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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this will probably be very long and dramatic, but if anyone can stand it i would really appreciate some feedback.

We have been together for 6 yrs. I got preg 3 months after we met. I asked him to get married, but he refused b/c he "doesn't believe in signing a contract with a god and government he doesn't believe in." We were so poor we lived in our van for the first 3 yrs we were together. He is an artist and absolutely refused to get a job so we could live in a house, so we did tour (following bands, selling his art in the parking lot at the shows) for a long time.
Then when we finally did get a house in jan 2003 we had to move out after only 2 months of living there b/c he couldn't keep up the rent, and we had to go back to the van and more tour (meanwhile he refuses to live in an apartment which we could have easily afforded or even to get help from TANF or something). We got along pretty well until that happened, but not even being willing to get a job so we could keep the house we did finally get was just more than i could stand. i suppose its just been going downhill since.
When our house/van broke down in summer 2003 and we got stuck in TN, things got way out of hand and we had our first physical fight. I have always been kind of a "tough cookie", so i didn't really think this meant i should leave him as it was "only" a little shoving match (in front of our then 2 yr old dd).
That fall we got another house, but things didn't get any better. i tried to break up with him in spring of 2003, but i got pregnant in the middle of it. Of course that was super stressful, and he didn't even believe it was his ( i found this out 2 months after she was born). a couple weeks after i found out i was preg again, i bought a part for my broken laptop and when the new part didn't fix it he threw my laptop across the room and pieces flew everywhere, hitting me in the head and just barely missing dd who was sitting on the floor doing a puzzle with me. i freak out and told him was way out of line, etc and it turned physical again. this time i tried to leave the house with dd in arms and he blocked my way and chased me around the house and ended up knocking me and her down and trying to choke me. When i finally got up i locked us in her room (the only room with alock on the door as he had taken my car keys) I called my father, whos a cop, thinking he would come get us and help me, but he just told me that our problem was that we weren't married and that this kind of thing was normal and he had no room for me and dd in his 3br 3 ba condo.

I was so embarassed and ashamed that i had let this happen to me that i didn't tell anyone else and just accepted what my father said. I decided i at least had to stay with him until the new baby was old enough to go to daycare (done nursing) so i could get a job/ go back to school and leave (since he makes so little $$, so even if i took him to court for child support he wouldn't have anything to give me. We moved back to the west coast a few months later (my idea) and he announced that 2 weeks after the baby was due he would be leaving on business and would be gone for about 1 month. This of course broke my heart. Fortunately she was born a bit early, so she was almost a month old when he left me there with her and our 3 yr old and a couple hundred bucks. When he came back he demanded to know who i was f-ing and whos child she really was. After i somehow proved to him that she is actually his things mellowed out a bit.
But he is still making hardly any money, as in we can barely eat or pay rent (and since he grew up poor he is ok with this, and i am a golddigger for not being ok with this). I finally convinced him to allow me to get SS #'s for the kids so we could get foodstamps etc and that made things a bit easier.

But he is just really hard to get along with (i'm sure i don't need to say that at this point). He is very negative and a big complainer. He nit-picks everything and everyone. No one does anything as good as he does and he is very into conspiracy theories etc and will go on and on complaining and being paranoid for hours. He gets in these funks where he will sit in his studio for hours fiddling with this or that, mostly on the computer, completely ignoring me and the kids. And forget about doing anything with them, he has changed less than 10 diapers ever and has never once taken either one of them to the park or anything. He does absolutely nothing around the house- i cook, clean, launder, do everything for the kids, bring out the trash, and since i won't mow the lawn he actually has the gaul to pay someone $20 to come mow for him when we can't even buy our kids new shoes when they outgrow theirs! I recently found out that most of our friends haven't come over to our house in months b/c no one wants to hangout while he ridicules our other friends and complains for hours on end, it brings them down too much. so me and my girls suffer and have no one to hang out with (we, of course, don't have a car so i can't get to most of their houses). He leaves messes allover the house and expects me clean them up and he will throw away entire plates of food b/c he doesn't like it or isnt' hungry . I am expected to do all the kid/house stuff b/c he does all the money making, but he doesn't even make any money and i have no choice but to uphold my end of this "deal." he works for 12 hours at a time, sometimes more, while i am left to deal with everything else, and he often will go for a month or more and not sell a single thing!

