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Divorce, please. Or not. Can't decide.
August 3, 2005
11:31 am
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jamaicanwife
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I have been married for almost 9 years. In that time, my husband and I have periodically waged war, and for a while a split seemed inevitable. We decided to give it another try, briefly went to counselling, and things seemed to get better. Seemed, because I continued to work on myself, kept going to counselling, was on prozac for a while, and as time passed, it became clear to me that my marriage was not likely to last.

I am not sad or bitter about it. the fact is, it is the fact that I am not sad or even distressed by the fact that makes me feel as though my marriage is not going to make it. You know what I worry about? If my husband moves out, I won't have a ride to work anymore because I don't drive. That is the most upsetting thing about the idea of a divorce.

My husband and I are not well matched. Who I am today bears little resemblance to the 26-year-old girl he married. I am not mild-mannered. I am not self-sacrificing if my child is not involved. I have no desire to 'cater to my man'. I like to be left alone. I want to watch tv alone. I like my own company very, very much. When we got married, I was such a mess, that I felt that I had to do whatever I thought he wanted to make him love me. I was so easygoing that I was a pushover, and we ended up in deep financial trouble that still looms over our heads today. We have huge debts to pay. This is my other concern. How will we manage financially? We can barely afford to keep one roof over our heads, much less two.

There are so many things about him that I knew before we married, and would be deal-breakers if we met today.

I didn't like the way he spoke to his mother, the way he would yell at her when they disagreed. Now he yells at me, and refuses to speak to me when I interrupt him. I used to cry and beg him to tlk to me, but now, I honestly don't care. If he isn't speaking to me, he won't harass me to get him drinks or rub his head.

I didn't like the way his mother waited on him hand and foot, never expecting him to do any chores or share any real responsibility for the upkeep of their home. I know he contributed financially when he started working, but he never lifted a finger. Ever. Now I have to deal with his self-satisfied proclamation that he has done his part by going to the supermarket and doing all the driving. Whatever. I just said phuck it, and what I can't manage, I don't look at.

I loaned him money before we married. Many times. To pay his rent. I even let him use my name to get a credit card that he used to buy himself dinner every day. And I paid it when I could afford to. See financial problems above.

He was a completely different person when he was around people he respected. He was basically in awe of some socially prominent friends he had, and although they were nice people, the way he would accept their word as the gospel and adjust his own opinions to match theirs disturbed me. A lot. He would then spout their opinions as his own, without even seeming to realize that he was doing so. He is like that with the judges and lawyers in his family, and although he is genuine in his ass-kissing, ass-kissing is ass-kissing and I can't respect that. He now works in PR, so good for him.

His relatives rescue each other and keep their hands in each others lives. I really found that disturbing, but I rationalized it by saying -What do I know about how normal families behave? Mine was completely dysfunctional. Maybe this is how normal families behave. Well, it isn't. They should have backed off completely 20 years ago so my husband could finish growing up.

If we were to separate, I would have more peace. I know that. I actually daydream about being able to watch what I want on tv.

My son is the other big issue. He adores his daddy, and with good reason. I adore my son, and my husband has lawyers in his family. Lots and lots of them - it is the family business. He would take my son from me.

The house we live in was actually his mother's. He would never let me have the house.

He makes less money than I do. He would not be able to afford support payments.

I don't think I can go on like this much longer, but I can't afford a lawyer, and I don't see a bright future post divorce. Maybe I should do what my mother did - grit my teeth and hang on until I see a clearer future.

August 3, 2005
12:03 pm
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exoticflower
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JW, here we have something called "family roomates" where you split expenses and family resopnsabilities with another single mother of any age, who is matched to youdepending on your lifestyle wants (like wanting space and such). Just one thought.

Are you indifferent or downright unhappy? I agree with so much of what you are saying, and at 25 with my daughter at a year I am so glad that I am out of the situation now.

