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how can I win her back?


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Old 13th September 2011, 10:23 AM   #1
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Unhappy how can I win her back?

been married for 10 years and have 2 kids; W wants a divorce because of the emotional abuse I have put her through over the years coupled with my negativity and drug use

I got the D wake-up call a little over 4 months ago and immediately saw the light and started making the necessary changes to improve our relationship...all the while the W telling me it's too late

I stopped the drugs and immediately started seeing where I went wrong; so much so that I cry daily when I think at what I put her through over the last 10 years; I am now more involved with the kids and the house, present a more positive attitude in all that I do and have stopped swearing around W and kids

in other words I did a 180 on my life....because I don't want to lose my family and my marriage; I can't see myself alone and starting over at this age; I want to do everything possible to make this work for us and the kids

what more can I do? we don't have arguments anymore and the atmosphere in the house is 100 times better

is there hope even though she clearly shows me that there is none? I started even praying but feel somewhat hypocritical in doing so since I was never a religious person; I just hit rock-bottom and I didn't know where or to whom else to turn to

I would like to think that I messed up and deserve a last chance; how can I make her understand this before she serves me with papers?
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Old 13th September 2011, 4:48 PM   #2
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a little more background...

I should mention I have never tried to change my ways before; I honestly did not see the extent and depth of my verbal/drug abuse; this is my first attempt at being a "new" me

and I believe it is real; she has mentioned that she sees the changes but doesn't know how long they will last

obviously some peeps can give verbal abusers a second chance; how does one rationalize giving a second chance?
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Old 13th September 2011, 7:13 PM   #3
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It's going to take time to prove to her that your changes are real. I can honestly say that even now - nearly three years after I almost left my H - when we fight badly I worry about that other guy he used to be coming back. So she hasn't filed yet? Do you still live at home with her?

I am more than happy to share my story with you - it sounds like your situation is very similar to what mine was....I put up with verbal abuse, neglect and substance abuse from him for years before reaching my breaking point. He swears even now that he didn't know how badly he was hurting me, how detrimental the situation was....he says he couldn't at the time grasp what it was like to be me in our situation. I made plenty of mistakes in our relationship too...especially once I checked out of it...but ultimately we found a way to make it work.

He did what he could to make me fall in love with him again. I suppose he figured he had done it once, he could do it again. We have children, so I already had a built in incentive to make things work - but I wasn't willing to do it if we weren't going to be happy with the decision to reconcile.

So I would say start there. She needs to see you control your anger when you get upset, too. In a situation where you would normally lose it. I am not saying fabricate something - let it happen naturally - because it will, but she needs to see proof. And she will need to see it over and over for a long time. You may have made these changes seemingly overnight...but we hear so often about an abusive man making these changes and then reverting back to how he used to be - sometimes after years of good behavior. Not that women aren't capable of the same atrocities, but I am going from the angle of you're the man and she's the woman
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Old 13th September 2011, 10:57 PM   #4
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yes I still live at home, although it feels like I don't; I sleep in the basement as she has kicked me out of our bedroom; there is absolutely 0 intimacy and no hugging/kissing/holding hands, etc. The only touch is when I touch her gently on the arm or on the back as I pass her by. I do it on purpose to show her a more gentle side of me. I would say we are more like roomates. She still talks to me daily when she comes home from work about the kids and her day. We are still able to talk without disrespecting each other. As a matter of fact, we have not argued in over a month. I've decided not to bring up our problems and just focus on the present. She seems to be ok with it as she doesn't try to instigate anything herself.

I recently had a surgery and because of it, I believe, am still not served....yet. I also believe the pain I was in prior to the surgery played its part in my psychological instability. Going to work and dealing with every day activities became overbearing. The pain did not help and neither did my doctor who simply dismissed the pain for the past 10 years. Even before the surgery happened, it had been 3 months since she broke the news and she still had not made a move. We had some awful arguments in those 3 months whereby I accused her of not being around for the kids (as she travels quite often because of her job), not being a good wife to me, always running away from me to her parents. In reality, it was me who hadn't been there for the family because of the drugs I was doing. Although I was physically there, emotionally I was not. And after much careful analysis and with her insight, I realized it was all because of me that she was doing what she was doing. She said she has not been in love with me for years, and that she only got the courage 4 months ago to tell it like it is. I knew there was something wrong for some time but didn't realize it was that deep. So I kept asking her what is wrong, until she finally blew up. And boy did she blow up. She went from saying that she wasn't sure what the next step was initially, to a week later saying she is convinced that divorce is the next step. Because I failed to see what was wrong with my emotional abuse. Again, now I understand clearly what I did wrong. Although I claimed to love her so much, my words and actions did not reflect it. My drug abuse (weed, LSD, ecstacy, mushrooms; no cocaine or heroin) did much to make me a lazy and useless husband and affected me psychologically. She did it all (taking care of the kids and the house), while I lounged around and disrespected her. The only thing I was able to hold down was my job, even though I was unhappy about it and let her know every chance I got. I even told her many times that I wanted a divorce, that I was only a paycheck to her. For me at the time, it was the lack of sex. She is very beautiful and very desirable. And not getting it infuriated me. So I tried to show it in the worst of ways. Calling her names (not many times but I certainly did it more than once) and not listening to any of her requests certainly added fuel to the fire.

