I think my only major relationship as a single mom is going to end... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son's dad and I separated/divorced in December 2008. On NYE of that year (really soon I know but it wasn't intentional at all) I met someone and we fell head over heels in love. By that spring, he had become severely depressed. He has bipolar and told me at the very beginning and we decided we'd go with it...the bipolar isn't going anywhere, you know? Anyway, from then (Spring 2009) until now, I've taken care of him through a very deep depression. I've done everything...cared for my son, worked full time, did everything around the house, errands, everything. I didn't make my partner lift a finger and I never tried to force him to get a job or do something he didn't want to. We're musicians and I dropped over $2k on gear in hopes of bringing him out of the depression and motivating him to work again. All I wanted was for him to feel better. We got along really, really well, we felt perfect for each other. I thought that when he got out of the depression, things would be the same, we would be us but even better because he'd be happy, motivated, etc. We have a little business we run together. This past NYE, he proposed. We had been talking about getting married and we were really happy and excited for it. We had been making plans for a few months already and we were just really happy and content. Things were going really well and I was very happy.

 

In early January of this year, the depression disappeared and became mania. Since then, he's decided that I'm a burden, I cramp his style, he needs freedom. He goes out clubbing (we're in music business, make music, DJ, etc so this isn't out of the norm in itself) alone and says he needs to do that as much as possible to get away from me. We've fought terribly because I apparently can't question or oppose anything he does or cramp his lifestyle in the slightest. He's been talking to other girls and this morning came home, broke off our engagement, said he wants to date other people but probably still stay together, and had a strange girl's number in our cell phone. I know he's been talking to girls at clubs and on Facebook and such but I haven't said anything. He said we work well together for our business and he doesn't want to lose that, but he doesn't want commitment to me and has to have freedom. He said he's not 100% in this relationship in his heart or mind anymore but he wants to try to see if we can work it out.

 

I know some people do the open relationship thing but I can't and that was made clear from the very beginning. The thought of him taking other girls out while I'm at home (because he's not sure if he would want me to be able to date around -- and I have no desire to do so), treating them the way he should be treating me...it just kills me. It hurts so incredibly much.

 

I know much of this is because of the bipolar but it is still devastatingly painful for me. My son's dad cheated on me and was abusive, and when we broke it up it was easy for me to hate him for those things. I was angry at him, I hated him, I wanted him out of my life. This situation is different though...my partner didn't do anything wrong for the three years we were together. I have never taken care of someone the way I have taken care of him all this time. As much as I'm making him sound terrible, he has been such a good person previous to the past several weeks. We clicked...we are very similar in our likes, our worldviews, everything just meshed. I've never had such a connection with someone and that's why when he needed someone to care for him I put all of myself into it without a second thought.

 

There is also the problem that my partner has been my son's father figure/daddy for more than half his life. My son loves him very deeply. If we broke up he would be very badly hurt as well. Through all of this the past several weeks, it kills me when my son comes up to him randomly and hugs him and says "I love you daddy." I know he really does. It isn't just me who would get hurt if this ends, it would be my son too and that makes me feel overcome with guilt. What do I tell him if we break up? How do I help him through this when I feel like I can barely get myself through it? Will he be traumatized and messed up as an adult?

 

I just don't understand how he could do this to me. I feel so used and abandoned. He knew I had just come out of a bad relationship, I have my son who needs a happy and secure home and I've worked so hard to give him everything. I HAVE given him everything. I've never been a 24/7 caretaker for someone before but that's what I was...and to all of a sudden be a burden and to be tossed aside (which is how I feel)...I can't even put into words how deeply hurt I am. I was more open than ever, 100% honest, and gave every single bit of myself that I didn't even know I had in me to him and now he's decided he's bored with me now that he feels better and can be more self sufficient.

 


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#2 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Correction, I looked through the phone just now since a different random girl just sent a text message and there are six girls' numbers saved. I have no idea if these are friends, "friends," or what.

 


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#3 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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Is he on medication?

 

 

I'm so sorry Mama. *hugs*  It really sucks when a relationship ends, especially one with kids.

 

I say this as gently as possible, but from an outsider view, it does appear that he was using you, and you deserve SO MUCH more than that. So does your son.

