Taking a few days for myself… now what?
September 8, 2014 7:56 AM   Subscribe

After a turbulent period in my marriage, I'm taking a few days out for myself. Thing is, I don't know exactly what to do in those few days, or how best to work on things in my marriage whilst I'm away.

You can see my posting history for details of why my marriage is in trouble. As it stands, I don't want to not be married to my wife, and I love her very much. There's been a lot of pain and part of what I need to know is whether there's now too much water gone under the bridge for us to ever stand a chance of being a decent couple again.

I decided to take a long weekend away for myself because I was waking every morning with anxiety about spending all day around my wife. I work from home and she's currently not working, and that, combined with our currently looking for a new house in a new town (where she's looking for work), and driving 60miles there and back again every day last week to attend viewings, had me stretched very thin. On top of that, work has been problematic recently — new management means new politics, and people that I don't trust now have hire-and-fire powers. Though I'm well regarded and good at my job, they've let me know that they're watching me so as to find a reason to let me go.

The combination of all of this, plus my wife bringing up past events again this last week, after a period of respecting my not wanting to talk about them, led to me deciding to pack a bag and spend some time at my family's holiday place near the sea.

But I don't know what to do now. I'm taking long walks every day, and generally looking after myself. I do find myself crying a lot for little or no reason, which is a sure sign that I'm exhausted and a bit depressed. I've booked a Skype session with my therapist for later today to talk about it.

I didn't give my wife a timescale on when I'd be back (I said "a few days" but couldn't say "I'll be back [Tuesday|Wednesday]" because just didn't know. I now feel that I've been very unfair, and that I should tell pick a date and tell my wife and stick to it. But I don't know if that's the sensible thing to do: my compass, as far as taking time for myself is concerned, is pretty inaccurate these days.

I'm still working — being able to telecommute has its perks — but I'm thinking of taking a few days off sick so that I can really decompress.

My wife is being very patient in all of this. We text each other throughout the day, and I've phoned her a couple of times. She tells me she wants me to find my peace, and that she wants me to be happy, even if that means letting me go. She sounds very sad, and I feel awful for reaching the point where I had to spend time away from her in order to get space and solitude. She's obviously worried about me, and she's concerned that I'm taking the time to think about whether I want to be married to her at all (which isn't true; I definitely want to be married to her. I just don't know how to handle everything that's been going on).

I know that I need to find a way to handle the stresses of life without running away, because that's not fair to my wife and doesn't exactly speak well of my ability to cope. I very much want to stay in my marriage. I love my wife very much and don't want to spend my life without her, but I can't help but feel that right now I'm betraying her horribly by running away to be by myself when things got tough. She's sat at home alone, and I know that she's feeling horrible about everything to. I want to reach out and comfort her but also have my own struggles heard, but I don't know how to achieve that.

Any suggestions are appreciated, along with your patience for YAQAM*.

Answer to questions that will get asked: We have no kids; I'm in therapy; I'm not on anti-depressants; my wife is generally against going to marriage counselling (specifically she tends to seem willing and then changes her mind as soon as I start looking into finding a therapist, and usually talks me out of it) because we've done it twice and the changes didn't stick. She's not in therapy and won't countenance going again (she's tried three therapists: the first refused to see her whilst we were in marriage counselling, the second was terrible, and she saw the third for one session before deciding that was all she needed).

*Yet Another Question About My Marriage.
posted by yasp to Human Relations (32 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I know that you want to stay married to your wife, but I've followed all your questions about your marriage and I'm worried that you're still presuming all the problems in your marriage are your fault and your fault alone and that you're still blind to the fact that your wife is abusive and disloyal to you.

I think now would be the time to stop contacting your wife and really sit with yourself and make a list of all the things that do not work in your marriage and force yourself not to make excuses for or justify any of your wife's behavior towards you. I also think you need to go towards the thing you fear most, which is the idea of separating from or divorcing your wife, because her behavior towards you as of late isn't actually supportive -- it's what an abuser does to maintain a relationship with their victim so they can continue to have control over them.

I know that it scares you to consider these things. But I want to be honest with you: based on your personal history and all the situations you've described with your wife, I would be taking this weekend to gather support from friends, family, your therapist, and a lawyer. It's not time to rescue your marriage anymore. That requires the effort of two people, and your wife isn't holding up her end of the bargain.

