I don't know if I should leave my husband - help

Mary - posted on 12/19/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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So, my husband has conveniently worked away from the family for about 7 out of the 10 years we have been married. He has been verbally and emotionally abusive. We have no joint accounts. He gives me no money (maybe $500 a year, literally). The only time he pays for anything in the house is if he's living in it, even then, its rent and his expenses, I still pay have to pay utilities, car etc. There's 3 kids (youngest two are his, now ages 10 and 8).

I moved away from my native area where I had a career, to a small town where I couldn't find regular work that would pay for my kids. My parents agreed to help in the "temporary" set back. He quit his job and got another - in another state. We were supposed to move there, he said not yet, the plant might close - he got laid off. For a year and a half he was home, but did very little to help with the kids. He is angry all the time to me but is very nice to our children. His last job, I told him I would no longer move with him because of the abuse, but I would move closer to my parents on the West coast. I chose to live with my aging father-in-law for a few months while he figured out where we would live. A year and a half later, I ended up being my father-in-laws caregiver, with my 3 kids, and my husband conveniently taking another job in another city - though this time he can actually come home on weekends instead of every 3 months.

So, dilemma for me is, I can't get a job that covers day care because I am sort of displaced. I can't qualify for any assistance because my husband has THOUSANDS of dollars in stock that he won't spend - and he lied and said he had no money in it.

I am a "married" single mom of 3 with no child support and no way out except divorce. On top of that, I ended up with my husbands dad and am about to have a meltdown. And then there's the kids who adore him... any advice?

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UPDATE: Thanks to all. I had known this man for years and dated him years back. We re-connected and everything seemed perfect. Looking back, there were subtle signs about the financials, but I knew his family well, had a great job and never saw this coming. I made excuses for his behavior for years. Last weekend when he came home, we were watching Beauty and the Beast and he said to my 10 year old, "Never marry a man like Gaston, you want to marry a nice man like your daddy, right?"

My child waited a few seconds, then came over to the couch and whispered in my ear, "Do I want to marry someone like daddy, or someone nicer?"

OUCH! And you know what, I still made and excuse for him by telling her that he had been nicer the past couple weeks (its true). Aside from the verbal abuse later on, that moment was what put the wheel in motion for me. It is not hidden from them anymore. They see more than they let on.

So, despite what it appears, I am actually considered a very strong woman by everyone who knows me. But being strong sometimes means you tell yourself you can take more for the kids. It works both ways, I guess. Strong women leave, and strong women make the mistake of staying too long to tough it out.

I guess that's why I came to this forum. Not one single person, after all the responses, has told me to give him more time. That's where I am at. You can know the facts: a man has to pay/share the responsibility for his children and treat his wife kindly. Period.

And to the person who said he has backed me into a corner, you are right. I can leave any time, because my parents will help me. But he knows I am a compassionate person and put my kids first - and works that to his advantage. Heck, I've been taking care of his dad for a year and a half.

He gets one more chance. Help pay for the kids and household expenses, live with us and act like a married man, or I leave. No exceptions. He has to treat me the way he wants his daughters to be treated, because I can't hide it from them anymore.

Thank you! Everyone. It really helped.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Dawn - posted on 12/20/2012

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When making your decision please keep in mind that your children who adore that man are learning by example how to treat a spouse, and they will grow up to do the same.

Tina - posted on 12/20/2012

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Wow. Sounds like this guy really has you manipulated into a corner. I would seek the help of Legal Aid. Whatever he has tucked away wherever, you ARE entitled to half of it. You may have to play detective for a while. Look for any kind of receipts or ledgers- anything to do with finances and the like. I don't want to say this, but it really sounds like your husband no longer wants to be married, but yet he doesn't want to be the one to end it, either. I was in a similar situation. Is there any possibility of you moving to the West coast and living with your family for a little while until you got back on your feet? You could apply for any and all kinds of assistance, including alimony since he refuses to give up his precious stocks. Hit him where it will hurt him the most- the wallet, and don't stop until YOU are satisfied. Apply for child support immediately- that will annoy the crap out of him and he will probably comeup with some sob story, but you keep going- don't give him a break, because he has been unnaturally cruel to you for years and years now, and it is time to say "No more!"

