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DECISIONS I MUST MAKE....
March 12, 2006
6:29 pm
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serenitysam
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Please let me briefly give you an overview of my situation, and see if anyone has advice or wants to tell me I'm crazy.
My husband and I married when he was 23 and I was 17. We had four rocky years of marriage and two kids. He was abusive physically and I was mouthy and I reached out to somone else in a one night stand...however, that was not the final straw. We divorced two almost three years after that.

After one hell of a divorce, his stealing the children and fleeing the state, a child custody battle, etc...we went over a year with no communication, nor did he come to see the kids. Then one day he called, and came to see the kids. We connected again and soon he moved in with me. Everyone thought I was crazy, and his family (who has never liked me) disowned him. We married almost two years later and had two more children over the next six years. We had our ups and downs but have always come through them. His family has treated us like we have the plague....my family doesn't care for our marriage either, but has been nothing but pleasant.
Anyway two years ago, I made the decision to join the military to help pay my student loans, and provide insurance for our children. He was running his own business and had been through many jobs, never staying more than three years. We were surviving but poor. I thought the military would help us out, and it was something that I had always wanted to do. He wasn't very happy with this but didn't stop me. I went...turned everything (finances, bills, kids, and household) over to him. He had never taken care of any of these before.
I got hurt and returned home a little over two months later. Things were different. He refused to turn finances back over to me, and even refused to return my credit cards. For two years a variety of things have occurred. He took me off of his business checking account. He kept the credit cards, and continued to take care of certain bills, but returned the ones that he felt were mine, such as student loans, our son's dental bill, and house payment. I make decent money in my career, but feel he gave me back just enough bills to keep my strapped financially, while he took care of his finances however he saw fit. I finally broke down and opened my own checking account, although when kids need something, I am the one to buy it...rarely him. So, my money is usually gone quick.
Another incident caused him to revoke our cell phones (mine and my sons) because even though we had them for a year, he said they were his because he was paying the bills.

March 12, 2006
6:47 pm
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serenitysam
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Oops, accidently clicked out...let me finish...so, I went and bought our own cell phones.

I have not cheated on him or been unfaithful in this marriage. Anyone will tell you how I have been very supportive of him and love him desparately. He travels a lot and I wait patiently. I raise the kids and deal with the day's ins and outs.

Two weeks ago I discovered on accident that he had spyware on my computer, and that he was monitoring everything I do, even this is being recorded as far as I know. He says it wasn't working but I believe it was. I have nothing to hide, and felt very violated by this. I do not feel this is healthy and can't even begin to tell you all of our life's problems.

He has made our son pay for his own breakfast cereal for two years (usually I buy it for him and give it to him).

We have had a really rough two years. My children, all four of them, have been total blessings in my life, good kids that have stayed the straight and narrow, never drank, partied, smoked, etc...I feel this is important for you to know...

Now, as I said the last two years have been up and down, and we've split up at least once. My husband has weird ways that I just can't agree with, such as he feels our son should buy his own breakfast cereal so he can see how expensive it is. He doesn't help him out with lunch money, etc....if anyone does, I do. He's not that way with the girls.

Our son is now 18 and a half, but still a senior in high school due to how his bday fell....and quite often I have heard my husband make comments to him moving out...and always I have said I don't think so...

I know I am not doing justice to our story by telling you bits and pieces but the whole story would take way too long.

Today, my husband out of the blue (and we have not gotten along the greatest for quite sometime, but I thought we were working on our problems) anyway today he accused our son of "sponging off of him" and they had a small argument and my son stood up for himself, saying he didn't see how he was sponging off of him when he bought his own lunches and breakfast...

Long story short, my husband kicked my son out of our home. I cried and begged him not to leave. I told my husband not to make me choose between the two of them because I have always told my husband that if he did that, I would kick him out before my child. Maybe that sounds harsh, I don't know...

I told my husband to get out and he said no, he turned on a tape recorder and tried taping our conversation (which he does almost always) and finally I called the police. My husband left before they came. I feel like he called my bluff and I had no choice.

My son is gone, my husband has left, but said he would be back, and I am left sitting, evaluating my life. I don't see hope in our marriage anymore, although I love him. Is this sick? I truly believe I am co-dependent. I could go on and on...

Advice?

March 12, 2006
6:52 pm
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serenitysam
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Let me also say he has not been physically abusive in this relationship. I discovered the spyware on my computer because I had my son do some work on it, because it was operating slow, and found the program. I asked my son if it was his, and he said no.

My husband informed me that it was his computer, not mine (even though I am the one that uses it 98% of the time-he has his own laptop). He says it's his because he paid for it. I said, I thought we bought it together while we are married, and he said no, he bought it with his money.

Why do I love him? Why can't I get over him? How do I decide...I really need advice, suggestions, comments. I need to know what to do.

March 12, 2006
6:58 pm
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serenitysam
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Last week he told me I was nothing but white trash...after eighteen years of marriage with the two marriages combined....did he ever apologize...NO...but I forgave enough to continue with this relationship and try to work it out. All of my friends think I am crazy to stay in this relationship, yet I hang on.......why can't I break away from it?

