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I'm new. I’m reaching out for support here because I don’t know where else to go. I’ve distanced myself from everyone other than my husband and counselor out of shame. I pray and I go to counseling, but it just isn’t enough. I need help. Please be kind. I know I’ve done the unforgivable, but I’m having a hard time just making it through the day without killing myself anymore.

My husband is considering divorce and he has very valid reasons. He moved out and many states away to live with his parents (he is 25) and asked me to move to the same area and get an apartment. I have. I’m currently just under five months pregnant with our first child and that is making the whole thing much harder. In theory, we are trying to work things out, but I don’t think he is sure of that decision.

He left because I lied to him for years. It was a mistake. I thought I had a good reason when I started, but of course I didn’t, and once it started I didn’t know how to get out of it. I told him I had no contact with my biological family except for a sister. I did this because I was on very bad terms with them at the time and planned to cut them out of my life entirely, and didn’t want to involve him in the drama because I thought it would scare him away. We hadn’t been together very long when that lie started. But things didn’t work out the way I planned. The economy crashed, we lost our jobs, and I turned to those same relatives for money and they helped. But I didn’t know how to come clean with him and the lie continued. So I stayed in contact with them, gradually my relatives and I got along better, they continued to help out financially when we needed it, but I still wanted them out of my life. I continued the contact to get the money, to keep us off the streets. In short I used my relatives, and the lie to my now husband continued. I made excuses for where the money came from. He never knew.

And that wasn’t the only thing I lied about. There was another big one: my age. We didn’t talk about it at all for a while. When he first thought to ask how old I was, it was after we’d slept together and actually moved in together with a roommate. And I panicked, because I was under 18 still (I’m 21 now) and he wasn’t. So I told him that I just didn’t like talking about my age and didn’t elaborate for months. And that is true; I don’t like talking about it. I spent a while on the streets as a young teen and then in an abusive live-in relationship with someone older, and I learned it was a bad idea to ever mention age because it could get me in trouble. Police could get called, I could go to foster care, and other fears. When he wouldn’t let it drop I lied about it too. I thought he would leave me over what I just saw as a number. I told him I didn’t know how old I was, because I didn’t have a copy of my birth certificate and there was some doubt surrounding my age. I supposedly got it cleared up just before we were married to keep up the lie and present a valid birth certificate in order to get married. I didn’t have a copy of my birth certificate for years while we lived together, but the reason wasn’t the one I gave him.

We’ve been together roughly five years, married for under a year. We’ve lived together all but a few months of that time. We have had a lot of relationship problems aside from this. He has had two affairs with the same woman, so trust issues aren’t new to us, this is just the first time he hasn’t trusted me. There have been a few physical incidents as well, if you can call it that. He has held me down against my will on three different occasions and the last time it left marks. The last time was about a year ago now. We have fights that escalate, that started after I became pregnant. He didn’t touch me, just yelled and yelled after I asked him to stop, and I ended up in the ER immediately following two of the arguments because of bleeding and miscarriage scares and the doctor told me it was the stress. I nearly left him when things were bad after the ER incidents. Because we had another really bad fight, I locked myself in the bedroom and he kept yelling through the door, and then he called the police and told them I was armed and trying to hurt myself (neither were true, but since then he has said that he wanted them prepared for the worst.) The operator told him to get away from the door so I could get out, so I packed and left, and he followed me down the block until the police showed up. They checked me for weapons, saw his claim was false, and separated us. But I guess he still went to the magistrate to file some mental health thing against me. We reconciled, I thought. But while we were working on things, he had gotten in touch with my relatives and secretly asked them to fly to where we lived and help him confront me. They did. He moved out of state and so have I, at his request. There have actually been quite a few more problems than that, but I won’t get in to them right now. We’ve had a lot of wonderful times too and I want to save this marriage.

A bit about the relatives. I moved out of their house as a young teen. My mother and I had a lot of problems and I didn’t feel safe. She self harmed, she was suicidal throughout my childhood, and we fought all the time. Not normal fights like teenagers and parents have, but stuff that would start small and really get out of hand, even when I tried hard to stop it. She also forced me on a medication that was supposed to be for chronic pain but caused psychotic episodes and I could never trust her after that, because she refused to let me stop taking it when I begged. Lots of bad things happened. I tried to talk to my father about everything that was happening with her, he wasn’t there much, and he didn’t believe me. So I brought him tape recordings of an argument, but he refused to listen to them. I stopped trusting him and I knew he would never protect me if I needed it. So when we got in a fight and she said I could leave and to never expect a welcome back, I left. I crashed on friends’ couches for a while until I ran out of places to stay. Then I lived on the streets and friends covered for me when people asked where I was. Then I got together with a guy who gave me a place to live. He became abusive. I have complex PTSD from that. I moved out after a couple of years to a different city. Things stayed bad with the relatives. We still fought, but over the phone instead. That was what it was like when my husband and I first got together.

And now he is understandably hurt and angry. He lives with his parents. I live in an apartment in the same city, supposedly so we can work on our marriage. I’m pregnant. He is considering divorce. I’m in counseling to deal with a host of issues that I’m sure you can see here. He is trying to find a counselor for himself, with no luck so far. I want us to start marriage counseling, but he isn’t sure when or if that will happen. One of his other conditions for working this out is family counseling with my relatives, which my mother, father, and half-sister are supposed to attend with me if they are willing, but he will not be attending. I’ve signed consent forms so that my counselor can tell him everything that goes on in my sessions. I make sure there is proof every week that I’ve been there. I try to be completely transparent. But he has no interest in talking about the issues. I see him once in a while, but not much, because he wants distance. I’m trying really hard to find a job because I don’t have much money left at all, and we have a debt to clear up in our previous state as well. We have separate bank accounts now though.

