My Husband Sucks the Life out of ME!!!

Sally - posted on 02/15/2014 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I recently read a post that with a subject title close to mine, and I just fell apart reading her post. It could've been written from my own story. Every word, she wrote was me, Savannah Robinson, if you read this, i'm curious if things have changed for you since 2010 when you wrote this?? I would be interested if and how things might have changed?
I read the other posts that women posted and one woman posted that " it's not her husbands fault, it's HERS, and "don't push him, just love him more", and I am so frustrated by these comments, because there are men, that seem to get off on punishing their wives and like to play the victim, and like to stay and lay in their muck. I've been married 26 years and every year, despite me begging for us to do devotionals, to do counseling, ask for us to pray together, read the 5 Love Language books, I got him one and one for me, his book never been opened. I could go on and on. I believe the mental torture that he puts me thru is making me physically sick. And I know that some of you will say, you can't be tortured unless you allow yourself, but some of you really don't get it. YES, I have prayed, prayed and continue to pray, have scriptures on my mirror, go to church, am part of a woman's bible study, we are part of a couples christian cell group weekly. But there are christian men that are so screwed up by their upbringing, and emotionally absent fathers and negative mothers, that for them to change and stop hurting their wives/children verbally, that for them to change seems so unsurmountable, and impossible. My husbands refusal to change, refusal to even start, because he literally doesn't want to put in the work, nor does he believe in himself, and has a lot of false pride, it has me so lonely and dejected, that daily I pray for God to be my husband and to take care of me. But as we all know we all long for our physical husbands here on earth to lead our family, treat us like a treasure. I too am lost and I am married to someone who I think would rather be single in general. He doesn't know how to love a woman, cause he never saw it modeled. I'm tired of being physically sick and wish that I could live without him financially. I want so badly for him to be well in his heart and mind. But his refusal to listen to me when I felt like my heart was changing.. has now turned out to be very scary feeling. I feel nothing for him. His hugs are welcoming, but anything more than that is repulsive. I have no respect for him at all. We have hit rock bottom.. in fact, we are below the dirt.. i'm the only one that is trying to climb out of a pit, that he seems to like and think he would like to be in the pit all by himself. I see such a different man when we are in our cell groups, or at church, but at home, he is a different person. He has only been happy ONE time in our lives, and that was just last year when he was on a ski slope skiing with some guys from our cell group, he called me crying about how much fun he was having, and I was thrilled for him, but he was alone on top of a mountain and was thrilled for him and thought that maybe he had a revelation, but the feeling of having done something he dreamed about was short lived. Just the next day, he fell, injured himself,had to have surgery and then the frailty of life woke him up to the fact that he is getting older and can't do what he used to, which has taken him further into feeling sorry for himself and always sees the glass half empty. I am an unloved wife that wishes for a husband that i have never known. I'm miserable, God please help me to love him and not feel the sickening feelings about him, I don't even know what to pray anymore. Ladies, please don't preach to me, I've done all I know to do, I just need a safe place to cry and to let my heart release what i'm feeling, and if you have words of comfort on how to let God be your husband when your husband won't be one, that would be awesome.

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Joanne - posted on 05/21/2014

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HI Sally,
I can so relate to your story. I am pretty much on the other side so I want to tell you a few things that are ok to do and maybe what you NEED to do. First of all I have been married 27 years. We have 2 "children", one is an up and coming senior at a Christian School and the other is an up and coming Junior at college (full ride to a prestigious school--just to offer hope if you think your kids may be feeling the impact of the relationship and possible emotional abuse your husband may be giving them as well--not intentionally, I am sure he loves them). I have been a Christian all my life, God has been my constant companion. I too have called out to him to be my husband but also did inform Him that I wanted (needed) a physical husband to love me unconditionally. My husband came from a Christian family. Both his grandparents were missionaries, his parents were the typical rejected missionary kids and so he was raised in a home with a dad who loved him but unknowing rejected him. No excuses, however, I have learned that this is and was a contributor to who my husband was.

For me, it came to a point where I was just sick and tired of the emotional abuse. I honestly didn't even recognize that is was emotional abuse until later. I just thought he was an "idiot". I also bought him books, which he never read. He also was Mr. personality at his work, at church, in our small group etc. In all honesty I don't think he even realized he was such a jerk at home, he pretty much justified his behavior and thought it was "right" because if he treated me badly it was because I deserved it.

