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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, some of you may remember me from last fall, some are new. I guess I should re-intruduce myself, since I've been finding myself spending more and more time here.


After 15 years together, and 12 yrs of marriage, and 3 children, my loving husband has turned into someone I've never met, don't know and wouldn't look twice at if given the chance. It started last year when he deployed. He started drinking, heavily. Spending even more. I tried talking to him, etc....but I got ignored or worse, patronized. I started cutting off his financial access, he found money any way he could, including taking money from the kids' account. I finally lost all my patience, and cut him off after almost 3 weeks of no phone call and over $10,000 of spending, just in that three week period. He maxed our inflated credit limit credit card out, I sold his car and paid it down a small amount, and he maxed it back out within two weeks. So, then after I cut him off financially, he called, asking for a divorce. He wants out, blah blah blah. I refused to file for divorce, told him that if he wants a divorce, he can file himself. He did not. He called almost daily for a couple of weeks, begging me for a divorce; I refused. He called back, about a month after asking and said that he'd changed his mind, he wants me, he wants his family. he loves me. I believed him.


He did okay for a while, but still spending too much and drinking too much. He was scheduled to be home at the beginning of July, but the middle of June, he emailed and said that his homecoming would be delayed until the end of the month. No explaination, no nothing. He didn't call. He didn't answer emails. Nothing. I finally emailed him and said that whatever was bothering him wasn't going to get any easier by hiding from me. He called. He wanted a divorce. I, being the stupid, loving wife, said "Let's work this out when you get home, you've been away for over a year, this isn't the type of decision to make now" He finally confesses that he's been having an affair. Starting around the first part of June. So. I flip out. Scream some obsenities at him. Hang up the phone. Call my therapist.
I email him and tell him that we need to talk and he calls. We talk for over two hours. I basically gave him an ultimatum. I told him that he will commit to our family, to our marriage for a period of one year. He will go to counseling alone and with me. He will have no contact with this hussy for that year. *If* at the end of the year, we are not able to make it work, then I will go with him to file and I will do everything I can to make it peaceful. HOWEVER, if during that year, I decide I'm finished, he's out. And if he cannot commit to the year, or if he does not hold up his end of the arrangement, I will take him "to the cleaners". I have been holding this family together, keeping food on the table, taking care of our children....alone, while he's been drinking and partying and screwing this hussy. He doesn't have a leg to stand on in court and he knows it. The other thing I have in my corner is that she is military as well, and I can take them both down. This was over two weeks ago. I have not heard from him since. He is supposed to be here on Monday. I have no idea what time his flight is. The children are going NUTS wanting their father, adn I have no information to give them. I cannot just leave, I have no money. Besides, as long as we are married, he has to maintain a residence for us, so why would I pick up and take the kids from a home they are guaranteed until I have to? But I am beyond pissed. So, yesterday, I called the hotel on base since he already cleared his dorm room, ONLY because I wanted to get the flight information from him and they have no record of him He's staying in *her* dorm room. Okay, so truthfully, I don't KNOW where he's staying, but it's the only logical place. No one knows where he is. No one knows when he's coming in.

I am completely lost as to what to do. I want to prepare the kids, ages 7.5 (and thinks his dad walks on water), just turned 4 and totally in love with her dad, and almost 3, who talks about him DAILY, and just the other night was sobbing that she misses him. HOW do I prepare them for this? How? How could he do this? This year, he's gone from "I love my family, my family is everything, you are the most wonderful woman in the world, I'm so lucky to have you" to. "I hope you'll let me see the kids whenever I can" and "We're talkign about joint spousal assignments"
You're talking about MARRYING this little hussy, whom you've known for a few MONTHS????? You F*(#$&*# jackass...................did you FORGET you already HAVE a wife? And meanwhile, as always, I'm left holding the bag. I'm the one that's got to figure out what to tell the kids. I'm the one who who has kept us afloat financially this year. Me. He's done NOTHING but destroy our family . And here I am. I want to have a meltdown. I want to scream and cry and throw a fit. I want to live without any responsibility for a while. I want to spend money like it's water. I want to drink and party and act like I'm 21 again. But I'm not. I'm 35 and I have a family. I have a husband, jackass that he is. I have THREE CHILDREN who need me to be focused and confident that I can do this. And yet, I don't feel confident. I haven't worked in almost 8 yrs. We always wanted to give our kids the stability of mommy being home until they were all in school. I'm still nursing my almost 3 yr old; my 4 yr old just weaned a few months ago. WTF am I suppposed to do? I *still* have no idea when his flight is on MONDAY, and the kids are asking me Daily "when's Daddy coming home?"

