Wow, I don't even know where to begin.
My wife and I have been together 6 years now - lived together 3, married for other 3. Our relationship was strained recently, and some close friends of ours mentioned to me that her attitude and our relationship seemed really abusive toward me.
I made excuses for her bad moods and ignored it until recently - when another set of friends sat me down and had a similar discussion with me - that they felt I was being abused, that it really hurt them to see me this way, and that I deserved to be happy. I didn't really believe what they were saying but I agreed to bring up some of their concerns with my wife.
The talk with my wife ignited a lightbulb above my head. We are both finishing degrees in college and she had always talked about wanting to get an advanced degree. She was either going to be a Doctor or a Lawyer - She has an undergrad in Political Science, and has taken the required courses to take the MCAT. Soo her plan, as she originally told me, was to take both tests and see which one she scored higher on - then she'd go do that.
That was about a year ago.
I asked her what her plans were and she told me that she never wanted to leave school and that she didnt want to go out and get a job. When I told her that everyone wants that theoretically, but the reality is that eventually you have to - the bills come do at some point. At which point she began to get angry and cry. She said that she liked her life as it was and that she wanted to stay at home and have my attention like its always been.
I asked her about a primary concern that the friends had, which was that she was isolating me from anyone else in my life. All my time had to be spent on her, either alone with her, or if I went out, it had to be in her company.
I asked her about her expectations of my time, and she said she wanted it all and she didnt want to share me with anyone. I made the case that I may need to associate with a single male friend for a random hour or two in order to maintain a professional relationship at the very least and...I'm not sure how to describe it...but she threw a temper tantrum. I mean a real tantrum - like a 4 year old throws when they ball up their fists and kick their feed and stop hard on the ground.
The whole thing was surreal.
We were exausted after the fight so I said that I had to go out and clear my head. That I needed alone time to sort thru it all. I sent a message to the friends to tell them what happened and how shocked I was that I had been so blind. How could I not have seen this? I put her to bed and said I would be available via phone and headed out.
The friends intercepted me - they were worried that I'd hurt myself, so they stayed with me during my freak out time. The wife woke up and freaked out - she was their alone and my friends were with me and she said that was unforgivable. She drove to my location in her pajamas and we talked inside the car while parked in a parking lot.
I was still comforting at this point - trying to make her see reason that if she didnt want to work then I would have to work more and then I wouldnt have the time that she demanded of me. If I wanted to spend more time with her, then I'd have to work less and earn less money. That I understood if the getting a job was scary or daunting, but that I would help her - and if she didnt want to be a doctor or a lawyer then we'd find something she could be interested in.
Then as I was hugging her, thinking that we'd made progress, she pulled back from me and said, "Why'd you have to tell your friends about it!?"......and then she hit me.
And no, I dont mean a tap..I mean she pulled back and punched me as hard as she could in the collarbone. Now, I'm not a wimp and I didnt collapse or anything..but it hurt, I registered it as hurting....then when the realization came in...it hurt alot more..just not in the physical way.
I've started to catalog my way through the years we've been together and I cant believe that I missed any of the signs - there were so many in hindsight...how could I have been so damn stupid? Everyone in my life has always commented on how smart I was....so how am I so fucking dumb?
I dont know what to do anymore - She's super sorry, but I dont think I'm ever gonna look at us the same way again. I dont know how to even break up with her - she has no job, her family is nuts, and she is totally dependent on me for attention and money. What do I do? Drop her off at a homeless shelter?!?
I still love her enough not to want to see her hurt herself or for her to be in pain..but I dont know what I can do for her. How is she gonna live day to day when she has no support structure whatsoever?