Emotional and physical neglect

Joyce - posted on 01/05/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

8

0

0

Good morning,
New to online forums, please bare with me.
My husband and I started dating when I was 23 ( he was 40) and at that time I had an almost two year old boy. It seemed we were perfect for each other, we got along so well, never fought and he took to my little boy as well. We married six months later and found out I was about seven weeks pregnant. We discussed getting married (he never asked, it was just a discussion) and then boom, we were married. After we had the baby, communication stopped. I was really confused as I had never been married before and he had been married 3 times prior. He stopped playing with my son (his step son), stopped showing any affection to both of us and physically neglected me for approx. 3 months. I didn't say anything be use at this point he became really unapproachable. He wasn't mean or abusive, but very emotionally detached to my son and I but not his blood son. Aout 6 months passed going in and out of this phase with him I thought we needed to get out as adults and talk. We got home, I told him what has been bothering me for all of these months and why I let it slide and not say anything (3 failed marriages, one son from previous wife). He tells me (very loudly) that Alex (his blood son with me) is his last chance. Last chance for what? I continued. He's just my last chance. Well, I had a son (Devin) when I met you, why can't they both be your last chance? He never answered so I tried another route. I asked him if he'd ever thought of adopting Devin. He said, "why should I give him something that his father should've given him in the first place?" I wasn't happy about this but also knew we both had been drinking so again I let it slide. For the years (9) leading up to
now I have stood up for him when his mother, brother, two sisters, my two brothers, mother, and some friends ask why doesn't he show the same affection or attention towards Devin as he does with Alex. I have been so love struck through the years because I was afraid of talking to him about it because he has always supported us and has been an incredible provider for us, I guess I was afraid for some reason. Not sure.
So, in my sons (Devin) life he has received 2 hugs from him and the sad part is I can count them. He's now 12 struggles in school and has very low confidence. Fast forward to this past summer. I get a phone call from my mother who in an innocent conversation asked me if I made home videos. I did when my kids were babies and still make little clips ofthem on my phone when my husband is not around. Ater that conversation, I had an ahhh haa moment. The videos that idid take when they were little basically showed me playing with the kids (plural) and him walking in from work setting his stuff down, changing just to come back and play with Alex (our blood son), but not Devin. Devin all the while was standing in the hallway barely smiling but getting somewhat giddy but his physical appearance shows him basically wanting my husband to play with him as well. It's always been that way. They never have any conversations, none. He buys them stuff (Devin too) but as I've said a million times, money can't buy love. He thinks otherwise. It's been 4 months since that phone call and I must say, it literally broke me in half. I can't seem to think about anything else. It's killing me inside. The more I think about this, the more I think about other moments we've had where my son basically begs (inside) for my husbands attention. My son Devin asked me two days before new years eve if he and my husband will ever become friends. How on earth do I answer that? After 4 months of not really knowing how to approach it and the last two weeks being extremely silent towards him, he cornered me and asked me to talk to him about what's bothering me. I cried like a little baby the entire time. And told him everything. He had drank 2 pitchers of beer that night (New Years Eve) at home, he drinks but doesn't normally get drunk. Normally he'll drink about 2 -3 mugs a night. I don't drink so this was very awkward for me. He yelled divorce 3 times and kept asking me what I was going to do. Is there another man. No, there isn't. He's also very jealous. If I say hello to a male neighbor, I automatically want him. We just recently bought a house as well, but we can't hang any pictures inside the house only in his man cave (garage). I asked him to attend church counseling with me, he said no. "I've never tried to change you, don't ever change me." I attend church regularly. The next day (completely sober) he called crying hysterically saying that he doesn't was to lose his family and that it just doesn't work without us. He said he'll do anything. I told him that I was going to seek counseling from our church and he should start the process by spending more time with the kids, one on one. And becoming their friend. I am so incredibly lost right now, I just don't know what to think.
I am beginning to think that it's all one way for him and need someone else's input.

Did I marry to quickly.... Does he care?...... I'm not sure.
Please, I would appreciate any and all advice anyone has to offer. I am desperate, I admit it.

Looking back now.... Had I been in this frame of mind when I first asked him about adopting my son, I would've left him.

Thank you all so much in advance, I apologize for the lengthy post.

Joyce

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Sarah - posted on 01/17/2012

1,258

14

164

Joyce, 2-3 mugs of beer a night is A LOT of alcohol. Personally I would be concerned about his alcohol use. Also, 3 divorces before 40? Why did they divorce? Was it similar complaints to yours? I think you know in your heart what is best for you and your children, it's just finding the courage to do it. Good luck to you.