It's time to rescue you. Everything you do during this time away (and you don't have to give her a deadline; I wouldn't) needs to be about reclaiming your life and the spirit you've lost while being married to someone who doesn't respect you or care about your well being. Distance is going to help you see the forest for the trees where you're currently lost. Stay away as long as you can so clarity of thought can lead to an increase in willpower -- and the ability to resist her attempts to persuade you that your fears aren't worth fixing.

Sending you good thoughts. Be strong.
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:10 AM on September 8, 2014 [36 favorites]

There is no solution. This will happen until one of you passes away because you refuse to leave and she refuses to get help. This is it. This is what it will be like forever.

I'm sorry to break the bad news. The good news is that you can put a stop to it. You have to leave and you have to stay gone. For good. That will put an end to the messy roller coaster that consumes your life. You will have a hope to find peace and happiness - if and only if you leave.

I know this from cold, hard, sad experience. I have traveled this road. I finally took the fork in the road and left him. My life is a much better one for it. I can enjoy my short time on earth now because I am no longer chained to that man, a man who is startlingly similar to your wife based on what you've told us here in the past.

I have followed your story and think of you often. I'm sorry you are still in this life. You don't have to be. It will be the hardest and most painful thing to leave but it is the only way to have peace. Trust me.

Best of luck to you.
posted by sockermom at 8:13 AM on September 8, 2014 [28 favorites]

I just want to pull this out from HG's comment so it gets a little extra emphasis:

because her behavior towards you as of late isn't actually supportive -- it's what an abuser does to maintain a relationship with their victim so they can continue to have control over them.

Your wife is suddenly being kind(er) and respectful(ish) now that she believes you may actually be planning to leave her. That in itself is a huge red flag, among a giant pile of other red flags. She's not going to keep up that facade if you do stay. This marriage is tearing you apart. I really think you need to seriously consider walking away for your own well-being.
posted by obfuscation at 8:16 AM on September 8, 2014 [24 favorites]

Don't post it here, but maybe as an exercise you should write the answer you wish you would get when you post these questions, just so you can figure out what it is you want to hear and assess if there even is a reality-based answer that would actually help.

And then spend some time imagining life as a single person and figure out what it is you're so afraid of about being alone.

what I need to know is whether there's now too much water gone under the bridge for us to ever stand a chance of being a decent couple again

Yes, it is too late. You keep coming here wanting someone to tell you the magic words to change her from being abusive to being not-abusive. But once abuse starts, the relationship is ruined. It is spoiled forever. And she is still abusing you. Things are not better. She is not being understanding. She needs you for a roof over her head.

Have you shown your therapist your posting history here and the answers you're getting?
posted by Lyn Never at 8:25 AM on September 8, 2014 [21 favorites]

Agreeing with what everyone above says and then some. I'm glad you've taken this step to try to think about things alone, and in a safe environment.

I feel you should strongly think about going no contact with your wife for a few days.
You can't really focus on yourself and what you want, if you are looking at text messages from her all day which make you feel awful and guilty for seeking space and solitude.

You need to spend some time focusing on you and your needs. It's very clear from previous posts that your wife is emotionally abusing you and this has to stop.
Go to a film on your own, go to a pub and have a pint, go to a museum, go for a walk... just shake up your normal routine. Go ice skating, go to a park.... I don't know where you are but you just need to get out on your own and feel some feelings that aren't being coloured by your wife.

Also, please don't stay with her because you're afraid of being alone.
posted by JenThePro at 8:27 AM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

You keep trying to find ways of making this marriage work, which is commendable, but I'm afraid I agree with the posters above. I think this break is a trial by you to see how it feels to leave. The fact that you had trouble giving a timeline when you'd be back speaks volumes.

Marriage is about supporting one another, but you have to take care of yourself first. This marriage is actively hurting you, and your wife has proven time and time again that she has no interest in making changes to help you.

It's time to go.
posted by xingcat at 8:27 AM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I know that she's feeling horrible about everything to

No, she isn't. Or at least, not enough to do anything about it.

My answer from your last question still stands, especially There is no other answer that you can implement that's going to magically work and make her change. She is the only one who can make herself change. You don't believe us yet. I hope you will, soon.

