You are entirely powerless over him and always will be, but this is OK. You will feel very lost because you feel powerless over everything when you first accept this, but then slowly, you begin to see your truest sense of power. Self-empowerment! You have ultimate power over yourself and your choices and, as an adult, you have the POWER to walk away. You have the power to say “NO MORE” emotional abuse. You have the power to build the LIFE you WANT and NEED, and when you find that power, you will realize that you neither want nor need ANYONE in your life that is EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE. This is his pain and he is the only one who has the power to change his own life. No matter how hard ANYONE tries, they are powerless over this. You, or anyone else could never be “good enough” to make any impact on his pain because he is in complete control. This is probably why he abuses you… because it gives him a false sense of control over his pain. But he may have been powerless when he was a child to care for and protect himself and heal, but he isn’t now and he must want to be happy. He must want to heal. It is unacceptable for him, or anyone else to transfer their pain and suffering onto another. Just because he was hurt in a profound way as a child does not make him unaccountable for his actions now. You can't "abandon" an adult. This IS abuse and you DO have the power to walk away. You have to want to be happy and you have to want to heal.
Write yourself a letter, as I did, that starts with “I will no longer remain codependent on our relationship to define who I am and whether I am worthy of love and respect and good enough to make him recover.”
Free yourself and feel empathy that he chooses not to do the same for himself. Empathy is not what leaves you feeling hurt and neither is love. What leaves you feeling these things is being stuck in the idea that he owes you a different outcome. But he doesn’t. YOU owe yourself a different outcome NOW. You owe yourself joy and fulfilment and self-love. Being a wife does not mean being someone’s caretaker, metaphorical punching bag and therapist, it means being a friend and lover.
I KNOW it isn’t easy. I have struggled right along the same path. I have grieved for what *should* have been, but dammit it wasn't, so the sooner I accepted that I (yes, I) let it happen, then I empowered myself to have a different now and a different future. Knowing that I let it happen gave me the power to know that I can prevent it from happening again!
I love my Husband immensely and was constantly tempted to just say "forget my needs, I'll accept anything you throw at me as long as you promise to never leave me!" I was terrified of being alone, I was terrified I'd never have a love as deep as I felt for him. I was terrified that he would leave BUT, I pushed steadfast because I know this was all I could do. I would have lost myself completely if I didn’t do this and my survival was more important than love for ANYONE else.
THE CAUSE WAS NOT HIM. It was in me and I am now trying to fill the void by breaking my codependance. I am trying to build and live life in my own joyful vision, and I have let go of the outcome. This does not mean getting my hair done or taking time for myself, this is working HARD at respecting and profoundly loving myself. I am at peace with whatever direction my husband chooses by ensuring my own direction will be giving myself everything I need. Our relationships should never fill a need in us. We should fill our own needs and our relationships should complement what we have given to ourselves.
On a post not too long after signing up for MS I wrote the following “I didn't come to this forum for my husband. I didn't come here to find out how to help him or fix him. I came here for me and my healing. I hope that through my example and my progress, my husband will begin his own healing, but this is secondary.” And guess what, he has!! When I STOPPED being co-dependant and set my boundaries and started to respect MYSELF, so did he.
You CAN do this. It starts with a phone call to a CRISIS LINE NOW. It starts with letting him care for himself and finally taking care of yourself. It starts with finding that light inside yourself that does not wish to be extinguished and fanning the flames. It starts with letting go of resentment and any emotional attachment to how he has been acting towards you. It starts with reading this http://joy2meu.com/Personal_Boundaries.htm
I hope you choose yourself. I hope you choose your own survival. Every single one of us on this planet deserve happiness.