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My H and I have been married for 15 years, together for 19, and have two children together. Let me start with the good. We both have good jobs and are very involved with the kids (ages 13 and 11). We do a lot as a family. He helps with cooking and cleaning. So the day-to-day is usually ok. However, H is quick to anger. He is an LEO and I often feel like he doesn’t separate work and home in terms of treating us with that same authoritativeness. He’s like that with the rest of his family as well. We’ve had argument after argument and so many times I’ve said I’m not going to sweep it under the rug anymore, only to do so again and again. I guess when the kids were younger it was easier to do that as they took so much of our time. But now that they’re older I’m really realizing a lot of things. I’ve asked my H for a few years now not to yell and argue in front of them, but he continues to do so. Many times when I stand my ground he’ll start with this whole “that’s fine, I have no say in this family” bit. That’s not the case, I’m just trying to have a conversation about a difference of opinion. He’s jealous over things like me wishing someone a happy Birthday on social media (A mutual acquaintance, not an ex or anything like that). When I try to prove a point by asking how he knows someone on social media, he thinks it’s fine to basically say he doesn’t know. The last time this happened, he got so mad that he threw his phone and broke it. He said it’s ok for him because he’s not interacting with them. He told me if I got Botox he would divorce me. He gave me a lot of grief a couple of years ago when I started a low dose of anxiety medication (“it’s sad you have to take something to make you happy”). As a result of the medicine, I feel that I’m not as quick to anger and try to talk more calmly during arguments. He mocks me for that. He tells me he’ll make me out to be a bad mother if I leave, but at the same time tells me to get my **** and get out. Then turns around and says the kids and I are all he has (his family lives a few hours away). He tries to make me feel bad for going out to dinner with friends. For my part, I’m not the most affectionate person, never have been. I am stubborn and strong-willed and I will call him out. I’m working on this and he knows it. I thought things were improving the latter part of last year, but a huge fight after Christmas has taken us 1,000 steps back (That’s when he smashed his phone). He won’t even consider MC. I know I’m throwing a lot of random examples out, but here’s my point/question. I know these things aren’t normal. I feel he stays in the M out of fear mainly. I’m staying out of fear, too. I’m afraid he’ll use his LEO status to impact custody, I am afraid of the impact on the kids, I’m afraid of financial ramifications, and I’m afraid of starting over at 43. I know fear is also normal, but was wondering if there’s anyone with a story similar to mine? I think I need some clarity, encouragement or perhaps even a different perspective. I could go on and on with particulars, but I hope I’ve given enough of a general overview to get some feedback.
 

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Ah...ok.

Have you spoken with a lawyer (do it secretly)...? That might be your best first step.

He cannot just SAY you are a bad mother, he will have to have proof. And he ought to know that if you file a restraining order against him, it will cause ALL kinds of trouble for him with HIS job and custody...so you are NOT powerless.

He is a BULLY. That is a form of ABUSE. That's why you are anxious and unsteady about what to do.
 

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Ah...ok.

Have you spoken with a lawyer (do it secretly)...? That might be your best first step.

He cannot just SAY you are a bad mother, he will have to have proof. And he ought to know that if you file a restraining order against him, it will cause ALL kinds of trouble for him with HIS job and custody...so you are NOT powerless.

He is a BULLY. That is a form of ABUSE. That's why you are anxious and unsteady about what to do.
I have spoken with a lawyer. I actually had D papers drawn up almost a year ago. She assured me that things surrounding the kids would be fine, echoing what you said above. I agree he’s a bully and abusive and I get so mad at myself because I feel sorry for him at the thought of me leaving. When things are good I do enjoy the companionship, but it’s subject to me second guessing what I say, do, etc. And those things have made me not want to be intimate with him at all.
 

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It's a pity that he won't go to marriage counseling because he needs some counseling in general and would probably benefit by having a therapist to blow steam off to. His jealousy issues don't have anything to do with him being in law enforcement though his general anger very well may because that job does affect you. It's not fair for him to try to isolate you from having friends and you know that that is a component of abuse. it sounds like you're strong and don't let him get away with all that so that's good and that's important for your kids to see.

As far as custody and that sort of thing, I really don't think his status as a law enforcement officer is going to make any difference as long as you go through this with a good family law attorney and get everything prescribed legally by a judge.

The norm these days in the United States is to have 50/50 joint custody between parents. He would have the children two and a half days during the week and so would you and then you would each have one weekend day. It would be each of your burden to find child care for the children when you were at work and unable to be with them during your time of custody which is fair so you could both have jobs because you'll both need them living on your own.