You ask the same question and hope for different answers. You still aren't going to get them. There is only one answer, and you're apparently not ready to hear it yet.
posted by rtha at 8:32 AM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]

After reading through your past questions, I'd say your best use of the time you have right now is to find an apartment for yourself and redouble your focus on your work.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:38 AM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

During your time alone, have time alone. Tell your wife that you need no contact for 3 days and that if there is an emergency, she should tell a friend and your friend can message you. Take off work for those three days. Then, if you have an iPhone, choose the sleeping feature and set it so that only texts or calls from that one friend come through. No one else.

During this time, make google your friend. Google co-dependency. Google narcissistic personality disorder and see if your wife fits those symptoms. Have a Bible handy and pray.

If your relationship is what I think it is, you will need a day or two without your wife's voice in your head before you can hear your own thoughts.
posted by myselfasme at 8:40 AM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

You must be exhausted. You have poured time, energy, compassion, openness and a just an absolutely huge amount of EFFORT into your marriage - I've read your questions. You sound thoughtful and kind. You have tried so hard.

To abandon this marriage would not speak poorly of you at all; in fact it would be smart. You have done what you could. You've come to the end of the line.
posted by Cygnet at 8:41 AM on September 8, 2014 [18 favorites]

yasp, I too have read your questions and thought of you often, and I am proud of you for leaving, if only for a few days. You do know in your heart that being away from her is what you need to be happy. Please listen to yourself. It will take time to learn to trust your own feelings again but I know you can get there; however, I don't know that you can get there by continuing to let your wife manipulate your emotions from afar.

I went through a hard time in my marriage many years ago and thought I might have to leave, even though a lifetime spent with my husband is the only thing I have ever truly wanted in my life. What helped me was to tell myself: This is what needs to happen right now. It doesn't have to be forever. If he gets his shit together and gets better, we can be together again someday. But not right now.

Your wife needs intensive, professional help before she can be a good partner to you. Right now she is not willing to do that work. You need to face that reality. Things are not going to get better if you go back right now.
posted by something something at 8:43 AM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]

I don't agree that emotional abuse means a relationship is ruined, because people can change if they want to, and people can be abusive sometimes unwittingly exhibit bad behavior even if the whole relationship isn't characterized by abuse. But I'm talking about a one-off, not what you're experiencing, which is constant and deliberate. People can change only if they want to, and your question history shows that your wife is completely unwilling to change. You can't do anything about this. You need to take care of yourself, which means not being married to this woman anymore.

Also, you don't want to go to couple's counseling with an abuser. She will use what is discussed in the therapy session to find ways to manipulate you even further.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 8:44 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Geographical distance doesn't make much difference if you aren't gaining mental, emotional, and psychological distance as well. You have geographical distance, that's it. Continuing to talk to your wife while you are on your break is defeating the purpose and is preventing you from really focusing on yourself, and your well being.

I'm really sorry, this is extremely difficult, but staying in this marriage really should not be non-negotiable. You need to consider that option. Your marriage reads as toxic and harming and lacking in the love and support that you should be getting from a partner. What you are living is NOT a marriage that should continue. I am someone who strongly believes in marriage and that it means something more than just a legal document, and that it isn't something people should throw away hastily. Your marriage, however, is not a "marriage" by my definition. I think a marriage should bring out the best in a person, not the worst. It should bring more joy than pain. It should be a partnership with someone who you feel respects you and cares for you. What you have... it isn't any of these things. Your marriage isn't making your life better, it is making your life worse. A lot worse.

Think about this:
You felt stressed and upset and needed to find a way to feel better and think clearly. Your answer was to get away from your wife for a while. If your wife wasn't harming you and toxic to you then why did you seek geographical distance from her?

Ending a marriage is hard and painful, and I know you feel as though it isn't an option, but it IS an option. It is an option you should seriously consider.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:52 AM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]

I agree with myselfasme - you need to take your alone time. That means you need to stop contact with her, no more texting and talking with her throughout the day. You cannot and should not be the one to console her right now.

