H has surrendered....

For the past few months, I have tried a new tactic.  As soon as H would start yelling, I would leave and not come back for a day or two.  


For awhile, H would just get angrier and more verbally threatening, this is what is called an Extinction Burst.  When the Non sets a Boundary, the mentally-unhealthy person will "kick it up a notch" hoping that you'll give up your boundary.  I held firm.  


Every few days, H would start yelling at me about an incident that happened 4 years ago between him and our son.  Our son hasn't spoken to him since.  Since H couldn't "get at him," I became the target for his anger.  I was also the target for his anger about his job, his relatives, and anything else that upset him.


the anger about the incident with our son caused him to file for divorce from me TWICE, cost us thousand and thousands and thousands of dollars.   I kept telling him that if he wanted to stay with me, then he had to stop bringing that subject up.  He wouldn't stop.  Every few days, he'd erupt, he'd drink, he'd rage.  


So, a few months ago, I started leaving the moment any negativity started.  I kept my purse/phone/iPad near me at all times.  I kept some clothing and toiletries in my car.....and the moment he'd start, I'd leave.  He'd call me, but I wouldn't answer.  Often, I'd block his number.  


As Extinction Bursts go, he was a classic case.  He got angrier and angrier.  He made all kinds of threats.  I held to my guns.  

He complained to his T, and she wasn't on his side.  She told him that he was a whiner, a drama queen, and a drunk.  she was brutal.  And, she fired him as a client.  She said other things, but H hasn't yet told me all that she said.  Some things, I think, are just too painful.  Likely, she told him that he has a Personality Disorder and, as such, would be impossible to live with no matter how saintly I was.  


So....Finally, about 3 weeks ago, H surrendered.  He simply said, "I have to stop.  I can't bring up the incident with our son anymore.  I hate it when you leave.  I'm a mess when you leave.  I can't yell at you anymore."   While I was glad to hear that, I didn't know how long it would last.  Other times where he would say that he wanted the marriage to be better, he'd fall back to his yelling ways rather quickly.  


So far, so good.  He hasn't yelled at me once.  the one time he was annoyed at something, I held my ground, and he later came and apologized.  He never yelled..  I just disagreed with him, told him my side, and he accepted it.  This is very new for him.  


He seems to accept that he has something seriously wrong with him...this is new.  In the past, he would make claims like that other husband described in this forum.  H used to claim to be the perfect husband and father, when in truth, he was horrible.  yes, there were many times that he was great with our kids, but the problem is that kids REMEMBER the periodic times when parents are HORRIBLE...and that's what they remember. 


I don't know how long this will last.  It's been a wonderful change.