid restrictions for a decade and I am sick of being questioned and told what I should want to do, not what I do want to do.

  21. Guest_3256
    Guest_3256 avatar
    324 posts
    14 July 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi there emotionallydrained.

    I have read some of your posts and I can only imagine how you are feeling in regards to your situation. Really glad to hear that your Husband is improving. Keeping in mind that your health is important, you both are. There is an array of support available for people who are experiencing difficulties in their life and even relationship/ life coaches. Anyone can learn to be a better partner, understanding that no one are perfect and we all need to learn to love each other flaws.

    I'd like to also share with you that I was once in a similar situation. Something that helped me is that abuse comes on many different levels and that sometimes we need to not change our partners, we need to develop ourselves to be better people. When we lose track of our own emotions and thoughts, we can build up resentment which deteriorates our relationships and causes unnecessary anxiety and stress.

    The most important thing to know is that healthy relationships means accepting our partner for who they are and learning to grow together in sync. We must accept their flaws, even when we are not perfect.

    Please focus on your own healthy and learn to make yourself happy - only you can do that. :)

  22. Fiatlux
    Fiatlux avatar
    127 posts
    14 July 2021


    people "playing the victim card"

    My abuser has said that and more when I try to stand up to him or set boundaries.

    My abuser must have a copy of the abusers gaslighting handbook too.

    I don’t mean to sound flippant, but when I give the reason for not wanting to reconcile as I have been subjected to 30+ years of DV, my abuser somehow believes that I have recovered from DV and if he has not assaulted me for a little while, that he is a good husband, father and human, so, hey, I am ready to return to our awful marriage.

    He doesn’t respect me and refuses to acknowledge the extent of his abuse. He lies to his Counsellor.

    We have been separated and living apart for 2 years but he refuses to Divorce and will not accept that I am done.

    I have to put myself and my own mental health first. And for the very first time in my life.

    Somehow, stay strong.

  23. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    20 July 2021 in reply to Guest_3256

    Hi Jsua,

    Thank you. Yes, I do try and accept them. I'm mostly an accepting and forgiving person and one that usually makes excuses for people to give the benefit of the doubt. I also did this for him a lot too. He doesn't see it that way though. I have been more critical the last few year and I think that is mostly because my mental health has deteriorated so much that it's caused me to feel resentment at the life that I feel I've missed.

    I feel I've become a shell of who I was. I know I can seek help and speak to counsellors and psychs, but I fear I'll be wasting their time as all the self help things that get suggested I can't really do. Doing the things that I want to do and living the life I want to live pushes his anxiety and causes the issues that cause fights. We have to remain so protected to preserve his bubble that I can't really do a lot. Not that restrictions help with that anyway. Basically imagine living Covid for over 10 years - always being mindful of what you do and being told not to go somewhere because you could get sick. That's been life. So when all this started, it triggered even more resentment because now all his reasonings are being echoed by everyone else and I'm now being told no I can't do something by even more people.
    I guess it all has to be put on hold anyway because none of us can really do anything about anything because we're all marred by restrictions. What's another 12 months.

  24. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • 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
    smallwolf avatar
    6176 posts
    20 July 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi. This might not the best analogy but here goes...

    Do you see your current life like an old pair of slippers. You know what they feel like and what to expect. There is certainty and you know how to cope of deal with it.

    Taking that step and moving out is a leap into uncertainty. And that is the scary part. How will or would you cope?

    Something that might be easy to say and perhaps logical appears to have many barriers. What the head says vs the heart can be two different things. At the same time you have shown great strength and courage in telling your story here.

    And I cannot tell you what to do either. Except that at some point you have to put your own health first?

    1 person found this helpful
  25. 815
    815 avatar
    211 posts
    26 July 2021

    Hi ED,

    I don't often check this particular forum so I'm sorry I haven't posted here sooner.

    I'm really sorry to hear that you're not feeling so great about things. I don't really have anything useful to write. I am feeling a little tired and weary myself right now.

    But I did want you to know that I am reading your posts and hoping for the best. You should know that your happiness is important. I do hope you find that again soon.

    Take care.

