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Switch to Forum Live View Beginning the journey thru Divorce - reluctantly
5 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2009 - 9:03AM #1
Littlelost
Posts: 8

Hello, I am back from several months ago as I posted my situation back in May when my husband of 14 yrs (together for 20) just separated. During our separation we began seeing a marriage counselor so I was hopeful we might be able to work things out and reconcile. That is not the case as I have filed for divorce - although this is not what I want. Here is my story..


My husband hasn't been living at home for 5 months since May 5th after he got arrested for DUI again (happened several years ago also). I have suspected for a long time over the past 1-2 years he may have been unfaithful to me. He would go out 3-4x times a week staying out until all hours of the night. Coming home at 300a-400a a couple of times a week - well what am I supposed to think. He frequents a "biker" bar which is really not a "good" place to hang out -you know the "party" crowd. Not a place for a husband and father to be at so frequently. I have asked him time and again to not go there and how this will lead to something - placing his attention/energy/efforts into the bar/drinking etc....and not on his family/marriage - well where are his priorities? Anyway, this has been going on for a long time but I finally accused him of being unfaithful (without difinitive proof) last Oct. Things went really downhill then. It got worse with him staying out even more. Then around Dec - he decided he wanted to try more - but still I felt something was going on - woman's intuition you know. Well he did try and did spend a bit more time at home but still could go out till very late a couple times a week. In April I accused him again - and asked him for a divorce. He denied it emphatically. Then after the arrest May 4th - I asked him to leave. Just cannot keep rescuing him anymore. 


Thruout our separation he has been denying any affair/relationship with anyone else. He agreed to go to counseling so I felt there was hope. He actually went to the first 4-5 sessions of counseling. Then he went away for a biker weekend and after he returned from that I noticed a definite difference in him. He would not call me daily anymore (that was part of the marriage counseling advice) he would not want to talk about our relationship or go to more counseling sessions. Then he gets arrested again July 9th and goes to jail for 20 days. He doesn't call me to tell me until a week later - I had no idea where he was. I go to court on the day he gets out July 28 and pick him up, bring him to other jail to get his personal stuff then bring him back to town. Since then again no real effort at wanting to reconcile and still denying anything is going on. He would tell me he loves me and wants to come home but he "doesnt know how" and he would figure it out soon. I just kept hoping -the eternal optimist I am- that he was being honest and just my personal insecurities were creating the feeling he was cheating/lying to me. He agreed to go to a marital counseling retreat weekend Sep 18 - so I really thought we would be able to work things out and he would make his marriage a priority. 


Well on Sep 5 he came over to see the kids (3 children 14, 11, 8) - going to spend the night Sat to Sunday and I was going to leave the house. While he was there he left his phone charging on the counter and left to get pizza. Well I took advantage of the opportunity to confirm or deny my suspicions. I found calls/texts to someone where she called him "Babe" and told him she loved him. He also told her he loved her. Many texts back and forth just showing me he has been in a relationship with her for some time for it to have developed to this point. I was crushed although I expected it. You can feel/suspect it all you want but to see the man you love tell another woman he loves her is devastating.


Anyway, I accused him - he couldn't deny it anymore and he left. He still tried to say he loved me and this "thing" with  her has nothing to do with me but is all about him. What a classic dump  line. I moved all his stuff out and had a large yard sale to sell whatever tools, car parts etcc to make money so I dont lose the house. Oh that's another thing - he hasn't really been giving me money he should but makes sure he pays his tab at the  bar. I believe this girl works as bartender at one of the bars he frequents.  


He wants to live a carefree, fun, no responsibilities life style- he can't live up to expectations, standards and responsibilities that is too much work. Live in the moment. My self esteem has taken a crucial blow I will take a very long time to recover from this. I allowed him to take so much from me and I tolerated behavior I shouldn't have for far too long only to discover what I always suspected to be true.


My greatest fear is that he truly "loves" this new woman and will be happy with her rather then me. How do I move past this pain and go on with life?

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5 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2009 - 11:04AM #2
Hatman
Posts: 9,634
LittleLost-

How do I move past this pain and go on with life?


The truth is that this process differs for everyone who goes through it.  I can make some suggestions; take what you need, and leave the rest, if anything.