Anyway, thanks for reading. Just needed to get a few things off my chest.
 

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Hi Teabag, I am only 19 so I dont have much experiance with things like this, I just wnated to send you a hug and i am sure some moms here would have great advice. I am so sorry for you and your kids.

Kaitlin
 

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I'm sorry mama
He sounds like he's being really selfish and irresponsible. I can't believe he just spent the family's finances down like that, twice! I hope if you do end up getting divorced that you are not held liable for all of that money. Feel free to vent anytime you need to. I'm sure there are a few mamas who have been through the same thing you are going through right now.
 

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Sometimes you remind me so much of myself. So please don't take this the wrong way!

I needed to see that there was NO way to save my 1st marriage. I NEEDED to have my x be such a jerk, that there was NO WAY to continue to convince myself to remain with him. His abuse of me wasn't enough. His alcoholism and cheating weren't enough. I had to sink to a point so low, that I thought there was no coming back, I had to think about death before I could see that I was worth MORE than the life I was living.

My x now has 7 kids (that I know of) in three states with 4 women. My dd is 27 and he STILL owes back child support for her! He cheaated on me with a girl who was 15, and got her pregnant 3 times before her parents caught on. He was a bum, but he was MY bum and I was totally committed to our family, our relationship.

I was terrified to leave him. Where would I go? How would we survive? I was unemployed and would have to go on welfare. I was determined NOT to leave my dd in daycare. (she would have done poorly)

Believe me, the pain of leaving him was well worth the results!

Although at teh time it seemed to take forever, in reality it was only 4 years later that I was marrying the real mr Right! Four short years, in retrospect, though it was a lifetime then.

I collected welfare, babysat, took in foster kids, eventually got section 8 help with my rent, got a job, and opened a daycare. I adopted a son, one of the few single parent adoptions in my state. I overcame.

And you will too!

Tell your kids that Daddy is having some problems right now. That he loves them but you aren't sure when exactly he'll be home. Expect this to cause them some pain, it's unavoidable. But try to let them know that NO MATTER WHAT, YOU will ALWAYS be there.

Contact him,(when you can) tell him his kids need to see him. Have him take the kids OUT. Do not try to join in the visit, it will make it too awkward. (Only if he can be trusted with the kids)

Tell him if he wants a divorce, to file for it. Demand YOUR OWN LAWYER. (learn from my mistake, we 'shared' one. BIG mistake!) I refused to go for a no-fault divorce, and insisted on cruel and abusive. All those beatings were not being swept under the carpet. But I wouldn't recommend fighting to stay married. What's the point? The sooner you move on, the sooner you can find your own happiness.

Think ahead. THink about your own place, your own money, control over your destiny. (I'm a control-freak!) Think about creating the kind of home YOU want. Focus on how your life and your kids lives will improve without this going on all the time. Let his girl friend have him. She's about to learn a very painful lesson. What he did to you for her, he'll do to her for the next woman.

Get your name off those credit cards and make sure HE is responsible in the divorce for paying them off. start getting new credit cards in your own name only so that you can have your own credit.

As much as possible, grieve, and then look forward to this new chapter in your life. Fantastic, wonderful things are waiting to happen to YOU! He's dragging you down, holding you back, and you are ready to soar. Your kids will learn to soar when you do. They'll find their way, and although it's a painful journey, it's better than this.

Know that you have friends here, and a support system and that you aren't alone.

