If it hasn’t happened to you, then it’s at least happened to someone you know: being stuck in a loveless relationship. For one reason or another, people can be trapped by those who, at least once, showed them affection. But relationships can sometimes turn toxic.
Here’s a story of someone in that situation, and what they did to turn things around.
Many thanks to reddit user scabbymonkey for sharing this story.
After twenty years of marriage I realized that I could never be anything she needed. I wasn’t spiritual enough, didn’t make enough money even with working two full time jobs ( > 120K a year), I didn’t know Jesus like she did and that every bad emotion was caused by something I either did do or didn’t do. I grew up with a mom that did this and it it was frightening to see that I recreated my childhood to the tee.
I spent 3 months on a personal journey of finding my own happiness. Every day I said good morning to her, made her coffee, I cleaned the house daily when I got home ( she doesn’t work or clean or cook ), cooked dinner and cleaned afterwards.
I stopped coming to her for any affection. I spent daily time listening to her rant about Jesus, church and anything going on with her. I decided to no longer approach her for physical affection; not trying to hug her, touch her, no more sexual advances.
Ninety days is how long it took for her to come give me a touch on the arm that ended in a hug.
Then there was the final straw…
We were sitting in bed one night and she is going on about me not being as in love with Jesus as her friend’s husband. She ask me what I am thinking… full anxiety in my chest as I actually think I am going to tell her the truth.
I am a grown man and I am afraid to speak out loud because I fear the consequences. I remind myself that there is nothing to lose anymore. I had already given up on sex, physical touch and knowing she doesn’t even care about me in any way other than what affects her. I take a deep breath. My hands are shaking. My stomach is churning.
“Your moods affect me” She looks at me is disbelief. What did you say to me? “Your moods, affect me” Like a cartoon character, I swear her face just turned into this menacing joker stare. “Why would you say that to me?”
“You asked me.”
“BUT Why would you say something so awful to me?”
I say it again more bolden “your moods affect me”.
She looks at me angrily. She yells “That’s what Victor said to me” ( her 2nd husband of two years.) She then proceeded to berate me for an hour about how much of a hurtful person I was for saying that.
In twenty years of marriage we never talked about her first two marriages and I never brought it up after she told me her side of the story, ever.
That night it occurred to me that it took me twenty years to say something it took Victor two. Her moods affect those around her and it’s awful.
That night I drove to the airport for work and thought that I should kill myself (my first suicidal thought in 47 years of life) because I could never leave her because she convinced me over the years I was an awful person and I was lucky to be with anyone. She was doing me a favor, I was told.
I filed for divorce. I wrote her a loving letter announcing my intentions and had my three daughters read it so they know exactly my thoughts. Even though I shared the letter with each daughter separately, they all said the same thing. “Why did you wait so long?” “Why did you let her do this for so long?” Good Question.
I now sleep on a couch in my office. I live on less than $10 dollars a day for food and gas. After three months I have never felt or slept better in my life.
I actually have hope again.
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