Opinions please, Husband has gone overboard

MissyJoMay 19, 2011

I am new to the forum,but could really use new perspective, with my issue. (bear with me for lengthy explaination)

My husband has had some significant changes in his behavior in the past 16 months. He changed jobs due to an unfavorable climate at his old job (one that he really enjoyed),a state job that changed administrators. Jobs in our area are limited in his high tech field, so he returned to a place he had been before, but was not really happy at. I suggested going to see his doctor, or a therapist, or just a pastor or friend to talk to. He has replied that "He knows what is wrong and wants to work it out himself" About this same time as the job change(Feb)my son started a friendship with a girl. My husband took an interest in their relationship. getting free movie tickets, encouraging our son how to act, things to say,buying little presents.

By April we decided to take a trip to NYC(a few hours from our home)for a college tour. Suddenly, our daughter was not included on the trip and our son's new "friend" was coming along. This seemed to be the first time I noticed how interested my husband was becoming with the "friend". He watched them in the rearview mirror most of the way home that day and was texting advice to our son in the back seat(while driving). He actually yelled at me at the rest stop that day, when I unintentionally left the friend in the bathroom alone.

From there, my husband would frequently talk about the girl. When the kids would come home from the movies my husband would watch from the window, setting up the curtains in advance so that he would not be observed. Our son was 16 at this time and did not have his license, so friend who is 2 years older would drive.

My husband became friends with girl's parents and noting that she did not have an escort to her Senior Prom, we encouraged our son, how nice it would be to offer to escort her (even as a friend). May arrives, and son through MANY private discussions with husband decides that he likes girl more than a friend.

From there, we have her Prom, Graduation,etc. Expensive gifts are being purchased at this point, dinners and special outings. Money has become no object and we are paying for these things. End of June, I find out that the girlfriend is accompanying us on vacation (I wasn't asked).

In the meantime, our daughter has been having depression issues of her own and notices the amount of attn husband has paid to other girl. Just feels worse about herself. By July, son is camping almost every weekend with girl's family and they became intimate. By summer's end son is spending every weekend over night with her, and even though I express to husband that I don't think this should be happening, he does nothing. In fact tells me that he will not alienate his son over sex. Labor Day weekend son accompanies girl where she starts college. He stays there for 5 days with my husband's (and her parents) blessing. Husband ignores my disapproval of 16 year old going 4 hours away to spend every weekend with his girlfriend at college (hotel room paid by husband). Sadly, girlfriend has emotional issues and did not ajust to college, threatened self harm by third week of college. All Semester son and girlfriend spend every weekend together, mostly son would go to her, some she would ride train home to visit. Husband didn't see the sense in having son come home at night when they were in town. After all, girl was only around for 48 hours.

Yes, readers you get the picture at this point I am angry and a bit resentful of situation. Add LOTS of bickering, a husband who is unable to say he loves me (in return for an "I love you"),forbids me from speaking to my son about the situation and by Thanksgiving they were openly sleeping together at our house. I strongly objected, and my husband's compromise was to have my son sleep on the floor while my husband slept beside him on the couch until around 5 am when son was permitted to go sleep with girlfriend. (Does this make sense to any of you??) I watched while girlfriend received over $500 in gifts for Christmas, Broadway tickets for Valentines. My husband also regularly logs into my son's facebook account (as son), logs into girlfriend's facebook account (as girlfriend), checks son's email and has viewed the nude pictures girlfriend recently sent. (He doesn't know that I know he has seen them)

Side Note:

In January I went to visit out of state family, needed to get away. When I came back and suggested counseling, husband refused and issued ultimatum, saying I need to take back all the bad I had said about him, or he was done with me. The next day I told him I would start looking for a new place to live. His response was to say that he didn't want son's senior year to be ruined because of our problems, couldn't I wait til he graduated. He has said many nasty things from time to time (apologizes after, but they still hurt). He tells me that I am being ridiculous, and that we are arguing over one issue. It is ridiculous, but WAY more than just one issue. So even though husband has agreed to counseling (so that an impartial person will tell me how ridiculous I am), after almost 23 years of marriage I am ready to leave. I feel guilty that husband is still unhappy in job he states he works only to support his ungrateful family. I feel guilty that I don't want to be with him anymore. He continues to hold position that he will not be alienated from son over sex issue. Advice, opinions please....

