Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, bullying, divorce, Marriage, Psychology, relationships > 10 Lies Men Tell Themselves In Order to Stay in Abusive Relationships with their Wives or Girlfriends

10 Lies Men Tell Themselves In Order to Stay in Abusive Relationships with their Wives or Girlfriends


pinocchio puppet

We all tell ourselves lies from time to time in order to avoid making a difficult change that we know is in our best interests. Deciding to leave a bad relationship with an abusive woman should be a no-brainer, but it’s often a painfully difficult and heart wrenching decision for many men. The following are some common lies men tell themselves in an effort to avoid making this choice:

1. I’m strong. I can take it. Maybe you can, but that doesn’t mean that you have to take it or should take it. The relationship with your wife or girlfriend is supposed to be about intimacy, mutuality and love; not a sentence at Guantanamo Bay. Psychological waterboarding, anyone?

Furthermore, you can’t take it, at least not without long-term, pervasive damage to yourself, your psyche and your body. Emotional abuse takes its toll in the form of cumulative trauma, specifically betrayal trauma. Sooner or later, you’ll develop PTSD-like symptoms and other stress-related medical conditions.

Yes, you’re strong and that’s an incredible, well. . . strength. You’d have to be strong to endure the covert and overt emotional abuse and host of other crazy-making, toxic behaviors. If you have the strength to survive (*surviving and thriving are NOT one and the same) in this relationship, you also have the strength to end it, whether you realize it or not.

2. It’s not that bad. Yes, it is. If you’re using this particular lie in order to convince yourself to stay in the relationship, keep a journal for the next 30-60 days. You can do it on your computer and keep it on an easily hidden thumbdrive or CD-RW; it doesn’t have to be an old-fashioned diary. Do it in a spreadsheet if that’s more comfortable, but record every outburst, every time she blindsides you, criticizes you, undermines you and rejects or withdraws from you. Read through it and then tell yourself “it’s not that bad.”

Seeing the daily minutiae, the venomous attacks, the disconnection to reality and the disproportionate reactions to minor absurdities in black and white can be a real eye opener. Writing it down makes it difficult to minimize, negate or question your perceptions later on. It also gives you a great record of her unpredictable and abusive behaviors should you divorce her and need evidence in a custody battle or to negate false abuse charges by her.

3. If I just work a little harder at the relationship, it will get better. I call this the “Sisyphus Syndrome.” You keep pushing that boulder up the hill only to have it roll over you on its way back down. There’s no winning with this woman. There’s no pleasing her. You can turn yourself inside out and upside down and it will never, ever, ever be enough. Even if you totally capitulate and submit, it won’t satisfy her. In fact, this kind of woman will then insult your manhood and accuse you of being a spineless coward.

Bottom line: You may as well do what’s good for you and, in the long run, for your kid(s) (if applicable). She’ll never be happy, even if you do everything she wants you to do. Additionally, the more you focus on caring for yourself, the stronger you’ll feel and be in a better frame of mind to decide if you want to remain locked in the abusive pattern or get out of the relationship. Taking care of yourself will also have the added benefit of driving her mad.

4. All relationships have conflict. Conflict is healthy. Yes, BUT it depends on the kind of conflict, how it’s handled and if it’s resolvable. Blaming isn’t part of healthy conflict. Neither are name calling, demeaning, belittling and having the same fight over and over again. It’s also unhealthy to bring up previous conflicts that happened months or years ago.

This kind of woman confuses conflict with intimacy. She substitutes anger for passion. Furthermore, don’t confuse her pathology for passion. Passion and intimacy require a certain degree of vulnerability in expressing your desires. This woman only knows how to express angry demands. It makes her feel powerful and invulnerable. Her desire is for total control and anger is her hook. She uses it to keep you engaged in one pointless conflict after the next.  Do you even know what you’re fighting about anymore or does it all seem like the same god damned thing? That’s unhealthy conflict.

5. Things will get better if I’m more patient and pay closer attention to her needs and feelings. This is a variation of #3. This is also a trap. The nicer you are to this woman, the more she’ll view you as weak and pathetic and interpret it as a license to steamroll you.

6. Sex and affection aren’t important. Yes, they are. Enough said.

Seriously though, sex may not be the most important thing in a relationship, but it’s in the top three along with kindness and respect. Aside from shared pleasures, tension relief and physical closeness, there’s oxytocin. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter released during orgasm that’s “associated with the ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships and healthy psychological boundaries with other people.” Good stuff.

