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My husband's behavior has gotten so uncontrollable towards me I now recognize I am void of any feelings. He rages, yells, swears, insults me and rationalizes that his behavior is only like that towards me, therefore it is my fault.
I am embarrassed to admit to anyone how abusive he is, as he is delightful to everyone around him. He avoids talking about how he treats me afterwards, and if I bring it up he goes into another rage.
I have taken courses in anger management to demonstrate I am willing to work on the issue, I have gone to therapy to deal with the issue but after years of threats and abuse I feel nothing. It's almost satisfying.
Do I have a question? Not really, at this point what's the point?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Peggy, and thanks for telling your story here. You have successfully shut down your emotions, as a way of coping with a painful situation from which you feel there is no escape. That is a natural, normal defense mechanism for someone in your situation. The reason you feel "it's almost satisfying" is that you feel relief, now that you no longer feel the intense pain, anxiety and frustration.
You have not solved your problem, however. You're still there, and you're still being abused. You feel all alone, and for that reason I'm very glad you chose to tell your story here. In fact, you are not alone. Many women have been where you are, and there is help.
You are wiser and stronger than you think you are.
Even though you don't describe any physical abuse, you are clearly in a battered wife syndrome. By staying with him and going on with life as if the abuse were not happening, you are silently consenting to it. You have to stand up for yourself, but I'm not suggesting that you stand up to him. You have to stand up and walk out. As long as your husband continues to abuse you and takes no responsibility for his part, you are not safe, and your mental and emotional health will decline.
Find a friend, family member or women's shelter where you can go and stay while you get a plan put together in your mind. You are the only person who can save yourself from your situation, but you don't have to do it alone.
Please read these pages on relationships, which I think will help you:
how to deal with abusive relationships
battered wife syndrome
You are worthy of respect. And without respect, there is no love.
Believe in yourself, Peggy. Make up your mind that you are going to have a good life with relationships in which you are honored and respected as a person.
My very best to you,
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