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This is bizaare. From what you've written, I can comment on your last few sentences: Stop feeling guilty. Get outa' there. And take your daughter with you.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 8:59PM
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From what you have written, sounds like your husband has the hots for your son's girlfriend and is living vicariously through him. He refuses to take responsibility for the wrong he is doing to you and his son. You have been a responsible parent. 16 is to young to be doing the things your son has been allowed to do. Keep voicing your views to your husband and also to your son. Don't let your husband stifle you. Hopefully the counselor will make him see the errors and the harm he is doing to your family. But I doubt it, your husband sounds like an arrogant ass. In addition to marriage counseling you should get family counseling, especially for your daughter. Hold her tight and let her know how much you love her. She needs that now. If he doesn't go to counseling or just goes to placate you...then I would leave with your daughter and ask the son to come also. Take care, NancyLouise

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:51PM
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Well Missy Jo, dispense with your guilty feelings, it is clearly clouding your judgement.

You DH is crossing the boundaries of responsible parent. He has an unhealthy interest in your son's love life, and to log into his account is very obsessive.

I feel for your daughter as this situation is affecting her.

I think you are justified in living apart for a while to gather your thoughts. If you stand back a while you will see things more clearly and trust your instinct in knowing the right thing to do. You sound like you have good instincts.

Take care, all the best to you.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 11:48PM
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I thank you all for the comments. I am still having a hard time believing that this could happen to my family. Writing many of the details of this past year reinforce how far off things are. The funny, sad thing is that my husband has a rational(in his mind)explaination for everything he has done. He feels that his whole family has turned their back on him when he needed their help the most. (That is where the guilt comes in). And the one person who will still talk to him is our son, and he won't do anything to jeopordize that relationship.
In my ramblings I didn't mention that my daughter turned 21 this past Dec, and we had considered leaving together this past fall. On New Years Eve though, my sister-in-law(husbands sister) saw daughter's distress and invited her to move in. She did and has also continued with a wonderful therapist. She is doing so much better, even feels confident enough to try for her driver's license. My husband blames me for the bad feelings between them. Claiming that he wasn't having problems with her before December.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 9:22AM
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Guilt is a pyschological ploy used by some to get one to act a certain way. If one is not a psychopath, guilt is an uncomfortable emotion to harbor.

Most people will do anything to get rid of guilty feelings, regardless if they are in the wrong - or not. Keep a journal of everything that's going on and keep it in a safe place. You may show it to your lawyer later.

Your husband's generousity towards the girl seems to me a red flag of a relationship between them, more than living vicariously through your son. Unless, of course, your husband is flush with dough and likes to play the big shot and pay everybody's way for vacations, dinners, etc....

If he doesn't always pick up the tab for everybody else, co-workers, other family members, etc., why would he not expect that the GF has her own source of money for prom gear etc.? Sounds to me he's competing with your son for her favors, and I hope to be wrong about that. Anyways, document everything. Write it down. Send secure e-mails to yourself. Document. Document.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:18PM
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Yo, MissyJo

How much weirdness do you require in order to justify getting out of there? Do you think someone is keeping a tally of all the "points" on either side?

I've never understood this point of view.

My advice.....get the hell out of there...ASAP....like yesterday. Figure out the rest later. IMHO, you're in danger.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:55PM
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So destructive, this "blame" game. If people just recognised the flaw in this way of thinking, we would all be better off.

We are all responsible for what we do, other people don't make us do things that are wrong. We all need reminding of this.

