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Tale of Two Husbands: Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde

I can't believe it happened to me. I thought I was too smart, too wise. I'd had therapy. Hell, my husband had worked as a mental health therapist for 10 years, and we both have PhDs. Here's my realization:  That I'd been excusing his "moods" and assuming he'd mellow out over time. But after his mom died, and dad is failing fast, his moods have been all over the place. Here's what he's said / done:

-While driving, flipping out into a rage b/c he took 2 wrong turns on the freeway, saying "I'm so mad I want to just drive this truck off the road into that wall." 

-After being asked to move stuff out of my ONE room (it had been there for  4 1/2 years, and I was trying to feel more at home), he picked up the box, and shook it, flew into a rage, and said, "what do you want me to do stop everything just to help you!" It was a Sunday afternoon. He could have helped or have said no. He stormed towards my room and I had to hold up my arm / hand and stop him because his behavior was threatening and scary.

-A million other times he's flown into a rage -- over how I washed / stacked the dishes in the drain, over forgetting to dry and put away his knife, (the kitchen is HIS . .  .clearly).  There are a lot of other stories. He's never physically struck me, at least not yet. Oh, and he has guns. At least a  half dozen.

When I tell I'm scared, he dismisses it -- he says "I'd never hurt you" -- meaning physically. But isn't terrorizing someone hurting them? 

This all coincides with my starting a great career opportunity -- in another city. I admit I took the position BECAUSE I couldn't stand to be living with my husband for over a couple of weeks at a time. We've never TOTALLY lived together because I've had this feeling for 5 years (almost the time we've been together) that he'd get worse, and that I should delay every possible way permanently moving there (I was there 2 months in the summer, and then off and on 2-3 weeks at a time. But now he's pressuring me to move completely, which would mean jeopardizing my job. I doubt if  I'll ever move there b/c I'm finally realizing  he's probably bipolar, and will never get help (he's toooo smart for that, plus he'd know what they'd say -- yeah, right).

TO WOMEN WHO MAY BE READING:  You do NOT NEED a husband.  No matter how much money they make, no matter how charming they might be when they are wooing you, no matter how great the sex is.  You do NOT NEED A HUSBAND.

I can't wait until I'm single. I'll never marry again.

Signed, Mrs. Jekyl-Hyde



FormerDoorMat FormerDoorMat 51-55, F 61 Responses Mar 12, 2009

Your Response


I read these stories you all share and feel validated that it wasn't me overreacting, or being over dramatic about the things my abuser was doing to me and my children. It helps give me the strength to move forward knowing I am justified in my choice to call off the wedding and end the relationship.

Thank you for this. I'm 18, and I wish I realized these same things years and years ago. My dad is like this. And it's gotten to the point where, while I was once a Daddy's Girl, I no longer care if I see him again. I head off to university in about a month and all I can think of is how happy I am to be going there away from him, never mind the wonderful new experiences I'll have there, I could care less about that. I think it's terrible that anyone can take that kind of happiness from you. Stay strong, there are better things out there, and there is always support as well. I hope all is well and will get better for you.

i am 52 have just come out of such a relationship.please believe me.the world is your oyster please get out now.with your talents of kindness and are just amazing.its just a little adjustment to being valued x x

Very similar to what I m getting away from...... best of luck

That is similar to my husband.I don't know know he is,I've been with him for 25 years.I have a 16 yr old daughter,I'm scared to leave.I know he''ll get worse with her then.It's her dad,she won't leave.She see's the strange behaviour,then dismisses it,it's dad.Who will she end up marrying.

Thank you for the reminder.

Why do you need to live in fear. Those abusers ( *** hole type) they feed on your fear. The more you let them, the more they treat you as dirt. Do not confront them but u can let them know what you feel. If they can't change or dont wish to change, you're also free..... LEAVE... Or you will spend the rest of your days in fear....

by the way its not just men---i have a girlfriend whos is realy showing her true colours after 7yrs of friend ship shes got a bad temper--yell alot... human nature--people are irrated. lifes can be tough. take care.

Next time he flys in a rage tell him to f-off--but have your cell phone ready--call the police if he threatns you--have the police number on speed dial. let them hear him yelling at you. dont even tell him.---dont be scared be strong---just keep your cell phone on you. --let them hear him clearly--they will prob show up at ur house and take him away.

I wish I had thought to do that.

I think we are all married to the same man. In dallas and looking for a face to face support group just to get that last little bit of courage to stop the madness. after all, the good there was at the beginning wasnt the real him, yet so often we know it is in there and we cling to that small part..going through the end is the hardest part-especially since it is my house in my name and he wont leave. and im scared.

I agree-from abusive father-to abusive husband--as for the sex part you dont realy need it its the men that suffer with out it .

