I'm A Man Who Was Emotionally Abused.It all started with a breakup, strangely enough. I was married, and deployed, and my wife (at the time) had a long-running affair while I was gone. I latched on to a female friend - an ex, in fact - who was there to support me and help me move on. We got close, and I ended up replacing the cheating wife with the new woman.
Things were great until she moved in with me... then it was one fight after the other, every time I thought "If I just fix this problem, things will be great again!"
First it was "When will we get married? Make an honest woman of me!" She wore me down, and I married her.
Then it was "When will we have a baby?" More fighting. She tried to wear me down, but I refused to have a child while I was in the Marine Corps. I finished my time and got out, got a civilian job and moved to another state. I had no reason to say no anymore, so she wore me down, and I agreed to get her pregnant.
Then it was "I can't stand living in this town, I need to get out! I need to be surrounded by nature!" More fighting, and once again she wore me down. I spent a quarter million dollars buying a house in the country, and I thought we'd be happy.
Then it was "I want you to quit your job! Let's go be poor and happy together somewhere else!" By now I was starting to wise up. We fought constantly, but I refused to cave. She started going back and forth between reasons to pick a fight.
"I want us to be a polygamist family. I don't believe in monogamy anymore." I was uncomfortable with it, but she kept pressuring me to find other women to be with. Any time business took me to Nevada she tried to pressure me into visiting a brothel. I refused. I tried to test the waters a little, thinking that I could start small and maybe get used to the idea. A woman sent me naked pictures online, and I felt wrong about it. I felt ashamed, and I tried to hide them despite her telling me that I could do what I wanted with other women as long as she knew. I just couldn't face the thought of admitting that I'd tried it, even in some small measure, and that it was revolting. She found out about it and accused me of cheating. One more reason for her to pick fights.
Then she wanted to be with other men. "You're being selfish. I'm not wired for monogamy. Stop trying to control me." I tried to draw the line. For months she persisted. Constant fighting, screaming and crying for hours on end. Still, I refused.
She fought dirty. She blamed me for the abuse. She questioned my manhood, saying "Real men have jobs that let them be home with their wives at night!" She criticized my weight (though I'm not at all fat!), refused to let me sleep, refused to let me go to work. She controlled my free time to the extent that I couldn't make any friends in the new town. All my hobbies, gone. She controlled my paycheck, and how I used every one of my vacation days. We saw her family twice a month, and only saw my family once in two years.
Through all this, I just kept thinking "If we can resolve this, all the fights will stop." She knew from day one that infidelity was the one thing I could never tolerate. I went to work in the middle of a fight one day, and she decided to put an ad on Craigslist - on of THOSE ads on Craigslist - to get back at me. She didn't have sex with anyone, but she ended up having an emotional affair with one of the guys that answered it. It lasted a month before she told me about it.
That was too much. I had to end the relationship. That was three weeks ago. It's been hard, but I'm learning how to be me again.