Since Madison opened this can....(thank you!)
I absolutely agree, sadly, because I didn't believe he would get worse, and he did. The jealousy, lack of appropriate boundaries, possessiveness/obsessiveness, unreasonable anger etc. showed up pretty early- the first month. But I knew he'd had a difficult childhood and felt he was a poor, damaged man that I could help heal (how many women fall into that trap????). Boy, did I try- and lose myself in the process. He was a bottomless pit- nothing- NOTHING I could ever do would fix him. Ever.
We broke up and reunited probably 10 times in 3 1/2 years. I moved in once and he kicked me & my kids out 2 days later in a fit. Months later, he did exactly what he knew would get me to trust him again- he went to counseling for several months, said all the right things, treated me wonderfully- I SWORE he was a changed man! He was! We got back together. By this time, I'd lost some friends because of him. Things began to deteriorate, but my pride kept me from acknowledging it and getting out- no, if anything, that period of him being a "changed man" had me really hooked- I was determined to find THAT man again, and then we would be happy.
We bought a house together in the mountains. The few remaining friends ('cause of course he wanted me all to himself so I rarely saw them) warned me, my mother warned me and offered to buy the house with me if I wouldn't put his name on the title (of course he was offended by that and wouldn't have moved with me, and I was still hooked and hoping for the happy family to materialize). They warned me that once he had me in the mountains, where we were isolated, his anger would escalate into violence. Where previously he'd punched walls, destroyed furniture (always mine) and held me down or pushed me once or twice, they said, he'd only get worse. No, I said- after the stress of moving ends we'll finally be happy and settled.
But they were right. It did escalate- frighteningly. And no one could hear me or him. Pinning me down and screaming in my face, destroying the old teak furniture my mother had given me, chasing after me when I attempted to walk away from an argument so we could cool down, slamming me against the wall, grabbing my arms hard enough to leave bruises while shaking me violently and oh goddess the threats and verbal abuse! It got so I hated him, wished he would get hit my a car or somehow die and give me an escape. It got so we hated each other. I fantasized about getting a gun and claiming I didn't know he was coming and thought he was an intruder and 'accidently' shot him; I began to understand the women in prison who killed their abusers. He began to BE every man who had abused me; my childhood sexual, physical and psychological abuser, my teen-years rapists. I wanted him dead. Me- the complete pacifist, a spiritual person most people described as loving, non-judgemental and grounded.
It finally ended with a wimper one weekend when I visited him in the city where he was working, as there was no work for him in the mountains. He was a complete asshole and we were both finally, simply done. That was it- the cycle was over and this time, I stuck to my guns. I refused to discuss ANYTHING of a personal nature, anything about our dead relationship, and he finally lost interest in continuing.
Now we talk occasionally as we have to finalize some house-related details. We are friendlier than ever and wish each other happiness. We were a toxic combination and I have no doubt that he will slide back into another abusive relationship, as that is who he is. Things he says tell me he hasn't learned and grown- he probably never will. Some people NEVER DO. I am ashamed to admit that I had a relationship like this in my early 20's, and swore I'd never give mySELF up for a man; I did it again, then, in my early 30's. To think it took 10+ years to learn this lesson.
I'm now dating the nicest man I have ever met in my whole life. When my previous relationship was on it's last legs, I wrote a huge, long, impossibly detailed list of who I was, who I wanted to be, and the qualities of the person I'd like to be with eventually- and thought that after a few years of getting my shit together, alone, I'd maybe date and find a nice man. Surprise, he's a teacher at my school and he called me the day he found out I was single. 20 years older (I must have been open to it as I never specified, in all those details, an age range...) and a just wonderful human being. I'm 34 and (sorry if I sound conceited) a knockout (I've been told often enough from both genders that okay, I got lucky genes); he's 54 and looks like a grandpa with big ears and bald head but verrry fit and I don't even care what he looks like! To be treated with love, respect, true caring, genuine liking- that's worth more than anything. Oh, and as a side note; he's a wonderfully passionate lover to my surprise, funny, smart, goofy, loves life, kids, people- and the list goes on!
Sorry for the long story but it was a long, long drama. I had to learn the lesson, finally; SOME PEOPLE WILL NEVER GROW. And, as our lives are a precious, sacred gift, should we be sacrificing it in hopes, in the slim chance of some miraculous change in the man we've hooked up with?
No. Choose happiness, choose life, trust that you will be happy alone. It is a choice. If I had stayed and tried another year, the misery I would have found myself in would have been MY CHOICE and no one else's. I had to choose to not be a poor victim. I am responsible for my life, happinesss and that of my children.
I think: When I'm 95 and on my death-bed, what decisions will I rue? Which decisions will I be glad I made? I know the answers when I ask myself those questions. Finally, I made the right decisions, and learned the lessons I was supposed to learn.
Oh my what a ramble. Lindsey, I wish you the best, whatever you choose. Maybe you will be lucky and you and your man will be the exception. I used to think we were going to be the special exceptions- just like teens think that THEY will be the exceptions and be okay if they drink and drive. Sorry to sound so terribly cynical. I think I better shut up now.