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7 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2011 - 9:28AM #1
Posts: 4

I've been married for 11 years. My two youngest sons were born unto this union and my two eldest(who are now adults) were from a previous relationship. We dated 6 years prior to making that committment.  I want a divorce! I'm frustrated and don't see the benefits of staying in this relationship.  My husband is a selfish, immature, inconsiderate, unyielding, controlling, sloppy, sleepyheaded, insecure bully with no vision for the future. He spends very little time with myself or our sons and yet expects me to stick around for the long haul. 

Our problems began about 5 or 6 years ago when he became totally unattentive.  He neglected me physically and emotionally and was even emotionally abusive at times.  He was on the verge of physical abuse....I mean seriously teetering on the edge of it but when he saw I would fight back, he never completely crossed that threshold.  I'll admit that I haven't been an angel. My main problem used to be with overspending.  But at the onset of our downward spiral, I was the most committed, loving, submissive wife ever.  I kept a hot meal on the table and stayed at home with the kids. I worked 2 jobs(1 full time and 1 part time).  I kept a neat clean home which he overlooks by keeping his clothes in the floor, and neglecting household maintenance in spite of my expressed desire for neatness. I never believed in adultery even though he always accused me of being unfaithful. I thought, 'Heck you're the one who is seldom at home and when you are here you don't communicate and cut me off when I try to express my concerns!' But I held on.  I was lonely, miserable and without hope.  Then, something happened. I met a man who helped to restore my self esteem which was at an all time low.  My husband had complained about me not losing weight after having our last son and I guess I thought myself unworthy of affection.  This other man told me everything I needed to hear. One day my husband found a text message on my cell phone from this man.  The man was asking me to come away with him.  I wasn't going to go but my husband didn't believe me.  He got upset and chased me around the house.  I finally got in my car and drove to my mother's, where he followed me.  I stayed with her 2 weeks until he begged me to come back home.  He made all of these promises about how things would be better and they were for about 6 months.  It's 3 years later and though things aren't as bad as they used to be, they're still not as they should be. I did lose 50 lbs(for ME) mind you. This restored my self-esteem as well, though he complained saying that I had lost TOO MUCH WEIGHT! Ugh! This was crazy.  He complained about my workout schedule.  I felt as if he didn't want me to better myself.  He knew I was borderline hypertensive and suffered from thyroid disease.  But he didn't seem to mind. And spite of my requests for complements/attention/affection, he'd just cut his eye at me if I had on a new outfit.  I got my fair share of outside complements but none where they mattered most! I began encouraging myself but really felt that a relationship should entail the like. Many of his old habits returned.  I told him if he wanted to get counseling he should set up the appointments.  He never did.  As I stated before, I never believed in adultery but found myself in a compromising position after feelings of lonelieness and rejection continued to overtake me.  I know I was wrong and I apologized to him, profusely.  I used to think that maybe his insecurities were a result of my infidelity but then realized that he was insecure all along. 

The afore mentioned problems are just the tip of the iceberg. My eldest son, his stepson, and he developed a broken relationship.  When my son was 12 or13 he began going thru changes as all teenagers do. He was longing for his biological father and my husband resented it.  My son started doing little things to anger him(I really think that was his way of getting my husbands attention).  This escalated out of control and my husband threw him out of the house.  He lived with his paternal grandparents off and on for the next year.  I eventually couldn't take that anymore and brought him back home as I believe my children are my responsibility.  My husband resented this and kept it no secret.  So for the next 3 years the two of them went around not speaking and avoiding each other. And when my husband did speak, he yelled and fussed.  This took its toll on all of us in one way or another. I begged my husband to try spending time with him as he was notorious for going to ball games, etc. and leaving the boys at home which I always thought odd.  One day my husband(my son was 16)yelled at him(which was common)about getting the groceries out of the car and my son replied, "I told you I was coming, man!" While this was a tad disrespectful, I can understand my son's frustration.  Here's a man with never a kind word.  Eventually ppl get tired of being badgered!  Would you husband swung at him and started fighting him.  My son was running at first but finally started swinging back.  They were in the front yard!  I was in such a state of disbelief and shock(coupled with embarrassment) that I went in the house and locked the door.  I'll stop right there, as the rest is irrelevant.  But I will tell you that my son is now 18 and they still don't have a relationship. 