 

It will be hard. I won't lie about that... but you will get through this and you will be stronger and when the time is right, you will meet someone who treats you amazing and who will not take advantage of your big heart, that you obviously have to have taken care of this guy for so long.

 

Don't let this break your spirit. Hold onto your strength and leave. You will know a true love one day. *hugs*

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#4 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, he's on medication. He's seeing a therapist too but I've gone with him to see her and she's pretty useless...doesn't really have anything to say at all, let alone anything helpful.

 

He says he wants to work things out even though he wants to date other people and I said no to that...I don't know if he's dragging this out, or if he's saying he wants to work things out because I'm providing everything for him...

 

Thanks for responding...I've just been sitting here at the table crying most of the morning. On top of that, my son has to visit his bio dad this weekend and leaves today and that always gets me really anxious.

 


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#5 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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Maybe your son going to his dad's for the weekend is a blessing for you right now. You will have a little space to do what you have to do (which is cut your losses!) Your dp's bipolar doesn't give him license to treat you like crap. You've been over-functioning for him long enough.  

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#6 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for responding... This is so hard. So incredibly hard. It is obvious what needs to happen but it doesn't make the situation any better...


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#7 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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Nothing will make the situation better but being away from it and giving yourself space and time to heal. *hugs*

 

I had my only romantic relationship since my divorce end 9 months ago. It's hard. But something better is out there for you.


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#8 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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Im really sorry OP. You sound heartbroken. As an outsider reading your post, all I can think is how you and your son deserve so so much more. I have two family members with bipolar. I won't minimize the impact but quite frankly, it doesnt give anyone the right to be a complete jerk, use other people, etc. To me, that's called a serious character flaw, not a mental health issue. I can see you have a great deal of empathy and compassion for others. It is probably easy for you to feel sorry for him and blame his behavior on bipolar. It also takes away some of the pain if you can blame bipolar and not him. But seriously, don't waste any more empathy on him. He doesn't deserve you. Someone is out there for you who will love you and treat you with respect. Someone who will treat you as if you have worth, which you do. Someone who will be a decent role model for your son on how you treat people you love and care about. This man is not that person. Yes, there will be loss for you and your son but you shouldn't have to live this way. The pain you and your son are going to endure if you stay will be much worse than the pain of cutting things off. Love yourself enough to realize that you both deserve better.
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#9 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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I also hope that I did not come across as minimizing Bipolar disorder. Especially since I have it, and know too well the havoc that it can wreak on life. I will say though that even if his behavior IS driven by the disorder, it just doesn't give him a free pass to make you suffer.

 

So sorry.

 

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#10 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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Moonwillow I don't think you came across as minimizing at all. I think you made a really good point.
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#11 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 02:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Moonwillow I don't think you came across as minimizing at all. I think you made a really good point.


On no worries!

 

I just felt the need to clarify.  smile.gif

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#12 of 29 Old 03-09-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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This is not a reflection on you, your value, or your viability as a partner. This is a chronic illness that is not being managed. It is not your job to make someone else manage his chronic illness, or to manage it for him. I know that it is devastating, I know that because I have been there.

 

A man who will treat people with whom his is superficially connected with superficial respect is not necessarily a man who will commit and who will treat a committed partner with respect. His lack of respect for you is not a reflection on you.

 

You have a right to a partner who actively manages his chronic conditions (whether that is substance use, mental illness, or physical illness). If he isn't willing to take care of himself, it's not your shortcoming, and not your job to fix it, or to change to make it work. I know you've invested a lot. I know what that's like too. It sucks to be at the end of a three-year relationship-journey and feel, "#*^@... I've got nothing!"

 

You have you. And it sounds like you have a lot of strengths.

 

I hear you saying that he wants to rewrite the relationship contract to include things that are not okay with you. You can't control him or change him, but you don't have to accept it either.

 

Your child is still fairly young, but I fall in the camp of explaining things like mental illness in age-appropriate ways.
 

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Maybe your son going to his dad's for the weekend is a blessing for you right now. You will have a little space to do what you have to do (which is cut your losses!) Your dp's bipolar doesn't give him license to treat you like crap. You've been over-functioning for him long enough.  



