Dh's strange confession

cupajoeFebruary 15, 2005

We've been married nearly 18 years.My ex was a drug addict and I brought our DD into current marriage. Dh and I have two other children .Throughout the years ,DH has routinely blown up,usually once or twice a month,and usually blow up is more about releasing work pressure than anything that I do.Over the years I have chalked it up to his ongoing battle with depression.While it's not much fun to live with the verbal abuse,he works hard to control it and I recognize that the outbursts are less frequent than they used to be.His outbursts are timed for moments when the kids are at school,so they have seldom heard or come in contact with his temper tantrums.

He has also been so territorial about HIS space,that I gave up the bedroom five years ago.I am in a physical labor type job,and finally got exsasparated with being locked out of the bedroom everytime he came home in a bad mood,or fighting for covers no matter how many blankets were on the bed ,pillows( he would sleep on all six) and trying to sleep on the six inches left on the bed after his diagonal sprawl.We are on different time schedules for work anyway,so it is not as bad as it sounds.(We still have sex,I just get up and go to the couch after).

In his last outburst,he started ranting and raving about all the wonderful people he had been doing drugs with at work,after the usual 30 minute I hate your ffing guts rant.I think he was still loaded from the night before.He knows I left my ex because of a drug problem,and now I am wondering if the depression I've tolerated over the years is really a drug use problem.I also doubt if he even remembers any of his last outburst.The last two have been so bad that I expected to come home from work and find my clothes out on the street.I had hoped to make it long enough to get my children raised and out of the house before a breakup,but each outburst becomes more hateful,and I don't know how much longer i can take it. Any advice?

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I don't know about anyone else but I would have been so out of there already that he would have no doubt of my intentions or feelings about the way you have been treated! Sorry if this sounds harsh but, you are worth better treatment than what it sounds like you get and in my house, he would be the one either on the couch or out the door.
You mention children....what are they learning or experiencing from being in this house? You need to get to counseling, either with him or without, and work on your own self esteem. Life alone can't be worse than being treated so badly. Sorry if this seems rude coming from a stranger but I value myself too much to allow anyone to treat me this way. Your safety might be in danger as well. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2005 at 8:19PM
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doesn't matter which is the cart, and which is the horse, lass-

and as the child of a reformed drinker and a recovered nutcase- temper tentrums are not something it's good to raise children to accept.

why exactly do you let him rant in your face for even five minutes? what you're describing doesn't sound much like depression to me at all.

I know there's no easy answer- but if your children are old enough to help with the dishes and other chores, it sounds like they'd be better off without the louse- you do understand that it's only a matter of time before he starts doing the same to them- if he hasn't already.

people like that SHOULD make you wonder what else they're hiding.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 12:43PM
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Is there any way you can safely (without triggering another tantrum) approach him about this when he's calm? Maybe on a weekend when he hasn't had a chance yet to sneak out and get high? If so, maybe you could talk to him about the effect it has on you, how much stress it's causing, and that you have conveienently (sp) made an appointment to meet with a counseler. You would really like him to come along, but if he won't, you're going anyways, because you feel your marriage is in jeapardy, and you want to do anything you can to work things out.

Obviously, I don't know if your DH is reasonable enough for this type of logic or not...but if he is, it's worth a try. If not, I'd find a good counselor and go yourself - they should be able to help you figure out where to go from here.

