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How did you know it was time to end it?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm really curious of other woman's thoughts on this. I am married, and have put up with more then I would have liked to...and now things aren't bad per say, I just think that I can't get past how bad they have been

So mama's when did you know OK I'M DONE
post #2 of 26
Well, I basically think I was an idiot, because I stuck around at least two years, maybe five, past the point where I should have just said, "forget it". There wasn't one final wake-up call for me, but I can remember several straws that added up to the weight that finally broke the camel's back.

The first was when I finally, after weeks of non-stop illness (respiratory - one diagnosis of "really bad" bronchitis, and the rest of it I just tried to ignore), managed to clean up the accumulated cat crap all over our house. (This crap was from the kittens of the cat my ex 1) brought home "for me", even though I hate cats, and 2) "didn't have time" to take in for spaying, even though he was home most of the time, and the only one with a driver's license.) It took me at lesat five hours of scrubbing and cleaning and wanting to puke from the stink. When I was coming back up the stairs with the last bucket of gross, filthy water and the cloth, feeling like a relapse was imminent (it was - I was flat on my back the next day), my ex - who had been at the PC all day - turned to me and said, "you shouldn't have to do all that - let me know if you need any help". I came SOOOO close to throwing the filthy water in his face.

The second was when I left with ds1 for two weeks, just to try to clear my head. I was - still - sick (ended up on antibiotics for the second time in two months). I stayed at my mom's, and my mom and stepdad took care of me...even putting me to bed one night, because I was delerious with fever. The last day we were there was ds1's birthday. My ex came up to "help". He managed to stay conscious long enough for the party, then fell asleep on mom's couch. I cleaned up from the party, and got all ds1's stuff and my stuff (from the party and from living there for two weeks) together by myself. When I got home, I found that my ex (who wasn't working much) hadn't washed a single dish or done any laundry or anything while I was gone.

The third was a comment from an online friend on ICQ. To make a long conversation short, she told me that her boyfriend - another online friend of mine - who was a hardcore right wing, Catholic man (who had previously indicated to me that he thought divorce was so wrong as to almost be evil), thought that my marriage was abusive and I should get a divorce.

And, the last thing was realizing that I'd slipped from friendship into an emotional affair with dh, and that I really had no interest in changing that. I'd poured everything I had into my marriage, and put up with an unbelievable amount of crap, for a long time, and I just had no desire to try, anymore. The bottom line was that I still loved my ex, in some ways...I think I'll always have a soft spot for him (he and I were together from the time I was 16 until I was two months shy of 32)...but I wasn't in love with him at all, and I had less than zero interest in trying to maintain a marriage with him. When you're trying to find a romantic card for your husband, and you just keep thinking, "this would be perfect for someone else", it's not a good sign.
post #3 of 26
I don't know. I have not officially ended mine yet but I was wondering the same kind of question. I can't say that there has been one thing (no abuse or anything like that) but more like a number of things and I've given him a number of "second chances" and he's messed them all up. Maybe it's been me who messed up by giving him all those chances, I am not sure. I cant say that I have ever been in love with my husband. I care about him but I can't say that I love him.

I am curious what other people will have to say about this and their relationships.
post #4 of 26
It took years. But it wasn't until I had DS and it really sunk in that I'd be teaching him that the way his dad was living was ok. By about my 3rd trimester, I was saying to myself that I'd stay until it was doing more harm for DS than if I'd left. By that point, I'd completely disengaged my own needs.

When DS was 2-ish I saw him starting to model some of XH's bad habits. (Nothing horrible...just a tendnancy to get "sick" when he needed a little extra TLC. Doesn't sound bad, but that tendancy was a significant contributor to XH's history of never holding a job more than 3 moths at a time -- for 20 years!)

By the time DS was 2, I quit disguising the roller-coaster we lived on. I was tired of pretending, and putting a positive spin on everything. I was tired of knowing that everyone probably thought I was completely niave. I WANTED people to know that I knew it wasn't acceptable. But still I stayed. I didn't want to deal with the divorce, but I wished that I could wake up and not be married.

When DS was 2.5, I hit the breaking point. I realized that it wasn't about me being a big girl and sticking it out for my son. My own ability to parent was being compromised by the depression the whole situation was dumping me in. I went to exactly 2 counseling sessions. The first one, she said the word "divorce" out loud, without pity, and matter of factly. The second one, was just to follow up. That was my breaking point...knowing that my son needed at least one fully functional parent and that it was my responsibility to be that parent.

