Verbally Abusive Husband And Father

Where to begin? This is a very long post, but I have so much to say, it’s hard to condense 25 years of abuse into one paragraph. I grew up with two amazing and kind-hearted parents. They showered me with love, I was my daddy's princess - and mostly importantly, they showered each other with love. It was a very happy home. At 18, I was dealt a cruel blow - I lost about 50% of my hearing, it was devastating, and a difficult physical and emotional adjustment. Thanks to therapists, and my family, I was able to continue my life as "normal" person. I began to wear hearing aids, graduated from university, and I have had a successful career as an accountant for 30 years. Promoted many times, and very valued by my employers and clients. This is the only part of my life that is actually okay. My personal life is a mess.
At 25, I met my Bob - the man I would marry two years later. I did not have many boyfriends growing up, many guys were afraid of my disability, or I was insecure about it - but when I met Bob, it was so easy. He was tall, good looking, funny, and didn't care I had a hearing problem - he cared about me. He was the darling of my family, my parents loved him, my friends and their spouses loved him. He seemed like an overall great guy. During the time we dated, there were a few occasions where I saw Bob get very upset over the tiniest things that other people did. Like really really upset, over tiny tiny things. He always found a way to justify his anger. His immediate family was the opposite of mine - his parents were always either not speaking to each other, or to someone in the family, his sister same thing. There was never peace in his immediate family. He is not close to them at all. Bob seemed to be the only normal one. How wrong I was.
On our honeymoon, he blew up at me for the first time. I don't remember why he blew up – all I remember is that he insisted that I somehow offended him (please note: it is not in my nature to offend people, actually, the opposite is true - I am considered quiet and just easygoing – so his accusation, was shocking to me). As a result of my “offending” him, he became enraged and so emotionally vicious and cruel, he told me he wanted a divorce - on our honeymoon. That day, I ended up having what was the first of many panic attacks. I remember thinking on my honeymoon, "I have to go home now, after what was practically a dream wedding, and tell everyone I'm getting a divorce?? Is this actually happening? ". I felt like such a failure. But a few days later, he apologized, and was back to his normal self. I felt so relieved. And our honeymoon continued smoothly. Once we got home and settled into married life, his outbursts were more and more frequent - he blamed them on the financial difficulties he was having at work. Every day, I had to apologize for SOMETHING I did - either I offended him, or I was rude to him, or I ignored him, always always. He called me names, he punched walls, he threw the clothes from laundry baskets all over the corridor, and forced me to pick them up. I remember I was 7 months pregnant, being on on knees, crying and picking up the clothes. He would rage for hours and hours, loudly. Why didn't I leave??? I don't know. I was stupid, I was weak, I was scared - no one knew what he was really like, not my friends, cousins, - they all loved him!! Oh, he's such a great charming guy - he's everyone's favorite, the life of every party!! I would be nuts to let him go! No one knew he had a monster-side.
Fast forward, the more he raged, the weaker I became. We had two beautiful healthy children, the joy of my life - and his - yet, his raging, was directed at them as well - many many times. Always triggered by the same thing: His being offended by US. How can five year olds possibly offend a huge man? Is it even possible?? – But even then, he accused his children of offending him. He has called me and the children the following names: AS**-HOLE, B***H, Loser, Pathetic, Piece of S*** (yes both my daughter and I were at the receiving end of p.o.s.), Fat Pig, (me and my son) etc...He criticizes EVERYTHING I do, EVERYTHING the children do - we are not good enough. We are losers. When he would have these outbursts in front of my small children, being the idiot that I am, I figured I would protect them by telling them "it's okay, he will calm down", and send them to their room - and then things would be back to normal within a few days. I tip-toed around him constantly, hoping not to “offend” him. When he would come home from work telling me how he blasted people he worked with (since they too were “offending” him), I listened and let him talk. I am not allowed to disagree. He is a tyrant and a dictator – he can **** on everyone at any time, and we have to take it – or else, WE are the bad ones. I taught my children to tip-toe around him - but they didn't always know how. I hate myself for letting my children grow up in this environment. I hate myself for being so weak. As the kids got older, they would fight back - and he would blow up at them for fighting back. One thing I always did (in my mind, this made things okay, but I was wrong)...when he would verbally attack the kids, I would step in and defend them. Always. I always defended them and I would blast him immediately when he would call them ugly names. So the fighting was no longer between him and the kids, but him and me. But as long as he stopped hounding the kids, I didn’t care how much he yelled at me. As long as they were safe. (was I really that stupid to think that as long as he was yelling at me, and not them, they would be okay?)
