Abuse

Ask Anne: Relationship Advice
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Relationship Questions

Why do I beat myself up over what they think?

I am a 51 yr old married woman. I was a victim of "date rape" at 14, physically and emotionally abused by my first husband. Even though I have survived these things and I know those things were not my fault, how do I let go of things that I have done in the past. The things I am talking about are tolerating abusive relationships, drinking too much on an occasion, smoking cigarettes and etc.

I know you are probably saying "You're 51, grow up"! Well, that is part of my problem. I have 2 older sisters who are also married with children and grandchildren.....and both of my parents are alive and in great health (which I'm very blessed). The issue is that they still tell me what I should be doing, they are very critical of how I do things and it doesn't matter how I behave, it isn't right. If I don't have a drink then I'm encouraged to, if I do drink, then I've over indulged. If I find outside the home activities (horseback riding) then I'm old and foolish, if I stay at home I'm a weird recluse. They never support me in front of my husband of 14 years. Their comments are always, she's your responsibility not ours. You were crazy enough to marry her. This will be at times when I'm cracking jokes and basically trying to have fun.

There are so many examples of this that the list could just go on and on. They all say that it's my life and live it to the fullest but I think what they are actually saying is that it's your life and you need to live it the way we want you to. I am my own person and I am not stupid but why do I beat myself up over what they think and basically make myself completely miserable just trying to make them happy. My husband has never said these type of things to me and he says that he is completely happy in our marriage, so my problem isn't stemming from this relationship. Am I crazy, have I been abused in other ways that I don't recollect?? What is my problem?? I am so tired and I want so badly to be at peace with myself.

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