While I’m excited about the baby, the pregnancy hormones are making everything so much worse. But the baby is keeping me from smoking cigarettes, drinking, or doing anything self destructive that I might otherwise in this situation, and I know that is good at least. I do struggle with suicidal thoughts on an almost hourly basis right now, but I don’t want to do anything stupid because I love this baby.

I hate to see my husband in so much pain and I know I caused it. I do want to fix things. I’m doing everything I can think of and everything he asks. It is so hard. I love him with all my heart; he is my husband and the father of the child I’m carrying. I’m a heartbroken wreck and I have only myself to blame.

Please, any advice or support is most welcome. Please be kind though. I know what I’ve done. I’ve taken responsibility for it. I’m doing everything I can to fix things. And I can’t take much more.

Thank you.

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I guess you both have a lot of forgiving to do. I am not quite sure why lieing about your age and taking money from your family is en par with his infidelity. It would be easy to suggest you split except for the fact that you are pregnant with his child. Your only hope, i think, is marriage counseling.

Maybe you need individual therapy a lot more than trying to force family therapy on your relatives. I think you need to learn to know yourself better. Your relationship with yourself needs to be in order to bring something to a marriage. And you have a rough history with living on the streets as a teen. That is very sad.

The more you can mature and have self knowledge the better mother you can be. It would be great if you could face your history and create a life for your child without such trauma. Hang in there.

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I don’t mean that lying about my age, the money, and relatives are on par with his infidelity. I wasn’t trying to compare the two, just mention that we’ve had other serious issues that make this more complicated for us. I know splitting could be easier for him in many ways. He could just move on with his life. But I hope we can work this out, because I love him and don’t want a divorce.

I am in individual therapy and he wants to be, but hasn’t found a therapist for himself. I really don’t want to do the family counseling at all and my therapist has even brought up to my husband that it is more likely to do harm than good at this point, to my relationship with him and my relatives, and that we should work on our marriage first. But he has made it a condition of staying married for the time being, so of course I will go to family counseling if the others can be convinced to. I am getting help for myself in individual therapy now and I have been in therapy before. It isn’t just for my marriage now, but also because I know I have issues, and I want to be a good mother.

Thank you very much for your support. I was worried no one would want to come near my post with a ten-foot poll. I’ve made such a mess of things. Thank you for being here.

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I am very concerned about his abusive treatment of you. Yelling at you so bad you had not one but two miscarriage scares, holding you down against your will and leaving marks, yelling at you after you ask him to stop, two infidelities, lying to the police when you locked yourself away from his yelling, sneaking behind *your* back to contact *your* parents to gang up on you, moving to where he says, doing counseling on his whim while he does none himself...

You are NOT an idiot. You aren't. And counseling for *you* sounds good, like you need the support, right? You do. But the picture you paint of your husband sends up all sorts of red flags for me. I know there's good times. He's huuman, he has good qualities, there's all that drew you in and kept you together, yes. But everything I detailed above, straight from your post, is some seriously concerning behaviour. He seems controlling and manipulative with violent tendencies. Hun, he yelled at you so bad you had two miscarriage scares. That is scary just to read about, can't imagine what it is like to live it.

It's not my call to make, but if you wish to continue trying to make things work with him, he *seriously* needs to come clean in therapy about his own blatent issues. Why has he been unable to find a therapist for himself? Surely it can't be that difficult, you have one. And trying to force you into family counseling with your own relatives, which he conveniently gets to avoid, all whilst dangling the threat of a divorce over your head?

This really does not sound safe or healthy for you, or your baby, at all. Not one bit. Does your counselor know about how your husband held you down on some previous occasions, about the miscarriage scares, and infidelities? Does your counselor know of any good professionals your husband could contact since he is apparently having such a hard time finding one himself? Ugh, okay, that last idea could spark a fight. Just trying to wrap my mind around his supposed difficulty.

He has isolated you in a State several States away from your home one? Is it him who claims your lying about age and familial contact is unforgiveable? But, his infidelity, twice with the same person, is apparently forgiveable.

I whole-heartedly believe that. You need to open up about your husband's behaviour, that you detailed here, with your therapist. A local women's crisis phone line. Because something just really doesn't add up about your husband's behaviour. Sorry.

Please, post here as much as you like. You are not stupid, you are not an idiot, you deserve care for your health and to be treated with kindness and respect. And, your baby deserves a mother who is treated with kindness and respect, who gets proper treatment for her health.

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Wanted to add, any anger in my post is most assuredly not directed at you, IW. It is directed at your husban's treatment of you.

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Hi Miron,

Thank you very much for responding to my post. His behavior has scared me too. Back in our previous state while living together, I did call a divorce lawyer at one point out of fear. That was a big deal to me and him, because we both came into the marriage with the belief that except for some very extreme circumstances, marriage should be forever (at least for us, I don’t judge others by that.) But we reconciled, I thought…

He says each time he has hurt me he has had good intentions. I do honestly believe he believes that and so I do my best not to hold the incidents against him, at least apart from the affair. He says that all three times he held me down he was afraid that I was going to hurt myself. Two of those situations I don’t even see how he could come to that conclusion, because it didn’t make sense at all in those circumstances to think that nor did he say he was worried about that at the time. But the last time, I do see how he might have thought that, though to be honest that wasn’t an issue at all until after he triggered my PTSD by holding me down. Then it did become an issue.