I had anger management issues where I would fly into fits of rage and couldn't control myself unless I smoked a joint. I used to yell not only at her but at the babies too. I just couldn't handle taking care of them while she was doing what seemed to be nothing for me.

The reason I've been able to make these changes overnight is quite simple to me. I gave up instantaneously 15 years of daily smoking weed and weekly ingestions of the other drugs. And what an impact it has had on me. It was like wearing sunglasses all this time and then suddenly removing them. It all became clear and in focus. If there is one thing that I won't be going back to, is drugs. They screwed my life. I guess that is why they are illegal lol. I thought I knew it all and that she knew nothing about anything. Now I see how little I know and how smart she is in the art of life.

What I am afraid of is that she won't give me the time to show her that these changes are permanent. I look back and am astonished at my behavior then. How could I treat another human being that way? And the babies too? Honestly, I am ashamed and if it wasn't for the kids, I would have walked out on my own. That is why I don't blame her if she follows thru with divorce. I deserve everything that may be coming to me. But I grew up with no father so I know how messed up I am. And throughout it all, I always said I did not want my kids to grow up without a father around. That is why I never left no matter how bad the relationship got.

She says that we can still be the best of parents even though we would be apart. That my fatherly duties would not be impacted by my departure. She does not understand how a divorce would affect the kids. It's odd to me that she wants out, yet I am the one that has to leave.

We discussed how we would separate one night, and I told her about the 50% split of assets according to the law. She was so infuriated by this and said that I was trying to hurt the kids and making her start from scratch (even though she makes twice as much as me). It is then that I decided that she could have it all and that I would not sign any papers unless she took 100% of the assets. No way would I want to hurt the kids financially or her. I have caused too much pain and I think it is the least I could do for them. I want her to know that the marriage is more important to me than any of the moneys we have. All she could say is that we could split the joint account (which is peanuts compared to our assets). I was a little disappointed that she could only offer me this much considering I paid the mortgage and more than my share of bills in the 10 years of marriage. Everyone I talk to tells me to take 50% if divorce happens but there is no way to change my mind on this. I want her to know that money means nothing to me. I would trade my left leg and arm for her to take me back. I've been down before and I will get back up again.

I have apologized several times but it came out wrong by the end of it. So now I shut up and just try to show her thru my actions. Been sober the entire time (she can smell weed from a mile away so she knows I am clean lol). I have taken care of every single task she asks me to do from assembling desks, to keeping the house clean, to painting the balcony, mowing the lawn, etc etc. I have done more in the past 4 months than I did in the entire 10 years. I want to show her badly I am for real. Time I have lots of. Patience is what I lack. It's hard to not be near her and to know that it could all be over tomorrow if she wanted it. She keeps me at arms length from all family events and she rarely is in the same room as me. I guess it's the NC at work. I do give her as much space as she wants although we still share the same bathroom, even the same towel to dry our hair. All the pictures of us in the house are still in the same place. The kids are older now and are aware of the situation. They cried when she told them of our impending separation 4 months ago. Sometimes they will ask her if Daddy can stay and not leave. She always tells them no. It's like she doesn't care what they feel. She is doing her best to show me that this marriage is over by not giving me hope. During this recovery period, she only called from work the first day I was home to see how I was doing. She has never called since. Sometimes she will say to me how heartless and cold she must seem to me. I have to lie and tell her no. I just think that deep down she is really hurt and wants to show me what she went thru.

