I slept in the living room last night

I slept in the living room last night.

I asked him to, but, well, you know…

You know, when he starts accusing me, the thing is, he’s not completely wrong.

Last night, after I had asked him to sleep in the living room, he told me that I only remember the bad things.  That is partially true.  I do tend to be more “glass half empty” rather than “glass half full.”  I guess the bad things cause more pain and somehow pain sticks with you more than pleasure?  Or maybe I am afraid of pleasure because so often pain follows?  I don’t know.

He told me that I don’t forgive him.  I asked him what he had asked me to forgive.  “Everything I have done to hurt you.”  I told him that maybe it wasn’t about forgiveness.  Maybe it was about that I don’t want to be hurt anymore.

I do believe forgiveness is vital.  But I ask him, how many times should a woman forgive a man for hitting her?  An issue like that is not about forgiveness.  It is about abuse and I told him that.

He said that he tries to do nice things for me.  I told him roses on the table didn’t make up for the fact that my daughter couldn’t come sit at the table with me.  He said that was her choice.  He still maintains that he was there for his daughters and that it isn’t his fault that they have nothing to do with him.

When he started to talk about that people aren’t perfect and that there are just going to be problems and that that is just the way life is, I grabbed my pillows and a sheet out of the pile of clean laundry and when to sleep in the living room.

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25 Responses to I slept in the living room last night

  1. My Mr. Hyde told me how my negativity was the problem in our relationship, so I did everything I could think of to be the perfect cheerful wife. Guess how much that improved the relationship? It didn’t, and that’s because my negativity wasn’t the cause of the relationship problem–his emotional abuse was!

    I cannot fathom how the minds of these guys work or how ugly their hearts are to purposefully withhold love for any reason. Love doesn’t work that way…but control does.

    PAA, I want nothing more than to whisk you and your girls away so you get a taste of freedom from his emotional and mental oppression. He tries to bury you under feelings of guilt and responsibility that are his to bear. He is not a good, upstanding man…he is an insecure coward. He cares only about himself.

    Please understand that I realize I do not know you or your situation well, but in your writing I sense the same anguish that had driven me to feel utterly hopeless about life. Leaving won’t be easy, but is life easy now?

    Have you ever thought about attending group therapy/education at your local domestic violence shelter? For me, it has provided enormous relief to hear that it wasn’t me…it was him. It is so hard to see this in the fog though.

    I hope you have an infinitely better day today.

    • Yes, I do feel utterly hopeless. I feel that there is nothing for me, not now, not in the future. Sometimes I think about killing myself because I feel so hopeless, but I will not do that to my daughters. Even if there is nothing for me, they do still need their mommie.

      No, I haven’t thought about attending anything at a domestic violence shelter. I did attend Al-Anon for awhile a few years ago and that did help. I sometimes think about going back to Al-Anon, but I haven’t.

      Thank you for your well-wishes! : )

      • “Even if there is nothing for me…”

        Please don’t believe for a moment that there’s nothing ahead of you. There is a whole world God created out there for you to enjoy–He did not create us to be creatures of suffering.

        After I was discarded, all I could see was my world falling to pieces. In the space of a few months I was made destitute…still am. But that is just money. Being poor opens up a world of opportunity that is too risky when you’ve got a lifestyle that requires a certain income. That’s one way I can see good coming from a seemingly hopeless situation.

        I promise you there is a full, interesting life waiting to be had once you are free from the oppression of covert abuse. The struggles of life are still there, but they different because they are not orchestrated at the whim of a heartless person. Just not living like I’m walking on eggshells is something I am thankful for everyday.

        I prayed that you will see the life beyond the fog–that your eyes will adjust to see the world of experiences God has waiting for you.

    • One Step at a Time says:

      My sister said this sentence to me once maybe 15 years ago and I didn’t understand it until now . . . “It is not his behavior that is ruining the relationship, it is yours by staying and allowing him to do it”. At the time I was offended and thought she was a jerk, I told myself, I wasn’t allowing it, don’t blame me for his actions! I just couldn’t grasp it. I also came upon this recently “The failure is not in the leaving , it is in the staying”. I finally understand both sayings. The National Domestic Abuse Hotline truly saved me. I think it takes us all a while to really realize we are abused. This is my life so it’s not abuse, it’s just “how we are, I’m working on it”. I’m out 3 months now and I’m shocked that I lived like that. My brain is clearing little by litte. I do disagree with one thing, “he only cares about himself”. I think it’s he doesn’t care about himself either and isn’t capable of it. He’s not mentally well, if he can’t care about or for himself, how do you expect him to care about anyone else? Expecting a broken man to treat you nicely is like asking him to swim in the ocean when he never took swimming lessons only he’s so broken himself that he jumps right into the ocean because you said so and drowns and then blames you for his drowning. He doesn’t accept that he shouldn’t have jumped into the ocean to begin with because he doesn’t have self sufficiency or confidence to help himself make good decisions and wants you to think for him. He hates that he doesn’t feel good thinking for himself and therefore resents you because he needs you to think for him. He also knows that you let him yell at you about it all the time so he can just keep on yelling every time he drowns because he’s got nothing to positive inside himself and he needs to get the negative feelings out. Kind of how many women eat junkfood to numb the feelings. PAs know that if you leave you’ll be fine, they also know if you leave, they won’t. They don’t want you to stay, they just don’t want you to leave. There’s a difference. If you leave, they’ll have to find someone else to think for them who is willing to take abuse so they can make it in the world since they lack the ability to make it on their own. If I gave my husband the chance, he’d scream at me the minute he saw me because it’s been building in him for months. I’m doing no contact for that very reason. I do better when I don’t see him and it’s not my problem anymore that he has anger he can’t handle. He’s a grown man and he’ll have to find someone else to take it out on. You know reading and responding is so healing, I think I might start a blog about the recovery process. You have something in this journal thing. I’m so glad I found this blog.

      • You sound so clear-headed! Yes, I agree that their caring only for themselves is a result of their internal deficiencies. However, that does not excuse the abuse. If he knows he can’t swim, he knows he shouldn’t go in the water, but he goes in anyway to avoid injury to his pride and image. In any case it is a reason to pity them their pettiness.

        It truly takes physical distance and no contact to begin hearing your own internal voice again. For years, I only heard criticism in my head and now it is becoming rarer. I am so happy for you in your freedom! ☺

  2. GainingStrength says:

    Of course he’s not completely wrong. That’s how he gets you to stop thinking of what he has done wrong and concentrate on what you did wrong. Change of subject, easy peesy. Let’s not make him responsible for what he does, let’s make…you responsible. Yep, marriedtohyde is right, insecure cowards…all of them.

    “He told me that I don’t forgive him. I asked him what he had asked me to forgive. “Everything I have done to hurt you.” ” Next time he says something like that ask for specifics. My abuser had 2 things he would always come back with when I started asking for specifics…he should listen/pay attention to me more (stop laughing…LOL) and he takes me for granted (that’s when he would even acknowledge I existed). Same 2 things over and over again, but he never corrected the wrongs….just spouted them when needed.

    He’s not going to change. How much have you changed to please him? How much have you changed so he would love you? You should get out before you completely lose yourself. He’s not going to change. Don’t beat yourself up over him. Can I say it again? He’s not going to change. It is the hardest concept to hold on to, but you should hold on to it as if your life depended on it.

    • “He’s not going to change.” I should realize that but I find that I am often very good at deluding myself about things.

      In the above “conversation” with him, he told me that he has such a better day when I give him a hug and that husbands whose wives give them a kiss good bye in the morning earn 10% more. He was chiding me that I didn’t give more to him. I told him that for twenty-five years, I gave him everything he could. He then said, “And you’re just giving up?” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I firmly believe that people have no obligation to forgive people by whom they have been harmed. If forgiveness makes you feel better, fine; but it’s for you, not for your husband, to choose and to do.

  4. Seeing the Light says:

    For my part, I believe in forgiveness – BUT – I also believe that biblically forgiveness only follows repentance on the part of the offender. Zacchaeus is a great example of what repentance looks like. This business of you not forgiving is classic passive aggressive in victim mode. I’ve heard it, too. Apologies that are blanket like that – “everything I have done to hurt you” – are worthless. Worse than worthless. I agree with GainingStrength that there should be specifics. A real apology will have heart in it and will express some understanding of how the specific offense did harm to you. There will be humility and a willingness to correct things and make restitution if possible. A typical PA man’s apology is an absurd mimicking of what they have heard an apology is supposed to sound like without any genuine heart involvement. I also believe, though, that you are not going to get anywhere with him. I hope for you that you can get to where you don’t waste any more of your precious energy on him and these games. God bless you.

    • Forgiveness is one thing, but reconciliation is another. For there to be reconciliation, there has to be true repentance, like you say. He is using forgiveness as an excuse so he doesn’t have to change. On my part, I don’t consciously not forgive him. He does X, and I think, oh, he’s done X. And I cry if I need to cry and I get on with whatever I have to do. Honestly, forgiveness doesn’t enter my thinking one way or another. It’s more the crazy making stuff, like, did he mean to hurt me? Was this just natural forgetfulness (or whatever) or was it payback for something. I try to figure out the PA stuff. And I try to think about how to react. Yes, I do waste too much energy on him.