I am glad to hear, MissyJo, that your daughter is living in a safe house away from her toxic father. Does the sister in law, acknowledge the her brother, your DH, is acting strangely?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Something's very wrong with Dad... Has he had a thorough medical checkup? (And if so, have you tipped off his doctor first?) That would be the place to start. The Doc needs to know what to look for, because Hubby's behavior is so far from 'right' that it could actually signal a medical disorder. Hormones, dementia, brain tumor, psych disorder -- really...

If he won't go to the doctor, then I'd give counseling a try first -- but starting NOW, please. NO reason to delay. Delaying counseling until Junior graduates just makes it easierfor Hubby to toss you under the bus until then.

I'd also arrange an afternoon out with your son and have a serious discussion with him. If he's a semi-level-headed guy, he's got to know that Dad's behavior isn't normal and appropriate. Again - The issue isn't whether Junior and his GF are having sex (I'd avoid that subject in this talk), but rather how over-involved Dad is in Junior's romance, and how you're concerned about Dad's mental health. Junior's got to see it...

Normally, I'd agree that this kind of discussion (you and Jr.) wouldn't be appropriate -- but things have gone too far off-track, and pretending things are OK really isn't a good choice.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 4:19PM
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I agree with all the other posters that something very wrong is happening here...
Thinking about it this morning it struck me that older girls generally are not attracted to younger boys, at the age of your son and his GF- girls tend to mature much emotionally as well as physically earlier than boys do which makes younger boys seem to them even more immature by comparison. I can't help but wonder if her involvement with your son is a kind of "cover".
I also agree with Sweeby that Dad is not firing on all cylinders- he surely can't think that you will consider his behaviour appropriate or acceptable.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:34AM
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E-mails seem to be the only way my husband and I have been able to communicate lately and the one thing he keeps expressing is that he feels that he has done his best. He is mentally exhausted, etc. What gets me most is that my husband continues to justify his each and every action.

I recently suggested that he think about going to our family doctor,and he just scoffed. Over the weekend we were discussing things and he told me that my inability to make decisions was making his anxiety worse and that bottom line, things were my fault.

In response to asolo, I have invested almost 23 years to this marriage and up until the past 16 months it hasn't been like this. Hence, my guilt and the degree of difficulty deciding to leave. If it is mental illness, do you just dump and run when somebody needs the most help? It's not so easy then.

The initial posting was not so much a tally, but an overview to give an idea of what has been going on. Maybe I have been keeping track? Seeing it all written out (and I didn't even list EVERYTHING) shows how far off track things have gone. I never would have believed this could happen to my family.

Colleenoz - My son's girlfriend is a bit silly and immature for her age, but not a mean bone in her body.She has emotional, depression issues. Gets really despondent when she goes off her meds. My son is the first young man to show her any kindness. Girlfriend has become completely dependent on him. It worries me a lot for his sake that he is responsible for so much. Husband is convinced that my daughter and I hate her.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:56PM
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MissyJo, your most recent post just reinforces my opinion that you should get out. And now. Your husband is a classic - blaming everything on you and scoffing at a suggestion for help. Etc. Etc. ... everything you said.

And about the silly, immature girlfriend putting a burden on your son? Well, what happens when your son wants to break up with her? Is your husband going to lay the guilt trip on your son? Your husband's all-fired in support of this relationship. What'll happen when son wants it to end?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:16PM
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I'll reiterate: Something's very wrong with Dad...

And as long as you're willing to accept Dad's excuses and finger-pointing, that's all you're going to get.

Now - I know you're saying "Hold on a second! I'm not accepting his excuses!"
And I know you're not 'accepting' them in the sense that you *believe* them. But you are 'accepting' them in the sense that you're tolerating a response that is only verbal -- no action. You're not forcing a change, so you're 'accepting' the status quo, even while knowing it's harmful. You need to stop.

I understand why you don't want to give up on a 23-year marriage that, until recently, has been reasonably good. I get that. And you want to stand by your man and not 'dump' him because he shows signs of mental illness. I get that. But by allowing Hubby to get by with excuses and finger-pointing, you're allowing his condition and your marriage to continue to deteriorate and your son to continue to be harmed by his father's poor decisions.

