Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this is my 1st post/thread, and I already know it's gonna be a long one. If you actually read and respond to this, I want to thank you in advance.

I'm in quite a situation.

I've been with my wife for 11 years, married for 8 of them. Our relationship started out really rough (I was only 22, she was 25) but I loved and cared for her (or was putting blinders on) enough to overlook the glaring warning signs.

I don't really know how to lay this whole thing out without writing 10 pages, so I'll just list some critical events in our relationship; hopefully this can provide enough detail for some of you to help me out here.

1) When I met her, she already had a 7-year old, who I took under my wing as my son the best I could. I always did fun stuff with him, took him places, etc. Just really tried to be the best dad I could since his biological father wasn't in the picture whatsoever. I never did any weird crap, made him call me dad, abuse, none of that.

2) While we were 1st dating, she kept leaving the room to get on the phone with her ex, who apparently she was still friends with. The conversations became very frequent, and always behind my back, so naturally I was a little suspicious about that. Long story short, within my 1st month of dating her, she had not only slept with her ex (I didn't find out about this until years later, she broke down and told me while in a fit of rage) but also did messed up crap like leaving me home with her son, telling me she was 'studying' with some girls from her nursing school...and I find out they actually all went to a concert together (her, her girlfriends, and her ex). She came home drunk. That was enough for me, the next day, I took the stuff I had at her house, and left, while she was at the store or something. I just was being betrayed already and didn't want it to go on anymore.

3) Fast forward to about a year later, we're living together, and I find an email exchange (left open on my computer) between her and her ex, telling each other they love each other, and getting pretty inappropriate with the sexual innuendos. I brought it up, she somehow calmed me down, and I forgave her.

4) A few years later (married now), we bit off way more than we could chew on a new house we purchased; my whole business collapsed, and I went and got a new job, paying just enough to cover the mortgage, but not much else. Before I met her, she was an exotic dancer to support herself and her son. She decided to go and do this again. Of course I did not like the idea at all, but she told me nothing would happen, and that she would be able to handle it 'like a business' and not do anything past dancing for money. A couple weeks into this, I find out that she is fully dating a guy she met at the club, and is now doing meth. I freaked out, took as much stuff as I could fit in my car (clothes, computer, and a few other personal things) and went and moved into a hotel. This lasted a week. She convinced me that the relationship never got past kissing even though text messages on her phone contradicted that. She also handed over the meth (to the cops, I insisted) and that was the end of that. So I forgive again.

5) About a year later, our home had been foreclosed on, and we moved out of a beautiful dream home, into a relatively cramped 3 bedroom apartment.

***sidebar*** I was the only one working, this entire time, aside from her brief stint a the strip club. So I supported her and my stepson, completely. Bought her a car, etc.

Anyways I had some pretty bad depression setting in; I think I was finally realizing the truth of my situation but didn't know what to do. I felt like I was abandoning my stepson if I left my wife, and that was what kept me there most of the time. I just didn't want to leave the little guy in the dust, as I had become the only stable father figure he ever had.

***another sidebar*** My parents divorced before I was 1 year old; I've always promised myself I would never do that to my kids when I grew up. So no matter how bad things were, I wanted to hang in there and keep trying, and not give up like my parents did.

So back to the depression...in between having one of the meanest, most berating bosses of all time, and dealing with my wife (I forgot to mention, she has an insane temper, I mean really bad. If I do something wrong, she flips out. If SHE does something wrong, and I dare to bring it up, she flips out even harder.) I unfortunately was in the wrong place at the wrong time, long story short, my wife and I got in a huge fight, both had too much to drink, harsh words were exchanged, and I tried to take my own life via massive overdose. Obviously it didn't work. I was in the ICU for a week and eventually made a full recovery. I've been on antidepressants ever since, and they work. I mean, I still get depressed, very often, but never to the extent that I think I want to do something like that ever again.