And it was kind of funny really...no one in our lives were surprised at the announcement. The frank ones wondered how I'd lasted so long. (It's called stubbornness!!)
post #5 of 26
Originally Posted by RollerCoasterMama View Post
... it wasn't until I had DS and it really sunk in that I'd be teaching him that the way his dad was living was ok. ...
I had the same thoughts too. I was not going to have my daughter grow up thinking it was okay to be treated the way I was treated. I was not going to have my sons think it was okay to treat people the way their father treated people. It was a constant barrage of little things that made me want to leave. Things sank into their low without me really realizing how bad they were. By the end, we were using cloth exclusively (which I didn't mind, but he threw a fit about) because we couldn't afford disposables. We were getting by on about $20 a week for groceries, because he wouldn't let me spend any more. I was eating less than my one year old while I was in the second trimester of pregnancy. We were spending over $100/month on cable and internet. He was buying cigars to smoke with his friends and was mad at me because I wouldn't let him buy a camero (he needed my signature on the loan because his credit was bad). Honestly, I didn't realize how low things had gone when I was living through it, I was in a major state on denial. Here is my "last straw" moment. I was trying to rework the budget for the gazillionth time. My idea was to cancel the internet/cable package or at least get a cheaper one as we had the absolutely most expensive on you could get. He refused. So calmly I told him that I could not handle the budget anymore and I needed him to take it over and find a way to pay bills on time. He could hand me cash for groceries and I would plan accordingly. I just couldn't do it anymore. At this time the ONLY responsibility he had was to take the trash out. That rarely got done when it needed to. He snapped that it was my JOB as a stay-at-home mom (even though I offered several times to get a job in the mornings when he isn't working to supplement the income and he didn't want me to) to take care of EVERYTHING around the house because HE has a JOB and therefore shouldn't HAVE to do ANYTHING. I reaffirmed, calmly, that I understood his position, but I had been trying to come up with a budget and I just couldn't do it within the limitations he had set. I needed help and he needed to take it over, or I was going to leave because I needed a financially stable home for my kids. He screamed at me about how stressful his job was and how it was my JOB to do the finances and if I left it up to him then nothing would get paid and my credit would become just as bad as his, and he refused to do it. I packed up the two kids, my preggo belly and I left the next week. We've been happy, healthy, financially secure and well fed ever since. I knew it was time to end it because I was calmly asking for help and I finally realized he had no intentions of being a partner or helping the family out of our dire situation.

When my Catholic priest found out I filed for divorce his response was, "glad to hear it."
post #6 of 26
I struggled with this question for probably 4 years. My 1st mistake was allowing him to put his grandmother before our daughter and I. About 6 months after our son was born (our daughter was 4) I realized, I couldn't do it anymore. I was cooking, cleaning, doing all the laundry, taking care of the children with no reprieve, and working nights so that the children didn't have to go into daycare. I was working until 1am, getting home at around 2ish and was up at 6:30 with the kids. Then he had the cajones to turn to me and ask for a DNA test on both kids. He said "It's not that I don't trust you, I just need to know."

I knew then and there, through all the accusations, him going through my cell and emails, and everything, that i couldn't do anymore. I knew that I deserved someone who would trust me after 6 years of constant and steady truthfulness. 6 years I wasted, he never even started to trust me. I can't live like that. His relationship that just ended, they were both that distrustful...I can't imagine living like that...

Now, I am in a healthy relationship. We trust each other, we talk things out. We work together on everything. I am glad I came to my senses, I just wish that things had turned out differently.
post #7 of 26

A friend of mine sent me that a long time ago. I still look at it sometimes. I love these conversations because it really is a hard thing to figure out, and most people realize that they should have left a long time ago. I'm still here, with STBX, pissed off about something new tonight...wondering, if, when it will finally end. Trying to leave a partner whom you share a child with, who is still basically a good person...has got to be one of the hardest things to do. Especially if as soon as you make a move to leave, he turns into an angel. Then you get sucked back in...and history repeats itself. Best of luck to all facing this dilema.

Also, although I think that if it's something you have been contemplating for a long time, you probably should do it. Even though I haven't...
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=mexicali mami;15910982]http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/200...-relationship/


That looks like a great book! I'm really going to have to read it!