Where a couple is at an impasse, people need to get outside input. So your wife should not be coming to you for reassurance/comfort, she needs to get it from someone else. If she refuses to speak to a counsellor, then she has to talk to a close friend, a family member... how else is she going to gain perspective if it's just you and her, and she's under the illusion that she's always right, her fears are valid?

Also, you cannot change your wife, you can only change yourself. So try a thought experiment while you're on this break. What would you have to do to make your wife perfectly happy? Write it all down. And then what would your wife have to do to make you perfectly happy? Write that all down. Then take a rational look at these two lists. How much of it seems doable/realistic/reasonable, and how much of it seems impossible/debilitating/unreasonable?

Psychology today has a lot of articles on anxiety and relationships, which may help and be something you can forward to your spouse, for her own contemplation. Some relevant ones:
-Worrying in Relationships
-Why Clingy Partners Cling
-A lover's work is never done
-What to do when someone you love is anxious

And I think you should read this too:
-When is it time to leave a relationship?

But if she's going to keep denying that she has to work on herself too, to save this relationship, well there's only so much you can do single-handedly.
posted by lizbunny at 9:26 AM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

please check your meta email. :-)
posted by Bohemian Sailor at 9:42 AM on September 8, 2014

You need to go at least 48 hours no-contact. 72 would be better. What you need to figure out is what YOU want -- not what you want with her, not what you want FOR her, but what you want for YOU. And you can't do that without disentangling yourself from her; you need to figure out what your needs are. It's like trying to smell a carnation in a bouquet full of lilies. Carnations have a beautiful scent, but you'll never pick up on it with the powerful perfume of the lilies overlaying it.

Just -- just take two or three days where you don't talk to her. Figure out where your boundaries actually are. And write them down.
posted by KathrynT at 9:52 AM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

You've been with your wife your entire adulthood, so I'd imagine you're having a hard time even knowing how to "be" without her around. Spend this time apart imagining the man you would (or, more hopefully, will) be as a single person. What enriching things will you do with your time, without this misery and abuse taking up room in your head? Maybe you'll move to a city you've always wanted to explore, or get really into rock climbing, or finally adopt a dog. I think you should be thinking about how to evolve out of this stuck place you've been in for way too long. I hope this will help you come to the conclusion that a divorce would be a blessing for both of you.
posted by chowflap at 10:12 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Adding to the chorus that you need to have time completely away from your wife in order to clear your head and start being able to focus on yourself, what you want, and what you need. No calls, no texts, no emails from her or from anyone on behalf of her. (If she has an emergency, she can call 911.)

She has made your relationship entirely about her needs and your responsiblities in meeting those needs. You need some space to figure out your needs and her responsibilities, and to think about whether she can live up to those responsibilities.
posted by jaguar at 10:30 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Whatever problems your wife may have are clearly not a problem for her. She has show repeatedly that the state of your marriage is just fine with her.

If it's not working for you, you need to go. She has zero interest in changing for the better (and your question history indicates it's not worse for you only because she's bumped up against your limits.)

How honest have you been with your therapist? That is a safe space and you should not be protecting your wife in there - you should be getting help.

And, please, if for no other reason than as a favor to the internets, cut off all contact. Enlist a friend as a go between if she has/wants to claim an emergency.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:30 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a hard time being apart from loved ones but it's my problem to deal with and I've learned a lot of healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with it.

I say this because a lot of people have these kinds of emotional issues and anxieties around their partner. So I don't want you to feel like no one understands her fears. I do. The reality is though that if you are crazy in this particular way, the only way out is through. Meaning, she won't get better until she learns how to cope with her fears in a healthy way. That starts with the acknowledgement that her current treatment of you is unacceptable, inappropriate, and not okay. Abusive behavior is not an acceptable coping mechanism. In fact, she knows on some level that she's shitty to you, and that's likely a huge factor in her fear of you leaving. She suspects that you'd be absolutely correct to leave someone who behaves as she does. The tension between that knowledge and reality (you staying) makes her anxious. It also caused her to devalue you and minimize her behavior in order to lessen any guilt and shame she might feel for treating you so poorly.

So there you have it: the result of your effort and commitment is that it makes her anxious and shitty to you because she can't square it with her abysmal behavior.

The obvious answer for a relatively healthy person would be to strive to stop behaving abysmally, but she is clearly not healthy, and it is clearly a problem that is exacerbated by her being in an intimate relationship.