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Juliet_84
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Juliet_84 avatar
    713 posts
    26 July 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotionallydrained,

    Welcome back to the forums although I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. That being said, it’s perhaps not unsurprising. When people reach the end of their tether with a relationship, or abuse etc, it can be difficult to come back from that. It’s a cumulative effect and when you finally say “enough” you really mean that in as far as “no more”. Any behaviors that you now see that remind you of past behaviors trigger you all over again and remind you of what is wrong with this person and this relationship. You’ve been hurt a lot and so your heart had almost become hardened to this person out of self-preservation. You don’t have a sex drive or desire intimacy with the person who has hurt you because if you let your guard down and trust him he may disappoint you all over again, as well as the fact that men like that find it difficult to be soft and caring with their partner. The problem is that people rarely change immediately, it takes time and there may be slip ups along the way. And some just find they can’t change, it is not an easy thing to do. I suppose you have to consider whether you can cope with that process or whether you’ve had enough and can’t come back from it. You don’t have to make any decisions now, but you can take your time and see whether it’s enough for you or some of your feelings return.

    1 person found this helpful
  27. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    5 August 2021 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Smallwolf,

    Thank you for your comments. Yes, it is comfortable and I am familiar with it. There is an element of security and every time I have a chance to say "I'm done" I tense up and fear overcomes me. He is really trying and I know I need to try more... but I'm still so triggered by so many things like a PTSD. I didn't realise how much it affected me. But what's been happening the last 18 months hasn't helped and only affected my MH more. As I'm sure it has for everyone. I don't have the answers either.

  28. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    5 August 2021 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    Thank you for checking in. I'm so grateful to you that you can find the time to check in on me when you have so much on your plate. I hope you are ok and things are improving. I know it is so hard and draining. I think it's a positive that you and your husband were able to address it and work on it so early into it and not let it manifest.

    I am tired a lot of days. I do think a lot of it is me. I know I need to build a bridge and try harder to improve the relationship. In his own way he is doing that and trying to do that but I am not as open or receptive. It's all still a chore for me and being in a relationship shouldn't be a chore. Having sex is a chore. I say I don't want to do it, but he says I'm being mean and unfair and I should want to. Yes, I should want to, but I don't want to be told that. I think I'm just too scared to let my heart back in. I know I'm not "in love" with him anymore and I know my needs will never fully be met. I just have to decide what compromises I'm willing to make.

  29. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    5 August 2021 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hi Juliet,

    Thank you so much for checking in - I appreciate your time and care. This is honestly the only place I can really talk about anything. Life has become so small that there isn't anyone I can talk to in real life.

    You are 100% right in your comments. I am in self preservation mode and survival mode. There is no real reason to leave anymore because things are ok. Not great, but ok. It's actually me who is the one who's not happy. I know if I said I can't do it anymore that he'd be devastated. In his mind, the past is over and won't be repeated again so it's irrelevant now. For me, it's still PTSD. I keep wishing I'd said yes to the many times he'd threatened to leave or any of the times he'd been abusive to me. But I didn't and now I have no reason. If I say or do anything, it will be me who's the bad person and me who's instigated this for no reason at all. Me who didn't forgive or move on.

    But realistically I know I can't support myself and my child alone. I just know I'm not the Mum I want to be or the Mum I need to be and I know I can't in this current environment. I just don't know what to do. I know if I did still love him 100% then it wouldn't be an issue but the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

    Realistically, there's no point making any decisions now with so much up in the air with the world. I know I can't get to see my family and friends any time soon and they won't be able to support me which will make it too hard for them. So best to robot through for now I guess and hope that my own health doesn't deteriorate too much more. I need this covid to end. I need to see my family.

    1 person found this helpful
  30. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    26 September 2021 in reply to emotionallydrained

    So I guess that's it then. The threads a bit dead, so I'll sign off and let others have a go.

    He's apologised, he's changed now. Yes, I'm left holding the emotional baggage and the bad guy if I leave and for not being happy. But it all is what it is isn't it. No one tells you what to do when it's all changed and you just have to forgive it all.

    I'm the one with the negative attitude and making things tense, so I need to work on that. I just need to forget it all and move on because somehow I've now become the perpetrator and he's the victim of my baggage.

    Thanks for those who took an interest. It was good to talk.

    1 person found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.

Sign me up