15 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

has he never thought that maybe his being distant and ignoring one child and not the other might be why the other wives left him??



i would have left him by now. if he didn't love both my children equally, despite one not being his blood son, then he's not truly committed to making the family work and that makes it not a family. your son Devin deserves better than this. if your husband truly wants things to work out between you and him and truly wants a family, then he needs to realize that when he married you he became Devin's father and role model and that he is harming the child by ignoring him. your husband needs some serious counseling and if he doesn't agree to go through that with you, then he is not willing to make the relationship work.

Joyce - posted on 01/25/2012

8

0

0

Wow, well done Jen!!

This was me writing my list......



"well, he is a good man...and ummm... An ok father...., he's really not that bad"



Anyways, I do struggle to let him go because although my kids come first in my life I ever wonder if that one person is out there willing to take on me and the boys and be one. I do still love him, I've been with him for ten years, but I do know if you love someone, you've got to set them free. I don't want to hurt anymore. I can't handle the pain.



Thank you so much for that tough love advice. Point taken. ;)

[deleted account]

@ Joyce

His pros...

He is a good man

An okay father

Not verbally or physically abusive

A good supporter

A good provider



His cons...

Doesn't listen

Has a hard time communicating

Won't attend church with us

Emotionally detached

Has only given two hugs to my oldest son

Has never told him that he loves him

Doesn't spend real quality time with the boys



==============

Read your own list again. You say he's an okay father but is he really? He won't give affection to your oldest and spends no quality time with either one. What exactly makes him an ok father ?



Oh and not attending church is not something that you should consider. He may well be an atheist but doesn't want to bring it up considering your strong faith. It doesnt' do the rest of us atheists any good to have him in with us but it's a possibility.



Also, what makes a 'good man' and a 'good supporter?' From what you've descibed previously, he's not a good man and gives you zero support. Think about your own list and try to do it without thinking of your love for him.

[deleted account]

Yes, you married too quickly to a man who clearly has a poor history with committment. YOu also had your 2nd child too soon. Unfortunately there's nothing you can do about those two mistakes now. The important part is that you seriously consider a few things. He is extremely controlling, right down to the decor in *your* home (it's not just his), he is extremely jealous, he doesn't like to hear any criticism of any kind. People don't change like that and counseling is not a magic bullet.



I would try to very kindly seek out some of his three ex-wives and get their take for why the marriage ended YOu may find that the way he's behaving now at 40 is no different than the way he behaved at 20.

Joyce - posted on 01/25/2012

8

0

0

A mother's guilt goes beyond her tears. She has sleepless nights and groggy days. Damaging thoughts, she has many, she prays for forgiveness and hugs those near.

Love, she knows plenty, yet loneliness becomes her.

She wears a mask to hide her fear that one day her kids may see a tear

They see her smile and not her pain though no one knows her heart wears a chain. Days go by with silence so loud, she hears the echoes of laughter, that makes her proud.

Shattered dreams and pain galore, she has visions of white, she begs for more.

Tempted to cry, but not giving in........ She wears a cross and prays for sins.

More days go by, her fight begins .......

She's standing tall with a grin on her face.......because she knows Her children need her to finish the race.

The damage is done, what can you do?

Just be there for them because they need you too.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sorry to babble, I write sometimes when things are weighing heavily on my shoulders.

Everything's been ok, he hasn't been talking to me or showing any sign of affection towards me. I'm ok with that. It just proves how much ideally mean to him. It's a shame that I've wasted ten years of my life. I could've been something better for my kids. I know that given the strength, I will be someone that will have a great respect for when they get older.

Joyce - posted on 01/18/2012

8

0

0

@ Sarah- ;)

He divorced his first wife because she tried to change him and she became a jahova witness. He married her again and tried to work things out. They have two children together. He did not visit them regularly afterwards and still struggles to call them on occasion as adults. It's sad. he also ended up cheating on her with the next wife for quite some time,

His second wife was definitely crazy!!!! I will stick up for him on that one. Lol

Funny how when I met him, he took straight to my son, I thought wow, he's a keeper and any woman who left him behind was nuts. Well....... Now I'm not so sure.



@Bri-

There were many red flags up, yes, I admit. And as most women, I stood by my man. Most of the time when we go through serious things like this we try and see the brighter side of things. I've given him ten years of my life waiting for him to do the right thing while all the while listening to his family and mine as well as my friends talk to me about how he treats one different from the other. I should've left when we were in the first year.

I completely and wholeheartedly admit that I was blinded by love. Hit with a huge dummy stick!!!!!!!!



I have decided to leave him over the summer this year. I am waiting until the summer because I live in Tx. and my family lives in Fl. We are suppose to go there in June. I will have the support from my two older brothers and my mother. I'd like to wait until the kiddo's are out of school as well, this is going to be a huge change for them and I don't want it to be any more difficult than it absolutely has to be.