I don't know at this point if I still have a chance. Even though I have done a 180, I don't think it's enough for her. Remains to be seen if she can serve me the papers when my recovery is complete. I am looking at another 6 months to a year for total recovery but as little as 3 months to be able to work, drive, and do most daily activities. I definitely did not see the whole impact of my verbal abuse on her, and that is because of my drug abuse. Everything revolved on getting the next fix, and all the things she asked of me simply got in the way of me getting high. Since I've been sober, I am dying to do more and more. I just can't sit still anymore. I just want to help with everything and anything. And now that I am in recovery mode, she has to do it all...again. And that makes me feel useless because she can do it all. I feel that she will conclude that she will be fine without me and go ahead and file.

How did you conclude that you could give your hubby another chance? What did he say to convince you? Was it as simple as "give me another chance"? Because I have tried that. I even begged and cried but that only seemed to distance her even more. Instead I decided to change my looks by taking care of myself more (shaving every 2nd day instead of once a week, brushing my teeth before bedtime and in the morning, dressing up even when at home, getting a shorter haircut that I know she likes, in other words being well groomed). Yet I see no real tangible changes from her. Can I still believe there is hope? Is there anything more I can do? Can I turn her around from being "indifferent" to caring? I took counseling too and that also helped. She doesn't want to go for MC (mind you that was 4 months ago when I asked her). She seemed so angry then, but over time I see her as more relaxed. Is this a good sign?

Last edited by c0nfuzd; 13th September 2011 at 11:02 PM..
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Old 14th September 2011, 3:49 PM   #5
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Question

couple of months ago she told me that calling her a c*nt and a b*tch was extremely hurtful....my reply at that moment and not thinking before I spoke was "If you're gonna throw away this marriage because of 2 words, then there isn't much hope here"

I regret this dearly as I did not see the additional damage I was inflicting on her; fast-forward to now, how can I fix this? is there a point to bring this up again?
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Old 14th September 2011, 6:45 PM   #6
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couple of months ago she told me that calling her a c*nt and a b*tch was extremely hurtful....my reply at that moment and not thinking before I spoke was "If you're gonna throw away this marriage because of 2 words, then there isn't much hope here"
My husband called me the c word once. I told him that if I EVER heard that come out of his mouth again, he would never see me OR our daughter again. Ever.

There is only one way you have a chance with this. You must know by now that women suffer in silence for years, then start losing the love, and THEN tell their husband they're done. Almost every time. It's just how females work.

That makes this really hard for you. She really doesn't trust your 'change' to be real. Frankly, I don't either. I think that, once you realize she really IS going to move out and take the kids (or send you packing), that you will head straight back to your drugs.

The only thing you can do to dissuade her of this is for you to show her over a LONG period that you're well and truly done with it all. I'm talking months, probably years. Expect to live in the basement if she doesn't kick you out, or expect to live in your own apartment for the next couple years, at least. Expect to be only as close as she lets you. Expect to have to continue to be a great dad, very involved, NOT going out for other women (and don't you dare use your 'needs' as a reason), and not reverting to your old ways. Expect to offer to go to marriage counseling and doing the work if she agrees; if she won't go, find your own counselor and go anyway - let her see the changes you make, even if it's only in passing as you exchange kids.

She may still love you but has closed off her heart to protect herself. She may truly NOT love you any more; it happens. But if she really is the sole thing you want in life, consider the next two years your 'consequence' for your last ten years. It's your penance. It's your homework. I would expect you to get nothing in return for at LEAST six months, if not longer. But, if you are consistent, and real, she may start softening up to you.

If you're not willing to do that hard work, then just walk away now.
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Old 14th September 2011, 7:11 PM   #7
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thank you turnera....I needed to hear this; I truly want this to work out and willing to do the work required; definitely not going back to drugs, with or without her; I see how my life has been turned upside down because of them; not only my marriage has suffered, but my mental and body health along with money are also factors in keeping me away from ever using again; I was caught in an addiction and now that I am out, I can't see myself reverting back; I am smarter than that

if she does let me stay in the basement, she can see first-hand that these changes are real; I believe anyone can change if they have the right motivations to do so; in my case, it's my family, the strongest motivator of all; never would I leave them unless she makes me; I am more than determined to stay on the right path

we went to the doctor today to get a prescription for me and on the way there I brought up my illicit drug use and how it affected my judgment and actions for the past years; I told her that there is no way I am going back to them and I told her I have realized my mistakes and will not be ever repeating them; she was silent; it's hard to know what she is thinking; she could reiterate that there is no hope, that it's over but she didn't; although, last week when we went to the doctor and he asked if we were ok, she bluntly said: "No, no we are not ok; just trying to get thru this (ie. surgery)."