 

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#13 of 29 Old 03-11-2012, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been trying to stay asleep until I have to pick my son up this evening. I just wake up and cry immediately. I stopped taking my antidepressant recently because I thought I may be pregnant...maybe it would help to take again. I may call my doctor...I am not functioning through this.

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#14 of 29 Old 03-12-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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I've been trying to stay asleep until I have to pick my son up this evening. I just wake up and cry immediately. I stopped taking my antidepressant recently because I thought I may be pregnant...maybe it would help to take again. I may call my doctor...I am not functioning through this.

 

Yes make the call! If you are pregnant and need to take something, they can help you figure out what the different classes of drugs are and what you may be able to take during pregnancy.

 

I understand not functioning (believe me). You KNOW you need help so please get it. hug2.gif  

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#15 of 29 Old 03-12-2012, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not pregnant...kind of sad about it but I know that's the last thing I need right now.

 

He's out now but before he left we talked about breaking up. The thing that kills me is that I'm the problem to him. He doesn't seem to realize or care what I've put into our relationship. He doesn't seem to understand the reality of our situation -- that we're self employed and have to work, and not just on the fun stuff like performing and releasing music. We have to do the work that pays bills and puts food in the fridge. He doesn't care about that and doesn't seem to understand that if we are not affording the basics, we'll never be able to have a spare $1k to press an album or do things like that. He doesn't care, he said, because he doesn't need anything. But I do -- and I'm one of the least materialistic people out there -- and I mean, food, basic necessities around the house, etc. And my son has needs. He doesn't need to be spoiled, but kids aren't free. And he keeps saying, "Well maybe I shouldn't be in a relationship" and I ask if that's what he wants, and it'll go back and forth until he says "No, we'll work it out." And then the next day, we do it all over again...

 

I feel like anyone reading this must think I'm such an idiot. I'm a very smart person, I promise, I'm just very bad with relationships. I try so hard to make things perfect even when it is pretty clear that I'm the only one willing to put in that much effort. I'm always the one needing someone who doesn't need me and I guess just sticks around for the enabling/convenience.

 

I don't have insurance at the moment so I'll have to see how much an appointment is now with my doctor.

 


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#16 of 29 Old 03-12-2012, 03:06 PM
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I don't think you are an idiot, at all. This sounds very tough, I'm sorry you're going through it. 


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#17 of 29 Old 03-13-2012, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today he said he's trying to move to LA with a friend in about five months. The friend who is going is also a musician has a record label-owner for a dad, they're established, have a lot of funding, etc. They apparently weren't aware that he intends to move out there with the friend. My partner said he doesn't think he wants me to go. He's not sure if he wants to try a long distance thing, or not. He's not sure if he'll find a girl in LA and bring her back to Maryland to settle down, or not. He said he has no idea what could happen... The problem with all of this is that the friend is well-funded to go. My partner, as much as I hate to say this, would literally have nothing if he left me. He would be depending on borrowing $20 here and there from friends. He does not have the music industry credentials this friend and his family have. I can't imagine this friend and his dad would be willing to support my partner, a grown man, and they know he won't/can't get a day job to pay his expenses.

 

We were supposed to do this together when he felt better. We were supposed to either move or go there frequently (we have other friends there) for work. We were supposed to be us but better and accomplish all of this stuff.

 

He's not even working on his own music. He goes out and promotes and talks about all this stuff he wants to do, but he's not actually doing it. He's hanging out with people who are doing it, but he hasn't touched his own music in at least a month or two, and before that it was over a year ago that he touched it (and that was only a brief period of working on his music as well). Is this part of the overblown ego that comes with mania? I read that people can get to the point of thinking they're chosen by God for a "mission" or something really extreme like that.

 

I know a sudden huge life change is normal in mania...a graphic novel on mental illness I have uses the example of selling a house, buying a car, divorcing, etc.

 

Through all of this it is killing me to drive by places that we had dates at early on. Or to think of going to the beach without him (that has been a huge thing for us) and playing mini golf or sitting on the balcony of the beach condo and looking at stars. I can see myself this summer, trying to go to the beach and enjoy myself and just being distraught instead.

 

I probably sound like I'm the crazy one at this point, I know. I just have all of these thoughts crammed into my head and I'm so hurt and so emotional and I don't really have anyone to talk to about all of this. I have to put on this happy face like everything is okay. All of our friends aren't happy with him and are telling me to dump him and then get over it.

