So my husband and I have been married for 2 years and we have a 20 month old son (I found out I was pregnant a week before the wedding and it was planned). We met in an online game, he left his then girlfriend of 5 years to be with me. To clarify, I did not want him to "leave her for me" so we stopped talking and when they broke up we became friends and took it slow. I had been in long relationships before (7years) and wanted to do things right this time. He was the first person who was successful and had a good job that I had ever dated, he handled his finances well and that was attractive. One red flag was that whenever we were playing the game online he would basically bully/abuse the other players. He would get drunk and call them names, yell, etc. I guess back then I thought "well maybe it's just a game and he doesn't treat people like this in real life". We dated for a while and he of course showed me his best side. I did learn that he came from 2 alcoholic and abusive parents but he also had loving adoptive sort of parents (who I would later find out also were alcoholics and party people/drug abusers).
I dated a few other people while I was dating him, I made it clear I was not committing to him before I felt sure. He was relentless on winning me over, including being rude to another friend of mine because he was a threat. Anyway, fast forward to 3 years after that and add in our DS. My husband started drinking and hiding it from me when I was pregnant. After the baby he was still drinking and would pick fights with me and be relentless to the point of making me cry. It was about the most ridiculous things too...from food to household products he didn't think I should be spending money on. He brought another woman into our life and my sons life (a coworker who is married). Everything she told him about how to raise a baby was right in his mind, even though she had no kids. My mom commented on their relationship because this woman was over after the baby was born as my mom was staying with us. I told him how uncomfortable she made me and he made me feel like I had a problem. Fast forward to 8 months after that and I find a draft email in his email account when he told me to go into to check for something. He was professing his love to her and was detailing how much he loved to spend time with her and hold her hand, etc. When this was brought up we were living with his adoptive parents and he denied it all, said he had a dream that prompted him to write that, nothing had gone on, blah blah. Oh and he admitted he had an alcohol problem and he would get help as I was ready to leave him.
Fast forward to now and I am depressed. I have GI health issues (that he blames on me because I am eating better...no kidding!) probably because I am always on edge when he is around. He is a bully, he was in school and he is now, he bullies people that work for him, he calls my mom names, his mom names, he wants me to cut my mom off, he makes crude and racist comments all the time...all of this just makes me sick. He has not stopped drinking and has been almost every night for months. It's about 1/10 times that he will get into that mode when he's drinking where I can't reason with him and he doesn't let up. I should make it clear he has never hit me. But last night the "argument" started when he said we need to flick our son when he throws things or hits us, it's a new phase our son is going through and I prefer the peaceful parenting route. It ended with me in tears and telling him to just leave me alone. I just wanted to leave, to get away but really had nowhere to go. Of course, the next day he is all mushy mushy and saying he's sorry....rinse, repeat...I am sick of this. But I am afraid of being a single parent, especially with such a young child and having no good work background or degree. My mom is most likely moving out of state in a few months too. Most of my good friends moved away so I feel pretty isolated. When he isn't being an outright bully to me and we are in our "good period" I am able to tolerate being with him but I am walking on egg shells still. And then I tell myself other people have it worse and it's not really that bad. Would you guys consider this a type of abuse? I know deep down he is a good guy and wants to do the right thing, but when you add alcohol he doesn't stand a chance. Advice?
tranquilheart, first I'd like to offer you some hugs.
From what you’ve written here, your husband does sound emotionally and verbally abusive. It also sounds like he is struggling with addiction.
The dynamics you are describing are very common in abusive relationship. Here is a resource that explains more:
In addition, here’s some resources that might be of use to you are:
I don't have any immediate links for resources outside the US, but if you are outside the US, you could try calling the US hotline and they may have a list of resources in other countries or trying googling "domestic violence hotline" and the country name where you are in.
I strongly encourage you to seek help and to leave. Many abusers become more and more violent as time progresses. While you said that he hasn’t hit you, that doesn’t mean that he won’t. And you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone. Yes, others may be or have been in situations that you see as worse than your situation, but that doesn’t mean you situation isn’t awful for you and your son. No one deserves to be bullied or talked to or hurt the way you have been. Domestic violence shelters can offer you not only practical support, but emotional support as you transition to your new, safe life.
With regard to the addiction issue, I recommend going to Al-Anon meetings (http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/); the meetings are free and provides support to people who have a family member or close friend who is an alcoholic or addict. Some of the meetings (at least in the area where I live) provide child care. Al-Anon also has online meetings.
You may also want to consider talking with a therapist to explore one-on-one how you want to proceed and to get support during this difficult time. A domestic violence hotline or shelter may be able to help you set up counseling.
Finally, I just wanted to comment on one of the last things you said.
Hope and belief that one’s partner will change or a feeling that there are some good times or some good in one’s partner are some of the reasons that can make it very hard to leave an abusive relationship. Wanting to believe the best in people is a wonderful quality but when you are in an abusive relationship, it can make it harder to leave. Unfortunately, statistically, abusers rarely change. And know that in an abusive relationship, you can’t have the good without the pain and abuse. And you do not deserve the pain and abuse. Know that if you reach out for help, you will find that you are not alone in the feelings you express above. You will also find support for you and your son in living a life that's safe, where you don't need to walk on eggshells, where "good" isn't just period of life.
I believe in you and I will be thinking of you and your son. Take good care.
Yes. It's abuse. He sounds a lot like my ex, in some ways. I stuck it out a lot longer than I should have, because we'd been together a long time (started going out when I was 16, married when I was 23, started seeing the issues when I was about 26 or 27...and broke it off a couple months before my 32nd birthday), and I knew what a great guy he could be, and I was afraid...not of being alone, but of what life would look like without him, specifically, in it. I also didn't want to deprive ds1 of his dad.
I ended it. Within a couple months, the fog was clearing, and I couldn't believe I'd stayed that long. My finances improved almost overnight (he was financially sabotaging me/us, in many different ways, both blatant and subtle). It's been 12 years (in almost exactly a week!) since the breakup, and I still see it as the best decision I ever made.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
It is abuse and you need to get out with your son. Do you want this man to be your son's role model??? There are lots of single mothers -- I'm one of them. You will be fine -- more than fine, you will be great!
Deep down or on the surface he is not a good guy. Good people do not treat others that way.
Take it from a single parent - it's far better to be a single parent than an abused one. And your child does not need to be around the dynamic that's being modeled.