I have done some counseling already and that has helped me a lot personally. I did 4 sessions and the counselor said that the only added benefit from going any further would be to persuade me in getting past the pain of the impending divorce. He otherwise did not see what else he could do for me. But I don't want to get past the pain of divorce. I can't see myself divorced. When and if I do get divorced, I would seek his help again.

I tried going for drug counseling but they would not accept me because they have bigger priority cases at the moment. They said if I ended up using again, then they would consider me. I never intend to go back.

I have offered MC but she doesn't want it. Says she told me many times before to go for personal counseling but that I said I didn't need it. I will ask her once more when and if she files.

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Old 14th September 2011, 7:21 PM   #8
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You can be proactive in the counseling area. Get the book His Needs Her Needs, and start reading it. If she will let you, read passages of it to her. Show her that you are learning from it where you went wrong. I imagine - if she is not 100% done - that what she needs most from you is to hear and see you making changes in yourself. Learning. Growing. That's a great first book to read. Once you read it, they have questionnaires you can fill out. You may try to get her to fill them out with you - so you can know 'where you went wrong.' That's a great step if she'll do it. If she won't, try to fill them out FOR her and show her what you came up with. Maybe she'll bite and step in and start interacting on it.
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Old 14th September 2011, 7:29 PM   #9
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You can be proactive in the counseling area. Get the book His Needs Her Needs, and start reading it. If she will let you, read passages of it to her. Show her that you are learning from it where you went wrong. I imagine - if she is not 100% done - that what she needs most from you is to hear and see you making changes in yourself. Learning. Growing. That's a great first book to read. Once you read it, they have questionnaires you can fill out. You may try to get her to fill them out with you - so you can know 'where you went wrong.' That's a great step if she'll do it. If she won't, try to fill them out FOR her and show her what you came up with. Maybe she'll bite and step in and start interacting on it.
let me see if I can download this book off the Interne for free; you see, I have no personal money; all the money I make I put in our joint account; I have been doing so for the past 10 years; I have nothing saved; that is why I wanted 50% if she filed; but then she tried to make me feel guilty by saying I am trying to hurt the kids in taking half the assets, so I decided I would not take a penny; I have never cheated her in any way financially or romantically; I have never taken advantage of her financial status; my only mistakes were my drug/verbal abuse

worse-case scenario I will have to ask her to buy it for me; and I am not sure what her reaction will be

keep you posted
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Old 14th September 2011, 7:31 PM   #10
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Just go to the library. In fact, take your kids. Let her see you taking them to the library - great for them AND for you.
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Old 14th September 2011, 7:36 PM   #11
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Just go to the library. In fact, take your kids. Let her see you taking them to the library - great for them AND for you.
hmm, can't seem to find it online so I will ask her to drive me (since I can't because of surgery) this weekend....thanks for this idea
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Old 14th September 2011, 7:43 PM   #12
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she just called to tell me about how her sister is upset at her; so it's nice to see that she still wants to share with me what is going on from her side

still hoping

on a side note, I will be the first to admit I never knew how marriages work and the work that needs to be put in; I never considered her needs and as a result neglected her all these years; I was very selfish but now see that the only way I can achieve happiness is by making her happy; I am growing up albeit slowly
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Old 14th September 2011, 7:56 PM   #13
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Yeah, they really should force high school students to take a semester of 'how to survive as an adult.'
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Old 14th September 2011, 10:02 PM   #14
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we did have "marriage classes" before the wedding but I can't even remember what was said in those 2 sessions....was prolly high at the time

what a failure I am....no one to blame but myself; even if I reconstruct myself, which I will mark my words, I feel that she is done with me

the only way I can get one last chance is if she can bring herself to do it for the kids' sake....and I have tried conveying this to her to no avail; I will try again on my way out

I don't know why it is that some feel an addict can never recover; there are countless stories out there about successes; am I necessarily doomed to fail? one thing I have noticed since stopping usage of drugs is my ability to look at things more positively; whereas everything was bleak, I am now filled with a more positive outlook overall; I still have my moments of doubt filled with pessimism but overall my outlook has shifted drastically for the better...and I like that
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Old 15th September 2011, 12:45 AM   #15
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No, you're not hopeless. The only caveat I have is that, if there were a reason you went to drugs, a psychological reason - hiding from trouble, etc. - if you have trouble again, will you seek out a similar escape? If so, you do need therapy to get to why you went there in the first place.
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