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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a quick question for other infjs: I have been married for 15 years to a verbally and occasionally physically abusive man (the last time he was physically abusive to me was 12 years ago). He has now started turning his abuse to our children and I have told him I will not tolerate that. He has been in counseling for almost 2 months. He is pressuring me to forget the past and move on. I can’t anymore. I’m afraid that if I do he will continue to hurt us. I feel weak and unsure. Has anyone ever been through this before? I’m usually the strong one for everyone else, I hate being so weak! I wonder if my expectations of a relationship are too high and what I consider to be abusive is really just normal human behavior? He tells me that I expect too much from him, is he right? Examples of his abuse are as follows (this is a very short list of the most recent occurrences, within the last several months):
1. Calling me a dumb bit** in front of our daughters
2. Telling one of our daughters that she’s a bit** and that she needs to respect him
3. Yelling at both our daughters and calling them little shi*s.
4. Grabbing and squeezing our 3 year old daighter’s wrist and calling her a little fuc*er
5. Throwing keys at our three year old to “get her attention”
6. Picking up and dropping our three year old from his arm’s height onto the floor because he was angry with her

I could go on and on, but these are a few highlights of what usually happen in a several months span. I have a very low tolerance for profanity and I hope I have not offended anyone with this post (please let me know if here is a more appropriate way to list the profanity). This is my first post, and I’m very embarrassed by it, but I’m at my wits end. I would value any feedback. Please be honest and let me know if those are normal family behaviors and if I am being overly sensitive by not allowing it anymore. I don’t trust him and I don’t know if I ever can again. Thank you for your time.
 

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Absolutely none of that behavior is normal. You are perfectly justified if you don't trust this man. If anyone I knew was in this kind of a relationship I would do anything I could to separate them.
 

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Just a quick question for other infjs: I have been married for 15 years to a verbally and occasionally physically abusive man (the last time he was physically abusive to me was 12 years ago). He has now started turning his abuse to our children and I have told him I will not tolerate that. He has been in counseling for almost 2 months. He is pressuring me to forget the past and move on. I can’t anymore. I’m afraid that if I do he will continue to hurt us. I feel weak and unsure. Has anyone ever been through this before? I’m usually the strong one for everyone else, I hate being so weak! I wonder if my expectations of a relationship are too high and what I consider to be abusive is really just normal human behavior? He tells me that I expect too much from him, is he right? Examples of his abuse are as follows (this is a very short list of the most recent occurrences, within the last several months):
1. Calling me a dumb bit** in front of our daughters
2. Telling one of our daughters that she’s a bit** and that she needs to respect him
3. Yelling at both our daughters and calling them little shi*s.
4. Grabbing and squeezing our 3 year old daighter’s wrist and calling her a little fuc*er
5. Throwing keys at our three year old to “get her attention”
6. Picking up and dropping our three year old from his arm’s height onto the floor because he was angry with her

I could go on and on, but these are a few highlights of what usually happen in a several months span. I have a very low tolerance for profanity and I hope I have not offended anyone with this post (please let me know if here is a more appropriate way to list the profanity). This is my first post, and I’m very embarrassed by it, but I’m at my wits end. I would value any feedback. Please be honest and let me know if those are normal family behaviors and if I am being overly sensitive by not allowing it anymore. I don’t trust him and I don’t know if I ever can again. Thank you for your time.
This behavior is definitely not acceptable. You've been with him for 15 years, if he hasn't changed in all that time, do you think he will change now? I was in an abusive relationship as well, but not as serious as yours. I would suggest you at least get some distance from him, maybe take a break? If you want emotional support, just PM me. I want to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for validating my concerns. I hate to break up our family but now that he is treating the girls that way I can’t take it. He’s not always like that. Sometimes he is very kind and thoughtful, but then he can switch without warning. I feel like I know what is normal, but then I second guess myself when he makes comments about how all families are like ours. And then I start to wonder if I am being overly sensitive because I’m an INFJ... and that is when I feel like I’m at my wits end. We are unofficially “separated” but living in the same house mainly for financial reasons. I actually make twice what he makes and am almost in a position where I can financially support the girls and myself. Thank you Blue Ribbon for offering emotional support, I may take you up on that one day. I don’t have many people in my life that I open up to completely and therefore cannot really get validation for my concerns. Blessings to you both!
 

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Yes, everything you listed is extremely abusive. He's trying to manipulate you when he says things like "all families are like ours." See, even if that were the case, it wouldn't make his behavior okay, that would just mean all families have an abusive member. It's also a logical fallacy to try to make it out like it's okay just because he says it's normal. Abuse is a abuse. Plain and simple. And no matter how normal it might become, it's never going to not be abuse any more.

I think it's common in abusive situations for the person to pull out manipulative tactics like this and try to gaslight you, get you to question your instincts because deep down, he's probably scared that you'll leave him. And really, you should for your kids' sake. They're better off without an abusive dad in their lives (as are you). There are people out there who will treat you with respect, actually care for you and your kids and won't hurt you.