So anyway, this past winter our car broke down (instead of fixing it he made me freecycle it) and we were on bikes and using a trailer and 2 days after christmas some neighborhood tweaker stole the bike trailer which was the only way i had to get dd to pre-k or go grocery shopping or anything. I called the cops and they told me there was nothing they could do, so i lost my temper and went off on them. I had gone into his studio to use the phone and shut the door behind me to keep the kids out b/c i knew i was going to start flipping out. Well, midway through he opens the door and lets the kids in! I ran out of the room and into my br where i again closed the door and he followed me with the kids and came into the room and started trying to restrain me etc (in front of the kids). he knocked me down etc and i didn't kow what to do so i went to my neighbors house. the neighbors daughter called the cops and they came to my house. I told a couple friends about what happened, but not my family.

Then 2 months later we got into a big fight about money etc and i told him he didn't work hard enough and he was holding the baby and came into the kitchen and slapped me twice. I've never hit him (or anyone) but after he slapped me he got in my face and started saying "go ahead hit me you know you want to do it hit me" over and over and i snapped and i did hit him about 6 times and then i tried to get the baby away from him b/c i couldn't beleive what he had just (essentially) made me do and done to me. WHen i tried to get her away from him he would not let go of her and headbutted me "to subdue me" and ended up breaking my nose!!! I didn't know what to do having never even had a bloody nose before, so i had to have him come help me. OUr older dd wasn't in the house when this all went down, but she came in when i was sitting there with my bloody broken nose and i had to tell her that "mommy hit her head on the cabinet" (not b/c he made me but b/c i couldn't stand to tell her the truth).
He made a real big fuss about apologizing to me and made me a beautiful peice of jewelry to try to make up (i can't even stand to wear it b/c i just feel so weird with it on). I told my mother and a couple of my friends what happened, but since i live 3000 miles away there was nothing my mother could do. and since he was so remorseful i decided to try to forgive him. We actually got along pretty good after that happened (which really freaks me out) prolly mostly b/c i was trying so desperately to forgive him and get over it.
Then in may he asked me to marry him and i told him not likely but that i would think about it. So since may i have been a) trying to get over the nose breaking thing and b) trying to figure out how to tell him no and what i would do when he inevitably told me to leave. he has been "trying" to be more helpful around the house and with the kids and not hide out so much in his studio etc, but its just not enough. His idea of helping with the kids is only making me take one of them with me when i ride my bike to go run errands and he totally ignores the other one while i'm gone. He still doesn't cook or clean anything and is still totally negative and angry all the time.
I finally convinced him to look for a real job and he started to but then he had to learn to write a resume and buy a new program for the computer so he could type it up and blah blah blah. that was in june. I finally convinced him to allow me to get a job (previously he wouldn't watch the kids while i worked, and wouldn't allow them to be put in daycare) but every job i find he has some problem with (and i don't really trust leaving the kids with him anyway b/c he'll either ignore them the whole time or just be mean to them).
A few weeks ago, the day after dds bday he finds out that his friend from his hometown killed himselfand he decided he had to get on a bus to his hometown to go to the funeral. Meanwhile, in the entire 6 yrs we've been together and the months upon months we have spent in his hometown, i have never once met this kid. he's never talked about him excpet to say that the kid was so crazy he had to be institutionalized, and the one time he called us, he totally blew him off on the phone and wouldn't even talk to him. And now here he is borrowing $400 from his friends to go to the funeral. Meanwhile, i havent seen any of my friends and most of my family (who i was very close to once upon a time) in a minimum of 4 yrs.

