A Helping Hand

I am trying to look at myself for answers about why I find myself in this marriage and why I stay when clearly it is so difficult.  I was taught about love in church.  The model of love was sacrifice.  If you sacrificed your life and your needs to someone else, it was considered LOVE.  I was of the age when MY marriage vows had the words in it of "promise to obey" and his words had "promise to love". My parents taught me to obey and behave and have manners.  In school years I was many times on various teams - sport teams, work committees - working for a common cause.  In a corporate job, I was often motivated by management to think like a "team". I really don't mind serving other people - I like to do things for others and I especially like working with others for a common good. DH continued my SERVICE and SACRIFICE training to curb my decisions FOR HIS lone benefits. He used effective management tools on me for his every whim and comfort.  All he had to to was ask and I was willing to give of myself.  If he did not get his way, he would make me pay with his hateful looks, uncooperativeness and mean words or telling me I was not loving enough if I didn't do this or that..he would just NOT DO ANYTHING while I danced around him trying to get him to play on our team with me but I was constantly involved in his dance to play with my emotions and get his lone enjoyment out of controlling me for his ego,his getting away with something or his staying out of trouble.  I was taught that God and family are the most important things.  Now these teachings and upbringings are not serving ME or the FAMILY in the present - I don't like myself or the model I have given my children - I can't live with myself because I feel so angry and resentful and ineffective.  Have I been trained to NEED to be servile to everyone and everything? Then if I am being who I was trained to be, why don't I have pride and contentment being and doing those things? Why do I feel so bad? I was not taught to NEED recognition but to be humble. Now my humility seems stupid.  How do I change myself to become someone who expends my energies into a way that I can live with?  I know about Pavlov's dogs who were conditioned to behave a certain way and how it is nearly impossible to "unlearn" BEING a certain way once you are trained.  I also know about "gaslighting" and that people can be made crazy when things don't add up to be what they appear to be with constant betrayal. When I ask happily married people what is their secret, they ALL say the secret is to marry the right person.  When I asked my minister, what I could do, he said that the commandments were meant FOR the people to get along together. God does not want anyone to be miserable their whole life because of the commandments.   Why do I find myself PARALYZED to make any changes in my marriage?  I believe DH is unhappy and feels PARALYZED too and can't think his way out of our unhappiness either other than deny things, re-write the truth from himself, re-write history in his mind, distract himself and blame me.  I think I answered my own questions.  I feel like I need a hand to reach out from outside of myself and give us a lift out of this.  I pray for that hand or the change inside myself to have the strength and courage to take action.

"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or other things" -Albert Einstein

It may never come

Jenna, I hear you. It is so hard to reach out of the pit and pull yourself up alone. I did have to eventually realize that no one was going to help me and I would have to go it alone. There might never be that loving person for me, there was no good counseling in our area to help me along, our church notoriously ignored abusive situations, etc., my previous friends just didn't understand how damaged I had become, and God seemed distant.

All that was left was to look within and realize that I didn't want to stay with this person who was so distressing to me. I began to obsess about his BAD qualities rather than his imaginary good ones to pull myself into reality. I read everything I could about the problems he had and what caused them, and what the chances were of change. In fact, I tried everything I could possibly try, so I could let go and say to myself that I had given it my best shot and left no stone unturned.

Look through the Bible for verses concerning angry men, dishonest men, Israel's sinful actions, foolish people, casting your pearls before swine, etc. If you want comfort from the Bible, you have get away from the references to marriages that are operating within God's law (for both people) and see what God thought about violence, lying, etc. I then began to realize that if God didn't want to put up with this kind of behavior and told people to stay away from people like that, He meant everyone -- not everyone but the person's wife. Psalms and Proverbs are great. And where you find references to unsavory wives, subsitute "husbands" and read it again. After all, these verses really do pertain to both sexes. (As in Proverbs 27:15 15 "A quarreling wife (or husband) is as bothersome as a continual dripping on a rainy day. 16 Stopping her (him) is like stopping the wind or trying to grab oil in your hand.")

However, note that most people escaping from situations like yours find a lot of unexpected peace when they first get away. Being away from a controlling person is like fresh air.

Thanks lynnie70

You are a great inspiration.  Thanks for staying on the forum for us.  Thank you for your words of support and comfort.  Ahh...peace.  That sounds heavenly.