Time for you to force a change.

I'm *NOT* suggesting you walk out now. But I will suggest that you make an appointment for yourself with Hubby's doctor to voice your concerns (hand Dr. a *written* list of all the personality changes you've seen, the irrational thoughts, behaviors, mood changes, etc.), and make a *second* appointment for Hubby. Make the appointment and insist that he go. Fudge a little on the reason if you feel you need to -- "Since he's been under so much stress and all..." But get him looked at.

Then make an appointment with a family/marriage counselor. Make the appointment for a time you think Hubby will be able to make it, then TELL him (don't ask) that you've made an appointment for both of you, and that you BOTH can go to discuss HOW to save your marriage, or that YOU will go alone to discuss IF there is anything left worth saving. Tell him you really want to save your family -- for him, for your marriage, for both kids. Then go with or without him.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:01PM
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The first and only time I talked to son about my concerns, birth control, etc he seemed open to what I was telling him. He decided to cool things off with his girlfriend, and my husband intervened. (I did not suggest breaking off, or any such thing).
My husband has promised retribution to anyone who speaks badly about him to our son, so any conversations now are carefully approached.

Husband doesn't want son to feel like he can just have "fun" with a girl and then dump her. I get that, but things have gone way beyond reasonable. I think he wants the kids to get married(after college) and that will justify everything he has done.

Husband has also said that he constantly asks our son if he feels like gf's mental illness is "just too much". He had our son talk to a professional friend of his who (after an hour of conversation) determined that son was handling relationship well.

I worry most about my son and what will happen when he realizes for himself how wrong this situation has become.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:21PM
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"My husband has promised retribution to anyone who speaks badly about him to our son, so any conversations now are carefully approached."

You're going to acquiess to this threat? Sorry - This needs to go onto 'the Dr. list'

Your post kinda sounds like you're making excuses for him...

MissyJo, you have EVERY right (and responsibility) to talk to your son about everything: GF, sex, relationships, birth control, morality, responsibility, choosing life partners wisely -- and yes, Dad's health and recent behavior/attitude changes. Yeah, there's some danger of over-sharing -- but if the picture you paint is at all accurate, then there's an elephant in the room!

"I worry most about my son and what will happen when he realizes for himself how wrong this situation has become. "

Yeah. That's the elephant. Help your son learn about it! TELL him you've been very concerned about the way things have been going, and that you're worried about his father and trying to get him help. Let him talk to you. Give him the chance to ask you anything, to express his own reservations -- to acknowledge the elephant instead of pretending it's a sofa.

My son's father (my Ex) has a diagnosed personality disorder, and it was hard to talk to my son about it. For a long time, I justified not doing it... But then, I realized that my 'high road', my 'conflict avoidance', my whatever-you-call-it reluctance was leaving my son unprepared and unarmed, defenseless. It was only by being honest - not cruel, but concerned and honest - that DS learned how to understand his father's behavior and to make his own judgements. How to prevent some blow-ups, how to interpret some strange actions, how to develop and listen to his own internal compass. He had to learn how to deal with a person with a personality disorder (mental illness would be similar) -- and refusing to acknowledge the problem made working around it pretty nearly impossible.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:18PM
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Sweetby - you really have walked a mile (or two) in my shoes and I appreciate your honest opinion and advice. I am guilty of conflict avoidance. Because of my husband's attitude I don't go home til late every evening. I spend a lot of time at the library. I dread weekends. I only go home if my son (and usually gf) is going to be there.

I'm not trying to make excuses for husband, what I expressed are from his POV. ( I understand where HIS head is at).

The picture I have painted is a pretty acurate account of events. There is an elephant in the room. He is angry and depressed and anxious. Sometimes unpredictable.

Since January I have been telling husband I was leaving, every few months he asked my plans and I told him they were unchanged. I just paid for rent on an apartment. I think my plans have increased my husbands anxiety and made him feel like he only has our son. So, he focuses all his attention, efforts on son. It makes me feel like my actions are driving the anxiety to a higher level, forcing husband to feel alone. So I bear some responsibility, not for his actions, but maybe for making it worse, and by avoiding confrontations.

