My husband has the mindset of an incorrigible teenager.
I met my husband six years ago when we were both teachers at the same school. The relationship began very intensely. I had been alone for 7.5 years after my first husband left me and my son. In those 7.5 years, I didn't really do any healing, just burying my sorrow and anger. So when I met my current husband, I wasn't truly ready for a relationship. However, the feelings of intoxication of having a man in my life and the promise of a real family clouded my judgment and made me go ahead with being with this man.
Very early on, he was emotionally abusive.
For example, a month into the relationship, he invited me to meet him and his daughter from a former relationship at his mom's house. When I got there, he showed me family photos and acted like real bonding was taking place. Later that day, on the way to the mall, he started a conversation about affirmative action. I love debating current topics and exploring all sides of an issue. Well, that was a mistake with him. Something I said set him off and he accused me of "ruining the world" with my beliefs and being a "self-hating minority." He took off with his daughter and left me in the mall parking lot. When I finally found him at the mall to ask for a ride back to my car, he told his four-year-old daughter that I had no friends.
Anyway, a healthy person would have kept walking and never looked back. I, however, come from an emotionally abusive background and I was profoundly lonely, so I stayed with him. Many other instances of his crazy behavior surfaced, but still I stayed.
One night, I invited him to have dinner with me and my son. He refused. Later that night, I caught him at a nightclub kissing another woman. I still stayed with him. Two weeks later, on his birthday, we were hanging out watching a movie and a football game when I said something that he perceived to be defending a conservative talk show host (it sounds so insane when I retell it.) He threw the birthday gift I had given him in my face and told me to help him dig his car out of the snow so he could leave.
At work, he ignored me like I didn't exist.
A week later, I found out I was pregnant. I told him. I wanted to give the baby up for an open adoption, but he convinced me to keep it. He moved in and we lived together for more miserable years in which he moved out on me twice, slept with bar skanks and prostitutes, yelled at me, belittled me, demeaned me and generally treated me like a piece of garbage, interspersed with moments of loving kindness.
So what did I do, I married this person in July of this year. His behavior has gotten worse since then. The issues of sleeping around have improved. But the underlying disrespect and disregard for me as a person is still there.
As a last ditch effort, I signed us up for a relationship boot camp a few weeks ago. It was about compassion for yourself and others. I learned a whole lot; mainly that change comes from within. You must love yourself first and foremost. I had always heard that, but didn't have a strategy to make that happen. The boot camp did teach me strategies for loving myself, even and especially if the other person doesn't love you.
Well, he fought with me on the first day of the boot camp, at lunch, cussing me out. By the third day of the boot camp, he was on board and we had a nice ride home. The night we got home, though, he fought with me again, this time over an opinion I had about our favorite TV show.
That is when I first seriously considered leaving this miserable life behind. I cannot love myself, and at the same time subject myself and my kids to this anymore.
Right now, I have a major surgery coming up. After I recover from that and get a job, I will divorce him. He is monstrous in his thinking and deeds. It is not until I write it down that I truly can internalize how crazy his behavior is. I am a loving, smart, passionate woman who deserves to live a life where I can share those things with others. I long for love in my life, but what I have is not love, it is sickness. I look forward to the day I am free.