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I am more than two years separated after 36 years of what I now realize was an emotionally abusive marriage. My husband constantly criticized and controlled me without either me or him recognizing the behavior.
His brother is the same with his wife and my husband does see it with his brother and is still not able to recognize the same behavior in our marriage. I understand now that my mother was controlling and critical of me and I was always "a good little girl," so I was accustomed to this type of relationship and it was comfortable for me.
I married very young (21) straight out of my parents’ house, and my husband was also young (22). We made a good team because I was always compliant and avoided conflict. We had a close relationship and did everything together. He was my best friend and I had no other close friends.
We had children young and were able to retire in our early 50's. We were both professionals in our careers. It was when we retired that the problems started, because I felt that my opinions were never considered and it seemed like it was his way or the highway.
I went through three major life changing events at the same time - menopause, retirement and a bad car accident that left me crippled for 3 years. I became very depressed and we argued constantly. He withdrew emotionally and we ended up separating, but we never lost touch with each other.
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