It feels like a vicious circle, and I am afraid to step up.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:00PM
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What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:59PM
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May be the single finest question ever asked! (For this and countless other circumstances.)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:26PM
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I emailed my sister in law to see if she (and my daughter) would be willing to help talk with my son. My husband will be furious if he finds out, but I am going to risk it.

You are right, my reluctance to act,or speak is leaving my son unprepared to deal with everything. I don't want him to feel like I am leaving Him, or feel responsible for the my problems/father's issues.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Good for you MissyJo --

"The courage of your convictions" is cliche for the very simple reason that it works.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 6:11PM
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I agree Asolo. Excellent question Sweeby. One I can apply to my life as well.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 12:22PM
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Since you asked... you are not going to like my opinions...

Your husband is a sick person; he is ruling and ruining everyone in your household.

You and your kids are fine, why do you need to leave the house? The person who should leave is your sick husband. Tell him to get out of the house NOW and come back when he is a healthy, normal human being, AND when you feel like to take him back.

Why should you feel guilty? Your husband should be the one who feels guilty for ruining his children's life.

Why do you need to get help from your sister in law? You are the mother; your children's well being is your Number ONE priority and your responsibility. You should have every right, strength and power to protect your kids.

Your son is only 16; he is entitled to have a safe, normal and healthy environment to grow up in. He belongs to school yard studying and working toward his future, instead of a bedroom worrying about getting a sick immature girl pregnant. Get rid of the girl, you have enough to worry about; you don't need to raise other people's sick kid.

I don't understand why you listen to your husband's excuses. Remember Hitler had his excuses too! Why do you care about your husband�s POV? I bet they are sickening and full of distort logic. Your POV matters the most.

You need to have a lawyer to protect you, and a therapist to understand why you can put up with all of these. You need to get financial in order to protect yours and your children's best interest.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 12:13PM
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Wow azmom - great post! I agree with everything you said. I don't know why I said she should get out. Of COURSE it's her husband who should be asked to leave. Of course she shouldn't have to leave her house.

And I wondered why the sister-in-law had to help talk to the son, too.

MissyJo, asmom makes good points and I wish I'd said it like she did. I still think you need to part from your husband - but he's the offender (sick or not) and you and your son should stay put. Please update us.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 2:56PM
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Thank you for your input Azmom. It is difficult to put into words how life altering/strange this has been. You don't get to the edge of the cliff without taking many steps off the trail.

In the days BG (before girlfriend) my husband was a bit controlling, but not a bad person (drink,drugs,gamble)He has always worked, paid our bills, etc. We had a decent relationship. I believe he is now experiencing some kind of mid life crisis. Unfortunatly, he won't listen to anything I have to say anymore. At this point I don't think my husband would leave the house, even if I tried to kick him out. It would just be ugly.

And as much as I would like for my son to be carefree and even date other girls, he genuinely cares for his girlfriend (as much as any 17 year old can). I can't just "get rid" of the girlfriend, when she isn't the problem. She never asked for my husband's obsessive attention or behavior. She has depression issues to be sure, and it takes an understanding person to take on that baggage in a relationship.

Do I wish that for my son just now? No. If it is meant to work out it will, and if it flashes and fizzles, so be it. The kids will find their own way, without my interference. I am looking at the long term as to my relationship with my son. Trying to tread carefully. Right now, with my daughter out of the house it is hard not to feel like it is 3 (gf, son and husb) against 1 (me). Even though I know in my heart that everything they are doing is so wrong. I have allowed my husband to get away with his excuses.

It may sound stupid, but I promised to see it through until graduation for my son, and in the meantime I am taking steps to prepare for the future. I think I am a passive person by nature, no excuse - but effects the the way I deal with things.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 4:33PM
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With respect, it's almost always the dissatisfied party who leaves.

