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the confusion is overwhelming
October 19, 2006
5:32 pm
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readyforachange
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loving mom...regarding your husband wanting to know when you are going to be happy again, here are my thoughts: He wants you to fix this. Take care of it. Make things right. He will take no ownership for your unhappiness, and will not admit that his behavior has anything to do with your feelings. PLEASE don't do this for him. Do this for YOU! I doubt that you will ever get the support you need from him, so don't wait for it to come. Look within yourself to find peace and happiness, despite his actions and words.

Also, with regard to Alanon...I went for several years, on and off. It depends on the group of people at the location you choose. My first experience was really great, a very supportive group of people who were in similar situations to mine. They broke groups up into smaller groups of 5 people or so, and I could really relate to the women in my group. Other groups I've been in have been really large groups, and they just seem to go through the 12 steps. I didn't get as much out of that. Find a group that works for you...CoDa or Codependents Anonymous also has groups, and that may be another option if Alanon doesn't work out. You might also want to read the books by Melody Beattie (Codependent No More, Beyond Codependency). They helped me a lot.

I wish you peace.

October 19, 2006
5:36 pm
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southgoingzax
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hi lm,

it must be so hard to hear those words from someone who MARRIED you - was he not listening to the vows? Honor and respect? YUCK. I wish these things were easier, but they are not.

Sometimes I think about my mother and father - they divorced after 26 years, the year I left for college...although I don't blame my mother for staying that long, I know my relationship with my father has affected me deeply. I was terrified of him as a child, I always had to walk on eggshells, never knowing when he would be angry - I remember once I was yelled at at the dinner table for drinking too loudly. WTF? So, I know from experience what it is like to have grown up with an abusive father - it wasn't great, and certainly I am now involved with the same type of man.

Although less directly cruel than your husband, my current(?) bf does the same thing, avoiding responsibility for his actions, turning things around so that I feel it's my fault, making "jokes" that are hurtful to me, never apologizing or recognizing my feelings. If I do get him to "face" my emotions, which has only happened twice in four years, he begins to cry, not for the way he hurt me, but for himself - he finds a way to make it all about him and his problems rather than comfort me or apologize to me. It is the most frustrating thing I have ever experienced - how can he not understand my feelings and be empathetic? But he can't. So, I really, really feel for you - I'm sure it feels like you are going crazy sometimes, dealing with your h. Just keep working on yourself, and you'll figure out what's right. You're doing great,

zax

October 19, 2006
5:54 pm
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lovingmom
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readyforachange - Thanks for your well wishes and thoughts. You are right. He wants no part of making things better, to him things are GREAT unless he's not getting his way. He doesn't like the changes he's seen in me this far and I'm sure he won't like what is to come. Nothing else I can do. I can't stay blind to all of the abuse after realizing that it's happening. I'm going to try the Al-Anon group (if I can find a way to explain it to him that makes him ok with me going).

southgoingzax - My parents also divorced late in my life, after 28 years of marriage. I'm now coming to realize that my dad was also very verbally/emotionally abusive to my sisters, my mom and I. He and my husband are actually a lot alike (although neither would ever forgive me for saying so). Funny that you say that about swallowing too loudly. My dad used to make us spit out our gum ALL of the time because he couldn't stand how we would blow big bubbles and let them pop - it drove him nuts. Kids blowing bubbles and drinking "loud", not a crime in my book, geez. Also kind of funny, my husband hates for me to chew gum, says it bugs him when I do. Hmm, I guess some of us do marry our fathers. Thanks for your words of encouragement. You hang in there too.

October 19, 2006
8:19 pm
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doubleloss
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Hi LM. how are you?
what is coming next for H?

i'm just starting to rememeber things i had forgotten. My parents didn't divorce because my mom died. I think they would have divorced if she hadn't died. I think she died of a broken heart - she had cancer - but now i know there was so much shit going on that we had NO IDEA, she internalized everything, and though she was no doormt infront of us, who knows what hell she had to live with. A year of so before she died my dad started getting physical, pushing her, shoving her, onetime he threw a box to her face. I think he hated her. After she died he hated us. Before that he was abusive to my sisters and I, as soon as we hit puberty we became -in his mind - instant sluts...
my future exhusband is a sweetie, never mistreatedme that way, but i think his reluctance of dealing with HIS bagagge is some kind of passive abuse, if that exists. my xbf was starting toshow the abusive traits with the jokes, the oggling, etc, in a way today i'm gratelful he dumped me, it's scary to see how easy one can get tangled in an abusive relationship, without even knowing. you're strong, you'll figure things out. have you read that book////why does he do that? by dr. lundsy bancroft? brilliant. take care., double

