I've been married 18 years to someone 12 years older than me. He was such a charmer at first, it was hard to be away from him.
He changed when I moved in with him, but I was young and ignored it. Over the years I've had sex when I don't want to, because I'm the only person he is supposed to get it from. His sexual entitlement is beyond my understanding and to avoid fights I've given in, to my own detriment.
My codependent tendencies are no help here. So now that I'm 43 and want respect, all hell has broken loose. I can't even drink enough to be interested in sex with him.
He thinks I don't like sex in general and make the connection between how he treats me and my reaction to his treatment. If I “behave,” his conditional love is abundant. It was starting to make me doubt whether this icky feeling of disrespect was justified.
I have to leave home and surround myself with non-toxic people to realize I am not crazy. I wouldn't accept this treatment from friends, why have I accepted from him? He is successful and his narcissism has grown with his success.
This has outgrown my coping skills and before I become the person I don't want to be, I need to work on myself. Where do I start and how do I start in this toxic environment?
He's started to snore and instead of trying to get to the bottom of it, he's mad at me. He's told me his love is purely conditional, if I give him sex, he'll be nice. I must be out of my mind.