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He blames me for wanting a divorce

messyleslie posted 5/9/2020 23:25 PM

Its been a while since I've been on this site but thought maybe someone might have a similar experience and be able to give me some advice or wisdom. I've written out the full story somewhere on here, but the short version is that I've been married 11 years, three young kids (youngest now 4), my husband had an affair in Jan 2017 that was maybe 6 weeks? It occurred during a massive mental breakdown in which he had stopped taking some anti-depressives and anti-anxiety meds he was on, was self-medicating with alcohol and was literally delusional. Like he would say stuff and it wouldn't even sound like him and he would accuse me of stuff that didn't even make sense. He was diagnosed with bipolar during that, but has since seen other psychiatrists and some have thought it was more of a massive depressive episode with psychotic components.

It doesn't really matter what really occurred at this point - but I spent 3 years trying to save our marriage. And he really wanted that too - he was surprisingly willing to do whatever I asked and took full responsibility. The problem is that he never stuck with anything and his mental health and alcoholism would always take over. There were some good moments in there, but really I don't think he was ever stable enough to deal with the consequences of what he did and how horribly he treated me (I didn't mention that above but he was scary and said horrible horrific things to me during that period and during episodes since.) He fully acknowledges these issues and has given me access to his therapist, psychiatrist, we have med with our pastor, he was willing to do a nightly breathalyzer in our home etc.

During the 3 years there were some very scary moments and I think I have literally said to him repeatedly that I cannot do this anymore. I'm not exactly sure how I got from there to here, but I think because of who I am it was very important to me to try to do everything I could to save our marriage and really to help him get healthy. At one point I told myself that I just wanted him to get healthy and be who he was before so that I could try to reconcile with him and that I would make a decision if I could stay in the marriage then - but it just never happened.

I was terrified of a divorce because of custody issues and not wanting him to have visitation and for a long time I felt like I could more easily protect our kids by staying in the same home.

This past fall a rapid decline and he had one particular outburst in front of our then 8 year old daughter in which he told me he wished I was dead and then left and I locked all the doors behind him as I sobbed holding my daughter and he began banging on the door demanding his phone and picked up a brick and told me he would throw it through our window if I didn't give it to him etc. I reached out to our pastor and tried to find him a different place to live but nothing ever really materialized. And it was totally the cycle of abuse were he would act out like that and then apologize and feel like total crap and say he would do anything etc.

He told me he wanted to destroy me on Halloween after I took the kids trick or treating on my own (he had promised them he would go but then never came home and accused me of making him a liar to his kids.) I now believe, and he had admitted, that alcohol was a lot bigger of a component than he admitted before.

He went out of a town for a business trip in November and I felt like I wasn't a prisoner in my house of the first time in years and told him to not come home. I realized that I had been allowing him to stay in our home because I thought it was best for him and worried he would go off the deep end if I told him to leave, but in doing what I thought was best for him I was not doing what was best for our kids or for myself. So I decided to put us first and told him he needed to find somewhere else to stay. He responded with depressive outbursts at me - blaming me - saying I was keeping the kids from him (in the beginning I did ask he just give us some space because the kids still thought he was on a business trip - and I had been solo parenting for AGES and could never count on him to help or coordinate with scheduling multiple kids sports or anything so having me do everything was not at all different for me or for them.)

Since then its been back and forth - he has been very understanding and kind and apologetic but then isn't backing it up with action. He seems to believe he is getting healthy but I just can't see it.

I told him the first week of March that I wanted a divorce and he reacted basically like it was completely out of left field. I did not understand this as I literally told him a couple weeks prior to that that I had met with an attorney and we talked about how we would handle it if I chose divorce. He completely spiraled and hasn't worked, checked himself into the ER for suicidal thoughts, has been ragey and horrible to me - then calling to tell me how much he loves me and would do anything etc.

He really believes if I gave him one more chance that it would all be okay. He told me that he feels like I didn't give him enough time (three years isn't enough I guess?) and that had I communicated to him that I was going to divorce him he would have done something different. He thinks I am making a bad decision and that I am breaking our family apart.

I know this is all a lie. I know I did everything I could. I know I stayed three years so I could leave this marriage knowing how strong I was and how good of a wife I am and how fiercely I love. There is no doubt in my mind that divorce is the right decision. I do not for one second think that he would get healthy and change. And honestly even if he did then I am pissed that it took me kicking him out of the house to make him change but me crawling into a corner under our laundry room counter to have a panic attack and sob and seeing me literally break apart didn't cause him to change. I don't want to be married to someone like that and I would never trust him again and I also don't want that marriage.

But still it really hurts me and makes me mad that he thinks this. That he has some sort of resentment towards me that I didn't give him enough time. Or blames me for the end of the marriage because I am the one who chose this.