October 20, 2006
9:33 am
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lovingmom
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double - Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement. It's sad how the ugly cycle just keeps continuing, isn't it. So many people get hurt in the process. The book you suggested sounds great and has been suggested by others too. I'll look for it for sure. I am at the end of the book I'm reading now (The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans). It has really opened my eyes to so much going on around me. I just can't seem to put it down. There was a time in my life when I wouldn't even allow myself to read a book because it took time and attention away from my husband and, needless to say, he didn't like that at all, so this (reading, for me) is a breakthrough in itself.

October 21, 2006
10:11 am
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readyforachange
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(((lovingmom))) I have been where you are, and I don't envy your situation. You have spent so long taking care of everyone else, and putting everyone's needs before your own that you may not even know what your needs are. I'm so glad you've taken some steps to change that. Taking the time to READ, learn about yourself, get support. My ex literally hated everything I did that was for me...his refusal to support me with my attempts to heal in counseling and support groups was a huge red flag to me. Shouldn't your soulmate, your life partner, support any attempts you make at improving yourself and taking care of yourself? I am proud of you for taking those steps, even though you aren't going to get a positive reaction from him. Just doing one little thing for yourself is a good start.

I remember being overwhelmed and confused...I look back and wonder how I functioned at that time. That period of my life lasted over 8 years, and I held a full time job and took care of my 2 kids and my home pretty much by myself. I look at my life now, and wonder how I survived that time. God gives us the strength to do what we need to do. I truly believe that.

Take care...

October 21, 2006
1:28 pm
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lovingmom
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readyforachange - Your name says it all for me. I am ready for a change too. Thank you so much for responding. I totally agree that if I am trying to better myself and he is fighting it every step of the way, whether it be by not supporting me or telling me that counseling is a waste of money, there is definitely something wrong here. He doesn't have total control any more when I show him that I can make changes that scares the crap out of him. He keeps saying that I don't love him any more and I'm getting to the point where I don't even argue that fact any more. You're right, God really has his hands on my heart right now, and I know he's guiding me and I know He's there through this tough time. Thanks again, your response really touched my heart.

October 21, 2006
4:19 pm
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lovingmom
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My confusion seems to be lifting a little. I finished the book I was reading and I now know that what I need to do is set limits on what kind of behavior I will accept from my husband, just like one would do with a child. It just seems like the more limits there are, the angrier and more abusive he gets. I also know that I cannot change his behavior, he has to. I also know that I can only make one person happy - ME. I also know that as much as I want him to change and as much as I beg him to and as much as I try to get through to him and tell him how much pain I am in, he won't do it unless he's ready to face his own issues. Now my only confusion lies in the fact that I don't know how much longer to stick around and see if he is going to ever change. Do I give him that chance? Here is something that seems a little odd to me: In the past, before all of this stuff came up, if I would picture him with another woman it would tear me apart inside. Now when I picture him with someone else it doesn't even phase me one bit. Does that mean I'm so bitter and resentful that I won't accept even the slightest change? Am I holding on to something that doesn't even exist?

October 21, 2006
10:02 pm
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readyforachange
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oh, honey...you are in that same leaky boat that I was in a while back. Keep paddling...

You know, I felt the same way by the time I filed for divorce. I wouldn't have really cared if my ex was with another woman. I didn't have feelings for him anymore, aside from fear and frustration. It made it easier to do what I knew I had to do...end our marriage.

As far as waiting for him to change, I wouldn't hold your breath. Has he made any attempts to change? Have you talked to him about your concerns, and does he take them seriously? Will he go to counseling with you? Will he go to counseling by himself? Will he at least talk things through with you?

Are you keeping a journal? I know that was something that really helped me get my feelings out, and was a really good way to document what was going on...some of which was surreal now that I look back on it. I actually had to get a restraining order after my ex moved out because he broke my front door down one day...once he lost control of me, he would have done just about anything. And that scared me.

