Dear Husband,
This has not been easy to put into words and I doubt that it will be easy to read, I’m sorry.  You wanted honesty and I am trying to be completely honest in answering these questions.  Also, please bear in mind that these questions are not designed to look for positive characteristics in people, only the negative so please don’t feel like this is the only view I have of you.
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I have gone online to http://www.healthyplace.com/psychological-tests/woman-abuse-screening-tool/ and am taking their test and I will write out the questions, my responses and reasoning’s behind them.

Question 1:  In general, how would you describe your relationship?  A lot of tension, Some tension or No tension?
I chose a lot of tension because for me there is a lot of tension over several issues, mainly over feeling like I can’t tell you how I feel without making you hurt or angry.  This tension is a large contributor to my depression.
Question 2:  Do you and your partner work out arguments with: Great difficulty, Some difficulty, no difficulty.
I chose Great difficulty because on the things that really matter, like your church and our younger daughter, we aren’t really working them out, we are agreeing to disagree and there is no resolution.  The smaller things I feel like one or the other of us usually gives in more than that we reach a solution that works for both of us.
Question 3. Do arguments ever result in you feeling down or bad about yourself?  Often, Sometimes, Never.
 
I chose often because while our actual arguments are rare, 90% of the time I walk away from them feeling like there was something wrong with me, it was my fault, etc.
 
Question 4. Do arguments ever result in hitting, kicking or pushing?  Often, Sometimes, Never.
 
I chose never, obviously.
 
Question 5. Do you ever feel frightened by what your partner says or does?  Often, Sometimes, Never.
 
I chose sometimes, While I have never been physically afraid by anything you have said or done, I have been afraid of how angry you might be with me or what you might say to me if I were to tell you how I really feel, especially if you have just finished speaking negatively of someone who thinks or feels the same way I do.  Sometimes your opinions about those people are quite fierce.  The example that pops to mind is concerning your church.  When you talk about somebody who left your church and is speaking up about their experiences you can become upset and very disapproving of them as a person.  I have many of the same thoughts about your church as those people and it makes me hide as much of my opinion of your church as I can because I don’t want you to talk to me the way you talk to me about them.  Over our entire marriage I haven’t told you a lot of things, mainly about how I felt, because I was afraid of how you would react.
 
Question 6. Has your partner ever abused you physically?  Often, Sometimes, Never.
 
Again, I chose never.
 
Question 7. Has your partner ever abused you emotionally?  Often, Sometimes, Never.
 