When my daughter started dating, he becoming very controlling of her. He felt as a Dad that it was his job, which is a true statement to a point. He also demanded perfection from her in everything. Her room had to be immaculate, if curfew was at 11 she had to be driving down the driveway at 10:45 or he would start to fume, her grades needed to be perfect as well, (hence the full ride scholarship.....I guess that is a bonus--she in also in counseling for the damage he did to her so anyone who says, "see, he needed to push her", may consider counseling themselves :). Anyway, with all this going on we were the model couple at our church. I think this is more common than we know. However, when my daughter started to feel the effects of her Dad, my momma instincts kicked in. I had been able to personally handle his crap so to speak, I have a weird sense of just push through it, which I have had to change. (It is called enabling. Which I knew but didn't think applied to me or my situation. You gotta call out the behavior, if you don't you are part of the problem.)

I did start to tell my husband that his treatment of her was unacceptable. He felt this was an affront to his role as a dad and husband and told me I needed to respect him. He became obsessed about respect. Once I started to stand up for what I knew was right he started to spiral downward and pretty fast. His anger got unbearable. He did throw things at me when the kids were gone and when we had a fight and he would retreat to our room and give me the silent treatment. I don't know if your husband is this bad or not and I hope he doesn't get there.

I just kept praying, then one day I just thought I am done with this anger. He is scaring me and I don't want the kids to see this. I packed a little backpack and tucked it away in the trunk of the car, nicely hidden. I had overnight things for myself and my kids. One night my husband got mad at me he retreated to our room and said he was going to our lake house for a couple of days. He packed his suitcase and when I went into our bedroom he told me he was NOT going to go. I walked out of the bedroom. He picked up the suitcase and he threw it at the wall. I heard it hit and thought oh-oh. I told my daughter that if her dad continued in his anger that she was to get her brother, get in her car and head to the Target parking lot and text my sister. I told my son that if his sister came for him he was to sneak out quietly and do as she said. He got it. I told my daughter that if she left I would leave also and would meet at the hotel my sister was at. (Because things were getting out of hand my brother and sister flew into town--good bro and sis!!!) My husbands anger was relentless. I soon heard my daughters car pulling out of the driveway. She was apparently stronger than me, which was good because it forced me to leave.

This was a turning point for us, however, to caution you, it went from bad to worse. No one agreed that I had done the right thing to leave, however, they only knew "the other husband", the public husband. I did get let go of leadership positions at the church--understandably so--not in the right frame of mind. We ended up leaving the church when we got things where they needed to be. That was hard too. I had 4 friends I eventually confided in, two did not agree with me, the other two, agreed with me and said "you have to make the tough calls." Also, we were in counseling at the time and the counselor also said it was the right thing.

Now, so you know, it was HARD. It went against all I believed in. Also, so you know, there was no talk of divorce, no talk of separation, simply talk of my husband getting counseling on his own and then us getting counseling together for our marriage. This was simply a time apart because I needed it and I felt he needed it too. It felt good to put my foot down. He had hit rock bottom. His facade was exposed. His family, or what was almost a little idol, was destroyed and he had no choice but to do what needed to be done. Again it was HARD. He was mean to me. He didn't agree. He name called, I felt threatened etc. He moved out and the kids and I moved back in. He wanted his family in the home and it to be as unakward for the kids as possible. He tried numerous times to come home, not physically, but calling and pleading with me, manipulating etc. Honestly, at some points it went from bad to worse. However, I also got counseling for me and that is a must.

One key book I read was "boundaries" by Henry Cloud. I struggled with marriage books because I really feel it does take two and I found it even more frustrating to read a marriage book on my own and feel the responsibility to make the marriage different simply on my shoulders. Even if you do all they say, not all husbands respond. This is just a fact. Key for me was that I learned to set boundaries. I realized that I had allowed things to go on for so long. That was hard! I had to forgive my husband but for me the big issue was forgiving myself. Not that it was my fault, no, but I knew the marriage was not good, I knew his behavior towards us was not right and, even though I would say something about how I was feeling and what I wanted from him, I realized I had no follow through--I was probably more like a nag. He was stronger and he was all about himself. Therefore, he won, which in the long run turned out to be that we all actually lost.

I want to encourage you to do what it takes. Not out of anger, but out of love. Sometimes we hear submission, peace and love preached so much but we have a warped sense of what submission and peace and love really all. We often think it is to just let things go, to "honor" above all else. The problem is that in the long run you have allowed these things to live. Therefore you aren't making peace you are simply doing what it takes to keep peace. That is not love either, it is selfish, it is because you don't want peace. This was true for me. Though I didn't see it at the time it is sooooo clear to me now. Again, his behavior is NOT your fault. He is responsible for himself. You are responsible for yourself (and your kids) and so you need to do what is right. His behavior is not right. Draw the line. Set boundaries.