My children are now 23 and 20. My 23 yr old daughter, has not had an easy time of this. She HATES me for having accepted this all these years. She accuses me of not having defended her. She accuses me of being a hypocrite and weak for not walking out on an emotional monster, and for letting her grow up in this environment. I don’t blame her for hating me. She is extremely verbally abusive towards me -and I accept it - because I feel guilty. it's MY FAULT she is like that, I am the one that didn't leave her dad. She is also abusive towards her brother, has been for years – I tolerate her outbursts because I feel GUILTY for not having left her dad. She’s in a lot of pain, and it’s all my fault. I was too afraid to leave, and I still am. And my being nearly deaf, doesn’t help. My hearing has deteriorated considerably, I am now legally deaf – and I rely on lip-reading. There were many many times, that without Bob, I don’t really know where we’d be. He is not always a monster. We have had many many good times too, lots of terrific vacations and holidays, our life is like a roller coaster – we can have a smooth ride, then suddenly, we have a curve (the curve is when he rages and rages) – and we have to hold on until the curve ends. It always ends. My daughter is fed up of me doing nothing, and fights with me a lot, she wants me to leave him NOW. I feel as if she is putting a gun to my head. She has had two very serious emotional outbursts recently, insisting that she cannot be in the same house as her father. (He just stands there smirks at her while she is saying these things and crying – which makes it even worse) She refuses to see a counselor. She attacked me for suggesting it – saying “you’d rather have your kids see a counselor than get rid of the problem – you make me SOOOOO sick”…She is a fulltime student, and relies on us financially.
I am in a state of limbo. I hate how much suffering he has created in all of us. When I think of my wonderful childhood, I hate that I wasn’t able to give that to my children. I owe it to them. We are in so much pain. Especially my daughter. My son, has obviously been affected too – but he complains MORE about the bullying he has received from my daughter, than the verbal abuse of my husband. She calls my son horrible names, and me, stupid me, I tell him to just brush it off. Just like I tell him to brush off what his father says. As you can see, it’s a mess. I’m a mess, and because I’m a mess, my kids are a mess. Our life is a mess. I don’t even know which way is up. I never have peace. When the kids were smaller, and I was at work – and they were home alone with their dad, so many times, my daughter would call me at work – crying that her dad was going crazy. I would leave work early, rush home, and try to smooth things over. This still goes on. Now I can’t use the phone anymore, my hearing is almost all gone – so my daughter texts me – same thing. My son texts me that his sister is being horrible to him, and that he can’t take it anymore. I cannot leave my two kids home alone– even though they are adults, because I know my daughter will verbally attack my son. I schedule my work to make sure my husband is never home alone with my kids. I have to be there to be sure no one is attacking anyone. This is not a life.
I don’t see a way out of this. It’s all my fault. I am not looking for pity, but some steps on how to A) help my daughter B) stop her from bullying my son C) stop being so weak. I have seen counselors many many many times. I have had lots of therapy over the years– it never helped. I spent many sessions talking about what my husband did, his raging, and how could I prevent his blowups. All the therapists have told me that I had to STOP the abuse by getting OUT, that was the only way – I had to STOP accepting and justifying my daughter’s abuse of me and my son. I wasn’t able to do any of it. I just stupidly put on my rose-colored glasses, and focused on the good side. How wrong I was.
Poutine25 Poutine25
51-55, F
3 Responses Apr 28, 2012

I am sorry to tell you your daughter is right. You were complicit in the abuse which left indelible marks on your daughter forever. You may not have been aware but by not protecting your daughter you did as much harm as your abusive husband. I have worked with many terribly abused children, including the horror of sexual abuse and see-no-evil mothers were complicit 100% of the time. I am sorry but by failing to protect you hurt your kids just as much as your loser husband. It is a tough thing but your daughter is 100% right. I tell you this because it took me 30 years to recover from mental devastation wrought by my raging father. I was so caught up in Stockholm syndrome I did not realise that my mother, madly in love with my abusive father, through her failure to stand up for me was just as guilty as he was. Don't expect your daughter to forgive the unforgivable.