Take care of yourself...

October 22, 2006
3:48 pm
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lovingmom
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readyforachange - Thank you again for your words. I am keeping a journal. It is much easier for me to express my feelings with writing than it is with spoken words. It has been therapeutic for me, as well as writing and reading at this site. The leaky boat thing, I can totally relate with. I am paddling like a mad woman and will keep doing so until some sort of resolution is made. I did try talking to my husband again this morning, just because there hadn't been anything said and I was just wondering what his thoughts were on everything. Well, he's very hurt with me again. He can't believe what a horrible person he is and just wants to pout. I will just let him. He knows how I feel. He knows what I need for him to do. He just can't accept that maybe he has issues that are keeping him from trying to make things better. In his eyes, everything is great. He says he doesn't go out with friends on Fridays any more, he allows me to go to counseling, he supports his family and he thinks that should be what matters. Those things matter, but the hurtful words and unfair treatment aren't something he is willing to admit to and that's where we disagree. After this morning's "talk" he even said that he thinks something happened when I was young that made me feel this way and now he's paying for it and my parents aren't. My parents didn't model the greatest marriage to me and there were things that probably were not healthy for me as a child and I told him this; I've even told my parents this and they agree. Now I'm just rambling, so I'll stop. I'm getting brain overload again.

October 22, 2006
11:41 pm
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readyforachange
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yeah...the "your parents screwed you up" excuse. I've heard that one. My ex would tell me that I really hated my father, and that I was afraid to stand up to him, so I took out all of my anger on him. It was a good excuse for him to get away with just about anything, and then blame my relationship with my dad. My dad wasn't an alcoholic...my ex is. Some people just can't take responsibility for their behavior.

October 23, 2006
12:59 am
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needtoheal
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oh so true ready....

my now ex-b/f tried to do the same with me.... the switcheroo... or knock her down once again....

please, this man told me that the only reason that i am able to live on my own is because of my ex-husband and because my parents help me...

Funny that this comes from the mouth of someone who has 1) never had a relationship with a female (confirmed by his mother)
2) never was able to function on his own --financially / emotionally
3) has a horrid job history
4) lives with his parents-- does not even pay for any expenses, including food
does not do his own laundry, does not even pack his own lunch

I never laughed so hard in my life..
but I did not laugh when he said it.. and i did not try to push him down like he did to me..

it did not matter because i know the truth ...
I won't even defend myself here

Even though I did have a broken relationship with my ex-husband
we produced the most loving, caring and wonderful kids in the world...

And when he mentioned to me when he told me that our relationship was over and that he does not know what he wants.. and then mentioned the fact that the kids will never call him DAD , etc..
I think that he was just trying to make excuses for himself about why he was running.....

please, GO>> RUN >> HE is an escapist of his own identity....

RUN< RUN< RUN.. HE is not welcome here no more!!!!!!!! NO more confusion, chaos, drama etc.. and thank GOD I knew to keep the kids away.....

October 23, 2006
8:25 am
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lovingmom
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Like I said yesterday, I did try talking with him again and of course he was quiet, distant and sulking in his own "I'm a horrible person, can't believe you could make me feel this way..." misery all day. I was kind to him, upset also, but very kind and tried to be upbeat for our kids so they could have at least one parent talking to them. So, like usual, after he had been drinking all afternoon, he was finally read to talk to me last night. He said that he was hurting inside because of the horrible things I made him realize about himself. He couldn't believe that all of the nice, sweet, generous things he has done for me over all of our years together didn't mean anything. He accused me of not loving him. He accused me of wanting someone else. All of the usual crap. He even started to cry at one point. I tried (shouldn't have) to get him to put himself in my shoes, to understand if it was he who told me that he felt like I was abusive, unfair or any of the other things I told him, that I would do my best to try and fix those things and make what we have more of a partnership, a balanced relationship. This backfired on me. He just doesn't see it the way I do. I know that now after reading the book I just read. We are in two different realities. His is now being turned upside down because I'm calling him on his game. He then proceed to tell me that I was the abusive one, that I don't care about his feelings. He even had the nerve to say, "What if I called you a bad mother, a b____, a wh____, a c____, wouldn't that hurt you?" I explained that he had called me 3 of the 4 more than once and also explained that I never called him any names, but that I told him how he had hurt me and wanted him to try to fix it. He said that me telling him he was abusive and hurtful, and telling him I didn't want to be bullied or scared was the same as me calling him a monster, a horrible father, a bully, etc., etc. I told him he needed to get to his deeper issues. He ended up throwing something at the wall and going to bed. I don't think he'll get it, EVER!!

