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To Those who left, were you a 100% sure?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi Ladies, 

I just really need some insight and help.  I have been married 10 years, I have three kids 6,5, and 2 years old.  My marriage had always been a bit of a struggle we have been in and out of therapy and have been seeing a therapist for over the past 2 years.  My hubby is depressed, and currently on meds.  He is highly critical towards himself and of course me. Everything is a challege for him, he is never content and/or happy.  It just feels like everything is always so hard when he is around.  He analyses everything you say and do and turns it around on you.  I have had it! I am DONE!  Even our therapist, in a one on one session with him, stated that my hubby could be considered emotionally and spiritually abusive.  He (the therapist) also stated that he is manipultive, but he (my hubby) doesn't even realize it. The therapist stated that I have not "tried" to fix my marriage but have "done" but that my husband can not seem to change.


I want to do what is right for my kids.  I am worried that if I stay he will become too critical towards the kids.  But on the other hand what will the divorce do to them?  And then there is that small part of me.....very small who feels bad for my hubby and wonders what will happen to him if I divorce him.  SO I feel like I am 100% sure I want a divorce, but I'm not all at the same time.  Is this normal?  And how badly will it effect the kids.  I just need some help or advice or info or something......please.

post #2 of 16

Your feelings are totally normal.  I asked myself the same questions when I was trying to get in the head space to leave my ex who was also abusive in many ways. 


The biggest mover... it may be hard on your kids to not see their Dad as much... but in the end the best thing for them is to not have the constant example of negativity and abuse.  The driving point for me was that I did not want DD learning that this is what life is.  I didn't want her growing up to choose an abuser to, thinking it was right because I had stayed.  That is what I did... it's a tough cycle to break.  But I was so done with the chaos, the manipulations, the head games, and it was getting closer and closer to actual physical abuse, and I really didn't want my DD to witness all that chaos and BS anymore.


Think on how you want your kids to grow up and what kind of people you'd like them to become and what kind of people you'd like to see them have relationships with.... they need a positive role model to become a positive person.  It does not sound like if they stayed with you and their Dad together, that they'd see that.



post #3 of 16

I think the fact that your therapist saw this is huge. 


As for questioning, yes, I questioned. I questioned over and over and over even after I left. What clinched it for me was that I needed to see positive change - any positive change even if it was at a snails pace! Instead, I saw only negative change and blame shifting.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies it helps to know it is normal to feel 100% sure and not all at the same time.  It is hard because you or I can so easily remember that there were good times, but I am just so tired of fighting!


And, Yes, I was a bit surprised when our therapist stated that he could be emotionally abusive.  It had crossed my mind that he was a bit hard on me and overly critical, but to hear a trained professional say it made it seem different.  I even felt like the therapist was saying in a nondirect way that divorcing him would be the best thing for me and the kids.  And this therapist has been my hubbies therapist for years, long before we stated seeing him together.


THanks again for you replies they mean a lot.

post #5 of 16

Yeah, I've been on and off, even thought I left. There is still love between us, which makes it harder, but I cannot continue to live the way I had been, it was wearing on me. Ultimately, I had to leave because it is better for me, causing me to be a better parent for DD. And honestly, I think there will come a time in her life (probably teens) where she will be glad she has a separate house, a place a refuge from his new beliefs.


Sorry that you're having a hard time with this. I wish you strength through these trying times.

post #6 of 16

You might consider that his attitude towards the children may be much better once you are apart. It's possible that if he only sees them on a part-time basis, he will treat them with more respect and patience than he currently does, when they are a daily part of life. It seems that my kids' father is much more willing to help out and talk to them with decency now that we're not together. My ex hasn't seen the kids since we've left, but he actually seems to want to visit them now, whereas when we lived in the same house he was harsh, abrupt and couldn't seem to care less.


My situation was a little different than yours, much more abusive, but I was 100% when I finally left this time. It took four tries over the years, but this time stuck. Sometimes, if you're thinking of what's best for the kids, you have to decide if it's best for them to be with the father and bathed in negativity and emotional abuse, or to be in a split family and actually then receive more positive attitudes and support. It sounds like they would benefit from a break away from the stressful atmosphere. It sounds like YOU would too.

post #7 of 16

I definitely knew leaving was the best thing for me and DD. STBX made it clear to me daily that he didn't care squat about me or DD. He proved it to me over and over, and I finally started paying attention to the msg he was telling me.

post #8 of 16

Yes I knew, but it still took me years to get to that decision.  Finally I got to where I saw DS modeling XH's bad behaviors (nothing like abusive...more like saying he was sick to get attention like XH did all the time).  And I was so depressed about everything that I couldn't parent the way DS needed.  I couldn't do much of anything and as the primary breadwinner, I didn't have the luxury of burying myself in my depression.  [ETA...that came out wierd.  I guess I was saying that I was so depressed I was losing the ability to do what I needed to do, and I finally had to face the tough decisions in order to move on.  We've got plenty of clinical depression in the family, and I've got through a couple of pretty serious bouts myself, so I don't mean to imply at all that to "wallow" is a choice anyone makes willingly.  I actually went to a counselor both times it got really bad to help me sort out what I needed to do.  I was lucky and able to change my situation to get through things both times.  Very lucky!]


One of the reasons it took so long is because I was afraid that XH would crash and burn and end up living in my garage.  Miraculously, he's had a job for 18 months straight!  For the first time in 20 yrs. 


I had a lot of guilt to disentangle from.  It was hard.  2 yrs later almost and I'm still working through things.  But from the minute I declared my decision, I've had HOPE.  I knew it might take 6 months to move out, but I could plan for my new life.  And that HOPE made everything so much easier to deal with.  I still grieve the life I might have had, but I don't regret the decision for a minute.