  5. fern says:

    I suggest you make the change permanent. Separate bedrooms is one of the best things to have happened for me. Sharing that small space (a bed) in sleep, even without sex, is still just way too intimate a thing to have to do with a chronic abuser…..

  6. Newshoes says:

    You can forgive but not forget… I love (not) that they can pin your insecurities and use them against you in a flash, without remorse or any acknowledgment that they are hurting you, plus if you can forgive its because the abuse is still there, how can you deal with past issues if they keep coming back. Please stay on the sofa, I ve been there 5 months now but heck it’s better than having to continue the darn cycle…. Wish the same for you.

  7. This post at A Cry For Justice is very timely, for it talks about the abuser accuser, which your PA seems to be. A lot of good comments too.

    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/09/29/the-devilish-nature-of-the-abuser-he-is-the-accuser/

    • Seeing the Light says:

      Just chiming in to agree with marriedtohyde. This post at A Cry For Justice is very good. It almost made me cry. No wonder we are so wounded. I agree about the comments, too.

    • newshoes123 says:

      ouch… yeah i’ve experience the “because of the way you tell me things, that’s how I am”…. what?! so I asked, ok so when I’m a carpet, then you’re ok right, then you don’t yell at me, then you don’t accuse me, then I don’t get blamed for stuff right…??? then it’s ok for you to treat me like dirt right…. that’s what you’re saying…

      These men are nothing but bullies…. Dump him.!!!!

  8. lonelywife07 says:

    PAA…you work a full time job during the day, right? Well, it’s the holiday season…find a part time job in the evening, I know it will be a bit tiring…but you should be able to find a small apt. for you and your daughter.
    And maybe your daughter could get a part time job to help with her expenses?
    You havta do what you havta do…otherwise you’re going to still be there a year from now…sad and unhappy.

  9. paescapee says:

    Forgiveness is definately related to seeing a change in their behaviour. When they keep repeating behaviour that is hurtful and then asking for forgiveness, it is piling disrespect on top. I sleep SO much better now I’m on my own, I think I was tensing myself in defence even during the night. Not to mention the dreams…. sleep alone!

  10. pawife62 says:

    I just discovered this blog on Sunday. I shook and thought i was going to throw up as I realized I was reading my life in your posts and in the comments from all of you other sweet women. I have been married to a PA for 27 years and didn’t understand the problem until Sunday. Over the past year, things have gotten worse, and about a month ago, I very clearly told my husband that things must change for us to make it. He, of course, admitted it and even asked for my help, and things improved….you guessed it…for about 2 days and then things went right back to the way they had been. He has become increasingly angry and takes it out on me and my two youngest daughters, ages 14 and 16 the most, but leaves the almost 18 year old alone for the most part. He is very immature in dealing with them and picks fights regularly to the point that they prefer to go to school an hour early when I can take them instead of waiting and letting him take them. I NEED to talk this through with all of you! I need to stay strong. We go through cycles where he ignores us for days then all of a sudden he’s mister sunshine. He is just today moving into the Mr sunshine phase so I know he’s going to expect me to glow in his presence. Ain’t happenin’ not this time. Not falling for the crumbs he throws. So glad to find this blog..sorry for the extremely long comment!

  11. I told mine it isn’t that I only remember the bad, it’s that the bad far out way the good. He pulls that if you would just forgive me bs as well. I told him I have and can but it does no good when he keeps doing the same things over and over again and acts as if there is nothing wrong. They jut don’t get it or care to fix it if they do.

  12. It’s easy to be blameless when you never do anything to justify more than the emotional response of your partner. Call the police, they can’t pin anything on him and I look like a crazy b1tch. Tell the world, they’ll try to understand (but not really unless they’ve felt the despair). We’re taught not to ‘cry wolf’ but when we can see the wolf and he’s blinded everyone else it’s so hard. I once said to him, ‘don’t give me a reason not to love you’. It’s not in my nature to with-hold love. I find it hard to be hard, I become a person I don’t want to be but I know i must for my own sanity. He’s played the children and my eldest daughter pities him to a fault- constantly seeking his approval and love that he all too easily with-holds, she even defends him from me. His abuse has eroded me and my ability to be a good mother to them, always checking with him, worrying that he’ll get upset or not like something. If he’s annoyed my children won’t hug me in front of him. Eggshells- constant eggshells. He’s back in the bed because he doesn’t sleep well out of it and if he’s tired he’s even worse. This morning I denied him sex, ‘it’s only sex’ he said!!!!

    Well it doesn’t matter then if you don’t get it does it! Thank you for this blog x

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