I do feel extremely sad for him and wish I could make it all better for us. I just don't have that much more to give to this. I don't want to say I'm giving up, but after this incident last night I had chest pains and it scared me. I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. If I keep sticking up for myself and being honest with him and demanding his respect, I will lose my husband, who has also always been my best friend (or maybe I just fooled myself). If I give in and apologize and go back to being the "old me" and take the abuse, I lose myself again.

October 23, 2006
2:10 pm
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lovingmom
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I hate to sound needy, but since my last post early this morning, I tried talking with my husband again and I'm in tears right now, really hurting, and have nowhere else to turn. I went to him to ask him if he was willing to fight for this marriage and move forward. His response, "Are you?". I keep engaging in these round-and-round discussions with him. I can't get my point across. He keeps saying, "I had no idea I ruined your life", "What about all the good times?", "I guess I'm just not the one who can make you happy any more". I keep trying to validate my own feelings because he won't. To him, nothing is as bad as I make it out to be. I also tried to explain that what we have between us is unhealthy for both of us and for our kids and they need to have a healthy relationship modeled to them so that they can learn how to have healthy relationships themselves. He said that our kids are smart and have minds of their own and they see things everywhere, not just here and they'll be what they'll be regardless of how we are with each other. This totally felt like a punch to my gut. After all, the kids are one of my main reasons for trying to change things.

After he left to go do his daily workout, he called and said, "I need you to write a list of all the things I need to start doing to make you happy, and also list the things that I shouldn't do any more." I just started crying and I don't know what came over me, but I was crying and yelling into the phone at him. I said, "I can't tell you how to be", "I can't be responsible for how you treat me, you have to do that." "Just stop being hurtful and calling me names and stop accusing me of things I don't do and stop telling me that my opinions don't matter." He still wants a list. What am I going to do? I am so scared. I was feeling so strong and so sure of what I was doing and now I feel empty, confused again and just like I could crawl in bed and stay there all day. My daughter woke up to me crying and I feel like such a horrible mom for letting her see this. She just doesn't deserve this. Just need some help here; I honestly don't know what to feel any more.

October 23, 2006
2:55 pm
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lovingmom
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I think maybe I'm depending too much on this site. I keep looking for my answers here when I should be looking inside for what it is I'm supposed to do. I thought I had it figured out. I thought I could stay strong and move forward and I just took so many steps back today. I've let others decide things for me for so long that I can't even be confident in my own decisions. I'm pretty pathetic, really. I'm going to let this be my last post until I find my answers and a little bit more clarity and then I will check back in, hopefully soon, when I have good news.

October 23, 2006
3:43 pm
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StronginHim77
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lovingmom -

You are NOT pathetic. You are one of the bravest women I have ever met on these threads. You are facing YEARS of things in your marriage which you have dreaded facing. I think that takes alot of guts.

Don't stop now. Press on. Don't let him rage at you, put the responsibility on you. He has to be willing to face himself and do his own WORK. He needs to humble himself, accept that he has his own problems and issues and be willing to get the professional help he needs to work thru them. And I am not just talking about showing up for Couples counseling for 2 or 3 sessions, just to pacify you. I am talking about extended therapy.

This is not going to be a quick fix. You have been taking his mistreatment for years. It has been steadily escalating (that's the way abuse works). Now, you are beginning to draw boundaries. Expect his behavior to get WORSE. He will be enraged by the boundaries, denying his own responsibility for hurting or wounding you (because of his own, low self-esteem level) and he will try to shift the blame and responsibility for his bad behavior and actions back onto you, somehow.

This is all to be expected. Don't let it throw you. Press on. Don't give up. Continue reading. Continue posting on these threads. Continue shedding light onto these dark issues which have been tolerated and covered up and accepted for so long.

You have so much waiting for you. Don't give up.

