Desperate for a miracle

Well I never thought I'd become one of those lonely desperate housewives.

I was so desperate to see the world that I maxed a credit card and went to Europe when I was 19. I loved it so much that I went again the following year. My second time I decided Italy was the slice of sunny paradise I wanted to see and that's where I met my (now) husband of 6 years. In the beginning I was blinded by the romance of Italy and the fact that we were traveling around having all the typical Italian adventures you see on tv. He was outgoing and so easy to get along with. Him being 12 years older than me, I always felt safe and comfortable taking adventures around Italy. I didn't for a second think that there was anything wrong. I knew 12 years was a large age gap but I looked past it. I kept coming back to visit throughout the years(5) as much as I could possibly could, working lots of various jobs just to save enough and go back. Finally, 7 years ago I decided to move to Italy for good. We were married 8 months later. That's when I started  to realize I had missed and ignored all the warning signs that we shouldn't be together. We stopped traveling, and all of a sudden there was no sex. At all. He couldn't get an erection and when he could it wouldn't last longer than a few minutes. No matter how much I begged him to figure out what was wrong he refused to do anything about it. Just always telling me I was still desirable and that it has nothing to do with me. I can count on one hand how many times we had sex in 6 years. To say I'm beyond hurt and depressed about this an understatement, and it was a miracle that 4 years ago I had a baby! I wasn't expecting to ever get pregnant, I thought for sure he had fertility problems and the fact we never have sex. So the one time we do that year I got pregnant. I don't regret my child and we both love him very much. We provide him with everything he wants and needs. But unfortunately he has to witness the yelling and the fighting between us. It's all he's ever known and I wish I could do something about it. 

Anyway soonafter we married I became depressed and withdrew from being the happy, outgoing person I was. I started to realize that everything about him annoyed me, and his personal hygiene became unbearable for me. I always thought to myself if he doesn't like brushing his teeth, then that's his problem. I often wondered if his mouth hurt, from the black rotting teeth and the gum disease which leaves blood on his pillow at night. It started to affect me when I couldn't let him kiss me anymore from the bad breath he constantly has. Waking up in the morning and having the bedroom smell so rotten from it truly is a gross thing to put up with. When he takes out his manicure set and digs into his two large toes to the point of blood soaked toilet paper wrapped around his toes at night to ease the pain of ingrown toenails from soccer injuries 20 years earlier is also nauseating. We stopped going out, and I never asked myself why he had no friends, no interests or hobbies, but I should have.  We just stayed home night after night watching tv. I started to realize I had made a big mistake marrying him but I loved being in Italy so I though I would just put up with it all just to live in sunny paradise.

Being unhappy, in a marriage is common I know, and you can live with your choice and stay, or end the marriage and move on. I want to leave and end the marriage. In fact I wanted to leave soon after we were married. I ask him all the time to give me a divorce but he won't even consider it. I feel like a prisoner, I know he likes having me as a roommate because I cook (very well) and clean and take care of everything while he works. He's content with having no life outside of his family at home. I have no friends, support, family, drivers license, adequate Italian skills for a job. We have no car because we can't afford one and he can't drive because he has very poor eyesight. I go weeks without having a conversation with anyone except him when he gets home. I need a job and now that my son is in school I'm actively looking and even studying for my Italian drivers license. If you were to meet this man, you would see how nice and gentle he is, which is why I don't have the words to express how he deals with me. He's never hit me, or physically hurt me in any way. It  feels like a mentally exhausting game of power with him. He seems to dominate how I act based on the guilt and calculated words he uses. I'm baffled at how I've given him my right to make my own decisions over the years. He has taken charge of everything in my life. Even if I had the courage leave I couldn't, I have no place to go, no money or income of my own. No friends or family, mediocre Italian skills. 

At 31 years old I feel like I have given my life away. I gave up my existence to a man who now just gives me food and shelter. I don't even have the courage to kill myself and I wish I did. I've known this man for 12 years and for the past 7 I have become a just a shell of a person. I used to love getting into my car and going into the mountains, camping, fishing, biking, hiking. Swimming in the Canadian lakes and rivers. Having the freedom to go and do what I please. I like being in Italy, its beautiful here, but even if I decided to go back to Canada he wouldn't let me take my son with me. If I leave I'm homeless and he takes my son from me. He's told me before he will do whatever it takes and say whatever he has to keep our son if I ever found a way to divorce him. Couple years ago I reached out to the Canadian Embassy but they suggested every thing I already tried doing. Lawyer... divorce... job... italian lesson. No lawyer here was interested in contacting me back after I sent out email after email asking for help. They said go to a women's shelter... I can't leave my child. Then they said go ask your family in Canada for financial help. I don't have the possibility to ask family for help. I come from a broken home, with two toxic parents. One is a pedophile and the other is an abusive alcoholic. My sister is the only family member I talk to and she has 4 kids and her own problems in her life to be dealing with. So I'm not asking her to deal with mine too.

After spending almost a year trying to leave, I finally gave up and stopped trying. Being dismissed and treated indifferent in my own home has just broken me. I care for my child with all my strength but I fear he's seeing such devastating emotional pain and anxiety and he is going to grow up with severe problems with any relationship he has with others. 

