The End: Part Two

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Lou did not like the sexual side effects of my medications, and he was more irritable than ever.  As a result, I repeatedly requested prescription changes; the doctor could not grasp the concept that my husband’s frustrations caused me more anxiety than the pills alleviated. One day, while waiting for a new prescription to be filled, I wandered down the strip mall to the bookstore to find book to help Lou to cope with the stress of having a depressed spouse. As I scanned the shelves, one title popped right out at me: “Stop Walking on Eggshells”, which is something Lou had said he felt like he had to do around me since I had become so sensitive. As I browsed the pages, I read a checklist of questions… and the answer to each was “YES”. Only I was not reading about me… I was reading a description of my husband, and the traits of borderline personality disorder.  I literally sat on the floor in the aisle and read most of the book.  I bought it (along with When Someone you Love is Depressed to give to Lou)… but I hid the Eggshells book in my desk at work.

I knew he was picky. I knew he had an explosive temper. I knew I could not do many things I wanted, and I constantly bit my tongue rather than disagree with him. I knew to ask his opinion before making decisions. I knew our daughter had to behave perfectly. I knew my house needed to be spotless. I knew he did not like my family, so we rarely visited and did not spend holidays with them … he didn’t even speak with his own family. I knew he needed everything to be perfect and the best we could buy. I knew we had empty bedrooms and yet not a single place for guests to stay.  I knew he had trouble maintaining work and personal relationships. I knew he got revenge on anyone whom he felt crossed him – which happened a lot.  I knew he cheated on me, and put little effort into hiding it. I knew from early on that I was unhappy and I had cheated on him, but I made sure he had no reason to suspect… And I also knew from early on that I could not leave.

I constantly ran interference between him and the rest of the world.  I helped him cope when he lost jobs because of his arrogant behaviors, including sexual harassment. To support his bodybuilding, I made carefully weighed and measured foods and we all ate his diet. Every time I complained about or questioned anything, he turned it around and convinced me that I was the one who was wrong. Since age 16, I had lived my life trying to keep him happy and stable.

What I did not know was that these things were not normal.

2 Thoughts.

  1. An acquaitance told me about your blog about an hour or so ago and I couldn’t wait to get home to start reading it…. I have only began to read it and I see and feel so many similarities in my own story that it’s amazing. I also was in a twenty year marriage and had to “bite my tongue” and just go with whatever he said no matter what it was, I was never given choices or options it was always ” his way or no way”. I have three children with him 2 girls and a boy. They even knew to becareful around their Dad on how they acted and what they say. If he was in a horrid mood ( which was most of the time) they did everything to steer clear of him.
    Really can’t wait to read all your blogs…. Thank you for being willing to open yourself up and share yourself with all of us…

  2. Thank you so much for your feedback and support. My hope is that by sharing my experiences that others will be able to recognize and find the way to remove themselves from an abusive relationship long before the twenty years that both you and I trudged through.

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