Expatriate desperately seeking solace to cope with new Husband's surrounding circumstances.

Jordan - posted on 02/20/2014 ( no moms have responded yet )




So, I came across CoM as I was Googling for any self-help I could find in dealing with this subject. Looking through the majority of some of these threads, I understand I will receive a shitload of backlash for the comments I am about to make. That being said, those of you who choose to be abusive back to me have no substance for being here in the first place and I could not care less about what you will say. But please, do continue on your empty hate or God rants...

I am barely yet 28, the man I married (and now feeling conned into doing so) is 40... I am still a US citizen, and he is Swedish. We met roughly a year ago, only knowing each other digitally for about 3 years prior. I am now in Sweden, which is, suffice it to say...far less desirable than I could have ever imagined (that is for being a US citizen, if you are not an Expatriate, then you do not know what I am talking about). Nonetheless, I fell in love with this man the moment I met him last year in Oslo. It was literally like a fairytale...something I never saw coming or thought would actually ever be within the realm of possibilities for myself. And it was all because we had "known" one another over Facebook, connected by a mutual circle of friends/interest, and then happened to be in the same place at the same time. So we agreed to meet (by then, he had only been separated from his Ex for a couple months...though he has consistently stated that their 'relationship' had been dead for roughly 5-6 of those 10 years). Then our love affair began after I had already returned to the states. Thus is how I have ended up back in Scandinavia now...right into the middle of a situation I was NOT prepared for. I am now a full-blown step-mom, and yet a neglected wife. I am constantly being overlooked in favor of his Ex's wants (which makes me very much feel like he is REPEATEDLY betraying me), and he seemingly does not give a damn about my feelings, no matter what he says otherwise. They are empty words.

I have always known I would never, could never...settle for a man that had either; already been married, or had children from a previous relationship. And now I have done the unthinkable and have broken that promise to myself for this man. I phrase this comment as 'unthinkable', because I knew I was, and AM STILL NOT, equipped with the skills to handle the type of emotional distress these situations would bring into my life. I made these exceptions and understood (or at least I thought I did) the sacrifices I was making in order to gain what I thought was the truest feelings I would ever share with another human being...not to be jaded by all the other 'failures' I have experienced with others throughout my life, with men, friends, and most definitely family.

Anyways... We had quite thoroughly discussed (or at least the picture he wanted to paint for me) what it would mean for me to join him and be a part of his life in Sweden. Everything from his kids, 2 girls...5 and 8, his Ex (which he also led me to believe was stable and that they had a fairly amicable situation...NOT), his financial responsibilities and my potential job opportunities, etc. All of which, based on our communication across these subjects, I thought I was perfectly capable of handling, though I was also terrified for obvious reasons (moving to another country, being a step-mom though I did not feel ready). So...the kids and I have a had a VERY successful relationship so far, they seem to love me, and I am fond of them as well. Even though, I tend to feel like I have been brought here to be their maid on my Husband's behalf. I.E. - he lacks in involvement when they are here, and I do everything...cook, clean, entertain, etc...everything except wipe their asses basically. And generally, we have fun together, no problem, even though we have the language barrier (and when I NEED him to be present to translate and PAY ATTENTION to our dynamic he never is, and I cannot tell you how frustrating and disappointing that is to deal with on top of everything else). I have tried numerous times to talk to him and explain how he is making me feel useless, worthless, depressed beyond my threshold, heartbroken, as insecure as imaginable, trapped, MISERABLE...etc. And it all seems to just escape him. In one ear and out the other. He just doesn't 'understand' my plights...so he says. And I am so lost...I feel like my life has fallen apart and the anger and depression he is putting me through makes me feel like I am loosing the grip I have on my humanity.

His Ex has only been a source of torturous drama (shocking), driving a rift between us. From what HE has specifically told me, and what I have observed between them...their 10yr 'relationship' was a total sham. She is incessantly manipulative, cold and oppressive, and he seems to be totally accepting and/or oblivious to it. EVERYONE...has pointed that to him. After only knowing her 1yr...he let her con him into having kids...no biggie, it's only for LIFE, and all. She even left him behind for BOTH births! She literally LEFT TOWN...how anyone could THAT is unimaginable to me. THAT is HER character, in a nutshell. It baffles and absolutely haunts me, that he chose to procreate with such a treacherous person. I deeply loathe her and am sickened by her existence. And YES, I FEEL COMPLETELY ROBBED of having MY family with him...having ALL of the firsts together; pregnancy, birth, pictures, steps, words...mommy and daddy...everything, it is all lost for me. I truly feel like I am processing the death of a child, all the while I have to live with the fact that he still has is 'other' family SHE gave him.

