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Answer to Ben
September 26, 2002
9:17 am
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beenthruthat
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Ben~

I'm 41 (ugh!)and my husband just turned 47. 2nd marriage for us both, we have been married 9 and 1/2 years, together about 11 years. We have a 4-year-old daughter.

My husband and I started a pest control business together in 1994 here in South Florida, shortly after our marriage. I held down a full time job at the company I just had my 10th anniversary at. So, I was the steady income for a long time. We both worked very hard and made the business a success. However, he was burning out on managing the day to day aspects of the company. The employees got him angry, payroll taxes, customers, etc. When I became pregnant I realized I couldn't work 80 hours a week. (40 hrs/wk at steady income, 30-40 hrs/wk doing the books for his business). As we were looking around for alternatives (we had already hired and fired 3 people to take my place during 4 yrs), a business broker contacted us and said we had a buyer for the business. The pest control industry is very competitive here. After two weeks we decided to sell the business, and we got a very good return on our investment.

My husband had already started to short-circuit, focusing all his anger about the business towards me. Having a new job and a new baby at about the same time put him further into the depression he had been denying for about a year. He sought active treatment (maybe mid-life crisis) and was put on anti-depressants. All during this time, since I was probably more aware of his depression than he was, I was being very supportive to him and kept some of the pressure off of him by taking care of the baby (exclusively) and running the household.

My daughter got very ill at 5 months old and was later diagnosed with asthma at 11 months. She still has a daily asthma regimen that is not as bad as when she was younger. I was still working and sometimes came to work with no sleep the night prior. I was burning out also.

He kept working for the company that bought his business for a year, then 'arranged' a traffic accident and went out on a (bogus) workers comp. claim for a year. I did not like the arrangement but thought that the time off from work may be necessary for him. During that time he was very focused on his own needs. It was funny; he couldn't work but could jump on his Harley and take off for the weekend, but couldn't work.

From there, he just didn't want to work or participate with us his family anymore. During this time he also began to escalate his verbal abuse. Maybe he felt emasculated or something. The verbal assault would range from me being an idiot (for trivial things) to attacking my family, religion, weight, looks and anything else he could think of. (At that time I was pretty unhappy and got up to 150 lbs. Not super fat but big for me at 5'6".) I kept addressing the abuse but his answers were that he was depressed and felt bad and...

After that year he took a job doing odd jobs for a local corporate cafeteria company and quit after three months because he felt he was above doing that type of work. He then decided he wanted to go to school to be a truck driver. On the road driver, of course, so he would never be home. Wanted me to pay for the schooling AND support him. I was not happy. He didn't work for another year. During that year I filed for divorce, after six months of individual and marriage therapy. He didn't hear me; he became even nastier to me, ignored his daughter and demonstrated his anger towards me while she was present. Neither one of us had an affair during all this time. For different reasons both of us had low self-esteem.

After I filed for divorce, he began posturing very violent behavior to intimidate me. Joining the NRA, stealing money from the family account, threatening to kill me, and in general looking like a crazy man. I put a restraining order on him and, stupid me, let him back in the house because he broke down crying and saying he didn't know how all this happened, he had no where to go...

When things started up a week after that, I moved out until he finished trucking school and got a job. That was about 6 or 7 weeks I stayed with a girlfriend. He left and I felt much better. I began working to financially and emotionally recover from his antics. He came back to visit his daughter about 5 months later. She really loves her Daddy and they had a good visit. However, my daughter was going to have to have her tonsils removed and he got angry when I said my mother would be coming down to help me take care of her. He refused to let my mother come and seriously threatened to kill me. Got another restraining order and got my mother down (she thought he would sneak in and kill her) and my daughter did fine after her surgery.

With talking on the phone, about 4 months after that (8 months total), we agreed he could come home and try to work it out. He has been home for almost 4 months now. He immediately dropped the violent posturing and stopped the verbal assaults. What gets me is how he can control it now, when before he seemed so out of control. My thoughts are it was all a conscious act for him to get his way. Of course, the understanding was that we would both attend counseling and no abuse would be tolerated.

When he first came home he was like the guy I married. Considerate to me and happy with his daughter. Like a dream come true. Then, he sold his Harley and got a nice sum of money. His decision not mine. He bought all these toys for our daughter and started some old bad habits with her, such as feeding her a chocolate bar 5 minutes before dinner (I hate that one!!)