Incidentally, my mom put up with verbal abuse from my dad for *years*...and he's not exactly the type you could talk to about it. Us kids got it too, just on a lower level, but we did survive, and my dad has really "mellowed out" in his older years - he doesn't blow anymore, and has learned how to manage his temper. My mom's glad she stuck around, even though it was really, really hard on her - but only you can make that decision for yourself. I'd get help from a counselor if I were you...an objective sounding board, at the very least. :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 1:20PM
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Get out....as fast as you can....take the kids and don't look back.
You are dealing with another user and abuser. It's not about the temper....but why...I'll bet you dollars to donuts he's using drugs or/and alcohol
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 2:02PM
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I don't know how old your kids are, but my parents had the same situation, only my dad was an alcoholic, not drug user (same thing really except according to law). Like your situation, my dad wasn't physically abusive, but the sudden temper tantrums and erratic behavior was highly disturbing. From the time I was age 12 to 16, all I wished for is to leave home. My mom finally got the courage to do it when I was 16. As the kid in the situation, I can honestly say that despite the fact we were dirt poor (had to live with my grandma for several months) and all the social akwardness (catholic school) it was well worth the leaving. Don't worry about what will happen to the kids if you leave him- worry what will happen if you stay. The kids will get over it and probably be better off. Trust me.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 4:34PM
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Sign my name to Jae_TN's post.
Honey...you & your children need to get aWAY from that situation!
Been there...sort of...done that...and believe me...life gets better.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 9:03AM
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run don't walk!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 3:12PM
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Thanks for all your replies.Five years ago I saw a lawyer about leaving.At that time DH had avery erratic work history and was unemployed.His advice was that I needed to get DH back to work or face paying support.Dh has been working ever since as I told him I would divorce him if he quit another job.
Simply leaving with the kids is not the simple option that it would appear to be.Because there is no physical abuse,we would share joint custody.I already know that the children would be the losers in that situation .He is vindictive enough to make scheduling visits a huge PITA .Blocks of time spent with my children will almost certainly mean he is brainwashing them against me(I have already experienced this to some degree).The older of the two will be out of high school shortly.he is more emotionally needy than the younger,and I have already decided to hang until he is out of the house.I would like to add that he doesn't ever blow up in front of the kids,so they haven't witnessed any outbursts.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 9:52AM
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cupa...if your eldest qualifies as 'emotionally needy' then your husband's not as good at hiding it as you might think.

most of the time, kids are WAY more aware of what's going on between their parents than people think- or want to admit. even when we don't know what it MEANS- we know.

good luck with things.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 11:34AM
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Chinacat,I'm going to clarify "emotionally needy " .As the mother of multiple children,their personalities are different and distinct.He would be the one that tugged on my sleeve a little more than the others growing up.He tends to be more sensitive than the other two .He is the undisputed class clown among his peers.He is not a trouble maker,makes average grades,and has never been in trouble.Shows no signs of drug ,ciggerette or alcohol abuse and doesn't hang out with any troubled friends.What I meant to say was that he is more sensitive than his siblings.As the child of divorced parents,I have a commitment to staying together unless it becomes a risk to myself or the kids.It has probobly been six weeks since his outburst.I was hoping I would just brush it off and forget about it,but the incident is still with me,so I vent on the forums.I have actually discussed this with religious professionals and was not suprised to find that they council staying together unless you are in physical danger.As a child,I percieved my parents divorce to be entirely my Dad's fault.The economic realities of that divorce were immense.Neither parent ever "dissed" the other,or talked about the reason for the divorce.In a recent twist of fate I had to work closely with my mother a couple of years ago to get her moved and situated nearer to me.I learned a great deal about my mother during that time,and have a much better understanding of why Dad left .This enlightenment has come over thirty years after their divorce.Even if they had discussed it,each viewpoint would have been skewed.Another childless friend of mine recently suggested that my children would rather see me happy.I don't remember ever being concerned about whether my own parents were happy.I think that when I list the pros and cons of staying together,the pros still outweigh the cons.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 1:14PM
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:) I'm the emotionally needy one in the family- takes after my dad, whose mom threw HIS dad out back in the 30's, when such things weren't done.

my mom's dad simply didn't come home for months at a time- so her memories of him are all candy, and no parenting.

my parents separated a few times- and every time they did, I breathed a sigh of relief. it would be a few weeks without everyone walking on eggshells, where both of them could be themselves without rubbing one another raw...

which is why I suggested talking with the kids-thinking you know what's best for them without consulting them doesn't strike me as any more productive than your husband hiding his problems from you.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 10:17AM
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" I don't remember ever being concerned about whether my own parents were happy"

I think you said it perfectly. I think sometimes adults try and justify their behavior, which is harming their children, by suggesting that children would rather see them happy.

