How do you know when enough is enough?

Sarah - posted on 05/11/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )

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Hello Everyone, I am on my last nerves and don't know where to turn, so I figured I would ask you all!! :)



My husband and I have been married for a little over 5 years and I'm at the point now where its been 5 years too many. We have 3 small children together and they mean everything to me. But, my husband and I have grown apart and I don't want to be in this situation anymore. He recently got medically retired from the Army for PTSD and though I commend him for his service, he is using it to his advantage. He collects a pension from the VA every month of about 770$ and thinks that's okay to live on for 5 people. He wont go look for a job, and claims smoking pot is his cure for everything. We are 5 days late on rent and it doesn't bother him. My family lives in California, and we're in Kentucky where he is from. He has isolated me from friends/family and I have no one to turn to. I dont want to be in this situation anymore, and every time we get into an arguement he tells me to get out of "his" house. Um, okay?



My question to you all is how do you know when enough is enough? I know in my heart I dont want to be here anymore, but I also know that it will be an ugly battle if I go file for divorce. ALso, I would not want to stay here in Kentucky, I want to go back home to my support system. Are there any laws about that? I have police records of domestic violence from both the military and kentucky. Nothing has changed or gotten better. Its easy to say "just get out", but when there are children involved, I dont want to screw myself in the process and lose my kids. I'm not worried about losing them, I know I have nothing to hide, they can even drug test me. lol. I just dont know which way to turn. I'd rather get a divorce while my children are so small , versus waiting until they are older and continuing to stay here knowing its just for them. I think that will hurt them in the long run, right?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

JuLeah - posted on 05/12/2011

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Were I you, I'd get educated about PTSD. He is using pot to cope, when, in fact, he needs help; coping skills. You can't make that happen for him, it is his choice. All his actions are his choice and your actions are yours. Things are not going to change, so now you get to make a choice. No one can tell you what to do here, you know the situation best.
I will say that the relationship your kids see now, the life skills that are modeled for them today will set their future. Model the relationship you want your kids to have. Get support from local resources ... they are out there. That will help you get some answers and maybe ask more directed questions. Good luck

Gina - posted on 05/12/2011

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I am currently separated from my Navy Officer spouse. We have 3 children ages 17, 13, and 10. It has been an adjustment for them. It is true that it is harder on the child when they are older. However, my brothers and I witnessed my father hit our mother. He did get help and they are still together. He has not abused her like that for years. But that is probably because he wanted to get help. It does not appear that your husband wants help.

I am also currently in a bachelor's program for social work and am a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem. In that aspect, when you go file for divorce and if he does fight you, and he does want visitation with his children he will have to prove that in court. You will most likely have to encourage the court to have him take a drug test because I don't think you would want your children around that. Maybe eventually it will kick him in the pants to get the help that he needs.

Mabel - posted on 05/14/2011

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when all you can do is shake your head and you realize that no matter what is said or promised ,nothing will change and then you have to make the decision to get out of the situation.

Ninu - posted on 05/13/2011

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girl you have got three kids that is all matters to u and men are so stupid that they can still ur journey from u and make ur hard work trash so show him ur position that u r strong and ur children they know each action that there father do

Gwendolyn - posted on 05/12/2011

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u r so right why stay for the kids sake its not going to get better and when they get older they are going to say mommy why didnt u leave instead of taking the abuse if your not happy in your heart you know isomething not right PLEASE dont use the kids as an excuse to stay in a bad relationship.....why take the abuse.....

34 Comments

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Vivian - posted on 05/16/2011

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Post a reply!Children should never see father hitting mother. Boys will think that is the way it is
suppose to be and girls will think it is ok if their 'boyfriends' hit them. Also raising three children
by yourself is very hard and it doesn't get easier as they get older. I would suggest your
husband get help, someone other than you, needs to explain to him the example he is
setting for his children is very bad. They will never respect him as they see him not living
up to any standard. He should be in jail if he is abusive - that can end up in murder. And
of course, he will never want to change without seeing how horrible his life can be. I am
a believer so naturally I believe God can help whichever way you choose. HE does not
advocate living in misery and fear.