I get up everyday and tell myself get your son to school and think your way out of this. I'm at a loss. I ride my bike and try to take care of myself physically and even race from time to time but it's always a fight for me to go anywhere and do anything. My husband is a very jealous person and he hates having me away from him. No matter what I do he's always there watching and he never lets any person get close to me. He's quick to step in and ward off any attention he doesn't like. I think one of the reasons he never wanted to buy a car was the feeedom it would give me to go do things and have friends. When I bring it up he says we have bills and other expenses but he wants me to get my license to drive, or so he says. My Canadian license expired a few years ago and I can't use it anymore, or renew it because you have to live in Canada to get a new one. 

I cant for the life of me, think of a way out. The job market here is awful and it's been a long hard recession. I don't have skills needed to work in the economy. I feel useless, alone and completely worthless. If I could get a job I could make the transition but it would be met with such a psychological war that I don't know if I could withstand his assault. It terrifies me, deep down im truly terrified if I have the strength to leave and fight for my freedom from him, if given the chance, but I know something needs to happen. The urge to walk in front of a train, hang myself from the stair case, OD on sleeping pills, drown in the lake, or  cut an artery is so strong at times I fear that one day with the help of some booze I might just finally do it. 



Oh dear!! Forgive me in advance because your situation needs a MUCH longer response than I have time for now. If you read what you just admitted to us and most importantly to yourself and you were that single, carefree woman, what would YOU advise her to do?? I know already what all the women here will probably say. First, if you do love your son, please don’t consider harming yourself!!!!! Next, RUN!!!! To that shelter because you can only save yourself right now. If you think he can take care of your child for a while. Next talk to anyone (at the shelter, church, monastery ect. to document the situation. Can the embassy help in this?? Then his reactions may hang himself. The law may have to step in. Now you will be in a position of control. But protect yourself every second!!!!! I have to go but I KNOW you will receive more advice and it will be better than mine. So be safe and keep breathing!!

Hi again. Just got home. I needed to apologize. Again. This morning I replied to your first post and I spoke from my fairly recent, healthy state of mind. I realize that we were probably typing simultaneously. Me with my happy thoughts and you with the weight of the world!! I am so upset about your situation as will be everyone in our very caring group. Not to belittle anyone’s feelings here but I think we would all agree that your pain takes the cake. Controlling and ‘owning’ a person who should be feeling safe is NOT acceptable. Please know that. Please please please. I will try to respond later but I stand by my advice for now. So I hope you can see how serious this is and convince yourself to take serious steps

My heart goes out to you. I understand the manipulation..... fear and guilt are the tools that do work so well on me. My family knows this (and it is also dysfunctional , like yours, So there were a few family members who did use this to their advantage) After being married for 15 years, my stbx knows this too (Actually did not take him long to figure it out and he does resort to using it also) For the last 10 years there has been no communication, affection, help of any kind or any physical touch (with the exception of an occasional peck here or there. He basically just shut down both physically and emotionally. i tried that for awhile but , with nothing to look forward to, dreaded each new day) I told him many times I was not happy... tried explaining why. then mentioned divorce. There he is like your husband... he does not want it... he too is content with a roommate, cook, housekeeper, nurse. I have grown tired of giving all and getting nothing back.
I finally got up the courage to go and file for divorce on my own. Like you, I am concerned of how I will be able to survive on my own (financially more than anything)

You mentioned not asking for help from 2 toxic parents. Your husband is now making the same out of you. You deserve to be that adventurous positive girl you once were. When we are with someone who constantly is beating us down (literally, not physically) and taking all the joy away from us piece by piece they don't stop until we are broken. (Especially someone like him who is a control freak.)

I have never been to Italy or Canada so I have no idea how their support systems work. Here in the States there are women's shelters that would take in you AND YOUR SON. I guess your hardest obstacle would be trying to get away from him even for a moment to do that. I am wondering if he would allow you to get out and spend some time with your son..... to go to a park or the market and just enjoy some free time with just him. Could you maybe go visit a nearby church for a service or two? (Often churches can allow you to reach out . Over here... they may provide counseling or in a bad situation they could help you get shelter for safe haven and help you get set up with a plan until you can get on your feet.

This is too big of a task for you to even think about yourself. I know because I was also at the very point you are at. Being in that big black hole with no way out... no light at the end of the tunnel... the depression and hopelessness is so overwhelming, there is no way to see out. Years ago, I would wind up in mental health. Before I did go back out into exactly what put me there, a social worker would help arrange logical solutions for very big issues I was being crushed under on my own.

If you can, I would try to spend some time with you and your little guy. I am guessing hubby would not consent to counseling? I would try to find someone to reach out to.... social worker?... mention to your family doctor next visit?....counselor?..... someone from a nearby church?... or if there is someone he actually allows you to be a friend to.? Until you are able to get free and back to your own life again.... you can always come here. I have found many warm, caring people who have provided love and support. There are people who do care. We may not always be able to help, but sometimes advice or a friendly ear from some who has also been though so much pain and simply wants to try to spare another from the same thing may help.
My thoughts, prayers, and many hugs are with you (and your son)