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Since this mistreatment has been going on for so long, there's no point in hoping it (or he) will change. The only person you can change is you. Start by going to therapy and figuring out why you've accepted this awful behavior from him. Once you realize that you have a choice about your own life, and that no one has to accept abuse in any form, and you have re-built your self-esteem, you will be in a better position to make a decision about your life.
Please do not stay in an abusive relationship because you think this is best for the kids. It is not healthy for children to see their father physically or verbally or emotionally abusing their mother. The girls will grow up thinking it's normal to be abused, and the boys will think it's normal to abuse their partner. Children learn by example. Give them the example of a woman who knows how to set boundaries about what behavior she'll accept, and when someone chooses to violate those boundaries, she removes herself from the situation. Please find a therapist and get to work on re-building your self -esteem. 17 years of being disrespected would make it hard for you to make the needed changes without help, as the verbal and emotional abuse have made you feel helpless. You're not helpless, but you'll need the support of a therapist to help you realize that. Here's a link to a directory of therapists in your area: http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
I wish you all the best as you recover and begin to plan a new life for yourself in which you're treated with the respect you deserve.