Mel - posted on 05/15/2011

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sounds like it is time to get out thats all I can really say, I dont know about anything else, but if he thinks that providing for his family is doing those kind of things then hes not showing that he loves and cares for you guys. My husband isnt doing the half of what your hubby is and Im ready to end it, I actually I did end up but people keep trying to convince me to talk and that obviously my vows meant nothing to me blah blah blah. Really if your not happy and hes tretaing you that way you need out. I know I hate feeling unhappy because Im in a relationship I dont want to be in

Helen - posted on 05/15/2011

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sorry but if it was me i would up and leave with the kids and file for divorce you could not lose the kids because of his records and drugs speak to a lawer and think about it thats all i can say

Tah - posted on 05/14/2011

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I admin military spouses with children and there would probably be some moms there who have been there done that with great advice to mirror that of these great ladies..best wishes

Karen - posted on 05/14/2011

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I'm kinda shocked at all the advice to 'get out'. I know you are frustrated and fed-up and have no love for him right now. I think ALL marriages go through that. I'm NOT saying that it's OK for him to treat you like that. It's not. What I'm saying is that please try to talk to him calmly first. Tell him what your fears or concerns are. If you feel you can say it to his face, maybe write him a letter. Let him know your expectations for your family and what you want for you, him and the kids. Tell him what is 'non-negotiable' and what needs to happen for you to stay. If you want to go and visit your family for a while, I'd say that would be a good idea - especially after you talk- not fight- to him. Let him think things through. If after everything has been tried, then leave.

Blackwood - posted on 05/14/2011

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If you wanted to work things out and he's not willing, then it's time to move on, if you have moved on and don't care to try to work it out, it's time to move on. It's sounds as if the situation isn't good for you or your children. I would speak with a lawyer or local help and see what they would recommend as far as going about a divorce. My mom left my dad when I was 6 and I never once thought it was a bad idea and I grew older, I knew (even tho, it's not always easy and I never had the brand name things) that my life would have been way different in a negative way. And becuz of it, I grew up to find a loving relationship and am very happy. It was the best move my mom could have made and it was difficult for her to do. The drank, was never voilent, but the years past, he is worse and not better. I don't have a relationship with him of my doing and my mother never pushed or didn't push it. I'm telling you this becuz so many people stay together for the kids and it's really not that good of an idea. I'm my opinion. Best of luck to you.

SHARIFAH NORJANNAH - posted on 05/14/2011

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Dear Sarah, I salute you for being brave enough to seek help in the form "Circle of Moms". I hope many mons will come forward to offer advice/solutions/opinions/views that can be of great help to you. One thing though, I am very worry on domestic violence, you have to act fast to get protection for youself and your children, don't be a statistic!

Nickole - posted on 05/14/2011

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It is time to call your family, pack up you kids and leave. Do it without telling him for yours and the kids safety and worry about the rest later. Because fearing regrets is the least of your worries.

Stifler's - posted on 05/12/2011

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If you feel like 5 years of marriage is 5 years too long... it's probably time to end the marriage.

Betty - posted on 05/12/2011

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There are so many in's and out's in a marriage, I am a Mother , grandmother and been married 52 yrs. this year . As women we give no matter what even if we are unhappy in that giving it is just our blueprint . I would tell you to take the time to go within your own heart and feel these feelings and move forward from that place . If you already know things are not going to get better follow your heart it always knows the truth . Sometimes there is just no going forward without change . Children are resilient and always understand the truth better than adults do. We are all here to for our dreams and enjoy our lives because they are filled with good things.
May you find peace in the choices you make and blessings that follow that peace of mind... .

Sarah - posted on 05/12/2011

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Thank you all. And I am familiar with PTSD.He was diagnosed with it while he was active duty and its progressively gotten worse as he's been retired. We have tried counseling , and he was going to counseling while in the Army and that seemed to help, but he was only going because they made him go. He thinks that he doesnt have any issues and I'm the one crazy. I am not perfect by any means, but I know when things are not going the way they should. I do have a copy of all of his medical records and times I have called the police. He was given a cd as well as paper documents with things stating he has PTSD and alcohol issues. I just think I am going to be stuck here in Kentucky until the children are graduated from high school. My children are small (3, 2, 9mos) so if we were to move, school is not an issue yet. Which helps. :)

Ashlee - posted on 05/12/2011

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If enough is enough by u then it is. Do what's best for u and ur kids. I left my partner when my bubz was only 4 weeks. And I new I should of ages ago. I know where ur comin from. Do it now while ur kids are still little becoz it'll be worse for them in the long run. If u hav nothin to hide. Then everythin will be fine. Go with ur heart!!