And to top it all off a few months a go i found out he was checking my email b/c "i don't tell him anything" (why the hell would i?) i told him i didn't like that, it was creepy and stalkery and he had to stop and he said he wouldn't. so, i changed my password and my secret question (he knew the answer to it). Well, the night he left on his trip i tried to copy and paste something on the comp and this 5 page letter i had written my bestfriend showed up. so i now know he's figure out my password again and is still checking my email. so, i tried to change the password again and spelled it wrong both times ( prolly b/c i was so pissed) and since i changed my question to something random he couldn't figure out (and i can't remember) I have now lost the email account i have had for 7 yrs and all the contact info i have for the majority of my friends and relatives, some which is irreplaceable.
So, to make up to me for going out there to the funeral he has offered to fly me out to my hometown (with the kids) to visit my family and friends (i am on this trip now). I told him i didn't think i wanted to come back and basically broke up with him. he has now had time to think and has talked to his parents etc. and he realized that he has a big anger problem (his dad has a history of being a real pr*ck and hitting his mom, but hey, now that he's on mood stabilizers everything is hunky dory!) and he needs to see a counselor. And that he should have got a job in the first place and just dropped his stupid pride. And various other things that are really great and cool.
He is now saying that he is a) willing to really get a job "i'll get three jobs of i have to" b) see a counselor for his issues c) allow me to get a job. I told him that i want him to do all that while i am not living with him and he says that he won't do any of it if i don't go back to him. b/c he is doing it for me and needs me to support him . He says that if i don't he will move back to his hometown (which is 2000 miles from where we currently live). HE says that he is willing to cook and clean and etc and will "even" sleep in his studio if he has to.

Its so hard for me to know what to do. i really do love him , but i deffintely don't like him. I just have so much resentment built up toward him and while i don't want to be living in the past, i just can't seem to let it go, should i let it go? I feel like by staying with him i am setting a terrible example for my daughters and i told him that and he agrees with me! But at the sametime i don't want to break up our family (my parents divorced when i was really young and my mother started drinking and being abusive and never remarried and basically ruined her life, and i am so afraid the samething will happen to me).

i hate to think of my girls seeing their dad only on weekends (or less) even if he is kind of a jerk. if i could start school next month i would deffinitely leave him, but i can't go back to school until january and so i would have to do the tanf thing (which means i would be living in low income apartments which really scares me) and i would have to find some lame minimum wage job. And since he doesn't have any $$ that would be all the money i would have.

I just want things to work out with us, but a large part of me wants to just walk away. He says if after a few months of therapy things don't start getting better i can leave and he'll understand, but it may take him that long to find a job and with how big of a problem he has i don't see therapy doing very much in just a couple months. I feel like if i leave him even though he is willing to do all this stuff i am not really giving the relationship a full chance. But it just gets harder and harder to remember the good times. My friends all tell me to leave him, my mother tells me to leave him, and i haven't talked to anyone else about it (after what my dad told me last time i am afraid to even tell him whats going on b/c i'm so scared he'll just say something stupid like "you should have got married" again), but its just so hard. Where i grew up the girl who stays with the guy who hits her is "stupid and weak" and i have always felt that way, but here i am and i feel like a deer in headlights (where he grew up this is normal and pretty much accepted). I don't expect you all to solve my problems here, but any ideas, anyone with a similar experience (it seems doubtful anyone on here would have a similiar experience) anything would be helpful. I can't believe i am seriously considering going back to him, but i am. i feel like an idiot. Am i crazy?
 

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I'll admit, I had to skim your post because it's hard to read such huge blocks. BUt I do see that your husband has a history of harming you, hurting you, making you bleed. And that he has done these things in the presence of your children at least once. And that you're thinking about reconciling with him.

You're not crazy, you're in a very difficult and unfortunate situation. But you can't go back to him. Now that you've thought it through and articulated it here, really, can you go back to him? I don't think so.

Ask any adult who grew up with domestic violence if they're glad their parents stayed together. The answer is going to be "no."

My daughter's name is Aurora too.
And I also would deck any man who tried to harm her. So you and I have that in common. What you've got to see is that your husband IS harming your daughters, not just you. So act accordingly--well, don't deck him. Heh. Just don't go back to him. Keep him away from your babies as much as you possibly can.

I live in OR and know a woman who works with DV survivors, if you need help finding resources I can see about putting you and her in touch with each other. PM me if need be.
 

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Ask yourself this question. Would you want your own daughters in this type of relationship when they are grown? Of course not. So why should you be? And why should you be setting this type of example for your daughters? Kids learn from their parents what marriage is. This is not a healthy relationship at all.

You've already done the hardest part which is leaving. Also, how can low income apartments be scarier than living in a van with a baby?
 

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Unsafe environment for children. I would highly recommend outside help. Domestic violence agencies can provide loads of information, resources, counseling, housing.
 