Small signs of non-physical affection are equally important. It’s not the infrequent big gestures that count; it’s the little things a couple does for each other that really matter over the long haul. For example, picking up the other person’s dry cleaning because you happen to be in that part of town, going to a chick flick when you’d rather gouge your eyes out with red hot pokers, making the other person’s favorite dinner when it’s not your fave, etc.

Emotionally abusive, narcissistic and borderline women are rarely affectionate, considerate or generous. If they do something nice for you, they experience it as a loss and a degradation. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in a lopsided, nonreciprocal relationship?

7. My kid(s) are okay because she doesn’t yell at them. Witnessing physical and emotional abuse is harmful to children, even when they’re not being targeted. Just because your wife/girlfriend isn’t currently attacking your children doesn’t mean it’s not affecting them. We learn about relationships from our parents and other caregivers.

What do you think your children are learning by observing mom’s and dad’s relationship dynamic? If you could choose a relationship partner for your children when they’re grown up, would you want it to be like your relationship with their mother? By staying in the relationship, you’re telegraphing that it’s okay for the person who “loves” you to abuse you and that one individual’s needs and feelings are more important than the other’s. Additionally, when and if the children ever begin to assert their own identities and challenge mom in any way—that is if they’re not terrified to do so after witnessing the way mom treats dad—they’ll typically be subject to the same hot and cold abuse.

8. I’ll lose my home, my kids and all my assets. Yes, you’ll have to part with some of your assets and you won’t be able to spend as much time with your children. However, if you’re prepared to fight like hell, prepare in advance and arm yourself with strong legal representation, you may be able to recoup your financial losses over time and hopefully forge a new and healthier relationship with your kids. Healthier because you’re setting the example of not tolerating abuse in a relationship. Don’t confuse being a martyr with being a parent.

Your kids are going to have issues, especially around relationships, whether you stay in the marriage or not. You’ll be in a much better place to help them later on if you’re healthy, strong and happy. This half lie/half truth is a fear that’s planted and encouraged by your wife/girlfriend. She controls you through  your fear of loss.

9. Love conquers all. It all depends upon what you define as “love.” Is love control? To these women, love is control, anger and keeping others down in order to raise herself up. Do you really love her? Does your heart skip a beat when you think about her? **Please note, your heart skipping a beat should be accompanied by a smile on your lips and a twinkle in your eyes; not a panic attack.

If she wasn’t your wife or girlfriend, is she the first person you’d want to hang out with? Do you feel loved and accepted for who you are? Or have you convinced yourself that you must love this woman otherwise why would you be trying so hard to make the relationship work?

Now follow the trail backwards and ask yourself where this belief came from? Has your wife/girlfriend told you it’s your job to make her happy and that you “have to fight for this relationship?” Sorry fellas, that’s not love; that’s brainwashing. Break the spell.

10. I made a commitment and I honor my commitments. Okay, but is she honoring her commitments to you? Is she loving, honoring and cherishing you? I’m sure she thinks so. As a former couples’ patient once said, she believed it was her “job” to criticize her husband and tell him what to do to “make him the kind of man she deserved.” You could argue that wedding vows are open to interpretation, much like the Constitution, but come on. My mind still reels when I think about this woman.

Are you honoring your commitments to yourself and your dignity as a human being? Are you respecting yourself by remaining in a destructive and abusive relationship? Are you living your best life by being with this woman or do you feel like you’ve been sentenced to life imprisonment? Healthy relationships don’t feel like a jail sentence. I think when one partner abuses the other, she or he has reneged on the marriage vows (or other form of commitment).Abuse is a betrayal and you ultimately end up betraying yourself by staying in an abusive relationship.

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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides confidential, fee-for-service, counseling, consultation and coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

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Photo credit:

Pinocchio puppet by Abstract-Thinking on flickr.

