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God Save My Marriage

Choosing the wisest option in a very controlled marriage with abusive husband

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Married 29 yrs, the Controller has been abusive for 13. The Controller says that he will be happy to go to your conference only after I return the money. To a controlling person, every outing, expenditure, etc is an opportunity to get something that they want. I don't feel a peace about that because I feel his enmity against me, usually daily. I took that step (transferring about 76%, which includes my 50% money for lawyer, and the reunion, so he doesn't have to control it, money if he makes life difficult like not allowing me Internet access or the keys to the car; he's done both before on multiple occasions, and I have to be inconvenienced, that should come out of his half ) in preparation for divorce cuz I don't want him to put it in a personal account like he has for so long.


Here's the sequence of events: it was in a joint account, but in 2007 (when husband turned into ruthless prison guard because I wasn't going to be under his thumb) I took 2 of the children to town to participate in a baseball tryout, after we get home, he pulls me and the mattress that I am sleeping on to floor, (I often slept some where else due to his unreasonable, abusive, angry, crazy making behavior) he pretends to shoot me in head with toy gun, throws all my clothes outside, won't stop till me and everything I own is out of the house, all children are up, my oldest calls police, he repeatedly hits my hand cuz I am holding him back with my 18 yr old son, so the call can get through, he says that we have betrayed him, he is uncooperative with police, spends night in jail, I file for an ex parte (civilian restraining order) I transfer all money into my personal account cuz I don't know how he will react. He feigns repentance, I drop ex parte after 2 weeks, don't file criminal charges, (I truly regret) he comes home and then I put money in joint account, then he transfers it to his personal account soon after. Then he continues in abusive behavior but not enough to get him in jail again. He thinks that his keeping the money in his name alone for over 5 years is justified because I did it first (for about 2 weeks) and he was "managing it" (how noble) Now he's a smart abuser. He had an abusive dad, they divorced, dad died of alcoholism when they were young, and he and his brother both have arrested development and are narcisstic.


That was his worst episode but he has attributes; supports home schooling, we have a home business, works out, daily leads in reading the Bible, praying, singing as a family, serves his children a lot (he often turns them against me; that's what abusers do) He's into staying home, living cheap, being with his family. Although he doesn't support family reunions, cuz he doesn't want to spend the money.


He's not winning my heart; he blames, denies and minimizes, which is what abusers do. He calls me the abuser. I hate the way he talks to me; angry, accusatory and interrupting. Then he'll sweet talk me but because he isn't a safe person, I don't trust his flattery. So much trust has been broken and it isn't being rebuilt.


He says "I have no desire to control you." I reply that he is trying to control this very conversation by all his interrupting. I'll watch behavior not listen to the verbiage.

He reminds me of the saying: Anger will dig you a hole and pride will keep you there.


I think that he would attend (endure) your conference and check the box of things I want him to do (just like he is going to the 12 meetings of domestic abuse and the lingo he learns he uses against me) and I wouldn't see a difference in his behavior. And he would go back to his friends, who think I have a Jezebel spirit or a demon. Even Focus on the Family says that concerning abusive husbands; the only ones who just think that the answer is the wife submitting is: the abuser and his friends, plus ignorant counselors.


I know we need a whole new way of marriage, where we're friends, he's abused his authority, so I want you and the nightly conference calls to be our new mediator.

I tell him that we'll let Joel and Kathy tell us what to do with the money, they are our new mediators. He won't go for it.


I was so hoping that he would truly repent but he is quite far from that. Having his buddies side with him and believe his lies and just say that he has made mistakes in the past, has enabled him to continue just the way he is. It's so sad. I really don't want a divorce but if he's going to continue to treat me the way he does then I need to. He's not acting like a husband should. We both grade our marriage as a D- for 12 years. I say he is controlling to the point of abuse and he doesn't like my boundaries; (not being alone with him as much as reasonable) and views it as unreasonable punishment. I'm committed to a healthy marriage, not a toxic abusive one.


With the children, most side with him, only one who will read a book on abuse, or read the links in an email that I send. The others are into denial, they don't want their parents to divorce and blame me. They believe their dad's lie; I'm "divorcing myself from the family." But I divulged the family secret.


Oldest finally admitted that his behavior was abuse but she and other are Daddy's girls. He serves and flatters them a lot and it wins their favor. She politely ignores me and has very short responses. One son 22, who stood up for me the most when he lived at home, telling Dad that he isn't treating me right and is not showing me respect, now isn't talking to me. (He thinks that if it isn't adultery, a woman can't divorce.) 16 yr old is his Dad's advocate and I'm concerned about his developing personality because he barely talks to me, 13 yr old son would rather live with his dad. The two youngest basically aren't doing chores that I tell them to do, but if Dad tells them, they do it right away. I continue loving them and hoping they will see the truth. It is so sad, I have been a great mom. Before this happened, when I asked a son what grade they would give our relationship an A, and the other boys an 89, but not an A because the relationship between their Dad and I was so poor.


What do you think?

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Hi Jillian! Welcome to the ministry!


In our experience, men who are as abusive as your husband usually do not change until they are faced with losing everything. My advice would be to file immediately. Hopefully that will wake him up enough to be willing to work with us.


What you absolutely do not want to do is give him the chance to file first, which is very possible if he picks up any clue that you are considering doing so. If he files, he retains all control. We have yet to see a woman end up in a good situation when that happens.


I know that you'd really like to save the marriage, and that's what we want too. Filing doesn't mean it's over. A divorce can be stopped or put on hold at any time. If your husband drags his feet long enough that the divorce goes through but then wins your heart back later, you can always get remarried. We don't want you to end up divorced. We want your husband to see his need to change, and it's going to take a big shock to make that happen.


Once you've seen this, I'm going to move your thread to the section for women whose husbands are working against the marriage. You'll get more help over there. :)

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