Perhaps to better shed some light on where I am coming from with these feelings... I suppose I can give some of my background:
I am adopted, and have 2 younger sisters, though THEY are biologically of my parents. And let me tell you, it is VERY obvious...and I'm not referring to the fact that we don't look blood related, but to how we were treated differently growing up. I DEFINTELY have abandonment issues as well. Also, my 'childhood' was wrought with abuse, of all kinds. My mother is an abusive alcoholic and my father is a lying, cheating coward. I have spent many years coping with what all has happened to me, my sisters, and to my parents over the years...all on my own. That, is BRUTAL. I have been in 2 abusive relationships in the past, all of which I have put behind me, other than the struggle I still have dealing with the physical abuse. But, intellectually, I am emotionally scarred beyond repair. At least that is what it feels like...desolation, albeit, these ARE the extremes I experience internally. Like a pendulum swinging. I know I have been fundamentally altered as the human being I would have been, and I am desperately trying to compensate for that every day. But, I need help. I need HIM to help me, but he is not. We have also already had 3 incidences of mild violence... 1. in which we were away at a concert, we were invited to the after party but I wanted to go back to our hotel for some "private time", which upset him terribly because he was so drunk he didn't understand what I wanted, so he ended up rushing me grabbing my head and shaking me stating, he was going to go 'party' with his friends. 2. I had come to my breaking point recently after having the kids for 5 days, after which they always come into our bedroom at 8am to get in bed with us (which is REALLY awkward for me, but he does not care), then one night the 5yr old came in at 4am for no apparent reason and I had to make him take her back to her bad (which she didn't have a problem with, but he did), and I cracked. The next 2 days where me being left behind and effectively trapped in our bedroom. We did nothing but fight and I ended up pushing him against a wall, because I could not deal with the fact that he kept abandoning me and my feelings...that was the straw the broke the camels back. 3. his Ex sent him a picture of their kids not wanting to take off their jackets and go to bed after returning to her place, presumably because I was not present to 'play' with them in those lost 2 days...so he explained to me, and that led to him again, grabbing me and THROWING me out of our apartment, onto the ground, telling me to pack and leave and locked me out. After I got back in, I called the police, they arrested him, then let him out 2 hrs later.

I have asked for family therapy, which we are in the process of waiting for, yet...Swedish society does not seem to care about a single family dynamic. In fact, the concept of marriage is all but lost on these people. Having children out of wedlock is perfectly normal, and their casual behaviors towards such endeavors is completely appalling to me. Now, I am NOT a religious or even spiritual person (and neither are they, they are #1 in atheism), but for fucksake, I HAVE ETHICS. It's almost as though Scandinavians have ZERO regard for the sociocultural impact their collective decisions are making. Hell, it's even "NORMAL" to bring your 5 and 8 yr old female children into the MEN'S den at the public bath. Because it's cool for them to be faced with a hundred different naked male bodies (and I do mean adult men), while being naked...and vulnerable, right along with them. That is an aspect of living here I cannot, no, I REFUSE to except. I got a bit off track there, but these are some of things I am dealing with that are having a huge impact on my mental well-being.

I cannot tell whether or not it IS our massively unexpected cultural differences driving us apart, or if it is all just me :( I don't want to make it seem as though I am some kind of angel and he is some beast, because that is not the case...he is a GOOD man, but his actions are hurting me so deeply, I am being pushed to my limits.
I am perfectly aware of my flaws, as I have mentioned, but damn... I don't know what to do. I can't live like this, but I can't bring myself to leave the man I love either. HELP :*(
I don't want to make it seem as though I am some kind of angel and he is some beast, because that is not the case...he is a GOOD man, but his actions are hurting me so deeply, I am being pushed to my limits. I will not sacrifice my ENTIRE life for HIS family. If that is considered being selfish over the sake of someone elses kids…then so be it. I have accepted his kids, but he has not yet chosen ME over HER.
There must be a line drawn.

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