Like you, I do not ever remember being concerned about whether my parents were happy either. What I was concerned about was the tremendous fear that they would divorce and we would have to sell our home and move. I was concerned that if this happened, I would have to "visit" my own dad on weekends ( which would be very uncomfortable to say the least) and I would not be able to play with all my friends, who lived on our block. I was very concerned that there would not be enough money, and I would have to go on free lunches or something, and if we had to sell our home, would we be poor, and have to live in a little house or an ugly apartment. These are the things that kids worry about. for several years, my mom was the only one working. For adults to say that kids would rather see their parents happy is foolish. Kids want to see their parents happy with each other. They do not want your actions to rock their world, until it is barely recognizable.

Cupajoe, to this day I am so thankful that my mom hung in there. I respect her for it. I knew it wasn't easy for her, and I knew that a lesser woman would have given up easily, and perhaps run around dating and having a wild time. My mom just took one day at a time, and did her best. She walked each day with integrity, and hung in there. Yes, we all walked on eggshells for a long time. Flash forward twenty years...My parents are still together. My siblings and I have total respect for my mom. She earned it. She put her own feelings and desires aside for the sake of her children. She is a woman of wisdom, and a quiet, gentle strength. Now my dad has such respect, love and caring for her too. It has come full circle. Cupajoe, just take it one day at a time. Do the best you can for your children and yourself. Walk with dignity ( regardless of what he says to you) seek wisdom and strength through your faith if you can, and you mentioned that you sought the councel of religious professionals...perhaps if your family could find a supportative place to worship as a family, it would help you. Perhaps something your husband hears there would change his heart over time. Perhaps it would help him aspire to be the man you need him to be. I remember something my mom once said during those years. I knew that she was hurting. And yet she still quietly took care of my dad, even though he was being a jerk. She still made him dinner, and cleaned his clothes, etc. She said that it would not hurt her to make one more dinner, or wash one more set of clothes. that sometimes, it is in doing something for those who least deserve it. You know? Because it is easy to do things for those we adore, but it costs us something to do something kind for those who hurt us, and for those who do not deserve our kindness. Because our natural inclination is to make them suffer for hurting us. To get even, and make them pay. I can only aspire to this, but my mom could actually do this.
Also, seek wisdom of the professionals as to whether you should share your struggles with your children. I think the respect we have for her to this day, comes because we knew. and we saw her "choose" to do the right thing day by day for us. And we knew it wasn't easy. She took the hard road for us.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 12:57AM
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I dunno about discussing it with the kids.When they discuss his shortcomings with me,which is seldom,we arrive at a way of dealing with the problem.To bring it up to them might mean having them worry about whether we are going to stay married or not.It also smells a little like trying to sway the child's opinion on the spouse.I think they are smart enough to come to their own conclusions.Also,I have an incredible amount of respect for my parents for not dragging the children in my family through the "he did?she did" phase of divorce that I see so many other people go through.I know I don't want to do that to my kids.I also know in my heart that I have absolutely nothing to gain by diminishing their respect and feelings for their father.I prefer to err on the side of caution in this matter.Thanks for your words of wisdom,Bnice.All relationships have rough patches eventually.Unless my hand is forced ,I prefer to stay.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 12:51PM
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Do you feel safe cupajoe? Only you are there during these heated moments. What is he like towards you when he calms down, or the next few days after these episodes? Since you have chosen to stay, can you talk to him at a time when he is not angry, like to go for a walk, and tell him that you would like your kids to grow up with their family together, and since you both are in this together to achieve that, can the two of you come together in a way that makes it something good, instead of something miserable? Since you may be dealing with addictions with your husband, you may try and address that. You may want to pull up a web site: www.newlife.com - they have a 1-800 number to offer free councel I believe to people that need some advice in situations like yours. They try and help people establish BOUNDRIES IN MARRIAGE ( which is the title of a book they offer), They have workshops and books that deal with addictions from drug/alcohol addictions, to sexual addictions, to food addictions/weight loss, etc. they councel the spouse in a marriage if one has had an affair, etc. I wish such blessings for you as you persevere through this rough time. I know you want to stay, but I hope you will use wisdom here, so that you are safe. Remember, that your children need you.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 6:49PM
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Bnice,I'm not sure whether he remembers his outburst at all.That day I expected to come home and find my belongings out in the street.By the next day he was acting like nothing happened.He quit drinking for the month,on his own,and instead of the nightly beers he's been doing O'doul's,so I am surmising that he regrets what he did.Unfortunately he is not someone that can discuss things rationally,and I am not one who goes spoiling for a fight.At the present time he is working on a project that he needs me to sign off on,so he is on his best behavior.
As for feeling safe,I have friends and places to go if it ever becomes an issue.As a housecleaner,I have had the opportunity to see the outcome chidren of many divorces.I have yet to encounter stable ,emotionally secure children.Even those who lived in economically stable homes suffer.Seeing the grown up sons of one of my well to do divorced clients has actually reinforced my decision to tough it out until the kids are grown.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 12:54PM
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What do you see in the children from divorced homes that seems different from children with married parents? What do you notice as you observe them in comparision to other kids?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 4:26PM
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While the kids from divorced homes might suffer, kids living with unhappy parents probably suffer too. Bnice's situation reflects that, to some degree. I don't know if I could stand growing up knowing that my mom basically stuck it out and suffered that many years. Actually, that is about the situation my mother and SD are in right now - she's probably been unhappy with him the entire time and boy oh boy can I see why; I would respect her more for having the guts to leave, rather than stay in a situation that makes her unhappy. But kids are still aware of a problem even though you may not know they are aware. At some point, if he is doing drugs, they may know about that too - and depending on their age, may do drugs WITH him.

