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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the site, I ran across it while trying to research options.
I have been married for 16 + years and we have been together 20 years. This is his first marriage and my second. My first marriage lasted exactly 1 year due to physical abuse, at which time I took my child and ran.
I met my current husband 6 months after leaving my first husband and we were perfect for each other. We had all the same dreams and goals. We both came into the relationship with a child (mine lived with us, his with her mother) and 5 years later he adopted my daughter then we had 2 more children. He has always been a good father in many ways and does not look at my oldest daughter as anything other than his daughter.
The first 5 years were great but for the last 12 years it has been a rollercoaster. He has struggled for years with his jealousy. I used to be very outgoing and he is very reserved. I used to like to have a lot of friends around and he has always had one or two. I have spent years trying to make this marriage work to the point of giving up my lifetime friends because of his ridiculous jealousy, and tried changing to be more of what he wanted with little or no success. Nothing I have ever do makes him happy. His biggest complaint about me is that I don’t clean the house. Now, this is a matter of perception. I have always cleaned, cooked, and worked a full time job. He is right, I don’t spend hours making my home spotless but, it is clean. If I decide not sweep the floor one night, and we get into an argument he says I “NEVER” do anything. Even if I did everything, he wouldn’t acknowledge it.

His jealousy had him parking across from my work, going through my purse, accusing me of sleeping with any guy (even a girl) that I spoke to, going through my dirty clothes, need I go on. For years I tolerated this but, one day I woke up and realized that this is no way to live. 10 years ago we tried counseling but he got mad because the counselor spent more time with me than he did with him and then told me that he thought the therapist was “interested” in me. I have gone as far as to leave only to return when he would apologize and agree to change. Well, it took me telling him I wanted a divorce (I sent the kids to a friends, and calmly asked for it) for him to stop treating me like a criminal. Of course, he immediately said I was sleeping around. Then a few days later we talked and everything was right with the world again.

Over the past couple of years he has changed, he no longer acts jealous. However, he has pulled completely away from me. He is not an affectionate person(unless he wants sex) and I am a person who wants and needs lots of affection. I have tried talking to him and he rolls his eyes and calls me a baby. I have always tried to do special things for him (Nascar tickets, tools, etc..) and I try to pay attention to his interests to show him how much I love him. In the 16+ years of marriage he has not done one thing to surprise me or show me that I matter (he doesn’t care what interests me). I even asked him for show tickets (for my birthday), he said sure go buy them, take one of your friends (I wanted to go with him). He puts everything before me, his mother, his motorcycle (he just bought without even talking to me about it), his friends, the kids, his job, etc. and I am at the bottom of his list. My list has always been my kids, him, and then everything else. I recently asked him, “if I am so bad and I make you so miserable, then why are you still with me?” He rolled his eyes and wouldn’t answer. His mother (who until recently has always been close to me) is now staying with us to help with the kids and has taken over my home. If I say I will do the dishes, she jumps up and does them (I am feeling sabotaged). He will help her clean up after dinner, he has NEVER done that for me, he sits and talks to her and won’t give me the time of day. I told him he treats her better than he does me and he said, “your right, I do, she is my mother.” I don’t expect him to treat his mother bad, I just expect him to treat me as good. I would have liked him to give me a hug when he comes home (like he does his mom), ask me how my day was (like he does his mom), tell me he loves me (like he does his mom). They both think I am a baby because I try to talk about how I feel and they are both people that bottle it up and pretend everything is fine.

I am currently in counseling to try to work out all that I have been through with him (I have asked and he won’t go). I have come to the conclusion that I want out of this marriage. I no longer care if he loves me or not. I don’t care if he sleeps around or if he stays out late with his friends. Even all his changes are too little too late.
My problem is, I live in a community property state (everything from homes to 401K must be split) and the house is in my name and if I leave with the kids I could lose my house. My son freaks out any time he thinks we are separating (I know this will get better with time). I feel selfish for wanting to leave because my kids happiness is more important than my own and they only have 6 years until they graduate and move out of the house. My husband sleeps in the bedroom and I have slept on the couch for a year now. In Part because of a bad back, and partly because of the relationship. I just don’t know what to do or where to start. I put all my money into the house/family and I don’t know that I could afford an attorney or divorce. He won’t leave, I have begged him to leave and he won’t. I am afraid that if I move out he can’t afford the house and will intentionally do more damage to my credit. I am trapped! HELP! (Sorry so long….just trying to give the facts) Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

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First off you do not need a lawyer for a divorce but having one is advisable. Without the lawyer most states it is $50 to file. You may also be able to get free lagel advice and or have someone help you write up the paper work.

Call the attorney general's office for your state.

As far as the property if the house was in your name before the marriage then chances are you can retain it. If he was with you when you bought it and/or co-signed then he has rights to it to unless he leaves the house. Also it is not attomatic that you will get the children anymore either, specially if HIS mother is taking care of the house.

draconis
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I realize I do not have to have an attorney but, with the assets, kids and other things along with his inability to compromise I know that an attorney will be necessary.

Unfortunately, since I make decent money, I will not qualify for any assistance but, I will check with the Attorney General to see what they can tell me. Thank you.

The House was bought during marriage. I know that he has rights to the house; however, the mortgage is in my name and it is my credit that will be damaged. At one time he insisted on taking care of the bills and intentionally did damage to my credit by not taking care of things that were in my name or paying them late out of spite. As soon as I found out what was happening, I persuaded him to let me take care of the bills again. It is going to take me a long time to clean up the mess.