- Ma Strong

October 23, 2006
4:02 pm
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nappy
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I have read your thread and I can say that by reading this, you are hoping and wishing that everything will change but they want. First if your husband is drinking, you can't go up against anyone that has that problem.
If he is only talking after he has had a couple of drinks, then you are really talking to the wall. He will and only will just hear him self.
By reading your thread, it seem like that you have tried your best in trying to save this man and the only thing that I see if that he is trying to turn it back on you. If he does not get it by now, DO YOU think that he will get it. The only person that knows is you.
Are you willing to keep putting up with this or are you willing to change yourself. Because as much as we want to change the other person, it take them to change.
There are question that only you can answers. It just hurt me to see people like you who deserve the best in life and to have to deal with someone who is just not getting it.
Some times they just want to make you just knock them in head and yell. DO YOU NOT SEE (smile)

October 23, 2006
4:23 pm
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taj64
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Hi. I know you want to leave feel like you dont get answers. Maybe you want someone to tell you what to do. I know that feeling very well. It was definately what I wanted at the time of leaving my alcholic husband. I was unsure I loved him. I felt trapped. Felt like he never would change. I needed an answer. Someone must know the answer! But only one person can give you the answer and that is you. Nobody can, not even an expert. This is your life. I doubt seriously you are relying on the site too heavily. There is much to consider when it is a family involved and not just you. To be hones, I wanted my family together but at what cost? I was crying a lot, felt even more alone when I was married than not. He did not know how to communicate. I left him three times. Each time was the same. Each time I went through the same process. I would see things better, feel supportive, and then boom back to the same old crap, he slipped, and it affected everything. I began to have no trust, questioned love, and less supportive. And he had the nerve to be angry at me for being non supportive. I left that one. That was ten years ago. I explained above. He had not change all these years even with his new woman (5 years now). She puts up with it a lot more than me yet you can see that she has to control him, know of his every whereabouts. But she won't leave. Why? Because she says she loves him. I look at him today and realize it was the right decision even if at the time, I still was not sure. Every relationship is different. But do ask yourself would you stay if things were a little different. Would you stay if he totally quit drinking? Is it just the drinking and the emotinal abuse? Is this relationship worth saving? In my eyes, my opinion, it is not worth it. It is the harsh opinion but an opinion. You are worth having a different relationship than this. This is not a matter of him making you happy. Nobody can make you happy. Only you can make yourself happy. Doing is superficially to please someone jsut to make it more civil isn't going to change this relationship. I would not give up hope for a better life, no way, but to expect it to be better with this husband of yours, you have a serious long road ahead of you. And you have your kids also to think of. It is better to be a good single parent than live in a war zone with two parents. Kids can adjust to whatever you decide as long as it is better. The decision should be either the relationship gets better or you get out. And if you simply can do anything, just live and focus on you for as long as you can until an answer does come. I wish I could tell you something positive but there is not much hope from my point of view.

October 25, 2006
12:24 pm
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readyforachange
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(((lovingmom))) Hang in there...and be strong. It isn't a bad thing to reach out to others, even on an anonymous website. It helps as you work through things. Do what is right for you. We'll be here when you need us...

October 25, 2006
1:22 pm
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What nappy says. Can't talk to a drunk.

You said he's only ready to talk after he's had a couple.....he MAY want to talk, but all he can hear is himself.

I've had this argument our whole married life and banged my head against the wall constantly. Ready described it exactly:

"regarding your husband wanting to know when you are going to be happy again, here are my thoughts: He wants you to fix this. Take care of it. Make things right. He will take no ownership for your unhappiness, and will not admit that his behavior has anything to do with your feelings. PLEASE don't do this for him. Do this for YOU! I doubt that you will ever get the support you need from him, so don't wait for it to come. Look within yourself to find peace and happiness, despite his actions and words."

I really really wish you well, lovingmom. If you could put all that frustration up on a shelf for a little while, and he would put down his defensive, denying, justifying attitude-in-a-bottle.......let go of the emotions.....

my H could always catch me with "It doesn't matter what I do You're never happy."