6) From that point on, I went through a very difficult, but successful rebuilding process. I had the worst job, but made the most of it, enough to provide for my family. I hated it, but I was just happy I could provide for everyone. Shortly after I was released from the hospital, I impregnated my wife with our 1st child together. I worked harder than ever, at work, and with our relationship, to provide the best home for this little boy as I could.

7) I don't remember how it came to be, but my wife sort of started selling me on going to swing parties. We went to a few, they were all very awkward and uncomfortable, for both of us. However, she was the one who created the profiles on the swinger websites (I didn't have access) and eventually I find out that she's been talking to a guy from one of the sites behind my back. She assured me nothing was going on and that he was someone we might want to 'hang out with' sometime. I didn't like this, or trust her about it. One day she says she is going shopping, and comes home several hours later, drunk, and admitted she went and met up with this guy. And swears nothing happened. I had sex with her that night, and (sorry to be a little graphic) I could tell that I wasn't the 1st one to do so that day. She denies it to this day.

8) One day she used my computer and left her email account open (again) and I merely glanced and saw multiple emails from someone I never even heard of. I opened a few, and it turns out that she was having a cybersex relationship with someone she knew from when she was a teenager. Then, she leaves 'for a funeral' and goes to the exact state and town where this guy lives. I didn't put the pieces of the puzzle together on this one until the trip had already happened...actually I don't think I found out about the cyber stuff until after the trip. Or course she assured me nothing happened and she just went for a funeral...for someone she never once mentioned before.

At this point I'm completely turned off by her, feeling 100% betrayed, but also stuck because we have 2 kids, and I don't want to be that deadbeat dad who walks out on his family. She starts drinking more and more (I had stopped, ever since the suicide attempt, only socially at the swing parties...but those had stopped too, so I was back on the wagon) and things start getting really out of hand at home. She's coming home from god knows where, late,schnockered drunk. And of course if I have a problem with it, she blows up on me (screaming / physical violence) right in from of our then 2-year old. I tell her that this isn't going to work out, and we are going to need to break up for good. She, of course, escalates, and tells me a couple of disturbing things...one, that she'd take my son and I'd never see him again...and two, her older brother, who she in so many ways described as a pretty violent guy, would come and visit and 'make me disappear'.

So I'm fully freaked out now. It's just crazy incident after crazy incident, the cops had been to our house at LEAST 10 times over the course of our relationship, nobody was ever arrested, it was always just due to noise complaints. I never tried to get her in trouble, even when she would hit me and throw things at me.

I'm genuinely scared for my son...the taking him away so I could never see him again bit had me fully freaked out. I talked with a few family members, and my psychiatrist, about what was going on. They unanimously agreed that I should file an order preventing her from taking him outside of the state, without my permission. I went and did exactly that, but what I didn't know, was in my state, when you file something like that, they also make you file a temporary restraining order against the person. I didn't want that part, I just wanted it so she couldn't take my son away. But I had to file both.

I went with the sheriff and took custody of my son (the courts said she should not be around him until this was settled and awarded me temporary 100% custody of him) and was doing well enough financially at the time, that I could afford to stay in a nice hotel, provide everything he needed, and work (I ran/run a web marketing business...so I could work from my laptop in the hotel room while he slept).

If you guys/gals don't want to kick me already, this will make you want to roundhouse me one. I spoke with her a couple days after I took him, and she poured her heart out to me, apologized for so many things, and begged me to just let go of the whole thing so we could be a family, and get counseling together. I agreed, and the next day, I went to the courthouse and basically lied about the things I said in order to get the no-move / restraining order dropped. I said something about being emotionally distressed and not of a sound mind...something like that. But the truth is, I flat out lied to them, so they would reverse the order, and we could be a family again. NEXT DAY I get served with a restraining order from HER. She conned me so bad. So now she has my son again, AND I'm not allowed to even come to my own home. I stayed at a friends house for about a month...and eventually we started talking again and tried to work things out once again.