  1. Rollercoaster
    March 10, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    I came across this site by researching the symptoms of BPD due to a very close friend of mine who is married to one. I’m a woman and emotionally healthy. When my guy friend started to open up to me about his wife’s behavior and how abusive she was, I kept on telling him “so leave?” I started to think he was just too submissive of a man, still in love with her and so I said “work it out?” “go to counseling?” Just like being a woman, I kept on telling him “You must have triggered something in her to cause her to act this way. You must have cheated on her, treated her bad etc.” He kept on saying that he treats her like well. I started to get annoyed with him. He kept on getting frustrated with me because I just didn’t get it. He’s right. I just can’t comprehend how a human being can treat another human being the way a BPD person can. Once he opened the flood gates and told me every little issue in his marriage, I just stood there on the phone in shock. He couldn’t have the keys to his own house because she had to control when he left for work and when he came home. She control how much food he ate and what he ate and what times he ate and if he ate with his friends. She yelled at him for wearing blue boxers, two different socks, leaving socks on floor, putting the socks wrong in the laundry basket. She got her adolescent daughter to disrespect him and not listen to him. He had to be home before dark every night, if not, she will kick him out of the house and he would have to yet again, sleep at relatives houses. He’s right. I just didn’t get it. “Just leave?” He said that he has tried over and over but she threatens to take every asset away from him. He doesn’t even want half of the crap. He just wants to sign the papers but she will play games. She threatens to ruin his life and everyone in it. Threats galore! So, he goes back and deals with it. He kisses her ass while walking on eggshells until he goes insane. He is begging for help but I can’t help him. He wants to leave but can’t. She refused to allow him to see their son for 8 years when he did try to leave once. The situation is getting me stressed out now because we both are at a loss of what he can do. He said he worked way too hard for her to take all of his stuff when she makes a lot more money than him. He said she will take all that he’s got just to ruin his life. He’s right, I just don’t get it. It’s like a bad rollercoaster that you can’t get off. I referred him to this site but he’s not the therapy type so I’m here trying to figure out from men’s perspectives on how to escape this type of relationship.

  2. sirmordred6@gmail.com
    October 13, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Hey guys… I found this website almost three years ago and I’m still in the same relationship. I feel like things have improved but I also feel really tired. My problem is that I’m with a girl who is extremely suicidal and at the same time extremely dependent. I’m trying to finish my degree so that we can move out of my mom’s house but it’s just so difficult. Her outbursts are less frequent but even small ones derail my motivation easily since I basically have 12 hour “shifts” between school and work five days a week. Without getting into more detail… I just want to know… How can I leave the relationship? The only reason I haven’t simply left is because I’m afraid she will commit suicide. She has no friends and she essentially hates her family. She doesn’t like my family either, so I’m the center of her universe. It sucks but I think it’s better for both of us if I leave. I just don’t know how to deal with the guilt that comes with it.

  3. Rosco Jenkins
    June 8, 2016 at 4:41 am

    I am in a verbal and physical abusive relationship. In scared of my wife and not happy but feel that she will do something to me if I leave her again. I want to live and be happy again but church shamed me into going back home without extension counseling for self. I’m so broken. I can’t go around my family, family does not come and visit. What gives. I guess I will stay to make others happy in spite of my happiness. I’m constantly ill and don’t have a piece of mind. As long as my grown children who are married and my wife are happy that’s all that matters.

  4. February 12, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Hello Dr. T! Thank you so much for caring about this very real issue of men, particularly gentle men, being mentally and emotionally abused by what is supposed to be the love of their lives. I too started seeking answers to the events that I noticed would reoccur continually in my relationship with my now wife. We have known each other for years, really since childhood, and grew up in the same church. As kids, we developed a friendship and as we grew older we became a couple. I left after high school for college, and returned home after the first two years of school. I did not reconnect with her until another year later when I started going back to church and we hit it off again. At this time I found out she had her first child, and although I was surprised, I wasn’t upset for I too had a child on the way by another woman so who was I to judge. We started dating and became intimate(we weren’t in any major way when we were younger, just kid stuff) and I fell in love with her. She seemed to be everything I imagined, like one of the guys with no behaviors that was over the top feminine, easy to talk to, attentive, engaging, all the obvious marks of a person “idealizing” their target. I didn’t see it, and at the time I don’t believe she had perfected the technique, so I started to really give myself completely and had never done this with any other woman before. Once, I went to visit her at her summer job she told me she had and took my best friend with me to surprise her with a gift and caught her in another cubicle about to screw a dude from her school she told me she knew!! I should have left her alone then, but I loved her and wanted to still be with her, despite the glaring protest of my friend. About a year later she became pregnant with our daughter and because she was under 21 and living with her mother, we became even closer because of the stress we were in. When she went into labor, she didn’t want me in the labor delivery room but wanted her mother instead. I started to feel then that there was a different feel to our relationship, but ignored it. 6 months later her mother past away suddenly and she had found her in their home! It was traumatic to say the least. Not long after she started to exhibit more of the Narcissistic tendencies, (devaluation of me), by not being intimate like before with our conversation and when I was there, she would be busy on the phone, and being into herself, and I would see to my daughter and her son. I didn’t mind, I thought it was from the stress of losing her mother. Then, she started taking calls and going in the back room to talk, often. I lifted the receiver on the phone in the front room one day and found her talking to a guy she said was a “friend” from school and she heard the phone click when I hung it up, and went ballistic as though I was the one sneaking around! She then told me to get out and our relationship was over…so it seemed. I moved on and married my first wife in my 30’s, she got pregnant again when she was 22 and had her last child. Some how, our daughter together got sick and was in the hospital. My wife called me and I went to visit her. That short time with them somehow “rekindled” my and my now wife’s interest and we started to talk on a friendly basis. After my first wife’s tragic death, my wife now was very helpful, showed concern, care for me and my youngest daughter, and was great! That caused me to fall for her again and we resumed a love relationship. Needless to say, it went from great to shockingly tragic since and I have exposed myself to a barrage of gas lighting, crazy making, projecting, rephrasing, passive-aggressive, etc. etc, you name it trauma at the hands of this woman to the point we broke up 3 times with me “fleeing” for my sanity. I have filed for divorce being we were literally only living together for less than a month before a left the place we had just moved into together, but since then have not yet finalized anything, at her request believe it or not. I found that odd and it put me on the search to find out what this onslaught of “very bad” behavior was. I found that every youtube video and web site I went to on subject of angry women pointed to it being a personality disorder and said in no uncertain terms to “RUN!!” As a side note, I just visited her at her place today and she was getting ready for work. She was very talkative and actually friendly in a strange way. LOL. Sorry to be so long winded, but I need to know if I should even possibly consider this to be fixable and try counseling if she will even submit to it.