Anyway, there's not much you can do to help someone with this level of psychopathology. She could help herself but she has repeatedly chosen not to. So why the guilt? Why stick around and participate when your presence, at best, is neutral to her happiness and she won't do the work required to allow her to experience your relationship as a positive force?
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:19 AM on September 8, 2014 [9 favorites]

There is too much water under the bridge for you to have a healthy partnership with her. You have made more than enough effort and she remains emotionally cruel and abusive toward you. Go no contact for 3-4 days and use the time to start making an exit plan.

Let go of her. It's the best thing for both of you. Good luck.
posted by quince at 12:18 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Please note that this:

she's concerned that I'm taking the time to think about whether I want to be married to her at all...

does not square with this:

There's been a lot of pain and part of what I need to know is whether there's now too much water gone under the bridge for us to ever stand a chance of being a decent couple again.

But anyway: yes, it is too late. It has been too late for a long time. Your wife is abusive. People here are almost uniform in telling you that, and consistent in saying that across all of your questions. You are consistent in asking, so on some level, you must need to hear this message over and over again. That's OK, but I hope this time you'll hear it and act accordingly.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:52 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

driving 60miles there and back again every day last week to attend viewings, had me stretched very thin.

Seems to me you may be crying because 1. you're physically exhausted, 2. you're having a very bad time at work, and 3. nobody is looking after you. Nobody is saying, gosh, things are really tough for yasp, what can I do to help him? What can I do to help us? What can I do that he might like? How can I take some of the pressure off? 4. Someone is harshly making you relive a traumatic incident, denying your agency and your feelings, doubting your integrity, and making your pain all about themself. 5. All these things are happening at the same time.

Couples should at least be nice to each other, no?

Not going to add much more except to really, really, wish you well. And go no contact as soon as possible because otherwise she will probably have some kind of emergency tomorrow which can only be solved by you rushing home. Please try and take care of yourself. Have nice food, go for walks, try to switch off from this very hard situation for 3-4 days at least. You don't need it to be permanent, just give yourself 4 days.

p.s. emphasising that 'take care of yourself' in your case means don't let her talk to/text/email you for some days. You need for this to happen.
posted by glasseyes at 1:52 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

dear yasp:

you are allowed to leave your abusive wife. you are allowed to go and get healthy, and after that, you're allowed to be happy. you're then allowed to go find a relationship with someone who loves, cares for, and respects you, or as an alternative, you're allowed to go be alone, and free, and happy, if that's what you choose.


it's really okay. metafilter says so. DTMFA. go be whole, go be happy, go be yourself, just... go.

posted by koroshiya at 2:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [16 favorites]

Not being there physically isn't enough, if you're still texting her and still trying to look out for her.

You need to actually take time for yourself. Do not contact her. Do not respond to contact from her. Just be by yourself.
posted by RainyJay at 12:56 PM on September 9, 2014

yasp, I'd never read any of your other questions before this. I just read the one about how your wife has been relentlessly questioning you about your sexual assault and I'm just... aghast. This isn't right.

"She sounds very sad, and I feel awful for reaching the point where I had to spend time away from her in order to get space and solitude."

You phrased this as though you propelled yourself to this breaking point. You're also thinking that your own poor coping skills are to blame! The truth is that her behaviour and poor treatment of you are what forced you to this point. You are blaming yourself for her actions by twisting it around on yourself. I get that you have probably been doing this for so long that you don't see how backwards it is but you desperately need to break this habit.

The good news is that your thoughtfulness, willingness to self-reflect and to take responsibility for things is going to make you an AMAZING partner for someone. These are actually good qualities! ...but not when they're being exploited and they definitely are. I will hope for a bright future for you, as others seem to be doing, but you have to take that first (scary!) step.
posted by cranberrymonger at 2:05 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hey yasp. Have some *hugs*. Look after yourself and go well.
posted by glasseyes at 7:47 AM on September 12, 2014

Hi all,

Just wanted to leave an update and say thank you — once again — for your kindness and consideration.

In the end I stayed away for a week. I had to come back because of some unavoidable family stuff. My wife and I had a big conversation about my being away an my reasons and so far it seems that things are good.

