There are two women I know who have been married to abusive, emotionally unavailable men for decades. Both chose to stay home to raise their children, and when they did work it was low paying, part time, and/or pink collar occupations. Although I have the highest respect for stay-at-home moms their decision undoubtedly limited their money making power and marketable skills later in life. A few years ago one of them returned to school despite the vociferous protest of her husband. She recently received her degree and is now sending out resumes with great glee. She is looking forward to a future that includes a peaceful, drama-free apartment, a long desired divorce from a brutal man, and the opportunity to live her own rich, fulfilling life for the very first time.
The other one bends to every whim, manipulation, and rage of her crazy making husband. She has learned the hard way that to lash back, plead for mercy, ask to rationally talk things out, or go for couples counseling immediately hits a brick wall, with a kick in the teeth to boot. She goes along to get along. It is peace at any price.
Years ago I heard a sermon where the pastor said, “A rut is a grave with the ends kicked out.” We may have to rally every last bit of fighting spirit to escape the prison of a codependent/ abusive relationship. It may take years of planning and feel like every step is moving up a slippery incline where we could slide back at any moment. However the alternative is to languish in a deathstyle that will suffocate our genuineness and joy every moment of our lives. You are worth whatever you must to do to secure a healthy, safe, love filled life. Here is a Web site of codependency recovery groups in the Dayton area: http://www.flybenji.org/DaytonRecoveryResources.html