"His relatives rescue each other and keep their hands in each others lives. I really found that disturbing, but I rationalized it by saying -What do I know about how normal families behave? Mine was completely dysfunctional. Maybe this is how normal families behave. Well, it isn't. They should have backed off completely 20 years ago so my husband could finish growing up." That is so true of my ex and his people. I feel like now I can grow up and he probably just won't, I've been looking for these words for some time and here you are speaking them better than I was going to be able to I'm sure...thank you.

Off subject, sorry. I was asking if you where really done as in "God Get me OUT OF HERE" or just "Meh. Don't feel it, buddy.". I think in the end you really have to keep that focus on you and your son...if you are maddly unhappy than struggles at home may be worse for you and your son, for me kI know that it got so bad that I couldn't argue anymore, that I was losing my own sanity and it wasn't fair to my daughter or me, it was nothing she should be around. We do struggle now, often, but it's a different sort, one that doesn't scare her or make her unhappy...or really even me. But, on the other hand, if you are just indiferent you can simply treat him as a roomate while you get things in order and be ready to go when you file for the divorce, and i bet it would all come off very civily, which is always nice (I hear) in a breakup.

And as ever, as your soul sister in "RIGHT NOW", you don't have to decide right now. YOu have time to think, this matter isn't immediate. You seem very un-frantic, yippie, so maybe you don't need me telling you that. (((((JW))))), I'm so proud of you and you are leaving me with a hopeful feeling in my gut for me today. Thanks!

August 3, 2005
12:14 pm
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Wood Sorrel
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Hi Jamaicanwife,

Boy, girl, do I feel for you!!! (See my posting 'STUCK' to hear my story)

I'm in a similar situation. Not married for as long (4 years) but wanting to get out. I also know I would have more peace and our relationship has also gotten to the point where I would rather do things alone, I feel a lot more peaceful spending time by myself. Also I avoid talking things out because it becomes a big fight and I am weary of those.

I also don't see a lot of hope for our future but, like you, it is those day to day, let's call them logistics, that worry me more than anything. We also have only one car, and some debt (was a lot worse before because of the same kind of things, me paying for everything and him not working), and can't afford to live separately.

One thing that has helped was for me to insist on separating our accounts. (I was tired of working hard to see him lazing about and realizing that my hard earned money was supporting his drink habit) It was a big fight but eventually I won and it has helped him get off his derrier a little. But I think a total split is the only thing that will give me peace. But I keep letting the worries of how I will also make it on my own get to me. We also work together and share some of the equipment we need for work and so that will be another big expense. All of these expenses would come right when we are finally paying off debts. And my family is not financially able to help at all since they are in their own hole. Besides I am not sure right now whose side they would be on. They have no idea how bad things have been between us since we don't have the kind of trust relationship in which I can open up to them. So it would be a big shocker I think. So I have fears about that too.

My man was also totally waited on by his mother, hand and foot. He was the only child too and his father left when he was little. (one thing I can say here is that he was actually glad that he left since he remembers all of the fighting in the house and how relieved he was when it stopped. I know divorce is really tough on kids but so is a dysfunctional relationship. And if you just 'grit your teeth' like your Mom did you'll just be repeating the pattern of dysfunctional unhappy family and this will be the role model your son has to look to and it is what he will repeat when he gets married unless he has some amazing eye opening experience which causes him to avoid it. But it is really really hard to not behave like our parents!)

So my man also didn't lift a finger in the house when we got together. He had never even lived on his own away from his mother when we met and he was 29! He had NEVER cleaned the house in his life (they had a house keeper in addition to him mom doing everything), he had NEVER cooked (except making eggs), he had NEVER washed or ironed his own clothes!! It was really hard for me because whenever I would try to get him to help he would complain and put up such a fight that I would get tried of playing the nagging wife and would just do it myself rather than making him do something. But then the resentment would just build and build until if we fought over something I would just explode and it would all come out. He would be surprised.

I have to say it's gotten a little better, he's learned to do some things. But it feels a bit like 'too little, too late' and at this point I am just weary. And if I am weary you must be 100 times more weary.

I know it is a hard decision because I am having trouble making it myself. I know what is holding me back is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of not knowing how I will make it on my own and how he will make it on his own. But then I think, I have this one life to live, am I going to spend it this way? Unhappy, dissatisfied???

