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Kristin, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 11+ years specialist in mental health. Expertise and insight!
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I was involved in a progressively emotionally abusive relationship/

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I was involved in a progressively emotionally abusive relationship/ marriage for 30 years and had him removed via a protection from abuse order when he became physical a year and a half ago. I am consumed with vengeance and hatred for him -- for the multiple indiscretions he committed against my children and myself. I can’t believe I allowed him to do this time and again. I feel I gave up my life, my career and I am starting over from scratch and he has a terrific job. He is a horrific alcoholic and justifies his despicable behavior as alcoholics do thus an apology from him would be meaningless because it would just be words and he would turn the table and blame me. I know I need to move on for myself and my children but I feel stuck in a cycle of anger. I have returned to school and have started on a new career path. I am 53 and I am embittered .. I feel sorry for myself and don’t want to. I just want to stop thinking about him and move on.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kristin replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your question.


Thirty years is a long time to be involved with an abusive man. Although you said it was progressively worse and good for you, for getting out and going to school and starting a new career. You are right in that you wont find your peace from him. You can find it by working through all of these emotions that you have kept in for so long! Your anger is certainly justified and you can go ahead and allow yourself to feel it. I would suspect that underneath the anger is also a good deal of grief and sadness for living with an abusive man and enduring the pain that went along with that.

What is most important now is that you have your freedom, and you have your children. At your age, you still have so much life ahead of you, without that burden and fear of his abuse and horrible behaviors hanging over you.

It's great that you are reading books and meditating etc. Exercise is also very helpful in getting out stress and anger. What I would really recommend most for you though, is that you seek out some professional counseling. A marriage of this duration that involved abuse and alcholism etc. does take a big emotional toll on the spouse. There is alot of emotional content to cover, and for once, you could have someone who is there for you and your needs. As undoubtedly, in this marriage, it was NOT about your needs.

You have given yourself a gift by getting rid of him. Good riddance. This man has nothing to offer you, or anyone at this point in his life. He also has his own dysfunction to grapple with (good job and all). However, once you get past your anger and hurt, you will be free and at peace and experience a life that you have yet to experience, due to being in the marriage with an abusive and addicted man. That is what you have to look forward to...

So, to get through this emotional stuff, please do seek out some counseling for yourself. You certainly deserve it and it's a sign of health to reach out when you need some help.

Anyone would need help getting through the aftermath of these decades of turmoil.

There is no point in allowing the bitterness to eat you alive.... you have a new life ahead of you, so get through the past hurts and pain, and then you will see that you can have a new life in the present.

Here is a directory of verified therapists. You can search by zip code and specialites, insurance etc. I would search by specialty of divorce for a therapist and then go from there. You will see that option when you look at the link. Please click on green ACCEPT button, so I'm credited for my help today. I wish you all the best and I thank you. Feel free to continue discussion with me, even after clicking ACCEPT as I want to be sure you are satisfied.

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