How do I survive marital separation after 17 years?

Mia - posted on 08/29/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




Hi, I'm new here. I did not think I would be joining a new parenting forum after so many years. My children are 14 and 12, and I have a 19 year old stepson.

My husband and I married in 1995. That seems like a lifetime ago. We have been having difficulties for the past seven years or so. I found out a few years ago that he was going to strip clubs. Every time I caught him he promised he would not go again, and, for whatever reason, I always buried my head in the sand and believed him, and allowed him to return to the home, attempting to return to life as best as I could.

Over the past couple of years he became increasingly upset over what he termed an "invasion of privacy"...meaning my looking at joint credit card statements, sometimes looking at his cell phone (there was always a reason for me to look, such as it ringing while he was working in the backyard, ect.) He began hiding his phone, having the credit card statements mailed to his office, etc.

Long story short, after several short-term separations, I finally had enough this past weekend. Just a few days ago I expressed I am not willing to live with a husband who routinely goes to strip clubs, slowly eating away at my self esteem. One lifestyle does not allow for the other in my humble point of view, and he had a choice to make -- me or the strippers. The night before a tropical storm was supposed to hit, he did not come home to help me close the shutters, but disappeared and returned completely drunk late into the night. The next day he admitted to having gone back to a strip club, and my immediate reaction was to pack an overnight bag and spend the night at my parents' house. I did tell the kids where I was headed so they would not worry. The next morning he left and has not returned nor tried to contact me.

I am ready to begin my life as a single mom, and am beginning to take all the steps to do so, such as submitting my resume to return to work. I quit my last job in January of this year and have been receiving unemployment since. I am feeling good most of the time, but have some obvious symptoms of depression such as having slept past noon today.

I am wondering if there are any mothers out there who have been through this and can offer any advice as I begin this new chapter of my life. I have not told my children any specifics of what their father has done, but they are extremely bright and have lived through (too) many separations between us. All I have told them is I deserve to be loved and respected and their father has engaged in behaviors that do not fulfill my needs as a wife and woman, and I deserve to be happy. I think my 14 year old has a pretty good idea of what is happening, whereas my 12 year old daughter does not. My stepson lives cross country, but has told me in the past he knows what his father does, does not agree with it, and has attempted to understand why I have continually taken him back as well as expressed gratitude for always standing by his father.

Anyway, I know this has been long and will stop for now. Looking forward to meeting new people, as well as hopefully some who have lived through this as well.

Thank you if you made it this far!! :-)


Hailiecooper5 - posted on 08/29/2012




The best way to move on is to do you. Get back to hobbies you used to enjoy, try new ones, join some type of class, get a new hair cut, buy a new dress, put makeup on everyday, flirt with ANYONE even if you have no interest and these things feel like a chore. Eventually you will feel good again and you can find a new kind of "normal". Do anything you can to keep yourself busy. Moving on is always hard even if its the best thing for you to do and especially if children are involved. Your kids are old enough to understand, you might not tell them all the details but be honest with them and let them know this time is for good and your not going back to him. Reassure them that you both love them but it wasn't a healthy relationship and that you will not prevent them from continuing their relationship with their father. Best of luck and good for you for knowing when enough is enough! If your looking for new friends, I could be an Internet buddy, available to listen anyways :)

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