March 12, 2006
7:37 pm
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free2choose
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What is the payoff for you for allowing yourself to stay in a relationship with a person who is verbally abusive, manipulative and controling. He obviously micromanages your finances to suit his needs and is not at all a sharing person. He sounds very self-centered and selfish. Alot like my father. I watch my mom and wonder why does she stay with him. I know for her she thinks it is because she loves him and marriage is for better or worse, but I know secretly she gets something out of staying with him. She gets to stay the victim, not take responsibility for her own life and choices, and she does not have to be alone.

Have you ever been in a relationship with anyone but this man??? You said you were 17 when you first married.

Are you in therapy? What about CODA meetings??

Free2Choose

March 12, 2006
7:42 pm
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serenitysam
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Live in a very small community and I doubt there are CODA meetings around. We have went to counseling but he walked out of our last session when the counselor asked us both to come up with two things we would like to see changed in our marriage to make it better and I said I would like to feel some "predictability" in our life and have some respect from him.

I talked to an attorney six months or so ago, and then he begged me for us to work on this marriage.

Yes, when we divorced I dated another guy for awhile and went on a few other dates, but my husband has been the total love of my life...even while divorced and date others, I would have missing him attacks.

March 12, 2006
7:46 pm
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serenitysam
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Staying in this marriage...Is it security? Never being alone? Needing to be needed? I'm not sure. He tells me all the time that if I leave him that someday my kids will be grown and gone and then I will be all alone and realize that I shouldn't have divorced him type thing.

March 12, 2006
7:48 pm
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CAMER
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he is making you feel this way...heck, you will be fine on your own, you really will..........what is so bad about being alone, and what are the fears, if you learn to love yoruself and spend good time with you, you shouldnt have a problem....and reach out to friends and family and support groups....cuz you are better off alone, than being in chaos and being verbally abused.

You have to decide, do you want him as he is now or do you deserve better???

March 12, 2006
7:50 pm
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free2choose
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Well, I got the answer from the other thread about the payoff...you are terrified of being alone and divorced. Do you see it as a failure??

It's easier if you stick to one thread.

About therapy...he says he wants to work on the marriage but then runs away when you get down to the problems. You know, he might like things the way it is, I mean, whats not to like he is getting his way all the time and getting to rule the roost uncontested!!! So what would be the reason for him to go to therapy and stick with it if you continue to stay with him when he continuously breaks agreements. If he has no consequenses for his actions then he will never change. Even with consequenses he still may never change....

The only thing you can change is YOU!!! What about therapy just for YOU. Not couples therapy. I understand you think the problem lies within your relationship, but the real truth is the problem can only occur if two people allow it!! So therefor something in you is damaged enough that you will allow yourself to be treated in the manner in which you are being treated.

You are an adult. You have choices. They may not be ones you like, but they not always are!!! Take responsibility for YOU. If you begin to change you and your reactions and get stronger within youself you will not need him so much and will see that you are worth more than what he gives you!!!!

Free

March 12, 2006
7:51 pm
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serenitysam
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Friends have long since gone away because of my relationship with him....family are far and few between...and how do you find a CODA group in a small, rural area?

How do you go through with a divorce yet still LOVE him so strongly? I know it's not healthy and I know that I need to make changes, but truthfully do not know how to go about this.

My first divorce was so traumatic...and I never got over him, that's why we got back together....how do I know....

March 12, 2006
7:54 pm
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free2choose
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What he tells you about being alone after the kids leave is just him playing you on your fears and manipulating you into staying and putting up with his shit by painting any alternative as a bleaker existence than the one you are now in. Stop listning to him. Listen to YOURSELF. Not the fear in your head, but the true you that tells you that YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE TREATED ABUSIVELY, and niether do your children.

March 12, 2006
7:54 pm
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CAMER
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http://www.coda.org

a wonderful website, with lots of info...if you key in your state a listing of Coda groups will come up in that area.

time to love you more, and think of your wants and needs.

Have you tried reading any coda books??
Women who love too much, by Robin Norwood
or Codependent NO more, by Melody Beattie, great books with great insight.

March 12, 2006
7:57 pm
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free2choose
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Look...if you love him that much, well then you can always choose to stay with him...You just have to know that making that choice means accepting him the way he is NOW. Not staying and hoping he will change and one day get it... If you love him so much that you choose to stay, well you have to take him as is. But ask yourself...Why do you love him so much more than you love you??? And so much more than you love your children, because that is the message you are giving them when you allow him to abuse them too!! Believe me, I know.

March 12, 2006
7:58 pm
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serenitysam
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Free2Choose...thanks and I didn't intend to start more than one thread but wasn't getting a response.....

You are so on target when you ask if i am afraid of failure...you know I failed at my first marriage with him...and yes, failure is a biggie for me.

You are right on target as well with the fact that he is happy with the way things are right now, and has told me so. He likes the finances the way they are and likes everything else this way.

Everytime I get up the nerve to take that scary step he begs me to wait and try working on it.

