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i asked my mom to talk with her husband. i thought maybe i'd get to talk to my brother (and his wife) and dad (and his wife) sunday when we were all at my dad's house, but there wasn't a good time because of the kids (mine & brother's).<br><br>
however, last night i spent the evening with friends and i did talk to them. the kids and i were there, with this couple i've been friends with for eight years. when they first got together, the four of us would hang out all the time. then paul was in a band with me & stbx (and stbx's best friend). sam was my witness when we got married. she also was the only person who listened supportively as i processed my grief over ds1's birth, and she photographed ds2's birth. they are the couple we've asked to raise our kids if we were to die.<br><br>
so, i talked to them last night - mostly to sam while paul was playing with the boys, but it's essentially the same as having talked with both of them. i didn't realize how afraid i was/am of looking like i'm just giving up. i don't want to be perceived as walking away from a marriage when i could have tried harder to fix it. it doesn't help that i already did that once, when i was 21 - very casually and abruptly ended an 18-month marriage, which i don't regret in the least but it is weird to be 30 and divorcing for the second time, sheesh.<br><br>
anyway, it was a really good conversation. she totally understands. then this morning, i got an invite from a mom-friend to spend the night at a campground near my home as a "mom's night off" at the end of the month (friday night of the full moon). in no way do i want to make the night about me, and i'll probably wait until breakfast or something, but i'm looking forward to the chance to be with a safe group of friends to just say, "here's what's happening in my life right now," and kind of get it over with / out there all at once. holding a secret is really exhausting, and speaking the truth is such a relief.<br><br>
oh yeah - and you ladies are great for me to practice on! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> but you know it's different with people who really don't know what goes on in private.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I totally relate to your whole post. I am almost 29, and this is my second divorce too. And it weighs on me sometimes. Both have been pretty short marriages.<br><br>
And it took awhile to shake the feeling of "I'm just giving up by walking away." And I know I will face it again when news breaks at the family reunion because I have some very conservative family members who do not beleive in divorce for any reason... and here I am on my second, and I was judged pretty harshly over the first and that had no kids. Ugh... can't wait for that one... maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised... hmm... lol<br><br>
And that is so great that you have supportive friends and are going to get a chance to get away! It makes a big difference.<br><br>
And I agree... talking and not keeping the secret is like a big weight has been lifted. I have found it getting easier each time I've had to do it. I hope your girl's weekend goes just as good and you get the support you need. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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That's awesome. I know I sound like a broken record sometimes, but you really have to break the silence about this kind of stuff. Abusive partners, just like sexual predators who prey on kids, are really invested in keeping you quiet about what is really going on. They do everything they can to keep you silent, with every possible kind of justification and threat. This is because they know what they are doing is wrong, and they know if you touch base with other people who aren't enmeshed in the situation, those outsiders will also recognize it as wrong, and help you see it is wrong.<br>
My abusive ex would just go ballistic when he found out I had talked about the things he was doing. He dressed it up as me not respecting the privacy of the relationship, trying to turn people against him, blah blah blah. The truth is that if I hadn't told my friends what was going on, and they hadn't literally swooped in to do an intervention and save me, I might still be there, and I can 100 percent guarantee that the borderline physical abuse I had been getting (punching walls right by my face, restraining, shoving) was just weeks away from escalating to full-blown battering.<br>
Also, when you tell people what is going on, they really do sort of hold you accountable for leaving. We do that in some ways on this board, but of course it's more potent in real life. You can fool yourself that things are getting better with every honeymoon period, even if they're steadily getting worse, but you can't fool your friends in the same way, because they don't have the same emotional investment in the abusive relationship that makes them turn a blind eye to the abuse.<br>
Anyway, abuse thrives in secrecy and withers in sunlight, that's what I think.
 