Once he got a local driving job he almost immediately became entitled. He got angry because I didn't have dinner on the table by 6:30. Now, I commute and pick up my daughter, which takes about an hour. I would get home no earlier than 5:45. He began snapping things like 'can't you at least bring me a napkin' (accompanied of course by the bad attitude voice and body language). This is after I cooked the dinner and brought it to him. So, next weekend we got a LOT of TV dinners so that he could eat earlier if he got hungry.

The therapy has been pretty steady with the exception of when he was on the road for 8 months. However, I believe he really is not convinced that he has a problem. This is even though he appears to be unsatisfied with his circumstances, never laughs (I mean never), and becomes restless and loses sleep. He has no friends and alienates others. He had a big problem this past weekend with me watching my friend's son (who is also my daughter's best friend). My friend works for the US Post Office and it is very hard for her to get a sitter on Saturday. My husband works on Saturday, so it doesn't affect him much. With my daughter having a playmate, I can get housework done, wash the car with the kids, laundry, etc. I don't mind. He certainly does.

He may have depression or even be manic. My friend who is bipolar says he definitely needs Lithium. I am not a psychiatrist and I wouldn't try to diagnose him anyway. He took himself off his meds about 2 months before he came home. I just realized this recently.

So, that is where I stand now. Sorry for all the details. I don't think I've given anyone a lot of details before now. I also have the strange log on because I am afraid he may once again rummage through my PC files and paper work to find things out. So I use a log on he would have a hard time finding. Call me Jenny though.

Any feedback would be appreciated guys!

September 26, 2002
9:36 am
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julie2
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I certainly understand the conditions you are living through. The only thing I can think of at the moment...(and I'm not a counselor, just an average person with troubles too) is to take action. Let him know that you will not tolerate his negativity nor his outlandish behavior. I think the medication takes about two months to get out of your system completely. Obviously, he needs to get back on track. One thing for you to do is to make a choice not to live with him if he's not taking care of himself by taking his prescribed medication that helped in the first place.

I have a friend who stopped taking her medication because she thought she could handle life with out it. She crashed...couldn't survive without her husband literally doing everything for her. She now realizes her mistake. It took almost a year for her to become functional as a wife and mother again.

Know that I'm thinking of you and your daughter. Be safe. You sound like a very caring and loving mother and wife. Sometimes the best thing to do revolves around safety issues. Keep those in mind.

julie2

September 26, 2002
10:08 am
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Cici
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Wow, Jenny, you have been through so much (thus the nick now makes sense to me!) I have to say here that I really admire your strength, and how you have been putting your daughter's needs first.

The thing I noticed when I worked with severely mentally ill people (which was over a year ago so take this with a grain of salt) - was that many of them were in very strong denial of their illnesses. Now, I worked with men who had been convicted of violent crimes - so you see the power of denial here. Most of the time, people start to see the negative consequences of their behavior and realize that it's NOT everyone else - it really is them and how they are approaching others and life. But for some, the consequences can never be negative enough. Their power to deny is too strong.

Sometimes, a good psychiatrist can break through by just muscling their way through the client's denial, but that really does still require even a tiny amount of desire to change circumstances.

I don't know as I have much advice. If he really doesn't want to get to the heart of his obvious discontent and problems coping with the normal stressors of life, than no intervention can really help - he has to give a little to get a little, ya?

One thing I've read is a "notes to my spouse" journal - where you write letters to each other and respond. This is sometimes used for couples who get really confrontational when issues are being discussed, but it's only a short-term solution, and usually done under the guidnace of a marriage and family therapist who can help you learn to transition writing letters into calmer verbal exchanges.

But how do YOU feel? How do you feel about him, your life together, are you hopeful?

hugs,
C

September 26, 2002
10:49 am
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gingerleigh
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I've got no input Jenny, other than Wow! You write with a solid-sounding tone, you sound so together, despite all of the crap that has been flying at you. Any possibility that you could take a day off and drive somewhere, all by your lonesome or maybe with a good female friend and not have to worry about anything? Maybe leave your little one with Mom for a day or two so that you can relax? Not that you "need" this, but with all the stress it might be nice to get away for a bit, you deserve it!

September 26, 2002
11:31 am
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beenthruthat
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Thank you all for your responses. Nice to really lay out the history. Its funny but I have answered many other threads but didn't feel confident enough to do my own since my introduction into the site.

julie2~ Thank you for the good advice. Actually my counselor has helped me tremendously in how to set the boundaries towards my husband. A couple of those are that I have a right to have my friends and go to church each week. Since he counsels both my husband and I, he compliments what he enacts on one side with what he suggests on the other. i.e. He tells my husband I am entitled to have my own friends. My husband has been off his meds about 6 months now. I actually don't see that big of a difference really. He has a harder time sleeping but doesn't look sleepy all the time. The meds never really kept the anger in check anyway. I feel there is a good probability he was misdiagnosed for depression. I talked and visited with his psychiatrist but he disagreed with me.