Same with lying to the police. He said he had good intentions. I don’t see how he could have thought I was trying to hurt myself and I certainly wasn’t armed, but there were weapons in the house, and if he honestly thought I was then I could understand.

Going behind my back to my parents too, I can understand at least though I hate it, because he was trying to get the story straight. However, I can’t make a single excuse for his affairs and I don’t believe no matter what he says that he could possibly have had good intentions with that.

As for the ER visits, those miscarriage scares do still worry me, but since I’m well into the second trimester they mostly just stick in the back of my mind, because it is unlikely to be an issue again. I can understand how it got out of hand the first time. The second time I begged him to stop again and reminded him of what the doctor said, but he just kept going. I know he has anger issues. Eventually, after his more immediate worries are taken care of in his therapy (once he starts it) he does plan to bring up his anger issues.

My husband is an amazing man. He does have a lot of issues. But considering I lied to him for five years, I’m not in a position to criticize him for them. He feels like he doesn’t know who I am and can’t believe anything about me, because of those lies. He also listened to lies from my relatives and believes those over me right now. But he is wonderful. He is smart, goofy, generally supportive, he seeks out other people who don’t have anyone and gives them a chance just to help them, he has strong mix of Christian faith and Taoist philosophy, he is artistic, and caring, and just truly a wonderful person. He makes stupid decisions, as do I. I love him very much.

He says he called many therapists with no luck. I know some of it is his insurance provider. We have separate insurance, and I actually ran into some problems finding a therapist as well, so I can believe that he is having trouble. But I contacted five to ten a day until I found one. I don’t think he is quite that committed yet.

My counselor knows some but not all of the things he has done. I can’t even remember everything I have told her, I’ve been so emotional lately it is kind of a blur. I think she knows about the ER visits, him calling the police, and the affairs at least. We’ve focused more on what I’ve done.

No, he hasn’t exactly isolated me. We lived in a different part of this state when we met. After I found out about his affair, I asked him if he would move across the country with me to the state I wanted to go to graduate school in, so that we could have a completely fresh start. We moved there together and lived there for about a year before this all blew up. Then he took off back to a different area of the state we met in, to where his parents live (we met in the southern most part of the state, now we are six hours from there.) I do feel isolated, but that isn’t really his fault. I don’t have friends here. I have a lot of bad memories here, because we are one town over (about 20 minutes) from where my relatives live, where I lived on the streets, where I was in that previous abusive relationship, and so I hate it. But he does have a valid reason for wanting to be here. He can have the support of his parents. But right now him, my counselor, and this site are what I have.

Thank you very much for your kindness and support. I hope I answered all of your questions. I’m a scatterbrained wreck right now and having trouble concentrating, but I tried to get them all. Thank you again.

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oh dear, some of the things you say sound understandable, and I do believe every single positive quality you listed is true.

But... whether he had good intentions or is merely claiming so as an act of manipulation, that is some seriously dangerous behaviour for him to exhibit around anyone, especially you and especially your baby. Some locales have men's help lines too, if he truly is serious about getting help. But... seriously he either has some serious issues with rage and control and obliviousness to others' pain, or he *is* aware. Either one just makes so many red flags go up.

Sorry for the intensive previous post. Please do be kind to yourself, take care of yourself.

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I mean, it is classic, utterly classic abuser-speak to claim that hurting you was for your own good, or well-intentioned. It completely absolves him of any blame or responsibility for ignoring your No, for hurting you, etc. It puts all the blame for it squarely onto you. And folks with histories of being abused so readily think this way already, it's so easy to sneak in.

IF he honestly wants to stop his dangerous and flat out abusive behaviour, he needs to get as committed to getting help as you are. Right. Now.

Look, I went batshit crazy last year and physically assaulted someone. He is an abusive asshole, but, I assaulted him and that ain't right. That singular instance of loss of control, of trying to hurt someone I now refuse to ever see again because of how he treated me, it scared me so badly I dove head-first into treatment because it's the best chance I have for never doing it again. I saw my therapist, found at a community health centre, on a weekly basis for months. I saw my GP as often. I made it to appointments on time, consistently, in the midst of a mixed episode, with puunctuality never being my strong point. I got off illegal drugs. I did all that for me, because I threw myself at a piece of shit human being.

So, I just... hear what you say, and I know everyone is different, but, where is is concern, his terror, that he has hurt you? Why is he not committed to getting help so that he does not continue to hurt you and your baby? I am not asking these for answers from you, I really think they are good questions to ask *yourself.*

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The thing is, love is full of grace. Yes there are arguments and mistakes. But when the person you love messes up, after the anger, you look at things as a team and forgive each other. That's not dangling divorce or making demands, or moving away, or having affairs. It I'd looking your young pregnant wife in the eye, seeing she has been through hell and back, and loving her. A man who needed space wouldn't uproot you to reject you. A man who loved you wouldn't make you go to therapy without him. A man who loved you wouldn't restrain you several times or yell at you, knowing you could miscarry. He wouldn't cheat on you.

People who love each other cherish each other. They take responsibility for their bit of the blame and say 'I don't want to punish you, I want to fix it with you.' That is the gospel and the Tao. If he wants to save this marriage, what is he doing towards it? How is her taking care of your child? He lives at home, has his job, in a state he wants to be in, he won't join you in therapy, he may still be having affairs, is this the mark of a man fighting for his marriage? This man may have an attachment to you, but it is not love. Possession, power and lust, maybe. If he loved you, he wouldn't make you suffer. Why is he a good man and you are the bad guy? Would someone who loved you want you to feel this bad and scared?