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I am so thrilled that you are telling people. It's a very hard/scary thing to do. Be aware that there will probably be at least one or two people who 'don't believe you'. Usually this happens because they have issues in their own lives they aren't willing to look at/face. Don't let their doubt shake you. You *know* what has been going on. You are finally standing up for yourself in all the positive, self-affirming ways. Don't let someone else's issues cloud your progress. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I am so happy that you have a good circle of friends in your life to support you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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i've been having serious guilt the past few days. i feel bad, knowing the hurt it will cause him. something helpful that sam said to me was, "this is it - this is your life. you can't spend it being miserable." it's true but i still don't want to hurt anyone, even someone who has hurt me and my kids.<br><br>
i'm not sure if i will "get to" go to my mamas thing next weekend, because i also made plans for this friday night and stbx is pissed. i called him yesterday afternoon because there is something i want to go to, so i asked if he had plans or could be home with the (sleeping) boys. he said he would stay home, so i made plans to go with a gf. by the time i got home from work, though, he was totally in a lather about how we should be going out <i>together</i>, and how i obviously don't take anything he does seriously because i haven't come to any of his shows. i asked why that would have to always be on me (that i would be the one to make the plans and get the babysitter) and couldn't help pointing out that going out <i>together</i> has never been important to him for the past five years while he went out without me - it's only now that i want to go out and he doesn't want to be the one left at home. yet he's gone several nights a week. i know i probably shouldn't engage at all, and that's pretty much all i said. he kept asking if we were going to talk about it (while i'm making dinner and taking care of the boys, then eating, then bathing them, etc) and i just kept saying, "i don't have anything else to say about it," so that by the time i had finished putting them to bed, he had dropped it and we just watched a movie together.<br><br>
rkom, i've never used the "a" word when talking about stbx. i just describe the behaviors themselves without labeling them as abusive. i don't want the backlash of people saying "well it's not <i>that</i> bad," or thinking i'm blowing things out of proportion. it's easier for me to talk about the lying, the silent treatment, the threats and accusations. i think people get emotional abuse mixed up with verbal abuse, and since he doesn't say all those directly hurtful things to/about me, then people wouldn't recognize this pattern as abuse, but the term "emotional blackmail" makes sense . . . it conveys how/why he is able to get me to do things i don't want to do and why it's so hard for me to break away, why i "put up with it" as they say.<br><br>
it's weird to have moments of total clarity and moments of "how can i do this? we could fix things, we could have a life together . . . " i just have to keep reminding myself of the bullshit.
 

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Emotional abuse (and whatever you want to call it, but it is clearly emotional abuse) makes you feel really muddled. There are these things that are true -- e.g., treating people badly is wrong; you hold both parties in the relationship to similar standards, etc.<br>
But in emotional abuse, the abuser tries with all his might to confuse you and make you forget those true things. He manages to make you sort of believe that it's okay if he goes out and gets wasted four nights a week but if you go out four times a month you're evil, selfish and abandoning him. Emotional abuse is not compatible with logic.<br>
Yes, he may experience feelings of sadness over you leaving. That is HIS emotion. He owns it, not you. He is an adult. You are not responsible for his feelings, you are responsible for your own actions. By leaving him, you are responding appropriately to his actions. It goes like this: He treats you very badly for a long stretch of time with no signs of changing--> you leave him.<br>
If there's one core trait that unites every single abuser in the history of humanity, it's the refusal to take responsibility over their own actions and emotions.<br>
Anyway, keep talking about it and keep your eyes open. How is your timeline for leaving looking?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>*MamaJen*</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422979"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How is your timeline for leaving looking?</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> uh . . . okay, my friend also asked me if i "have a goal" and i don't really know. about a month or so ago i posted this whole thing about how i was going to stop giving him money for his habits the first of may, with a goal of having him move out the first of june. there has been some improvement in the area of him being financially dependent on me, but not as much as i aimed for.<br><br>
he got this weekly dj thing, and (tonight is the second week) he says the stress of coming up with a new set each week is too much, so he has a job lined up at a video store beginning june 1. it's a company he worked for in the past, people he knows. it's right by our house, but if, let's say, he moved closer to downtown, there is a shop there (and they also have gas stations, so there are multiple other locations where he could work for this company). or even this store out by our house is right on the bus line, so he could commute out here for a while if he needed to. i know that all isn't my problem, but it makes me feel a little better that he won't be completely destitute, and it lowers my financial stress in the mean time (while he is living with us).<br><br>
as for when i'm going to actually tell him / file, i don't know. i want to say by mid summer, like july, but if he pushes me into doing it sooner, that could happen. i don't want to do it any later than that because his b'day is the end of august and i don't want to hear all about how horrible i am for "doing this to him" right before his birthday. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> again, i realize it shouldn't matter, but i guess i'm still doing damage control.<br><br>
i say july because, in the absence of some catalyst, it would be nice to get ds2 potty trained and into the preschool program with ds1 before this happens. i told stbx yesterday that we need to just go for it. he doesn't want to deal with it, but it needs to happen and he's the one at home all day. if we can hurry up and get that done, and then ds2 has a few weeks or a month of going to preschool and being pt'd before this all happens, i think that would be ideal for him (ds).<br><br>
i actually made a list of things to do to get ready, broken out into second half of may, first half of june, second half of june. for right now (second half of may) i have 5 things to do. i've made progress on three of them. none of it is stuff that has to happen, that prevents me from leaving now - just "ideally" to get done beforehand, i guess. so i feel like i'm working toward it.
 