 


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#18 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 07:39 AM
 
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You do not sound crazy at all. You sound sad and like you are in disbelief. I think the first thing you need to do is stop calling him your partner. A partner would not treat you like this. Honestly, if this is his decision to give you up and be so ungrateful for all you have done for him over the years then think of the relief that will come when you aren't caring for this man anymore. It sounds dangerously co-dependent. Especially the fact that you have been doing everything for him. Can you imagine having a healthy partner in your life who shares the responsibility equally in your relationship? Try imagining that because this relationship that you are in is unhealthy and sad. You deserve way better. If his mania comes out when he leaves, that is really for him to deal with now. Not you. Let him go. Mourn the relationship. But let him go.

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#19 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 04:44 PM
 
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The great guy that you have been with all this time appears to be gone- he's like a totally different person now. This is a huge shock for you, like your partner died or something. NONE of this is about you, it has nothing to do with you. This situation doesn't reveal any weakness about you, in fact it's the opposite. Your incredible personal strength is obvious from the way you cared for your partner while he was down. Dr Jekyll was hard, but Mr Hyde is going to grind you down. You need to stop having the same conversation with him. He doesn't get to work things out with you on the terms he's proposing. Those terms are ridiculous. This is a huge loss for you, and your son too, but what you had is just not going to happen, unless he does an about-face and gets this under some kind of control. And you really do have strength to spare. Anyone can see that you are an amazing person with a giant heart.


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#20 of 29 Old 03-14-2012, 06:05 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you're in this situation. It sucks, it really does. It's so common for a woman to come out of an abusive relationship and wind up in a subsequent relationship that isn't abusive, but is still toxic. My trajectory was actually quite similar to yours -- I went from an abusive relationship to a relationship with a guy who was a bipolar alcoholic. He wasn't mean and he tried to be a decent partner, (well, sort of tried...okay, didn't try very hard at all). But he wound up being a total financial freeloader until I got my head on straight and kicked him out.

Anyway, do you know much about codependency? I know I'm codependent and it sounds like you might be as well. "Women Who Love Too Much" and "Codependent No More" are both really valuable books to read.

I'm sorry you're going through this heartache. But honestly, better to break up now rather than marry a guy who's going to be irresponsible, freeloading off you, and possibly cheating on you. Being a caretaker for your adult romantic partner is not okay (I mean, unless they've been in a car accident or have cancer or something). Grieve the relationship, be single for a while, and really focus on yourself and learning how to make good choices. Also, the private single parenting forum is a really amazingly supportive place, and a depressingly high percentage of the women there have escaped abuse. We spend a lot of time learning from each other how to make healthy choices in our relationships.


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#21 of 29 Old 03-16-2012, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it happened today. We broke up and he left. He still has stuff here...not sure how he'll get it but I'm thinking of just putting it all in our storage unit and he can get it there without coming into our actual apartment. I don't think I posted above at all that he was violent on a few occasions in the past few weeks. Today was really bad though. Luckily my son was at school when all of that happened, and my sister picked him up and took him back to her place for awhile while I cleaned up. He broke stuff, destroyed my laptop (I'm on my sister's now), the tv, some other stuff. Put holes in the walls. He threw me on the ground and kicked and choked me. All of this because I asked to use his phone. The violence continued from there. His brother called the police. I didn't press charges but I'm considering the restraining order the police officer said I had the option to get because I jump a mile every time the door to our building opens, even though he's about 20-30 minutes away and has no car. The guy he's staying with knows the story and I can't imagine would bring him back in his current state. I'm still very afraid of him though, especially around my son.

 

We talked online briefly and he said that he "knows" I'll have someone in my bed "by tonight" even though I've never done the casual sex/dating thing in my entire life. After doing some research I clearly have some codependency issues and I have absolutely no desire to date or sleep with anyone for a long, long time. I've actually never been single since my first relationship at 16...and here twelve years and three back to back relationships later (yeah, three relationships in 12 years, that doesn't qualify me as a person who sleeps around), it feels really weird. Things like sleeping alone and waking up without him next to me, I am really dreading. Thinking of him with someone else is, too. It is the person I fell in love with a few years ago that I am mourning the loss of. That person is not here anymore. Looking into his eyes while he hurt me, I could see that that person is gone.

