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#1 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm at my wits end again with DH...

I think I'm really going to have to sit down and tell him I don't want to know anything that goes on with DSD anymore. I know that sounds awful... but I can't deal with this constant double whatever and wishy washy ness.

He calls me today to tell me DSD's Mom calls him and asks him what we think about to sending DSD to a catholic school instead because it's cheaper than the other place she was looking at.

So DH asks me what I think. Though he said he already told DSD's Mom to go look at the place.

I told him he knows how I feel about Catholic school (please no offense to anyone who is Catholic or who has went to Catholic school, it is simply not my religion, so therefore not something I'd choose to send my kid to.)

DH agreed that he would never choose to send his kids to Catholic school either. He isn't Catholic, and actually neither is DSD's Mom, she only wants to do this for money reasons.

So I asked him if he was against the idea from the start why did he tell DSD's Mom to go ahead and check out the school.

Then he just started flipping out on me calling me an a$$hole and other things and that I'm f$ed up for calling him incompetent.

I told him I didn't call him incompetent, I was just wondering why he would give the go ahead when he wasn't really behind the idea... I tried to explain that that could come back and bite him in the ass if this went to some kind of battle. Because DSD's Mom could always say, "hey if he had a problem with it he should have stated so from the begining."

So he went off again saying I have no right to tell him he is stupid and to interrogate him, and I was left baffled and I said I wasn't trying to do that, I was just trying to offer help as he did ask. He said I'm not smarter than him just because I know some online people who have been through this, then said some more beligerent things and hung up on me.


I just can't take this. He asks for my opinion and I give it then all of a sudden I'm the bad guy. I just can't handle this anymore. I care too much about him and DSD, but he obviously can't find it in his heart to know I'm not calling him stupid when I'm just offering advice that he solicited in the first place.

*sighs*

He just left a voicemail saying to keep my big mouth shut because he does care about his DD and he is sick and tired of me trying to make it out like he doesn't care about her... which I'm not!! Honestly, I don't understand how he takes my words and spins them around so much. I don't even understand why he asks for any opinions when he just gets mad whenever anyone gives them.

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#2 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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: It sounds like your dh has a hard time admitting when he is wrong and/or is ultrasensitive about not appearing to be "perfect." He has no excuse for calling you names like that though-seriously. With my dp, sometimes he will feel like I am making him feel stupid because things that are obvious to me (why tell dsd's mom to look at the catholic school when you are going to say no in the end?) are seen by him as a logical decision (i.e. perhaps he felt like he shoudl give it a fair chance before disagreeing just to keep the peace?). I don't have a lot of advice-it sounds like you were perfectly reasonable in asking him about his decision, and he was just feeling inadequate about it and took it out on you. From you previous posts, it sounds like he feels VERY guilty for not being in dsd's life every single day, and I think that he is taking all the guilt out on you-when you do NOT deserve it. I know the first year or so of being a blended family after dd was born was really hard for my dp and I-I hope you guys can work things out.

From now on, when he tells you things about dsd, I would just say, "thanks for letting me know" and leave it at that, if at all possible. If he asks for your opinion, give it, but don't necessarily offer it up until he is better able to regulate his emotions. Are you guys still in therapy? How is it going?

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#3 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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Wow, he's being v. rude.
I would just end it with something like, you did ask my opinion, and I gave it.
I would also disengage a lot from these decisions. It's not up to you anyway what school she goes to. Your obligations as a stepmom are actually pretty minimal. I know people say that stepaprents are parents too, but they aren't really, esp. if the husband is non-custodial. I know that when I do take on that role, it leads to conflict. It's best to remain a friendly, calm, auntlike presence in their lives.
I was not a stepchild myself, but I'm not sure I would have wanted 3-4 parents. . . .
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#4 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, he's being v. rude.
I would just end it with something like, you did ask my opinion, and I gave it.
I would also disengage a lot from these decisions. It's not up to you anyway what school she goes to. Your obligations as a stepmom are actually pretty minimal. I know people say that stepaprents are parents too, but they aren't really, esp. if the husband is non-custodial. I know that when I do take on that role, it leads to conflict. It's best to remain a friendly, calm, auntlike presence in their lives.
I was not a stepchild myself, but I'm not sure I would have wanted 3-4 parents. . . .

I'm kind of starting to feel like this. Which is opposite from how I started out... but DH has a tendancy to make me feel really guilty and awful if I don't care enough. I have not found a happy medium yet.