It's exactly the position I'm in...To good to leave to bad to stay
post #9 of 26
It took me years to see the light of day. We were together on and off for 14 years. He would bounce from job to job. What money we did have went to his trucks being chromed out, his smoking habit and stuff like that. His mother always came first. He was very dishonest. I kicked him out and we divorced 6 months later. We were split for a few years (I didn't date anyone). Then we got back together for a short bit, then were split for a few more years. I didn't date anyone again at that time.

Then in early 07, we patched things up. Stupid me took him back again. During the time we had been apart, he didn't see the kids much or pay support half the time. The kids were a little bit older then and they wanted him in their lives. To be honest, I still loved him as well. So I got back with him and he wanted to go to truck driving school. So he moved back in and I put him through school. The deal was, I'd help him through his schooling (which I did) and he helped me start my business afterwards. Well he never kept his part of the bargain.

He was gone a lot, but when he would come home, he'd be broke. We started having problems again. So we split up. Just drama, drama, drama. He started driving with his dad and I thought maybe he could straighten him up since his dad was a responsible man. Well, it went from bad to worse. He had money now, but we wasn't allowed to have it. He wouldn't buy groceries or pay bills. It was still all on me. And I was even giving his brother and his girlfriend $50 a week to take care of his own child. This was out of my own money. He would have me buy him phone cards while he was on the road, but he'd give the numbers to other women so he could talk to them. His brother finally told me. I was blown away of how low he could go.

He would lie to us about where he was going. He was seeing other women. I saw him exchanging naked pictures with females on his phone. We got to the point that the kids and I dreaded him coming home. We had split again, but he was going to go see his brother's ex and bring him to her house for some fun. His brother and his girlfriend of many years lived close by and I knew it would upset her and plus I still loved him. I begged him not to go. I was crying and upset and had a panic attack. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I had never done that before. It was really scary.

In the middle of the attack, while I was crying on the floor, I heard a voice in my head saying, GET RID OF HIM. HE'S BAD FOR YOU. It was plain as day. I don't know if it was my instinct or God. But I listened to the voice, and that night I was done with him. He had put the kids and me through so much. We saw who he truly was and he's a bad person. I would not even want him as a friend.

It was not easy being totally done with him after that. The thought of him consumed me quite often. I just knew I could never go back. He was a terrible example to the kids. Less than 2 months after that, my dad died in his sleep. I learned first hand (with my dad's passing) what it was like for your heart & soul to truly ache for someone. Within 2 months, I had lost 2 men that had meant the world to me. So did my children.....

I knew someone who told me to pray to God to take away the love I had for my ex. Her ex had beat her for years before she divorced and she said that's what she did. I prayed and prayed to take away any caring/love I had for the ex and I can say it worked. It took awhile, but it did work.

It took many years and many going back and forths for me to be totally done with him. I don't love a lot of people on this planet, but the ones I do love, I love them deeply. I took my marriage vows seriously, but he didn't. I've been divorced for 10 years now, and don't know if I will ever get remarried.

By the way, I mentioned his brother and girlfriend who are raising his child. Well, after we split for the final time, the brother started doing the same things to her. She's a really good person and she had been with him for 7 years. She would call me crying and I told her if he doesn't treat you good in 7 years, don't give him 14 like I did. It's stupid to waste time with someone who treats you like crap. It took her a few months to finally end it with him. She knew a guy at work who she's known for years and her family liked him as well. He wanted to go out with her. I told her to do it. Go out and have some fun. This man treated her like a queen. They were married a year later. And they just celebrated their 1 year wedding anniversary. I love it when I can say I told you so to people. *smiles*
post #10 of 26
When he had my ds's dr call cps on me. That was the end in my mind. Then there was dragging me across the floor by my ankles the day before my 25th b-day, and pinning me to the floor when I tried to take my ds out of my ex's mom's arms.

I'm so glad I left, I don't think I'm ever going to date again. But I really want another baby, so dating (or at least having sex) might be necessary at some point.
post #11 of 26
It took me a while to realize that I was in a bad relationship. I would hand out relationship advice to friends, telling them they didn't deserve to be with someone who did x,y,z to them, and yet, I stayed in my crummy marriage.

A few things did it for me.

