My husband is an abuser and I still want to stay with him

Reply Sun 6 May, 2012 10:31 pm
The title I have used clearly states my issue...my husband is an abuser and I still want to stay with him but do not know if I should or if it is the right thing to do. By abuser, I mean that he has hit me on numerous occassions and has insulted me on many more. He demeans me only in private and says things that no one with a rational mind should say ( not only about me, but about everyone that plays an important role in his life). He does these abusive things when he falls into rages over seemingly petty subjects. I have noticed that this is all related to control: He is controlling down to the point of my finances and my personal decisions that impact our future-- ie. jobs to take, places to live, things to do. Something to say about me is that I am a vulnerable person and easily influenced by others, and this is not a trait of myself I love. But, he is the person that I have loved more than anyone else and I made a commitment to him, to his family, and to myself in marrying him. However, the man I married is not the man he is today.

The biggest current issue for me is this: two days after returning alone to my hometown for my father's funeral, and in the midstof mourning my father's death, I found out a suspicion I had of him was true: he had cheated on me a few weeks before and had lied to me when I confronted him on it (denying it). My first reaction was to feel the most intense pain I had ever experienced- more severe than the loss of my dad, was that this had occured, and that he had lied about it. Now, after my anger and pain has lessened, and I have cried until I can no longer cry, my thinking takes another turn. I had reacted at first in saying "I will never forgive you for cheating on me," and then, after telling him I wanted a divorce, fell into a period of silence and shock at my confession (I had never thought I would utter the word "divorce," even though I thought it in my head so many times). Now, after the fire has cooled, my thinking has turned into this: I am willing to forgive him because I love him and do not want to loose what goodness we had, or regret leaving him because of the change in our relationship I think we can produce. We have since spoken over the phone (I am still in my hometown) and have had some calm, rational conversation about our needs and wishes. He admitted to me that cheating was the worst thing he could have ever done and that he felt so ashamed and foolish. He admitted that he was willing to come to my hometown to see me (although he despises being here) because he wants to be with me more than anything. My thinking has turned not as much from what he said, but because from a moral perspective, I want to try to fix this relationship and all that comes with it (love, intimacy, affection, and ultimately comraderie- ie. not being alone-- the biggest thing I am scarred of).

There are, however, several other issues on the line: we are both very young (he 24, me almost 23); he is an immigrant and english is his second language, just as his first language is my second language; his family depends on our relationship as a great thing (I contacted his mother explaining all this and she ultimately told me that I needed to be 'an adult' and try to fix this relationship and understand that a relationship is about more than just one person-- indicating that I should also take responsibility for the things that have come to pass); and that my husband is plainly a controlling person. All of my close family and friends tell me to get out of this to protect myself from future harm; they are worried for my safety and wellbeing and tell me that I deserve much better. I plan to see a therapist and have told my husband the only way I will come back to him is if he agrees to do the same. He has agreed, but- actions always speak louder than words. My mother, whom I confide in, only wants my happiness and preaches of the wonderful fulfilling relationships I can have in the future, telling me that she is sure if I don't leave him now, it will happen one day in the future and it will be under much worse circumstances.

In spite of all of this, I am stuck on the 'here and now' and know that the love I have felt and still feel for this man is greater than for anyone else, greater than I have ever known, and it does transcend the violence and abuse he has put me through. I am also a hopeful person and always hope for the best, even if it is not a rational hope. Yet that part deep down inside tells me that I will never be able to fix this trend of his (the cycle of abuse) and that even if I try, he will somehow relent and then blame me for everything. I have great hope in him, but my fear of being hurt is great too. I also fear loneliness more than anything at the same time that I feel that I owe him and his family the love I need to bear for him.

For now, I am in limbo, still in my hometown and far away from harm's way. Yet my heartstrings are pulling me back and it takes every effort not to buy a ticket back to our home.

I need the reader's advice, especially if you know from experience what this is like. What would you do? Is love greater than everything else, and can it ultimately heal all and bring us both happiness?

Can a person who has known intense pain during his life and who therefore inflicts it on his loved ones, give up those habits?
And, how important is this idea of "two people in a relationship"?

