I know this feels so complex, and you are dealing with a great deal of guilt due to your A and your behavior afterwards. Here is the thing about your situation though, and it is pretty simple: you are in an extremely abusive relationship. You are very much in the domestic violence cycle. Though you feel your WH's actions are justified, they aren't any more than any other man who hits a woman. Men sit in jail all the time for beating up their partners and every single one of them was falsely accused or aggravated by their evil partner. They all have a "really good excuse" for why they beat the &*%$ out someone they are supposed to love. The saddest part of all of it is that the women, the victims, will often agree that they must have done something to cause the violence. It is a really awful cycle.
Call a DV hotline. Every state has one and the volunteers and staff who man them are trained in domestic violence and how to deal with situations like yours. At the present, you are holding a ticking time bomb. He will hit you again, the question is whether or not he will kill you or permanently injure you this time.
I spent years volunteering at shelters and over hotlines, picking women up who managed to escape. There are people who can help you. They can get you to a shelter, you can file a restraining order against him, and get a divorce. I know this is hard to hear because you love him; but this isn't you giving up on him or your marriage, this is you choosing to live.
Please, please see to yourself and your safety. Your husband is abusive and controlling. He is showing the classic behavior of an abuser who is trying to isolate his spouse from any outside support.
No one deserves to be physically harmed or treated this way. No one.
I am fearful as to what he might do when you leave. Please consider contacting a local domestic abuse hotline and battered women's shelter when you leave. The next time he leaves a mark, please go to the doctor/hospital and tell them the truth. Though I hope you leave before that happens. A battered women's shelter can help you while you get on your feet.
Thank you all so much for your support. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
She suggested getting together a ready bag with some basic essentials - cash/prepaid card, prepaid phone, pepper spray, spare toiletries - and having it ready away from the house. I'll be starting that process today. I already have the bag, just need to get everything else together.
Things are very calm right now so it's a good time to get prepared. I'm not going to let myself believe everything's going to be okay like I always have before. I know this is just the calm before another storm.
As an aside, my husband was diagnosed bipolar not long after d-day. Other than a brief time taking Abilify, he's never been on any mood stabilizers, just AD's. He's taking Wellbutrin right now, which is a great upper, but someone who's bipolar doesn't need uppers so I know his meds aren't helping.
My insides are just all knotted up with anxiety right now.
Just saw your thread and wanted to say that I agree you should take yourself to a safe place at once. There will be plenty of time to sort out your feelings once you are there.
I wanted to suggest a book by Lundy Bancroft, called Should I Stay or Should I Go. He also wrote Why Does He Do That?
Please take care, it sounds like you have a lot to work through for yourself right now. Never mind the M for the time being, you need to feel safe and you need to be healthy - mentally, physically, and spiritually.
My birth certificate is with my mother (I still have to ask her for copies when I need one), and our marriage license is in my car. He rarely leaves the house, except for doctor visits, so my car is as safe a hiding place as any.
I know there's a women's shelter in town somewhere; I shop at their resale shop all the time. I have no idea where the actual shelter is, though, which I guess is the point. My H may know where it is since this is his hometown, but sure they wouldn't let him in if they knew the situation? It's such a good ole boys' club here that I don't talk to anyone about personal stuff anymore. There's a good chance anyone I talk to is either related to, grew up with, babysat, married into at one point, or somehow knows my H's family.
Incidentally, I realized when the arguments started back up again after so much time of peace. It was when I started back to school and was less physically available to him. I guess he could feel his grip loosening; even one of my teachers said last semester that she noticed a change in me from the previous semester, that I seemed more confident. Just another clue, I guess.
Lyonesse, thank you for the book recs. I'll definitely need to check those out soon. I've been reading quite a bit online about abuse, narcissism, and sociopathy as well.
In an ironic twist, I started reading up when he started calling me a narcissist and a sociopath, and I realized how much of my husband I saw in the descriptions. I think he's what you would call a "covert narc;" everyone who meets him just adores him. Women literally flirt shamelessly with him right in front of me, or they would when we actually went out together. His ex still contacts him on occasion and wore her engagement ring for years after they broke up, only taking it off finally when we started dating three years later. I just wonder if anyone else has ever seen the parts of him that I have.
Once I've made all my preparations, what's my next step? Do I tell him? Do I leave him a letter while he's sleeping and just leave? Crickets? I'm afraid if I just disappear, he'll report me missing to the police, and I certainly don't want that. I hate the thought of just waking up for work and never coming back home.
This really sucks.
So he calls the police. If they show up at your work, you politely explain that you left your abusive husband. They won't make you talk to him. If you work in town and he can get to your place of work, you are going to need to let your employer know what is going on. Look into the temporary restraining order. I would also look into getting a job in a new town. If things are as you describe, he will make your life a living hell.
I'm sorry. Your safety must be paramount. He isn't going to change.
It wouldn't be difficult at all for him to lure me back to him because that's where I want to be. I just don't want to be with the person he turns into. I want to be with the man I fell in love with. I guess I have to accept that that man either never existed or is dead now because I haven't seen him in a very long time. I see glimpses of him now and then, like now when he's being sweet and kind. That's a big reason for me to have a backup phone, so he won't have my number, and I can block his.
/sigh NC=No New Hurts. That will have to become my motto soon.
It's times like this that I see how much I really take after my mother. When I think about just up and leaving, the first thought I have is how *rude* that feels. Isn't that insane?
Seriously though, nothing makes an abuser more angry than a partner who dares to leave. Once you are gone, be a ghost.
He says his illness is a result of my actions, my karma, because I (cruelly, I know) swore on his life when I was still lying. He still won't see a doctor, just wants to let nature take its course. I've wondered for a while if he was pulling my leg about that too.
This guy has had so many strikes, he just plain is O-U-T out.
Immediately go to the police station and file a report. When next he touches you in any abusive way, call the police, press charges.
Who cares what happened with you in theory beating him up? You beat the crap out of him? Sister, you didn't beat him hard enough, because he is still full of sh*t.
Save yourself, bail on this POS. And don't look back.
A good stretch just means we aren't talking about my infidelity so we're not having the same conversation/argument for a several hundredth time. It can last anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks. He's being wonderful and kind, we're watching TV (something we rarely do anymore), he's letting me go to sleep at night instead of keeping me up all night arguing.
I never know when the end of that stretch comes until I lie down to go to sleep, and you could cut the tension with a machete. Then the question, "Is there anything you want to talk about?" Well, no, actually, at this time of night when I have to work in the morning, when we've had all day to talk, when we've had the exact same conversation for years with no resolutions to your satisfaction, no, there isn't anything I'd like to talk about. I can't say that though so it's marathon time. The end of the good time is usually signalled by his taking a late evening nap, even just a few minutes long. He'll kiss me tenderly, tell me he loves me, fall asleep, and wake up in a totally different mood. No idea how much of that is bipolar and how much of that is just his anger coming through.
I will absolutely check in regularly. You all have taken so much time and energy to help me see the reality of my situation that I owe you the peace of mind to know it's not in vain.
And bitter, thank you very much for the link. I will try to read it sometime today while I'm at work. Fridays are always hectic in the retail world, but I can usually carve out some time for myself. Having my own office has its perks.
Also, I'm off work tomorrow (Saturday) so I won't be able to post as much, but I will make it a point to at least check in during the day.