Hubby's fine with it; doesn't get the annoyance; he's not going anywhere.

Court works out the details. If you are, indeed, "preparing for the future", and if you've got stomach for the period between now and then....more power.

From what you wrote, I don't think you're even safe. Hoping you might keep a perspective that prevents you from becoming actually endangered. Trouble is, none of us see that actual moment coming. I'm not there. I don't know. You know. Maybe I'm wrong. Just don't be stupid about this stuff, please.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Sounds like your current plan is to bide your time for a year, then 'rock the boat' to a slightly bigger degree, which will then bring about the end of your marriage...

In what world is this YOUR best scenario?

Frankly, I can't even see how this might be best for your son. You're still leaving him at the mercy of his father's poor decisions. You're still avoiding the elephant in the room. And most important, you're modeling for him some very poor life-management skills. You're letting your own conflict-avoidance diminish you in your son's eyes. You're refusing to stand up for what you know to be right, instead, capitulating to behavior you know is worng. You're "taking the easy way out"... You're letting your son become ever more deeply enmeshed in a relationship beyond his maturity level with a girl with deep emotional problems. (Not a good life partner choice for one so young.)

Think of it as a train running off the tracks. The further it goes uncorrected, the further off-track the train continues to barrel and the more momentum it gets.

No, this won't be easy to fix. But it'll be much harder the longer it continues. And by 'fixing it' I don't mean your marriage -- I mean your son.

Don't wait. And do it for your son.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:55PM
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" If it is meant to work out it will, and if it flashes and fizzles, so be it. The kids will find their own way, without my interference".... Sounds to me this is a lazy, foolish cop out. With this type of attitude, we mankind would still live in caves.

Has it ever occurred to you some years down the road that your son would blame/hate you, for not interfering his relationship with a girl who has depression issue when he is at the age that he does not know better? for not forcing him to study and work toward his future when he is off track? for not protecting him from a dysfunctional environment?

Remember, nothing can happen to you unless you give permission. Life is full of choices, you decide if you want to be a strong winner or a weak victim, if you want to raise a shining star or a hopeless loser, and if you want to be surrounded by healthy people or dysfunctional crowd.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 4:57PM
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MissyJo, please move out now. If you wait until your son's graduation, your husband will be using the time to make sure you get nothing. Make sure you have some money in your name. Start moving your stuff out of the house bit by bit and store it with a friend; make it look like you are just cleaning house. That is what I did. Your husband sounds like my ex - a control freak. He is trying to make you feel guilty so that you will stay. His anxiety is NOT your fault.

If you are relying on your SIL to help out, it makes me wonder if your husband has isolated you from your friends. That is what my ex did to me. I had to learn all over again how to make friends; he would be upset if I spent time with any friends. Sometimes we don't realize the harmful situation we are in until we talk to other people. Please do NOT give your husband so much power over your life. You only have one life, and you do not need to waste it this way. Avoiding your own home is no way to live.

Do not tell your husband your plans. Act as normal as possible. Ignore your "promise" to him. See a lawyer, but without your husband knowing. Follow the lawyer's advice. See a therapist if that is what you need to get the courage to take action.

Please. Life is short, too short to put up with this for any more time than absolutely necessary. I am assuming your son has another year to graduate, at least. What happens then? Do you really think your husband will let you move out peacefully? Especially if your son leaves for college? Get out now, please!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 6:04PM
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If this is taking the easy way out, I don't want to see the hard way. I feel like I am navigating a huge mine field here, and things are going to blow up in my face. (I know, pull out your violin) I appreciate everyone's input, I did ask for it didn't I?
I know that I haven't done a lot of things right. I have tried to be a loving mom to my children, even though I don't agree with my son's current life choices. I have tried to be supportive to a young woman that my son cares about. And I have been honest with my husband telling him that I am leaving in a matter of weeks. He says that I should leave sooner if I am so miserable. Our house has been a battlefield since last summer. We bicker, and every issue becomes an opportunity to pick a fight.