Simply do not know what to do. Please help.
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 09:04 am
I would advise you to take your husband to some psychologist. If he does not recover, you should stay away from him. Try to get divorce asap.
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Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 09:21 am
There's almost nothing positive in your post.

As for thinking you will be able to change your husband in some sort of mystical magical way, that is wishful thinking. This is a serious disorder and requires a professional's intervention. Not to mention the fact that the guy should be behind bars. Why, exactly, is it okay for you to be the punching bag for this cheater? If a friend was being hit, wouldn't you think that was wrong? Why is it okay for it to happen to you?

Get counseling for yourself, to determine why you think you are so worthless that you deserve to be smacked around, or why you think you are powerful enough to somehow change someone who needs a professional intervention. Love alone will not do it and he does not love you.
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Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 09:51 am
I'll be honest. I didn't read a word you wrote, except the title. And to be frank.. that's all you needed to say.
My husband is an abuser and I still want to stay with him

You aren't looking for help. There is nothing we can do.
I won't waste my time on the above.
If I'm wrong tell me. I'll reconsider, but I doubt it somehow.
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Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 05:05 pm
I think that you are placing a big emphasis on him being an immigrant and a feel of responsibility of failure to his family as one thing. And, in saying that, therefore, you have listened to the words of his Mother who seems to be trying to place the guilt back onto you, all-be-it that she admits that her son is controlling. She is basically saying, get used to it, get over it and work out your marriage. I don't agree.

I also think that as you are nearly 23, this person that you married possibly has been in your life the longest as far as relationships go and you are working on a "dream" . The dream of what you believe marriage should be about, intimacy, love, bonding, togetherness. You can not state that this person is the person you love the most. I think it's all you know, that's all.

I am sorry for the loss of your Father.

But, the pain you felt in my opinion, was one of betrayal. One of, "look at all I have put up with and yet, in addition you do this".

We have one life to live in this World. No one person has the right to control where you work, who you hang out with, who you speak to, how you dress. You have lost your identity. That is what control is all about. And, you state that you are somewhat weak, that is what controlling people look for.

He has issues. They run very deep and he needs immediate help. I would suggest that you do not go back, that you make him seek help for his anger and that you remain where you are and see if he can get it under control. I would also suggest that in the meantime, you work where you want to, do the things you want to, become yourself, your own identity and work on that and see how you feel.

You are forgetting a major factor above anything here. MEN DO NOT HIT WOMEN. Is your life not that important enough that you are prepared to take the risk of being severely injured where by you may not ever be able to walk, talk? Or worse.

This is his chance for him to prove himself ..

This is your chance to find yourself.

If he can control it, after months of sessions and confirmation not from him but from his Doctor that he/she believes that your husband can.. You can then decide.

I don't believe you are in a position to make any decisions at present about staying or going as I feel you will make the wrong one and stay.. And, that concerns me that you are prepared to take a risk against a physical abuser with your life.
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 07:15 pm
Thank you, FoundSoul! I really appreciate your concern and thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts.
I am worried about being swayed into staying, but also am really tied up on that "love" / "dream" part of it, too. I don't quite understand if this is just a fantasy in my head, or if the change I believe he can make will become a reality.
Needless to say, that is some very constructive and well-versed criticism and I will take it to heart.
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 08:38 pm
Meilbelle, If you are worried about being swayed, then don't allow him to see you at this point.. Simple really if you think about it. And, this is really what you need to do THINK.

If you believe that I am correct, that you are "tied up on that love/dream part of it", what do you have to lose by staying away? Do you not think at nearly 23 that you have years ahead of you and years of the beauty of love and that dream with someone, if you truly ask yourself, you KNOW it's not with this guy, you made a mistake. Don't make another one.. NO MAN SHOULD HIT A WOMAN..... you want love.. Stop craving for it and accepting being hurt, love yourself and get away from this. That's your start.

The only person that can change is one-self.

Don't for a moment believe that you can change him.. He has to want to and I can almost bet, he won't but he will "pretend" that he will..
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