I know you have your child to think of too.

Opps, gotta run!! guess who's back!
more later...
for now... good luck

August 3, 2005
1:21 pm
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shyshy
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Jamaican wife: You sound so much like me it's scary! In the way that you think and the way that you feel sometimes. I say that because I was a major push over too when I first married and tried to do everything that I could to make my husband happy and ended up losing myself. And he was always unhappy anyway!

Now, I just want to be left the hell alone and if my current bf doesn't like what I'm dishing out then he can just go straight to hell. I don't like to be bothered when I am trying to enjoy my own space.

At least that is who I have become. But it's scarying me because I don't want to turn into a royal bi-ch!

I am also not the type to cater to my man. They are grown men and should take care of themselves but in my culture that's taboo. I'm PR and most PR men expect you to do everything for them, which I wouldn't mind if they would do their part as well!! BUT, that's never the case. They want their dinner on time, the house clean, the kids in check, the laundry done, their bath ready..... AND some good pu$$y on a platter when they are ready for bed, while they sit in front of the tv with the remote control and if you complain about the fact that they haven't mowed the lawn in over a month then your a nag!!

Anyway, I'm babbling. I feel for you. Have you thought about filing for divorce on your own without a lawyer? That would only work though if you are splitting amicably. If that's the correct word. I did it all myself. I picked up the paperwork at city hall and came up with a reasonable split of all the assets and child support arrangements etc and all my ex had to do was agree and sign on the dotted line. After all that, was the court date where they review everything and make sure you understand what you signed and that was that.

August 3, 2005
3:08 pm
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kathygy
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jamacianwife, Why don't drive? Can you get a driver's liscence? It not good for your spirit to be around someone who drains you or brings up negative feelings. You deserve to have a loving and happy home environment. See if you can make a plan that will allow you to move out. You shouldn't have to grit your teeth and bare it. Your son desevrves a happy mother. Look into finding a lawyer that will help you. there may be legal assistance through your state government. Make your dreams come true and create that peaceful life for yourself. You deserve it.

love,
kathy

August 3, 2005
3:24 pm
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Wood Sorrel
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Hi again,

Just wanted to finish up what I was writing earlier.

The one other point I wanted to make was that your husband will never grow or change if he is not forced into it. So if you just stick around to do all of the things he should really be responsible for than he will certainly never change.

That's how it's been with my husband. Any of the positive change that has happened was because I had to stop myself from doing things for him. But it still hasn't been enough (esp. since he is in denial about his drinking problem) So I feel like it might be a good move if I do leave him for both of us. Because maybe then being on his own will force him to make the changes he needs for his own life. He might not, but it seems like he definitely won't as things are. And yours may never change even after you leave but that will not be your fault or responsibility but his own.

As to all of your doubts about how things will work out in terms of finances etc. Well as I said, I have those same fears. But I think that once I commit myself the universe will have a way of making things work out. I think you have to first commit and then trust that somehow things will work out. It's taking that leap of faith first that is hard. I'm not a religious person but I do think there are forces at work beyond our control and that if we are ready for change and willing then things have a way of working themselves out. But you will never know if you don't try. And if you stay only because of the superficial things (important as they may be) then you don't know if things will ever improve or change financially in a way that it would make this change easier for you. In fact it seems to me like if you stay that in deed things won't ever change since it sounds like your husband is not responsible financially and will continue to use you and cause you to sink further into debt and into this trap. In fact he may be doing it deliberately (even if only on a subconscious level) in order to make it next to impossible for you to leave him. Why not defy him and make yourself happier?

Again, Wishing you lots of luck.. Let us know how it goes!

August 3, 2005
3:30 pm
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jamaicanwife
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I am thinking about the comments that you have all made, and I am going to respond when I have sored something out in my head, but I just wanted to clear up a misunderstanding - our current financial problems are the result of past indiscretion and irresponsibility. Right now, he is working hard, trying to be responsible and everything, but more than half of our pay goes toward servicing debt. I resent this, but I applaud his increased sense of financial responsibility.

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