From what I understand, there are 7 stages to grief; these are:
    *Shock or Disbelief
    *Denial
    *Bargaining
    *Guilt
    *Anger
    *Depression
    *Acceptance and Hope

Sounds to me like you've been through the first 3 stages; now that you're entering the divorce process, guilt may be beginning to assail you.  After all, just because you divorce him does not mean that he will ever be totally out of your life, because you share children together---children who will have games, events, etc., at which they will want you to both attend, where possible.

Now, for the anger, here are a couple of suggestions:
1.  Find a heavy bag in a gym somewhere, arrange to have some alone time with it, and beat the crap out of it, while screaming and yelling at it.
2.  Go off into the wilderness and scream out---say, to a tree(or a stump)---whatever you're feeling.

When you get depressed, attempt to find at least 5 things to be grateful for, every day.  Start with small things---the gift of a bird's song, a fruit or vegetable from your garden, a cool breeze on a hot day, a toilet that works, etc.  Oh, and this is only when you CAN do this. 

You feel what you feel; feel it deeply---privately, if you're a private person, with others if they can handle it.  I suspect that you will cry often as you think of what you once had, what he will now be losing, the confusion and acting-out that the children will probably do/go through, and so on.  Try to remind them often that none of this is their fault, but try very hard not to blame him in their presence, even though he IS to blame.  They're smart.  They'll figure it out.  Your bad-mouthing or trashing him may feel good in the moment, but your children will grow to resent your treatment of the only earthly father they're ever going to have.

So the short answer is that you'll never be able to move past it entirely, imo, as long as he lives in your heart and memory.  You'll just learn how to deal with it better.

Warmest regards-

Hatman

"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2009 - 11:44AM #3
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Welcome back, and sorry for all that has been happening. Although in one sense it must be a relief to know that you have not been crazy and that your intuition was correct all along. On the other, it hurts terribly to now know for sure. Perhaps you are now realizing that your gut feelings can be better trusted.

Unfortunately you cannot make choices for another - and the ones that have been made are not conducive to building (or rebuilding) a loving relationship.

Hatman has given you some excellent ideas for moving on from this. As painful and difficult as it may be, his advice on not criticizing him to the children is best for them.

Even without the other woman, there has been a long-standing pattern of behavior that you found unacceptable. At some point, you might want to look into what kept you from asserting your needs with regards to the partying in bars, etc. Maybe this is a wake-up call to address your own insecurities, which have kept you from the inherent power you do possess. That may be an even more difficult process than coping with the pain you are now feeling over the irrevocable loss of your marriage.

It is okay to feel sad, it is okay to feel angry - as Hatman said, it helps to feel your feelings deeply. It also helps to get a support network - friends, family, anyone you can turn to for emotional support and with whom you can share what is going on for you.

You are in my prayers.

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5 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2009 - 4:27PM #4
Littlelost
Posts: 8

Hello and thank you for responding. Being a child from a divorced family I understand the damage bad mouthing the other parent can do - I have not and will not do this to my children. In fact I have supported them contacting their father and encourage them to have a healthy relationship with him. I have really emphasized the divorce has nothing to do with them but is totally between us. The sad part here is - their father has not seen his children in almost a month (when I confronted him after discovering the text messages) and he has not made any attempt to even call them! I actually contacted him last week to let him know I would not keep the kids from him, he can see them anytime and still he has not made an effort to see them.


Part of the problem is previously he would come to our house to see them and I would leave - I told him I would no longer do this - it is too uncomfortable however he could see them in a public place - take them to dinner, meet at park, library, movies etc...He does not have his own apt/house - he has been renting a room from someone so really doesnt have a place to bring the kids. Now that it is harder for him to see the children - he has to make an effort here - he doesnt want to do it. He told me during this conversation that he is trying to get a place of his own and is starting a part time job in addition to his full time job. Now he is forced to do this because of child support issues - as  he has not given me any money towards the children/household in over a month.


One other interesting piece of information he shared with me - he is now going to counseling on his own. I am glad to hear that - I hope he can figure out why he has made such poor choices and become a better person/father. I can't help but ask though - since he is going to counseling - is there hope for us? Maybe he will change, truly be remorseful and want to try again? Only time will tell and I know I still need to move on with my life. I am also in counseling and just today began to discuss my own insecurities, fear of abandonment issues from my childhood and how they have carried over into my marriage - so I am working towards growth, wisdom and healing too.


