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You are very welcome Rose! It's a privilege to be here for you.
You will be able to sustain this fight and all it takes. You are very different now and have great insight. It is too hard to go back from that. You may falter some, but not for long. And you have so many people around you, helping you fight this fight. You are not alone. Lean on all of us when you feel it's too hard. That is what I'm here for.
It's really up to you if you feel you can work through all the past with Dave through Marriage Counseling. If you get a good therapist, they will see the dynamic between you and Dave. And they will work on whatever you and Dave wish. If you go in saying you want to fix the marriage, that is what they will do. It depends very much on the motivation you have and Dave has as to whether or not you should go, though. From what you have told me, you feel there is little to no chance that you want to ever be with Dave again. And if he is not even motivated enough to make the phone call to get help, that is not a good sign right there. Making you do it for him, even though it's his idea and he is the one who needs help is just perpetuating the same abusive cycle as always. He wants, you provide.
I don't want to discourage you, though. If you feel in any way that this is what you want, then it's worth it. But if Dave is the only one who wants it, then it's not going to work. And why does Dave want it? So he can say he tried and you are the problem? Or so he can tell the counselor you have issues and he can be supported as the victim here? Or is he truly willing to see he has issues and wants to change? Motivation can make a big difference.
And what you saw Dave do with the social worker might be exactly what he does with the marriage therapist. It's all your fault and you need fixed. He is perfect and does nothing wrong.
Dave pointing out that you don't want to be like your sister's is a way to try to make you feel guilty. How about his past relationship? He separated and moved on, leaving a child behind. All he is trying to do here is make you feel bad so he doesn't lose what he has. You may want to try to ignore those types of comments from now on. If you can, walk away when he starts to try to make you feel bad. If he tries to stop you, tell him you don't want to hear it. Keep it simple and quick. You have just as much right to not hear it as Dave has to say it.
Taking your name off Dave's accounts is a great idea! It separates you even more and makes your point clearer to him.
I really hope you do not have to have him stay in the home with you. Do you feel selling the whole thing will help? Maybe you could live somewhere temporarily until the kids are done with school. Then you can move on to where you want to be. Just a thought.
See you in a bit!
It sounds like Dave is trying to manipulate you. He is playing the "I'm perfect, you are the one that is crazy" card. This is very typical of an abuser and how they try to blame the healthy person in the situation with being "crazy" because they cannot accept that they are really the ones who are to blame. Plus, he is refusing to leave, which may be causing you to feel as you do right now.
Listening to him is only going to make it worse. He knows he still can manipulate you because you respond to him. When you argue with him and give him the response he is looking for, he thinks he is winning. That is not to say you are to blame. You are not, in any way. This is all because of him. But when you respond, he gets what he wants. He gets to know that he is getting to you and knows how to push your buttons.
The next time he tries to say anything personally about you, walk away. If you can't get away, say "I've heard this before". Keep repeating it until he stops. By doing this, you will gain power back in the situation. Right now, he is trying to take the power away from you by refusing to leave and calling you crazy. But keeping yourself from getting emotionally upset by him, he loses his power.
The back and forth between you will only make you feel worse. There is no way to win with Dave. He is too good at manipulation and hurting you. The only way to gain back ground for yourself is to stick with business only. Only speak to him when you have to and only about necessary arrangements.
Since he refuses to leave, you may have to do as Poppy suggested and get legal assistance to remove him. Or if he does go off again, you can get the police to remove him. Either way, getting him out is a priority. Because as long as he stays, he will try to make you miserable. And he will keep rubbing it in your face that he does not have to leave. By taking action, you can help yourself feel better.
Try to not take in what Dave says. It is not true. You are not crazy, mad or too sick. That is just his way of getting the attention off how you want him out and back on to blaming you. He is sick, not you. Remember, he is the abuser. You are not.
I hope you have a good night, Rose. You will feel better. Hang in there.
You are in my thoughts,