1) I called my MIL, crying, telling her what my life was like. She listened, empathized and then proceeded to tell me get the heck out, save myself and DD, because her son was crazy. Took a while for it to sink in that she was giving me that advice.

2) having XH freak out at me at the dinner table, yelling, raging, slamming his fists on the table, with DD sitting there, frozen, just like DSS and me had learned to do when XH went into a rage. She was 14 months old and yet she already knew what to do to avoid drawing attention to herself. I calmly took DD, put her in a stroller, and walked out. As I walked, I imagined DD, as a young adult, living the way I was, walking on eggshells, never knowing what real happiness was like, and my heart broke. I ran to a local health and social services clinic to talk to a social worker...just seeing her react to my story made me realize that I was living in a rollercoaster and needed to get off.

All in all, having DD saved me. I could handle being mistreated but NO ONE was going to mistreat DD. Not ever.
post #12 of 26
I'm going to try to answer your question from a spiritual perspective. This is how I knew I was done.

I took all the reasons I was unhappy in the relationship, like 'I'm mad at John because he says nasty things to me. I'm hurt that he would rather surf internet porn than hang out with me. We have nothing in common. I'm not attracted to him. He has a bad temper, etc..." Then I inquired about them. Byron Katie's The Work was tremendously helpful (www.thework.com).

Once I did that, I needed to come to a place of forgiveness. I had to accept him the way he is and realize that he shouldn't be any different than he is. I had to get to a place where I stopped telling myself stories about our relationship. Being angry is just a thought, a story. I can have that thought or I can not. And he does not that the power to "make me feel" anything one way or the other. I really can choose to become angry or hurt or saddened.

After a while, once you really forgive yourself and him, you will be left only with love. With this love comes clarity.

In my case, once I really forgave him, I was able to see clearly what I wanted. What I wanted was to love him and see him flourish and be happy... but also, I knew I wanted to be alone. I didn't want to live with him anymore. There was nothing left to be done between us except be co-parents to our two children.

You may find that once you get to that point of pure forgiveness, you do still want to be with him. If you can forgive whatever he did, maybe you're left with tremendous affection for him. Once you've processed whatever he did or didn't do, what's left? You'll have your answer.
post #13 of 26
My stbx was having an affair, there were lots of signs, but I was in denial and he had good explanations for everything so I believed him. For months and months I believed him, gave him second chances, but it became harder to deny. Finally I got the last bit of proof of the affair and his constant lying. It was my breaking point, I was done, I was tired of him, I was sick of him. I was done.
post #14 of 26
Originally Posted by caiesmommy View Post
I'm really curious of other woman's thoughts on this. I am married, and have put up with more then I would have liked to...and now things aren't bad per say, I just think that I can't get past how bad they have been

So mama's when did you know OK I'M DONE
When my ex started to sever my bond with our son.
post #15 of 26
I think the answer to this question sometimes comes from a place of wanting above all else to avoid doning the Bad Guy Hat and being the one to end it. I see a lot of mamas come to this sub forum looking for the End of Relationship Check List (infidelity, abuse, addiction, etc) that will allow them to leave their relationship absolved of a sense of guilt, a guilt that their partner or family may heap on them vindictively.

IMO, the question should be more along the lines of "do I deserve to be happy, respected and fulfilled in my partnership?".
post #16 of 26
Originally Posted by Halfasianmomma View Post
I think the answer to this question sometimes comes from a place of wanting above all else to avoid doning the Bad Guy Hat and being the one to end it. I see a lot of mamas come to this sub forum looking for the End of Relationship Check List (infidelity, abuse, addiction, etc) that will allow them to leave their relationship absolved of a sense of guilt, a guilt that their partner or family may heap on them vindictively.

IMO, the question should be more along the lines of "do I deserve to be happy, respected and fulfilled in my partnership?".

HAM - you need to write a book, really. Your posts are very insightful. I've been reading your posts since way back when I was primarily reading the blended family threads and I just have to say, you need to write a book.

I have been popping on this thread, as I too, have this question in my head. I don't have any of the check list problems, but we have other substantial problems and really, I can never come to grips with how to get through them. I think I am looking for the guilt absolution, too... or at least an external authority to say it's ok to leave - even if he is an otherwise really great guy.
post #17 of 26
Well said, it's like my mother said. My stepfather was a good man and a better father. However they were not compatible in the slightest. It was not easy and it took a while to get onto steady footing, even with them agreeing on nearly everything, but in the end it was best for everyone. They each found their "soulmates" and we kids were better for it.