I will check on CODA.org and see if there are any meetings near me, but I doubt it. My counselor is $75. per hour and I cannot afford that anylonger. He (my husband) says if I want counseling alone I have to pay for it, and if I want counseling with both of us, I have to pay half. Last time, he paid 1/2 an hour and walked out and I was there for an hour and a half after...which was expensive.

March 12, 2006
8:03 pm
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serenitysam
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I have not read these books but will look for them and read. Something is going to have to change.

I love him, but not enough to continue the way things are...and in my heart I don't see anything ever really changing.

March 12, 2006
8:05 pm
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free2choose
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Do you now have medical insurance, most of the time they cover counseling and all you have to pay is a small co-pay. If you do not have medical insurance there are often places to go that offer counseling on a sliding scale fee. The poorer you are the less you pay. My community has a clinic that is free for people who work and do not have insurance and they offer free counseling there. There are a billion resources out there you just have to look, sometimes SEARCH.

Does your employer offer an EAP program (Employee Assistance Program) Alot of places, including my employer offers this. It is 8 free sessions with a counselor that the employer pays for. Talk to you human resources director to see what your company offers as for as mental health.

Erica

March 12, 2006
8:16 pm
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serenitysam
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Our power just went off and I lost all that I was typing....

my insurance wouldn't cover that even if it were around here, but it isn't because I live in a very rural area.

I will look up CODA.org

March 12, 2006
8:51 pm
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Worried_Dad
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I don't think your problem is that you are "codependent."

Your problem is that you are in love with an abusive person.

The weird thing about abusive relationships is that the "nice" times in between the horrible stuff actually makes us feel more bonded to the abuser.

This guy has a history of parental abduction. In my opinion, that is the second most violently abusive act of doemstic violence known to mankind--topped only by homicide.

In my opinion, the condition that you need healing from is "victim of domestic violence."

I am curious what gives him the right to kick your son out of your home?

March 12, 2006
8:55 pm
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serenitysam
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Hold on.....

March 12, 2006
9:10 pm
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serenitysam
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He is not abusive in the physical sense...

I do love him...I think I am codependent...because I need to be needed and the fear of not being needed by him scares me...

He kicked him out b/c he's 18 1/2 and a senior and his father feels he sponges off of him...

My husband feels no "responsibility" to him since he's 18....feels he should be paying rent, etc...

March 12, 2006
9:21 pm
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serenitysam
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He should not have been able to have kicked him out of OUR house, but he did.

March 12, 2006
9:36 pm
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Physical abuse is neither the defining feature nor a necessary part of domestic violence. And there are worse things than physical abuse.

Most everyone wants to be needed. In abusive relationships there is often an exaggerated sense of desperately wanted to be loved and needed by the abusive person. Abusive relationships do not foster autonomy and independence--they foster dependence--which is what makes them so hard to get out of.

There is nothing wrong with encouraging young adults to become independent--in fact that's essential.

But to tell a high school senior that he is sponging" off of his father who he lives with is extreme.

He is controlling and secretive about finances,
has no concept of partnership and shared or community property, makes you buy everything for the kids, has put spyware on your computer, is a parental abductor, does the bull**** tape recording thing...yikes, what's next.

There is no way you could have lived with that for years without it impacting your mental health.

And the whole spyware thing? One major red flag of and in an abusive realtionship is excessive jealousy/suspicion/paranoia. For one thing it is a sign of "projection." For example, people who are having affairs very often accuse their spouses of being unfaithful. I have to wonder just what he is hiding with the credit card thing.

March 12, 2006
11:56 pm
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salemgirl
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Dear serinity,

I believe the man you have loved and married is a monster. I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but he is definiately not a man.

The "What is mine, is mine, what is yours is ours, except for the kids" philosphy is pure bull****. A real man takes care of business. He puts in a partnership with his wife and he takes care of his children... financially, spiritually, morally, and mentally. His first priorities should be to his family's care and safety. Period.

Kicking a kid (especially a good kid) out of the house while he is still in school is an act of a tyrant, and is inexcusable.

Treating you like an employee, instead of a life partner is likewise inexcusable.

In my state, all property is split 50/50, whith child support going to the spouse with custody. I would take the sob to court and demand child and spousal support, even if you do stay married. It is not as far fetched as it seems.

I will appologyze now to anyone whom may be offended by this posting, but I have witnessed too many women struggleing to care for their children and themselves, while their ex's live large, and complain about how she never understood me.

March 14, 2006
8:37 pm
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serenitysam
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Okay, so I come home from work last night and he was moving out. He was leaving, just like I had asked. He was fair, took nothing that didn't belong to him, and left quietly.

Now, I feel like crap. My two youngest are upset with me and attitudes are everywhere.

I want so desperately to call him and say I love you, come home.

My son is home tonight...how unfair that would be to him....Why do I feel this way? Why can't I be a hard ass like other people?

March 14, 2006
8:46 pm
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serenitysam
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QUESTION: What are the chances of him changing? What are the chances of us working this out? What are the possiblities that we could last another sixteen years or better yet, a lifetime?

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