You're not too sensitive, he's just callous. And just because he can seem kind sometimes, doesn't mean he will change or that he's a good person. If he was a good person, he would actively try to change. He would feel remorse and he wouldn't attempt to manipulate you over and over again. Usually that type of kindness is just a show - giving you just enough so you'll stay or doubt yourself some more. He's shown you his true colors time and time again. You know what his heart looks like. You can trust your instincts/intuition on this one. I think you just needed the reassurance which is understandable.
 

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Just a quick question for other infjs: I have been married for 15 years to a verbally and occasionally physically abusive man (the last time he was physically abusive to me was 12 years ago). He has now started turning his abuse to our children and I have told him I will not tolerate that. He has been in counseling for almost 2 months. He is pressuring me to forget the past and move on. I can’t anymore. I’m afraid that if I do he will continue to hurt us. I feel weak and unsure. Has anyone ever been through this before? I’m usually the strong one for everyone else, I hate being so weak! I wonder if my expectations of a relationship are too high and what I consider to be abusive is really just normal human behavior? He tells me that I expect too much from him, is he right? Examples of his abuse are as follows (this is a very short list of the most recent occurrences, within the last several months):
1. Calling me a dumb bit** in front of our daughters
2. Telling one of our daughters that she’s a bit** and that she needs to respect him
3. Yelling at both our daughters and calling them little shi*s.
4. Grabbing and squeezing our 3 year old daighter’s wrist and calling her a little fuc*er
5. Throwing keys at our three year old to “get her attention”
6. Picking up and dropping our three year old from his arm’s height onto the floor because he was angry with her

I could go on and on, but these are a few highlights of what usually happen in a several months span. I have a very low tolerance for profanity and I hope I have not offended anyone with this post (please let me know if here is a more appropriate way to list the profanity). This is my first post, and I’m very embarrassed by it, but I’m at my wits end. I would value any feedback. Please be honest and let me know if those are normal family behaviors and if I am being overly sensitive by not allowing it anymore. I don’t trust him and I don’t know if I ever can again. Thank you for your time.
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. None of that is okay, and none of that is normal.

A friend recently confided that she is also in an abusive relationship. It very much was a ‘frog in a pot of water with the heat slowly being turned up’ situation. She kept excusing escalating behavior, and of course he would promise to change/get medication, and so it just kept getting worse and worse. It’s now at a point where she’s finally seeing how scary and crazy things are.

It’s easy to say, “Leave, now!” to a victim of abuse, the logistics of it are so much harder. Having to figure out where to go, who can help, financials, how to explain it to children, knowing that not 100% of people you know will be behind you are all pieces to be considered. Anytime an abuser has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality, it’s inevitable that some people will not believe abuse it actually occurring.

What I’m trying to say (in a horribly ramble-y way) is that you should not feel embarrassed or ashamed. You did NOTHING wrong. Considering your next steps carefully and feeling torn is natural. He is someone you genuinely loved and made a life and children with. It is a painful decision. But you are a strong person and a protective mother. Get yourself a good support system and do what is best for you and your children, regardless of what outside opinions may be.

And don’t hesitate to drop me a PM if you need support. I wish you all the best.
 

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@kaylasage

I'm not an INFJ, but no--those are not normal or acceptable behaviors. Abuse doesn't have to be constant, and a lot of times it sort of cycles between a period of abuse and a period of peace or affection. But the affect it has is to cause adults and children who are the target of the abuse to sort of 'walk on eggshells' around the person doing the abusing.

It makes sense--you know, we are highly adaptable beings, and so we learn to change our behavior and look out for cues that an unfortunate event (such as someone choosing to abuse another) may happen, as to try to avoid it. Unfortunately, that is futile in abusive relationships because the abuser is the one responsible for their behavior, and they can also move goal posts etc. (change the rules), and they frequently do in order to continue that dynamic where the other parties involved are constantly trying to adapt to the abusive person and their whims for some kind of peace. Because it's them, not you--and they are the ones in control of their own behavior.

It's also quite common for targets of abuse to become isolated from friends and family, so the only real feedback they get about their relationship or what they are experiencing comes from the abusive party, who may try to minimize the abuse or frequently to blame the targets for the abusive behavior. When someone is isolated, they may end up questioning their own reality, or the reality of their situation, and it can even undermine a sense of self. So it's common for targets of abuse to be isolated and to start asking 'is it normal,' or 'is it me?' That's why it's important to have people to talk to and to get feedback from--trusted people.

It totally makes sense that you don't trust him--and his behavior is not normal, and you and your children deserve peace, safety, and to seek happiness just like everyone else.

One issue with abusive relationships is that you don't want it to escalate. Sometimes abuse gets more severe when it's known that the target of abuse is thinking of leaving, or when they confront the abuser about their behavior. It's a good idea to have a basic plan too, for how you will get somewhere safe if you feel things are getting dangerous--who to go to, who to call, what resources to bring.

I think it's important to talk to people you can trust about these things, and there are other resources like centers that focus on abuse.

You aren't weak. It is very uncommon for abusive partners to actually change, and it has to come from them. Lundy Bancroft has some good resources.

Edit: I just read you have some financial resources! That's great!

You and your kids deserve to be happy--your happiness is important. It seems like your already on your way there!
 
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