My fella's wife had an affair and left him. She broke his heart, but he says he went down fighting every moment till the divorce finalized to fix things with her. Men who love you will fight for you and sacrifice to make it work. Or they will end it once and for all. This is abuse, manipulation and cruelty.I suspect your efforts to win him back will never be enough, because he doesn't really want you back in the way he ought to and that you deserve.

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Thich nhat hanh tells a Vietnamese tale of a pregnant woman whose husband goes to war. He returns and his toddler won't call him daddy. The toddler talks about another daddy who he says visited his mum at night. The husband assumes his wife has been unfaithful. He shames her, he won't talk with her or eat with her and refuses to touch her. She drowns herself in despair.

Sat alone with his son, consumed by bitterness, the father switches a lamp on. His son suddenly shouts 'there's my daddy! On the wall! The father realizes that his wife had spent her lonely wartime years talking to her own shadow, missing him. He had punished her out of rage for something she hadn't done.

If I love someone, I don't want to hurt them.

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I agree with every word that Titania and Miron say.

And, your husband has no right to tell your therapist to report your therapy sessions to him. In fact, without your consent, it is absolutely illegal for your therapist to do so. DON'T give permission, allow yourself at least *one* safe place, and therapy is supposed to be that place. If your therapist has indeed agreed to his conditions, find a new therapist, and I really, really mean that. If you husband insists that that therapist report back to him, I think it is well past just having "trust issues."

You should insist (I know this is hard) he go to marriage counseling. You should give him a deadline to find a therapist. You should tell him if he touches you again, you will call the police. He made a false report. You shouldn't hesitate to make a real one.

You absolutely should not feel obligated to go to family counseling. Your mother *kicked you out of you home* when you were still a minor. And *you* need family therapy? No.

I am scared for you. I am scared for your baby.

Edited by crtclms

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Thank you everyone for responding. I really appreciate the support. I will try to address everything that was brought up.

Miron:

I do agree with you about his behavior. It does worry me. I think he really does have good intentions for the most part, if not initially I think he convinces himself that he did after. I’m not sure. I do want him to get help, but right now I have to fight just to get him to keep talking with me, so it isn’t something I can really bring up with him until we work things out, if it works out.

You certainly aren’t the first person to call his behavior abusive. Actually, a previous therapist has brought that up before as did a former mutual friend. But whenever we’ve been to marriage counseling in the past those therapists didn’t seem to care. I don’t think he intentionally hurts me, I just think he gets very selfish when he is angry and stops thinking clearly. Then again, I do too, and I’ve said some very hurtful things to him in a temper, I’ve just never taken it to the point he has.

I know what you mean about being scared into getting help after hurting someone. I did something similar when I was young, while under the influence of medication withdrawals from meds that were giving me psychotic episodes. I probably would have killed someone if I hadn’t been stopped, and it terrified me once I was in my right mind, and I immediately got help and permanently went off of those meds as soon as I could. But the problem is he is so convinced that he is in the right that I don’t think it scares him at all. He doesn’t understand what it is like to be powerless either, with someone larger on top of you holding you down. He is 6’2” built like a football player except for being a little heavier, so it isn’t like anyone could do that to him. I don’t think he understands how scary or triggering that is. He hasn’t held me down for about a year now though. He has worked on that at least. But like with that, I just don’t think he can see past his “good intentions” to see the harm in other situations. I have asked myself those questions you posed. I keep asking myself. It isn’t an issue that I will let just vanish, but I can’t address it with him now, because right now he is hurting so much that everything is my fault.

Titania:

I wish he could do what you’ve talked about. I wish he could just love me, take me back, and forgive me. But I also understand why he doesn’t think he can right now. He doesn’t think he knows who I am anymore. My relatives have convinced him that I’ve lied about a lot more things than I actually have, and since I’ve betrayed his trust by lying, there is absolutely no convincing him of what is true and what isn’t right now. I felt much like he did once, well for a long time, after his affair. I haven’t forgiven him for it even. But I did handle it differently than this. I never asked him to leave, we stayed living together the entire time. I did insist he get counseling for himself to figure out why he had the affair and that we attend marriage counseling together immediately, which we did. I asked him to move across the country with me, to where there were more jobs and a good graduate school for me, and we moved. I know now he saw that as an ultimatum, move or we split, but that wasn’t how it was meant exactly. We had to move somewhere together, away from the other woman, but it didn’t have to be across the country. And instead of pushing him away, even when I felt like it, I instead cried with him and looked to him for comfort so that we could bond through it instead of growing apart. He doesn’t see the value in that. He has compared the two situations, and thinks what I did was far worse than anything he has done, and I don’t know if I agree or disagree so I don’t argue. He wants space, and the more space he takes the more he doesn’t seem to want me anymore, and the angrier and more bitter he gets.

I hope he gets to that point and understands what you said: “I don’t want to punish you, I want to fix it with you.” He thinks all he needs to do to save our marriage is to take care of himself. Me and the baby don’t make it on to his priority list right now. His parents are backing him in that and don’t want anything to do with me anymore, so it is hard to get him to see any other perspective. Everything else, like marriage counseling or even talking about the issues, gets put off to some possible future time that may or may not happen. Because he says it is wrong to “rush him in his process.” Now, I understand that healing has to happen on his time schedule, not mine, but I do worry that he isn’t trying to heal together. I counted the days this morning. It is a few days short of a month since he moved out. That hasn’t been enough space to even discuss the problems. I tried via text last night, very carefully, and he has refused to be in communication at all since 6pm last night.

