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FreeSpirited

Doubting Myself

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FreeSpirited

I was feeling really low and starting to hate myself earlier this week.  Feeling like I was the problem and that maybe I shouldn’t be so emotional. I hate that I got to that point - spiraling. That I’m not strong enough. I don’t even know what “strong enough” means, only that I feel like that’s what I should be without faltering. I’ve just told my husband for the second time this past Sunday (First time in Oct. 2017) that I wanted a divorce. It felt like I was at ground zero and we were having the conversation for the first time. That, no - counseling was not an option. No, he cannot “try for both of us”.  I started to worry that maybe I have some sort of personality disorder. That maybe I was the problem. That maybe, I just can’t be happy with what I have. 

I came to this blog on the recommendation of my manager, who found a lot of solace and comfort when going through her divorce.  I will admit that reading everyone’s story helps me to not be shaken from getting a divorce myself but I do wonder if I truly am in an abusive relationship. So …what’s my story?

I met my husband about 8.5 years ago. He was romantic and swept me off my feet at 27 years old, him at 36. We were engaged and married within a year. Over that time he was always kind and put me on this weird peddle stool I never wanted to be on …I was his perfect thing. But he betrayed me as a partner along the way. 

  • He told me a week before I delivered our daughter (a pregnancy we planned together and picked out names even before trying to conceive) that he never wanted a child. That he went along with it because I wanted it and he didn't actually think he was fertile. 
  • He hated being a dad for the first 3 years, admitted it in marriage counseling. Being resentful of everything she stood for. (He has since changed his stance and now seems to revel(?) in his dad-hood with our daughter)
  • He let his mother treat me horribly and would get angry at me for “rocking the boat”.  (I figured this type of thing was normal, bad Mother-In-Laws and such.)
  • He cheated on me with a girl in her mid-twenties. 
  • He would defend other women that seemed to have an affinity to him and they would out-right be hateful to me.  I still think he cheated on me with them because of his reaction when I said I didn't like how they treated me. How angry he got, it was very much the same reaction when I found out about the girl he cheated on me with. Ultimately my grievance to him was that it was not acceptable behavior for those women to have towards me. That he cannot defend it.
  • And, now, within the last 4 months, I find out he has put us a quarter of a million in debt …with 20 new credit cards. 

It scares me that he can hide so much from me. Lie to me to easily. I worry he is going to position himself as someone who makes little to no money going into this divorce. He mentioned in our talk recently that we need to be mindful/flexible about his schedule going forward when it comes to custody of our child, as he wants to pick up more classes (He’s taking one class now as he wants to change his career path). He stated that one of the businesses he is a partner in had the rent go up in the building so … really he’s not sure how much money he is going to be bringing in.  I feel dumb for not being more involved with the finances. Not digging more earlier on. 

 

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percolate

(((FreeSpirited)))

Your husband definitely sounds abusive.  They can be quite charming early on-otherwise we'd never fall for them or put up with their behavior.

You need to talk to a lawyer to find out your rights in terms of custody, visitation and to prevent him from accruing more debt.  

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FreeSpirited

(((Percolate))) Maybe my hestitation in thinking he's abusive is that ... I don't want to think of myself as abused. My first reaction is to tell you how wonderful he is typically, messed up right? But no matter what, I know deep down I don't want to be with him. That I know I'd rather be alone for the rest of my life than stay married. 

I have talked to a lawyer. For the debt, I shouldn't be held accountable if I was unaware but I do have to document that. Which I have with text messages and just trying my best to write things down when they happen with a date. The lawyer seems to think that I would have a case, if he pushes back on it.

As for custody, I don't think he's a bad father and I wouldn't want to take her away from him. For California, split custody is pretty standard and what I'd be pushing for.

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Curly

FreeSpirited there is no shame in being abused. The shame belongs 100% with the person who has chosen to abuse.

I think it would also be a good idea to contact your local domestic violence services as they should be aware of local laws and also any resources or services available to you.

Being unhappy and no longer wanting to be there is enough justification for leaving. If trust is gone there isn't much left and it certainly sounds like he has been lying to you about what he has been doing.

Abusers like to have you doubting yourself. From my experience the people who wonder if they are the one at fault are generally not. Abusers are not in to introspection and tend to see themselves as not needing to change.

As to counselling. Please don't do it with an abuser. It does not work and will generally only make things worse. A counsellor that has a good understanding of the dynamics of abusive relationships should refuse to counsel you as a couple and one with no understanding will likely incorrectly lay at least 50% of the blame on the victim. You may gain some advantage from counselling for yourself as it can certainly help you sort out your thoughts and free yourself from abuse.

Your husband is unlikely to change. He is unlikely to see any reason to.

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Fluffyflea

Your husband is an abuser.

Everything you describe is unacceptable behaviour on his part.

 

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Bennu

I'm glad that you found us, and sorry that he found you. Some of them are really good at seeming wonderful at first. We hate to believe that we were able to be so deceived, but when they are so good, it is nothing to be ashamed of.

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percolate
21 hours ago, FreeSpirited said:

 

As for custody, I don't think he's a bad father and I wouldn't want to take her away from him. For California, split custody is pretty standard and what I'd be pushing for.

Split custody is pretty standard in most states.  Try to get as much detail as possible written into your divorce agreement.  Abusers will fight over every little thing and make your life miserable when you have a child.  They'll also try to bend rules, avoid meeting the terms of the agreement, etc. 

Think about how you're going to split health insurance costs, extra-curricular activities, SAT and other college exam costs, and when will you re-evaluate a visitation schedule.  Kids needs change dramatically as they mature and the schedule that works with young children is totally inappropriate for teens who have sports, band, social activities, jobs etc. that may take place on weekends or interfere with visitation time with their father.

I agree with Curly's recommendation about consulting your local domestic violence center-you don't have to be physically abused to use their services.  They've very familiar with verbal abuse.  

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AZ-home

FreeSpirited,

If the trust is gone, you have nothing. Learning you have been emotionally abused IS a big pill to swallow. It doesn’t mean you are a weak person. It tends to happen to kind people and I think kindness is an amazing strength to have. It just got exploited through no fault of your own. So, it happened. There is strength in knowing. There are tons if resources out there to help you deal with this. 

I have a chronic illness.  for 10 years I  struggled to get a diagnosis. Meanwhile I was starting to think I was just crazy. When I finally got diagnosed and knew what I had, there were preventative medicines to take, foods to eat/avoid and all kinds of resources to help me stay healthy and well. Since my diagnosis I have enjoyed much better health than i did the 10 years i didn't know what i had. 

I say all this because finding out I was in an emotionally abusive marriage is the same. I found my resouces (this site for one) and started taking steps toward healing my emotional self. All these years you didnt know that what you were feeling had a title, a label. Now it does, you can find your resources. I swear i thought I was the only one experiencing what was going on in my marriage. Oh no. There’s tons of people with stories IDENTICAL to mine! I actually take comfort in that! 

In my divorce i made sure he kept all his credit cards. The few that had my name also, we had my name removed. I left debt free. Did he get those CC’s after October when you asked for a divorce? Maybe he thinks he’s going to stick those on you. And when i filed for divorce my ex developed a vindictive side. Could it be he thinks he is going to punish you financially and stick you with those? Mine was looking into bankruptcy!!!! I had to hurry up and file before he pulled that trigger and took my credit down with him!!! Once you file (in my state) everything is frozen and they cant file bankruptcy until after its over and you’re not affected. 

Do you know what he spent a quarter million on? His lady friends maybe? There may be huge revelations in his CC statements. 

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Bennu

Mine spent $60,000 from our retirement before I managed to file.

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