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PostPosted: August 13th, 2004, 2:01 pm 

Joined: August 13th, 2004, 9:31 am
Posts: 2
I have been married for almost 14 years to a man that I'm not sure I ever even loved. We have 2 children together, 2 boys (ages 7 and almost 13), and I have a daughter (17) from a previous relationship.

My husband is a very controlling, strict, anal-retentive type person, and I have given up trying to make him happy. He and my daughter hate each other, my daughter is a rebellious teenager experimenting with things that a lot of teenagers do. My husband doesn't understand her, and we fight all the time about it. We basically don't see eye-to-eye on anything, our priorities are different, and we're both miserable.

We've tried therapy a couple of times, and the last time we went (a couple of months ago), I made it clear that I was fed up, I'd finally gotten to the point where I felt I was brave enough to get a divorce, and he was shocked. For the first time he realized that I was serious (I'd threatened many times), and that there were definite attitudes and behaviors of his that I couldn't stand. He firmly believes that it would be best for us to stay together, and therefore tried really hard for a couple of months to change his behavior.

But.... I have never believed we'd be together forever. I've always felt that we aren't compatible and that when the kids were gone, we'd have nothing. A couple of months ago, I felt like I could hide my true feelings (the fact that I don't love him), and that if he was just a nicer person, I could at least be content until the kids were a little older. I also felt that men are a pain in the butt, who needs them, I'd rather live alone for the rest of my life. I truly believed that.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that any more. I'm 44 years old, and I'm madly in love with someone I've known since I was 20. We worked together years ago, and I always counted him as a dear friend, always felt that he was my favorite person in the whole world.. It wasn't until the past few months that things took a romantic turn. He feels the same way, and is also in a bad marriage. His wife is ill, though, so there's less a chance that he would end his marriage. He's also 1000 miles away. So.... it's not like I believe I'd get out of one marriage and into another.

I do believe, though, that I'd be happier on my own, without having to worry about what mood my husband will be in when I get home. I'm much happier when he's out of town, I'm not attracted to him in the least, and I've been avoiding any kind of intimacy for a couple of months. The idea of actually being intimate with him is totally unappealing. So what am I doing? His bad behavior is coming back (my friend says it's due to nonookyitis), and I can't stand living with him.

Problem is, I feel guilty and scared. Yes, I believe (as do all my friends) that he mentally abused me and my daughter for years. But I feel guilty because I just don't love him, and I'm not sure if I ever did. What I feel for my lover is so much more deeper, we communicate about everything, and I've never felt this way about anybody else. So, of course that makes me feel guilty too. And I'm scared because he's threatened that he will fight me for full custody of our boys, using my daughter's indescretions as proof that I'm a bad mom.

Also, there's the financial aspect. We have a fairly large home that would need some repairs done before it would be sellable. Including replacing carpet that he says I'd have to pay for, since it was my daughter who ruined it (in her room). Plus, I'm not sure I understand separation, how do people afford separate residences before their house is sold, what would be the first move, etc?

And another thing... finding the right lawyer. This is going to be ugly - I know my husband, and he won't be thinking about doing what's best for everyone, being kind, thinking of the kids, getting help, doing this in a civil manner. He's going to fight me, he's got more money than me - he'll find the best lawyer around. I've already consulted with 3, and gotten different stories from all 3. The first one was supposed to be the toughest and best divorce lawyer around, but I hated him. Very expensive too. I was told to go to him so my husband couldn't. The second one I went to I absolutely love, she assured me that he would be held partially responsible for my debt (he keeps our money separate, and won't give me any of his without a fight, so I've run up balances on charge cards), although anything related to my daughter he won't be responsible for, since he never adopted her. She gave me a good feeling, I felt she'd get me what I deserve. Unfortunately, she is now a judge and no longer handles divorce cases. So I met with her replacement, and hated her.

Now I'm back to square one.... don't know what to do, where to do, if I'm doing the right thing. I decided to do a search on "women contemplating divorce" on google, and this site was the first thing that came up. I feel like I need some support. Why do I feel guilty? I'm not happy, I deserve to be happy - right? Or am I being selfish, should I remain in this marriage, give him want he wants, for the boys? It breaks my heart when I think of my daughter and how much better off she'd have been if I'd married someone who is kind and thoughtful, like my oldest and best friend in the world. I feel like it's too late for her, but what kind of message is she getting? She knows about this "friend," she knows I'm unhappy, and she feels unwelcome in her own home.

My dream is to live at the beach, own a cafe, and live the way I want. Less stress, more laid back. That'll never happen if I stay in this marriage. Actually, I don't know if the beach or cafe will ever happen, I'll probably never be able to afford it. But I need less stress, and a more easy-going atmosphere.

Any help would be appreciated. Oh, by the way, I've also been considering lately the possibility of writing a novel about my experiences. It's kind of a coincidence that this is a writers' website!

