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Need to escape a toxic relationship

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Well, the subject line really says it all. My 7 year relationship is pretty much beyond saving. It's never been harmonious, but now we're barely talking to each other or can stand to be in the same room. If blame needs to be assigned, It's mostly my fault for getting stressed out and depressed because she criticises and demeans me constantly (although she doesn't see it as demeaning), so I get bitter and scared of her, I lash out emotionally, she becomes even more hostile, I get more depressed, etc etc. Basically the relationship is toxic and worst mistake I ever made was not manning up and accepting the fact it didn't work.

So it needs to end. Unfortunately we both run small business together. legally I'm under no obligation to stay, but morally i am. I can't just leave her to run the entire thing by herself. But doing so means we have to live together and work together for potentially another 6 months (until the license for the business property ends), getting more stressed out and scared of each other, until one or both of us loses our mind. I also live with her family (epic beta I know) so I'd also be subjecting them to this fucked up atmosphere.

TLDR version: if I leave I'm being utterly selfish and leaving her screwed. If I stay we'll drive each other miserable.

What. Fucking. Do?
step one: see a counselor, eventually a couple counselor or something to make it for the next six months

the reason she is acting like that might very well be resentment and feeling trapped with you too.

step two: move out. you can continue working in the business for another six months while you have a small studio or even become someone's roomie. if and how the relationship survives depends on you both

You're right about the whole "being trapped" thing. It's really difficult to stay out of each others way, even if the house we live in is massive.

I'm seeing a doctor in the next few days so that should help me start managing my issues. Sadly I don't think she'll take similar steps. She believes all her issues are because of me (in all fairness, I've thought the same thing about her, even though I know it's untrue and unfair), so she won't seek any help.

As for moving out and working I can't, since I can't drive and we literally work in the middle of nowhere (no bus services, no trains), so I have to rely on her for transportation (which doesn't help the "trapped feeling".) I'm learning right now but the lease will have ended by the time I pass anyway.
let her hire some one to replace you and go.


Unfortunately, the business doesn't make enough yet for her to afford to hire anyone. We haven't even paid ourselves.
OP again

Does anyone have any experience of living through a hostile relationship? How did you cope/not cope?
you just have to break it off and live with the extreme pain for a while after.

then put in your two weeks and leave.
Hmm. I was with my ex for 7 years and we'd reached a point where it was toxic. We weren't able to resolve anything because there was so much hostility between us and it was like an infinite loop of allocating blame and expectations and trying to see who was the most injured.

Anyway, she told me I was completely crazy and I should be seeing someone. So I did (to spite her because it was THAT toxic). The therapist listened to me, told me that I didn't seem particularly crazy and gave me a leaflet titled "realising you are in an abusive relationship".

Anyway I was full of reasons and justifications for not ended the relationship, mostly because of comfort and material things and because it was difficult. The therapist told me that if I went home and packed a bag and walked out on the lot did I really think that those things would seem significant in 6 months, even 12?

I mean, pretty much no, everything can be replaced. The things which have value and meaning in the context of the relationship lose value and meaning outside of the relationship and the things which you choose and work on under the new system brought into existence when ending the relationship are suddenly important and valuable.

Like I had several thousand books. I didn't want to sort through them and find space for them and have to move them let alone give any up. Divorced me didn't need several thousand books because divorced me shared a house with two other guys and we were too busy doing fun shit with other people to need to escape from my psycho wife with a book.

I'd suggest making a decision and getting on with it. You'll find yourself going crazy stuck in a situation without hope or meaning where you feel trapped and controlled, but you'll start to feel better making active choices and seeing yourself grow and change as you start doing alright at changing things.
Although that said and having read this I should say I didn't go home and pack a bag and leave immediately. I went home and gave a list of things which would have to change to make the relationship work again. She listened to me and told me that wasn't going to happen. I said so we should break up. She said ok if that is what I wanted. I said ok, I'll start the process of moving out.

I moved into the spare room that day. I started to pack things over the next couple of weeks and I was gone within a 8 weeks. It wasn't that straightforward, I had to put locks on the spare room and she went kind of psycho over the next few weeks.

Basically I was at work and out a lot. When I was home I was pretty cordial and didn't get involved in arguments. I kept busy packing and boxing and clearing things out and arranging all the details of moving out.
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