Only you can make the decisions that are right for you. If you cannot leave, then begin standing up for yourself and be STRONG about it. Do you know why he seems so angry towards you? He's blaming you for something, I am afraid. Start keeping tabs on the receipts and such and you will start to see a pattern that can be introduced as evidence in a court of law. Hang in there, sweety! Not all men are jerks! I wish you the best of luck. God Bless.

Theresa - posted on 12/20/2012

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You don't mention whether you have sons or daughters or both but they are learning by example. He is being abusive and they are learning from him that it is OK to be abusive to a spouse. You have been putting up with it so they are learning from you that it is OK to put up with abusive behavior. Think about this, this is now "normal" behavior to them. The kids need to understand that there is a different way to live and you need to help them to find a different "normal". If you don't then neither you, nor your "spouse" are being an effective parent. It is time for you to stand up to this abuse and put a stop to it! Move on so you can show your kids (and yourself) what an emotionally happy, healthy adult looks like. They need you to be their example because he certainly is not!

Sandra - posted on 12/20/2012

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You can go to Family Court and explain the situation. You do not have to be separated. You do not need a lawyer to file for child support. Once that is done he has to pay--like it or not. After that is done, the court will appoint a lawyer for you, since you can't afford one. Then you can file for divorce for abandonment. Take advantage of any free services you can get. BUT....make sure you also file for physical custody of the children. If not, he can take those kids and file for custody himself and there wont be anything you can do.

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Why would you stay in such a miserable situation? Why would you want your children to see their mom so unhappy?? that will have a huge negative effect on them. They will still have regular visitations with their father and will see them once/twice a week. That will be fine. You can arrange for them to see their father on a very regular basis, BUT.... YOU can be happy. YOU can have a life. Their MOM can be happy which will help raise some very loving and well adjusted children who won't be around and witness abuse.

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23 Comments

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Mary - posted on 12/31/2012

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@Kari Tharpe, I feel for your friend. If my husband had another family I would already be gone. He's just cheap and selfish.

As a mother I am putting my kids first There are no affairs or other families, and if I left my husband, I certainly wouldn't take my father-in-law with me - he has four actual children (including my husband) that can bear that burden.

I truly appreciate everyone's advice, but there seem to be a lot of extreme cases. Bottom line is my husband needs to pay for his kids and needs to be nice to me and treat me with respect. Since I wrote this, things have changed (except for the money part). I have gotten some great tips here and after the New Year will be filing with the whatever the service is called in this state for child support. I don't have to divorce to do it. I did tell him if he doesn't choose to live with us I will be moving closer to my own family. If he does choose to live with us, he has to go to counseling with or without me.

and @Teri Stewart - there were never multiple "last" chances. Just forgiveness before.

Kari - posted on 12/31/2012

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A friend of mine is going through the same thing. However, she found out that her husband had additional families and girlfriends that he was supporting in different towns where he was working. She made up a Facebook page with his picture on it and got several phone calls from people who were dating him in other states. She can't divorce him because she doesn't have the money to do so and family that can support her. If I were you, I would take the kids and father in law and move home where you can support everyone yourself.

Mary - posted on 12/25/2012

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You only get one go at life so spend it how you want not how someone else thinks you should or makes you

Mary - posted on 12/25/2012

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So your staying because of the kids "because he's nice to them" really!! Then why isn't he supporting them. What a con man . It's a funny thing but kids grow up and when they look at the situation with adult eyes they won't respect him at all and will ask you why you put up with it and didn't try better for them. Been there and it was not a good example because now my daughter thinks that type of relationship is OK. I just wish I had had the courage to leave long before I did, my daughter might not be repeating my mistakes. I wish you well.