My heart breaks for you, I know your pain. You're not weak, you're frozen. I was married to a Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde for 20 years. When it was good, it was really really good, and when it was bad it was horrid, or worse. After dozens of times wanting to leave him (I'd always say, "this time it's really over!") I finally reached a point where something inside of me broke, snapped or died. I just couldn't give him what he wanted anymore. I knew that if I continued with him, he'd kill me. My hope was gone. His rage would kill me. I didn't want to die, and, more important to me, I didn't want my kids-- 19, 17 and 14 at the time-- to see their mother die and leave them alone in the world. He left (10 years ago now) with the help of a court order of protection. I almost fainted in court, it felt so wrong to turn on him and force him out. I felt like the worst person, like I had betrayed my family, my wedding vows, even God. No one understood. Everyone thought I was bad and crazy since he was such a "nice guy." But, I had to do it if I wanted to survive. I knew the abuse was killing me; literally killing me. I was abandoned by most of my friends, family, and my church and, I believed at the time, by God. I felt utterly alone except for my kids. I learned that I stayed for many reasons, one of them being because it was familiar. Living with him and his rage was familiar. I knew what to look for, I knew when it would be good, I knew when it would get bad, I knew the rhythms of his madness and the safety of the good times. I was afraid of what I didn't know. I was afraid of me. I didn't know me. I didn't know life without him being the center of it. But in my gut, at my core, I knew he had to go or I would die. He had taken 20 years of my life, that was enough. The rest of my life was mine. Good or bad, right or wrong, the rest of my life was mine. It's been 10 years. There have been very dark and difficult times, because life is difficult. Yet the freedom that comes from breaking away from abuse is beyond words. Sometimes I still feel giddy from the thrill of being free. And my kids? They're all either in school or graduated, they're stable, happy, loving and good people, each in a decent relationship of their own. When my son was 25 (he's 30 now), he's the eldest, he put his arm around me and said, "Mom, I'm so proud of you, you're amazing. And I want you to know that you've taught me everything I know about love and life." And my daughters have seen their mother survive, struggle, win, lose, get back up and keep going. I've shown them how to be strong loving women. Now, I'm not going to say it all gets better and goes away. The kids and I still recognize behaviors and challenges from living with and through such abuse-- each in our own lives. My youngest sounds like your daughter, so fiery and angry, just like her father, really. We still have clashes from time to time, but it really came down to this: does anyone get to abuse me? even my kids? even if I'm guilty of failing them in some way, does that justify abuse? No. it doesn't. Ever. When she was 16 we had a gigantic blow-out and I told her no one gets to abuse me. Not her father, and not her. No one. And if she couldn't treat me with respect she could go to her father's or to the community children's center (modern day orphanage). Because if she didn't want to respect the parent she had, she could take her luck "out there." She yielded, we went for counseling, and things improved. She's still fieisty as hell, but she loves and respects me. The husband moved out of state and barely keeps in touch with the kids. He blames me for everything, said filthy things to our friends, family and the kids about me, and hates my guts to this day. He won't speak to me. Oh well. He is now entirely his own problem, not mine. I have my life, and my kids (and a grandbaby on the way!), and we're all known for being a close knit loving crew. Pray for the strength to stay alive. KNOW AND BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE AND RESPECT. IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. YOU'RE BEING ABUSED. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DID OR DIDN'T DO, YOU DO NO DESERVE ABUSE. Fight for your right to live without abuse. Trust, remember, and know, the best you can, that God loves you and will walk with you through the dark frightening valleys. And keep moving. It's very hard and frightening, but it's doable. Do it afraid, but do it. After all, it comes down to this: do you believe you deserve the abuse? NO? Then you have a right to live your life in freedom from it. But it's your life so you've got to do it. No one can do it for you. And you find the strength as you take the first step, then the strength to take the next step and so on. May love and truth guide you and may you know you're worthy of love and respect. God bless you, sister.

my comment is you have to stop< never too late!!!!!!!! beside you know the answers to all this questions of yours, your kids are old enough to understand the family situations. just takecare of your self and also you are not getting any younger.