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I was in a emotionally abusive relationship with my dd's dad. I stuck it out from age 20-24. There were
many periods of bad then good to make up for the bad. When I found out I was pregnant he reverted
to a worse version of his bad self. I told him I couldn't handle it, he told me it was because I was weak
and looking for a "perfect" relationship. I told him I wanted out of the relationship and he said I "was
trapped because I was pregnant with his child". For some reason I dealt with all his BS. When I found
out dd was on her way there was no way in hell I was going to allow her to deal with this day to day. I
don't know why I didn't think I deserved to be treated better, but I KNEW my dd deserved better.

I have been single since before dd was born. I left the relationship. I never looked back. If I had a crystal
ball every time he said he would change, and I saw a man my dd could be proud of, I might have gone
back. Problem is I don't own a crystal ball, and my dd's stability is far more important than every taking
the chance with him again.

Please don't take offense but your post is unbearably long. Which leads me to wish and pray that you
will please get some therapy. This I believe could be the most important step for you right now. Look up
in the local phone book, and search for a place that is free or low cost and talk all this out.

I had to mourn the life that I imagined as a child. Mama, Papa, and child all under
one roof, one loving family. This was really hard. But not nearly as hard as the life
I imagine I would have if I would have stayed in a relationship where I wasn't respected.
 

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Don't go back to him yet, mama. If he is serious about making changes he will make them when you are not living with him. As far as I am concerned, him demanding that you come back before he makes changes is a manipulation. And he may very well change his mind about letting you leave after a few months.

You ARE giving him a chance to reform. You are not jumping into another relationship, right? You are willing to wait where you're at to see how he does, right? But you don't have to be living with him during this time.

Definitely talk to DV professionals before you make any decisions!!!
 

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I read the whole thing. It's horrifying.

You deserve better, and it doesn't sound to me like he's in any place to offer it to you, probably ever. Throwing food that you can't afford? Hitting you? Stalking your email accounts?

As you say, a few months of therapy can't cure what ails this guy.

Refusing to get SSNs for your kids so you can get aid to FEED them? None of this is safe for you, for your girls, or even for him.

No. Just, no. A lame minimum wage job and a low-income apartment represents a lot more freedom than you've got right now, it sounds like. And a lot more safety, too.

January is closer than you think.

Please, please don't go back to this guy. He's unstable and unsafe in so many ways... It sounds like you are afraid of striking out on your own, which is a valid fear, but the risks you and your DDs are facing right now, living with this man, are so much more awful than that.
 

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Oh Mama, what a hard time you have had.

Please, please do not go back. Think of it this way: would you counsel a friend to stay in your situation? It will never get better. He is not motivated from the inside to change, it is the idea that you are gone that makes him make the promises to you. He will not keep them. The violence will escalate further (if you read your post you will see that the violence did escalate to a something terrible and awful.

You need to get strong on your own, and you will find sweet happiness. You need to get in touch with a shelter or women's counselling service and begin your journey.

If you read about the typical pattern of domestic violence, your story hits all the typical phases and events. Please Mama, your children deserve peace and safety, and you do too.
 

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It is one thing to accept a life of violence for yourself.
It is wrong and unfair for you to accept a life of violence for your children.

You need to build a new life without him, that does not include him. ((hugs))
He really is dangerous- and his plans and promises to do better seem very empty.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
http://ndvh.org
1.800.799.SAFE
1.800.799.7233
 

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Please don't consider going back. He's promising you the sun and the moon right now in order to get you back in his control. Right now you're out of his control, and that terrifies him. He wants you back physically, and he'll promise you anything he thinks you want in order to achieve that goal, but I sincerely doubt he has any intention of following through on any promise. Please, for yourself and your daughters, do not go back. If you do, expect the level of control and violence to escalate as he tries to ensure you never attempt to leave him again.
:

TANF, low income housing, crappy low wage job, etc., are all better than you and your kids being abused mentally and physically.

 

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I read the whole post, Please DON'T go back. Don't let your girls watch you be treated this way. You don't deserve any of it.

Stay strong.
 

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I read the whole thing too. Don't go back. One day he will hurt one of your girls. Like a pp said, he is just trying to get you back in his control. You and your girls deserve better than that.
 

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Please go directly to the Surviving Abuse forum: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...play.php?f=328

You have enough time and posts. These women have been where you are. They can understand and help you.

I haven't read the whole post or all of the responses. But, this is what I would do first. Well, second after making sure my child and I were safe.

