Editor’s Note: This Letter to Lovefraud was submitted by reader whom we’ll call “Juniper.”
I have been married for 22 years and have five children. I realized the first year of our marriage that I had married a “psycho” but thought I could help him with my unconditional love and support. He is completely controlling, manipulative, abusive, selfish, and has never shown empathy or compassion to me or our children. He doesn’t have relationships with his kids because he chooses not to bond with them.
I stayed with him because I believed there must be some good somewhere in him, after all, he was a born again Christian, knew almost every verse in the Bible from memory and sometimes preached on Sundays. Deep down he was a “good” man and I believed he just needed the love and support of a good woman to turn him around.
Married life was hell
Fast forward 22 years — I have lived a life of hell. He is addicted to pornography, television, food, exercise, work and every other self serving desire. His favorite pastime is yelling and lecturing the children and I about our faults. We have been to many therapists, etc. Read every book.
He would “change” just enough to give me hope and keep me around. I suspected infidelity but had no proof. He was verbally abusive to me and the children. Sometimes he was physically abusive to the kids, but very rarely (which I did put a stop to). He hated spending time with us on vacations, days off, etc. He just always wanted to do his own thing.
He has made me responsible for all our finances, everything to do with the kids, the house, etc. He basically just earns a paycheck and does whatever he wants. Of course, if there is ever a problem then he blames me — he takes no responsibility for anything. He is an extremely intelligent, successful, award winning doctor. He is respected and admired in our community.
Last June a female patient of his accused him of inappropriately touching her. He denied it and since she is a “troubled” patient and on narcotics — it wasn’t pursued. However, they did require that all female patients to his office be chaperoned by a female nurse. I know my husband and I know, without doubt, these accusations are true. He sort of admitted it without really admitting it.
Blamed by the therapist too
I filed for divorce in February. Just today I met with our previous marriage counselor to update her on our status and see if she had any advice to help me and our children cope with this. After months of grieving and recovering and feeling stronger she has reduced me to a sobbing, insecure, blob in one hour!
She went on and on about how my co- dependent attitude just enabled my husband to continue his bad behavior. She said that if I had stood up to him years ago and given him consequences then he would have changed. Her thinking is that I let him behave badly and there was no motivation on his part to change because I would always be there for him.
It is so confusing to hear this because, part of me thinks she is right! The other part of me realizes he is a sociopath who is incapable of any compassion or love for me or the children and that nothing I did or didn’t do would change his completely self-serving attitude.
I’m married to a sociopath
This feedback from her is so hurtful. I realize some people will never understand the fact that I am married to a sociopath! But it is beyond hurtful and damaging to me that she somehow blames me for the demise of our marriage! I never believed in divorce. All I ever wanted was a happy family and children.
I will say that because my husband is a work-aholic and didn’t want to participate in raising our kids I was able to raise really wonderful kids who love others and respect others. Also, my 20, 18 and 14 year olds don’t want anything to do with dad. He has shown them his true colors and they barely know him.
I guess I am writing you because I know you get it. You know what it is like to be married to a psycho and to have some people just not “get it.” It is so hurtful to feel like I have been the strong one, the fighter, the good parent, etc., and then to have someone criticize me, blame me and make me feel like the one at fault. It just messes up your mind and emotions.
My husband has moved out and rarely contacts me or the kids. Thank God! He didn’t even ask to visit them. My younger two, ages ten and eight, wanted to see him so I made him set up visitations. I am asking for sole custody so I don’t have to deal with his controlling, manipulative behavior.
Looking for validation
I guess my goal in writing you is to have someone relate to me. Everyone sees this man as such a great guy and they think I am the one throwing in the towel for no good reason. It’s hard to be misunderstood but I am realizing that is just the way it will be with most people.
Deep down I know I did everything I could to make this work but others have seen us as a “good, Christian couple” who went to church every Sunday. I understand that from the outside looking in they would think it was this great marriage and great family. I feel like I have been perpetuating a lie. Now I have to deal with people believing I am the “bad guy” for divorcing him.
I know it will get better but, boy, does it SUCK right now!! It’s hard to not to wonder, “Could I have done more? Could I have done something different?”