I have been there. I grew up watching my parents beat each other and said it would never be me. But then the cursing and yelling started. Even now he won't admit that he was chastising me like I was his child...his excuse was he talks loud when he's "excited". But the hole he punched in the wall was a little harder to dismiss. But he did and fours years later I finally have the courage to say that he wasn't just controlling and domineering or just mean. I knew it was wrong when I noticed all of my friends and family were slowly fading away. And once it was just him and me he laid in on me with constant criticism to make me better. But I was never better enough to stop the attitude, the annoyance he felt, the nastiness in his voice. He knew that the only thing that would bring me down was admitting that my dad wanted nothing to do with me and that I fear rejection and being denied love. He eventually used that to hurt me. I was so embarrassed. I married this man and I knew the moment he asked I should have ran away as fast as possible.

Im still married to him, but we dont live together. He watches me, tho, even sleeps outsidein his car if we r fighting. I love him and hate him. Im so lost.

Dear Croygo, It's shocking, isn't it? After all the romance and courtship, you begin to see the real person ... I'm really glad to hear you left. I don't know if you had any inkling of his true character -- the slightest feeling that something was off -- I did, and ignored it. I'll never ignore that kind of feeling again. Take care, FDM

wow. i just recently found out i was in an emotionally abused marriage. my husband sounds alot like yours. i finally left. we have been married only 1 year. the temper tantrums started very early into the marriage. i was stunned. i did not know what to do. i should have left right then and there but was not sure what was going on. it only gets worse you know.

Do any of your ealize that they feed on your fear? Honestly, these people feed on your fear. They use it to control you! Stop letting them do that! Stop it at once!<br />
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Whenever they say or do something negative to you or around you in your presence, Stop what you are doing, turn and just walk away, be it in another room or even out the door. Do not react to them or what they are doing because it feeds the beast! Cut it off at it's source! Once these people realize they cannot get an emotional response from you, such as fear, then they will have to change tactics or leave you alone altogether. Stop this fear ba<x>sed thinking. Do not live in fear!<br />
This is a part of the lie that are constantly fed. Remember the old saying, when someone says something nasty to you or about you, just smile or laugh in their face. It will confuse them because they cannot figure you out! This is true! It does and will work! You are cutting off the beast at it's source! Do this with everyone negative in your life and watch the results. <br />
Do it today and see what happens. Good luck!

He has broken me to the point I don't know what's my fault and what's not.

Best to you on your new beginning.

Thanks so much for everyone's comments. I'm officially divorced now, and my ex was reasonable through the process. Life no longer includes being humiliated or controlled and I've gotten used to being alone. But if it hadn't been for my friend who was dying, I'd have stayed with my husband, and life with him would have taken it's toll. So I'm grateful for my friend's support, now three years ago -- it was just enough, at the right time, for me to get out before things got too bad. <br />
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I wish you all love and peace. <br />

Mazel Tov! to your new life.

Thanks FeatherlessBird!

Reminds me of my ex!There was nothing I could ever do to please him enough but.......he is just the EX now!

I agree with Yohanna. Look up Attachment Theory.

It may very well be bipolar. Could be any number of curable sickness. My husband is an alcoholic. The problem is, you can't fix him. Only he can. But you can save yourself and have a wonderful life. That's what I'm gonna do. Luck to you girl.

I think hes Bipolar .. and he seems to have a sadistic streak.. I dont understand either because like you, I am a gentle peace loving person who just wants to be appreciated and loved. I have had experience with that type of person and they destroy you little by little. At first you think you can change them. Then when that doesnt work you try to be like them. Then when that doesnt work you give up and become insulated to them. Its not a nice place to be. I think you should DEFINITELY leave him and do it quickly and without remorse. Would love to hear how youre going. Please let us know. Love and Light to you.

You nailed it when you said "at first you think you can change them." Thank you so much for your comments and concern. I did indeed leave, and am now divorced. I'm much, much better now. I remember when I first wrote this story, almost three years ago -- I was a wreck. Life is better. Take care PrincessOz.

hugs and prayers

Thank you goodseemore. Life is much better now. Take care.

This treatment is not limited to men. I know that it is popular to portray men as the Satan of the earth, but you women have an equal opportunity at being cruel too. I am married to a woman who does the same things to me. After reading on the internet, she checks every symptom of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder. She does not seem to have any feelings of compassion toward any other people. She has set-up accidents for me, like putting broken glass (in the middle of the night) in the center of the hallway leading to my bathroom. She said that it must have been an "explainable accident" and refused to talk about it She knows I go there in the morning with my eyes hardly open. She is just like my Mom. I realize that I am co- dependent and working on building up my self-esteem and moving out of here. She constantly does what she can to tear it down or harm me in any way that she can. I would eventually like to find a loving, kind and feminine woman to share my life with, but I know that I am incapable of sustaining a healthy relationship until I deal with my problems. I know that all women are not like this.<br />
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Sorry about your husband,<br />

Larry, I know it's not only men. I hope you can find a way to protect yourself and build yourself back up. Take care of yourself. Life can be much, much better. You deserve happiness.

Wow, you are talking about me!! Maybe u could read my story it may help too see that ur not the only one, 27 years 3 children and a lifetime of hell, ive gotta get out and thanks for your story, it helps to read others experiences, be very careful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He also has undiaognosed bi polar! Peace & love.

My husband is also a therapist. You would never know it. Total lack of insight. Well he did actually admit that he was passive aggressive, but refuses to address it. I have never, ever responded to a blog before but yours touched me because of the similarities. My husband's mother died and that was the beginning of the end. His covert emotional abuse became overt and cruel. Towards the end it became physical for example rolling over in bed and elbowing me"by accident". Most of the time I try to be thankful that it ended. I often wonder why he chose not to work on the problems...we weren't worth it? We had so much going for money problems, great sex, no infidelity that I am aware of. I tried to love him with unconditional love, but it just made him totally disrespect me. At least I know I tried, but I wish I had gotten out sooner when he told me that he wasn't happy. The worst of it is that our two children treat me with the disrespect. I am working on finding a family therapist now. I am glad I have a strong spiritual belief. It is the only thing that gets me through the day sometimes. Lack of friends and a family rife with dysfunction are difficult to swallow....looking for an emotional abuse support group and found this site online. Take care of yourself.

Dear Roasting, My condolences on the end of your marriage, but I am glad you are no longer subjected to his abuse. I'm sorry your children are being disrespectful. I don't have children, but I imagine this would hurt a great deal. I hope you continue to find support and new friends. Have you heard of ""? It's a good way to start ... I don't think we'll know why these men became abusive. I sometimes think I never really knew my husband until long after we married-- that the abuse was his true self leaking through. I think quite often, in fact, that he is a sociopath, and that while we were dating he "acted like" a loving person long enough to hook me, but then got tired of the act and/or realized that he could not control me sufficiently. One thing I remember is that his embraces and hugs were somehow shallow -- his touch was too light. I tried to discount it as a kind of a quirk of his. But I wish I'd taken those facts more seriously -- it was like a bad attempt to appear loving to me. I separate out this physicality of love from the mechanics of sex. Incidentally, I now am in love with my first serious boyfriend from college -- who after 31 years found me on the internet. He turned out to also be in a loveless marriage. We are making plans to marry next year some time -- he is out of the country; We talk or text several times a day. His embraces and touch are nothing like my ex's -- it is genuine love. I've never felt so loved before. Take care. FDM

I just ended an abusive relationship of many years. I had wanted to end this for quite a while, but did not to want to cause the old man to have another heart attack. Well, after an altercation at the Drs office, it came to an end. I had asked him to go with me to the Drs because I was worried that the Dr was going to deliver some bad news to me concerning my recent MRI. We waited an unusual amount of time and he finally went out to the receptionist and quarreled with her. She told him that there had been an emergency. He came back into the room and became like a smouldering volcano. A few minutes later the Dr came in and he began an argument with the Dr, who suggested that he could leave if he couldn't wait. So, he left in a huff. When I was through with the Dr, with good news, I found that the guy had left. He has not phoned me (he regularly called every evening to deliver his boring, narcissistic monologue) So I have taken the opportunity of not making myself available. I am letting my answering machine take all calls so I do not have to talk to him. I will never have anything to do with him again. It was the easiest break-off ever.

i dont think you should give up hope for men. this sounds like my ex boyfriend. im not going to give up on men and say "all men are abusive." im in no rush to find someone new but i know ill find someone who treats me right someday... if i dont, so be it!

I love the ending of your post. I never realized how good it is to be single until I'd lived with my SO. Aptly named title too. How can a man appear so sweet and charming one minute, only to reveal a venomous six-year-old, tantrum throwing, demon the next? (Joking. He is, of course, human.)<br />
When I realized I was in an emotionally abusive relationship I was embarrassed too, because I consider myself a fairly stubborn feminist.<br />
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Good thing you have a PHD. I'm an English undergrad, a single mother, and poor. Please let me win the lottery so I can afford to move! Only three more quarters till I graduate!--Then I hope to get more financial freedom. Until then, I'll just be over here tip-toeing on egg shells. (BTW--he doesn't support my financially, but our area is so expensive that moving seems like an option from hell.)<br />
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My SO is currently pressuring me to have a child by him--by tantrum mind you. He tells me that he only entered into our relationship because he wanted a child. He tells me that, because I had a child by another man (I was 19 and do not intend to repeat the mistake), I am obligated to have my SO's child. Then, when I try to discuss the expenses of children, and the complication of our different philosophies of child-rearing (I don't believe in physical punishment and my SO thinks I am too "child centered") he tells me that he is sick of my face and could care less if he ever sees me again. He tells me that I contribute "zero" to the relationship, that I am a "screw-up" and that he cannot take me anywhere into public because I will disrespect him by talking to other people about topics that he doesn't know much about, or by disagreeing with him about some opinion. <br />
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The other weekend was my birthday. We agreed to go on a trip, and I asked him, for my birthday present, for him to be nice, respectful, and not mean to me for the whole weekend. That was all I asked for, and he agreed. But on the second day he decided not to talk to me because I was spending too much time with my child. He berated me because I asked him if he wanted some salad for lunch--because I asked him before I had made it--he thought I should have asked only after I had made the salad. His grand finale was drinking all day, and finally taking his ring off and threatening to throw it away--and telling me that he was going to sell the house that I pay half mortgage on, but is technically his. Needless to say, he did not keep his promise about being nice on my birthday.<br />
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And yes--you do not need a husband. You need freedom and respect.