But I think I am going to tell him that I simply cannot be a part of discussions about DSD anymore, even when he asks because it always ends in a fight and if he wants to save our marriage, I need out on some of this stuff.

Which I'm sure will bring on another fight that I don't care enough... *sighs*

Greenemami, we are still in counseling, if you want to call it that. : The therapist is so booked that we will go 2-4 weeks without even getting an appointment... I don't think it's helping because of this and I really need to research a new therapist, but my DH is sort of a mine feild to navigate these days.

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#5 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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You seemed to be doomed if you do, and doomed if you don't.
I probably would write a letter expressing exactly how I feel, and leave it up to him to find a solution. As someone else said before, completely disengage until then.
It's too unfair to you.

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#6 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I'm at my wits end again with DH...

I think I'm really going to have to sit down and tell him I don't want to know anything that goes on with DSD anymore. I know that sounds awful... but I can't deal with this constant double whatever and wishy washy ness.

He calls me today to tell me DSD's Mom calls him and asks him what we think about to sending DSD to a catholic school instead because it's cheaper than the other place she was looking at.

So DH asks me what I think. Though he said he already told DSD's Mom to go look at the place.

I told him he knows how I feel about Catholic school (please no offense to anyone who is Catholic or who has went to Catholic school, it is simply not my religion, so therefore not something I'd choose to send my kid to.)

DH agreed that he would never choose to send his kids to Catholic school either. He isn't Catholic, and actually neither is DSD's Mom, she only wants to do this for money reasons.

So I asked him if he was against the idea from the start why did he tell DSD's Mom to go ahead and check out the school.

Then he just started flipping out on me calling me an a$$hole and other things and that I'm f$ed up for calling him incompetent.

I told him I didn't call him incompetent, I was just wondering why he would give the go ahead when he wasn't really behind the idea... I tried to explain that that could come back and bite him in the ass if this went to some kind of battle. Because DSD's Mom could always say, "hey if he had a problem with it he should have stated so from the begining."

So he went off again saying I have no right to tell him he is stupid and to interrogate him, and I was left baffled and I said I wasn't trying to do that, I was just trying to offer help as he did ask. He said I'm not smarter than him just because I know some online people who have been through this, then said some more beligerent things and hung up on me.


I just can't take this. He asks for my opinion and I give it then all of a sudden I'm the bad guy. I just can't handle this anymore. I care too much about him and DSD, but he obviously can't find it in his heart to know I'm not calling him stupid when I'm just offering advice that he solicited in the first place.

*sighs*

He just left a voicemail saying to keep my big mouth shut because he does care about his DD and he is sick and tired of me trying to make it out like he doesn't care about her... which I'm not!! Honestly, I don't understand how he takes my words and spins them around so much. I don't even understand why he asks for any opinions when he just gets mad whenever anyone gives them.

you are in a really tough situation It really seems like the stuff with your DSD is a symptom of the bigger probelm, which is your husband's lack of respect for YOU. He seems really inconsiderate (and violent to be honest, verbally, at least). From reading your other posts, it seems like he's got bigger issues than just what goes on with your DSD. What a mess. Have you considered a trial separation? Maybe he would wake up to his wrong behaviour if you did. I'm sorry - your posts are really sad. Please be sure to take care of yourself and your baby.
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#7 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Can you get into therapy on your own with someone new? That would be really helpful for you.
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#8 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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He accuses you of not caring enough, and then gets angry at you when you apparently care too much by offering your opinion. He wants you to treat her the same as you treat your daughter, but not make the mistake of acting like dsd's mother.

I agree that it seems like you can't win. I hope you find a new therapist soon-and I hope your dh agrees to it. I also agree with writing the letter-keep it as unemotional and nonaccusatory as you can, hopefully he will find it in himself to take the time to listen and actually hear you. Seriously tell him what you said, that until you work on the larger issues, you need to back away from the issues surrounding dsd-not dsd herself, but just the scheduling/driving/school etc. decisions that go along with it. You can still be super involved when she is there, but you do not need to deal with all the other stuff. Good luck.

