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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We were both in the wrong many times; however after he got physical one too many times, I moved myself and the kids out of our home, into an apartment. I left behind most of the little comforts, like a computer (I'm a graphic designer), cable/any TV other than DVDs, a way to play any music other than radio, our pets, our garden, our HOME; I now pack the kids in the car every time I wash or dry a load of the clothes that I haul down & up the stairs, as the laundry room isn't close and each load costs $, the kids now share one room that is boring and white and unchangeable, I have antique appliances and an outrageous water bill, loud neighbors and have sold some of my fav furniture to make ends meet... because it seemed like the right thing to do. Until recently I've felt a lot of resentment at having to give everything up and become completely broke paying for this apartment. Divorce had been discussed some but no moves were made - until he found out that I told a couple of mutual friends he had been abusive. His reaction was to go file for divorce without telling me, AND to go for custody of our son. That's absurd, due to his drinking and the fact that I've been the one raising our son 90% of his life. So, fast forward to now, five months of being in our apartment... neither of us has made progress on the divorce because we don't exactly want it. We love each other, and I know he knows his areas of wrongdoing. His filing for divorce and custody caused me to drop an unexpected $2,500 in a lawyer, just to get some acceptable temporary orders in place. I get why he did what he did - it was mean-spirited and impulsive, but I sort of understand why he did it, in retrospect... and I know he had no idea how much expense and trouble he was bringing down on everyone who has already lost so much. Separating has been expensive for both of us, and we love each other and just want to have our home and get along. I think we CAN do that - we have both made a lot of progress.

BUT - the big sticking point for me is that, while he has made apologies here and there in the past, he hasn't really acknowledged that his last abusive acts are why I moved out. He hasn't apologized for that particular episode, and hasn't apologized or tried to rectify the stupidity of costing me (and therefore the kids) a couple thousand dollars for NOTHING. He actions in general have since been kind, generous, sweet and helpful. Just... no apology. I wonder if his apology(s) in the past are sufficient in his mind, and/or if he thinks I owe him one. I have apologized for my part. I don't believe apologies fix anything - but am I petty to think that at least getting an acknowledgement is necessary before I consider any further reconciliation? Or is him being sweet, helpful, loving and again - helpful - enough for now? I know he knows what he did was very bad... should that be enough, or do I need to hear the words? I suspect his actions are too awful for him to verbally own up to but I think he's been on his best behavior as an alternative. Does that make sense?
 

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If he isn't someone who has been a big apology-giver in the past, do not expect it now. People don't tend to change much.

Abusers usually get worse over time.

Good for you for getting yourself and your kids out of that environment/situation.

Get a lawyer and prepare yourself since it's clear he's going to do this dirty/and w/o much communication wit you.

You say you just want you guys to get along and have a loving relationship. You can't do that with a man who hits you, dear. That isn't love.



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The fact that you've started this post tells me no his changing his behavior for a short period of time isn't enough.

I'm with JB people don't change much and if they do it takes YEARS not months or days.

And it takes professional help not just time apart.

Sorry but if you take him back within no time he will be back doing the same thing he was doing before. I give it less than 6 months.

I'd not take him back unless he sought professional help and was nice for at least 1-2 years.
 

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First, yeah if he hasn't been a big apologizer in the past, he probably won't change too much on that. My wife hates apologizing because she's always felt like it makes a bigger deal of it. Like if she's 30 minutes late for dinner, she struggles to simply say "I'm sorry for being late." because to her, it's an incredibly minor thing, not intentional, etc. She's right of course, but that doesn't change the fact that she aught to apologize IN ORDER to keep it a minor thing. It also makes her feel more ashamed when she has to apologize, which is unpleasant. She's the type that's far more apt to try to make up for the mistake somehow, than want to just apologize for it and move on.

So for starters, that could be a little bit of whats going on with your husband. Struggling to apologize for finding it more comfortable to try to make up for it instead. The key that makes it not a problem for my wife and I however, is that I can tell when she recognizes that she screwed up and feels remorse. The words aren't as important as long as I know she understand that, and her efforts to make up for it are sort of her way of showing it. Do you think that might be the how your husband operates?