 

I'm falling asleep at the table here and I just do not want to go to bed. I can't even put the broken tv on for background noise.

 


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#22 of 29 Old 03-16-2012, 11:12 PM
 
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I am so sorry that things got ugly with your ex. I know it's probably very hard to consider right now, but I think you should press charges. You have a good case, since it took police showing up to end it, and you have his brother as a witness. He might only get probation but it would be a good way to stand up for yourself and show that nobody gets to treat you this way. If a stranger showed up at your home and assaulted you and broke your belongings, you would press charges, why should it be any different because you know him?

 

I know how hard it is to mourn the loss of a person who you once knew that no longer exists, but the man he is now hurt you in a way that nobody gets to hurt you. Take control of your life and be an advocate for yourself and hold him accountable.

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#23 of 29 Old 03-17-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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You need to press charges now. Get the restraining order now. He's bi-polar. If you wanting to use the phone sent him into a rage, what's next? And what if he does it with your son present or hurts your son in the process? He just destroyed a bunch of your stuff also. I'm sure you are justifying his actions and hoping maybe he will still come back but at this point he is a serious danger to you and your kid.

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#24 of 29 Old 03-17-2012, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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His brother wasn't there, just talked to him on the phone. He admitted to the police that he was the aggressor. My friend has a screen shot of him saying he was going to kill me if I didn't stop being a b----, so I'll be getting that to take with me to the police.

 

He of course is going nuts on the internet saying all sorts of things...oh well. He's alienating a ton of people by acting out this way.

 


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#25 of 29 Old 03-17-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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I'm so sorry it came to that, but I'm glad you're taking steps to protect yourself. Please consider pressing charges. What he did to you was wrong, and against the law. There are consequences to hurting people.

Do you know about the cycle of abuse? If not, you should definitely read up on it. It basically goes tension-building --> abusive explosion --> remorse --> honeymoon phase. Before long he's going to be blowing up your phone, apologizing, begging for another chance, promising to change. It will be a lie, and I think you're strong enough not to fall for it.


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#26 of 29 Old 03-19-2012, 08:25 AM
 
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I am so sorry.


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#27 of 29 Old 03-20-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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I'm so sorry too and I agree about the restraining order. 

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#28 of 29 Old 04-01-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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I am so sorry that you are going through this. I agree with what other have said, press changes not only will it make you feel stronger, it will make him accountable for his actions and hopefully in future if there's another women he does this too her case wil be made strong because you stood up to him.

I've not been in an abusive relationship but I'm only 30 and me ten year relationship ended recently because he was cheating. Some thoughts that helped me:

* even though you feel like you love him, cutting him off physically and emotionally will make that love disappear ... And it really did, it's only been fourth months and I can say with 100% certainty I do not love him anymore and I will never ever want to be in a relationship with him. Also I can look at the relationship with complete clarity and aside from his infidelity there were a million little things that I will not put up with from a future partner.

* as awful as you feel right now, I know he can make you feel better because he is the one you have turned to for the last three years... Remember this: the pain you are feeling now was caused by him and him alone, cutting him out of your life will make that pain go away. Allowing you to deal with your own issues and make a better partnership with a better partner in the future

* your son (and my daughters) need a good role model. He is not a good role model for your son, and by putting up with his shit you are not a good role model for your son. I'm really sorry if that sounds harsh but one of the things that helped me feel better about leaving my ex was knowing that if my daughters were in my position it is what I would want them to do... So I model what I thought was the best behaviour

Right now you feel like you would give anything to have the old relationship back but in time you will look back and be glad that you got out when you did... I feel like that already and like I said it has only been four months. If I could go back in time and stop ex from meeting the girl he had an affair with I wouldnt, better to see his true colours now after ten years then after 20 or 25

I know I've talked a lot about myself but I'm so fresh out of a break up I can really feel your pain.

You are strong, mama, and you can deal with this

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#29 of 29 Old 04-01-2012, 06:34 PM
 
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OH mama- I am so sorry. YOU deserve so much better than this and so do your kids. Thinking of you.


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