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I am not sure how this works, but I do know I need help.

[85]

I am not sure how this works, but I do know I need help.

First, this may be long because that's the only way to explain the situation.
I have been married for 35 years. I always told myself when I got married it would be for life, and I have tried to honor my vow all these years.

I am a man, and it is hard to admit that I am also physically and mentally abused on a regular basis. Some may ask why I have waited so long, well that's complex but the simple answer is I kept trying to make things work. My wife is severely bipolar and I suspect she also has some other mental disorders as well. She is prone to fits of violence and rage and the past several years she always seems angry and all she wants to do is fight. Most of the time it's not even anything related to me that gets her spun up. She could have had an altercation with someone at the store and when she comes home it's me she takes it out on. These fights/arguments are not normal either. By that I mean they go on for hours. She will lock herself in a room and then come back later and start the screaming again, sometimes even throwing and breaking things. One thing she does is to deny me of sleep when I have to work the next day. She will wait until I fall asleep and then physically shake me, or hit me and wake me up just to start fighting again. This will go on all night until she can't stay awake any longer. The next day can go one of two ways- One she wakes up and acts like nothing happened the night before and wants to be all loving and kisses, the second way is she ways up and immediately starts yelling again to start the fight back up. There have been times she has done this for 2 or 3 days straight.

Sometimes the fights are about things that others would seem insignificant, like she leaves the room and is gone for an hour and I change the TV station... when she comes back in it is a total explosion of rage. She has told me many times she wished I was dead, and has even come at me with a knife on several occasions. One time she swung a piece of 2x4 at my head. I know this may sound made up to some but I am not making any of this up.

In 2009 I had open heart surgery. Literally 2 days after I came home from the hospital she was physically pushing me around and she even punched me in the chest- which was no where near healed from the surgery just a few days prior.

She doesn't work. Partly because of the bipolar and partly because she doesn't want to. She also doesn't clean the house or do anything in this relationship. I usually cook, and I end up cleaning after working 9-10 hours a day. Lately she started bringing in stray cats and that just added to the mess. I am about to be evicted because of all of this. Let me stress this- I do not think a woman's job is to clean the house... I don't want to sound like that, I did want an equal in life to share things with. The problem is she doesn't do anything and as soon as it is clean she destroys it again. My son has come over and helped me clean, I have had others help me, and now the landlords want to do a walk through and she won't do anything to get the place ready. They will evict us I am sure. There is cat pee and poop all over and papers all over the place. As fast as I pick up it looks like I did nothing within a day or two.

Mentally I can't do this anymore. I feel completely broken to the point I almost took my own life last week. My son came over and took me to his house for the night. This is affecting my mental and emotional health as well as my job performance at work. Yes I have called 911 before when she attacked me, but the officer refused to believe a man can be abused and said I must have done something to cause it. He even threatened to arrest me if he had to come back. Needless to say I never called for help again.

I need to leave her and this house. For my own well being. My question is can I leave without being placed in a legal situation. I plan on providing her with money for living expenses and even extra so she has some extra spending money after rent and food. I live in PA, and I did call a lawyer to ask if I could leave for an extended period of time and all they wanted to do was advise me I need to retain their services at a fee of course. I have talked to her on the rare occasions she remains calm and told her if she seeks more professional help and can stop the violence, show me she can maintain a household and be financially responsible, and do this for an extended period, not just a week or month... then maybe we can discuss getting back together. Oh, I forgot to mention that she does not want a divorce and told me she would never sign one either.
What are my options? Can I move out so I am away from the abuse and out of harms way without filing divorce right away? First and foremost I need to get out of here or I may actually kill myself. I am a completely broken human being at this point and I don't know what to do. It is my understanding in PA there is no such thing as a legal separation, and this is where it is confusing to me- if both parties don't agree to a divorce we have to be separated for a year and then one party can file. Since I have told her if she can get the help she needs and proves she has made long term changes, my plans were to separate and get out of the situation and harms way. Then after a year if things have not been resolved I plan on filing. I was told (I know... everyone has advice, and when it comes to legal matters it's usually bad) that I can write up a separation agreement and outline what is expected in order to salvage the marriage (not really possibly in my opinion, but at least I am giving that one last chance), and also outline how much I will be providing her financially and to send her that certified mail. Will that suffice or do I have to obtain a lawyer and file anything at the court house? All I know is I am lost and a mess and have to get out of here.

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northwoods1's picture
[280]
Mar 25

Leo64, no one deserves what you have been through. After working in social services, I learned it is not unusual for men to sustain abuse in the relationship, but men hide it, due to shame. On the other hand the social services provisions in most areas, acknowledge this happens, and have services to help men extricate themselves from abusive relationships. They can generally help with protection orders and strategies to leave. I believe most of them have legal help as well. Thoughts and prayers to you, and I hope you become free soon.

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northwoods1's picture
[280]
Mar 25

You may feel guilty because you have been groomed, through your marriage, to not acknowledge your needs. You're doing so now, and you mind may not be used to yet, as your needs are not supported or encouraged in the marriage.

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[40]
Mar 25

Leo, don't say anything to her about moving out. That will just give her another trigger to play the blame game and victim, and it will escalate from there. Try to get out before she realizes what's happening. Or have a friend come over and be a witness so the police have the truth. Did you get a voice recorder? You should have that when the day comes, and tell her she's being recorded, then the police will have the facts.

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