What I didn't know at the time, was that CPS was alerted due to the court filings, and they got in touch with my wife. She made me out to be a psycho. They (yeah, CPS) got a 4-year restraining order put on me. So now we're back together, trying hard to work things out, yet I have the looming threat of jail time hanging over my head if anything goes awry. Of course, my wife uses this to her full advantage...any time she had the slightest issue with me, she'd make me leave the house or threaten to call the cops and have me sent to jail. She got REALLY comfortable doing this. A lot of times, she would just approach me and tell me I had to go. No reason given. Nothing even happened. She wanted me out of the house for one reason or another. Ultimately this resulted in me basically living in my car for the greater part of 3-4 months. She had drained the bank accounts, stolen and sold all my jewelry, computers, pretty much everything I had. On top of that, living/working from my car was insanely depressing and inefficient, and my income took a dive. I was literally homeless. All the money I made while homeless I used to pay the rent, and all the other bills, and even deposit some in her personal account, so the kids and her would be provided for. Meanwhile I'm sleeping in my car, bathing in hotel pools, shaving at starbucks...just really sucked.

After a while another friend of mine discovered what I was going through (I wasn't exactly sharing this stuff with anyone) and offered me a room in his house. So I took him up on that offer, and started getting my life back on track, and at this point I just wanted a divorce, and kept telling myself when the restraining order was over, I'd be able to see my son again. When I'd speak with my wife, she would give me a twisted mix of saying the most hurtful things possible (I don't care about my kids...wishing I was dead, etc) and then turning around and begging me to just come home and try to work on the relationship again.

If you've read this far, you know what my dumb ass did. I left my friends house and went back home, restraining order intact. Living day to day scared of something happening, me getting pulled over, anything...and getting sent to jail, and worse, my son being taken by CPS. But I did, I stayed home, she stopped threatening me so much, and things seemed to calm down a bit. Oh yeah, and I got her pregnant again. :facepalm:

***sidebar*** apparently at this point, since i was gone for so long, she now had trust issues with ME, and began to use a passcode lock on her phone.

We had gotten along for long enough that I guess I left that we had gotten past all that rough stuff, and aside from the restraining order, all was well. My business was not what it was before, and we were feeling the economic crunch. We decided to move out of state to more affordable housing, and to be close to her family so we could have help with the kids.

We did move, and she gave birth to my daughter. We've been out of state for almost a year now, and the first half really wasn't bad. No infidelity (that I know of) and very little fighting.

So the drinking begins again. Long story short, she was in front of our house, in the van, honking and screaming, totally belligerent, while I was inside, taking a nap with my son. I, to this day, don't know what she was freaking out about. She wasn't locked out, she was just very, very drunk, and having a moment of rage. Well guess what, the cops come to our house (for her), look up her id, find out about the restraining order, and somehow come into my house, up the stairs, wake me up, handcuff me, and take me straight to jail for violating the restraining order. I stayed in jail for their mandatory 72-hour hold and was bailed out by a relative.

So after that fun little experience, things calm down again. But the drinking starts again. One night, after already drinking a bottle of wine to herself, she tells me she's going for a walk. This 'walk' turned into her walking into a bar, staying for several hours, and getting dropped off by some guy at 2-3 am. Of course this was my fault.?.? Apparently I didn't give her enough attention so naturally, she had to go to the bar and hang out with these random guys. The next morning she apologized and the drinking stopped again.

After all this time, she still had a password lock on her cell phone, but at this point I found out what it was. A few weeks had gone by since the 'walk' incident...and I just had this rotten, nagging feeling in my gut that something wasn't right. I looked in her phone and found that she was talking to two separate guys whom she met at the bar that night. Sending pics back and forth, nothing graphic, but it was clear that they were flirting and trying to make plans to get together another time. I called her out on this, and of course she is insanely mad at me, for invading her privacy and looking in her phone.