The final chapter for us is being written. This all happened in 2011. My husband says what I did was the best thing for him (I was doing it to protect me and the kids....see how it is the best for all). It was the best thing for me as well. I felt free. Sad and persecuted and scared at times but oh, so free. He continued in counseling. Some issues that came to the surface were

1. rejection: He has rejection issues. Now that they are exposed he sees how he responds because of that. His Dad rejected him, his mom was so busy meeting his dad's needs she rejected him. Anything I did he didn't like he felt like I was rejecting him. Because rejection was such an issue he had a high need to be accepted at work and at church, and he was! He was Mr. right. He liked that.
2. He didn't fully grasp God's love for him therefore he was always striving to win love, just in all the wrong places. And how could he love me when he didn't get that he was loved or worthy. Now, if you had just simply asked him these questions he would have thought you were off your rocker. He was Mr. put together. Now we see this all so clearly.
3. Failure. He couldn't fail. Hence being two different people and not having the ability to reach out for help.
4. He was looking to me to meet his needs. That is not my job! (Nor is it his job to meet my needs, however, we all have wants....thats another topic)

All these issues take time to break free from, but with God's help and good counseling it is more than possible. But, you gotta DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. It will not get better on it's own. If you don't draw a line today, you may find yourself where you don't want to be tomorrow. If you draw a line today, set your boundaries (read the book first or youtube a little interview with Henry Cloud first if you want--that's what I did) tomorrow you may be where you want to be. It's a chance worth taking.

Love is not being a doormat. Even if you speak your mind, if you are not heard, you are a doormat. If you are not respected and loved and your opinions and desires don't matter, you are a doormat. Hard to see all this when you are going through it. Make the tough call girl, whatever that may be for you. If not the chances are it will continue into the next generation. You are showing your daughter what to tolerate and your son, if you have one or the other, what to be like.

Remember, YOU GET WHAT YOU TOLERATE. If you tolerate this, it is what you will get. It is a tough call but it is up to you and it is oh so worth taking that first step of courage to require change. It may get worse before it gets better, remember you target is a marriage of love so keep your eyes set on the target and on God. Walk in love, your are doing this because you love your husband and your kids and of course you love yourself. Gotta do that first or you aren't equipped to love others as you should. This isn't an anger thing, it is simply doing the right thing.

Mommacurp - posted on 03/19/2015

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This thread really helped me. Thanks to all of you. My story is this: my husband is a man of impeccable character. He is a wonderful man who is respected by everyone who knows him. But he is emotionally handicapped. Due to an angry farther and an enabling mother, and a controlling and manipulative first wife, I think he is broken beyond repair. At first, he was so hungry for love and acceptance, he was 'all in.' I couldn't believe I had found such a guy! But about 2 years into our marriage, he started to withdraw (no marriage is perfect) when we would have disagreements. Over time, I realized that I was doing most of the communicating. I wasn't quiet enough long enough to realize he was just riding my coat tails, emotionally speaking. He had nothing to offer back to me in support or relationship. When I stopped putting myself out there, our whole relationship stopped. We have 5 kids (3 together) and have been together 19 years. I have been alone for most of those years. Like many of you, I've read countless books, sought counseling (together and apart) , Bible studies, small groups, you name it. His daughter is now married and totally sees the emotional absence and how it affected her mom, her, and me. No one but those closest to him would see this. Everyone else just sees the wonderful side of him. I'm starving for affection and connection. Sometimes, I can't even breathe. What gets me thru is 1. Friends- but I have to be careful not to burden them with too much negativity. Everyone has their own problems, and I try to be there for my friends, as well. 2. Books. Some great stuff out there. My recent favs are by Laura Doyle. (Don't let the titles trip you up!) 3. My own 3 kids. I will do anything for them, and if that means living this way forever and keeping their family intact, I'll do it. (Keep in mind, my husband is not abusive, and divorcing him would not make him more emotionally available to them). I just have to be there more for them. 4. Focus on all the blessings in my life. I can find a hundred marriages I am thankful ARENT mine. The only one I know for sure is better is the one in my imagination. Again, there are no perfect marriages. The BEST advice I've read is to focus on self care and self improvement. Respect myself more, and he might follow. If not, what have I lost? Now, I can't do this to manipulate him. I lost 40 lbs 3 yrs ago and NOTHING CHANGED. I honestly think that's when I realized it wasn't ME. Also, He had a heart episode last year and almost died. Nothing changed, even with a second chance at life. See? We must not focus on their change. Just ours. The daily loneliness is unbearable sometimes, but I'm choosing to create some distance and focus on healthy distractions. When I get low, I reach out to friends, web resources, books, and prayer. A man will never fill my empty spaces. There is more to my life than my husband. Sure, I wish I had someone to share life intimately, but I dont. And leaving him doesn't guarantee I will have that, either. It only guarantees I will spend half my holidays without my kids and live on half my current income. I'm writing this on my phone so it's hard to edit. I hope I've given someone some encouragement. I am praying for all of us right now. Not sure about God being my husband, but He is my Father who loves me. He loves you too.

