During our 14 year marriage, 3 kids, Husband hooked on vicodin, in and out of rehab – one year alledgedly clean but has had a few relapses and is on step 1. I had to kick him out as I could not take the constant criticism, screaming, swearing at me calling me names, everything was my fault (or he would say "50% is my fault"and he would sarcastically say he was sorry, but I made him act that way "I’m the only one he acts this way around". I am so sad and lonely, but feel more calm. He says he never felt better being away from me has freed him from the chaos and he is excited about the possiblities for his future now that he is away from me and my verbal abuse, controlling and physical abuse (I have slapped his face once when he was screaming at me that i was a lazy N word – and I used to try to physically prevent him from leaving when he would go into a rage – I have not done this for years). I have been in therapy for years and always hear about the cycle of abuse and the honeymoon period. Well, there doesn’t seem to be one for me. He just expects me to forget what has happened and for awhile I would beg him to come back, so sorry whatever it was I did I won’t ever do again. Very pathetic stuff. Then, when he got out of rehab, he was very apologetic, and then expected everything to be ok – for the kids to automatically trust and respect him, for me not to bring up the past, etc. Then the blaming started. I let the kids talk to him that way, I take sides against him with the kids, My mom is rude and I side with her. I would defend myself as I did not see this as truth – I would try to tell him the other "sides" of the situation, but would always preface with " Yes you are right, our son shouldn’t talk to you that way, but maybe he was feeling bad because you just disgraced him in front of his friends" and then the war would begin "he would either say he didn’t do anything, or that he was just joking, or "of course you take his side". Because I don’t see it that way we would argue and it would end with him cussing me out and leaving. Well this last time after he was extorting our daughter – he found out that she had seen an "r" rated movie and terrified that she would get into trouble if I found out, he used this to get her to do chores, and so that she would not tell me that he had talked to his old highschool girlfriend on "myspace". He excused this behaviour as "it went too far, i was just joking with her, I was only doing it so she would do her chores". Lazy, "you’ll end up fat and waddling just like your mother, not worth anything, no man is going to want you (because there was laundry in the laundryroom); said sexually innappropriate things in front of me, our kids and my mom (nothing explicit, more vulgar) and continued to do so even after the therapist said he should cease immeditely. He would reduce the amount of times he would make comments and say "see how good I’m doing, I only called you "meat" twice today. He accuses me of controlling him by not letting him watch r rated movies and preventing him from living and that he is not ever going to church again. He had made religious commitments which included not smoking and putting family first and when his actions were contrary to these committments, I was scared (especially since when he used vicodin, the behaviours of going against all of these commitments was very prevalent and I was ultra sensitive to "r" rated movies with nudity as when he was using he was watching pornography. Anyway I felt and feel like I was not what he was accusing me of – rather I was constantly trying to defend myself, and protect the kids from tyranny and double standards and unfair punishments. And trying to work at my job, raise the kids and be the financially responsible one. Our therapist has said that he may be bi-polar and an addict. My question is this, "is it possible that I really am the one causing all of this?" I know my needs are not being met, and am dismissed or yelled at if I complain. I honestly do not think for a minute that I am what he says, but is it possible that I am triggering him to such a level that he can’t control his behaviour? I know that he has not kept any of his committments to me or the kids and yet I am the one who he blames for the lack of respect in the home. I have found a great support group of abused women, have a personal therapist, and our marriage counselor. I am trying to hold everything together, but continue to get caught up in whether or not this is my fault, and should I call him to try and work things out. I have called and begged him to work this out, and he says he is not ready to talk to me yet. Why am I such a putz?
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It is bad enough that your husband is abusive towards you. There is no need for you to be abusive to your self. You are not a "putz." What you are is a woman caught in the web of repeated abuse with promises to reform.
I am not sure why you are "trying to hold everything together." There are some things in life that just will not hold together. Your marriage is one of those things that just makes no sense. In every way it sounds as though you and the children are much better off when your husband is not around. He abuses Vicodin, which, as you know, is a highly addictive pain medication. Vicodin also causes the abusers of that substance to become emotionally unstable and angry.
Your husband blames you for everything that has happened. Blaming others is typical of people who are addicted. They blame others instead of taking responsibility for their own behavior.
What I have to ask you is why you remain in this very damaging marriage? Of course, there are a number of reasons why those who are abused remain in the relationship. Among these are:
1. The fear they will never find another person to love them.
2. The fear that they cannot financially support themselves or their children.
3. Fear of abandonment.
4. Coming from an abusive environment while growing up makes it difficult to imagine living in a way that is different and healthy.
5. Fear that if they leave the abusive partner he may do something violent to get revenge, even commit murder.
You have a lot of support to help you finally separate from this angry and violent man. It is time you took the steps you need in order to build a healthier life. If you fear for your life then report him to the police and get a restraining order for him. Also, your support group of abused women can show you how to get away from this man.
As to whether your husband has a Bipolar illness or not my reaction is that it makes no difference. Having a serious mental illness is no excuse for violent behavior. You and your children have a right to feel safe and to live a calm and secure life.
Now is the time for you to act to build a new way of living and before anything tragic happens. There are those people who remain in abusive relationships too long and end up getting killed.
End the cycle of abuse in your life NOW.
Best of Luck