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My xdh and I have been married 10 years, together for 12. Our divorce will be finalized in a couple of weeks. I left him early last year because after a second try, when we broke up and got back together, he was continuing to be mean to me and my children. We have a history of him grabbing me and not letting me walk away until he had his say, which left bruises on me. Since the seperation, he has threatened to not let me see my children (which he since claims that it is because seeing me hurt too much), and ruined my son's birthday by smashing his cake into the stove while calling me a whore.

I have been dating a really nice man who I love and treats me well. We now live together. The problem is that the last couple weeks, xdh has been very nice and apologetic, and asking if we could work it out. He said I could even stay in the spare bedroom while we get to know each other again. He picked me up and took me to the ER the other week and stayed all night (BF was out of town), and he says he wants me back more than anything. The nice behavior makes it hard for me because I remember how things were when it was good.

Now I am scared and I don't know what to do... I am laid off, but wanting to finally start a portraiture business, and BF has been on unemployment for a year now, and doesn't seem all that interested in looking for a job. Although this is a very small town and there are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs. We are quickly running out of money and I am scared for my kids. I didn't want them to grow up poor like I did. I want them to be happy.

Xdh is working and by himself makes enough for his bills. I *could* stay with him and try my business without the stress, and any money I make could go towards the kids instead of bills, but I no longer think of him as someone I am compatable with. I cannot ever imagine sleeping with him again (he slept the last 7 years on the couch anyways) and I really love my bf. I never thought I would meet someone that I have so much in common with, and we don't even have to try. We just seem to click.

But I am having all these mixed feelings and I dont know what to do... if I move out it would DEVESTATE my boyfriend, and wouldn't be fair to him at all, plus it would hurt like hell and I would probably regret it forever. But maybe it would be best for my children if we move in with their father and just try to stay friendly. Xdh wants more, but I cannot give him that. I just want to be friendly and not fight. I have been so mean to my BF the last couple of days because I am stressing so much, this really hurts, and I am scared to death of making the wrong decision. I just want whats right for my kids, I dont want them to suffer because of my decisions.
 

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No, it would not be best for your kids if you moved back in with their abusive father. He is still willing to ruin your son's birthday by pulling idiotic (and frightening to a child) stunts, and using them as a pawn in your relationship. He's putting on a show to get you to come back, but once you are back, sooner or later the abuser will surface. Your children will not benefit from this.

If you have money issues with your bf, there are a variety of ways this could play out. The fact that you are living with him before your divorce is final is to me a red flag that perhaps you rushed into this relationship, but maybe I'm wrong. The fact that he's reluctant to look for a job is a serious problem. But the bf issues are separate from your abusive ex.

If you want your kids to be happy, try to find a way to support your family and keep them in a safe environment. The answer isn't to take them back for abuse.
 

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You seem to think you need a man in order to survive. You rushed into a relationship before your marriage was officially over - not just dating, but actually living together. Now you're considering moving back in with your ex? Why? Why not make a list of pros and cons of living with your ex. Then do the same for living with your boyfriend. Then try one for living with just you and your kids. If you're codependent, and you don't address your codependency, you're going to see the same scenario play out again and again and again throughout your life. This is not an either/or question. It's not "Do I live with my ex or do I live with my boyfriend?" It's "What's in my best interest and the best interest of my children?" You don't actually need a man to survive. When I was separated from my husband for a year, I found a strength that I didn't know was there. It was hard, I won't lie. But it was also a tremendous growing experience that I wouldn't change for the world. I'm a stronger, more mature person now. I can handle more. Maybe you need to give yourself a chance to grow, to become stronger in yourself, instead of looking to others to rescue you.

Money's tight. I get that. But, living with your ex will only help with financial issues until the abuse starts up again, and then you're left scrambling. Plus, you're sending very mixed messages to your kids. If you're financially supporting your boyfriend, it's time to let him go. You don't need an extra mouth to feed. Get whatever gov't help you need, get child support (and alimony if possible) from your ex, and figure out how to budget to survive. Maybe you can stay with family for a few months until you get back on your feet. Maybe you can get a place with a roommate who respects boundaries. But, don't go looking for relationship drama. Don't spend your energy on anyone other than you and your kids right now.
 

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no!!!

he is not good for you or for your kids. and honestly, if he wants to save your marriage but you just want to 'be friendly' with him for financial security without any interest in a relationship, then that's not really fair to him either. not that i give a crap about someone who treats his family that way - just saying. it wouldn't work out.

once the divorce is final, will he be paying child support? if so, that will help. are you receiving any state aid? if not, are you eligible? would that help, or would it just force you to woh instead of focusing on your kids and your photography business?

if your local economy is even *more* in the dumps than the economy in general, it may not be able to support your photography business. have you considered moving to an area where that is more viable? not saying it isn't viable in your community - just wondering.

what else do you want for yourself? what do you want in a partner? i think you deserve someone who has more to offer than just 'clicking' easily. being laid off isn't a character flaw, but being satisfied to collect unemployment rather than looking for work - i think you can do better than this man.

do you have friends or family who can offer you support?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, I dont know how to do the mini quote thing... To clarify, my BF does bring in money, its just not enough to live on, although it is a big help in paying bills. It's so hard here right now that we both have applied to so many, and either didn't get hired or immediately got laid off again. He's suffering from depression which he just started meds for (they will take a few weeks to kick in), so it's not like he's living off me, he's just depressed and frustrated right now.
 

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I think the single most valuable thing you can do to protect yourself and your children is to research and read up everything you possibly can to understand the dynamics of abusive relationships. In fact, this would be a great time to access the surviving abuse forum.
Basically, nearly every abusive relationship displays the "cycle of abuse." There's the tension-building phase, followed by the explosion of abuse, followed by the "honey moon phase" in which the abuser apologizes, swears up and down he'll change, and promises you the moon and the stars. In virtually every case this is just another part of the phase, and the abuse resumes worse than ever, because you have shown him that he can abuse you without penalty.
Do not go back to your abuser. For the love of your children, do not go back to your abuser. You are stronger and worth more than that. He will not change. Every single man in the history of abusive relationships has abjectly apologized and promised he would change. They never do -- it is all part of the same cycle of abuse. If you go back, you will be walking with your eyes open back into abuse. Don't do it to yourself, and don't do it to your kids.
I would also highly recommend counseling for yourself. The kind of scars that emotional abuse leaves is really hard to deal with.
You have to be a super strong mama bear and protect your children. You can do it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MPJJJ View Post
We are quickly running out of money and I am scared for my kids. I didn't want them to grow up poor like I did. I want them to be happy.
after reading your later comments defending your bf, i went back to read your op and this jumped out at me. i grew up poor, with a single mom, but i was also happy. poor and happy are not mutually exclusive. my mom went back to college and we lived off grants and student loans (along with wic and foodstamps) in subsidized housing. i remember some icky people in the places we lived, but my mom kept us safe, and our home life was stable and sheltered from strangers. food was stretched, but we were fed. i remember going without some "wants" at times, during my mom's schooling and for several years afterward, but that's okay. that's life. getting everything we want does not make us happy. my mom (who grew up fairly well-off) said it was hard to accept all that assistance, but she knew it would even out once she started earning money and paying taxes. and for sure, her independence, security and self-confidence were worth those lean years.

i just want you to know making a life for yourself and your kids might be hard, but it will be worth it. i think the best way for your kids to have a happy childhood is for them to have a happy mom. you know they are not going to have that if you go back to your ex.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PretzelMama View Post
No, no, no, no, no.

This man has already proven that he is abusive and will not change. Run in the opposite direction.
 
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