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Hi, My husband and I have been married 20 years. We were young and hard core Mormon. We have 5 beautiful children. 12 years ago, he went through some kind of midlife crisis and left Mormonism. It was really hard on him, partly because I stayed in church. For several years after leaving church, he was abusive, alcoholic, and finally confessed to sleeping with numerous strippers. We split for a while after he was charged with criminal domestic violence. It was a tough road, but we held it together. Fast forward 8 years, and marriage has taken a serious downturn. Physical abuse is no longer an issue, but he is just an asshole. My opinion doesnt matter, blah, blah.... I brought up concerns about his drinking, and he actually decides after 12 years to go back to Mormonism. He seems peaceful about this, but somehow (I forget the context) admits that he slept with strippers after our reconciliation 8 years ago. I know now that this is a back-pocket way to retailiate, and my trust is shattered. How could I have been so stupid? He says its because I didn't make him feel like a man. I tried to appease him, but he was so stubborn. He says he hasn't done it in the past two years, but Can't remember how many times or the details about his interactions. He has assured me that it wasn't more than once a year. (So, 6-7 times?)
He does admit to going to a strip club a few months ago, but only got a lap dance. Probably BS, but he says he has no reason to lie. What if he is telling the truth? Can we reconcile? If its been two years? Please don't be mean, my heart is shattered.
 

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Why aren’t you divorced?
He hasn’t kept the marital vows? In fact, he walked (stomped) all over those vows and you!

he doesn’t respect you and you can’t trust him - so you really have NO marriage!

if you don’t respect yourself - why should he?

when are you filing?
 

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Tough love in this reply, but I probably need it:) I actually do have a consultation with a lawyer tomorrow. I probably don't respect myself enough anymore. Its been a slow, steady decline in self-respect and allowing him to treat me badly. Divorce is so hard for me to wrap my head around, but I am getting a consult. I've never gone that far before.
 

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What you describe is a life-long issue, or at least adult-hood long issue. He's not going to change. Why do I say that?

1) He claims to admit the 'truth' but is most likely admimittng just the tip of the iceberg. It's just enough so he can say he's confessed. Cheaters lie. Habitual cheaters excel at it. It's in their DNA.

2) He has no remorse. He tells you all that and then blames you because you did not make him feel like a man???? Really? It's his job to make himself feel like a man. And a man (one worth his salt) does not behave the way he has.

3) He is using his infidelity and bad behavior as a weapon to disrespect you.

Of course you have low self-esteem. Anyone would with this nonsense in their marriage. You need to start putting yourself first here and taking care of you. Your children need for you to be the strongest person you can be. Their father is not going to be there for them.
 

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OP, you're married to an abusive, alcoholic, serial cheating asshole.

If your sister, best friend or daughter came to you and told you her husband was an abusive, alcoholic serial cheater who treats her badly even when he's not slapping her around, what would you say? If you found out she'd been putting up with that kind of treatment - subjecting her children to that kind of home life - for nearly a decade, what would you advise her to do?
 
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