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Something another wise counselor said to me once, "There is never the best time to do anything."<br><br>
I kept making excuse after excuse about why I couldn't leave yet, that this and this should happen first etc...<br><br>
It sounds like your mjor wait thing is about potty training your DS... I think that is something though could happen at anytime, and may go better without all the crazy fights and tension that is in the house now.<br><br>
As you have read all my waverings back and forth until I finally left, you know I know how hard it is to just take the leap and go.<br><br>
Something to think about for you though...What do you think would make you most happy? Try to separate all the little details like potty training and feeling bad for stbx (because really he doesn't deserve you spending more energy on him <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> ) and really think about how you may feel emotionally dealing with all his crap for another several months.
 

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yes, pt'ing is my major hang-up but it's not really about the diapers. it's about childcare. currently, ds1 goes to preschool 3 days/wk and is home with stbx the other 2 days. ds2 is home with stbx full time.<br><br>
if we split up now, ds2 would go into full-time day care without his brother, having never been in anyone else's care. no diapers allowed at ds1's preschool, so he can't go there until potty-trained.<br><br>
if i wait a couple of months, that gives me time to get ds2 potty-trained and start going 3 days / week with his brother, so that when stbx and i split up and i need full-time care, then both boys will switch from 3 days to 5 days at the same place they are already used to, and they will be together.<br><br>
like i said, if i really needed to do this right now, i would just have to figure it out, and i know that ultimately everyone would be okay. however, it would be best for ds2 - a way, way easier transition - if he could be with his brother, at a place he has already visited several times, and have a brief period of going part-time before suddenly being there 45-50 hours a week.<br><br>
i totally agree with you about there not being a best time, and i see how things could keep popping up, reasons to wait. i do get that. i just think that, while our relationship is unhealthy, it's not unsafe, so i have the luxury of doing this calmly and carefully and it's okay with me if it takes a few months.<br><br>
i have a therapy appointment today, which is good . . . i need it! oh, but it's sooooo true about couple's counseling providing more tools for the abuser - we only went one time, but he totally uses it. i'm not doing that again.
 

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I don't want to push you... because beleive me, I know how pissy I got when someone came across that way to me when I wasn't ready! lol <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
So I hope this doesn't come out the wrong way, and I hope you take it that I'm saying this out of concern/love for a fellow Mama.<br><br>
You have said that your stbx does drugs and drinks... I would say that is an unsafe envrionment. You have no idea what he may leave around for your kids to get into while he is blitzed one day or something. That is pretty scary and unsafe.<br><br>
How old is your DS2? I know when we PT DSD it took almost a full year!!! To finally get her to use the toilet consistently. Are you prepared to spend another year + with this man?<br><br>
Have you thought about perhaps looking into other childcare that is okay with your DS2 still being in diapers? I know it may not be ideal to switch for DS1... but it may be better for him to make that small adjustment to a new care center over the next few months that you have set as a goal, than to stress your DS 2 out with potty training that may or may not happen in a fast enough time to even allow him to go to the current center.<br><br>
You are the only one in your situation and the only one to know the right answers for you on these things. And I totally respect and support whatever you decide. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
But I also know how easy it is to get caught on details and not be able to think outside the box and get into a stuck sort of place too. So I'm hoping to offer some other possibilities for you if you get to the point where you feel you need to leave sooner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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the boys are 4.5 and 3 years. i won't pull ds1 out of his current preschool. if i have to put ds2 in some other setting because he's still in diapers, i will probably try for a very small home dc or a sahm who wants some income, because he does not like groups.<br><br>
i'm not okay with waiting a year, but i'm also not okay with changing a 4yo's diapers, lol. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> it's time for undies. i don't know how to "make" stbx stick with that during the day when i'm not there. when i am there, i usually just have him run around without diapers or undies on, and he'll pee in the potty (but not poop - he's only pooped on the potty a couple of times). the real problem isn't ds2. it's that i'm not there to do this, and the person who is there doesn't have any motivation so it's just easier for him to put on a diaper.<br><br>
i hear what you're saying about safety. stbx doesn't drink regularly. i was upset with him for drinking in early april, and before that it was halloween. i know this seems odd that i can't remember precisely but i think there was one other recent time before halloween, but other than that, he quit drinking shortly before ds1 was born (so didn't drink at all for four years). it does concern me that he leaves his weed somewhere stupid, but it's not a true medical safety concern. you literally can't od on weed, and while i'm certainly not okay with my kids ingesting it, it would be gross so there's no way they would eat it. i'm way more worried about him leaving aspirin on the counter or something. in any case, i never get to completely protect them from his carelessness as he will continue to be their dad and will have visitation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> all i can do it teach my kids that stuff can hurt them and how to stay safe.<br><br>
btw, i think i'm the dangerous one <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> because i totally had a beverage last night. i deserved it. i had to entertain some visitors (for work) and indulged in a very tasty beer at a local brewery. yum. then i went home and cuddled up with my boys while stbx went out for the night - perfect!
 

