Leave or stay with verbally abusive husband
I’ve been married over thirty years, and I never thought I would be considering divorce. I realize that I have been living for a long time with a verbally abusive husband. He has never been physically abusive, but every so often he erupts in rage. It’s like a screw pops out. He’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One minute he is Mr. Nice Guy, and then he turns into a monster, whom I don’t recognize. Little things can set him off. He always has to be right. There is never room for a different opinion on anything, so it can be difficult to discuss much (even though we are politically similar.) At times he belittles me and my two kids. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around, trying to keep everyone happy all the time. This has been going on for years, and it’s often so subtle, but it has gotten worse more recently. I’ve finally reached a boiling point. After the most recent episode, resulting from my college age son (at home during the pandemic) attempting to voice a different opinion, he argued back and then told him that he hopes he leaves and never comes back, before storming out of the room. When I confronted him the next day, on my own, he referred to his son as a piece of $hit, said he doesn’t love him, and refuses to apologize. He also makes inappropriate jokes about trans and gay people and always has to mention how people look, i.e. if they are fat or ugly. This has always upset me, but I always just ignored it. I now realize that this has caused much distress to my daughter, who has come out to me as bi-sexual; she is too afraid to tell her father. He also drinks heavily and could be described as a high functioning alcoholic. I discussed things again with him several days later. He had calmed down by then, and he was actually attentive and listened to me when I voiced all my concerns. He said he doesn’t want to lose his family, and he agreed to see a therapist at my suggestion. His drinking makes things worse, but clearly, he has some serious unresolved mental health issues. I only regret not standing up to him sooner, but it’s hard when he always has to be right. After feeling all the pain he has caused my kids and me, I don’t know if I still want to be with him, even if therapy helps. I feel raw and sad, and I hurt inside. I’ve lost my appetite, which rarely happens to me. I no longer have any feelings toward him. Will things change if he gets help? He has caused so much damage to my kids, and my inner mama bear wants to protect them. I love my kids, and we have a great relationship. He said he would apologize to them, but it’s going to take a lot more than an apology to fix things. Is this situation even fixable? Finances are not a serious consideration. I can live comfortably with 50% of our assets/income. Thankfully the kids are adults, so there are no custody issues, but they will need therapy for awhile. I have seen a therapist myself. I’m not sure how to proceed with divorce proceedings if/when it gets to that. Any advice would be appreciated.