October 25, 2006
1:56 pm
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sortaconfused
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Hey 2alone. I have only wrote once before. I asked my husband to leave back in July and he stayed gone until I allowed him to come back 1st of Sept. The first two weeks were o.k. but now it's back to the same old thing. Negative statements, constant munipulative comments, just plain emotional abuse I can live without! I'm starting to feel the same as I did before I asked him to leave. Only this time I don't think it will go as nicely as last. We have 2 children. I don't really want to wait till first of the year(for financially reasons) but I feel scared. We are in counseling together and the day after the 1st appointment is when he re-entered the home. He played good role for the first two weeks but it's went down hill since. I'm starting to feel depressed again.

October 26, 2006
7:39 pm
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lovingmom
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Strong, nappy, taj and ready, thanks so much for replying to my last post and for giving me suggestions/thoughts to help me through.

Three days ago I said I would check back in when I had GOOD NEWS. I don't really have any, just felt like I needed to come back. I missed writing my thoughts here. I was feeling a little weird about "needing" everyone's responses and not being able to answer my own questions. I know that this site is for venting, asking questions, giving advice, sharing thoughts, etc., etc. I think I was a little bit scared when I realized how much I depend on coming here and sharing and learning. I'm not the type of person who is too proud to ask for help, obviously. I just always thought I had my life under control and now that I realize I don't, it really, really scares me.

I have no idea where things are going now. I have put up with my husband's "beat down" attitude for the last three days and I'm starting to realize that as much as I have tried, and as hard as I have worked on this marriage, I'm not really sure that it's all worth it. I think what I thought we had is a much better thing than what we actually do have with each other. I've kept this relationship afloat. Without me forgiving, overlooking, dismissing, and excusing his behavior, we wouldn't have lasted a year. Here is where a lot of my frustration comes in to play. I have done all of this in the name of what I thought was love and now I'm realizing I did it all for something else, for what I thought was love but was really something much less. We did manage to have two of the most beautiful, loving, caring and unbelievably smart chidren I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and for that I am thankful. They are my biggest supporters and I would be lost without them.

I have prayed and prayed though all of this and have asked God to please show me what he wants me to do, what is best for me and my kids. Lately I have had an overwhelming feeling of needing to get things in order. I feel the need to get paperwork sorted, closets cleaned out, and junk out of the way. I just feel like I need to be prepared for what might need to happen (I hate to even say it, but know it's probably unavoidable that I might have to leave eventually). I don't see a change in my husband (besides his attitude I stated earlier). I don't think he's going to give in to the fact that changes have to happen. I don't expect an overnight fix, but I at least expected a sincere apology or a sincere reaction of any kind to the letter, which is something I never got. I keep giving and he keeps taking. So, I am going to keep getting things "in order" and be ready for whatever comes of all of this. I am going to keep praying, and keep working on me, like I promised myself I would do. Thanks so much for listening.

October 26, 2006
9:15 pm
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readyforachange
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lovingmom...I'm glad you are taking the time to do what you need to do...pray, think, journal, organize yourself. Your HP will guide you...trust in him.

I, too, was blessed with two beautiful children who are now very challenging teeangers. They are my pride and joy, and I don't know where I would be without them. I know you will do what you feel is best for your children.

I will keep you in my prayers. Take care of yourself...

October 27, 2006
11:42 am
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lovingmom
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readyforachange - Thanks for your response and thanks for your prayers.

October 27, 2006
1:52 pm
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lovingmom
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I'm ever so slightly making changes. I've decided to change our Friday routine. Usually I cook dinner, have a glass of wine, spend the evening with my husband and the kids and it ends up ugly (husband drunk, me defending myself, trying to keep the kids out of the nonsense, praying he'll just go to sleep). Not tonight. I'm not going to allow it to happen tonight. I'm taking my kids to a high school football game (my niece is singing at halftime, so this is our reason for going, but the kids are extremely excited because it's not something we usually do). Then we'll go to my sister's house and have hot cocoa and spend time talking, laughing. My mom will be here from out of town too, so that's a bonus. I invited my husband, but he refuses to do anything having to do with my family because he despises my dad and thinks my family hates him (not true). I'm sure he'll have one of his buddies pick him up so he can go out to a bar. Me being gone gives him the excuse to leave. He says he hates to be home alone, misses us to much (HA!). Hopefully we'll get home late so I can avoid confrontation with him. I'm sure I'll hear his negative comments about being gone, spending time with my family and not him, etc., but I'll deal with that when it comes. I'm doing something for me and my kids tonight!!

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