  5. Jmoe
    February 8, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Wow do I feel like an idiot after reading a list of 10 lies men tell themselves and reading each one while shaking my head in the affirmative and thinking “hey that’s totally me”. Excellent article.

  6. BIGfoot
    November 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Why are these relationships with Crazies so similar?

    One thing I have suspected is that I am persuaded that many Crazies are what people would refer to as “beautiful” I have suspected that there is nothing as dangerous as beautiful woman who knows that she is beautiful. Its almost like some of these bimbos compensate their beauty with crazy making. Its like they never have a reason to use their brains, because they have an “asset”

    But…..but this so-called “asset” losses appeal when they get married, and in a crazy way, they blame their partners for “loosing” that which made them get along without using their brains. It explains why they feel offended by having a guy hanging around and claiming sole companionship with these bimbos, and denying them the opportunity to be what they always wanted to feel like……….projecting themselves as the Sun, and everybody else, as the planets that Obit it. Having just one planet is not enough (Kardashian complex) So however much this planet may obit, whatever the gymnastics it might perform, its just not enough! What will the other planets obit around? Be reasonable!! So, these Crazies mostly do suffer from inferiority complex of knowing that deep inside, they are empty of anything but the void they what the rest to fill. But since this void has been created by their refusal to be human, and use their brains, nothing will ever satisfy these crazies.

    Dr. Tara, my two pence.

  7. zerocircle
    June 12, 2013 at 4:56 am

    OMG! I had a sense that this has been going on for a while in my relationship. And I have been stuck. Saying it …but kinda feeling like I have gone mad. And I know that this relates some where down to self esteem issues. I am really glad for this website. Will read more. Hopefully, I can continue to stay on top of this and not let it over take me.

  8. June 10, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Your not.a coward mate , I know I have a wife just like the blokes on this forum have described of there partners. Your not alone just remember that!!!!

    • Juggler
      June 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      Awake,

      Thanks for your comment. I have come a long way since I posted this message of distress. I did put a stop to the madness. I just took her off the pedestal and realized that the way my wife behaves towards us will never change and it is getting worse with every year that passes.

      I realized too that I´d rather be alone than having to spend my life as a nurse satisfying every need and desire my wife has. We are the equal, we deserve to be treated right. I am no punching bag and had enough.

      My stile of life has changed a lot since I met this forum. I rarely get into arguments anymore and I have put a stop to the manipulation through sex and need of affection.

      It hast been a rough eight weeks since I started my no violence no manipulation campaign. And I can tell you It is whole of a lot better than before.

      I know I am not a coward and have now a clear sense of who I am and what I want for me and my kids in the future.

      Good luck!

      Juggler

  9. Juggler
    April 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I am horrified at the similarities between your article and my life. I lost all willingness to succeed in life. I feel in Jail. I fear for my kids and their future relationships. I miss my friends and my family. I need help!

    I am a bad experiences professional blocker, i never try to remember all the horrible things my wife does to me and our kids. I have tried many times to write journals, but when i read them them make me so sick i immediately erase them.

