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Abby's Story

My husband has not drunk to unwarranted nasty drunkenness for 11 years, or used and dealt marijuana for 35 years, but his behaviours and irrational thinking are still those of an addict. When he became a born again Christian 35 years ago he believes that he was instantly and miraculously healed of addiction - but he has never dealt with the underlying psychology of his addictions, which has caused untold destruction to my life and my children's (his stepchildren's) lives. He did not disclose the extent of his addictions and abusiveness towards his previous wife before we married. Lying is like breathing to him. He cannot stand to hear anything that he will take as criticism, he still tries to control me and will attack me verbally. He has never been as a real husband should be, has never been supportive of me, and in fact has lied to people about me, destroying my reputation with others, in order to protect his own reputation. I believe that he is a sociopath, as he has actually enjoyed it when other people have verbally attacked me. He used to physically abuse me and my children with the collusion and encouragement of people in the church who "counselled" us because he so successfully manipulated them. People think that he is a lovely, gentle, caring, wise, mature and respectable man. Everywhere I tried to get help, he managed to manipulate the situation so that I was further victimised, until I just gave up and stopped trying. In recent years he has changed somewhat, and has apologised for some of his past behaviours whereas before he blamed me for years for his behaviour, but even now he still does not realise how he continues to undermine me and is basically a selfish child. I have no support at all, no family or friends to turn to, and the "family secrets" and abuse that I have received when I have tried to open up and stop the pretence of "happy families" that we show to the world has kept me silent, isolated, and feeling ashamed and a fake. The twisted, abusive attitude of society toward abused women keeps me silent. I have never opened up to my family about it. Inside I am angry, resentful, distrustful of people, can't let people get close because of the pretence, and I would love to leave this irrational man-child except that financially I am stuck.

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