Julie - posted on 02/17/2014

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Hey Sally, I am glad to hear you are taking our information to heart, while still forming your own opinion. The first words that came to mind when I read, "biblical I have no reason to divorce." was, un-equally-yoked.
Being unequally yoked according to God, will never work. Not only spiritually but EMOTIONALLY. it sounds like the early realization of the emotional detachment your husband brought into the relationship ("can't live without you, can live without you" conversation MANY years ago.) And the very fact that he told you he had "settled" Instantly put you in a position of feeling like you were not deserving of that kind of love. The ability to finally accept you ARE worthy, and you ARE deserving to be loved by someone who could not be without you, is when you will find that happy.
That happiness within will attract that love you deserve from another. Only then will you determine if it is still your husband. He may fall madly in love with the" new you" that found her self worth (it can be very sexy). Or you may leave him after finding strength in god's love which says you deserve someone equal to you, not settle.
This risk is the fear. And fear is our greatest enemy. The fear is what keeps you from growing and finding out what your future could be. Basically, No risk, No reward. Or in biblical terms:
Faith is believing, believing is receiving.
Faith (in God & yourself) that you can believe (you are worthy and deserving) to receive (inner happiness and love)
I think you are on your way! God Bless...
Btw, My husband came home from Yoga this morning and apologized for his behavior the night before. I told him for the FIRST time in our 18 years, that it can not happen again, or I will move out until resolution could be made. I drew my boundary and communicated it to him. I said, "I will not allow anyone to treat me with disrespect, especially in front of the boys". He agreed and apologized to the children. Happy Wife, Happy Life"

Sally - posted on 02/16/2014

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You ladies are both right and the questions you asked are very valid and something that I think I have never thought about. Since I am a christian, my faith does color every issue, and I've thought about separation and divorce many times.. I honestly am so worn out emotionally, I don't know what to do. I know that my comments are rambling comments and I may seem unfocused at times, but please hang in there with me.. i'm trying to make sense. IN looking at my situation, this is just me, thinking out loud... do I have a reason to divorce?? Biblically.. I don't, he hasn't cheated on me, yet I am miserable. Is anyone happy after 26 years of marriage? I feel at times, that I don't know how marriage is supposed to feel like. I'll try to make this story short but to explain my last comment, I'll tell you this story so you can better understand me. Three weeks into the marriage nearly 25 years ago, what my husband told me, as I was laying in his arms one night, one week after we buried my mom, settled her estate, sold the house and mourned with my siblings about moving out of the only childhood home I'd ever known. I made the comment of how I couldn't ever imagine losing him and couldn't imagine life without him.. and was waiting to hear him say something back, like, "oh yes, me too, I couldn't imagine life without you either, that's why i moved here to marry you.. But no, he didn't say that....He actually said, "yes, he could live without me.. in fact, he'd really be ok.. and that I really wasn't his ideal" and that he basically "settled for me,"......can you imagine hearing that?!?!?!?!!!.. i was 24 years old, there are no parents to run to, since both of my parents had passed, no family living in the same state.. no family except my sisters in another state 5 hrs away. He has no understanding of how vulnerable my emotional state was and delivered that
statement as if he were delivering a pizza. That comment crushed me, destroyed my spirit, and crushed me like a bug. He says he doesn't know why he said it, can't give me a reason, even to this day, but has never treated me any differently.. To me.. there's a lot of hate behind that statement and we've struggled for many years, it's something that I buried for many years and had truly blocked it out of my mind, it came back to my mind about 10 years ago, during some counseling, I think I had completely blocked it because it devastated me, and it's definitely reaching a boiling point right now to where i'm ready to throw in the towel, I have several friends who've wanted me to divorce for many years now, but i'm not well enough physically to live on my own, unless we sold the house and moved into a condo or something. i've begged for years for attention, love, respect, and it has not come.. i should've left when i heard those words, 25 years ago, but i had nowhere to go, my mom had just died, we buried her, sold her house, i should've then, and wish i had.. But now, after you ladies confirming what a great friend also said to me, that i'm in control of my life. I'm wondering how to I take control of my life when i'm physically not in a place where i'm healthy enough to take a major step, but I think that it's time that I tell him the truth about how I feel about him. I'm fearful that this will only shut him down even more, but what do I have to lose, things are horrible! What does it mean to take control of your life in a marriage where the two are supposed to be one.. but are not.? And honestly, I don't know how God is supposed to be my husband either. Some girls who prayed over me in regards to this issue, said this and I just can't make sense out of it either. I know this, that I'm a very strong woman and I just have to figure this out with God's help of how DO I take control of my life. I HAVE to pursue my own happiness before I completely die inside. How do I do that?!