Another similar episode took place a couple weeks ago...she said she was going to the store, and came home 3 hours later, drunk and reeking like vodka, with a ridiculous story that made so little sense I won't even bother laying it out here. The next day she did something that confirmed even more that her story was a lie. She went and hung out with one (or both) of those guys again. I told her I knew she was lying, actually very calmly, and of course this infuriated her. I was yelled at, attacked physically, wished dead, told I was hated, all that good stuff. I was obviously let down, and not trusting her, completely, but I was calm. I just didn't believe her story. Nobody in their right mind would. The icing on the cake is she pulled out the restraining order card on me and told me to leave or she'd have me arrested. Yes, you read that right, she was screaming at me, being violent (while I'm holding my baby daughter) and then kicked ME out. We live somewhere where it gets really cold this time of year, and we only have one car, which of course she took the keys to prior to kicking me out. So I go walking around, with a sweatshirt and my backpack, seriously wondering what to do now. I don't have relatives that live anywhere near us anymore, and no friends in this area that I could stay at their house. So I was pretty much screwed, out in the cold. A few hours later she calms down and 'lets' me come home. The next day we both agree that we have nothing to hide, so nobody is going to lock their phones anymore, and we can have a normal, transparent, relationship.

This is probably a week ago now. I told her she needed to do something to squash the restraining order because it wasn't fair how she kept hanging it over my head and using it as a tool to manipulate me. It's like her trump card. If I don't agree with XY or Z, she pulls out the 'get out or you're going to jail' card. She agreed she would file something asking to have the order dropped. Of course that never happened.

So tonight...she wants to drink. I ask her not to, she does anyways. She gets drunk, and in a stupid, roundabout way, she blurts something out that confirmed the lie she told me about the night she came home reeking like vodka. I called her on it and of course the screaming and hurtful stuff started spewing once again. I stayed silent, as I've learned to do over the years, unless I want to get yelled at or have my feelings hurt. Well shortly after her rant (yeah, in front of my kids) she passes out in bed. It's 1 am and she gets a text message (I know the sound). I go to look at her phone, and of course it's locked. I didn't say anything or wake her up, just put it back and felt even less trusting of her than ever before. I came downstairs to get some work done, and she comes down and is basically mad at me because I'm not in bed. Knowing what comes next, I told her that someone texted her at 1 am and it woke me up. She denied a text even came, and I told her I knew it did, but couldn't see who it was from since she had now locked her phone again. True to form, she gets super pissed at me, attacks my physically, and ominously warns me that I'm screwed now. (saying she'll get me sent to jail for the restraining order crap, without saying those words).

And she went back to bed. And here I am, letting all of this out to people I don't know, desperately wondering what the hell I should do.

My feelings: I don't love her anymore, I don't trust her at all, and I feel like she has nothing but bad intentions for me. Also, I love my kids more than anything else in the world, and I'm scared that if I leave her, I'll never see the kids again, not for a long time anyways. She's messed up like that...if I won't be with her, then I can forget about having a relationship with my children. And with the restraining order in place for another 2 years, she could easily pull that off. So I've been with this woman for the greater part of our relationship because I love my kids and I feel like if I leave her, I leave the kids.

What do I do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Your doormatism really amazed me. :mad:

hopeless1, you have to stand up for yourself.
If you won't stand up for yourself, who will?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your doormatism really amazed me. :mad:

hopeless1, you have to stand up for yourself.
If you won't stand up for yourself, who will?
I just have to reinforce the fact that I love my kids more than anything else in the whole world. Therein lies the problem. I would have been long gone, long ago, if I didn't feel the love for them that I do. And I really want to be in their lives.

My parents divorced before I even knew what was going on and I grew up with a pretty miserable childhood due to them not working things out....or even trying.

I think the writing's on the wall, relationship with wife = terminated...but I am having a REALLY hard time walking away from the kids, which is essentially what I'll end up doing if I leave my wife.