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 Post subject: courage
PostPosted: August 14th, 2004, 2:53 pm 

Joined: April 29th, 2004, 8:49 pm
Posts: 3632
Location: God's country
As a psychotherapist who worked with women coming out relationships like yours, you can't make focused decisions while in another relationship. Although you are sure you are seeing things clearly, that isn't happening. It's also terribly unfair to a sick woman no matter how unhappy their marriage is to have her husband cheating. You need to be clear that you are leaving for you and your children no matter the outcome of any relationships and to do that, you need to not be in one while you are going thru this. It also makes for a messy divorce should any of this get leaked out and will aggravate the situation and put you MORE at risk with a controlling and dangerous husband.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 14th, 2004, 3:06 pm 
Hi rizakag,

Your story sound a lot like mine......and I'm looking for the guts, too(and having a hard time finding them). My cousin is telling me that I'm being mentally/emotionally abused, but I'm not sure.....I certainly FEEL like it........I know, it doesn't make much sense, but that's the way it is right now. Some of what he does can be explained by other circumstances, or is much more subtle than the 'standards' for emotional abuse. I have also put a stop to some of it :) But it still is confusing as all get-out. My cousin wants me to call the House of Ruth, and explain it all to them, and see what they say. But, cluck cluck cluck, so far I've been too chicken to do it :(

Wish I could have said something helpfull,

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 Post subject: You can do it!
PostPosted: September 6th, 2004, 9:58 pm 

Joined: September 5th, 2004, 7:14 pm
Posts: 3
I too, am in this situation. I am with a man that I don't think I ever loved. We got married because I was pregnant, and have been together for nine years. I have left him several times, only to come back because I'd become emotionally dependent on him. Here is my solution: I have found friends. I told him just today that I want a divorce and he laughed. Said that he wouldn't let me ruin our happy family, and that all our problems are in my head. He also becomes very lovey dovey and nice whenever this situation arises. THIS time, I will not listen to the same crap I've heard before and I will turn to my friends, who are ready and waiting for me. My husband is an emotional abuser, and I just won't put up with it anymore. You don't have to either.

Don't ever leave, however, for another man. That is always a bad idea. It is never going to be how you imagined. Leave for YOU.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 10th, 2004, 5:54 pm 

Joined: January 7th, 2004, 5:15 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Way up North
Just do it... leave. Of course its not that easy because I have been there done that. Your story sounds in some respects similar to mine.

1Work with professionals
2 Make a plan (very important step)
3 Tell no one you will find you dont know who your friends are
4 Leave leave leave and don't look back!

Life is short you deserve your happiness. You have tried and you can NEVER make a man like that happy.

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 Post subject: Finding your wings ...
PostPosted: November 17th, 2004, 12:21 pm 

Joined: November 16th, 2004, 11:19 pm
Posts: 14
Location: USA
I was married for 10 years. We had two children together, plus I raised my stepdaughter as well. Looking back on it now, I am not sure I will ever know how I made it in the relationship as long as I did. Except for this one fact... I am a SURVIVOR.

So are you...

The fact that you have come here looking for help is proof of that!

Through the years of living with my husband who was extremely controlling, manipulative, emotionally abusive, jealous, and unfortunately a highly addicted person (to cigarettes, alcohol, and pornography), I became a shell of my former self. For years I felt like a caged bird, trapped behind the bars of a relationship and identity that I no longer wanted but felt powerless to escape.

Eventually it got to the point where I would find myself crying at the worst times. Such extreme loneliness would strike me that I would break down in tears at the bus stop waiting for my kids. Hiding my tears behind sunglasses, I made sure no one saw the pain I was feeling inside. I felt like I couldn't tell anyone because they wouldn't understand. No one saw what was going on between my husband and I behind closed doors. I had no witnesses and I felt like no one would believe the truth.

In my case, dealing with a person who had the personality of my husband and the addicted traits, meant that I was in a co-dependant (yes I know the word itself makes people cringe) relationship. But I didn't even see it. The thing about that is, when the person you live with acts crazy (emotional rollercoasters, unpredictable mood swings, manipulations), pretty soon you start acting crazy as well. I felt it happening but barely recognized it. The thing that overwhelmed me the most was the feeling of being empty and absolutely....


I found a book that saved my life. Literally saved it. It gave me the support I needed to find my inner strength and confidence. I don't know where I would be today if I hadn't found it, so I thank God that I did. It was called "Living on the Edge". I would recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with relationship issues. Not just alcoholism, but there are a number of issues that are addressed by it. The thing it emphasizes though is this.... you are the captain of your ship. You can either stay onboard and let it sink beneath you...or you can get off on the next life raft! That doesn't have to mean divorce BUT it DOES have to mean CHANGE!

If two people are in a boat, and they both row in different directions, they will only go in circles. So you, and your husband, lover, or boyfriend, have to get on the same page and agree upon the same goals. Then you have to back up that agreement with REAL action and dedication, otherwise it is time to lighten the load and get your own life on track.

Presently, I have been divorced for several months, but have been living on my own for over a year. I am a single mom, with two beautiful children. After several years of being at home, I have gone back to the workforce. I won't lie and say supporting myself, and raising my kids alone is easy... cause it's not .. BUT... name one thing in life that is! When I look back at where I was, and how I felt then, compared to whatever struggles I face now... I would NEVER go back. I do not regret for a minute, the choice I had to make. Especially when I know that my children will now be raised in a home that is peaceful and happy. That they will see their mother being confident, strong, and content. I believe the best lesson I can teach them - is to do what is right for them, as well as me, not to teach them to stay on a sinking ship and drown.

I am a survivor. I remind myself of that everyday. No matter what hardships life may throw their way, I want my children to be survivors too. So, with God's help, I am showing them how.

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