    Shame on me, i guess i am the coward she says I am for not having the guts stoping this madness.

  10. Annabelle Moore
    July 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    My mother-in-law has not been officially diagnosed but her actions are typical, abusive, over the top, either she loves you or she hates you. My husband, my 11 year old son and I moved to her country home 2 years ago to help her after her husband died, Huge mistake, epic mistake. At first she was grateful we were there, could not do enough for us, that did not last very long. Mostly it was the mood swings that most unnerved us, she could be fine and 2 minutes later screaming and crying, accusing us of deleting items from her computer, pouring out her milk, taking personal items, ect-bizarre accusations.

    The grandchildren were especially targeted, she would either buy them anything and everything or she would scream at them, call them names, use profanity, call them little F*** Ups, or worse. After 13 months of the emotional roller coaster we left, have been back 1 time and that was it, she attempted suicide last year right before x-mas, it was in direct retaliation to 3 of her children not inviting her to Thanksgiving. That was the last straw for my husband, he is no longer willing to subject himself, me, or our son to the abuse and has severed all communications.

  11. EDC
    April 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    As a man toiling away in an abusive marriage, I found this article to be completely eye-opening. While reading it, I kept thinking “Hey! Eyes on your own paper”.

    Honestly, my only roadblock to becoming a happier and healthier man is the prospect of leaving my children. My wife does not have a stable support system among family (felon sister with two kids from felon dad, mother married 6 times) – and the fact that she has never finished high school (let alone college) makes me fearful that she will shack up with a sugar daddy just to pay the bills while my kids are subjected to the whims of some scumbag and his new girlfriend.

    I feel like a dog trapped in a cage. I am “rewarded” with sex about 4 times a year, presented scorn on a daily basis, and made to feel as though I am useless. I feel as though I have so much to offer and deserve love and respect, but I know I will never get it from this woman. I want to be more than a paycheck. Hopefully reading this site will give me the courage to do what I know is right.

    Anyway, thank you for what you do! It is appreciated by this father of three :)

  12. Andrew
    February 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I just found your website yesterday after 5 days of not being spoken to by my wife because she caught me in a lie. I told her I only had 2 glasses of wine with my brother, but had 4, so I understood why she was mad and agreed with her. Over the last two days I have undergone a complete revelation. Yes she should be mad, but why did I lie? Because I was afraid. I’ve never been a scared type of person. But I was afraid of her belittling me or her disaproval. I knew she wouldnt like it that I spent more than an hour with my brother while she was out of town.

    I knew my wife had a temper when we started dating. I knew she abandoned people at the drop of a hat when they wronged her, but did not know the extent of it. I have been jumpy, empty, anxious, more and more since we got married 1.5 years ago. Over the past few months I have been confused, unable to focus at work, forgeting details, procrastinating, and generally sleep-walking through life. I’ve been drinking more when she is not around. I thought it was because I was getting old (I turn 30 next month). I told myself it will be okay if we had kids and I should just stick it out till we do(thank god she wants to hold off a little longer.)

    I kept telling myself it was just her personality, that it was my fault for not knowing her sweater couldnt go in the drier, that it was my fault I didnt replace the toilet paper roll after she used the last of it, that dinner wasn’t what she wanted yet at the same time my fault for not wanting to take the initiative to cook dinner without her input. My best friend moved across the country to live with me and pay my mortgage, and we had a good time for 3 years. We have not spoken for over 2 years, 2 months after my engagement.

    I always considered myself a strong individual, not overly emotional, and prided myself on my rationality. I was SURE I knew what was happening and I was really happy most of the time, and it was never as bad as it seemed.

    Now it is like a fog has lifted. I got back in the gym yesterday and this morning. I have not had so much energy in a long time. I always wondered how she could remember ever single detail about every time I did something she didnt like. Now all those occasions have come flooding back. I feel like I have control again. For the first time ever in a relationship, I feel like I understand it. Thank you for saving my sanity. The support of just knowing there are other poeple out there with these problems, and that it was not the end of their life, has given me much hope. Keep up the good work.

    • Refugee
      March 25, 2013 at 1:03 am

      It’s now 2 years after your post Andrew. I pray you escaped before having kids!

  13. rklee@yahoo.com
    January 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    A most awesome article!

  14. MM
    December 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    OK, I’ve recently been reading websites on emotionally abusive wives, and I must say that above all others, You Get It – I can’t believe how dead on you are or how you’ve pegged my relationship with my wife so exactly and so eloquently.