Cici~ Look who's talking about me having strength! With all you have been through, especially recently. I have the utmost respect for you. As far as my hope, I honestly think that I can't live with this man anymore. My final divorce hearing has been postponed until November 13th. I will probably follow through. I have done my best here, with no regrets. Well, maybe a regret that I allowed him to come back 4 months ago. I am actually afraid of his reaction if I ask him to leave, so I will wait and discuss that with the counselor. The whole time my husband did this violent posturing I was much more afraid that he would go totally insane and get a gun. He doesn't have the gumption to come after me with a knife or strangle me. He would off me then himself. That's what really made me leave last time.

I feel like I'm in limbo - I have NO dreams left concerning my marriage, and have yet to form any goals or dreams for myself. Except for keeping my daughter safe and raising her as best I can.

gingerleigh~ It would be nice to get away for a while. Mom lives about 14 hours away. Actually, I usually go up to her house with my daughter to get away from things. She feeds me well (Southern cookin' ya know!) and helps take care of the kid and me. Plus, I occasionally travel for business and have the luxury of being all by myself after the business meetings. I usually hole up in the hotel, watch old movies and eat exotic foods. I am looking for a more permanent break. The counselor told me to start acting like I'm living single. This helps by making me feel less connected to his bad moods, which are frequent, and not having any expectations of him.

This website has allowed me to express things (albeit a bit anonymously) and kept my head on a bit straighter. So, you guys have been instrumental in keeping me strong and steady.

Thanks to you all...(((((((HUGS)))))))

September 26, 2002
8:36 pm
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benthere
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Wow. Wow. Wow. Just when you think you're (my) life is crap, you go and post. Jenny, wow.

Well, as for my very humble advice, you are doing the right thing by leaving. Something I have noticed in my limited time being here is that with most people posting being female, the advice seems somewhat scewed (obviously).

I have read a ton of books and have been on the "couch" quite a bit and have learned people are who they are, and will stay that way until THEY and ONLY THEY fully realize THEY need to change, pull up their boot straps, and do the work necessary to change. Simple, right? You have done that, he has not. You have given it ENOUGH time to see if he is going to change, or better, wants to change. SOOO many people I see, and talk to want to change, but don't. Or, they just go through the motions like my wife Ann is.

I am worried about your safety though. As a new "friend" of yours, I wonder, again, wonder, if he really would hurt you or your daughter, OR, are you using that as an excuse to stay with him because of your own issues? Something to think about. The reason I say this is I just read a book on addictive relationships and when it comes down to finally making a decison, HUMANS will normally find almost any excuse to stay. Again, just a thought.

If you really do fear for your safety, make sure you take appropriate steps to protect yourself, like having some friends over, or the sheriff when he leaves.

Ben-

September 27, 2002
5:58 am
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beenthruthat
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Thanks Ben~

I appreciate your confirmation of my situation. I have our local law enforcement speed dialed on my cell phone and my home phone. I've called them a few times since all this started, and won't hesitate to do so again. If I felt he would go ballistic without notice, I wouldn't be living with him again.

I do still fear his response when I tell him I'm going through with the divorce, that's why I'm carefully approaching it now. I'll keep you posted.

Take care, and good luck on your situation.

September 27, 2002
12:06 pm
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tracylyn
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Jenny~

Thanks for sharing your personal journey. I know it's not easy. I think we came into this site at about the same time. I have yet to really really lay it all out. My story has just been coming out in bits and pieces.

You are brave, you are strong and you have your head on straight honey. Don't look back, don't give up, be safe, be careful.

Be well.

September 30, 2002
10:54 am
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beenthruthat
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Just an update for my friends:

Saturday night my hubby and I discussed finalizing the divorce. As some of you would expect, it's all my fault, I'm unhappy, I can't be satisfied, yada, yada, yada. And, of course, he has always tried his hardest and doesn't understand.

And, I don't care what he thinks as long as I don't live with the man anymore! We talked for four hours, much of which were some of the issues we have been going round and round about for the past few years. We talked about loss of respect, no intimacy, how to handle our daughter. It was actually fairly civilized. He has not talked to me since.