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Frances Mary - posted on 04/30/2014

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Dear Sally, I would strongly reccomend that the 'First Step' you can take is to find some way in addition to your 'Religion' to help yourself is to first get some "SELF HELP BOOKS" like that one lady reccomended to you. That was 'GREAT ADVICE.' Then if you can afford it start going for some 'Counseling' on your own. I know it's hard to take that first step, but trust me, it helps a lot. It sounds like you really need some help with your "self worth." Trust me you will be surprised at how "Wonderful" you will start to feel about yourself when you do these suggestions. And guess what?....your 'Husband' will start to see you in a 'new light' and I'll bet you anything, will start treating you better, and with more respect..!.. Not only that, you will probably get to the point where you will be 'ABLE' to leave him and go out on your own. After you've "worked on yourself,"....YOU CAN'T CHANGE HIM!....TRUST ME, I KNOW! You will find somebody "Worthy of YOU," who will 'LOVE' and 'TREAT YOU RIGHT...!' No one deserves to be a 'DOORMAT' for anyone! GOD BLESS, and 'GOOD LUCK' to you. All the best, Frances

Julie - posted on 02/18/2014

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Here is the Author I recommend you look at for books to help "find your happy"

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Google her name for list of books to purchase.
Amazon and Barnes N Nobles to name a few
I heard about her on Oprah in late 1990's.
I have read these two books:
Finding your Authentic Self
Simple Abundance

She has MANY more....happy journey to you!!

Michelle - posted on 02/16/2014

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I'm sorry but I'm not religious at all. I have learned about religion but question many aspects of it.
My question is would you put your life in another persons hands? That's what you are doing by just "praying" that your husband will change.
My opinion is that we all control our own life paths and it's the choice of how we let others treat us that ends up being they way they do treat us.
I have married a non practicing Catholic and went to a Catholic high school but you know what, we live a more respectful and honest life than a lot of practicing "Christians".
I would say stop leaning on the cop out of "god" and actually take control of YOUR life. You have made the choices to get you this far and YOU decide your future.

Julie - posted on 02/15/2014

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Hi. I do not know how to "let god be your husband" but I do believe god led me to your post tonight. I grew up in the church so have a mutual understanding and respect for your belief system. My mother is a Minister and a certified Christian Life Coach. She focuses a lot on saving marriages. I will leave you her email at the end of my post. On the other hand, I read your post and want to say, "it's time to find your happy!"
Focus more on you, and less on HIM. If that involves a separation of time to "find yourself" or give him a wake up call, so be it. If a change in your lifestyle is need to gain more Independence, then nothing should hold you back.
I will be honest and say I was drawn to your post from the title. Tonight, I'm mad at MY husband! I needed a safe place to vent as well. We have been married 18 years. From the beginning we agreed we'd make "the commitment to try and make it work." We knew the reality is odds are against marriages lasting forever. But our commit to give all we had, body mind and soul has worked so far. So, although I know we will stay together, I now ask myself: but at what cost? Loss of Respect? Loss of self worth? Loss of Freedom, choice or voice? For me, it is not worth losing those things. So now, I find myself "setting boundary's" with my own husband. The line I draw where you can not treat me this way. Why? I do it with other relationships, why not my marriage. Stay in a marriage that makes me feel those things, is not a marriage at all. It's more like a prison.
You of course, have different experiences, and goals in your marriage. No two marriages are the same. But where ever you are at, It is never to late to draw your boundaries. Even if you never tell him what they are. Or you tell him, and he doesn't respect them. One of many mantra's I keep close in order to claim ownership is "you teach people how to treat you."
This way, I have the choice, I keep my power, and in the end..there is no one else to blame.
It is heart breaking to lose the love of your life, but it is even more heart breaking to stay without love in your life.t You sound so sweet, kindhearted and willing to give EVERYTHING up...maybe you already did? Maybe that is the lesson? Time to GET SOMETHING back. My husband and I call it, "give-give" That's how a marriage should be.
The only other thing that comes to mind is the old, "Let go and let God"...
meaning: let go of the idea that your husband changing will bring you happiness. Find your own happy and let God deal with him :)

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