He really needs to get into therapy of some sort, but if he won't even consider it then he doesn't leave you much choice. I truly don't understand why he can't do the one thing that's important to you and your family which is keep his voice down. But you have to realize that he is going to be around the kids and probably even more than he is now if he has joint custody. So if the mean reason is to protect them from him and his yelling and anger, there's literally no way to do that because the courts want children to see both parents and things have to get really really bad with one parent before they would lose custody and even then that parent is offered a path back to Parenthood. And by really bad I mean they would have to be a heroin addict or be in prison for violent crime. A fully functioning parent isn't going to lose custody of their children.
 
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I have spoken with a lawyer. I actually had D papers drawn up almost a year ago. She assured me that things surrounding the kids would be fine, echoing what you said above. I agree he’s a bully and abusive and I get so mad at myself because I feel sorry for him at the thought of me leaving. When things are good I do enjoy the companionship, but it’s subject to me second guessing what I say, do, etc. And those things have made me not want to be intimate with him at all.
DON'T waste your emotions on judging yourself for staying with him! You are doing the best you can...be caring to YOURSELF for what you are dealing with.

I know EXACTLY how you feel...I am also separating from my husband, and although he has been hateful and a threatening bully towards me (anytime I tried to stand up for myself), I KNOW he is going to struggle very much without me. I can already see it, because he makes stupid choices and it hurts me knowing he's going to have to face the consequences of those choices and will suffer without my help and support!

And there was a time when he meant everything to me, and I was filled with hope and excitement about our relationship...and leaving is admitting to myself that the future I thought I was going to have, filled with love and laughing and fun with him, DOES NOT exist. And that is HARD!!! Don't underestimate how difficult it is to let go of the dreams we had of our relationships - it's a loss like a death, and it has to be grieved as one.

ONLY YOU can decide if your relationship is worth saving...the only chance I see is if he goes to marriage counseling with you, so he can learn to manage his anger better, and communicate without being a bully, and to help you connect with him more...but if he won't go, what hope is there that things will get better for you and your kids? Not much. So you will then have to decide whether you can live with the way things are or not.

DO NOT be worried about "starting over" at 43...you are still YOUNG and have plenty of life ahead of you, if that's what you choose to do!! I'm 51, and I would rather live my life alone in peace than be with someone who makes me feel like a worthless failure every day!!!
 

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DON'T waste your emotions on judging yourself for staying with him! You are doing the best you can...be caring to YOURSELF for what you are dealing with.

I know EXACTLY how you feel...I am also separating from my husband, and although he has been hateful and a threatening bully towards me (anytime I tried to stand up for myself), I KNOW he is going to struggle very much without me. I can already see it, because he makes stupid choices and it hurts me knowing he's going to have to face the consequences of those choices and will suffer without my help and support!

And there was a time when he meant everything to me, and I was filled with hope and excitement about our relationship...and leaving is admitting to myself that the future I thought I was going to have, filled with love and laughing and fun with him, DOES NOT exist. And that is HARD!!! Don't underestimate how difficult it is to let go of the dreams we had of our relationships - it's a loss like a death, and it has to be grieved as one.

ONLY YOU can decide if your relationship is worth saving...the only chance I see is if he goes to marriage counseling with you, so he can learn to manage his anger better, and communicate without being a bully, and to help you connect with him more...but if he won't go, what hope is there that things will get better for you and your kids? Not much. So you will then have to decide whether you can live with the way things are or not.

DO NOT be worried about "starting over" at 43...you are still YOUNG and have plenty of life ahead of you, if that's what you choose to do!! I'm 51, and I would rather live my life alone in peace than be with someone who makes me feel like a worthless failure every day!!!
Thank you so much! Your perspective is helpful. I’m sorry to hear you are going through something similar. You can certainly relate to what I wrote and how I’m feeling. If I may ask, how did your H react when you actually told him you wanted to separate? How are things now? How do you feel overall?
 

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OP: geez, timing is surprising.

Long time back I hit it off with a just-divorced blonde, very nice, and she invited me for dinner to her apartment. For some reason (damn it) the conversation turned to her situation. This was a key mistake, and young men, never make it, just forge ahead full steam to kissing! So she tells me her just new ex is a Chicago cop who is angry at her, and that she hasn't told him where she lives.

That's all I needed to call it a night and move on. Don't need an angry cop in my face.
 

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But the problem, OP, that you're faced with is pretty common in that profession. Very difficult for the guy.

You should seek very specialized counseling; perhaps the cop union has some useful contacts.
 

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For my part, I’m not the most affectionate person, never have been. I am stubborn and strong-willed and I will call him out. I’m working on this.
This must change in any new relationship(s), or they will fail, also.

