“I am stuck in a verbally, mentally, financially, and physically abusive marriage for 28 years.The second and last born of my kids, together with their dad, condone and encourage each others bad behaviour towards me (their dad rewards their behaviour with money and goodies). We do not communicate at all. I feel helpless when I rebuff their behaviour without support. My eldest son is working and still lives rent free at home (paying off all his student loans). I have worked for the past 30 years. I single-handed educated two eldest and still have little 11 year old strong-willed boy. I purchased the town house, furnished it and bought the car which my husband uses for work,while I use our crumbling public transport system. I am financially crippled. Please assist with some points to use as I plan to write him a non-aggressive letter.”
Forget the letter.
You determine your financial and emotional future. Take back your power and with it your home and car. Have a supportive person present when you tell your family how you will allow them to treat you, with the option that, if they don’t, they are free to leave. Freedom is a gift that shouldn’t be given away to anyone.
You must have a deep resiliency
to come 28 years with a man who abuses you and encourages your sons to totally disrespect you. A non-aggressive letter isn’t going to do much good from the way you describe your household.
You need to do some very drastic changes if you want to have things happen for the better. Someone said that ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.’ I would encourage you to consider respecting yourself and valuing the energy and stamina that you have invested in this family. You aren’t doing them any favours by giving in to their treatment of you.
I would encourage you to seek professional help to create a change in you, in them and in your home.
Your sons have seen their father
treat you badly and it seems they want to play the same game. It will take great courage and perseverance from you to change the rules. They will continue this way unless you change. Before writing to them or talking with them you should decide what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate, what you expect of them, and how they need to contribute to the running of the home. You need to be very sure what you will do if they will not accept your stand, as they are likely to resist change; change is hard. One of the most helpful things you could do however is to start esteeming and loving yourself. Work on you. What is good about you and worth respecting?
The situation you find yourself
in has more to do with you than it does for your husband and sons. As an individual, you always have the freedom of choice to create the necessary positive and healthy changes that can only start with you. If you continue to allow your significant others to trample all over you, you really have no one but yourself to blame. If you can conjure up the faith, courage, strength, and dignity every woman in this world could possess, I can almost guarantee that you will become a person of sound mind, respect, security, and happiness. Be bold and be strong!