To Mr. FarFromRight: you gave me a lot to think about. To address your points I'll start at the beginning and work my way through them.
over the course of the years, he began belittling me and chipping away at my self-confidence bit by bit.
This hearkens back to my comment about his younger (17 yr old) daughter and a time when he was very rarely home, actually working in another state. There were a lot of problems, disrespect, and lies by her; resulting in me not wanting to have anything to do with her, to this day she still believes she never did anything wrong. By the time he changed jobs and we were living together again, she was out of the house. I don't want her in my house, Hubby gets on a kick to try and convince me that I should just forgive her and pretend like nothing happened. I stuck to my guns and that's when he started belittling and criticizing me. Plus he got his older daughter to join in as well. After about 5 yrs or so I was so depressed I was literally unable to get out of bed or do anything. Hubby pushed and prodded until started seeing a therapist, good move for me-but I now wonder if the reason he did so was because his laundry wasn't getting done and he had to fix his own meals.
He goes to some of the later sessions with me and therapist tells him he is out of line, so he stopped the pressure about younger daughter and gets older daughter to stop as well. Now, instead, the critical behavior is about all kinds of other things. Plus he also starts oversharing, I would tell him something private, and he would find some public time to share it. I would tell him it hurt, he'd say sorry, and then he would do it again. Needless to say, it didn't take me too long To quit confiding in him.
He didn't seem to care about my needs and gradually stopped doing little things just because he knew they would make me happy. Eventually, I quit caring and quit doing little things too. This all took us up to about the middle of 2011. I had started just doing something's for myself and ignoring what he had to say about it. I made some new friends, but still had low selfesteem. That's when I met Sweetie for the first time, as I said earlier-I didn't act on it. During the course of the next year I began pushing back at Hubby and his comments.
When it came time for the conference in Aug 2012, I was hoping Sweetie would be there. And when he was not only there, but also in the room adjacent to mine I just went with it. That pretty much gave me the boost I needed to feel like I could survive and be happy on my own if I needed to. Hubby's newest tactic during the past year had been to say "maybe we should get a divorce" when we argued. My reply had been to ignore him. So in Sept 2012 when he said it again my answer was to say "maybe we should". Now we have a worried Hubby who wants to fix our relationship and stay together.
So I told him the things I needed him to start doing again-that he did in the first 8 yrs of our being together. And I told him the things he was doing that were hurtful, and that they had to stop. He has been making a concerted effort to make changes, and has been doing a good job of it for the past 3 months. However, I still feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm not sure I'll be able to trust him again-and I've told him so. So that's basically where the issues are just between me and Hubby.