My point is that the actual apology might not be all that important. I can tell that the apology itself, the words, is very important to you, likely due to how you were raised, just as it is important to me. For him, maybe it wasn't so important growing up that the words be said, but what is universally important is that he understand that the things he did were wrong and feels remorseful for them. His kind, generous, sweet actions/words/etc. since then might be his way of showing that and trying to make up for it all?

It's also good that you are able to see his side of the "filing for divorce and custody out of the blue" the way he did. Divorces can get so crazy messy, I think, because the couple suddenly has no trust in each other whatsoever, and the stakes are so incredibly high. One spouse suddenly becomes afraid that they are going to get screwed, maybe financially, maybe as far as their kids/parenting time, maybe out of their stuff, etc., and they become afraid to the point of feeling like they need to act first, especially if there is a feeling that it's inevitable anyway. I could easily see your husband trying to make things better and win you back for a while, then find out about the things you said or did, and suddenly being so upset and feeling like his efforts have done absolutely nothing. And yeah, I think most people have no idea how costly a divorce/separation is until they are facing it themselves.

I'm not saying he did the right thing, it sounds like he clearly acted rashly and without consideration, but it's good that you are able to pause and try to see things his way as well. I think what is important is to focus on the things that led to the marriage breaking down in the first place and asking yourself if he or both of you together can work through and resolve those problems. He absolutely needs to be able to acknowledge his share of the responsibility and feel remorse for those things, that has to be part of showing you whether or not he can really change or not. If you think he "gets" that, then no I do not think the actual words, "I'm sorry for..." are all that important.

Aside from being nice, generous actions, sweet words, etc., has he taken any steps to resolve his anger problem? Has he gone to therapy? Have you both considered or attended MC yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cdbaker, first let me express my gratitude for the understanding that it's not as cut & dry as "you need to leave him since he was abusive." Or maybe it is that cut & dry and I'm just in denial, I'm not 100% sure...

He's recently come over, brought dinner/movie; yesterday he left a stack of firewood on my balcony so we can use our apartment fireplace this weekend, helped with laundry, maybe had an epiphany regarding the beer/bar life, cut way back, talks fondly of our wedding and how good we were when things were good, how we even set the bar for some of our friend couples... become the man I wholeheartedly would want in my life. But, he maintains that he doesn't think we can control ourselves when we get angry at each other and feels like we should proceed with the divorce, as per most recent conversation. It's a little confusing, since all his words and actions show that he loves me and still feels like I'm his wife. Maybe he just knows himself - is not willing to go through much trouble/effort to change, and is simply being honest? Trying to get me to beg to stay married, or to see if I still love him enough? Or doesn't want me and just acts like he does? Too weird to understand.
 

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But, he maintains that he doesn't think we can control ourselves when we get angry at each other and feels like we should proceed with the divorce, as per most recent conversation.

Maybe he just knows himself - is not willing to go through much trouble/effort to change, and is simply being honest? Trying to get me to beg to stay married, or to see if I still love him enough? Or doesn't want me and just acts like he does? Too weird to understand.
Please read and re-read what you wrote.

Do you really want to be with someone who can't even make the effort to TRY? Who tells you it's better to divorce? Who has filed for divorce? Who "doesn't want" you and wants you to "beg him" to stay with you?

Really?

You are worth so much more than t hat.

Let this abuser have his divorce.

Please please safeguard your children.



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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I feel like a marriage, especially with children and a house and generally a lot at stake including love, is worth way more effort than he feels is necessary. I guess all I can do is let him let us slip through our fingers, and try to stop wondering why, stop being some kind of beggar. Move on, I guess. Jellybeans, I think you are right.
 

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Ginerva, it totally sucks. Wanting and wishing someone were someone who they aren't. Being in love with a shell of them--who they were when you first met. I send you a big hug.