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#9 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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i've got an idea -- simply agree with everything he says re: your DSD. then you are "caring enough" to agree with him, and not caring "too much" to disagree with him.

seriously. he sounds unreasonable.

i'm part of a blended family, but thankfully my step children were already young adults when i came into the picture. so i'm not facing the kinds of issues you seem to be writing about all the time.

however i have seen many of your posts, and i agree with everyone else that your DH sounds very unreasonable, and i sure don't envy your position as step mother in this situation.

i definitely agree that you should stop stating opinions, even when he asks for them, re: your DSD. i wouldn't even tell him that you are doing that, or why. just from now on, nod your head, and tell him, "i completely agree with you." then change the subject. if he presses you for an opinion, state something like, "you know i love DSD like my own. all i'm saying is that i think you are doing the right thing/making the right decision."

i don't know what else you can do! if it were me, i'd want to aviod a verbal lashing like he gives out. on a subject that you can't control anyway, there's just no point in stating an opinion, i don't think. sorry!

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#10 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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That book I suggested to you a while ago, Stop Walking on Eggshells? Go get it. Seriously. This is NOT your fault, and you are NOT the one causing the problems. I really think it can help you understand what is going on in your husband's head when he reacts that way and it will help you hear it for what it is and not take it personally. Whether or not he could be diagnosed with the particular type of personality the book talks about, this all sounds SO familiar, and it is worth you reading.

Really... it changed our lives.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#11 of 31 Old 05-27-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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#12 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 05:44 AM
 
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In your shoes, I'd be opening a personal savings account that he doesn't know about and getting some money put aside, in addition to counselling. Solo parenting with a 4mo is tough, a slightly older baby, slightly easier.

eta: sorry, hit submit too soon. Lots of couples go through really hard times when you have small babies, but this is NOT okay. You don't deserve to be treated like this, you really don't.

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#13 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 09:39 AM
 
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JSMa, I read and reread your post several times in the last day or two, but I just don't know what I can say to help. Your Husband is wrong, way out of line, and the namecalling is verbal abuse. He's obviously got issues and he's taking it out on you.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#14 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 09:47 AM
 
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JSMa, I read and reread your post several times in the last day or two, but I just don't know what I can say to help. Your Husband is wrong, way out of line, and the namecalling is verbal abuse. He's obviously got issues and he's taking it out on you.
I agree with this. Something has to change.

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#15 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 10:03 AM
 
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HUgs to you JSMa

Step parenting is the most frustating part of my life right now and it has barly began. (SS is only 3) My DH seems simalar to yours as I get the brunt of the situation wheather I just sit and look pretty or go in on the attack. We've tlked about this numerous times and I know its mostly stress and frustration we both are dealing with in a situation we have hardly any control/say in. In NO way does that make it ok and we've come very close to calling it quits due to these issues. I know I'm no real help or comfort but I know I like to know I'm not alone so thought I'd do the same for you
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#16 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Camp-a-roo.

I know a lot of it is his own stress and feelings of guilt for not being there everyday for DSD anymore, and his feelings of uselessness.

One thing he kept repeating is it wouldn't matter what he told his ex because she would just go do whatever she wanted to do anyway. And I told him with that attitude, maybe that is why and he could speak up more on things that are bothering him... he is still DSD's Dad.

Which of course escalated the fight into I said he doesn't care enough about his daughter.... which I didn't, if he intpretted it that way...


What I have noticed.... a definite and distinct trend. It seems all of our really big fights happen on weeks DSD comes. I don't think it's a coincidence....

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#17 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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You and your daughter are in an unsafe and unhealthy environment! Trust me, you will be better off and so will your daughter. Is this really what you want her to learn about how to treat women? Do you want her to choose this for her future? If you don't feel good enough about yourself to choose better for you, at least do it for her. There is no winning for you in this situation.

Also, verbal abuse like this can lead to physical abuse. I've seen it before. Please, please, please protect yourself and your daughter, I beg you!!!!

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#18 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Thanks Camp-a-roo.

I know a lot of it is his own stress and feelings of guilt for not being there everyday for DSD anymore, and his feelings of uselessness.

One thing he kept repeating is it wouldn't matter what he told his ex because she would just go do whatever she wanted to do anyway. And I told him with that attitude, maybe that is why and he could speak up more on things that are bothering him... he is still DSD's Dad.

Which of course escalated the fight into I said he doesn't care enough about his daughter.... which I didn't, if he intpretted it that way...


What I have noticed.... a definite and distinct trend. It seems all of our really big fights happen on weeks DSD comes. I don't think it's a coincidence....

I don't think its a coincidence either. But his DSD is always going to be coming to visit. That's not going to change. His behaviour towards you, the way he talks to you (before/during/pertaining to) the visits are what the problem is. I guarantee, if he didn't have this attitude towards you surrounding your dsd, he would find another reason to treat you like garbage.