Constructive advice maybe? I'm not a doormat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Wow, like a lifetime made for tv movie. I am sorry man. I can only give you 2 peices of advice. One, if you are not seeing a counselor start NOW. She has some really f'ed up issues but it is obvious that your self-esteem issues have allowed you to be drug down into the abyss with this woman. Second, get as much of this woman as you can get on a voice recorder. Cover your ass as much as possible if you get her saying something to you that she counterdicts in court later on a judge will not look too kindly on being lied too.
Wow, I wish you the best and hope you can find a way to untangle yourself from this mess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
She sounds like she has a borderline personality disorder, and yes, you *are* a doormat. Please don't use your love of your children as an excuse for staying because it's equally valid to say that love of your children is exactly why you should have put a stop to this LONG ago. They shouldn't be growing up with her as a role model. Period. Your own thought processes are so skewed after all this that you're just not seeing your own role in things. Your suicide attempt reveals that this is more about you wanting what YOU get from your relationships with your children rather than what's in your children's best interests.

So what to do.... You have to find a way to divorce and get custody of your children. I am not an attorney, so anything I say should not be construed as legal advice and before you do anything you should confirm the laws in your state. I am merely brainstorming the things I would be looking at if I was in your shoes.

1. I'd fight the restraining order. I'd get a voice-activated recorder and carry it with me whenever interacting with her if you truly have not done anything to deserve it. On the other hand, if you *have* done something that they substantiated (I've never heard of a 4-year restraining order without it going to prosecution, so I'm personally wondering why the CPS substantiated her claims.) If they did substantiate it unfairly, I'd consider filing a tort action against the agency seeking sufficient funds to compensate for emotional pain and damages, and to pay the attorney. If I'd abused my children and there were legitimate reasons for issuing a restraining order, I'd be thankful that I wasn't in prison and consider the loss of my children as the price I paid for my freedom, and hope that they'd forgive me and come around as adults.

2. I'd get my kids into counseling with a goal of having the counselor evaluate how these things are affecting them. I would also ask the court to provide them with a guardian ad litem to look out for THEIR best legal interests. If all that you say is true and you have not abused them, I cannot see where there'd be any chance that you wouldn't win custody in court if you follow these steps - although it can take a lot of time and money to get there.

3. I'd be getting screened for STDs.

4. I would find a way to ensure that all visitations are started at a local police station where the cops can monitor her giving the kids over to you and make sure it doesn't get out of hand. This would probably need to be a court ordered visitation that is recorded with the county recorder's office in order to ensure that the police can enforce it, because otherwise they say that it's a civil matter and they can't act on it.

5. I'd be keeping a journal of EVERYTHING she says/does in a safe place.

6. I might consider taking my kids and leaving the state depending on the laws of the state. I don't know if it would be considered kidnapping given the restraining order, which would make this a non-option for me, but if it didn't constitute kidnapping, I'd probably leave and not plan on ever coming back or acknowledging the state's authority on me. I would most definitely talk to an attorney before I took any actions like this, but when my ex and I were going through some ugly custody issues, two of our attorneys informed us that his ex could get away with what she was doing if she failed to show up for court since she lived in another state.

7. I would not put myself in a position where she could act on her threats in any way. Sleeping with her, going to a meal at a restaurant... anything. This would be more examples of being a doormat. Don't give her that much control.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
Hopeless, I agree with Kathy that the behaviors you describe are classic traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). This is not surprising, given that your W became a stripper. One study found that 55% of strippers have full blown BPD. See If pornography made us healthy, we would be healthy by now :: Catholic News Agency.

As to what to do now, I agree with all the excellent advice Kathy gave you above. I agree you should use a VAR to record her rages and use the evidence to fight the RO. If an attorney says video can legally be used against her in your state, you should also consider buying a "nannycam," i.e., a video recorder hidden in a radio or toy that folks use to record what is going on when a babysitter or nanny is caring for their kids. But the evidence from the VAR may be just as persuasive and a VAR has the advantage of always being close at hand.

