Stuck in a toxic relationship - Anxiety and Depre...

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Stuck in a toxic relationship

Puppyrunner profile image

I've been trying to get out, but I am so stuck. We have a house together. We work in the same building. I tried everything I could think of to try to make it work and get him to try to make things better between us but nothing is working. I am tired of this and I can't do it much longer. I have no support. I can't go but I can't stay. I don't even have anywhere to go to.

24 Replies

Dearest Puppyrunner, I see that nothing has changed since I responded to your post a month ago. But I do understand the position you are in and how it can affect your mental health. I will say that you are in a difficult position in not only having the house together but working in the same building doesn't provide you that feeling of escape even for a little while. "I can't go but I can't stay" says it all.

You do need some professional advice as to how you would take that first step as well as

where you would go. You're life needs to change and with changes may come sacrifices.

(This is if you are sure this marriage is going nowhere) A professional may recommend a trial separation. I am not in a position to advise you. This forum is to help you get through your emotional struggles.

I will tell you that some decision needs to be made for both your physical and mental health.

If not, one year from now you may be writing the same thing. You are not alone. There are many on this forum struggling with the same issues. I wish you well Puppyrunner :) xx

Puppyrunner profile image
Puppyrunner in reply to Agora1

Thank you for being here for me yet again. I contacted a lawyer who told me that the best thing to do was to try to remain civil with him as divorces can get seriously ugly very quickly. I am trying to avoid this, obviously. Yes, we have the house together, and we work in the same building, but unfortunately he also can't drive. So now I have to drive him everywhere he needs or wants to go. I feel like I can't even have my own space. When we get into fights I try to escape to another room and he says it's his house just as much as it is mine and he will not be banned from a room just because I am in it. At one point I loved this man more than I thought it was possible to love another human before. But unfortunately this relationship has turned into my biggest stressor. I wish to God that we could get back what we once had but it has been so long of me struggling and him putting his head in the sand and saying everything is fine.

I was able to finally get an appointment with a counselor last week after months of trying to get one. (The insurance that comes with my job only allows certain counselors to be covered so I had to go through many hoops to seek help). But I had my first session last week and although I felt better that day and the following day I fear I have too much going on that her schedule won't be enough to help. I wish I had friends or family for support, but all the "friends" I have at work are friends with my husband and I found out that he has been telling them lies about me and now they are acting differently towards me.

Oh dear I am sorry things haven't improved between you two. Houses can be sold you know even in a pandemic. Hopefully you can get enough out of it to rent or even buy a smaller place just for you. You could always insist you split the house into two and each have your own areas. Is that possible?

If he doesn't like it tell him the house will be sold then. He can't make you do anything against your will. Ok he can make it difficult sure but if you want out of the relationship then it's over.

Oh and refuse to drive him anywhere. Tell him no and to get an uber instead. If he isn't put any effort into the relationship then why should you? It doesn't sound like you have children so it should be easier than if you did.

You are right we don't have kids and thank god we don't. I could only imagine what kind of situation I would be in if we did. I've tried talking to him about one of us moving out and the other covering the mortgage or we each take our own space. He says he looked at places but he hasn't found anything. The other thing is even if he found a place he has no way of getting to work without me. I know what you are saying about driving him everywhere. When you say it everything makes total sense. But I feel so bad. He can't drive because his license was taken away and he blames me because he went out drinking and got a DUI when we got into a fight one night. He keeps saying that night was my fault and I KNOW it's not but at the same time I feel bad for him. He makes me feel like I'm such a terrible person and I know I'm not perfect. Not by a long shot, but why does he have to be this way.

He is gaslighting you. Look up the term and narcissistic abuse online. Try PsychCentral as there are some great articles there. You are not to blame in any way at all as he chose to drive whilst drinking resulting in a DUI. It is his fault 100% so don't listen when he tries to blame you. He needs to learn to take responsibility for himself and not blame others.

To be honest I don't see much hope for the relationship if he continues like this. It's essential you protect yourself and not let him grind you down to a point where you wonder if you are going mad.

Don't talk to him tell him how it will be and refuse to be 'talked' out of it. If you have decided you want to leave it's non negotiable. Stand your ground and never give your power away. Ok it will be a traumatic time but that's much better than the alternative to 'keep the peace'.

Thank you. I know you are right that it is not my fault. I don't see the relationship working at all if he doesn't change. The problem is the part of me holding on that hopes he will wake up and see that change needs to happen.

I think the 2 of you need to sit down and have a long serious talk. Tell him what you have told us (maybe show him this site) and see how he reacts. If he refuses or won't take your concerns seriously then you will have a clearer idea what you want to do.

Change takes effort and understanding and he has to be willing to admit this first. Don't hold your breath waiting or expecting him to change if he won't listen to you. I think he could be the one who needs therapy rather than you so see if he is willing to go himself. If he refuses and will not change then he never will so you are probably better off seeking someone who doesn't treat you like this. You are not his mother!

We have had multiple conversations before. He keeps going back and forth of if I want a divorce then he will give it to me, and he wants to make things work out between us. I told him that I think both of us would benefit from doing therapy on our own to work on our own problems. I have been far from perfect in the relationship. But I also told him I was interested in doing couples therapy to help us communicate better and hopefully get us back on track. He was down for it, but he keeps changing his mind. He told me yesterday that he no longer wants to go to therapy because he can't drive and he doesn't want to add the burden of me keeping track of his appointments and working around his schedule on to me. He says he feels bad enough that I have to drive him to/from work and everywhere else and he doesn't want to add more to my plate. I get it but at the same time I can't live with the way things have been.

He is making excuses not to go that's all. I would make it a deal breaker that he does or you are definitely leaving him. If he won't make the effort he either doesn't see the problem or he won't make the effort. Remind him that working on a relationship takes effort and you can't make it all on your own.

Tell him he needs to decide whether he wants to give you a divorce or he wants to work on your marriage. He is currently vacillating between the 2.

You know what. I think that's a great idea to make it a deal breaker. This way I can finally know how seriously and what kind of work he is willing to put forward in order for it to make it work. My only concern is that he will see it as an ultimatum and react with is pride as per usual and decide to tell me that he doesn't need this relationship. In which case, I just I will still have my answer....his pride is more important to him than this relationship.

Oh men's male egos! Don't you just love them? :)

I can relate. Everyone pushes therapy but you need a therapist that's seen consistently - and many therapists don't have an easy-to-work-with schedule.

She wants to meet once a week which I thought sounded great and was more than I expected. She only has one day a week (wednesdays) that she is available which is not ideal, however, I will rearrange my life for the help I need, but at the same time I feel like I need more help than a one hour meeting once a week. That sounds so needy, and I hate it, but I don't know what to do I have nobody.

I feel the same - I need to see someone more than once a week, even on zoom. I try to get help from people I know but their advice sucks.

I know what you mean. I hope you find the right person to help you through whatever it is you are going through. I'm going to try to keep up with this counselor for the once a week thing and see where that gets me.

I definitely think that's a good idea - good therapists are hard to find.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to Puppyrunner

Puppyrunner, as much as you may feel defeated and overwhelmed right now, remember

that you took the most important step and that was going forward. You are doing all

the right things. Don't allow his emotional abuse to stop you.

By you being the driver, you have the upper hand there. You can drive to a quiet

little park and meditate and just breathe freely. Even going to a coffee shop will offer

you a break.

Hypercat is so right, in that a little place to call your own would be better than a house

filled with toxicity and stress. Stay Positive, Stay Strong :) xx

Puppyrunner profile image
Puppyrunner in reply to Agora1

Yeah that is a good point. Since I can drive I have the ability to go somewhere on my own and get a break and I am thankful for that.

Dear Puppyrunner you are not alone here. Most time we made a choice that supposed to give us joy but sometime turns against us.

The worst thing that can happen to someone is to constantly see or be with what triggers your mental health. You are definitely struggling with lots of decisions and being careful not to make further mistakes right. I will suggest You move out of the house first for at least 3 months; call it vacation or visit. I hope this will help you make none interference decision. Good luck

Puppyrunner profile image
Puppyrunner in reply to Hygen

Thank you for your input.

Heads up!I feel that thing you say that he told lies about you and everyone seemed to believe him.

Were they true friends, they would have asked you if x,y,z are true.

I am deeeeeply depressed still feel for u.

It is messy, I am w/ u.

Puppyrunner profile image
Puppyrunner in reply to

Thank you! I know they aren't true friends because they haven't even talked to me about it at all. I just noticed everyone was acting different one day and found messages that he sent them talking bad about me. They all of course took his side because he talks to them all day at work. His job is not that busy and he gets a lot of down time. Me, on the other hand, I have so much on my plate because of my job that I usually hold my bladder for hours and eat lunch at my desk while I continue to work. My work load doesn't allow for me to chit chat with others frequently and I am usually stressed out so I am in a bad mood. Unfortunately that's all that people at work see and not how things really are.

That may be my best option. I have a hard time letting go of the relationship I was so fond of at one point. But maybe it is time to realize it's not going to work out and to move on. I am so happy for you that your choice turned out to be what was best and you are finally with the right one! Maybe one day that can be me

Sending you best regards and wishes. I’ve been stuck too in a loveless marriage and understand. My broken heart goes out to you.

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