How did you tell others you were in an abusive relationship?
November 9, 2011 7:51 AM Subscribe
I realized last night that I need to get out of my emotionally abusive marriage. I'm really scared for a lot of reasons. For those of you who have been in my shoes, how did you "come out" to others about your situation? How did you cope with people who told you you brought it on yourself?
posted by anonymous to human relations (32 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Here are the basics: I'm in my 30's. I've been married for 1.5 years. I've been with my husband for 6 years. We are located in suburban Cook County. We have no children.
It's been a long, painful slide from being called "adorable" to being addressed as "you fucking dumb piece of shit" or "you fat lazy cunt." During the course of a day, he's more likely to tell me he loves me than call me one of those names, but when he does say that stuff, it cuts me straight through the heart.
He hasn't hit me, but he's come close a couple of times. For example, before our marriage, he held his hand up by my head during a fight and punched his hand instead of my head. We've been fighting so often lately that I'm afraid hitting will soon be on the menu.
But I have to be accountable here: Before he called me "you fucking dumb piece of shit" last night to end an argument, I called him an asshole. In doing some research, I've found that DV specialists don't consider that the most loving behavior either. I've hit him a couple of times on the arm during fights, but that was four years ago and it scared the shit out of me and I went into counseling and got on medication and I haven't hit anyone since.
I realized last night that it's not going to get any better. "I just get so frustrated when you do dumb things," he said later. I've tried being calm and rational during a fight, but usually I end up screaming and swearing right back at him. He refuses to get any sort of counseling, even when I told him our marriage was at risk. I am currently not seeing anyone either, due to my finances.
I am so ashamed to tell anyone how bad it's become. I've told a couple of supportive co-workers that I was not happy in my marriage and I was thinking about divorce before this, but I couldn't rely on them for further help. My support system is far-flung and for the most part, not located in the Chicago area. If I leave, I most likely can't stay here, as I have no car of my own, no money of my own, and I work for the same company as my husband does.
I'm especially nervous to talk to my parents. I come from a household where my parents screamed at each other about every little thing, but it never got to the point I've described above. My mom always told me when we heard about someone we knew who was going through DV or had divorced an abusive spouse that she brought it on herself. My dad will rage about the $20k he spent on our wedding and liken me to Kim Kardashian. In fact, my brother grabbed my arm 10 years ago so hard it bruised and my parents did not punish him and told me I brought it on myself.
I feel so horrible. I have a history of depression and anxiety and I can barely function these days. (Most of our fighting has been tied to my trouble at work and that the house is not as clean as he wants it to be.) I don't know where I can turn to.
(Tl;dr: I am in an abusive marriage which I need to leave. I have no support system where I live. I am too ashamed to talk to the people in my support system out of state and I don't have a lot of resources to start over. Divorce would mean a tremendous upheaval to my life on top of the legal proceedings. If you've left an abusive relationship, how did you do it?)