I understand how much he is hurting. I hate that I’ve caused it. The guilt and pain is overwhelming right now. He has every right to be angry and not to trust me. Maybe it is selfish for me to hope that he will be here for my needs at all. I am scared that he wants a divorce, but because I called a divorce lawyer once which I mentioned before, he says I’m a hypocrite for being scared and my fear is just annoying and insulting. He is so caught up in hurt and pain he can’t see me as anything other than a terrible human being right now. I guess I can’t really blame him.

Thank you for your kind words, support, and wisdom. That is a beautiful and sad tale you shared as well.

Crtclms:

To be fair, he insisted that I go to therapy and provide proof that I attended. That makes sense to me, considering how little he trusts me right now. I chose, I wasn’t forced, into signing the consent forms so that he could find out everything that happens in therapy. I know that will backfire on me if he files for divorce, but my intentions are to be completely transparent with him and let him see that I’m working hard on my issues to save our marriage. So the counselor didn’t force me to sign anything, I chose to, nor did she break the law. She is kind and professional. I agreed to his conditions, she agreed to mine.

As much as I would love to insist that he go to marriage counseling, I can’t. I can tell him how much I want to save our marriage, I can ask him to go with me, I have done both and also provided him with a long list of marriage counselors covered by our two insurance companies in the hope that it would help. But I don’t get to make any conditions or demands right now. He has all of the power right now, because he is the one considering leaving permanently and I am the one who has wronged him and is begging him to stay. Standing up to him over these issues or challenging him in any way would probably just make him leave, and I do understand that, because if he had tried to force me into things I wasn’t comfortable with after the affair I might have decided to leave rather than work things out. I can’t give him a deadline. He knows if he touches me again I will call the police. I chose not to make a police report other than the initial one the police were required to file when they were called, because we tried to reconcile about a week later. I had no idea that things would turn out this way then.

I do feel obligated to go to family counseling, because he has made it clear that if I don’t he will divorce me. So I don’t have a lot of choice because of how much our marriage means to me, even if he doesn’t see that I care about it. My mother did kick me out and he sees me as the one needing counseling, because she has lied to him and so has my father. And he won’t believe me, because he knows I have lied, even though I know I was honest about this. The problem is, my mother comes across as a very kind and gentle soft-spoken woman, not someone capable of the things she has done. And she tells a very different story about what has happened. I don’t know if her memories of it are warped because of the problems she was having at the time and the medications she was on, or if she is just flat out lying. I do know regardless she has an agenda right now. She wants her grandbaby. She knows I won’t allow her to see my child once it is born, certainly not under the current circumstances. She will tell my husband whatever she has to in order to make him think she should be allowed in the baby’s life, even if that means calling me crazy and trying to get full custody for my husband. If she can do it by making me like her instead, even better. But I remember the things she has done and I don’t want to play that game. She isn’t a bad person, in fact I have seen her be incredibly kind and caring to others, but she isn’t someone I can ever trust again. So yes, I’m stuck going to family counseling if I want to save my marriage, despite my counselor’s warnings to my husband.

Life is such a mess right now. I’m a mess. I feel helpless in all this. I can’t really do anything other than exactly what he asks or I’ll him and my marriage, and I can’t live with knowing that I did anything less than everything I can to save our marriage. I love him.

In other news, I had a job interview today. I got hired, but not for the position I applied for. It is very part time, low paying, on my feet all day work, which is going to be hard during pregnancy and the money doesn’t even cover my rent. But it is a start. It is a way to make my savings last a little longer, and I will apply for more jobs until I can find a second one and work two. I’m trying to be happy about it and not cry because I can’t pay rent past December. But just about everything makes me cry now, between the pregnancy hormones and the situation with my husband. He doesn’t know if we’ll still be together by Christmas or if we are if I’ll get to see him. This is the first Thanksgiving in five years I will have spent away from him and his family and I’ll be spending it alone in an unfurnished apartment, sleeping on the floor. I miss him so much and I hate myself for hurting him and causing everything to fall apart.

Thank you for your help, kindness, and support. I really appreciate it. This site is all I’ve got to keep me going until my next therapy appointment on Tuesday, if I can even go to that with the new job.

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Why are you accepting blame? Yes, you lied to him, but do you think he didn't understand what was going on when you "weren't sure when you were born?" Come. On. AND this was *prior* to your marriage.

But since you *have* been married, he has cheated on you. Twice. This is a way, way, way more serious breach of faith than yours.

You keep on saying you owe him something, but what, and for what reason? He is abusive, physically abusive. He is causing serious problems with your pregnancy. Does he want this child, or is he trying to kill it? I am seriously asking you.

I have been in an abusive relationship, although I wasn't as isolated as you are. You are rationalizing his bad behavior, just like I did. I ended up being hit and strangled. Fortunately he had enough self control to stop strangling me, and that incident is what got me to walk out the door. But your husband is already physically harming you. It will only escalate. He will only get more out of control.

Frankly, he is manipulating you. *He* shouldn't be giving you ultimatums about whether you go to whatever type of therapy. If anyone should be laying down ultimatums, it is *you.*

I'm not pretending this post is going to make you decide to leave him (although I would love it if it did). But you are being terribly abused.

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This marriage is a tragedy about to happen. Here's why: you picked the name "idiotwife." Do you see that? You didn't pick "Wife of Man Who Almost caused Miscarriage." You are taking all the blame on yourself.

You were a child when you got together with him. You exhibited some bad judgment by not telling him your true age, and by lying about the family, but are these cardinal sins or something? You were a kid---a very young person, and it is not unusual for young people to use bad judgment in relationships.

He has cheated on you, he's not financially supporting you, and he has abused you physically. Please please please listen to Miron, Titania, and crtclms---they have all been victims of abuse, and they can spot it a mile away. You are young, you have plenty of time to make a life for yourself. Go to live with friends or family and save your life and the life of the child. This man is bad news.