Patricia - posted on 12/21/2012

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Find a womens group near you they will be able to talk things through with you.Try reading women who love to much did wonders for me .Now living in my own place no financialy and emotioaly abusive partner.Life is still tough but Im not going round the bend anymore.
regards to a brave woman Pat

Denise - posted on 12/21/2012

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First thing is get into counseling right away. It is important that you get the right advice for you when you even think of the word meltdown. We need an unbias 3rd party to listen and help us find the tools to do what is best. Don't listen to anyone other than a professional and hopefully the professional helps you decide what to do.

Nancy - posted on 12/20/2012

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As a mom of 3 kids myself I understand that you want to make your family but at what cost. Think about your kids it don't matter if they are boys or girls do you want your son to think acting like his dad does is ok or your daughter to feel the way you do to think mental abusive is ok. It don't matter what kind of abusie it is its still abusie. I am a child of a emotionally and mental abusive house. I saw more and knew more that my parents though I did. You need to do what best for you and your kids. Call your local child support office and see what they have to offer. You having a meltdown doesn't help you or the kids. To me it sound like he is controlling you and putting you in a spot where your helpless. You have raised your kids this long with out him it looks to me you don't need him. You need to take care of your self mental. Maybe it's time to have a talk with your kids about what's going and explan to them what's happening be for it gets to bad. I don't want to put thoughts in your head but he has lied to you about not having money when he has thousands what else is he lieing about. I hope you do what you feel is right for you and your kids.

Amy - posted on 12/20/2012

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My husband hasn't contributed in 4 months and that was enough for me to serve him with divorce papers. Your husbands an adult now and has additional responsibilities, he needs to grow up and take care of his kids.

Simona - posted on 12/20/2012

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Darling you can't let anyone tell you whether to divorce your husband or not, but all the previous comment are right, your children will see this as a normal relationship, so imagine your kids being in a same situation what advice would you give them.
Best of luck to you girl, you deserve better x

SELINA - posted on 12/20/2012

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Your life is what you make of it, no one can control your happiness except for you. So whats wrong with starting a life of your own with your children, you need to cut off ties that connect you being your husbands wife because your letting it define you. It sounds as though he has his own life with you on the side and you, his family, are only there for his convenience. Remember who you were before your husband and start being that again.

Vao - posted on 12/20/2012

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The kids are at that age they will understand if you explain the situation to them. That man is summed up in one word "USER" He is playing on the thought that you are not capable of taking actions. Get a divorce and get on with your life. It's time he takes responsibilities for his kids and his own father. life is too short - be happy.

Tracy - posted on 12/20/2012

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IMHO, I agree with the attorneys, but in truth only you can decide that. The first thing to remember is that you deserve to be treated with respect. You are the most important person in 3 little people's lives. So, decide what YOU want to do with YOUR life, then make a plan, and implement it. You can also seek counseling, and get an advocate for your children for additional support. In the end, only you can decide what to do. Best wishes

Mary - posted on 12/20/2012

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LOL - thanks. I never thought to do that. The attorneys just want me to file divorce.

Jerina - posted on 12/20/2012

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You can call child support and let them know the situation. It's like your married but sepearted.

Mary - posted on 12/20/2012

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yeah, I mentioned that to him many times. How do you make a married man pay child support without divorce or legal separation? The attorney I talked to told me if nothing has changed I might as well file legal separation or divorce - because my husband has called me many names in anger and has told me he would divorce me several times anyway, so it's likely it will eventually happen.

Kids adore him and they would be devastated if I left, and he would "try" to manipulate them against me,but they know he's jerk to me - just not the extent.

Ah well, if anyone else has been through this, please let me know how you dealt with it. The obvious answer is he should pay for his kids. Getting it done without divorce is a big problem.

Jerina - posted on 12/20/2012

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Even though you are married he can pay child support. It has happen and people do it. Your husband needs to be responsible PERIOD. He's busy ripping and running while you do all the work.

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