I’m finding it grimly amusing that trying to convince my husband to see a therapist seems to be backfiring on all fronts. I genuinely wanted him to get help and healing and learn how to move forward with his life in healthy ways, but I’m reminded that no therapist can help someone that doesn’t think anything is wrong with them or how they’re behaving and living.
First, there was the fact that the first time he went to a therapist, he went secretly, and not to admit his own areas of struggle and get help changing, but to run my actions past the therapist so my husband could feel supported in his belief that my actions were inexplicable/crazy and that he was doing nothing wrong.
Then, that therapist tried to quote the Bible to my husband, after being specifically asked not to bring religion or Christianity into it. This upset my husband badly, so he severed the relationship.
Now, my husband has a new therapist, and I’m fairly certain she has no reason to see his paranoia and insecurity as unwarranted, so she’s treating this as a more or less standard divorce case, jumping to the conclusion that I’m a bad guy that’s out to manipulate him, and advising him accordingly.
Anyway, while I thought we were stabilized and had, more or less, plotted a course forward for the next month and would revisit how we wanted to proceed at the end of October, my husband came home from therapy yesterday, visibly upset, and then proceeded to walk right up to the line of telling me I have to do what he wants or get out. He won’t admit it’s an ultimatum, but it’s an ultimatum.
I’m pretty sure, based on what he said, and what he didn’t say, that if he can’t force cooperation and feel like he’s back in control, he’s trying to move me out of the house so he can cut me off financially within a month or two of doing so.
I have, however, found out that he can’t make me leave. My name is on the lease, I have the legal right to live here. He would have to get a court order to have me evicted, and they usually aren’t granted unless the wife has been involved in violence that she initiated.
(I admit I’m somewhat surprised he pulled this, I thought it was just as important to him as it was to me that we not do or say anything indicating the state of our marriage until after the holidays, because we wanted the kids to have pleasant holidays before they have to experience a major, painful change in their lives.)
This leaves me with a couple of options:
Option A is that I tell him I’m not doing what he wants, and I’m not leaving because I have the legal right to remain while the lease is in effect.
Drawback: he will feel significantly less in control and chances increase that he becomes unstable and retaliatory. While I’ve found violence unlikely from him so far, I wouldn’t be able to rule it out.
Option B is that I don’t let him know I have a legal right to be here, and I pretend cooperation for now. I give him what he wants, and keep him relatively stable so we get through the holidays as planned.
Drawback: if he thinks he’s successfully leveraged cooperation from me, he’ll continue to try and re-exert control in other ways. Already last night he deliberately went until 10:30 watching TV in the bedroom with our boys. I chose not to say anything as I was still processing what had happened and trying to decide how to proceed.
Unfortunately when weighing the options at hand, I think I have to try option B first. It galls me, because I spent so much of my life being controlled by my family and my religion – and now, my husband has gone from simply accepting the level of control he had over me due to religion to actively trying to assert control over me.
It makes me angry, and sad, to think of having to put myself through this – to practice the submission I’ve been trying to escape – just to keep things as sane as possible for my children while I extricate myself from dependence on my husband and extricate myself from the marriage.
Fuck you, Christianity, for your fixation on controlling women and the way you teach men to exert control and expect submission.