Don't spend Thanksgiving alone. If that shitbird can't be gracious enough to include HIS WIFE in the family Thanksgiving, then you should buy a bus ticket or do whatever you have to do to go be with family or friends. Screw him. He is abusing you and he doesn't deserve this loyalty that you are showing. How dare he abandon you when you're pregnant and frightened? He's not a man---he's a wimp, an abuser, and he's living with his mummy and daddy. Dump him. You can do much better and it may save your life.

olga

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Crtclms:

I’m accepting blame because I screwed up. Our marriage wouldn’t be in shambles and he wouldn’t be suffering if I hadn’t lied. It may have started prior to our marriage, but it wasn’t like it stopped when we were married either. I didn’t break our marriage vows, no, but I did really mess up. I think he really believed me about my age. Well, not at first, but over nearly five years with a lot of “evidence” you can believe almost anything. Two years in, I think he was sure it was true.

I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear somewhere. He has had two affairs, but they were before we were married. Our marriage is quite recent, under a year. We were legally married in May and had a religious ceremony in June of this year. The second affair was October 2010 through the end of February 2011, at least that I have hard proof of. I didn’t find out until after we were engaged. Actually, I found out because he gave me permission to log into his Facebook to get addresses for wedding invitations from some of his friends and I found messages between him and the other woman in his inbox there. Really awful messages, saying how much he loved her and didn’t love me, and detailing their sexual encounters, but that is the nature of affairs. So during our engagement, I chose to stay with him and work things out, and we moved to a new state and had a fresh start. We got married in that new state. So no, he hasn’t really broken his marriage vows that way either.

Both my actions and his have been serious breaches of faith. I don’t know which is worse. It doesn’t help that he thinks I’ve lied about a lot more things than I actually have right now and is questioning my sanity, not in the nice you could really use some help sort of way, but like you are crazy probably beyond helping sort of way.

I do think I owe him. I owe it to him to be a good wife, mother, lover, and friend. I owe it to him to get help for my problems so that I can be all of those things. I owe it to him to comfort, honor, and keep him, in sickness and in health, before all others, and to be faithful, and all of these things for better or worse, richer, poorer, sick or healthy, and to love him until death, like I swore when we were married. So of course I owe him all of that as well. I owe it to him to be transparent and help him heal and regain my trust. As his wife and someone who has hurt him deeply, I owe him many things. For what reason? Because I married him, I love him, and I take responsibility for my actions when I do something wrong.

I don’t think he is intentionally trying to kill the baby. I’m not sure if he wants it or not anymore, because of what has happened. He doesn’t talk about it. I think when he was yelling and I ended up in the ER, there was a disconnect for him between his actions and the results. I’m not defending what he did. I’m just trying to understand it. I love him and I can’t think the worst of him. I do think he has issues that he needs to get help for, preferably soon. I think I have some serious issues too and I am getting help for them.

Honestly, I don’t think either of us should be laying down ultimatums. But I have in the past, and he is now. And unless I want to walk out of my marriage, which I don’t, there unfortunately doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it. If we could talk, that would be a different matter. But as long as he is avoiding the serious issues and just thinking the worst of me, there is no way to have a real conversation about it.

Thank you for your advice and support. I do appreciate and see where you are coming from, though we don’t entirely see eye to eye. I will keep your words in mind because I see truth and wisdom in them, but they also seem to be ignoring my part in causing this.

Olga:

I picked that name because that is what I feel like. I can’t defend lying to my husband. I’m not saying what he did is right either, but I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to lay all of the blame on him anymore than to say “everything that has ever gone wrong in this relationship is my fault.” I know everything can’t be my fault, but a lot of it is, and this recent mess certainly came out of my decision to lie.

Maybe I was a child. I didn’t think of myself that way nor did I present myself to him that way. I had already been on my own/living with a different significant other for a couple of years. I had been in an adult relationship before, though it was an abusive one and certainly hasn’t helped things. So I didn’t view myself as a child, but as an adult with an unfortunately small age attached, regardless of if that was accurate or not. He didn’t know I was underage. I was in college, had a job and my own apartment; he had no reason to even guess that I was under 18 originally. My bad judgment isn’t a cardinal sin, no, I agree with you there. But I didn’t only lie about it once, I kept it up for nearly five years and I married him and we conceived a child without me telling him the truth. Sure, I thought about telling him the truth. I really wanted to, but I didn’t know how to come clean. I knew it should be done with professional help, like in marriage counseling. I once decided I was going to do it while we were engaged, before marriage, so that he could make an informed decision about me, but then I discovered the affair and lying was the last thing on my mind. But the fact is I lied for years. He doesn’t think he knows who I am. He isn’t so much older than me that he possesses some great amount more wisdom, so I can’t expect him to handle this with much better judgment than I have.

I am listening to everyone here. I am keeping everything you all see in mind. I really do see the problems, but I also see how much I am at fault too. And I’m not willing to just give up on the man I love, the father of my child, my husband—especially not when it is my fault he is hurting so much.

I don’t have friends I can stay with anymore. I’ve already described my relationship with my relatives and it certainly isn’t cuddly and heartwarming. My husband, his parents, and his brother are my family now. They have been for years. There is no one else to spend the holiday with. I wish they wanted me there. It hurts that they don’t. But I do understand why.