 

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: I'm so sorry to hear of what you're going through. I think Red had a ton of great advice!!! She sounds like a very knowledgeable, strong woman
. Have you contacted his commanding officer? Or JAG? With them both being in the military, they're in some serious trouble!!! The military is extremely against that type of behavior. My best friend's husband is Army and they have been in for a very long time.... she fills me in on everything. You're in our prayers. Stay strong for yourself and your kids. I know they think he walks on water now, but unfortunately when they get older, they'll realize who was the glue that held the family together, and it won't be him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, Everyone
I'm still somewhat in denial; I received an email from him yesterday afternoon with his flight information (and of course, asking for more $$


I guess for me, the most difficult aspect of this is that we had a great life. We had wonderful communication, identical parenting styles, great sex life. We had our share of disagreements, of course, but they were few and far between. We shared *everything*. We didn't have any major problems; hell, we didn't have any real problems to speak of. It's heartbreaking and has shaken me down to my soul. HOW can this man have changed so much? HOW? Was he faking with me all those years? Did something happen that I'm not aware of? WTF happened to change him? *I* haven't changed, other than to become stronger and more confident in this last year, HE has changed. He's not the same person he was just one year ago. How is that possible? How can I ever be sure of anything again?

Now, I know that this isn't about *me*. I know that it's not "my fault" or anythign like that. I know this is something inside of him, but I cannot understand how I could have been so fooled by him. It's not like he was ever abusive, ever sneaky, nothing. He was very focused on our family, our marriage, our lives together. I would honestly and truthfully tell people that I had "The Man of my Dreams". And he said the same things about me. So, what? Was it all a lie? Did something happen? Is this the real him or is he going to wake up? What?

Not that I'm going to sit around and wait for him. I really cannot leave him right now, but I'm getting things ready. I don't know yet where we will go or what I'll do to support us, but I am worth so much more than this. I do deserve so much more, and I will not tolerate being treated like a second class citizen. BUT, there's this little voice inside me, sometimes she's quiet adn sometimes she's SCREAMING "Why why why why why why why?????" And it's hard to silence her, even knowing that I may never know or understand his change of heart, I've lost my soulmate, my best friend, the father of my children. I've lost him. and I have no idea why or how.
 

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I couldn't pass by without replying...

s: what a tough time!! Do you think he's having some mental issues? I am serious, not making light of mental health problems. This just seems like a huge change, and I really wonder if there's something going on. Can you request that he get a mental health eval? I mean, I think it's a fair request, given his behavior, and can only benefit BOTH of you.

Can PTSD cause/contribute to big personality changes? Is PTSD a possibility for him?

I hope you are able to find some peace, and stay strong.

Kinsey
 

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Teabag:

Two things:

1. You will get a job. You will get a good job and support your family, and even though it'll be exhausting it'll be a good kind of exhausting, a road-race exhausting, not the freakout mindgame exhausting you've lived with for the last year. And it will feel so much better you won't believe it.

I'll be 38 soon, and I'd been home for nearly 3 years before stbx filed (last month -- I finally got the papers today), with the exception of a couple short stints. I live in a college town stuffed with overeducated, hardworking people. Before I married, I'd been a writer working odd jobs for over 10 years, never really making enough to live on, so I assumed divorce would mean dd and me in a crappy little place. In retrospect i seriously underestimated myself; I'm working for $20-35/hr now, and suspect I'll do fine taking care of dd & writing, and in better style than I ever kept myself. Am I tired? Sure. But it's the best tired I've been in a long, long time. I also feel more like myself than I have in years.

You'll do better than you think. If you want a boost, I'd recommend Ann Crittenden's book on how fantastically capable SAHMs are, and why employers need them.

2. This may not sink in right now, but freakout-mindgame-exhausting can wreck your health, and you're very lucky to be getting out after only a year of it. You have that much more strength to pick up and carry on. As staggering a blow as the divorce is, I still think this is the biggest present stbx ever gave me. Four years of trying to prop him up was four years too many, and I expect he'd agree with that.