I advent even told him yet because I really don't want to spend the next five months arguing and fighting. My kids don't need to see stuff like that. It's just not right. My husband and I have only gotten into 4 arguments in ten years. Probably because I held it all in, gosh women are so good at that. I grew up with my father being very abusive to my mother. When my mother left him, she and her next husband followed by the next two boyfriends were alcoholics. Arguing makes me sick to my stomach.

Anyways, I plan on watching him and just sitting back to see how he thinks he just got away with ripping my heart to shreds for ten years. And then.... Boom, we are out.

It takes a lot for me to change my mind.... Most of the time, it takes a miracle. So, it's out there now, I've been thinking for the last 6 months and I honestly can tell you that even though a man may be a great provider and a great supporter as he is, marriage is based on so much more. I'm not afraid to take the plunge, I am a survivor as Gloria Gaynor so delicately puts it. And I am. And my children will grow to recognize that it's never enough to be just a sperm donor, you have to work for the things you love. They will have beautiful children one day and gorgeous wives and they will love them unconditionally and not treat them like a fixture or a trophy and that's it.

It's all or nothing!!!!!!!!

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and insight. I will keep checking in to let you know how things are.

Bri - posted on 01/17/2012

29,558

29

216

First off its so weird how our men always love the "garage" there territory, sounds like your better off without this person. I had to get away from my ex who was always drinking, thats why we are split up for good, but we have a 5 yr old dd together. It took the court system getting him the help, I know he ll relapse back i mean his new "gf" puts up with it. sad......i know...but I am very cautious with him being around her, we are now pushing for Supervisted visits due to his recent involvement of a DUI..about your situation... I believe there were so many red flags. about this person there is a reason and that sound s like a lot of everyday drinking

Joyce - posted on 01/14/2012

8

0

0

Thank you so much Donna, I appreciate the shoulder more than you know. He won't be going to church, I think he made it clear with his response as "that doesn't make me a bad person you know." he is a fantastic person!!!!!

But...... I find myself thinking more and more about things.

He says he's happy and couldn't live without us, but he comes home from work and doesn't talk. When I'm talking, he's interested in my conversation for about the first two mins., and then.... I lose him to his paper or the tv. My oldest son has commented several times before how he hates it when my hubby does that. The fact that he notices that, bothers me. He has only looked into my eyes just a few times in ten years and when asked why he doesn't look into my eyes, he says "I don't like the way my eyes look." he's only really smiling in two pictures that we have and only barely cracking one in the rest. But his wedding picture of him and his first wife (which he put directly behind our first picture), he is smiling big. I haven't found any luck finding a counselor. I sit at home trying to study and all I think about is us. Weighing everything between us. His pros...

He is a good man

An okay father

Not verbally or physically abusive

A good supporter

A good provider



His cons...

Doesn't listen

Has a hard time communicating

Won't attend church with us

Emotionally detached

Has only given two hugs to my oldest son

Has never told him that he loves him

Doesn't spend real quality time with the boys



My list on the cons has been getting bigger and it's very upsetting. I do love him. Probably more than anyone I've ever loved, but I continue to think of leaving him. I wonder if it's better for the kids or not. Their happy when I'm home with them, but when he comes home from work, the kids can't be kids. That wouldn't be so terrible if he sat with them and got to know them and talk to them about their day at school. There would be no way for me to buy the things for them that he has been able to do if I leave, but I shouldn't stay just for that. I know I can find a job if I leave and my mother says I can stay in her house (she lives with my brother) since it's not being lived in. I start picturing myself and the kids living in my moms house and for some reason, I start feeling incredible guilt. Why do I feel so horrible about it? I know the past is the past and as far as my oldest is concerned he has gotten slightly better, but the memories are eating me up inside and I've been waiting for ten years for him to become better friends with both boys. Tomorrow is Sunday.... I'm not sure what it'll bring. I'll post an update soon.

Donna - posted on 01/10/2012

15

13

3

Religion is a touchy subject... especially if his first wife became a jehova's witness - no offense if someone reading this is a jehova's witness. Just, changing your religion can put a lot of pressure on the family and partner if they do not agree. If this was the case with your husband, it may have caused him to pull away from any kind of religion.

If he is willing to go to church with you and you find that important in your relationship, then it seems as though he is making an attempt to let you know you are important to him.

I would continue to find a counselor, there are many to be found on the internet if your church didn't have one available. Neighboring church's might as well, and some say that it is better to go to a counselor outside of your church so that you don't feel uncomforable attending church when you run into the counselor that "knows" your inner thoughts :-).

Hang in there and keep us posted. I, for one, think about you and hope you are doing well.