What I am getting at, is sometimes it's not a matter of abuse or violence but a matter of incompatibility. And although it seems horrible to split a family, everyone deserves to be happy, even if it is in seperate homes.
post #18 of 26
Originally Posted by Teenytoona View Post
HAM - you need to write a book, really. Your posts are very insightful. I've been reading your posts since way back when I was primarily reading the blended family threads and I just have to say, you need to write a book.
Why thank you

What a lovely compliment to read on a dreary Friday morning.

post #19 of 26
I'm not officially a single mother yet, but I've made the decision to leave so I will try to answer.

There were many, many incidents that should have been the wake up call, but which I managed to rationalise away. Just a few examples:

- when he got angry at me for crying over a miscarriage and made me sleep on the sofa so that I wouldn't disturb him.

- when he refused to help me do the dishes or take the trash out when I was in labor. (I'm not a crazy neat freak btw, I just didn't want to come home from the hospital to a sink full of stinky, mouldy dishes)

- when he treated his paternity leave as a paid holiday for himself and refused to lift a finger to help with anything, even though I was in severe pain and BFing 24/7.

- when he told me with a straight face that men were smarter than women.

These are just a few things off the top of my head.

What made me realise "I'm done" was the realisation that he was controlling and manipulative, and that he would never change. My daughter is at the age where she's starting to pick up on things, and I can't have our relationship as a role model for her.

On a practical level, I can't imagine things being much more difficult as a single mother. One less person to look after.

I've been waiting for things to get better for years, and they never do. I can't wait forever. I've done all I can. I don't respect him. I don't trust him. There's nothing left.
post #20 of 26
Over 9-1/2 years, I left numerous times, and ended up going back for one reason or another each time. Each time I left, I thought I was done. I really, truly did. But this time was... different.

The porn had something to do with it. The confirmation of his cheating had something to do with it. The sexually-based, completely inappropriate 750+ pictures on his computer, that he'd taken with his camera phone, of unsuspecting female co-workers (on company time) were part of it. The lies, the money-mismanagement, the manipulation, the isolation, the gas-lighting, all these things were a part of it. A PP mentioned her man told her that "men were smarter than women"; mine told me he "owned" me by virtue of that ring on my finger. I could not cut my hair, buy a new shirt or think of a tattoo without his knowledge or approval, because it was not MY body... it was HIS.

None of this, though, over nearly a decade of my life and 3 kids, was enough to finally break the cycle. Believing he probably molested my then 2-year old daughter... I felt I had no choice in 2008, backed into a corner, I went back even then. The cycle is so ridiculously hard to break, no one gets that unless you have been there... but there was finally a moment.

Last May, after I found those pictures of his co-worker, I sat on the information until I could bear it no longer. I confronted him and threatened to expose what he'd been doing at work. He attacked me. Not the first time, certainly, but the worst time. He choked me nearly to unconsciousness. When he let go, I realized my youngest child was watching. The older two, ages 7 and 4, were in the bedroom, also watching from down the hall, screaming and crying for Daddy to stop, but the baby, not quite 2, was silent. He was about two feet away, simply staring with wide, calm eyes.

Because, to him, this wasn't anything abnormal. Violence upon women was being engraved into his soul, just as it had been engraved into his father's.

I didn't leave then, it took another 2 months and another violent attack, but I never stopped seeing those dark, solemn baby eyes watching what I had believed at that moment would turn into a murder. My murder. And I knew if I stayed that eventually it would become that. Also that my son would internalize that behavior as expected, normal. The cycle would repeat.

Now I am out. I knew it would be hard and being familiar with my own weaknesses, I ensured I was in a place where returning would be even harder. I've surrounded myself with supportive, loving family nearly 1000 miles away, in another state, and I made sure that the STBX lost his job over those photos he took, as well as making sure the vehicle came with me.

Not every bad relationship will have that kind of epiphany moment - I certainly never had one in all the times I left before. Even this time, it didn't really hit me until the assault in August, that the baby didn't even see, that it was not just getting worse, but getting worse at such a rapid pace it seemed my life was in danger.

This time I know I will succeed. And that I deserve better, even if better means "single." I'm feeling proud of that right now.
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