I am very new to this site and have enjoyed reading through it and learned a lot already. I would love some feedback on my current situation. Forgive the long post . . .
My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years, dated for 2 yrs prior and were actually high school sweethearts that reconnected 10 plus years later. We have full custody of his daughter, who will be 9 this week that I have raised since she was 18 months old. We also have a 4 yr old son together. He is a great father and the kids are crazy about him.
However - he is not a great husband. He is extremely emotionally/verbally abusive towards me and each episode lately is just getting worse and worse. Our latest blow up involved him actually physically shoving me down in front of our 4 yr old and then throwing a cup of coffee in my face. I was so stunned by it that I honestly didn't know how to react. Our arguments/fighting have always been very intense and ugly - but we've never had them w/the kids even remotely nearby. He's an extremely jealous person and constantly accuses me of just ridiculous things. If I travel for work (I'm the breadwinner in the family) I get ignored for days at a time. His main emotional warfare consists of days and days of completely ignoring me. When we do fight, words like b***h, c**t, s**t, etc are commonplace. He plays a lot of golf. A LOT. But we fight constantly when I want to go do something w/my girlfriends (thank GOD I have a very close set of friends I can rely on). I am a very strong willed person myself, so the fighting/arguments get very ugly very fast and neither of us will apologize or take responsibility when they happen - so I am not w/out blame here by any means.
I'm at a point right now that I'm just over it - that incident with the shoving me down - it honestly feels like a part of me just DIED that day at the risk of sounding over dramatic. He's pushed me into a corner emotionally for SO LONG that I think I've just finally reached my tipping point and my heart has no way to love him. What I wear to work can ruin his day, he thinks every man on the planet is after me, I look in the mirror too much, when I go to the gym at 5 am he says he doesn't think I'm actually going to the gym, I talk too loud to get attention, I stand too close to people when I talk to them. I could go on and on w/the stories and examples, but I hope you get the idea of the controlling nature of his personality.
We have gone to counseling before and b/c the therapist basically called him out for being an "obsessive love addict" when it comes to me - he REFUSES more counseling, even just by himself to help him get a grip on this horrible cycle our marriage is in.
My main issues and things I'd love to get the communities feedback on are this: I have ZERO legal rights to our 9 yr old daughter, so I will effectively be walking away from her and this weighs very heavy on my heart of course. I do believe he will be so angry w/me for asking for a divorce that he wouldn't let me see her (I could be wrong) and I just feel so heartbroken in general that our family has to be broken apart. I grew up in a broken family and I've always promised myself that I would do ANYTHING I had to do to make this marriage work. I'm very scared of what his reaction is going to be when I tell him that I want to separate and I know he will refuse to leave the home. I'm not leaving w/out my son and I just want to avoid as much drama as I possibly can.
I am an extremely strong woman with a great career and I have ZERO fear about what my future would hold w/out him in it - but it's the things like selling the house, splitting up our debt, custody issues, his parents hating me - that sound ridiculous I know - that just overwhelm me and paralyze me. Right now I'm just trying to make it through the holidays. I'm at this huge crossroads in my life . . . and it's like there is no right answer. Thank you for listening.