Ending Emotional Abuse in Marriage – I need to be heard

Koala sleeping on a tree top

Nothing to do with my post, other than he's so cute and peaceful and I needed to smile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No more denial. No more excuses. We have an unhealthy marriage. There I said it. It’s not me, it’s not him – it’s us.

I finally spoke to husband about all the inner pain and turmoil I have. That I feel lost, scared and confused with him, not loved, cherished and understood. I asked him to leave for a while so we can work on our issues separately.

He said No. No he won’t leave.

And now he’s playing the sick, wounded puppy role, attaching himself silently by my side, saying he loves me each hour. But that’s it, no other communication, he says he doesn’t know what to say. The pattern is too clear to me now. I speak up, he professes his undying love, I learn to trust him again, and then get hurt again. It won’t work this time, I can see everything way too clearly now. I have been emotionally abused in this marriage since the start. And now he’s moving on to the kids, and I just can’t let it happen anymore.


He came home early from work and just sat silently next to me while I tried to work. I just wanted to kick him. Leave me alone. The stress is killing me. Then he finally says “I’m so sorry for hurting you, I never meant to, and I guess its been going on a long time?” But I don’t think he believes it. I think he thinks I am going through some sort of phase and he just has to hold on and put up with it. But I don’t know what he thinks, because he has never ever told me.

I gave him a letter I wrote to him last year and he never opened. I also gave him a new one I had just written, then went out to fly kites with the kids. He came out with us later, no reaction at all to me. We played nice during dinner, but I avoid his eyes, too afraid I will cry right then and there, and then he retired to his chair and fell asleep. I got kids in bed, tidied up, and thought we could talk now. “Are you really sleeping or can we talk?” “I’m sleeping” he said.

I watch a few mind-numbing TV shows, then go to bed. I whisper “good-night” as I head upstairs. He jumps up and follows me. We get into bed together, which is unusual anyway, he tends to sleep downstairs. I ask if he wants to say anything, he says no, just “I love you sweetie” and rolls over and starts snoring. I debate going downstairs, but don’t want to avoid him, or have my actions taken as hostile. But I could not fall asleep for forever, laying next to him, so confused.

Who reads a letter from their wife, saying I want a separation and will not be able to trust him until he has counseling or anger management, and has nothing to say? No tears, no anger, no emotional reaction at all. Did he even read it? Is he hiding from the truth and pretending? How do I reach him? How do I get him to talk to me? It would be so easy to fall back into routine, and play nice again. But I would be on guard for the next attack, and it surely will come as soon as he thinks he has won me back again. We’ve done this so many times before, the unhealthy patterns are quite predictable now that I look back over the years with new eyes. How did I get into this? I think I know now, but more importantly, I think I know how to get out – finally. Maybe not out of the marriage, but out these patterns. But maybe out of the marriage, too soon to say.

I will not continue in this twilight zone warped world. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m leaving the twilight zone. And although this is difficult, I know it is right, because I feel so immensely relieved. Scared and sad, but mainly relief to not pretend all is ok.

And why am I blogging this for strangers? Because I have to talk to someone that will listen and have a reaction. Any reaction. I need to be heard.



23 thoughts on “Ending Emotional Abuse in Marriage – I need to be heard

  1. *Cheers for you!!!!* Good for YOU! Don’t worry about his reaction … you did want you needed to do and said what you needed to say to him. He’s probably at a loss as to what to say because he can see the truth in your words and pain, but has no reasons to offer you. Be proud of yourself…what you did is not an easy thing to do.

    I hear you. With you. One day at a time from here….xx

  2. It’s worrisome that he didn’t react to your letter. Worrisome because he may be holding back anger which will likely erupt if not released soon. Maybe ask him to write his response rather than voicing it. The waiting for him to respond MUST be excrutiating. 😦

  3. I’m not a counselor. I’ve done a lot of reading. I’ve watched. General information I’ve learned: Men need time to process. That does not mean you wait forever. If he won’t go into counseling with you, go anyway. It may be a matter of not being able to communicate, not being able to express in words, which is what counseling is for: To learn how to express what you’re thinking and feeling in a healthy way. You can’t change him, but you are changing you. You’re trying to learn to be healthy. Good for you!

  4. My first thought about the letter was what Judy already said – men definitely need time to process!

    Our hubbys are so similar its crazy. I asked him to leave. He said no. I have given him letters. He reads them eventually. I finally ask him if he even read it. He gives me a bare minimum response.
    Way too much of my life is spent trying to avoid inevitable arguments. You never know what is going to set him off. He sleeps in the living room (or basement!) more often than with me. And I’m fine with that. I feel your pain 😦
    I’m praying for you!

    • Everyone says marriage is hard, but I’m not sure it is supposed to be this hard. That’s what I decided, too many inevitable arguments. It is exhausting and toxic. Thanks for being there for me and understanding.

  5. This sounds so familiar to me. I wish I had an answer for you because then I would have an answer for me. I suspect you communicated just fine but part of the process is being heard. That you have no control over. I am finding that counseling really does help. I am doing all that I can do and I learned that I can communicate if someone is willing to hear me.

    • Your last line rings true. I also communicate just fine – when someone is willing to hear me. Kicking myself that it took so many years to realize this, but its never too late I think to do what is right.

  6. Your voice is loud and clear and dear…we hear you. I am inspired by your strength and resolve, and I have every confidence that you will do the right thing for you….I made a choice too long ago in an emotionally abusive marriage, and I have found true love today in another, going on 11 years….there is hope and a future for you, no matter what age or circumstance….I do wish the very best for you and will cheer for you as you walk this healing road….
    so much love and comfort to you I send….

    • That helps to hear, that others have gone down this path before. It is so confusing, this idea of love. I could go on in current situation forever, but at what cost to myself? I feel I deserve real love, and have not given up that it can exist for me.

  7. Pingback: Everything is different, but still the same | Roots to Blossom

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