Becky - posted on 05/12/2011

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I know there are different laws for different states. This should be the first thing on your list to do, is to try and find out what's what and where. THEN GET OUT. Best way to try and find out is on your own computer. There is a wealth of information out there. Don't allow yourself to be abused in any way - don't allow your children to see that or be in the middle of it, no matter what age they are. The longer you stay, the more your children will get the idea that it is 'ok' to be like that. Disconnect from that cycle before it starts. After you have seen to your needs and the needs of your children, then, if you want to help him, seek some kind of intervention. But YOUR needs and the needs of your children are priority. Get all your ducks in a row, (sorta speak) and just do it.

Keri - posted on 05/12/2011

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I have left. I left seven times. It takes a lot. And I would strongly suggest getting help in making a plan. I had the help from a women in crisis shelter and it helped me so much. It was somewhere to turn when I had nobody. It was people to talk to after I had left and had doubts. It continued to be support everytime I went back to him and were there everytime I needed to get away again. They're still a support for me now through a transition program. I've finally left for good, and this was just a boyfriend. We had two kids and I was pregnant with my 3rd when I left this time. Its really hard, its easier when your children are young, because it lowers the level of their exposure. It makes it easier for them to heal. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to message me privately. I don't know what california/kentucky offers in the ways of programs, but I'm good at finding things out. Even if its just a person to vent to. I'll listen.

Brenda - posted on 05/12/2011

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It will hurt your kids in the long run. If you put up with what you believe is wrong, your kids will grow up thinking this behavior is okay. They have the potential to become like your husband or they can get into a relationship someone like your husband. To put it more simply, if one of your close friends, siblings or even one of your kids were in the same situation as you, how would you advise them?

Patricia - posted on 05/12/2011

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Go talk to an attorney right away and find out what your rights are. If you have joint custody you may not be able to move away. Not sure of the law in Kentucky.

Sheridan - posted on 05/12/2011

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Also...be very careful in the meantime, many states nowadays, if there is knowledge of prior domestic violence and more occurences get reported, will not only charge the abuser, but also the victim when children are involved. Some cases find themselves in juvenile court for months, sometimes longer on the basis of "failure to protect" the children! Take the necessary steps before it's too late!

Samantha - posted on 05/12/2011

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i too suffered from ptsd. i can only recommend if he wants help to ask for emdr (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) it has been a god send in my life...its a very simple process but can affecti with sideaffects of nightmares etc but that is only temperary and gets less with each treatment. you basically make a photo in your head of the trauma while wearing headphones. while you discribe what you see you hear a series of clicks. then therapist asks you what you now see and then you hear more clicks...sounds dodgy but i swear it works...i literally cant get a picture in my head of the badthings that happened..and it only took a few sessions.

Ashley - posted on 05/12/2011

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You should consult with a lawyer who can assist you for free. There are issues with crossing state lines so you want to make sure that he cannot accuse you of kidnapping the kiddos.

I fully support you getting out. First, do you go to church? If so, you should get in contact with the church (even if you have not been active). Second, do some googling for assistance for women in your situation. Oftentimes there are smaller charities locally who would assist you in your situation.
Leaving the situation where there has been a history of domestic abuse and where he is using drugs is the very best thing you can do for your children. I cannot even begin to think of how hard it is to take care of a family of 5 on less than $1000/mo. That is awful and demoralizing just to live in those circumstances.
Will your family in CA help you move there?
Also, if you cannot find a free lawyer maybe you could check in with the Army base to see if they have any programs to help.

Sheridan - posted on 05/12/2011

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first step is make copies of ALL the important paperwork, even if you are not ready to leave now, it might be coming, and once it does, it'll have to be swift! There wont be no looking back!
If you have somewhere else to hide it, do so!
Then also make a list of emergency numbers, friends, etc ppl that can help you. I know you said you've gotten isolated, still try hard and see if anyone can be trusted to help (neighbor, familyfriend, etc.)
As previously mentioned, your children are currently watching you and your husband and that is their role model for their own future, your children are being taught that happiness doesn't matter, that violence and drug use is ok, it is not! Never was, never will be.
I know it takes a LOT of courage to leave, and wow, there will be many days you will have full blown panic attacks and you will cry, feel very low and question EVERYTHING you did, to yourself and your kids, but then will come the time where that feeling will beat any feeling you might've had leaving you and your kids in this situation.
Yes, you have children together, and regardless of how you feel about eachother now, it creates a bond between two people, but safety first.
Plus, you deserve much more than how you are feeling right now!