I can't imagine living in a situation where you are treated like dirt day in, day out. There is some degree of crap I'll put up with from my husband, and we both have tempers - but I do draw the line somewhere. While I know he is under a lot of pressure - he essentially lives where he works and is with students almost 18 hours a day, has a master's thesis to finish - this is still no reason to take your life's frustrations out on someone. At some point you have to have self respect, because if he doesn't respect you, who will? Especially if you have daughters. Because as we've seen many times, history repeats itself. I have a friend who's mother got pregnant at 16. The mother married him, but her mother forced them to break up because she was too young. Now my friend has no idea who her father really is (her mom refuses to talk about it). Now my friend's daughter has a teenage daughter by a man she got pregnant with, was married to for a short time, and also didn't reveal the father for many, many years. For women, it can be an endless cycle - which you probably know, since you've been in an abusive relationship before.

For the sake of your children, if there's any chance he's doing drugs, your kids don't deserve to have that kind of negative influence. You don't deserve to be treated that way, either.

As far as a divorce, I bet if you can prove that he's doing drugs then that would give you custody leverage big time. I would talk to a lawyer again and find out what your options are. A lot could have changed since the last time you spoke with one.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 11:21AM
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Cupa, I have a wonderful 23-yo DS who is a living testament that children from divorced parents can be great people.

IMHO, the big thing is that a parent makes his/her kids a priority in their lives. I'm guessing that at least some of the people for whom you worked didn't do that.

DS was 10 when we got divorced. He's very put together, happy and well adjusted now. Of course, he did have the added advantage of a father and stepmother who loved him. Even though we lived 300 miles apart, he saw both sets of parents often.