A very long time ago I was the girlfriend that "mom" didn't approve of. She expressed her opinions loudly and restricted her son as much as possible, car, money, etc. I know what is like to be on the other end of the parental dissaproval.
In addition to everything else, my husband now wants most of my paychecks to pay for my half of the bills. In order to do that, I will be living in poverty.
I will be estranged from people I have known (husb family) for 20 + years. People that I have come to care about. My relationship with these people will never be the same. My family lives in another state.

I didn't ask for these things to happen to my family. I voiced my opinion when things started happening last summer. I voiced my objection to the weekends my son spent at gf's college, and I actually left the house the first time my son and his gf slept together at the house. My husband didn't want me to cause a scene that night. In what world is that the best scenario?

So, for me... this is huge. I am dealing with it the best way I can. I do feel guilty that our family is being separated and that my husband will look bad to his family. When you hear bad things about yourself you start to doubt yourself. Am I really destroying my marriage over this one issue? At times I feel like I am losing my grip.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:52PM
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MissyJo, please know that your life will eventually get better. Right now, it will be rough, but you can survive. I suggest a lawyer and a therapist ASAP. Do NOT give your husband any part of your paycheck. He is just trying to make it harder for you to leave. You are entitled to half of your family's savings - make sure that you get that.

Do NOT agree to pay for your son's college tuition or any other upcoming expenses. He can work or get scholarships. Your "extra" money needs to go to your retirement. This is standard financial advice. Your son will have options for tuition payments, including borrowing. Once you are too old to work, you can't borrow to finance your retirement.

Leaving is hard, but eventually you will make new friends, and your son may even find your new place to be a safe harbor when he needs to get away from his dad. Right now, you need to take care of yourself. Please find someone to talk with - a minister, a social worker, a therapist. You are not destroying your marriage; your husband already did that. Right now, you need to make sure his actions do not destroy you.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 7:51PM
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"If this is taking the easy way out, I don't want to see the hard way. I feel like I am navigating a huge mine field here, and things are going to blow up in my face. "

No one is suggesting that navigating a minefield and walking on eggshells is easy. Hardly! Actually, it's much, much harder than actually confronting the problem head-on and starting to fix it -- once you work up the nerve, that is. Working up the nerve can be a killer!

"Am I really destroying my marriage over this one issue?"

WTF? NO, you're not destroying your marriage over this one issue. Your husband is. And it's not as simple as 'this one issue'...

Go back to that simple "What would I do if I wasn't afraid" question, and let that be your guide.

And no - don't give him your paycheck and why should YOU be the one to leave?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Hey missyjo....i have read all the comments here. Just wondering how you are doing with your husband and everything now.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 2:40AM
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Update: For the past 2 weeks I have been preparing yard and house for Son's Grad Party which took place this past weekend. It was well attended and overall went fairly smooth.

My husband decided he couldn't wait anymore and talked to my son about things (without me being present). I was able to talk with son later, he says he "understands" and just wishes I didn't have to go. Have tried to give him opportunity to speak about his feelings My husband has laid on lots of guilt.

Underneath it all have been the ugly conversations with my husband.

Husband has now informed me that I can't take any of my furniture with me when I leave. "How would our son feel if he came home and (some of) the furniture is gone?" He tells me I can't take a large family painting (that my uncle painted) with me because he would have to paint the wall underneath and that wouldn't be fair. (I'm not joking)

The lastest is the surprise vacation that husband reserved back in Feb. I told him all along not to include me in those plans. Now since my son doesn't know that I don't want to go, husband says and I quote "bite the bullet and go." My daughter is also going, so husband says it "still could be fun". However, I know that son and gf will have their own room- I just don't want to be part of that anymore. I feel sick.

I confronted husband about the (nude)pictures of gf on the computer. He tells me that he would NEVER do such a thing. He was offended that I would think such horrible things about him.

I have proof that he hacked the gf's Facebook account. He went so far as to change the email contact information on her profile, so that everytime she changed her password he was being informed by email.

