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Why Do I Find It So Hard To Have Faith In Myself That I Can Live Without The Abusive Person?

by Jennifer

I have lived in an abusive marriage for 11 years. The abuse was both physical and verbal. I have 3 children aged 10, 8 and 3 years and yes they have seen and lived the abuse with me. In fact the main reason I had to leave was the fact that the two older children were begging me as they were also beginning to suffer the abuse. It's so sad but I did not care about myself but I had a small bit of something left in me to know that the children did not deserve this life.

I managed to get away from my husband back in March of this year, but the last few weeks I wanted desperately to go back to him. While I was on my own I had lost all faith that I could manage my life or the children's lives and that I needed him back. So I started to beg my husband to come back, which I have done many times before, and typically he would tell me that if I would stop making him mad he would not be abusive. All the other times I would try to change myself and I had done this so many times that I got to the point I did not know who I was anymore.

Anyway this last time I tried for us to get back together and again listened to what was wrong with me, and agreed with him. Less than 2 weeks together he got very angry with me for not being on time for something and began to call me a liar, and instead of my usual pleading with him that he has it all wrong and my trying to convince him that I am a good person with good intentions and that I did not lie, I simply was delayed--I just accepted that he wanted to call me a liar and I said that if that's what he felt about me, that there was no point in my trying to convince him otherwise and I instantly left with the children.

It was a very powerful moment for me because it was the first time I understood that it was about control and that I had to let go and accept that this man will never respect me. He only wants to make me feel bad all the time and no matter what I do and have done for the past eleven years to prove to him that I love him and I am not the bad person he claims is fueling his temper, to him I am no more than an excuse he can have to blame for his inability to control his rage and temper.

I am an excuse no more no less and no matter how long I stay with him, no matter how many times I try to change myself, give up my friends and family and all the things I love--he will stll want more. The main ingredients are missing: love me for who I am, respect me for who I am.

He actually does not want to respect me and love me and that was the mistake I was making. I kept thinking if I improve something, keep the kids quiet, don't question him, etc... but none of that will work as I have just found out. Because he does not want it to work out, he does not want to stop being abusive and he simply makes up these things calling me a liar or whatever to create a reason to begin his abusive behaviour. I have now learnt this, but my problem is finding the strength to stick to it and keep the faith in myself that I can make it in life without him. Help me make the last stage of this journey.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Jennifer, and thanks for telling your story here. Congratulations to you for the steps you've already taken. Many people (mostly women) find themselves in situations like yours, which is why I have several pages on this site devoted to helping people feeling stuck in abusive relationships.

Please read the following pages and follow all of the guidelines. I hope this helps you make the last stage of your journey.

how to deal with abusive relationships
battered wife syndrome

You can do this, Jennifer. Reach deep into your heart and soul, where you know the truth of who you are, rise above the insanity and do the right thing.

Believe in yourself and the goodness of your heart.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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