One of the best investments I ever made was talking with a great child psychologist. She told me that my kid would be a mess if I told him he'd be a mess and if I thought he'd be a mess! She said parents get divorced all the time and it's really not the end of the world for the children--unless you tell the kids how awful it is.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 8:54PM
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B'nice,What I see in children of divorced parents is often a propensity for manipulating others,I see children making really lousy decisions about their futures and then blaming the parents for the results,I see grown adults that can't take care of basic needs because the parents have overcompensated for the divorce by doing everything that they can do.I see kids whose parents are so busy working two jobs to pay the bills that they don't have time to help with college applications and forms that can be overwhelming for young people to fill out.I see children with step parents and drug problems.Honestly in ten years of cleaning I have not met a single child from a broken home that did'nt have a ton of emotional baggage.
Phyllis ,I am looking at the family unit as a whole.The decision to divorce someone should be beneficial to the entire family,not just one parent.For some children,uprooting and moving may not be a big deal.For others it is less simple.My children have a stable extended family whom they are close to(his).My extended family is not close.Moving them away from his family would be devestating for the grandparents and my children.My husband is extremely vindictive.Living in the same town would mean ugly scenes and embaressing incidents where I work most probobly,as well as brainwashing the boys,who already know that if they are seeking Dad's approval all they need to do is criticise their mother.
Sadie,it is great that your son is well adjusted.having the money to ship my kids back and forth is not in the cards here however.Neither one of us is doing great financially and a divorce will be an economic hardship for both of us.BTW ,though his confession confirmed something I had wondered about,DH has kept his drug use hidden for some time.I have looked for evidence around the house and never find anything.Finding proof would be difficult without a drug test.He is careful because he knows I left my ex over drugs.I have not spoken to him about his confession becauseI doubt if he remembers telling me,and whenever I do bring up something he doesn't want to admit he denis it and tells me I'm nuts. I still maintain lots of close friends and have emotional support to fall back on.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 12:53PM
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You said so yourself that your spouse is verbally abusive. Anytime you and your children can be spared that, I would say is beneficial for everyone. If he treats your children terribly, that would be enough for me to say see ya faster than you know what because my children are the most important thing to me, spouse or no spouse. As Dr. Laura says, those are your babies, and NOBODY hurts your babies or puts them in a bad situation. To stick with it when you know it's bad is only telling them you are backing down, not sticking up for yourself and letting people treat you badly. And to put it bluntly, you are continuing the cycle by staying married to another user - and who wants to be in a repeat relationship? (assuming that you know he is - and so what if he's not? Nothing excuses the way he treats you)

I think you are citing very specific examples of drug problems and other problems with divorced families. I think some of the "characteristics" you stated are stereotypes and do not account for the vast majority of children who come from divorced families. And I think you are justifying staying with him when deep down you probably know that it's bad.

As an aside, there are ways to find out if he's using. Does your husband brush his hair? Take some samples and use a DIY drug test kit. Assuming you wouldn't tolerate clandestine or open illicit drug use from your children, I don't think you should from your spouse either. Just because you can't find any evidence doesn't mean they can't or doesn't mean it's not going on.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 5:52PM
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How are you doing cupajoe?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 1:53PM
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I find it more than passing strange that when he has his "blow outs" the kids are not there to witness. Why is that? Is he on some mission to make you the 'bad guy" and he's not as bad as you say, because you have no witness? bad man, run, faster, faster.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 1:57AM
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I suggest secretly tape recording his rants, especially where he brags about drug use, etc., and especially if he threatens you. I would get plenty of evidence and then consult a lawyer about whether it would be enough for you to get full custody. Don't do anything really rash, but start gathering your evidence for the time (soon, hopefully) when you can break free, once and for all.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 1:42PM
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I hope things will work out for you. However, if not, please keep in mind that many experts warn that the most dangerous time is when a woman leaves an abusive husband. If you should ever decide to leave, get some good advice about when and how to do it. Maybe I am way out in left field and there is no danger in your case, but since you say your husband is vindictive, he might respond violently. That possibility is increased if he is on drugs.

If you think there is the slightest possibility that he could become violent--to take revenge, say, or with the idea that "If I can't have you, then nobody is going to"--staying at a friend or relative's home would not necessarily be enough protection, so you would be wise to find out about shelters for battered women and their children ahead of time.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 12:58PM
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If your DH is a drug user, the courts may not allow joint custody until he can consistantly prove he is clean. They may require supervised visits.

Still, don't you think it would be better for them to see him under court ordered supervision and not risk his legitimate right to drive around with them (possibly while under the influence) now?


    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 9:08AM
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