I'm sure this whole transisiton is very difficult for him. But he is an adult. He needs to stop lashing out at his WIFE because things aren't going the way he would like. You have nothing to do with the choices he made that led to him separating from his older daughters mother. He is a grown man, who is responsible for what his life is right now. He can't keep verbally attacking you. Please, consider what a PP suggested, and set up your own private savings account. Please consider a trial sepeartion while you both get individual and (better) couples counseling. This situation is not good. your dd is 4 months old? you may just now be fully recovering from pregnancy and childbirth (although with your fibro, I doubt that's true). your husband should be walking on eggshells around YOU. He should be treating you with so much gentleness and love and bending over backward to do what he can to make your life easier (even when he's frustrated about other things, ie DSD). You just gave him the gift of another child. You work full time outside the home. you are suffering from a chronic illness. And you are expected to be his verbal punching bag?? Not to mention all the stuff you do around the house, like cleaning up his dishes and picking up his dirty socks off the floor.

You are better than that.
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#19 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 11:33 AM
 
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Can you disengage from any sort of a directing process in your dsd's life and be more like an aunt? When he asks opinions give the same sort of polite responses that are expected of aunts and stop pushing him to be anything in his dd's life. Let him sink or swim on his own on that one. Get a more reliable counselor and work on your marriage while making a separation more doable for you (squirrel away a bit of money) and make peace with what is. That's got to be better than this insane carnival you've gotten wound up in.
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#20 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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Well, it's pretty clear that HE is not happy with the decision he made, otherwise he wouldn't be looking for ways to redirect the negativity.

I agree with the poster who recommended counseling and with the one who recommended acting more like an aunt. It's sad that your partner cannot have the benefit of your opinion as a fresh viewpoint but since he cannot behave like a civil adult, he loses out.

Please talk to someone about this. This sort of behavior can be an isolated bad patch but it can also be a warning sign. Don't let the hole get too deep to climb out of.
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#21 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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In your shoes, I'd be opening a personal savings account that he doesn't know about and getting some money put aside, in addition to counselling.
umm...yeah.

OP: I don't frequent this forum, as we don't really have any "step" issues (ds1 is dh's stepson, but his bio-dad isn't in the picture). However, sometimes, something catches my eye, and this thread did. Your OP doesn't sound like a blended/step issue - it sounds like an emotionally and verbally abusive spouse issue. I hope you can get a better/more accessible therapist, but I'd start making some back-up plans, too. Asking your opinion on things, then turning it into a fight, and calling you names isn't about your dsd, or about you. His behaviour is totally out of line.

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#22 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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It sounds like your dh has a whole bunch of very big issues and you are paying the price for them. I'm so sorry you are going through this. What he is doing to you is really unfair. I think in some deep place he's deeply unsatisfied and unhappy with a lot of things about his life and wants you to somehow "make it all better". And that is just not going to happen. He has to come to terms with the fact that he does not live with his daughter full-time; that must be very painful for him.

But he needs to figure these things out. And you can't be his punching bag while he does. You can understand and sympathize with what he's dealing with but that does not excuse him treating you so terribly. And you can't internalize that it's your fault somehow. It's not. It's his issues. I think you need to make that clear to him. I think you need to say that you will emotionally support him, that you love him and your stepdaughter and value your family. But that he cannot treat you this way and if he persists in doing so that he risks losing you - and I might add, his shot at raising his daughter with you. He needs to know that. Maybe that will motivate him to get the help he needs. If not, you need to do what's best for you and your daughter.
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#23 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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I am sorry you are going through all of this! I have read several posts/threads (not all, though) by you and I have to ask, Do you recognize his behavior as abusive?

We all go through difficult times and don't treat each other well at times, but this seems to be the predominate theme in your writings. It is true that when we vent, we vent about the things that are not going well. It is just that the things that aren't going well are abusive in my opinion.

What incredible pressure you must have on you with a new baby and all. Of course he is stressed out as well. It would be different if he said something abusive only once (heck, one could argue that we have all been abusive at times--yelling at someone is using force), it just seems to happen a lot. And making you responsible for how he feels and acts is a giant red flag.

More hugs!! Wishing you peace.

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#24 of 31 Old 05-29-2009, 03:41 AM
 
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Your dh has HUGE issues and he is taking them out on you. I'd definately be quietly opening a savings acct, talking to a lawyer and trying to find a way out of this mess.