It may be that you are not affectionate with your husband, and not the case with another man (after divorce).

Being cool with non-family is appropriate, not so with loved ones, especially a lover.

When you do start a new romantic relationship, show a lot of affection.

Soon, and hopefully, it will be habit forming.
 

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Does his precinct have spousal support for the LEO in their ranks? Is he getting counseling because I can assure you this behavior is demonstrated out in the streets? Your H appears to be a lose cannon.
 

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When things are good I do enjoy the companionship, but it’s subject to me second guessing what I say, do, etc.
Then things aren't actually "good," are they?
 

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Just for your own sake, you should start recording his rants against you, JUST IN CASE.
I would be worried that he is escalating his anger since he now smashed his phone.
This is NOT a good example to the kids of how a marriage should be -- do you think if you mentioned THAT to him, it would sink in? Would he then go to counseling if it was impacting the kids?
 

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Society damages its policemen/policewomen, (Bobbies and Bobettes, too!).
Many of them.

They then damage those close to them.

Is this an excuse?
Sadly yes, sadly not a reason to continue staying married to him.
Life is too short. (Yes, her).

You tried and could not swing it.
Few can.
 

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Thank you so much! Your perspective is helpful. I’m sorry to hear you are going through something similar. You can certainly relate to what I wrote and how I’m feeling. If I may ask, how did your H react when you actually told him you wanted to separate? How are things now? How do you feel overall?
Sure! You can ask me anything you want to know...I'm happy if my situation helps you figure your own out!!

Things worked out differently for us than normal, first because of the lockdown (so I couldn't leave him last spring/summer when I KNEW things were over), and then because he owes me a pretty good chunk of money, and I wanted to get it back first...so I waited. I was also scared of him and his reaction, because he had become SO volatile and unpredictable in the previous 12-18 months. So waiting was the best choice, until I had the money to leave. All I tried to do was stay out of his way.

But because he is SO ego driven, when I wouldn't "love" him exactly the way he demanded (holding his hand, giving him the first plate of food, fawning over him, stupid crap like that), HE decided he wanted to leave ME, and told me back in November. I think he expected me to be upset and hurt, because he said sorry a bunch of times, but I just said, "I think you are right, you should go, I'm ok''...and I felt a HUGE weight lift off my chest!!!! I could breathe again!!! And the bonus was, he stayed away from me in his bedroom all the time, so I never even had to see him anymore!!!

Unfortunately, that only lasted until just before Christmas...he's still planning to leave at the end of this month, but he started being angry ALL the time at me for things he is messing up, usually with his money. So that's been bad. I actually TOLD him this past weekend, "Do NOT call me screaming and swearing about money again. I will hang up on you if you do. If you have a problem, it's on YOU. I am NOT your 'wife' anymore, leave me alone"...and he actually apologized (NOT that that means a thing to him - I've received hundreds of apologies from him over the past 3 years). In general, besides his attitude about his money problems - and I get almost 1/4 per month of what he gets, and I have NO money problems - we stay away from eachother and it's been SO nice not to be responsible for his happiness anymore.

Because THAT is what your husband is also doing - he's trying to make YOU responsible for HIS happiness, when it's really all HIS attitude that's making him unhappy! And people who are "givers" and try to be true partners and want to have loving relationships end up being manipulated and taken advantage of by people like the men we married. It might not even be intentional on their parts -- they DO love us maybe, it's just not in a truly loving way. They are TAKERS...and they are self-centered, so everything in their minds is only about THEM. And you cannot have an equal, caring sustainable relationship with someone like that...it's just NOT possible. It's taken me years to accept that.

I spent the previous 2+ years in love with my memory of who he was when I married him, and hoping that man came back. But he's never going to, and I had to face that and give up on my dream of a solid marriage to this man who would love me and take care of my heart - that WAS NOT HIM anymore. And even though I was able to detach from him emotionally pretty quickly, I grieved it like a death -- I felt awful, I cried ALOT (alone), I felt angry and betrayed, I longed for my marriage - but I never lied to myself about what my husband was showing me about himself. I saw the ugliness, and I said NO WAY...I knew I NEVER would have picked THAT man originally, and I didn't want someone like that to be part of my life. I WISH things could have been different...but wishing cannot give me what I want.

That was about a year ago, and it slowly eased up over a few months by the summer, and I feel SO much better on the other side!!! I am VERY happy to be so close to being completely free of him - I'm tired of trying to twist myself into a pretzel to please a man who cannot be pleased! And I am SO ready to go back to feeling like my old self, because I'm a really happy person when I'm not being rejected and bullied every day!! And I LOVE being HAPPY!!!!

So take a good, honest look at what you WANT, and compare it to what you HAVE...and then make a choice of what you will do, and make it happen and OWN it - it's YOUR life and YOUR choice!!!

If you have ANY other questions, I'm happy to answer them for you...I hope you work things out for YOURSELF and your kids, no matter which choice is best for YOU!! :)
 

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Sure! You can ask me anything you want to know...I'm happy if my situation helps you figure your own out!!

Things worked out differently for us than normal, first because of the lockdown (so I couldn't leave him last spring/summer when I KNEW things were over), and then because he owes me a pretty good chunk of money, and I wanted to get it back first...so I waited. I was also scared of him and his reaction, because he had become SO volatile and unpredictable in the previous 12-18 months. So waiting was the best choice, until I had the money to leave. All I tried to do was stay out of his way.

But because he is SO ego driven, when I wouldn't "love" him exactly the way he demanded (holding his hand, giving him the first plate of food, fawning over him, stupid crap like that), HE decided he wanted to leave ME, and told me back in November. I think he expected me to be upset and hurt, because he said sorry a bunch of times, but I just said, "I think you are right, you should go, I'm ok''...and I felt a HUGE weight lift off my chest!!!! I could breathe again!!! And the bonus was, he stayed away from me in his bedroom all the time, so I never even had to see him anymore!!!

Unfortunately, that only lasted until just before Christmas...he's still planning to leave at the end of this month, but he started being angry ALL the time at me for things he is messing up, usually with his money. So that's been bad. I actually TOLD him this past weekend, "Do NOT call me screaming and swearing about money again. I will hang up on you if you do. If you have a problem, it's on YOU. I am NOT your 'wife' anymore, leave me alone"...and he actually apologized (NOT that that means a thing to him - I've received hundreds of apologies from him over the past 3 years). In general, besides his attitude about his money problems - and I get almost 1/4 per month of what he gets, and I have NO money problems - we stay away from eachother and it's been SO nice not to be responsible for his happiness anymore.

Because THAT is what your husband is also doing - he's trying to make YOU responsible for HIS happiness, when it's really all HIS attitude that's making him unhappy! And people who are "givers" and try to be true partners and want to have loving relationships end up being manipulated and taken advantage of by people like the men we married. It might not even be intentional on their parts -- they DO love us maybe, it's just not in a truly loving way. They are TAKERS...and they are self-centered, so everything in their minds is only about THEM. And you cannot have an equal, caring sustainable relationship with someone like that...it's just NOT possible. It's taken me years to accept that.

I spent the previous 2+ years in love with my memory of who he was when I married him, and hoping that man came back. But he's never going to, and I had to face that and give up on my dream of a solid marriage to this man who would love me and take care of my heart - that WAS NOT HIM anymore. And even though I was able to detach from him emotionally pretty quickly, I grieved it like a death -- I felt awful, I cried ALOT (alone), I felt angry and betrayed, I longed for my marriage - but I never lied to myself about what my husband was showing me about himself. I saw the ugliness, and I said NO WAY...I knew I NEVER would have picked THAT man originally, and I didn't want someone like that to be part of my life. I WISH things could have been different...but wishing cannot give me what I want.

That was about a year ago, and it slowly eased up over a few months by the summer, and I feel SO much better on the other side!!! I am VERY happy to be so close to being completely free of him - I'm tired of trying to twist myself into a pretzel to please a man who cannot be pleased! And I am SO ready to go back to feeling like my old self, because I'm a really happy person when I'm not being rejected and bullied every day!! And I LOVE being HAPPY!!!!

So take a good, honest look at what you WANT, and compare it to what you HAVE...and then make a choice of what you will do, and make it happen and OWN it - it's YOUR life and YOUR choice!!!

If you have ANY other questions, I'm happy to answer them for you...I hope you work things out for YOURSELF and your kids, no matter which choice is best for YOU!! :)
You sound incredibly strong! I can tell you’ve given much thought to this and that it didn’t come lightly. You don’t mention children; do you have children together? Sometimes I beat myself up because the day-to-day routine isn’t too bad. It’s the underlying issues that continue to rear their heads and sometimes I can just sense the tension. Its been three weeks or so since we’ve had sex so I know that’s beginning to be a problem. He already thinks I don’t enjoy sex and while I don’t have to have it everyday, I certainly can’t get there with all this unsolved resentment. But rather than talk it out, make changes, go to counseling, he just tells me I’m holding grudges.
 