I know I cannot change his mind. And I also know that he probably has to tell himself that in order to keep living. I know he isn't rational and so why would I expect rational thoughts from him.

But still the thought that this man that I loved so much is ending this marriage thinking something differently of me and my actions in the marriage really makes me mad.

How do I release this? I literally talk about this in therapy each time and I can rationalize and think through this all but I feel like my feelings are still hurt and I can't seem to change my feelings or let them go.

And it just causes me to spiral because he will make a comment and then I engage it. I have even told him that he can believe whatever he wants but that out of a kindness to me because I have told him it hurts my feelings to please not say those things to me. Ugh. I even have texts from him after we have had one of those conversations where he basically says its all his fault and yet it still hurts me.

(Sorry this is so long - apparently I just needed to type it out....)

The1stWife posted 5/9/2020 23:39 PM

Give yourself permission to protect yourself and your children from this insanity.

It doesnít matter what he wants.

Iím sorry for you. Stick with the therapy. It seems to help you.

BearlyBreathing posted 5/9/2020 23:41 PM

Oh my Leslieó you have been through so much. I am so sorry he has been so abusive. And please recognize that it was all ABUSE.

Of course he will blame you. Otherwise he has to accept that there are consequences to his repeated actions and abuses. And that he is not a good man to you or his children. And he is not willing or able to do that.

But you have done EVERYTHING. Now it is time to save yourself and your kids. Maybe he has medical or mental health issues. He has not addressed those. Heís an alcoholic. Heís not addressed that. You canít fix those. You cannot. Only he can.

Please use the 180 and the gray rock method to protect yourself. The 180 is in the Healing library and Iíll bump a post in the JFO forum. But you need to not engage with him. He will hurt you. I used to engage my WH and it was like a hangover every single time. The less integration the better. So keep it business like.

Iím glad you are in IC. Iím glad you have a lawyer. Good things, good steps. I found it handy to have a written list of the worse of my WHís transgressions to read and reread whenever I started falling for his lies and bullsh*t.

Hang in thereó you and your kids deserve so much more. (((MessyLeslie)))

Anna123 posted 5/10/2020 07:43 AM

Double Post, sorry.

[This message edited by Anna123 at 7:52 AM, May 10th (Sunday)]

Anna123 posted 5/10/2020 07:51 AM

He is unstable. You are concerning your thoughts with a VERY unstable person. Whatever resentments he has conjured up with his irrational mind, I am so sorry to say, are meaningless in your life going forward. It just doesn't matter.

Find a way to redirect your thoughts when you find yourself thinking of him or worrying about his thoughts. In my case, I would find myself trying to figure something out about him, and what worked for me was literally yelling in my mind "STOP!" I would then immediately switch to thinking about my own plans for myself or my son at the time. You will NEVER figure out his thoughts. You will NEVER change his thoughts. You are a separate person and allowing thoughts of him into your mind is like allowing an infection in your mind. The only thoughts you need of him are logistical, and for identifying the basic kind of person he is and how you related to him so you don't connect with a similar person going forward. It's tough because you are still in the thick of a really tough situation but you will get through this and come out the other side happier, and stronger.

Chrysalis123 posted 5/10/2020 08:43 AM

You deserve a medal for doing what you did. You could not have possibly done more to save your marriage, but it takes 2 to save a marriage.

It is perfectly OK to stop rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. You have the keys to the lifeboat. Get your kids and you onto that boat, keep on with the therapy for all, maybe Alanon for you and the kids to teach you even more about self care.

His opinion of you is very predictable. I am not surprised at all. You see, in the past he used that technique to keep you under his thumb and stick around. You have a wonderful sense of loyalty and are super dependable, and your ability to accept and tolerate a really awful situation is very high.... perfect way for him to abuse you and manipulate you like that for years.

I think maybe your good qualities went a bit out of control. You see you gave loyalty to someone that did not earn loyalty. You gave so much grace, patience, and accepted abuse in exchange for enforcing boundaries.

It is OK to stop doing that and learn more about healthy boundaries etc. Alanon really helped me, and maybe it would help you too and it is almost free.

Keep going.. each day those feelings you have will change. Remember, feelings are not facts. Facts are facts.

StillLivin posted 5/10/2020 20:23 PM

It doesn't matter what he says or what he thinks. I'm sure he knows his culpability, but he is going to deny and deny. He will keep doing this in order to try and convince you of this false narrative.
Just let it go. Let him say and think whatever he wants. It doesn't matter. The end result is you are divorcing someone who only brang misery, toxicity, and abuse to you and your child(ren). And THAT is the only narrative that matters.
He should be grateful that you're only divorcing him and that he's still able to draw breath.

CallingSpades posted 5/10/2020 22:09 PM

You've gotten great advice on detaching. He's manipulated you for years and when you admit that he can still hurt your feelings, you're giving him an avenue to further manipulate you. Please don't reveal these thoughts to him.