Let's hope he won't simmer for a while and then explode. I don't want to get another restraining order. Well, I do feel better but also feel a little scared that he will start acting out his frustrations.

One issue I am having a problem with is should I let him keep the money he got for his motorcycle or write it off to keep the peace.

Here's the situation: In 1998 when we sold our business (50/50 split), I took my portion and paid personal bills in both our names and had new flooring put down in the house. He bought a brand new Harley. He just sold the Harley for $15,500 and hasn't given me anymore that $200 of that money.

Should I pursue the $7,250 or just write it off? Actually, I would prefer he keep the money so that I can refinance the house at a lower amount. That makes sense to me also since my portion of the business proceeds went into 'permanent' improvements into the house. Of course, me insisting that I get my share of the motorcycle money could generate lots more anger on his part. However, most likely a judge would go my way on a settlement.

Any suggestions you guys can give me would be appreciated.

Thanks!

September 30, 2002
12:26 pm
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mossrose
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My Dearest friend, Jenny

I am sooo glad you posted.
I really wanted to know what was going on with you and it seems to reflect what i went through with the psycho, myself.
Listen soulsis, i can tell you now, i see so many similiarities between your hubby and my ex, you, your mindset and me and my mindset.
You are very intelligent, forgiving and hopeful whilst putting yourself in the ultra responsible position while he behaves like a spoilt, narcisscistic brat.
Your sole mothering is like me and his actions are what speak louder than any words he can say.
When i was in the thick of that WARZONE, and i do mean WARZONE which you are oging through and have been for some years by the looks of it, i couldnt see the forest for the trees.
NOW THAT I AM OUT.
GOD its the best thing i ever did for myself and my children.
I suffered and am suffering a form of post trauamtic stress stuff from all that i went through with him.
I stood firm, intelligent, responsible and caring like you while all the time i tried to figure out what the hell HE was doing and thinking and letting his bizarre behavior reflect upon me as if i was just as nuts.
LISTEN, YOU REALLY NEED TO GO THROUGH WITH THE DIVORCE.
THIS IS NOT GOING TO GET BETTER
HE DOES NOT AND WILL NOT TAKE RESPONSIBLITY FOR HIS ACTIONS.
THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR HIM AND YOU IS TO DIVORCE HIM, IM SERIOUS.
ITS THE ONLY WAY HE WILL "GET IT" IF HE EVER DOES.
I WOULD ALSO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER HE MAY BE BIPOLAR.
You have given way too much Jenny, take care of you and your little girl.
Put lots of space between you and that man..ok..
Im not saying this as if im preaching from a soap box and dont have a clue aobut what is going on with your life.
i KNOW and have lived your life.
Get out now, before its too late.
and also believe that he is probably VERY capable of following through on his death threats and things will get way worse emotionally when he sees you have left his control and ARE divorcing him...BE PREPARED FOR THAT
It might be a good idea to surround yourself with support, friends, money , savings etc right now and yes refinance that house. I also would consider getting your half of that fifteen grand..its yours by right.

September 30, 2002
12:58 pm
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beenthruthat
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Oh yeah! Just what I wanted to hear. I just wrote you a heck of a post myself. It's tough living with someone like this, eh? You better believe I'm going through with the divorce. What is different for me though is that I'm coming from a position of power. My lawyer (bulldog lady) has been great. Of course I have to go to have the court decide, but I've been in process since August 2001. The only thing left is the final divorce hearing on November 13, 2002. Even if he gets all bent I still get a divorce in 6 weeks.

The big thing is him being a man about it and not pulling a gun on me. He has definitely scared me on a couple of occasions. I don't want to endure that again. Still, I have a couple of friends now that would be safe houses for my daughter and I if we really need it. I have a bag in the trunk of my car and all the important papers at the office. It's tough living a paranoid lifestyle!

So far so good, though. I honestly think he is just as sick of living with me this time around. I just don't play his games anymore! However, the silent treatment sometimes means he's stewing in his own temper. I hope not, but if it does happen I will call the cops right away. Having that official presence keeps him from doing anything foolish. He has accused me of doing that prematurely, but I don't care. Better look like a fool than dead. I also put out fraud alerts on my credit cards, changed bank accounts with him not having access, changed the security system codes so if he messes up, he's in jail. All without him knowing. Sneaky yes, for self-preservation, you bet!

After he gets out of the house, locks will be re-tumbled and that's the last thing that ties us together. I did that purposely when he returned after the 8 months on the road. Thank goodness! I could never really trust him I guess.

Oh well, things are looking up for us both don't you think!

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