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You sound incredibly strong! I can tell you’ve given much thought to this and that it didn’t come lightly. You don’t mention children; do you have children together? Sometimes I beat myself up because the day-to-day routine isn’t too bad. It’s the underlying issues that continue to rear their heads and sometimes I can just sense the tension. Its been three weeks or so since we’ve had sex so I know that’s beginning to be a problem. He already thinks I don’t enjoy sex and while I don’t have to have it everyday, I certainly can’t get there with all this unsolved resentment. But rather than talk it out, make changes, go to counseling, he just tells me I’m holding grudges.
Haha!!! Thank you for saying that, but I was actually thinking how strong YOU were, when you said you had divorce papers drawn up at one point! I thought, "Wow!! I wasn't even ready to do that last year!"
Also, I doubt I looked very strong crunched into a corner of my room, crying my eyes out into my pillow (many times)!!! Sometimes I feel like the "strong" thing would have been to walk away from EVERYTHING and just start over from scratch somewhere else, instead of staying to try to protect and recoup the money I've invested in our life together...staying, putting up with his attitude, tolerating him, has made me feel so powerless and like I'm stuck in quicksand sometimes!!!! I have NOT felt strong at all!!

The reason I have given so much thought to this is because I've been putting up with it for quite awhile - I think anyone would tend to get introspective and analytical with enough (wasted) time going by in the same situation - it would have been much better if I had left 2 years ago, instead of lowering my expectations and HOPING the man I married came back...so make sure you don't look at my way as anything noble or courageous. Looking back, it's my biggest regret, and seems cowardly and WEAK.

I have three children (from my first marriage) that he's been like a father to since they were all tiny (under 10), who are all now in their early 20s...and that's the hardest part for me about staying, and something that I didn't predict - how badly it has affected THEM, even as adults. So DO NOT think it will get easier when they are older...in some ways, it could make it worse.

And oh boy, your husband saying that your problems are primarily from YOU "holding grudges" is almost exactly what my STBX used to say to me ALL the time -- and all he's trying to do is deflect, misdirect, and weasel out of any responsibility for his actions, and to call YOU unreasonable for holding him accountable for being a mature, caring partner!!! My husband used to say, it wasn't HIS LYING that was the problem, it was that I called attention to it and couldn't let it go, that I wouldn't "trust" him, even after catching him in lie after lie after lie, about anything and everything. And to him, it was MY problem that I didn't TRUST him!!!! He told me I was unloving for confronting him when I caught him lying to me, because I was ruining our happiness by "starting a fight".

In HIS mind, the responsibility for our marriage being happy and loving didn't fall on HIM to be honest and follow through on what he said, and to be unselfish at least some of the time - it all fell on ME to ignore how he was deceiving me and to only care about HIS needs, while he consistently refused to care about any of mine.
Your husband is trying to ignore your needs to resolve issues before you can just get over them, because he probably doesn't enjoy that process (who does?)...but it's a necessary part of being WITH YOU. He needs to know this and do it for you.

It makes sense that the day-to-day stuff isn't too bad - he isn't challenged at all by you during those times. But day-to-day marriage stuff is NOT the important stuff that keeps a relationship together - what that means is you guys have only the most superficial relationship, with none of the GLUE that is needed to stay connected and keep love alive. DO NOT beat yourself up that that's not enough to satisfy you - it's not supposed to be!!! And it's NOT sustainable without the deeper stuff...so it's actually GOOD that you recognize there is a problem, because your marriage is NEVER going to last the way things are.

What you have now is a marriage that has been (probably) slanted to meeting your husband's needs, and not so much YOURS. It's not really meeting his either, it sounds like, but he's more dismissive about your needs than you sound about his. Either way, what is needed is for BOTH of you to be actual caring partners to eachother, BOTH of you desiring to meet the needs of the other -- NOT devaluing those needs, and questioning them...actually seeing there is a need and CHOOSING to meet it.

It CAN be done, it just takes so much communication and unselfishness that very few people seem to actually succeed at it, unfortunately. But THAT is why you guys need counseling - it's NOT a "crutch"...it's a guide!! It's NOT for finding fault in either of you, it's for learning relationship skills and holding you BOTH accountable to your mutual goals for your marriage. You might want to tell him, you don't see much hope for the marriage at all without SOME help...because his behavior is TOTALLY unacceptable. Once he's moved the bar for allowable anger responses and given himself permission to start breaking things, he's only going to escalate further and further...and even screaming and throwing and breaking things is frightening and manipulative, and basically an adult temper tantrum. And he needs to know, you WILL NOT tolerate that. There is NO excuse for a grown adult who knows better allowing himself THAT way of expressing his anger.
 
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