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I so hear you on them leaving things around carelessly! I battle that one too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ick!<br><br>
And yes, 3 was the age that DSD gave us the ultimate potty struggles. Not a fun time.<br><br>
Maybe a homebased dc or SAHM would be something to look into anyway, even you are not planning on leaving for awhile. If stbx isn't being consistent in being on board with PT it's going to take even longer.<br><br>
Maybe finding a nice caring SAHM home dc would help you meet your goals towards leaving and PT!<br><br>
I have my DD with a SAHM home dc and she will be helping with PT in the future. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> So it is part of the dc "curriculum" for some places. May be worth checking into since you are having troubles with stbx helping in this dept. anyway.
 

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whew! gotta love therapy.<br><br>
so, i told her that i am less wishy-washy and feeling a lot more certain that this is what needs to happen. she was like, "okay, so what do you need to do now?" and i talked about the potty situation. she pointed out that i have a 3-day weekend coming up (memorial day) and asked if i could make it 4. i said probably. so she said, "then you have four days to make it happen, and after that just say absolutely no diapers during the day, dh, don't screw this up for me." and that then i could send him to preschool because he's wearing undies and knows how to use the potty, and all 3yo boys have accidents. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> it makes me feel better to have a plan.<br><br>
then she asked what else, and i said, even though i've brought up the many tangible little things to him (not that they're insignificant, but i say "little" because they are not the true core issue) - that he really doesn't know what is truly wrong and why i would leave, and i don't know if i need to do that or how to do that or what to even say when i tell him it's over. she asked what that core issue is, and i said, "that he doesn't treat me with love and respect," and she said, "period. that's it. the surface manifestations of that are all things that could be fixed but it wouldn't really change anything, so you don't need to talk about all that stuff again. <b>he has deeply wounded your soul.</b>"<br><br>
then we made room for some of my sadness to come up (and i was very overwhelmed and surprised at how much there was/is) over what i thought he and i shared, that i'm losing. i guess, the sacrifices required in order for me to be free. maybe that stuff was never "real" but i still feel a loss of what i thought was there.<br><br>
ooh, one other thing. she explained why i've been going back and forth with my feelings (even after i've made up my mind what i want/need to do). she said when he's mad at me or not being nice, then it's easy to feel right about this. and when he's being sweet to me, that's when i feel sad about it, because that's what i'm losing. duh.<br><br>
then i went to my favorite beach (my town is on the shore of lake superior) and finally wrote my first entry in a journal i got for my birthday.<br><br>
i'm going out tonight. yippee!
 

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Your therapist sounds awesome. She really sounds like she gets it and she's helping you clarify your feelings.<br>
Good luck with the potty training. I'm actually going to try to potty train my kiddo this weekend, so I'll be thinking of you.
 

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I so relate to your feelings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Your therapist does sound awesome! I'm glad you had such a good session! I'm rooting for you!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 
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