As to your depression and suicide attempt, please don't beat yourself up about that. It is common for spouses living with a BPDer to get so confused and disoriented that they feel like they may be losing their minds. Therapists see far more abused spouses coming in to find out if they are going crazy than the therapists ever see of the BPDers themselves.

Living with an unstable woman, who can flip from loving you to hating you in ten seconds, is very disorienting, especially when you don't know what is going on. If you would like to read a brief overview of classic BPD traits, I suggest you read my post at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. Take care, Hopeless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the kind words and advice, everyone.

I too believe that she definitely has some personality disorder issues going on...and it's such a touchy thing, but I've wanted her to see a dr and at least get on meds to stabilize her for years. She just gets mad at me when I bring it up.

I'll likely see a therapist to help talk to me, when my $ situation is better and I can afford it.

I do keep one thing in the back of my mind though, and I guess this is me giving myself advice: Something my psychiatrist told me while I was back in the state, visiting him on the regular:

"There's nothing wrong with you. You aren't crazy, at all. You just have a really messed up life. Work on fixing the messed up parts of your life, and you will begin to feel better."

Which is true...but in my case there is a certain part of my life that I can't fix. I kind of have to deal with it or take a hike.

As for the kids...I'm really torn here. I 100% want whats best for them, with or without me in their life. But i see how their mom treats them, she is really nasty, screams and cusses at them (even the baby) and sometimes physically harms them. SO I'm not exactly comfortable leaving them with her alone.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
I too believe that she definitely has some personality disorder issues ...I've wanted her to see a dr and at least get on meds to stabilize her for years.
If she has strong BPD traits, meds cannot stabilize her. Meds work so well to stabilize mood swings in bipolar disorder because that disorder arises from gradual changes in body chemistry. With BPD, however, the mood changes are not caused by body chemistry but, rather, by thought distortions. BPD therefore cannot be treated by swallowing a pill. That said, it is usually accompanied by depression or anxiety, so doctors usually prescribe meds to tame those problems. The underlying BPD, however, is untouched by the meds. Finally, I note that about 30% of BPDers also have bipolar 1, so there is some chance meds could be useful to address the bipolar if it is present.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
Thanks for the kind words and advice, everyone.

I too believe that she definitely has some personality disorder issues going on...and it's such a touchy thing, but I've wanted her to see a dr and at least get on meds to stabilize her for years. She just gets mad at me when I bring it up.

I'll likely see a therapist to help talk to me, when my $ situation is better and I can afford it.

I do keep one thing in the back of my mind though, and I guess this is me giving myself advice: Something my psychiatrist told me while I was back in the state, visiting him on the regular:

"There's nothing wrong with you. You aren't crazy, at all. You just have a really messed up life. Work on fixing the messed up parts of your life, and you will begin to feel better."

Which is true...but in my case there is a certain part of my life that I can't fix. I kind of have to deal with it or take a hike.

As for the kids...I'm really torn here. I 100% want whats best for them, with or without me in their life. But i see how their mom treats them, she is really nasty, screams and cusses at them (even the baby) and sometimes physically harms them. SO I'm not exactly comfortable leaving them with her alone.
I like what your psych told you. I hope you will never again think it's in your children's best interests not to have you in their life. I do understand that thought process, unfortunately, but it's way off base. Living in "crazy land" can do that to our thinking.

I truly hope you'll get your kids to a healthy environment and away from so much negativity.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
Has anyone mentioned a paternity test for "your" child? If not, get one. It's too late to do anything about it, you're on the hook for the child. However, for any future medical needs that could crop up you need to know who the real father is.

I repeat, you need to know who the real father is. Best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,945 Posts
But i see how their mom treats them, she is really nasty, screams and cusses at them (even the baby) and sometimes physically harms them. SO I'm not exactly comfortable leaving them with her alone.
Your wife is "physically harming" your children?

Why do you allow THAT? You are just as guilty as she is.

I cannot believe what I am reading here. OMG, those poor children.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top