You have become used to the cycle of abuse. Which is why you want to believe the good in him and forget the times he has mistreated you, said mean things, even hit you/become physical. But that is who and how he is.

A man who loves his wife and family will not do this. He would fight for her, not fight her and would not file for divorce so readily.

You can't see it now, because you are in the thick of it, but this man is doing you a FAVOR.

You are so much better off.

Be strong. You are much stronger than you think.



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I (want to) think he's mulling it over, due to our history of getting into really big fights once in a while. I get the feeling it's legit. Also can't help but feel strung along, since five months later there's still indecision. At what point does weighing your options become, for lack of a better phrase, time to sh*t or get off the pot? I'm tired of this apartment and would like to be looking into a house purchase if the marriage is off. Sometimes people really do need patience and tolerance, which I haven't been too good at in the past. Had some big realizations since then. I believe it's a rare situation when it's simply too late (barring really bad stuff). He practically begs to come over, and tears up when it's time for him to go back home, calls and texts often, appears to really love me and want the family, so why is it so hard for him to realize the onus just might be on him to TRY HARDER, and that it doesn't mean we have to be over?!?
 

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Ginevra... It does all seem strange... it seems like everything he is doing IS making an effort and indicates that he DOES want to save the marriage. I understand the notion wanting to be nice to a soon-to-be ex-spouse for the sake of maintaining good relations or a friendship, but it seems like he is going over and above that. His behavior suggests to me that he wants to save the marriage.

The fact that his most recent words were indicating that maybe a divorce is a good idea nonetheless... makes me wonder (as you mentioned might be a possibility) if he said that just to see if you'd counter that suggestion with an indication that you want to save the marriage. He might feel like he has been making all of these efforts for a while but hasn't gotten a lot of positive feedback yet, like assurances that you are or are not open to reconciling. A test of sorts. From his angle, I could see him thinking, "I've been doing everything I can think of to win her back and show her that we could be happy together again, but so far we're still on the divorce track. So I tried suggesting myself that we just get the divorce already, to see how she reacts, and she didn't have much to say about it. I guess that's what she really wants."

I'm not saying it's the most mature thing in the world to do, but I think partners do variations of that trick all the time. Just one possibility.
 

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Ginerva, it totally sucks. Wanting and wishing someone were someone who they aren't. Being in love with a shell of them--who they were when you first met. I send you a big hug.

You have become used to the cycle of abuse. Which is why you want to believe the good in him and forget the times he has mistreated you, said mean things, even hit you/become physical. But that is who and how he is.

A man who loves his wife and family will not do this. He would fight for her, not fight her and would not file for divorce so readily.

You can't see it now, because you are in the thick of it, but this man is doing you a FAVOR.

You are so much better off.

Be strong. You are much stronger than you think.
my mom told me one day as I awaited the D final

"don't feel bad, she did you a favor. she set you free."

mom is not cerebral per say but yes, she turns into

Socrates out of the blue sometimes
 

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It's a little confusing, since all his words and actions show that he loves me and still feels like I'm his wife. Maybe he just knows himself - is not willing to go through much trouble/effort to change, and is simply being honest? Trying to get me to beg to stay married, or to see if I still love him enough? Or doesn't want me and just acts like he does? Too weird to understand.

Oh this is very familiar. My walk away wife never apologizes for anything she says and does no matter how hurtful or wrong it is.
She says heaps of hostile things to blame me, and then says "I miss you and I feel sick about it." Like you, I think she's just too weird to understand sometimes.

Does this sound familiar that the consequence of his own action is something he blames you for? In my case, she walks out, blames me for it and then wants sympathy for her feeling sick after doing it.

Maybe it's more like they believe they are largely incapable to go through much trouble/effort to change (and maybe it's true?).

I think that very self-centred people will say things to see if they can get you to do what they want or need from you, but are unable / unwilling to do themselves.

Or as you put it to see if you "still love him enough".

A narcissistic abuser will continually test to see if they can manipulate you still. Ever feel like he just sees you as an object he can use at his convenience?
 
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