I don’t think he should be leaving me alone right now. I think we should be living together—he has had his temporary separation for about a month now. I think he should be living with me, under the conditions that I continue therapy for myself and that we get marriage counseling. I think he should be here to help pay the bills, to see the ultrasounds of our child, to feel the baby kick. He has never felt the baby kick because of how little time he spends around me now. We have two anniversaries, as wacky as that sounds. We’ve always celebrated the day we met and we also had planned to celebrate our marriage anniversary, so there would be two. And this year he spent the day we met in a different state and I didn’t see him until a week later. He is missing so many things we can’t get back. This time in our life while we are expecting this baby won’t ever come again, and I know that is true of every moment in time, but these especially matter. But I’m not in a position to tell him how to go about healing and doing what is best for us. He is doing what is best for him. He isn’t focusing on the marriage or baby right now. I can’t do anything about that. And for all I know, my way might not be any better than his.

Thank you Olga, for your straightforward and honest advice. Some things are hard to hear, but I understand they are just as important to hear, and I appreciate it.

Edited by idiotwife

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You certainly aren’t the first person to call his behavior abusive. Actually, a previous therapist has brought that up before as did a former mutual friend. But whenever we’ve been to marriage counseling in the past those therapists didn’t seem to care. I don’t think he intentionally hurts me, I just think he gets very selfish when he is angry and stops thinking clearly. Then again, I do too, and I’ve said some very hurtful things to him in a temper, I’ve just never taken it to the point he has.

How does that make the situation better? You're putting your life and your baby's life in the hands of a man who's proven himself willing to hurt you, and who loses control when he's angry. That's a recipe for escalation and disaster. I spent my whole childhood in fear of the day my father would snap and kill me. I knew even at the time that he wouldn't mean it and he'd be sorry...but I'd be just as dead.

As I've been reading this thread, I've noticed how much attention you're paying to the pain that he's in, much more so than to the pain that you're in. Every time you say how miserable you are, you immediately claim to deserve it, while your poor, cheating, physically abusive husband is blameless and suffering needlessly because you made, as Olga said, some childish mistakes. She's right about the moniker "idiotwife" too.

It's another hallmark of abuse that the abused feels the pain of the abuser more keenly than her own. It's part of what will keep her with him. My mother spent my childhood explaining to me how my father "only yells because he loves you" and how he "hates it when he has to do [x]." It took her years of therapy and 12-step meetings to get her head around the idea that she was responsible for her feelings and actions, and not his, and she had to act in her own best interests, and better yet, those of her children.

I know it's hard to learn to look at the world a new way when you've only ever seen love cloaked in mistreatment, but it does not have to be that way. You deserve better and so does your soon-to-be child. Get this son of a bitch out of your life while you still can. Please.

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Gearhead:

Well, the way I see it, sadistic harm is worse than harm with good intentions. That previous relationship I was in that was abusive was with a man who was truly sadistic. When I remember that and then I look at my husband, I can’t see those as the same thing at all. People who don’t mean to harm someone seem more likely to care when the full realization hits them (obviously it hasn’t hit my husband,) they aren’t as likely to do it again once they realize something they’ve done (he hasn’t held me down in a year now,) less likely to escalate, and there is a much better chance of things working out. If someone enjoys harming others (like my ex,) that really changes things. Then there is no reason to stop, no reason to care, everything is justified, and there is no chance of safety.

I’m not saying what he has done is ok at all. I’m really not defending his actions, just his intentions, if that makes sense. He isn’t an evil person. He does have anger issues. People can get help for anger issues. It is a start that he has recently admitted that he actually has anger issues and loses control. He explained it something like this: “If it comes to fight or flight, why not get muddy fighting and do some damage before running.” And that is how he sees it. He gets angry, he loses control, he says hurtful things and takes it to an inappropriate level at times (like when it resulted in the ER visits,) before he stops. But I’ve also said that sometimes when I get angry I do something similar. I’ve said some extremely hurtful things to him without taking into consideration the harm it was doing and I’ve faced consequences for it, it just hasn’t ever become a health concern. Maybe because as a physical man he can’t get pregnant, though I don’t think I could ever let it get to that point anyhow. Regardless, I recognize that problem in myself and I’m working on it. I don’t want our child to ever see us yell at each other and say hurtful things.

You know, I might not know what I’m talking about, and if that is the case I’m sorry and feel free to point it out. But isn’t it natural for everyone, whether they’ve been abused or not, to feel more for someone they’ve hurt than themselves? Because the way I understand it, when someone is truly remorseful and guilty and loves someone, that is just naturally what happens. I guess I also do believe in consequences for actions. I’m not talking about anything divine, but consequences that we make ourselves. When I do something harmful to someone else, I expect there to be consequences. Consequences in my relationship with them, with others, in how I view myself, in how I need to take responsibility for my actions and make amends. Does that make sense? So yes, I do feel I deserve the pain I’m in. No, it doesn’t make it easier for me. It shouldn’t. Yes, I would like to be in less pain, I would like for my husband and I to be going about all of this differently, but I recognize that because of what I’ve done, one of many consequences is my loss of power in this relationship temporarily if I wish to stay in it. A consequence is pain, and not having my husband’s support in it, because I have caused his pain, and in turn my own as well. It seems like cause and effect to me. Like if I slice my finger while cutting vegetables, it bleeds. If I commit a crime, I face some form of sentence (at least in theory, when the system works.) When I betray the trust of someone I love, there are consequences as well.

