Guilt...

Even though my children are grown now and even though they have grown into fine young adults I still carry a lot of guilt about staying in my marriage for as long as I did. I did my children no favours by staying but I was scared to leave. He had me beat down so bad that I didn't think I could ever make it on my own with two kids. He would threaten to kill me and them if I ever left...the look in his eyes when he would be in a rage would scare me...I knew in those moments of rage he would be capable of anything. People that knew him would find that hard to believe because he doesn't come across that way but they weren't the ones backed against the wall..being spit on and seeing that hate in his eyes. Its almost as though he would black out and he wasn't there anymore...somebody else would take over. I was so scared of that he would do if I ever left.  I lived in fear..my children seen me cry way more then they ever should have...they would crawl in bed with me and wrap their arms around me. I always said we were the three muskateers...we stuck together no matter what. I am very close with my children. I wish my children wouldn't have had to go through all that they did because of my decision to stay. They hold nothing against me but I wish I could have spared them all that pain. All they ever wanted was for him to hug them or tell them they did something right or that he was proud of them but he never would, he would rather call them names and focus on the negative things. I hated sitting down to eat meals together because if they ever spilled anything he would go into a rage...if they held their fork what he thought was the wrong way he would flip...we were all so on edge when we sat down to eat that one of us would end of doing something that would set him off then he would start smashing his fists on table, breaking dishes and things would get real ugly, real fast. So many times he belittled them in front of their friends...their friends didn't even want to come to our house because they thought he was crazy. My poor daughter he was so mean to her..she didn't deserve that. He adored her when she was a baby but as she got older it was almost as though he hated her...she would ask me, "why does Daddy hate me?" It would break my heart. The guilt gets to me...I often wonder now that he is alone and has plenty of time to think does he ever feel guilty or does he even care or does he still think he's the victim?I am so glad that is all behind me now and when I get to feeling down I remind myself of how I was living. I have been writing it all out and it helps to let it go and to know that I deserve better. I am finally feeling at peace and I don't miss my marriage. I am enjoying my new life of freedom and finally getting to be me again. Its been a lot of years since I could do that. Rediscovering me is a wonderful experience.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

Good morning Startinanew! I have been there, done that, EARNED the friggin feel guilty for stayin in a horrid marriage t-shirt. I did not get the coursage to kick my ex out until my sons were 8 and 12 yrs old respectively. IMHO, we all do the best we can at the time.......and feeling guilty will not change what our children have endured. The best I can hope for now is to show them that I will NO LONGER BE TREATED WITH DISRESPECT BY ANYONE IN MY LIFE.....including but not limited to members of my own family. I hope this gives both of my children the courage to set good boundaries and limits in their lives. Giant hugs from OKC. Cindi
deleted_user
deleted_user

oh my goodness. As I read this it reminds me so much of my husband. I was so scared to leave for years-16 to be exact. So eery that you mention the dinner table. I was always so nervous at dinner that one of us would do or say the wrong thing. It was always like walking on eggshells around him . What a terrrible way to live. He also adored the kids when they were little, especially my daughter. As she got older he always lashed out on her, more than my son. She would always ask, why does dad hate me. I also feel that same guilt for staying. My daughter has said, why didnt you leave earlier. Makes me so sad. I just always thought I could change him and like you, he would tell me if I left I would never get the kids and I would never take that chance.
Sadly, I finally had the courage to leave with the kids and he decided to take his life. Now I live with double the guilt. Just know that you and I did the best we knew how to do at that time and hopefully from it we come out stronger in the end. Big Hug.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I was about to write that I felt the same way, without the physical violence. But through a long chain of events, I now have the stove back that we had when we were newlyweds. And it has a substantial dent in it where I dodged a flying brick. The only reason there wasn\'t violence in our family is that I am too strong and fast for her. Something I am proud of - I never once struck back. In fact, when I blocked her blows, I usually blocked soft so she wouldn\'t hurt her hands. The only mean thing I did - for some reason I automatically respond to violence with giggling. Involuntary, and has escalated conflicts I didn\'t want to escalate.

But the walking on eggshells...

Walking on eggshells will kill you. Not metaphorical, actual literal dead. There is research.

I SO wish I had had the guts to get my kids out of there years ago. And now they moved with her. At least I have a safe haven ready for them whenever they want it. She was the world\'s greatest Mom to the babies, but once they had minds of their own...