3. About whatever happened to your husband...there's just nothing you can do, and it won't un-happen. I'm sure therapists are telling you that, but it can take a godawful long time to sink in. You sure won't get thanks for trying to help him through anything; I learned that the hard way. Think of it instead as a natural disaster. Find comfort in prayer if that helps. Or exercise, or work, or whatever. But separate yourself from it as best you can. Better for you & the kids that you just let go and focus on pulling your sunshine back together. If he straightens himself out -- and that's a very big if -- it's something he'll do apart from you, and if he succeeds, he'll still come back as a different person.

This may sound over-dramatic, but you might want to consider reading about how people grieve & mourn, & the way in which the realities hit in small shocks. I think you know you're doing well when the shocks are small -- when they're disorienting & cause grief, but you're still eating, still working, still able to enjoy small comforts. If you have good support that lets you get enough sleep, great. If not, though, one of the practical things you can do is line up lots and lots of overnight childcare.

And just telling the story can help. I'm finding that, as crazy as my own divorce/stbx story is, I've now told it so many times that it's boring the pants off me, and I'm getting ready to leave it behind.

I also keep a journal for my daughter. It's about all sorts of things, how/who she is, what we're doing, etc., but I'm also putting some divorce things in there so that she has some idea, when she's grown, of at least one side of what was going on. Because it involves her father, I'm definitely filtering and softening things, but I often find that just writing to her in that measured way makes me look at the situation in a saner & more "I can do this" light.

Keep on posting --
 

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it sounds like to me you are starting the grieving process ... and that is a healthy, smart thing to do, albeit very painful. you will tell your kids what they need to know when they ask you. i used to just say mommy and daddy will not be living together anymore and added more bits and pieces as they got older.

you will be able to do this.
thinking of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you so much everyone. It does help to read other's stories and know there's a light at the end of this tunnel. He flies in tomorrow. He finally emailed and gave me his flight information. How much fun would it be to *not* be there like he's expecting?
But, this "homecoming" is for the kids and I will not be party to their being hurt. I am sure that this coming couple of weeks, I will be in and out a lot, we will have lots to figure out and not much time as the movers arrive on the 9th.
: I alternate between being so furious I want to scream and almost, dare I say it, relieved that this is all coming to an end; one way or the other, I will know what's going on within the next several days. Right now, the thing that has me in most panic is that he said last time we spoke that he wants joint custody. I cannot imagine being away from my babies for a weekend, much less for a week or so at a time.
And my little nursling will not take kindly to that, so hopefully, we can reach a reasonable agreement.

Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts.
 

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Good luck mama
Sending you strength to get through this.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mama40
Tand even though it'll be exhausting it'll be a good kind of exhausting, a road-race exhausting, not the freakout mindgame exhausting you've lived with
OMG
*ligh bulb*
That's it.
Sorry to poke my nose in, but that was brilliant. That completely explains why I'm getting out of this marriage. And it really has been dragging me down healthwise over the years. I hadn't noticed but it scared my family.
 

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teabag, the joint-custody thing is likely lawyer/gf-driven, and I think at this point it's mostly a tactical thing to psych out the moms. I have serious trouble believing all these dads want joint custody. (It'll force a revolution at work if they get it, boy.) My stbx's lawyer told him to go for it, too, no doubt because it vastly reduces any support he'd pay. Of course...I'm also pretty sure he hasn't told his lawyer that he's got a disabling mental illness. While it's a giant PITA because of the documenting you need to do to show yourself the primary parent, I think it's more a bogeyman in the closet than anything else, the replacement for support/college threats.

The courts, afaics, aren't too keen on guys who vanish for weeks while partying it up with another woman. Given his previous level of involvement and his personality change, I'd get the best lawyer you can't afford, go for the psych evals, and try to show just the picture you've painted here -- a man who might have been a wonderful father once, but has booze probs & maybe more now.

Meantime, as hard as it may be, do your best to make peace with a scenario in which he does get joint. Think about how you could help your kids in such a situation. Not so that you can lay down and let it happen, but so you're not working from a point of being desperate or terrified.
 
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