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Married Two Years And Separated

by C.R.D.
(Pittsburgh, PA)

My husband and I got married over 2 years ago. The entire marriage has transformed into an employer to employee relationship and a parent to child relationship with my husband being the controlling, nit picking, manipulative spouse who down plays my achievements privately and publicly. He talks down to me like a child being punished in private and public (belittlement), name calling, blaming, criticizing, slandering me in front of people (which has got to be the most hurtful), uses threats of abandonment to manipulate me, tells me he has hatred for me and says "I hate you" along with saying all the time "I love you".

I work for him and he does not pay me but pays my bills and is constantly reminding me of it and looking for constant gratitude over and over again. No amount of "I thank you" is ever enough. No amount of apologies can ever be enough. We've had various marriage therapists, which he quits because he claims "they beat me up and I feel bad about myself." He has a new therapist and in therapy he complains all the time about me and hardly ever focuses on himself or the role he plays in the marriage.

He has manipulated therapists, which I can tell you from a lie he told that got back to me from my therapist. I confronted him, his therapist and my therapist and he finally told the truth, then I felt violated by the fact I signed no release and Keith signed no release allowing the therapists to converse about our individual case. I have 50 plus pages of journaled notes and I cry to remember the emotional and verbal abuse, the name calling. I discussed some of this with my new counselor and she said that if a person is pinning you down and screaming 1 inch away in your eardrum and gritting and showing their teeth like as if to bite your face is also physical abuse. He bit my hand so hard and drew blood.

It is hard to face this. He was arrested 3 years ago for reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, and attempted vehicular homicide but after the case was heard only reckless endangerment stuck. In the heat of a disagreement at a restaurant he got verbally abusive and it resulted in me leaving him and going somewhere else, I had to get away from his mean mouth, I decided to go to a different restaurant. He went looking for me everywhere, kept calling my phone, I felt like I was being stalked ! When I got home 30 minutes after he did, he had his carry on luggage packed and started screaming in our driveway and said "goodbye Cassondra, you didn't pick up your phone." He got into his large truck and I was standing on ice on the outside of the drivers seat and when he noticed I grabbed the handle he floored the truck and I went flying into another car and was left unconscious.

The neighbors called the police. He went to jail. His father called me and yelled at me and did not care about my injuries and said "you better get my son out of jail", I felt pressured and did got him out. As a result, he did 9 months of court mandated anger management and reminded me everyday he did that is because I am the one who made him do it. Not the court. He has no concept of law when it comes to his actions. He runs red lights, parks illegally and screams at me when one time I got a ticket for parking in a yellow tow zone for 5 minutes - you see I just moved from Chicago and yellow line means loading zone in Chicago NOT fire zone as apparently that is the case in PA.

He screamed at me for 3 days, brow beat me and made me feel bad about myself along with the threat of abandonment over a parking ticket. That was in the beginning, I should have known that these were signs of abuse but I did not want to face it as it is hurtful to just get married and this happening to you. I get threats of abandonment if I do not call him on the dot. I remember once I was in Los Angeles visiting parents and I was to call him at 9 am and at 8 am he calls me, wakes me up and tells me to never come home to PA because I did not call him "ON TIME" he screamed at me for hours! He kept saying "where were you, where were you !!!!" I had to remind him that in Los Angeles it is 5 am right now and he said "I don't care, because you are wrong it is 8 AM." He cannot look at or make concessions.

Something is wrong with this man. I gave him a pamphlet on narcissism and he related to it by answering yes to every criteria question for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Also some disturbing things, he runs to his 19 year old daughter with his marriage problems. He does not tell anyone in his family how hard I work for our company and his family is under the impression that I do nothing except use my husband's money to get myself things. Sickening !

I work hard at all our events and our office work. His family has no idea that now his daughter does not talk to him at all for his actions, he screams and nitpicks her when she comes over. She does not come over anymore nor talk to him as he talks very harshly to her. He puts me down in front of her and wonders why she does not want to come over.
Anyway, one day I had it with all his abuse, I was crying and bent down and hit the side of my face (scraped it on an open cabinet door) and he accused me of maiming myself to call the police on him - I had it with his slander. Then he ran outside the house and screamed for all the neighbors to hear and I did eventually call the police, I couldn't take it anymore!

We are separated now, living apart, and he uses it and says "that is why we are separated because of the way YOU ARE" over and over again. This never ends. I am hurting so bad over this man's betrayal through slander to anyone that will listen about his wife and his threats of abandonment, his hanging up on me when I try to communicate and hanging up on my friends when they give him good advice. I have so many horrible stories. I love the man, but I think he needs major therapy and I am tired of feeling like I did something wrong, I am tired of walking on eggshells in fear of threats of abandonment and verbal name calling and nitpicking, itemizing everything I spend or do. I am tired of this financial abuse also.