The thing is, I can't convince myself, try as I might, that they'll stay that way. I know that we've been round in these circles before and that things will look good for a while but that sooner or later things will fall apart again. My therapist has said this many, many times — that unless my wife takes ownership of her issues and deals with them with a professional, nothing will change in the long term.

So here I am, at home, surrounded by my stuff, and wondering "is it time to go?" Thing seem so good right now — my wife is caring and attentive and hasn't mentioned the past at all since I came back. She worries every time she "screws up" as she puts it — by which she means doing something that might cause an argument — and asks me two or three times a day if I'm happy and if I want to leave. She asks if she can "relax now" and trust that I'm not going to "run away" again (fwiw this doesn't seem to be anything other than genuine and caring questioning. It doesn't feel controlling).

I have the strong feeling that this isn't a healthy way for a marriage to be, that we really should be in therapy together or that I should just walk away. And yet there's an intertia keeping me here right now (I know from some of the Mefi mail that I received that I'm not the only one to feel like this in this situation).

I do find myself waiting for my wife to do something — start a fight, violate a boundary, something — that will tell me it's really time to go. So far, she hasn't, and I feel at once relieved that she hasn't and like a coward for not just walking away anyway.

Anyway, thank you for your help and advice and internet hugs. I hope that either things will get better, or I'll be able to walk away for good soon.
posted by yasp at 11:03 AM on September 17, 2014

yasp, it might be helpful to read about the Cycle of Violence. It doesn't apply to every abuse situation, but it does apply to most of them.

If an abusive or controlling partner were horrible all the time, it would be much easier to leave. Their being nice is actually part of the abuse cycle; it's the part that keeps you hooked into the relationship.

You're not a coward. You are stuck in a cycle. Please get as much support from as many different helpful supportive people as you can.
posted by jaguar at 11:23 AM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

You are doing a good job paying attention. Keep paying attention. Keep noticing how you feel and honor how you feel. Take care of yourself.

You are not a coward. You are a human going through an incredibly difficult situation.

Walking away from my similar situation was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have not had a particularly easy life, either. I had known a lot of pain and suffering and fear - more than an average person experiences in a lifetime, I think - before I even met the man that treated me the way your wife treats you.

And leaving him was the most painful, scary, awful thing that I have ever done.

I wasn't a coward for staying as long as I did. I was a person who had more compassion and empathy and kindness for someone who was hurting me than I had for myself.

I never felt certain about my choice to leave until long, long after I was gone. I had many times where I literally sat on my hands to prevent myself from calling him. I went back many times. I still have some kind of vague, lingering... not doubts, exactly, but... sadness. A lot of sadness. I am sure that wherever he is, he is still miserable. He will never know real love, because for him love and abuse go hand in hand. And that's sad.

But I don't regret leaving him even one tiny smidge. It's not like staying was really helping him with whatever was going on in his brain, anyhow. This was a problem that was bigger than me. Leaving became my only option. I wish that I had done it sooner or faster, but things are what they are and what matters is that I am out now, and for the first time in my life since meeting him? I am genuinely feeling good and solid and happy and right. Like a human again. A person.

It is sad, and I am sorry that this is something you have to experience.

Best of luck to you. Memail me if you'd like.
posted by sockermom at 11:48 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have the strong feeling that this isn't a healthy way for a marriage to be

This feeling is correct. Keep coming back to these threads and re-read the words of people who tell you this as often as you need to. Someday, you're going to believe us and be able to act on that belief. But keep in mind, too, that you keep asking variations on the same question, and you are not going to get different answers. This is because the situation you are in is bad and wrong and destructive, and we want you to get out sooner rather than later. We're pulling for you.
posted by rtha at 12:34 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

She asks if she can "relax now" and trust that I'm not going to "run away" again (fwiw this doesn't seem to be anything other than genuine and caring questioning. It doesn't feel controlling).

This is 100% manipulative language, putting all the blame on you and the obligation on you to keep your abuser happy. She's scolding you, and she's putting you on the spot - you better be "all better" or she's going to start emotionally torturing you again as punishment.

If she cared about you she'd be asking about you, not herself. She's just worried about her rent getting paid.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:43 PM on September 17, 2014 [8 favorites]

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