Mommy - posted on 05/12/2011

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I think that it wouold be perfectly appropriate to take a break and bring the kids with you to your family's, and allow him an opportunity to shape up before actually filing for divorce. Summer is coming, and although it may be difficult, if you can wait until then you can bring the kids with you without disrupting any school schedules (if they are in school). He might need a separtation from you all to realize what he is losing and shape up. Give him a couple of months to get into counseling, find a job, and make some changes. If he doesn't follow through during the given timeframe, file for divorce.

Tracy - posted on 05/12/2011

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My friend back in Australia was married for 18 years and had 2 beautiful children together. The last 10 or so years were hell for her and I told her that it's just not worth staying together and being miserable and letting the kids witness such a disfunctional family. Children are not stupid and no matter how young they are they can sense things to be not normal and if they witness it for too long then they themselves tend to grow up and repeat the cycle... Anyways she finally got a divorce and seperated from him and she said that it was the best thing she ever did. Her only regret was that she wished she had of done it sooner. So please do not stay for the sake of the children, it's actually hurting them more staying! Your husband is totally aware of this situation so don't feel like it will be a shock to him. Good luck hun and stay strong

[deleted account]

I believe all military bases have a Family Service Center with help for families of military personnel. Would that be an option?

Sarah - posted on 05/11/2011

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Thank you both. I am weighing all of my options because I dont want to do something that I will regret. I also figure that if it gets to the point where my children and I have to go to a shelter than hopefully a judge wont bypass that and wonder what is going on. Being as he is military, he doesn't need a weapon to be deadly, and I dont want it obviously to get to that point, but what am I setting myself up for if I stay? ... exactly. I am just going to start calling around and see what people say. I think most lawyers have free inital consultations so if anything, they can point me in the right direction. I just dont even have a car to get to point a or b because he used our tax return and bought one from his uncle that's a manual... knowing I dont have a clue how to drive one. lol. Not funny, but I am trying to keep a semi positive outlook because of my children. I went through a divorced family when I was 4, a little bit older than my oldest son who will be 4 next month. So growing up, that's all I knew . I turned out okay! (Except the fact I am now facing the same situation) .. Thanks again for all of your advice. Sometimes you just need innocent bystanders opinions to get a better sense of what needs to be done :)

Jaci - posted on 05/11/2011

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Go to your local Social Services office and find out the laws about moving out of state after a legal seperation. If you can move out of state and let him have temorary custody (2 weeks in the summer, certain holidays) and be able to equally provide transportation with ur husband for the children to get back and forth from kentucky to California and back, then I would recommend moving back to where your support system is and filing for divorce.
My fiance is going through a divorce right now with his (ex) wife, and there arent really any custody battles because the child she has that he has legal rights as a father to, isnt his child. So she got custody of the kid almost 7 years ago and he didnt fight it, but still pays child support. We live in South Carolina, and she lives in Alaska, so visitation is virtually impossible, and he hasnt seen the child in 7 years anyways.
I also think that leaving while your children are young would be easier than leaving later when theyre older because theres a higher risk of them thinking it is "their fault" when they understand that you're leaving and not going to get back with their father.

Mrs. - posted on 05/11/2011

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I would make a plan. I would get the help of a a shelter, social worker, a minister or social worker to make that plan. It sounds as if he has a history of violence and access to firearms (my father was in the military and I know he did).

I don't want to scare you, but I'd just be careful about how you leave. Get help from family, friends and/or professionals. Make a plan.

I wish you luck moving forward.

Sarah - posted on 05/11/2011

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Thank you for your advice. I guess I should quit talking about it and just take that initial step. I think that's what I am afraid of though. That first step. But I also know that once I make that first step, everything else will fall into place. :) Good luck to you too!

Alyssa - posted on 05/11/2011

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i feel the same way like if your not happy there's really no point to be into the relationship or marriage i feel like im such a bad mom if my daughter doesn't have her dad but i honestly feel like i will be much happier without my boyfriend so i think you should listen to your heart

Sarah - posted on 05/11/2011

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I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I wish I wasn't married and it was just a boyfriend. It might be easier to leave. At the same time, they have just as much parental rights as we do. It just stinks. I know I am a good mom, and I know I make mistakes, but I feel like I am making a big mistake by sticking around!

Alyssa - posted on 05/11/2011

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i completely understand how you are feeling because i am going through the same stuff right now i am at the end of my point right now with my boyfriend i told him that if it continues im done i really be broken up and happy then in a relationship depressed and hating everything do what your heart is telling you to do

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