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I've been with this woman for almost 18 years. We have a 17 year old son together. We were divorced once, then we remarried. I have retained an attorney to divorce her, but I do care for her and do not really want to divorce her, but I know if I don't both my son and myself will not have a future. The lies, numerous affairs, continuous secrets and brooding is killing my household.
The first three years of my sons life I had to raise him by myself because she abandoned both of us, (then divorced). We reconsolidated years later and remarried. She did the same thing while I was in college and with only 6 months left to graduate, abandoning me and our son again leaving PA to go back to OR in 2007. While there she admitted to having four one night stands. I could go on but I would start to sound so pathetic I would not be able to post when I was done.
I have just short of begged her to change what she is doing. And I know I have every reason to divorce her. But, I cannot help to feel intense pity for this woman, the mother of my son. She is incredibly naive about what is about to happen to her, and everything around her. I feel guilty for doing what I told her for months I would have to do if she did not stop the spending, the deceit, and whatever else I don't know about. She is living with her parents now and her future is looking terrible and she does not realize it. Is there any hope here? Can a person change if they want to bad enough and how can you tell if they are sincere about it? Or am I just fooling myself?
God I hate myself for this, but what else am I to do? Just sit and allow this to go on until she has destroyed everyone's future in the household including her own? I am beginning to feel so guilty I am starting to question myself. But why do I feel so bad? I kept my vows, I raised our son and I completed my B.S. at Penn State promising it would give us a better life, (the final semester was from a hospital bed.) I don't drink, do not do drugs and have never raised my hand to her. Over the years I have been continuously approached by other women that I knew could be a better mother to my son and a more suitable partner for me. But I never had it in me to do that. I just can't as I was not raised that way. I feel horrible.
 

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Hate to break it to you, but it seems like you've been actively enabling her collapse.

People don't change their behavior unless they have to, or want to.

C
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You sound like a good man, sadly also one that is easy to walk over. Don't let her do it, walk away else you'll be teaching your son all the wrong lessons. Be strong for him, you don't owe your wife anything.
 

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TechGuy, I agree with PBear and Kasus. You are describing a woman who is emotionally unstable and very immature. If this is accurate, your misguided efforts to stay in the marriage probably is not only hurting you and your son -- but also hurting your W. You likely are harming her by protecting her from the logical consequences of her own bad behavior -- i.e., you are "enabling" her to remain dysfunctional, as Kasus explained.

Until she is allowed to suffer those logical consequences, she will have no incentive to confront her issues and learn how to grow up. Like you, I was married to an unstable woman. I suggest that you take a look at my description of her behavior in Maybe's thread at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that discussion rings a bell and the behaviors sound familiar, I would be glad to discuss them with you. Take care, TechGuy.
 

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This one's a no-brainer.

Is she still gone? If she is divorce her on grounds of abandonment and ask for full custody of the boy. Go dark and only communicate with her through your lawyer.
 
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