Donna

Joyce - posted on 01/10/2012

8

0

0

I've been telling him what's wrong with me. Now, he's the one who's silent..... Even with the kids. Talks when he has to I guess. I'm not sure.
Saturday night he says while we're laying in bed, "You won't be mad at me if I don't go will you?"
This was about church. He said during our argument, I can't be off every Sunday, but..... I can try and go when I'm off. Wow!!! I knew he wouldn't go and that's what I said after that. He says "it doesn't make me a bad person. First of all, he's really not a bad person, I never said that. He's a great person, he just didn't have it in him to treat my son as an equal to our son. That's what hurts the most. Just all of the memories I have of him not being there for my son when he needed him. He's very supportive to everyone even my son, he always has and has bought him many things, but money can't buy love and I really don't want my son resenting me in the long run. Ya know?! I honestly believe that if we meant that much to him, he would've gone to church even just to be with us. I understand not everyone is religious. I don't know......

Lisa - posted on 01/06/2012

4

0

0

hun, is he really willing to change and make things work for you and both kids? i believe he needs to know exactly how u feel and what has been bothering you. and if he is truely willing to try, but if u really believe he's not, then do wat you a have to for ur child, hes a grown man, ur child needs you.Your right if parents are happy the kids arent either.

Joyce - posted on 01/06/2012

8

0

0

Ladies, thank you so much for your thoughts.... I needed it.
I have researched counseling at my church but came up empty. I would like to seek counseling at church so the journey continues. My focus right now is definitely my children and school work and hopefully God willing, I will pass the exams to start my career which in turn I will start putting money away just in case. It's going to be very difficult because if something should happen........ It's all community property. Until then, I'll keep my head held high but low enough to see what lies on the surface. Thanks again. Oh yeah, he was married three times before, twice to his first wife. He left because she started going to a jahova (?) church and he didn't want her to change him, he also cheated on her with his 2nd wife. His second wife was crazy...... I've heard that from many people. It was bound to happen. I sometimes get the feeling that he may have feelings for his first wife still. This past November we had a baby shower for his daughter at her moms sister's house. When he showed up two hrs later, he was way too affectionate toward them. The hugs never stopped, I hated it. I hated it because, I struggle to get him to socialize with my family. He pretty much stays in a corner and reads his paper or whatever magazine to keep him occupied until people leave. It's unfair. After bring that up to him he says "I've known them for 20 years, you can't compare that." but he's known mine for ten years and I struggle to get him to hang out with them. And I have two brothers, you'd think they'd find something to talk about and my brothers do try. His ex has 4 sisters...... The only thing to talk about there are hot flashes. I don't get it.
I'll keep my eyes peeled and if things don't look up by
summer, the best thing might be to leave. My children aren't going to be happy if their parents aren't happy.

Christy - posted on 01/05/2012

2,218

41

438

I agree with Donna, too many yrs have passed to ask if you married too soon. That being said, all you can do is move forward. And I hate to say this, I would plan on doing it w/o him. He is detached (as he has been most of your marriage). He also has 3 previous marriages which doesn't help. I am not sure of the circumstances of his divorces, but I bet most of it had to do with how he handled the relationships.

I know if you leave it will be a bog change for all of you. Esp your oldest. But what is better for your kids? And yourself?

What worries me the most is him telling you he isn't going to counseling at all with you. If he really wanted to work on it, he would go. And also the phone call telling you that it won't work. I think he has told you what you are thinking about the relationship as well.

So sorry you are going through all of this! Sorry I couldn't help you more. HUGS!!!!!!!!!!

Donna - posted on 01/05/2012

15

13

3

Hi Joyce, Sorry for your situation. You can't question whether you married too early, years have gone by to make that the issue. The main thing is how you two communicate. It sounds like your husband has felt abandoned by his previous wives - and most likely by a parental figure in his past. He does have issues, sounds like control, and power to me. If he is committed to your marriage, then your first son is part of that, he can't commit to you and not Devon. That is not fair to either of you (you or your son). I would definately get counseling, especially for your son because this treatment will affect his self-esteem and self-confidence. Your focus on what is best for him will guide you in what you need to do for yourself.

Your fear of your husband is based somewhere too, things to think about: why were you afraid to say anything, why did you feel like you need to let things slide?

Things that might help you include: continue talking about it to those who are your supporters, go to counseling, write about times when you felt strong in your abilities and proud of yourself; spend time with your children doing what you and they like to do.

Your inner strength will emerge and your husband will wonder what is going on. You can tell him you are living the life you want to live and he can be part of it if he decides. --- Then, let him know what you need from him. You can tell him this lovingly, but firmly. He will know you mean business and will either run - as may have been his experience in his past marriages - or figure out a way to work it all out. It will make everyone stronger in the long run. Trust yourself, make time for yourself and you will know what to do.

I hope this helped. Oh, and BREATHE!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms