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Advice please

Community Member

I'm terribly nervous about doing this as it really is the first official proactive cry for help I've ever done. I have received advice from family and close friends about how I am treated by my husband, and what is acceptable- however after 23 years (18 of those spent married to him) out of fear and wanting my marriage to be happy, I have never discussed their feelings further. I grew up in a family, with a very kind loving and supportive father, and often feel I don't possess the skills to deal with my husband's rage and anger. I've witnessed him break an oven door and smash a toaster with his fists, all because he dropped something or the oven burnt him while cooking, crazy things really. When he was a teenager, he suffered severe concussion from playing footy a few times, which his father has decribed his moods coming from too many head knocks. I've had a nurse friend describe his personality as undiagnosed ADHD, and without realising it I manage to work around his moods. For years, I've walked on eggshells and kept the house clean while raising 3 small children now teenagers. He would leave often on weekends to go fishing/gambling or watching sport.

When I was pregnant with our 3rd child (12 years ago), he met a woman at work while meeting her interstate on an official work trip, developed a working-relationship and he subsequently then arranged to get her a job in our city as he'd had an emotional type affair with her. His mother said to me he's obsessed with this workmate which devastated me. If I ever raised this issue about the other woman, I was told I was crazy.

5 years ago we moved to his favourite fishing place, 3 hours from home. I thought he would be happy. We went through financial hardship last year, waiting for the sale of our hometown house which took longer than we expected. I knew it would work out, while he became mean, angry and blamed me for everything - I'm sure with the stress, he suffered some sort of mental illness which I was simply not trained to deal with. His outbursts were horrible, and he would start on me, when he woke up - I was told to sleep on the lounge again- but I've been doing that on and off for years as he doesn't sleep very well and suffers high blood pressure & sleep apnoea, and blames me for his poor sleep. He treats me very differently, almost like a Jekyll and Hyde personality. He doesn't want to talk, and leaves me feeling inadequate or stupid. He pulls faces if I speak, or interrupt his sport viewing time.

4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Lena

Welcome to the forum. I am so glad you have made this step towards getting help. I know it's very hard to do this and I wonder if you hesitated because it sounded disloyal to your husband. If this is so please do not worry. You are anonymous here and you have the right to look after yourself by asking for help. I am really glad you posted here.

Your husband's ungovernable rage at times must be very scary for you and your children. How do they feel about these situations? Being afraid of your husband is definitely not acceptable. No one should live in fear. The ongoing abuse will affect both you and your children and probably has already affected all of you. I wonder if you are thinking of separating from him and feel a little scared to do so.

While men and women do have friends of the opposite gender being obsessed with them in the way you describe is worrying. I would be distressed in your position. While my husband did not fly into such rages he was very controlling and bullying. It took me 30 years to summon the courage to leave. I told myself I could not leave my four children and I was scared I could not provide for them on my own. So I stayed.

Unfortunately I lost my confidence and belief in myself and it made me vulnerable to anyone who appeared to think I was stupid. I would immediately go back to the way I was and agreed with everything that was said. Not a good look. I still feel that in some situations and need to remind myself that the opinions of others do not matter as I know I am a competent person. A huge depression was not helpful and I spent many years battling to get well again. I still battle at times.

I think you know by now that your marriage is not going to improve after all this time.The difficult with wives is that we have been brought up to defer to our husbands. It's not an equal partnership and I am extremely pleased my children (boys and girls) insist on an equal marriage. I don't know if you think you can change him but I think it's unlikely.

The most important consideration is what do you want to do now. Apart from the rages he is emotionally abusing you which results in you doing everything you can to please because of the probable consequences. May I suggest you have a chat to your GP. You could also see a marriage counsellor if there are any near you. Look up Relationships Australia to see if there is anyone near. Please keep posting here so we can support you.


Community Member

Dear Mary

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my message-and for sharing your personal story. Your words have definitely helped.I was shaking when deciding to write on here. Partly because as you said, feeling disloyal but incase someone recognises my story and I'm found out. I've spent years covering up my sadness and fears, and trying to protect my children, and trying to cover up feeling ashamed. One day they'll be gone, and I can only hope I've set a good example of being a good parent, and loyal partner.

How on earth do we get in these situations-they are all too common and I'm sure that they're not how we think life will turn out. What is going on in people's lives that makes this acceptable, or is it something that slowly creeps up and we find ourselves drowning in despair with no self esteem and nothing but fear. There's no way of predicting the future good or bad, and even when we see snippets of behaviour that's not acceptable in the past- I'd like to personally think I was strong enough to work through it. There's a difference though between accepting someone's behaviour and changing everything about yourself so you are left as only a shell of what you once were. It amazes me that this happens, and over such a long period of time.

Thanks again

Community Member
I wish you strength & power. While you decide how to work through this situation, I recommend managing personal stress levels. We are all different so I don't like to suggest anything, but just for example with me = I do guided meditations, take walks alone & draw/paint. Also, just wanted to let you know that I have used the Domestic Violence service (via calling Lifeline on 13 11 14) who gave me a safe house to live in for as long or as short as I needed. There were women who used the service repeatedly (everytime things got too bad at home). Please do not hesitate to use this if you need. Your safety and comfort is paramount. Power to you.

Thank you ChrissyStar

I appreciate your kind words of advice