Also, be prepared for the abuse to escalate. He already threatened you physically (the brick incident). Mentally prepare yourself to call the police if he does something like this again. If nothing else, it will be on the record and that can only be good for your divorce and custody agreement. I hope nothing happens, but if the police do show up have them do a breathalyzer if that's possible. They will have to take him home.

Sending love to you and your amazing kids. Consider getting your oldest into therapy as soon as you can.

twicefooled posted 5/12/2020 10:32 AM

I'm 6yrs removed from this, but my exh STILL blames me for the divorce.

I've come to accept my role - that I was no longer OK with playing second fiddle in my own marriage to anything (another woman, drugs, etc.) and for my own sanity, and that of my children (the ones I'm obligated to protect because I chose him) I needed to leave.

I was not the cause of the demise of marriage but I certainly drew the line. I'm not ashamed of that. One of us had to pull the trigger before we destroyed each other.

Just remember that the same thinking that got your partner to cheat is the same justification process they are using to blame you. Just another clue of brokenness. But still hurts.

Cooley2here posted 5/12/2020 11:37 AM

A list:

Angry outbursts
Hope for your death
Scared children

Sometimes, even with a medical degree or a Phd, experts get diagnoses wrong. So look at his actions. They are of a man completely out of control, on the surface, but very good a scaring and manipulating you. Thatís the bottom line.
You need to be an advocate for your children. They donít need this toxic environment. Be careful how you leave. He sounds very narcissists and they hate to lose.

ZenMumWalking posted 5/12/2020 12:12 PM

What everyone else said PLUS:

- get a lawyer
- make sure to document any further outbursts with the police


Phoenix1 posted 5/12/2020 13:34 PM

Try to reframe your narrative. Yes, you told him not to come home and that you want a D. Don't look at that as a negative. Instead, embrace that as a positive. You had the strength necessary to say enough is enough, not fall for his manipulation tactics, and took steps to get your kids and yourself out of a toxic situation that was abusive. That shows courage! You are doing what you know to be right, regardless of what utter nonsense he spews. That.Is.Awesome!!

You gave it your all and you can walk away knowing you gave him every opportunity to become a safe partner. He failed. No matter what he says, HE failed, and he is not stable.

None of us (that I know of) got married hoping for D down the road, but sometimes we are given no alternative. He gave you nothing to work with. That falls squarely on his shoulders.

My ex blamed me in the beginning. I responded by telling him he was absolutely correct that I wanted it, and I was proud of that fact! It means I took control of my life and was no longer putting up with his very unacceptable behavior.

Be sad for the loss, but be very proud for taking proactive steps to get out of a bad situation. However, know he will continue to hurl this at you as he spirals down. Find strength in your courage to stand up to an abuser.

You've got this, and we'll walk with you down this new path.

messyleslie posted 5/12/2020 21:34 PM

Thank you all for the support.

My oldest is in therapy, and has been for a while. She is has a wonderful heart and is deeply bonded to me so its been very hard on her to see me being hurt and as much as I have tried to hide it from my kids, its impossible to when you are single parenting three little ones and having to deal with everyone on your own. She is having trouble opening up and just says its fine, but I know everything is deeply impacting her so I'm hoping sticking with therapy will help.

And I am working with an attorney - and my WH has actually been really supportive about providing spousal support and child support and we spoke to a mediator about custody and he really just agreed to whatever I was asking for. Even during the blaming me for the divorce he tells me I am a wonderful mother and did more than he could ever have asked for and he just wants to be the best ex husband he can be since he was not a good husband. I feel hopeful when I hear that, and I know thats his actual heart, but then some irrational thoughts take over his mind and he will lash out.

And I know all of what everyone has shared here - it was abuse, he is not stable, it was not healthy, I had to save myself and the kids, etc. And I totally agree. I feel 100% okay with my decision and I do take some level of empowerment in knowing I am finally standing up for myself - I have even told him that he should want more for me and he agreed.

I guess its more just like my mind can know all of this, and yet I still feel hurt when he says that stuff or is unkind to me. And I know I shouldn't - I know I need to just let it go, but its almost like a physical reaction. I talked to my therapist again about it and she said it almost seems like maybe one of my core values is justice and hearing him say things that I so disagree with and seem like a personal attack just hits me deeply and actives that value.

I don't know. I do know that regardless of my feelings I need to follow the advice given here, and given by my friends and honestly by myself to myself to just stop engaging. I need to feel the feelings and I can be hurt but I don't need to tell him that or try to get him to make me feel better. He has been my person for so long, and even though its been so long since I have been able to count on him, it still hurts that he isn't my person that I can call to talk through these things anymore. And going to him and expecting him to be kind and responsive is a habit that is hard to break I think.

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