    It’s really sad to read in black and white what I’ve been going through for over 11 years – (she had two huge blowups on me when we were dating, and one when we were leaving the hotel after our honeymoon; she went on a rant and shrieked at me, bringing out the f- word, within a week or two after coming home – (No honeymoon period for me) – ugh I knew early on that I had made a huge mistake – in fact, I tried to break off our engagement a couple times, but somehow she manipulated me into going ahead with it – I see it so clearly now, her ways, how controlling and demanded, her emotionally charged and personal attacks, demeaning me, and the tears and sobbing, all used to bend me to her will – and I caved)

    Now 11 years and two children later, it has gotten worse – I don’t even get the apologies anymore – we don’t get any makeup s-x – I don’t get that at all anymore; once in 3 years, no kidding – and if I get more than giving her a peck on the cheek (she doesn’t give me a peck on the check herself) she seems to be doing me a favor, or tossing me a bone – or satisfying her own libido for physical touch – afterwards I feel strangely objectified, like there was no love in her physical affection.

    She also fits the PMDD traits I’ve read about, although I don’t see a strict monthly cycle – it’s always there in some way, and overflows at unpredictable times.

    I don’t want to bash her, but no one sees what I see: she’s a stay-at-home mom by her choice, and I like the idea of the mother of my children at home with them, but she’s always on facebook or ebay, does not clean, does not cook, does not grocery shop – if the house cleaning gets completely out of control, guess who’s in trouble? me of course, although I work all day – guess whose in trouble when we are out of food? yep, me – and I come home from work, and start cleaning up the kitchen, clearing off the table, so we can eat, so I can feed the kids – if I want a home cooked meal, I am generally the one who cooks it – I don’t do it for her, I do it for me and the kids – she will hold out on the grocery shopping until we have nothing, then make negative remarks and pester me until I go – she very very rarely will give the children baths; I do it everytime; when I’ve ask her to she refuses saying that she’s home with them all day and she needs a break; while I’m bathing them, she’s on facebook.

    I’ve confronted the excessive facebook, but got the same reaction one might expect from denying a drug addict her drug of choice- I’ve confronted the lack of cleaning, only to be called insensitive to what she’s going through – she’s “depressed” and “just can’t” do it – gets overwhelmed, and I’m not trying to help her.

    Her own parents don’t like being around her, and walk on egg shells so they get to see the grandchildren – they truly pity me for having to live with her all the time. That was a revelation to me when my mother-in-law told me – I thought, if her own parents feel this way, then it is real – I’m not imagining this, or blowing it out of proportion – I’m not a horrible guy.

    But leaving is not an option, mostly because of the children – even you note in your article above that it would mean less time with the children – I can’t let go of that, they are the bright spots in my life – and she would turn them against me, I’ve seen that so much in ugly divorce/custody battle cases – if we split up she will have to be the one to leave – I get the feeleing she wants me to leave, that way she gets to save face, and be the victim, and to have people feel sorry for her because I left her – she would get sympathy because all her friends see her as so so sweet and soft spoken.

    I have never felt so hated in my life as I have being married to her – I am simply a nice guy who longed to find a nice girl to marry – I see now that my being a nice guy has been taken advantage of.

    I almost don’t even care if my wife loves me or not, I simply wish to be treated with dignity and respect at this point.

    Thanks for your insightful articles, and for showing me that I am not alone.

    What I need now are ideas and strategies about living in this relationship since I am resolute to stay – i.e., do I not clean or cook to pick up her slack? do I make her cut back her facebook use? do I make her take turns giving the children baths etc? To do any of this would spark WWIII in my household, and she has no qualms about dropping nuclear bombs on me in front of the children.

    • EDC
      April 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      Man, I thought for a moment I was reading MY words, MM…

      About 3 years ago, I stumbled across a Classmates.com post where my wife had told an old classmate that she was about to join her in the divorced life…and that she couldn’t stand being around me. Sex happens about 4 times a year – and when I confront that aspect of the relationship, I am told “that is all I ever want”. Well DUH! Feed a man daily, and he won’t seek a feast. Starve him, and he’ll be looking for food at all hours of the day and night.

      I feel you on the children variable. It’s a terrible prospect to imagine some other guy raising your kids 90% of the time. It’s even more depressing to imagine those kids hating you because YOU left the marriage – regardless of the fact that you were treated like garbage.

      I’m with you, fella. There are no simple or easy solutions to this one…just reflection and tough decisions to make. Hang in there!

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