I see your points. I’m giving them lots of thought. I don’t plan on leaving my husband. I do plan on continuing to try to save our marriage. Obviously there are things that would make me leave, like him physically harming me again or hurting our child or even having another affair. Short of breaking our marriage vows though, I’m not prepared to leave. I’d rather try to make things better for both of us, together, and for our child. And maybe that makes me stupid, but marriage is something that is very serious to me. The only time I was going to leave was because I was in fear for myself and my unborn child, but then my husband and I actually talked and I realized it wasn’t necessary and that we could work things out. So no, I’m not trying to stay in what people are calling an abusive situation. The physical incidents were about a year ago, so there has been improvement. The rest has happened since my pregnancy, and apparently that is unfortunately common. And it is absolutely not ok, but he has said previously that he will get help for his anger issues and I will bring it up with him again if he doesn’t divorce me and we get past this current situation. I have no intention of putting my baby in danger. I really don’t. But I don’t see leaving as the only solution either. And I recognize my part in all of this and the things I’ve done wrong.

Thank you very much, for your advice, and wisdom, and pointing out the things I don’t like to see but should see. I don’t have to entirely agree with you to see the value of the things you have said. I really do appreciate it.

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Guest Vapourware

The thing is, intent doesn't really matter. The point is, he hurt you. There is no guarantee he won't do it again - because once the barriers are broken, it's easier to break them again. Especially since he doesn't seem remorseful. He's been justifying his behaviour, instead of acknowledging unequivocally that what he did was wrong.

Whether or not you leave is up to you. It seems you're adamant in staying which is your choice. Just be careful. I really think you need to reconsider how you are viewing this situation. I find it disturbing you seem to think lying about your age is worse than cheating.

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I haven’t ever said here that it is worse than cheating. I said that I don’t agree or disagree with my husband’s view that it is and that I’m trying not to compare them in a better/worse sort of way. I do think we should be handling the situation similarly to how we handled that one, but that isn’t the same thing. Right now, in his pain and anger, he views what I’ve done as much worse. He also thinks that I’ve lied about a lot more than I have. He thinks that because his affairs lasted for months rather than years, my lying is worse because it went on for years. It doesn’t matter to him that he was never going to tell me unless I found out.

The whole situation is messed up. I’m very much at fault for lying. And there is no convincing him that what I did doesn’t make everything I’ve ever said to him a lie. There is no convincing him that he knows who I am. It is like all of the time we spent together in five years didn’t happen or he doesn’t remember it in the same way now. And I do get that to some extent, because his affairs sure changed how I looked at things. The good times that happened while he was cheating felt like they were fake after I found out. So I can see how he would view parts of our relationship in the same way because of lying. People don’t think clearly when they hurt as much as he is. I sure didn’t after his affair.

Of course his affair isn’t going to seem as bad to him as what I did, because he didn’t have his life turned upside down like mine was after I found out, just like even though I hurt so much right now I’m not experiencing the same pain he is now because of my lies.

I really don’t know what to do about any of this when he won’t talk with me and when he hurts too much to see things clearly. I’m also worried that when he does see a therapist, he is just going to talk about how I’m an awful person, never mention the affairs, or any of the good times we have shared. Then what would a therapist recommend? Probably to run away and never look back or to take my child away from me. I don’t know. I really wish he would talk with his old therapist who is familiar with our history, the good and the bad. But that therapist is in a different city, though thankfully the same state. They could Skype. I know that therapist is willing. But my husband doesn’t seem interested in seeing him, possibly because Skype isn’t the same as in person, or maybe because he does know so much already, or maybe because he might still owe the therapist money. I’m not really sure.

I haven’t heard from my husband since before six last night, despite sending him text messages and leaving him a voicemail. I tried to share the news about work with him and let him know that I got him a gift, asked to see him for a little bit like a coffee date or something, but there has only been silence. He lives on his phone, so I’m sure he is ignoring me, which isn’t helping.

Tomorrow is going to be a hard day too. I start work tomorrow. Tomorrow is also the day someone very close to me died a year ago and anniversaries of things like that really stick in my mind and make things hard. I really wish my husband were here to hold. But that is life. This is a consequence of my actions.

Thank you for your kindness and advice.

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I am going to be blunt- you are young and dumb. He is old and manipulative. Not a good match at all. Plus the abuse, no matter how long ago it happened. If he has his way, he'll convince you to give him full custody of your child to "save the marriage." I can almost be sure of it. I know you lied and did wrong, but what he has done is far, far worse. You may think "but you don't know him like I do." Yes, I do. He is placing all the blame on you while he is most likely continuing his affair, living with mama, and hiding behine "oh, you hurt me so bad, I can impose any regultaions and restrictions on you, and you will blindly do as I say or else it's over."

That doesn't seem horrible to you at all? He's probably gotten a lawyer and is waiting til you give birth to try to take your baby away from you, as you can't get divorced while you're expecting (I'm pretty sure that's the case.) As soon as you give birth, file for divorce and by the time custody issues come around you will have status quo and it would be hard for him to take the baby away. If you are married, he has equal rights to the baby and can take him away! Really!

At first I didn't want to respond, but I feel that I have to do everything I can to help a young woman. I know we most likely have little chance of changing your mind. I just want to tell you what will most likely happen if you do nothing and wait for him to have this great epiphemy (sp?) that he want to get back together and be a family man. It isn't gonna happen. He is drawing this out to gather evidence against you! Please believe the kind woman here, we were all young and dumb once. We've seen some shit in our years and we know when we smell a rat. You will find a man who will really love you the way you deserved to be loved. I know this reply is harsh, but I just had to post it in order to hopefully open your eyes. I wish you the best. I was a young mom and it is fucking hard work! Don't give this twit any custody at first, and then just offer him the every other weekend that uncaring father's deserve. Sign up for welfare and say he abandoned you, as he did. Who is paying for your prenatal care? Oh god, I just throw up my hands at this point and hope that rational and logical wins over emotion and vulnerability. Be strong!

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