If a kitchen faucet starts dripping, it's no big deal. But after dripping for 25 years, the faucet is rusted, broken and a mess. It's like that with us, when we have been abused year over year, it gets to the point where there is nothing left of us. Being submissive at home keeps the peace, it's a tactic we use to try and keep the abuse at bay, thinking we can 'act' right so 'they' will be happy, or we can love them out of this (because no one understands them like we do) or buy things for them that will make them happy or whatever it is that we think we can do to help - - - and then over time we realize that this will never change and that it was never our issue to fix anyways - we were just the quiet/abused/controlled partner. It seems you are ready to be done with this. To answer your question, the answer is to leave, to not take it any more, to claim your power and say 'enough' and not feel bad about it. And then, and this is key, to have the strength to keep our resolve and notice the cycle and not fall back into the situation. This is the hard part because we all want to believe it'll be ok. But again, it's not ours to fix. Educated, smart, driven and ambitious, you clearly have talent and determination. Why not use these talents to move you forward and step out of this muck? Don't beat yourself up, this is a safe space where you can share, we've all been there. Sending you a hug and the knowing that if you leave, you will be ok. Email me if you want some more [email protected].