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#1 of 7 Old 04-24-2014, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

This is my first time posting. I was desperately looking for a place where others in my situation would lend me their ears.

I have been married for almost 12 years, to a man I was married to (arranged marriage). We have had a lot of troubles, cultural clashes. There has been physical abuse in the past, and there still is mental and emotional abuse.

We have 3 boys, 11, 9, 7.

 

I have finally worked up the courage to put my foot down, and decide to leave. Since I don't have my own family here in the US, I had to call cousins and aunts, because I will need a place to stay.

 

While everyone is being understanding etc they are all pressuring me to stay, because of the kids. "Its hard on them, they will never grow up properly, they love their dad and will feel this loss acutely, can't you sacrifice your own personal happiness for the sake of the happiness of your kids, etc etc. How will you find a good job after being out of the workforce for more than a decade, when you will have to work fulltime the kdis will have to stay in daycare, etc etc etc".

They are all from an eastern culture, where divorce carries a huge stigma.

 

I am being made to feel very selfish for wanting to leave this man, for whom I have no feelings, and never did.

 

I am hoping someone can give me suggestions, or ideas, or maybe a different perspective...

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#2 of 7 Old 04-24-2014, 07:44 AM
 
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Not selfish at all.

 

You'd be teaching your boys to stand up for yourself. And not allowing them to continue to learn from their dad's behavior that it is okay to treat your wife this bad. IF you don't stand up for yourself, NOBODY will. You've heard the opinions of your cousins and relatives - now move on to real help (legal help / counseling / etc) 

 

My suggestion is talk to a lawyer or a women's shelter - on HOW to leave, citing what reasons. There have been some cases in which the plot turned against the woman for taking the kids and running away. Protect you and the kids first. Don't talk about divorce to your STBX until you really are out... Do you have money in your name? If not, now is a time to slowly squirrel money into your savings account.. 

 

Also, consider alimony / child support / what if your STBX fights for joint custody or sole custody.. I don't know which part of US you live, but there must be some legal counsel available to you.. Seek help! Stand up for yourself and your boys! 

 

Also, please consider counseling for yourself. Most of the times, a counselor can help you move in the right direction than a cousin or relatives who have their own stigma about divorces and divorcees. 

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#3 of 7 Old 04-24-2014, 11:28 AM
 
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Is he a good father? If so, you can do 50/50 custody and your kids won't lose either of you. Your family will change, but it can be for the better. They'll have a hard time at first, but separated happy parents are better for kids than parents who are miserable together.

I agree that you should get in touch with support places for victims of domestic abuse. Find a lawyer you can afford, find out the laws and your options. You definitely should get alimony to help you get on your feet.

This is an article from the perspective of a now-adult whose parents stayed together for the kids. I hope it helps you make your choice. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2967125/
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#4 of 7 Old 04-26-2014, 07:22 AM
 
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The idea that your children will not grow up properly is ridiculous. Yes, things will be different. Yes, your children will be hurt by divorce. But they will be hurt far more by unhappy parents staying together for their sake, and by seeing their father abuse their mother. 

 

I agree with the others about finding legal counsel and looking into shelters for abuse victims. It won't be easy, but leaving really will be better for your entire family. 

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#5 of 7 Old 04-26-2014, 08:09 AM
 
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I think that staying is teaching them to treat their future wives exactly the way their father treats you, and that isn't "growing up properly."

 

I was a stay at home mom for 14 years, and I'm back in the work force. It wasn't a completely smooth transition, and I'm now working toward a new teaching certificate while working so that I can I have a job that I find more meaningful. IT CAN BE DONE. You can create a life for yourself that is peaceful and positive. Doing so will teach your children a great deal about resilience.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 7 Old 04-26-2014, 05:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post

Is he a good father? If so, you can do 50/50 custody and your kids won't lose either of you. 

I have a hard time believing that someone who is mentally and physically abusive to their partner is a good father.  It's hard to fathom that he doesn't have personality traits that will escalate during divorce, and wouldn't engage in parental alientation, a form of emotional child abuse....as a way to regain power and control.   The most dangerous time for abuse is when a relationship is ending, and within the first few months following.  I think it's a given that the father would try to go after sole custody or 50/50 shared custody, even if he were a not involved parent before.

 

I think seeking professional supports from counsellors who understand abuse dynamics, particularly the cultural issues behind it too, is very important.  Posting here is a great first step in coming up with a well thought out, safe, leaving plan.  

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#7 of 7 Old 04-26-2014, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post
 

I have a hard time believing that someone who is mentally and physically abusive to their partner is a good father.  It's hard to fathom that he doesn't have personality traits that will escalate during divorce, and wouldn't engage in parental alientation, a form of emotional child abuse....as a way to regain power and control.   The most dangerous time for abuse is when a relationship is ending, and within the first few months following.  I think it's a given that the father would try to go after sole custody or 50/50 shared custody, even if he were a not involved parent before.

 

I think seeking professional supports from counsellors who understand abuse dynamics, particularly the cultural issues behind it too, is very important.  Posting here is a great first step in coming up with a well thought out, safe, leaving plan.  


I saw a situation on here where the husband was abusive towards his wife; but is a stable, loving, and kind father and the wife is not able to be a stable mother, so he ended up getting full custody and the mother actually agrees that this is for the best while she's sorting out her life. In that situation, he was only emotionally abusive towards her, so that may be the difference- but it is sometimes possible for an abusive partner to be a wonderful parent. Horrible, but it can happen.  In this situation, though, the mother sounds like she's stable and would be able to take care of the kids herself, so I'm certainly not suggesting that the father get full custody!

 

I agree that she should get full custody. Even if he's a good father, he's a horrible partner and if he ever gets together with another person, then there will be the risk that these kids will again be exposed to seeing an abusive relationship again. If the father is a good father (and she feels that way even after getting some distance- it's very easy to be emotionally manipulated by an abuser), the OP sounds concerned about her kids' relationship with their dad. Maybe 50/50 was the wrong suggestion, but as long as the OP truly 100% believes he would never hurt the children, a generous visitation schedule isn't unwarranted. I also neglected to consider the cultural clashes she mentioned, which can lead to a lot of difficulties in coming up with agreement on issues- which would make 50/50 very inadvisable. Also, OP- you can get a very limited visitation schedule and then unofficially agree to let the kids get more time with their dad. Then, if you need to cut back visitation, you'll just be going back to the court order rather than having to get it changed.

 

OP- just a note, you can set it up so that you never have to be in direct context with your husband after you divorce, whatever the visitation/custody arrangement. Recovering from an abusive relationship can be incredibly difficult, and having to be in contact with him will likely make it even harder. That would be something to discuss with lawyers and counselors. You can also ask about getting a restraining order against him during or after the divorce.


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