I know that the custody of the children is not automatic but, my children are in their early teens and will have the ability to choose which parent they want to live with. I have always been the parent who has taken them to the doctor, stayed home with them when they were sick, participated in all the scout meetings, sports events, and other activities. So yes, it is automatic that I think my children belong with me. But, I will stand by whatever my children decide.

As far as HIS mother, she recently retired and after we returned from my brothers funeral, one of my children became ill so I missed another week of work. The day my youngest child went back to school my other child came down with Strep Throat..another week home. A few days later they both came down with the Chicken Pox. My mother-in-law came in from out of state to help and asked if she could stay with us during the school year to help us. She will return to her house during the summer. This is the first year she has done this. I appreciate everything she does and I love her dearly for her help. But, his mother is not here to take care of my house, just to be here when the kids come home from school, and help them with their homework. I do not nor have I ever asked her to clean my house, cook meals or anything like that. She does help out and I appreciate that (I tell her everyday) but, I do not appreciate my things being thrown out and my kitchen rearranged because SHE doesn't like where I have things or thinks that I don't need those items. I have tried very hard to not let these little things bother me but, sometimes it just does.

Please do not think I am ungrateful because that is not the case, I just wish that she would not try to sabbotage my relationship (what little it is) with my husband. If I tell her not to worry about dinner that I will cook it, she will either walk right into the kitchen and start it or leave to go out to eat. (I am a great cook) she only does this when my husband is around but, when he isn't home then she just says ok and when my husband thanks her for dinner she says, "your welcome". She will be leaving in a couple of weeks to go home for a few weeks and I will not be upset if she decides to stay home.

I was just looking for some support and guidance through this very difficult time and decision in my life and I hoped that I could find that here. Today my therapist told me that this marriage is toxic and I needed to seriously consider my options (divorce). She is concerned with my husbands verbal abuse, complete lack of support and increasing withdrawl from me. So I guess I start looking at my next steps.

thanks for the information.
 

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I think your therapist has you on the right track. Even though his mother thinks she is helping she might be doing more damage then good there.

As far as the divorce assistance goes many states have more free stuff then what people think. In my state we have the following reguardless on income.

1) Everyone who wants to be a lawyer must spend one day a month (3rd thursday) providing free legal help at local court houses for anyone.

2) The lawyer referal program which if you contact the state bar and they suggest lawyer A he has to give you the first half an hour free. Some states they can charge a minimum fee 10-50 dollars others like my state are free.

3) Judge Advocate in my state this is by county but the help you with all the paper work for free.

I wish you the best of luck.

draconis
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for you advice and information. I will look into everything you suggested.

I am very concerned about the cost to get a divorce because most of my money is dedicated to the household bills and children. I cover all of the health care costs among other things so I lose almost 1/2 my check to those things alone. I make good money but, we also have bills to go along with that money (lol). Fortunately, I know I can afford the bills on my own once he is gone so that is one less thing I have to worry about.

Again, thank you for all the information!
 

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Sounds like you got some great advice! Good Luck and hope all turns out in your favor!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
saradale:

Thank you very much for your well wishes. I went out this weekend and purchased a book on divorce and one on non-violent communication (suggested by my therapist). I have also started working on getting things in order.

For now, I plan to focus on my kids, and myself while I get my finances in order. I have also started looking for an attorney and have a couple that I plan to talk to. In the mean time, I have decided to put money away in preparation.

I think my husband senses something is up because all of a sudden he is trying to be nice to me and making nice comments when I do something (this is extremely rare). I have gone through so much and after all these years its a little to late for the change of attitude. When he says something nice, I just give a little smile and say "thank you" and move on. I am no longer going to allow my life to be affected by his opinion or attention.
 

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I am sooo very proud of you. I think that you are on the right track and as long as you keep at the direction you are going, you will succeed in a happier life for you AND your children! Him sweet talking you in my opinion is just so you won't leave, then I have a strange feeling that after you agreed to stay he would go back to his old ways. You are doing the right thing. Stay strong, positive and it'll pay off in your favor in the end.

*Hugs*

PM me anytime!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Him sweet talking you in my opinion is just so you won't leave, then I have a strange feeling that after you agreed to stay he would go back to his old ways.
You are absolutely right. He thinks that being nice to me for a couple of days makes up for the other 29 days of the month he either ignores me or complains about everything I do/don't do. If he is nice to me a couple of days then whatever I am planning will just automatically go away. Maybe in the past but, not this time.

Thank you so much for the support, I really do appreciate it. This is such a hard thing to go through and although making the decision is hard the act of following through is even harder. However, I have made my mind up and believe it or not, I feel relief and some sense of happiness. I'm not saying I am happy that I am leaving him but, happy that I can move on with my life an no longer worry if he is going to get mad and yell at me today or treat me like I am invisible. (I don't know if this makes any sense)

I will take you up on your PM offer sometime! THANKS!

Drakonis:
Thanks for the info, it is good to have that information, it will help me in getting everything prepared. When I have my free consultation I will know to ask about the retainer. Thanks for all of your advice and information. You have been a great help!

I will keep you all posted on my progress!
 

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Dolphin- I haven't had to deal with a divorce with kids, but I have dealt with a husband who was on the same lines as your husband. It took leaving, coming back and leaving a few more times before I couldn't take it anymore. He also cheated on me when I had left him, I wasn't gone a day before he told me his ex(who was living in the same area) had "called" the hotel we were living in at the time, yeah right, later he admitted she stopped by and such. I was devestated and after he went to truck driving school, with the support of friends and lack of support of family, I left him. It was hard but the second I ripped the marriage license and threw it at his cheating a** I felt the world jump off my shoulders, turn and waved at me and winked :)
Hugs to you girl!
 
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