Pat
 

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I saw that you posted in several forums. It sounds like you are ambivalent and are wanting help to make this decision. I don't know if you are seeking permission. You have it unconditionally. Or if you are seeking strategies. If you need specific help with *how* to live without him, we could help with ideas about finances, shelter, support, etc. If you need specific help with how to live with him, then you are going to need one-on-one support to change your own way of interacting with him. We can only change ourselves. In no way am I blaming or saying that you are responsible for his actions. I am saying that you can choose to be in the relationship, or not. You CAN NOT CHANGE him. I wish you could. Just as he doesn't have the authority to control you, nor do you have it to make him change. He must choose to change. Not just *want* to change. Or say he wants to change, or say he "will" change. Can he be different than he is without one-on-one counselling? Can you AND your children be safe and healthy with him as he is? (not just physcially, but emotionally and psychologically without FEAR) I find it difficult to be the parent and partner I want to be without support and counselling, and I don't have the history that you have to overcome. Or that he has to overcome.

I don't know the answer for another. I know it sounds hard no matter what.

Pat
 

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Stay away from him. Your girls deserve better. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks for your words mamas. I know i should just leave. I feel like need to point out that the times it has gotten physical have been only the times i listed. 4 times, its not an everyday thing. What i really want to do is go back to our town and live seperately from him while he gets couselling to work on his problems. I know i need counselling to help me move on, etc. but in our financial situaiton i think he needs it more than i do (as his problem harms others and mine is more of a "me" thing). i didn't know about the resources out there to help with that, i will look in to it. Its so weird b/c even though all this has happened i do still love him and even if we don't get back together i want to be his friend b/c he is deep down inside a really great person. Thats probably what has allowed me to stay with him as long as i have. After growing up with my mother as such a horrible example of a what single motherhood can be, it is really really scary for me to go there, but i know i have to be strong for my girls. Does anyone think counselling will really help him?

PS- i will go back and do some editing on my OP. i'm sure its pretty crazy! LOL I was raised to be all about "saving face" so i haven't really talked about this very much and it all just kind of spilled out. thanks for bearing with me.

carolynmarrilyn- where can i find something on the typical patterns of DV? I would really like to read that and share it with him, just so he knows it is as bad as i say it is and i do really need to leave him (I want him to see the path he is going down).

edited to add: i followed the link to the surrviving abuse forum and it won't let me in, what do i have to do to gain access?
 

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He is not going to change. He has physically harmed you FOUR TIMES- often in front of your children. You need to leave. He doesn't deserve contact with you and you are too important to live this way.

There's a link to the national domestic violence hotline below. Please call. Do not go back. You and your girls deserve so much better!
http://www.ndvh.org/
 

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Mama, four times is four times too many. What he's saying and promising right now is classic, exactly what an abusive partner does to get someone back under his control. If he were seriously intending to mend his ways, he'd be doing it now, with or without you, because the changes he needs to make aren't about you, it's about him.

I haven't seen this brought up yet, but there's another reason you need to not go back to him: Your girls. If you go back to him, you are endangering your children. If social services were to get involved at that point instead of now, when you're trying to leave, they would have serious -- and quite warranted -- questions about putting your children in a neglectful and abusive situation. Your girls deserve to have you in their lives, and that means you need to make the smart decision now. Contact a DV helpline and get the help and support you both need and deserve. He's a grown man; he doesn't (or shouldn't) need you to take care of him and protect him the way your girls need you to. Unfortunately, your girls really need you to protect them from HIM.
 

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please do NOT go back for any reason.
get the support you need to keep you AWAY from this man ... call your women's shelters for support - they usually have support groups or counsellors who can help you.

you deserve so much better ... but your little girls do not deserve to see their daddy beat up their mom


 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oregonicmama
where can i find something on the typical patterns of DV? I would really like to read that and share it with him, just so he knows it is as bad as i say it is and i do really need to leave him (I want him to see the path he is going down).
One of the hardest parts of leaving him is accepting that you can't "get him to see" anything. He's never going to give you permission to leave him.

As long as you hold on to the need to get him to understand, you have an excuse to continue to engage with him. A part of you needs him to understand why you are leaving. Let go of that need for him to understand. YOU are the only one that needs to know why you are leaving.
 
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