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#25 of 31 Old 05-29-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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I'd decide who you want to be, either his wife and punching bag (even if only verbal/emotional), or a strong effective parent to your child, because while he is behaving like this, you can't be the whole, healthy parent your child deserves.

If this were a one time thing I'd suggest working on it. It's not been a one time thing, and if you choose to stay with a man who treats you this way on a regular basis, you are choosing to teach your daughter to expect to be treated like this as she grows up.

Yes, being a solo parent can be tough, but it's a heck of a lot easier and healthier than being in an abusive relationship.
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#26 of 31 Old 05-31-2009, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again everyone.

He apologized for the other day. Said that he always overeacts whenever he senses that someone is even hinting that he doesn't care about his daughter enough. Which again isn't precisely what I said, but I was trying to make it clear that his sometimes more laid back approach could really bite him later and I am tired of hearing him whine about these things when he isn't pro-active from the start... and then of course he can't take anyone's advice on a different approach.


Maybe I have a slow learning curve or something... Basically I accept the apology and move on... hoping he doesn't make me feel like crap again.

I just know he wouldn't be able to survive without me and I don't think I could live with myself knowing that and putting him in that position... I know, I know... the next line of thinking is he ultimately put himself in that position because he sucks at talking to people and treating them well...

I really want him to go into counseling for himself... I think he really needs it. But I don't know if he will ever really see that and admit it and do something about it...

I could try to write another letter and say that is part of an ultimatum deal... but gosh that is a terrifying thought.

I know the circle of him blowing up and apologizing happens far too often... I do know this deep down... But I can't even dream of leaving him, granted most of that circles around financial reasons. I wouldn't have any kind of chance of living on my own and would be destined to live with my parents who honestly would drive me more insane within a week's time.

My Mother can be very unsupportive of my parenting choices and it gets to me so incredibly much. I get so stressed out by her constantly telling me how to parent my DD and get on me about giving her cereal. I have heard this for the past month and a half now how I need to be giving her cereal. Or anytime we go somewhere, "why can't you just bring a bottle?" "why, Mom, I got everything I need attached to my body."



I'm sorry for ranting and taking up your time... I know nothing will ever change... My parents won't support me leaving a second marriage, especially with a child involved, and there is no way I could afford to make it on my own... so I do my best at staying sane and "not rocking the boat" so to speak I guess.

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#27 of 31 Old 05-31-2009, 01:06 AM
 
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It sounds like the best thing you could do for yourself would be to work towards putting yourself in a position where you could make it on your own more comfortably. Even if that takes time, knowing that you are working on that could feel really positive to you.


Being a single mom can be tough, I walked away from all the stability and financial support and it took me three years to get the courage to do so, and it was hell for the next year and a half, but I did it, and it feels so good to know that I am with my husband (I've remarried) because I choose to be, and not because I feel stuck.

I really hope things improve for you, but sometimes I'm a bit jaded when the perpetrator isn't willing to actively seek help.
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#28 of 31 Old 05-31-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I wouldn't have any kind of chance of living on my own and would be destined to live with my parents who honestly would drive me more insane within a week's time.
Just posting to say that I absolutely thought the same thing, and it took actual separation for me to learn differently. In my case, the stars aligned just right to make the separation happen without my input-- my (ex)husband's company went bankrupt and stopped paying him (losing nearly 2/3 of our income), and he left to go "find himself" 3,000 miles away, virtually unreachable unless he called me, which he did infrequently. What seemed like an incredible hardship forced upon me turned out to be a blessing, and I was fortunate enough to be in a place that I could see it as such, as I discovered that if I had to, I could... and discovered that, even with the financial hardship, I was ultimately happier and healthier without him.

I have complete faith that you, should you chose to pursue a different life for yourself and your daughter, could do it if you have to. I also know it took a long time for me to get there, and many many many cycles of apologies and forgiveness.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#29 of 31 Old 05-31-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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My heart aches for you.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#30 of 31 Old 05-31-2009, 10:54 AM
 
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JsMa,

You sound defeated. Certainly, you need to lay off this man's parenting but that does not excuse his behavior to you. You get to choose what kind of treatment you will accept from people and you are making a choice even when you put off making one....

As far as not being able to leave him and make it. You have a pretty good job, right? I know you think you can't make it but there are plenty of us who have made out alright and lots of us haven't had half the resources you do.
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