Thank you again for your encouragement and support.  

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5 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2009 - 8:16PM #5
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

I believe that there is always hope, and people are capable of remarkable changes. However, the odds may not be in favor of that happening. it is certainly encouraging that there is individual counseling, the track record of coming clean in counseling is not very good either. A counselor cannot fix a person - the individual has to do the difficult inner work themslves. It isn't clear that is the case, although one can only hope. Regardless of what he does or doesn't do, I hope that you take the opportunity to look at yourself and get clear on why there was a willingness to put up with unacceptable behavior for so long. You can't make anyone else's decision for them, least of all a spouse; you can be clear about what is and is not acceptable behavior. Also, looking at your own fears that go back to childhood is very helpful for your being able to move forward regardless of what happens to the marriage. Perhaps in the best case there a chance for reconcilliation may present itself, but even if not, then addressing your own stuff will help.

I wish you all the best in this difficult time. Please keep us posted on how you are doing!

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5 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2009 - 10:54PM #6
Hatman
Posts: 9,634
LittleLost-
I would say, "Yes, of course there's hope," with a "but."

IME and from my observation, most people don't learn unless there are serious consequences---often, PAINFUL consequences---that follow their bad behavior.  For example, the drunk who goes and takes a leak on an electric fence will thereafter be FAR more circumspect in where he takes out his thing to do his business!

Since he hasn't seen the children or made much of an effort to send support dough, it may be that his guilt is punishing him at present.  However, if he can afford counseling, he can afford to prioritize and take care of his responsibilities to his children FIRST, I'm thinkin'.

So if he's not under court order, it may be a good thing to go get one, and if he is but is refusing to pay, it may be time for a contempt-of-court order and another trip before the judge to get his hind end in gear.

Feeling sorry for him is one thing, but when that sympathy results in negative effects on your children, it's time nip that feeling in the bud.

Still, I wish you well; I hope that eventually, you two DO reconcile, if that's truly what you both want, and ground rules for you both that are fair and equitable can be worked out.  To that end, you may wish to investigate the "Retrouvaille" program(one place to start might be www.retrouvaille.org), and/or google and read up on the experiences others have had with it.

Warmest regards-

Hatman
"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2009 - 10:18PM #7
Spearmint
Posts: 58

As a recovering person myself who was married to an active alcholic many years ago, I can honestly say that I have known more relationships saved by AA and Alanon than I have by counsellors. There are more bad counsellors out there than I care to count.


 


Have you tried Al Anon?

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2009 - 12:03PM #8
Littlelost
Posts: 8

You make a good point. Thank you for sharing your perspective. My husband did get evaluated for alcohol use and was not diagnosed as an "alcoholic" per say but an abuser of alcohol. I am sure the alcohol use contributed to his poor choices for many years - but is not the reason for the infidelity...is it? I know that it was probably easier for him to take the step to be unfaithful  under the influence of alchohol and hanging out so much in bars just contributes to the use and promiscuity. I don't know if he is willing to go to AA at this point, how can Alanon help me now? Will it help me to understand why he made the choices he did or why I chose to tolerate the behavior for too long? I guess it could help in the healing process but how would it save my marriage now?

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2009 - 4:46PM #9
Hatman
Posts: 9,634

LittleLost-


Well, ONE thing that al-anon will do is provide you with a group of people who have been through(or are GOING through) the same or similar things, themselves.  Another thing would be to teach about co-dependence and enabling, for helping you to understand how you may have contributed to his behavior will help you to stop doing so in the future.


Bottom line is that going couldn't hurt, and could possibly help a great deal.


Warmest regards-


Hatman

"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 05, 2009 - 2:17AM #10
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

I second what Hatman and Spearmint said!

The fact is you cannot control his choices no matter how much you want them to be healthier and no matter how much you try. There is only one person you can control, and that is yourself of course. Al-Anon can help a person sort out what is theirs and what is not-theirs, and also to realize what your "bottom line" is with him. You have already done that in a way through the separation and filing for divorce. Although saving the relationship is still possible, there is a huge amount of work to be done just in re-establishiong trust. Since trust is the bedrock of any relationship, and since there is not a lot of concrete evidence yet that there have been substantive changes that will make trust a reasonable thing, there's a lot to do here. There's no time like the present to work on oneself, however, and that's really all that anyone can do.

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