He constantly says "I give you credit cards, I pay your bills and you are ungrateful" - I WORK FOR HIM and he says "still it is not enough", I do the house, the office work, I work through out the entire busy season on the road doing numerous fairs and festivals selling our product from April to September with sometimes 12 hours a day, I cold call new accounts, I do so much and am proud of what I do but he consistently downplays me. He put me in a position to have to get my State License for Safe Food Handleling for our business and gave me 3 weeks to study and take the test and he keeps telling me and bragging to me how fast he studied and keeps trying to compare him to me and I want him to stop doing that.

Marriage is not about competing who is faster and better and that is how I have been living for 3 years. I ask him nicely to stop with the competition and he won't. I am also finishing my school (paralegal and Microsoft office certificates) and he is supportive regarding that. He keeps saying "I expect a 60 hour work week from you" - I feel like I am his child not his wife! I feel like his employee not his wife!

Also I have had numerous surgeries including carpal tunnel of my right hand (I am right handed) and extreme elbow tendinitis due to our line of work and all he can say is "when are you going to get better already?" That is so hurtful!

I know I should have set boundaries.

Does this man even love me? This is torturous.

My husband has hurt me in so many ways.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. What you describe is not love. It is abuse, on many different levels.

You simply must start putting your own personal well being first in your life. I know this is not easy, but take one step at a time, until you are feeling strong and focused on taking action that is good for you.

You are in a "battered wife syndrome," and it is good that you are separated. Now you may need to consider cutting off communication (which I know may be difficult because of your work). You may also want to consider getting another job if possible.

Take a look at these three web pages, and follow all of the recommendations you see there.

how to deal with abusive relationships

Believe in yourself, and take very good care of yourself. That has to be your top priority, for anything in your life to really work well for you.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

P.S. If you found this to be helpful, please consider making a donation to this site to support our mission to help you become your own best anger management resource.

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Aug 06, 2010
"Expectations in Marriage" CD
by: C.R.D.

Dear Dr. DeFoore,

I just purchased and received your cd "Expectations in Marriage". My husband and I are excited about spending an afternoon listening to your cd together.

I have a great feeling we can both learn from it !


Jul 13, 2010
Response to your comment
by: Dr. DeFoore

It is great that you are willing to try to save your marriage. I have, in rare cases, seen these types of marriages survive. It happens only when both people take total responsibility for their own part of the problems. Hopefully, your husband will start doing that at some point.

I'm glad you have a therapist. I encourage you give this everything you've got, with a focus on getting yourself healthy.

My best,

Dr. DeFoore

Jul 13, 2010
fixing the marriage
by: C.R.D.

Thank you for your valuable advice. My question to you is "is this marriage fixable" and "how do I or we fix it?". I know I own my part of the marriage. I learned that in therapy along with the fact that I cannot fix his part of the marriage.

My husband has agreed to go to marital counseling because I gave him an ultimatum. He originally wanted to "wait" until we fix ourselves. My therapist disagrees and feels we both need individual therapy and marital therapy under one roof so to say while we are separated. I also am encouraged to attend a weekly women's group for abused women.

Part of me just wants to focus on the good he does which is a tremendous amount, but 15 percent of the time it is abuse and goes into cycles. I do not like how he handles stress and anger as he blows up and tries to blame me for the cause of his actions. I should not have to live in fear from his blowups because I say something he does not agree with. I should not have to live with his interrogations of WHY I "choose this over that" and the debates.

He tries so hard to NOT go to a reputable licensed therapist as he quits them over and over again, he claims he can't afford to see a licensed therapist and in the same sentence he says "I will pay whatever it takes to fix YOU". I know better than to believe this situation.

Also, I find him yelling at me at the same time with his loud aggressive tone he is telling me I am yelling. I am getting wiser and wiser with therapy realizing his childlike non-communication type behavior. That really hurts as I had so many dreams and wishes for this marriage. He really IS a good guy with good morals, a good provider, etc. but this abuse shadows his good. Are there many women in this situation that are confused such as myself ? There is more to marriage than this - isn't there ? I have never been married before; he has been married and the reason for their divorce was that he got too controlling - his daughter told me that, when I ask him he says that he cannot remember.

Is there really men out there who respect women and treat them right and communicate, men who you feel you can share things with and not judge you, or not judge you for your quirks but rather cherish you and all your flaws. I feel that I am so brainwashed for example: if we go out to eat and I order what I want to drink or eat, I get a lecture and told "what is wrong with you, I am ordering only this and why can't you". Please tell me what is wrong with that statement as I start to feel controlled, manipulated and the end result is I feel bad about myself for making my unique choices. What type of tactic is he using ? Is this common in women who are abused ? I am tired of either second guessing myself and my choices and thinking there is something wrong with me.

Have you seen relationships such as this get better, if so, how did they get better ?


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