And I am the one who has not been loyal to him, and believes only the worst. Tells me that he has covered my donkey with our son(because I don't come home til 8pm most evenings)and defended me.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 5:15PM
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MissyJo, have you seen a lawyer yet? You have not mentioned anything that you are doing to protect yourself. Just schedule the movers for a day when your husband is at work and take everything that is yours. He can gnash his teeth all he wants but the signature on that painting is your uncle's. Take your clothes, pots and pans, fragile ornaments, everything that you value. Later, you can write your will explaining what will go to your son and what will go to your daughter.

If you have a bunch of friends who can help on moving day, that will be a big help in getting everything out of the house before he finds out. If a friend has a big, burly guy willing to stand guard, that would be even better.

That is what I did, and I never looked back. We had all my stuff out of the house hours before my husband got home from work.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 8:43PM
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Sorry - Gotta agree with ColorCrazy on this one... So "he says" you can't take your painting? Too gosh darned bad. So "he says" you can't have any furniture? Yeah - right.

You could 'go along' with the vacation plans until the suitcases are packed and everyone's climbing into the station wagon. Then claim the tummy flu, remove your suitcases, and have burly friend on stand-by.

But DO see a lawyer. And tell him/her everything, including the nude pictures of GF.

You might even want to ask your son why his father should have nude pictures of GF on his computer and an automatic notification of her passwords... Seriously.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 11:02PM
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This so off-the-wall. This could be a script for a late-hour TV show paraoding soaps.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 1:30AM
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Excuse me... I haven't read all the comments...but your son was 16 and you allowed him to spend nights with a woman older than he was? I belive that is satutory rape in most areas.

You didn't need your husband's approval to stop it. You should have simply told your son "no" and talked to his girlfriend and her parents if needed. 16 is way to young to be opening spending the night with your parent's approval. There may be something physically wrong with your husband's reasoning, but I don't think there is with you. Quit cowtowing to someone who is obviously off at the expense of your children.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 8:17AM
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So it doesn't sound like from what I have read from your update that you have actually done anything to change you situation. Son's party aside you could have made appointment with a lawyer or called for estimates for movers to help you get your furniture and personal items out on a specific date. Have you done anything? The longer you wait the harder it becomes. Your husband is not going to change, he only seems to get worst. I would also still ask your son to come with you. Leaving him with your husband and his weird behavior would not be an option for me. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 11:07AM
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Carla - Son's gf is slightly less than 2 years older that my son. His (now) 17 to her 19. Consentual. The overnights began when my son went to gfs house to help get ready for HER grad party... I did object, but even her parents are "on board" with my husband and allowed them to share the same nook while they were camping last summer. The gf's parents just love my son and are one happy family.

I am the one on the outside. The rest of them had the kids married off (in their minds).

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Well if it's consentual now, what's the problem? (and, I'm being sarcasic)

Seriously, missy, you have a bad case of DENIAL and are full of excuses.

You are far from being in a catch22 situation, but continue to act as though you are.

Why do you think you need to be on the same page as your insane husband and your son's girlfriend's parents (who by the way probably committed a felony by what they allowed). It's hard to be around people who are insane and not feel insane yourself. But stick to your guns. As someone mentioned, years down the road, the children may not blame the insane parent, but rather the sane parent who allowed the insanity to go on as is. I know I would.

I don't know what is wrong with your husband and/or if it is treatable or what. And it may not even be insanity -he may just be sleeping with his son's girlfriend or someone else. Who knows? But I do know you owe an obligation to your children to parent them and try to keep them safe.

I went thorugh a phase where I felt trapped about a lot of things. I always had an answer for everything and why I couldn't do something. One night, my husband said to me... QUIT MAKING EXCUSES. It was very hard to hear because I thought my excuses were valid and worthy, but in reality, when I could really think things through, he was right and it was probably the most useful thing anyone has ever said to me...I don't know what you need to do or how to direct you but it does sound to me like you need to quit making excuses.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 2:28PM
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