I am not your statistic for emotional abuse. I did not grow up in an abusive household. There was no history of abuse in the family. It wasn’t that my father was not present in my life. In fact, quite the opposite. I grew up in a very loving, caring, and supportive family where our family struggles of health problems brought us all closer together, and my dad, despite being sick, was very present in my life. I also saw how much he loved and respected my mom. I didn’t think it would be possible for me to end up with someone who grew up in an abusive home.
My ex grew up in an emotionally abusive household. His father, although at home everyday after work, did not feel it was his responsibility to help with raising him. My mother-in-law was emotionally abused by her husband. I had no idea! History began repeating itself soon after marriage. But as long as it was just the two of us, he was able to see when he hurt me and would apologize. He would tell me he knows what anger can do, and he never wanted to be “that” person. This is when I began to suspect something. As long as he said he was sorry, I forgave him, and we moved forward. After all, he was my husband, and I was in it for the long haul, in good times and bad.
He was taken back to his childhood times as soon after we got married. His parents came to stay with us for a few months, and the honeymoon was over! My mother-in-law, being the typical backwards mother-in-law from India, started negatively influencing her son towards his new wife.The abuse became worse when his mother came to visit the second time. No matter how much I did for her, no matter how much time I spent with her, or how much money I spent on her, she was never satisfied. I could never do enough to keep her happy. Because she was unhappy, my husband was unhappy.
It was very easy for him to blame me for it rather than stand up to her for me. But, over time, things got much better, and we were in sync again. We bought a house together and made a conscious decision to start our family. Keep in mind, in between her last visit and the time just before I delivered, his mother was out of the picture. So, looking back, it was no coincidence that things were better. I also figured, since it’s external influences causing the problems, it will settle at some point.
The real abuse started when my mother-in-law came back to visit after my twins were born. My precious little preemie twins. She came under the pretense of coming to help, but she did everything but. So, needless to say, my recovery from my C-section took extra long, I was sleep deprived, and exhausted, not to mention the crazy hormonal changes your body goes through after giving birth. So, instead of helping me, she watched me struggle, and would then complain to my husband about all I wasn’t able to do, like take her shopping, cook food for her and her husband, and cater to her. It didn’t matter whether I was home or back to work, getting up through the night for feedings and then working all day.
The stress and pressure and sleep deprivation also took a toll on him as well. Instead of telling his mother her complaining is not helping, and this is my wife, the mother of my children, and we are a family now, he took the path of least resistance and agreed with her. So, all of a sudden, he went from being a supportive husband throughout my pregnancy to calling me lazy, an unfit mother, useless, worthless, unattractive, and other words I will leave to your imagination. He would eat dinner with his mother and father while the babies and I were by ourselves. I would put them to bed and then eat alone while the three of them hung out. He would come home from work, talk to his parents, and ignore me. He would ask his mother about the babies’ day.
I was given the silent treatment for the next few years until i couldn’t take it anymore. He went out of his way to show he didn’t care about me. He would stay out till all hours of the morning doing God knows what, not concerned his wife and two babies were home alone. If I got hurt, he showed no concern and wouldn’t bother to even see if I was okay. He purposely would do the opposite of what I asked just to show me that my thoughts and feelings don’t matter.
His actions, according to him, were justified. My attitude, actions, and behavior, i.e. not catering to his mother, deserved this treatment from him. My behavior towards him and his family had nothing to do with how I was being treated. I am just the low life wife/daughter-in-law who deserves to be treated like a second class citizen in my own home because I could not keep with their demands. I was expected to work full time, wake up throughout the night, feed, bathe, change, and play with the babies, and cook and clean not only for me and my husband, but for two other fully capable grown adults in the house who had nothing else to do, since we kept a full time nanny when I went back to work.
I beat myself up over my part in this. Over my inability and drive to “do it all” in order to keep my husband and his parents happy with me, and to fulfill my duties. I was told I was not “good enough.” That maybe, had I just tried a little harder, I could have done more, and my marriage would have been saved, and my precious kids would not being growing up this way. I knew in my head this wasn’t true, but a part of you will replay everything and figure out what you did wrong.
There is a lot more obviously to my story than I am able to go into, but narcissism played a huge role in his behavior, and the one thing I am grateful for is that I am no longer in that abusive relationship.
What I have learned throughout all of this is that that despite major adversity, I CAN get through it and overcome it. I have learned that I AM capable of taking care of my kids myself. I have learned that I have skills and abilities that I didn’t know I had. The biggest thing I have learned? I have a lot of strength and courage. This knowledge is huge!
I am still healing, and that’s okay.The best part? I have been given a second chance to find someone that will love me and respect me for who I am, and will be that role model for my kids that they deserve.
- Co-Parenting With A Narcissist: What To Do When Your Children Are Being Emotionally Abused
- Domestic Abuse: Are You In An Abusive Relationship?
- Emotional Abuse: If You Can’t “Get Over It,” You Have To Get On With It
- Emotional Abuse: The Scars That Never Heal