Edited by RollerCoasterMama - 4/5/11 at 12:50pm
post #9 of 16


Originally Posted by RollerCoasterMama View Post

  I still grieve the life I might have had, but I don't regret the decision for a minute.

This is how I feel, almost exactly.  For me, it was really hard to make a firm decision while I was still actively in the relationship and dealing with everything on a daily basis.  Once I was able to get some space to breathe (by moving in with my parents for a few months), I saw things a lot more clearly. 


As for my little one...I do worry about him, and what effect this whole situation is having on him.  I try my best to minimize its impact on his/our life and to have a really positive attitude. 


post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by RollerCoasterMama View Post

I still grieve the life I might have had, but I don't regret the decision for a minute.


Honestly, I go through this too. Over and over, I keep thinking of what MIGHT have been, even though for me, from the very beginning, there was never actually any chance of the life I thought I could have. So now when I find myself aching for the things I had and the dreams that I lost, I remind myself that from here on out, it's all about forming new dreams and new goals, and learning to love what I've got now with my kids, as hard as it might be.
post #11 of 16

i was a 100% sure - that i didnt want to carry on the way things were going. we had tried many years.


i left BECAUSE of my child. ex was happy to go on the way we were but i refused. i didnt want dd to remember her daddy and i lived together. yeah absolutely i was FREAKED out of my mind. i had panic attacks for two years. many nights i was in bed shivering cold on a 110 day staying awake the whole night wondering if we were going to make it. 


to me at that time - there was no 'good' answer. my dd would suffer. whether i stayed or didnt she would. and in a sense she 'did suffer' becasue she didnt have her dad there along with me. she has had to deal with a LOT (even though seh never remembers us living together).


and surprisingly that suffering has brought with it its own 'blessing'. dd got a lesson on life before she left childhood. she is way more matured for her age and honestly has a great outlook at life. she totally 'gets' that whenever you make a choice in life - you also mourn for what you cannot have. how many children have an inherrent understanding of that at age 6?


today at 8 dd is finally understanding why her dad and i would never make it. she finally understands that the life she has created in her head about us - was probably based on her romantic imagination and that in reality it would be much different. 

post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by RollerCoasterMama View Post
 I still grieve the life I might have had, but I don't regret the decision for a minute.

What an insiteful way to put it!  Perfectly describes what I couldn't put into words.  I have filed for divorce.  And I still wonder every night if I did the right thing.  I needed to read this thread right now, and I didn't even know to ask it.  Thanks.

post #13 of 16

OP - As a child of a mother who took too long to decide (father's addictions and depression escalated to violence and "episodes") you don't have to make a permanent decision. Your kids know something is up now, even if you don't talk about it or the emotional stuff is not directed at them, they still know. One of the few memories I have of my early childhood is wondering when we (mother, sister, and myself) were going to leave. I knew my dad had problems, I knew we were all better off apart, but I still loved him and felt sorry for him. This is before I was in school (less than five years old).


As a reasonably happily married person going through some very emotional life changes right now, I know making the best choice for you now is the best you can do. My daughter is almost five and I see the same capacity in her. I tell her that life is the choices you make. They all add up and you do the best you can.


I don't mean this to make you feel any guilt or be preachy or anything, I just want to tell you your children want you to be happy. It doesn't sound like either of you are now. Be truthful with your kids. Answer any questions, but don't push adult explanations on them and don't talk badly about their father. That is really the worst part of separate or divorce for kids in my experience.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you all of you ladies!  Your replies have helped me so much.  I told my Husband that I wanted a divorce.  I felt like I broke him, although I know I didnt .  At our next therapy session he broke down and sobbed talking about how he has only felt normal and happy a handful of days in his whole life, how he wanted the kids to have a dad who was happy, how he had said abusive things to me and he was sorry, how I deserved better, and so did the kids. I felt like the worst human alive, but I was still not feeling bad enough to back out of seperating.  I told him the next morning that I would hold off on filing for divorce if he would move out and work on him.  He agreed.  Things have actually been a bit better since then.  Like someone relieved the pressure from a pressure cooker...kwim?  Funny, thing...he actually wanted to have sex and told me he found me physically attractive, I cant remember the last time he wanted to have sex with me.  But even with all this it is still not enough for me to not move forward with him moving out.  I have just lived too long with him and his disease and the dark cloud that it has brought with it.  He is looking for a place.  I feel like we could be at a very good spot for both of us.  I really hope he can take this time to work on himself.  He is a good guy, and a good father, but our fighting and his very judgemental nature I am ready to move away from.  Him being amazingly nice through all of this does make things a bit confusing for me, but I am sticking to my guns.  Only time will tell if he will truly change.


Thank you again for you support.

post #15 of 16

OP i was your dh when the time came to separate. ex had asked me for a divorce a year before. i had had enough and asked him to leave.


it was HARD. i tried so hard to improve and do all these things because i was afraid. like your dh i 'improved' out of fear of change. 


it was hard for me. it was horrible. but i can never express my ex for standing up for his feelings. took me two years to recover and understand the 'blessing' of a break up. this is not so for everybody. but in my case being single has 'improved' my life. 


so stick to what you feel is true to you mama. whether that is to stay single or get back together. 


but also beware. dont expect things to be hunky dory. soon when he realises this IS happening he may turn the other way. so while hope for the best record and write things down and be prepared for the worst. 

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by meemee View Post


but also beware. dont expect things to be hunky dory. soon when he realises this IS happening he may turn the other way. so while hope for the best record and write things down and be prepared for the worst. 

Yes, I had thought of this.  Only time will tell.  I will just keep praying for the best and preparing for the worst.  Thank you for your insight.


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