This one is harder, to define “emotional abuse” I went here:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/20/signs-of-emotional-abuse/   and looked through their bullet points. I’ll put my answers in all caps…
  1. Humiliation, degradation, discounting, negating. judging, criticizing:
    • Does anyone make fun of you or put you down in front of others?  NO YOU DON’T
    • Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you?  NO YOU DON’T
    • When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive?  NO YOU DON’T
    • Do they tell you that your opinion or feelings are “wrong?”  SOMETIMES YOU HAVE BUT NOT VERY OFTEN.  PRIMARILY IN REGARDS TO YOUR CHURCH
    • Does anyone regularly ridicule, dismiss, disregard your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings?  RIDICULE OR DISMISS, NO.  DISREGARD, SOMETIMES.
  2. Domination, control, and shame:
    • Do you feel that the person treats you like a child?  NO, NOT AS A CHILD BUT SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE YOU TREAT ME AS A POSESSION – WHEN YOU SAY “YOU ARE MY WIFE” IT FREQUENTLY FEELS LIKE YOU’RE SAYING “YOU ARE MY POCKETWATCH” AND SEEM DISPLEASED WHEN YOU SAY IT AS IF I’M NOT PERFORMING MY FUNCTION AS YOUR WIFE CORRECTLY.
    • Do they constantly correct or chastise you because your behavior is “inappropriate?”  NOT MY BEHAVIOR BUT SOMETIMES IT FEELS LIKE YOU’RE TRYING TO CORRECT MY ATTITUDE(S) OR OPINION(S)
    • Do you feel you must “get permission” before going somewhere or before making even small decisions?  YES, ALMOST ALWAYS FOR GOING SOMEWHERE, NOT SO MUCH FOR MAKING SMALL DECISIONS
    • Do they control your spending?  YES AND NO.  I DID THE BUDGET SO YOU DIDN’T REALLY CONTROL  MY PERSONAL SPENDING BUT WHEN I WANTED TO SPEND MONEY TO GO OUT TO EAT, BUY SOMETHING FOR THE FAMILY, ETC, AND YOU DIDN’T THEN IT SEEMED LIKE WE USUALLY WOUND UP NOT SPENDING THE MONEY BUT IF YOU WANTED TO GO OUT TO EAT, BUY SOMETHING FOR THE FAMILY, ETC, AND I DIDN’T THEN IT SEEMED LIKE WE USUALLY DID SPEND THE MONEY.
    • Do they treat you as though you are inferior to them? INTELLECTUALLY I FEEL LIKE YOU DO TREAT ME AND SOME OTHERS AS THOUGH WE ARE INFERIOR.  ALSO IT SEEMED THAT WE DID WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO MORE OFTEN THAN WHAT I WANTED TO DO SO I FELT LIKE I WAS INFERIOR TO YOU THAT WAY
    • Do they make you feel as though they are always right?  VERY OFTEN.
    • Do they remind you of your shortcomings?  OFTEN.  I FEEL LIKE YOU DON’T LET SOME OF MY MISTAKES BE FORGOTTEN UNTIL YOU HAVE “DOUBLE-CHECKED” ME ON THE SAME/SIMILAR ACTIONS FOR A LONG TIME, LIKE MONTHS, TO EASE YOUR PARANOIA THAT I WILL DO IT AGAIN
    • Do they belittle your accomplishments, your aspirations, your plans or even who you are?  BELITTLE, NO.  IT SEEMS MORE LIKE YOU TAKE LITTLE TO NO NOTICE OF MY ART OR MY MUSIC OR OTHER THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME SO IT FEELS MORE LIKE YOU DISMISS MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS, ASPIRATIONS, PLANS, WHO I AM.
    • Do they give disapproving, dismissive, contemptuous, or condescending looks, comments, and behavior?  LOOKS, NO.  COMMENTS, YES.  BEHAVIOR, NO.
  3. Accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations, denies own shortcomings:
    • Do they accuse you of something contrived in their own minds when you know it isn’t true?  NO YOU DON’T
    • Are they unable to laugh at themselves?  I DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU CAN LAUGH AT YOUR MISTAKES, THEY SEEM TO STRESS YOU OUT SO YOU TEND TO HIDE THEM
    • Are they extremely sensitive when it comes to others making fun of them or making any kind of comment that seems to show a lack of respect?  YES, YOU ARE
    • Do they have trouble apologizing?  NO YOU DON’T
    • Do they make excuses for their behavior or tend to blame others or circumstances for their mistakes?  YES, I FEEL LIKE YOU DO THIS FAIRLY OFTEN
    • Do they call you names or label you?  NO YOU DON’T WITH ME BUT YOU DO LABEL OTHERS ACCORDING TO HOW YOU JUDGE THEM
    • Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness?  I FEEL LIKE YOU TRY NOT TO BLAME ME BUT YOU DO FEEL I AM AN EXPLANATION FOR THE REASON(S) YOU ARE HAVING A PROBLEM OR ARE UNHAPPY.
    • Do they continually have “boundary violations” and disrespect your valid requests?  I DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT IT IS TO HAVE BOUNDARIES MYSELF, THAT’S PART OF WHAT I NEED TO LEARN, AND YOU DO TRY TO HONOR THE REQUESTS THAT I HAVE MADE BUT I FEEL LIKE YOU’RE JUST GOING ALONG WITH IT INSTEAD OF UNDERSTANDING WHY THE BOUNDARY REQUESTS ARE NECESSARY
  4. Emotional distancing and the “silent treatment,” isolation, emotional abandonment or neglect:
    • Do they use pouting, withdrawal or withholding attention or affection?  POUTING – NO.  WITHDRAWAL OR WITHHOLDING ATTENTION OR AFFECTION, YES.
    • Do they not want to meet the basic needs or use neglect or abandonment as punishment?  NO YOU DON’T
    • Do they play the victim to deflect blame onto you instead of taking responsibility for their actions and attitudes?  THIS IS AN AREA YOU HAVE MADE HUGE IMPROVEMENTS IN AND I HAVE NOTICED.  WHERE YOU ONCE MADE NEARLY EVERYTHING MY FAULT ON PURPOSE YOU NOW ONLY MAKE ME FEEL LIKE IT’S MY FAULT SOME OF THE TIME AND I KNOW YOU’RE NOT DOING IT DELIBERATELY LIKE YOU USED TO
    • Do they not notice or care how you feel?  YOU DO CARE, YOU DON’T ALWAYS NOTICE BUT I HAVE BECOME VERY GOOD AT HIDING HOW I FEEL SO I DON’T FEEL LIKE THAT’S YOUR FAULT.  IT DOES SEEM, HOWEVER, LIKE YOU CARE MORE ABOUT HOW THINGS AFFECT YOU THAN HOW THEY AFFECT ME
    • Do they not show empathy or ask questions to gather information?  I DON’T FEEL A LOT OF EMPATHY FROM YOU MOST OF THE TIME AND IT SEEMS LIKE THE QUESTIONS YOU ASK ARE MORE FOCUSED ON HOW THE SUBJECT MATTER WILL AFFECT YOU THAN ANYTHING ELSE
  5. Codependence and enmeshment:
    • Does anyone treat you not as a separate person but instead as an extension of themselves?  I HAVE FELT LIKE IT’S NOT OK TO BE ME TO THE POINT THAT I DON’T FEEL LIKE I KNOW WHO I AM.  I HAVE FELT LIKE I HAVE TO BE WHO MOM WANTED ME TO BE, WHO YOU WANT ME TO BE, WHO THE CHURCH WANTS ME TO BE AND I DON’T REALLY KNOW WHO GOD CREATED ME TO BE
    • Do they not protect your personal boundaries and share information that you have not approved?  I FEEL LIKE YOU ARE PRETTY GOOD ABOUT NOT SHARING INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVEN’T MADE SURE IS OK TO SHARE, THANK YOU
    • Do they disrespect your requests and do what they think is best for you?  NO YOU DON’T
    • Do they require continual contact and haven’t developed a healthy support network among their own peers?  IT FEELS LIKE YOU DO REQUIRE CONTINUAL CONTACT WITH ME AND UNTIL THE LAST SIX MONTHS OR SO DID NOT HAVE A HEALTHY SUPPORT NETWORK OF OTHER GUYS.
So back to Question 7, I would have to say that yes, you have been emotionally abusive throughout our marriage so I chose often as the answer to that last question.
 
This is the results of the test for abuse:
 
Quiz Results
Your score: 12.00 out of 17.00 (70.59%)
Passing score: 0.00 (0.00%)
Elapsed time: 02:47
Quiz Message
Scoring Abuse Test:

  • over 17: (not abusive)
  • 15-17: (potentially abusive)
  • under 15: (abusive relationship)

If you answered Question 1 with “a lot of tension” and Question 2 with “great difficulty,” there is a likelihood you are in an abusive relationship. If any Questions 3-8 were answered with “often” or “sometimes,” those are additional indications that you are in an abusive relationship.

So according to medically and psychologically accepted definitions, ours is an emotionally abusive relationship – not at all physically abusive and I would never, ever let anyone think otherwise – but everything all together has created an atmosphere where I am afraid to tell you things about myself, my ideas, my opinions, my likes or dislikes because I have been afraid of your reaction and what you might say to me that would make me feel bad.  That is why I freeze up and why I have the physical symptoms of a panic attack, the chest pressure, shortness of breath, etc. when I try to force myself to be honest and open with you.
 
This is a subject that I have skirted the edges of for many years because I didn’t want to hurt you and despite what you may believe right now, most of the things that I didn’t tell you were because I knew that telling you would hurt you so I kept my own hurts inside, trying to protect you throughout our marriage.  Instead, what I wound up doing was enabling you to continue to emotionally abuse me, however unintentionally.
 
Our prophetic word says I would help abused women in the same way you would help men bound in addiction – the only reason you could help the men was because you had come out of the addiction yourself, who did you think abused me to allow me to help abused women after reading that?  I had hoped that you would consider your own behavior after reading that, or even that other church people might draw it to your attention but it never happened.  
 
Also, I think it was in 2012 or maybe 2013 that I told you I took an online test and was considered an abused person – I could never come right out and say that you were an emotional abuser, it was much easier to put the majority of the blame on Mom, who was safely dead by then, but I tried to point your thoughts in that direction multiple times by telling you that your personality was very much like hers.  Since you are completely shocked that you could be labeled as an emotionally abusive person my efforts were obviously unsuccessful.
 
I KNOW that you are not abusive on purpose, especially during these last couple of years, and that our current relationship is the product of our upbringings and lack of skill in communicating in a healthy and effective manner combined with 20 years of bad relational habits and not knowing any better or how to do things differently.
 
You asked what I need to do to get healthy and the answer is I don’t know, that’s why I’m trying to get into the counseling program at the women’s shelter.  Specifically, it’s a program for abused women, aimed more at physically abused women but I asked and it is also designed to help emotionally abused women as well and so I’m trusting they will know how to help me heal.  If it takes too long to get in I do plan on trying to go back and see my last counselor after my insurance takes effect next month.  
 
As far as knowing the address of where I am staying I am not going to tell you partly because when I get into the counseling program I won’t be allowed to tell you where they put me and also because although you don’t see it as a control issue, I do, and also as a respect issue.  If there is an emergency either my sister or I will contact you and give you the address if needed.  In the meantime, the more you ask and get upset about not knowing the less I feel respected and the more it seems like it really is a control issue.
 
Again, I am sorry for the pain I know this email must be causing you, please believe that I do know you have not intended to hurt me and I am not mad at you, I don’t hate you and I don’t intend to make anyone think badly of you.  
 
Please respond to this information in writing, I don’t feel like I can communicate effectively on this subject over the phone or in person for the time being.
 
Sincerely,
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