In a nutshell I believe the core of our family/relationship is gone.  Our 12 year old(whom my husband now yells at, since the 18 year old is seldom home) despises his father/my husband and both he and our youngest son have given me an ultimatum. They say I have until next year to divorce him.  They have often asked me why I married him? I just think to myself...have I done more harm than good?  I mean, the bad times clearly outweigh the good but I always had hope.  I want my children to see what a healthy relationship looks like without cursing and yelling during arguments.  I want them to see how a man treats a lady, and while I dismissed infidelity from my life I still can't help but long for a better relationship and believe that I will search until I find one or become content with being alone.  I've forgiven him for the hurt but I finally came to the conclusion that I can't forget.  And that's just keeping it real!  I feel like such a failure but have come to the conclusion that i'd be more miserable staying in this relationship than getting out. I'm concerned about my finances but believe that w/God's help I'll make it.  I've told him on more than one occasion that I want out, but he doesn't listen.  He used to get smart and say, "Well if you want out, stop talking about it and BE about it!"  This was mind control and I let it hold me there.  He doesn't like for me to do new things.  He's intimidated by that.  He watches my cell phone bill like a hawk and harasses me everytime I'm away visiting with relatives, accusing me of being with another man, until I put the relative on the phone to calm him down.  I fear divorcing him to a degree.  I feel as if he will try to take custody of the boys and that he will never let me be happy with someone else. He may even develop stalker status.But I want to be out from under his rule/thumb.  I want to move to another city, start a business, enjoy life.....I have to do it but I just dont know the right way.  And to top all of this off, I was recently diagnosed with clinical depression.  I feel as if this dead end relationship is partly to blame.  Am I justified in wanting this divorce? And if so, do i try and get him to sign the papers or simply have them served by law enforcement!  Help!!

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7 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2011 - 10:44AM #2
Posts: 1,407

Welcome to Beliefnet, Epiphany7, and this corner that deals with problems in marriage. I am so sorry for all the pain you have endured in yours. There are caring members here who will be glad to share their thoughts with you and give feedback. I hope that it is found to be a helpful experience.

By now you have perhaps realized that you cannot change your husband. So if you are waiting for something from him to help move forward, it will be a long wait indeed. In that sense, he did have a point with regards to action versus talking about it. Note that when you did take action (staying at your parents for awhile) it produced a response (some temporary changes). I don’t see anywhere where talking has produced any tangible results.

There is a wonderful phrase that Dr. Phil made popular (and a member here, Hatman, likes to quote): “We teach others how to treat us by what we allow and don’t allow.” The sense I get is that following some temporary improvements in the relationship, there is a gradual decline, starting with small things, but continuing downhill until they get pretty bad.

The thing about self-esteem is that it is something that you are not something you have. Genuine self-esteem does not depend on whether someone likes you or not, or what weight or size dress you are. Do you believe that you are precious and valuable just for who you are and just as you are? If so, then you have every right - indeed a responsibility - to insist to be treated with courtesy and respect, especially from a spouse. While conflict is an inevitable part of every relationship, there is never any justification for criticism or put-downs, let alone physical violence. Perhaps there is a part of you that accepts some of these things because you feel you somehow don’t deserve better.

If there is any desire on both your parts to save the marriage (and despite the bad things that have happened, I do see evidence of that), the most effective way I know of to help is something called Retrouvaille. If you search for it, there will be more information.

On the other hand, if you are convinced that there is no hope, then the next logical step is to see an attorney and file for divorce.

Since the current situation is not acceptable, either working to heal the marriage or ending it seem to be the only options. Nobody but yourself can know which course is the best for you to take; the one that doesn’t work would seem to be doing nothing.


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7 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2011 - 10:28PM #3
Posts: 4,107

Dear Epiphany7,

Ask yourself a simple question: "Do I hate him?"

Everyone else's feelings (and pressures) about you and him, are irrelevant. This is your marriage and his.

If, you think counseling is a good idea and he is willing; then, you should go the extra mile and make the arrangements.

If, it helps you to make a point and bring him around to being serious; then, by all means visit your mom for weeks at a time.


Stay away from even the least form of infidelity. People who play around and try to steal someone's spouse, no matter what kind of louse, are far dirtier than they seem outwardly!

Don't talk to folk who try to advance themselves with you, period. One thing at a time!

Save your marriage; or, decide you can't stand him anymore and divorce him.

After that, see if the guy who chased you is about commitment, or just trying to get you to compromise your integrity for a chance at having you please him. Free sex is like a drug that will make many men act like addicts. They will tell, sell or steal, whatever it takes for it.

Self-respect is about honor. No one can take it from you, but they sure can sweet-talk you into things that will be a source for sadness and self-hate.

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7 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 7:06PM #4
Posts: 3,329

Your marriage is toxic for your children and you. Being with someone who is constantly being negative to cut you down to size and is verbally and emotionally abusive will drag you down and erode your self-confidence. Having someone say or infer they  find you unattractive sexually is one of the lowest things either partner can do. having everything you do go unappreciated and throwing your son out--he's a jerk.

He is trying to push you into an affair so that he can use it against you for a better divorce settlement and/or so he can tell your sons that their mother is a whore. I don't consider you one for wanting to have someone you can have a positive relationship with.

To me, the fact that your kids have given you a time limit to get away from shows how desperate they are that he will cross the line to physical abuse. And that they are just plain sick of living in a war zone. Your children are old enough to testify and also choose who they want to live with.

Find a barracuda of a divorce lawyer. Get some money in your own name. If you can kick him out, fine. If you can't afford to stay there, I'd go to your Mother. Don't date anyone from the time you leave him until the divorce is final. The last thing you want is for him to have anything  new he could use against you.

Keep a journal starting now, detailing every insult, below the belt comment about you, to you, or negative behavior towards any of  your sons. I'd include never taking them to a ball game, even if they offered to pay for a ticket. Use your cell phone to catch him at it. It can't be used in court but it will give your lawyer an idea of just how much you've been putting up with.

I'm not suggesting you get counseling because he's promised he'd change before and was back to his old self pretty quickly.You have paid for any indiscretion during  your marriage by spending all those years with him. I think your past overspending was a direct response to trying to lift your own spirits by getting something that made you feel good.

If you are working 2 jobs, how many is he working? Do you get to keep any of it, or are you the one paying the main expenses? I suppose it would be difficult to move while school is in session, but I'd be planning an out day of your own. Money in a private account, statements go to your Mother's or a post office box. Clothes going over there a few at a time, so it doesn't scream out that you are going to leave.

Considering your husband's disappearing  acts and not having sex with you, he's probably been having an affair or paying hookers during the time that he's been neglecting you physically. And justifying it to himself because of all the affairs that he thinks you are having.

It's not to late for you to show your sons the difference between your current marriage and a healthy relationship where you are respected and cherished. You deserve to get out from under this unpleasant, self-indulgent jerk's thumb. You are in a no-win, dead end marriage and if you are clinically depressed, you need to have your son checked as well. None of your kids need to live with so much stress in their lives either.

Good luck and God-speed dear!

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2011 - 9:19PM #5
Posts: 4,107

How old is he? If, he's over fifty, inactive and not in the best shape (overweight couch-potato); then, he might just not have as much physical ability and desire.

It might not be you at all; just nature taking its course, him feeling less like a man, and being so embarassed about it that he blames you.

If, you can't stand him at all and want a divorce; then, be dead serious about it; because the only ones who win in a Western divorce are the lawyers. Financially, even the one of you who does better in the fight is a big loser. In the rest of the world it's even worse for women.

Statistically, the wife suffers the most; and it is a major cause of poverty among women and children. The only women who did real well, were married to really rich men who screwed up so badly even their hot-shot attorneys couldn't do much more than minimize the damage.

Can't tell you how many women had an affair and lost everything when the guy they threw him over for vanished. Afterwards, they see how bad the market for even passably decent men really is; and it gets far worse every year you're older than thirty-five. By fifty, forget it!

Not saying its impossible; but its absolutely not the way to bet.

Ask around among those who've been there and done it. Listen to the old married veterans and the already divorced crowd. Talk to a lot of them.

The inexperienced don't have a clue unless they're professionals in marriage counseling or something related.

The ideologues only care about their theories and their movement, not about you. To them you're just another bit of cannon fodder for their wars.

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7 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2011 - 10:08PM #6
Posts: 4,107

Also, here's a message you can pass on to him:

 Many divorces happen because a woman decides to "Be about it." By the time she gets there; its way past "already too late" to save your marriage. All you can do then, is be miserable about all the chances that she gave you, that you rejected!

If, you don't want to die unloved, lonely, old, and alone; then, you better get your behind in gear and get the counseling, etc that will keep you from finding out what makes the divorce lawyer smile so much.

You don't have to be perfect, brother; but respect doesn't cost a dime and a real man keeps his wife happy in all the different ways. Kindness is first. Attentiveness, generosity of spirit, uncritical regard, appreciation of effort, clean language, gentleness with the children and friendliness to her friends are just a few ways. Make your own list.

Now a word to you Epiphany7.

Start looking at the good things you can about him and focus on those. It will make you happier than dwelling on his faults. Is he a sober, drug-free, working man? Has he never laid a hand on you? Has he stayed out of jail? Is he educated? Is he religious? Is he patriotic? What are his ideals? What does he stand for? Is he a good citizen? With whom does he have good and happy relationships? Are his friends respectable? Make your own list of his attractive qualities. There must have been at least some when you decided to accept being married to him, right?

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7 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2011 - 8:18PM #7
Posts: 3,329

Abusers don't show who they really are until after marriage or having the person living with them. Not all verbally, sexually, and emotional abuse reaches the woman first. If there are easier targets--like children--they are especially good targets because until they reach their majority--which isn't 16 in most states-they can't leave. Dependent minors whose mother is working 2 jobs to make ends meet are home. She isn't there to see what he does to them, but giving her a time limit suggests that those children need to be taken away from that home for their protection, and if she doesn't take them away from him, Social Services might.

If she moves in with her Mother and still is working 2 jobs, I'd think that should cover their expenses. I know she couldn't stay there forever, but it would be a start. She needs to have her name taken off the utilities and house payments when she leaves. He can buy her out or the house can be sold and the profits split.

I absolutely agree with getting a good lawyer who has a good success rating. If her husband decides to leave, that's great. If he's spending a lot of time in bars, that means he's driving drunk and spending most of his income on alcohol.Not a pretty picture. It's going to look great in court. Too bad she doesn't know where his favorite spots are and about the time he starts driving home so he gets a DUI. She'll be saving some lives that way.

Leaving him will save her son's future lives and help her have a better life. She may find another man and she may not. I just don't know many women who have been in a long term abusive relationships who are very anxious to take a risk again.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 3:50AM #8
Posts: 4,107

Emotional abuse is sometimes difficult to determine. Not taking the boys to the ballgames he goes to, is not abuse. Not being as demonstrative of affection is also very iffy. Wordfights and criticism get close, but are borderline.

Some such things are culturally determined. An African-American household, various kinds of Euro-American and different Hispanic or other ethnic groups are all ultimately and individually separate bundles of cases.

Gambling, alcohol and/or drugs can easily put it over the line and physical violence or "molestation" definitely does. Locking horns with a teenager is immature, but is also complicated by many factors.


One thing that is common, is ending up in and/or wanting to have an excuse or, "grass is greener" reason to have a divorce.

The grass isn't greener; that pasture just has a different herd in it, and they moo, too. The sky is the same all over and you have to look where you're stepping, in every field.


You, a professsional who has learned to control a weight problem and stood up for herself, are probably not a "victim". You are organized, collected, practical and thoughtful.

It would be good if you saw your marriage as a classroom and dealt with its issues with a little detachment; and him, not as a particular problem child, but an unruly class that has to be taken in hand.

Such things take time, care, work, and love. Get the counseling; its way less painful and chancy than going straight for divorce.

Be honest with yourself first. When and if, you actually hate him and can't stand to be around him anymore; then, get the best gunslinging lawyer you can and you'll have no problem going for the jugular. Before that, you're wasting time, life and money in divorce proceedings. The time to make up your mind is before you take action.

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