"When we met and got married it was all quick. We had known each other and were bf/gf for a while a couple of years before we married. So, I thought I was marrying someone I had already known.
After we were married, I found out he had a drug problem. But in my mind it was, “Well a wife helps her husband and supports him.” After getting through legal and drug problems with him I thought it would change. The whole time there was physical abuse, but I put that with the drug use.
There were outside influences that played from his family that I was his wife and I had to be the one to be there for him, later figuring out it was mainly so they did not have to put up with him. There was regular name calling, damage to property, physical abuse, and so on. He never took blame. It was always me and something I had said or done wrong as to his reason for his behavior.
I left once after 5 years for about 4 months. Of course, there were apologies and promises and things worked out to where he went away for a month and was able to get completely drug free. After being away we started attending church and everything was fine for the most part because I was doing as our church preached as being a servant for your husband letting him be the head of household, which now in looking back things seemed good because he was in control and had say so. A year later I was diagnosed with a chronic condition that made it impossible for me to work, but I was able to take care of the household and children.
After being diagnosed was when the verbal and mental abuse started. It was small things at first and worked its way up to being things such as I should just kill myself to I was worthless and would never be anything or anyone else would ever want anything to do with me. I was unable to drive so getting out of the home was difficult and eventually friends and relatives disappeared from my life. Then he started hiding his pay and giving me a small amount for any grocery items or home items and started "working late" but extra money was nowhere to be found for our home or savings.
He had complete control over financial decisions. He had complete control over everything even how I felt about myself. It finally came to a point where it was making him feel good about himself, and anything wrong he did or said wasn’t his fault. It was always someone or something else. Even with his work, every day he complained about someone or something that was preventing him from doing his best, never taking blame or acknowledging maybe he had done something wrong.
The night I finally decided to leave, our son had come to me, upset and bothered and told me that on his and his dad’s weekend where they went out to eat together, he was asking women for their numbers. He would flirt and text them. He was picking women up with our son there and then they would come home, and he acted completely what I call his normal. I asked about what I was told and he of course denied it, but when I stood my ground that our son was not a liar, he finally broke down and admitted it along with every place he went (grocery store, women coming into his work, even dating site profiles).
After years of abuse and cheating, I just kept thinking our son and my daughter cannot be led to think this is right, this is how you treat people. And I went through in my mind everything he had ever done and said and how I just took it and then something in my mind said that's enough. No more of his excuses for being mean and no more making excuses for him. I left, I did not take the children that night because of them having school the next day but the next day when I knew they would be back, I had my mom take me. I went, we got what we could, and we left. And come to find out he had a girlfriend for a month or so before I left. She moved into our home just a month after I left with her 3 kids completely taking over my belongings. The home, everything as her own.
During an argument after I left and filed for divorce, he let it be known his hope had been that I would have gotten to the point of killing myself because of the pain from my illness and things he said so he would not be known as being a cheat, having a sick wife and being the not caring husband he played off to be, and being able to draw money for my children and himself. In taking time and looking back he was so toxic and still is. He still says it is poor him because I left him, he still has his girlfriend and her children in our home, they have destroyed my children’s belongings and ruined anything I had left there. Which I have come to feel is a way to erase us out of memories and having claim to our belongings. It's been almost a year since leaving and everything has changed for the better. Being away from the negative has brought in a way a light back to mine and the children’s lives. They are happy and that makes me happy. With help from family and what friends I have left my mind is getting right.
He is continuing his behavior, but it doesn't bother me anymore. Like a breath of fresh air after feeling suffocated for 10 years. Sometimes it may be easy to pick up on a toxic person but often it's not so easy. Love can be blind, and love can make you not see what is in front of you. But I'm learning love, real true love, unconditional love is not toxic. It's a good thing, not a hurtful thing. And that is my story of a toxic relationship. But also, my story of surviving and becoming a better stronger person. I hope this helps someone else in a similar place to know you can leave and be okay."