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I Am Not Stupid

I have been in a relationship for 13 years. I brought one little child into the relationship and together we have had 2 more children. That is the hard part...I don't want to let down our kids, our family. They will never understand any of this, they will hate me for the choices that I will eventually have to make and the their little lives will have to be turned upside down.

But...I am 100% sure I am living in a most emotionally abusive relationship and have been for as long as I can remember. Most recently it has come full circle. Having a fight in August, my husband has yet to speak to me. He has humiliated me in front of our children. One most recent incident left me to really see how bad this has become.

The day after Halloween he took the children to his dentist (up until now I have taken the kids to the dentist every 6 months since they were 2). He told them that the dentist I chose was "raping" him with cost, which he has to pay and that mom doesn't care how much the expense is to him.

Our 8 year old had 3 cavities. When they got back home, he forbade them their Halloween candy, forbade any sugar candy period, told them that they should be ashamed of themselves. He told them this was my fault because I should be brushing their teeth each night while he is away on business. He told me in front of them that I should be ashamed of myself because I don't care about my teeth. He said that I have single-handedly destroyed theirs, so on and so forth.

I felt horrible for them and for me. These episodes have happened in the past in different circumstances. He has financially restrained me. I have no access to our money. I have had to go back to work full time to pay our eldest sons' Catholic education (my responsibility) because my husband no longer will pay for my medical copays. I had a few minor health issues in the past few months that required a surgical procedure...he wouldn't even come to the hospital with me...told our children I was faking my illness for attention and to "break daddy's bank".

He has made fun of my new job, told me it is my responsibility to deal with all the after-school day care and then criticized me terribly through text messages that the help I got was not good enough because they have dogs. He is allergic (although it is never been a problem in the past that our children play or be watched by a person with an animal). He threatened that I need to change this immediately.

He reduced me to supplying him with grocery receipts and he reimburses after he deducts my medical copays and whatever else he deems necessary that week. This is just the past few months. In reality I have been living this life for 13 years. I left the relationship before our 2 youngest were born, but he promised to change, claimed he was a monster for controlling me and he would seek help to change his ways.

He has tried on several occasions but it keeps going back to the unhealthy ways. He blames this all on me, my inability to manage money, my temper, my inadequacies as a human being, my upbringing, my self esteem issues. He threatens divorce at these times as well. He refuses to take any blame for our relationship problems. He has even gone so far as to tell his family, my family, our friends that I am bipolar and need help which I refuse to get. So he can't talk to me until I receive psychological help.

I see a psychologist every week to talk about our issues. She used to be our marriage counselor until he stopped coming. I have had a psychiatric evaluation to prove to him that there is nothing wrong with me. When we fight he laughs and tells me to take a pill. He tells the kids--especially our oldest who pretty much hates me, "Oh look here comes one of moms downward spirals, weeeeeee roller coaster going down..." He laughs at me, has called me for 13 years a loser, moron, idiot, stupid, scumbag, deadbeat, whore, headcase, crazy person...most of these in front of our children.

I am confident that I am being emotionally abused and it needs to stop. I am seeing a lawyer on Monday to get information about my rights financially, the stronger I get, the meaner he gets. I am scared and sad for myself and our children. I don't want them to hate me for my upcoming decisions but I don't want them to live this life any more, I don't want to either. I want to be strong and healthy, anxiety-free, happy, confident and good enough for them and for me. I have never been good enough for him or for his family (who also have not spoke to me in months). Please help me.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. You are exactly right about the abuse. It is happening, it is real. I support your choice to see a lawyer and find out your rights.

I suggest you read this page on abusive relationships and follow the guidelines you find there.

You will have to rebuild your self esteem after the years of being abused. If you don't love and take care of yourself, no one else can or will. It is time for you and your children to come first.

You can do this. Believe in yourself, and do not give up. Create a good life for yourself.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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