when is it time to go? (LONG one, but please help)

strazydazeAugust 14, 2006

I have been married for four years. The only reason that we got married was because I got pregnant. I absolutely LOVE my son. I feel that he is the reason I was put on this earth. However, my husband and I were never very serious before then and, although I have tried (maybe not hard enough since there's not a great deal of emotional involvement), I cannot see this relationship lasting. The only time we converse away from our son, we end up arguing. He must insist that he right about everything and browbeats me until I have finally had enough and just have to leave the room or the house. It can be something as simple as whether or not a box was broken down when it was thrown out. It doesn't really matter what it is, trying to talk to him about anything is nearly impossible. Once the "conversation" starts, it's like trying to get something away from a pit bull whose jaws are locked tight. It just doesn't happen. If I disagree, if I agree, if I keep silent, if I finally give into screaming back, whatever I do, it has no effect. He told me at one time to just say "OK I hear you", but that makes him mad too. His temper is very quick and can be quite ferocious. He has not hit me though he has threatened me and once came about two and half inches from punching me in the face. When I try to explain to him how I feel, he either ignores me or gives me all of the reasons why it is wrong for me to feel that way. On the rare occasions when we actually speak to each other, he hears nothing that is said. I know taht this is typical of men, but he will actually carry on an entire converstation, repeating back what was said to him and then, he has no clue that we even ahd a conversation. Of course, then I am lying to him just so that I can accuse him of not listening.

When we married, I told my Mom that we would probably be together about ten years and maybe by then, we would have some feelings for each other and would be able to keep it together forever. I can't even see how to make it last five. I have suggested counseling, but he wants no part of it. Since I seem to be the one with all of the problems, why should he waste his time trying to make it work.

Anyway, what really worries me the most is the effect on our son. The time that my husband threatened to hit me (over a wrong turn) my son was in the van with us. It took me twenty minutes to get him out and he was shaking like a leaf. He would not let me go and I ended up sleeping with him that night. The next day, I thought that he was okay, but then, he spent the next week and a half telling strangers at stores, "my Daddy scared the daylights out of me". He NEVER talks to people he doesn't know and rarely to those he only somewhat knows. That's just part of his personality and, in these times, I am glad for it. Every time my husband loses his temper and starts yelling (usually cussing too), my son always ends up upset. Sometimes he is just frightened; sometimes he throws small tantrums. Tonight he actually threw one of his toys at me.

My parents think that everything will be okay if we try hard enough. After all, people used to have arranged marriages that worked. After 47 years of marriage, I can't blame them for their opinion, but they also adore my husband. He does have his good points and I would probably like him a lot if I wasn't living in the same house with him. I have been able to be a stay-at-hom mom which means more to me than almost everything. My parents believe that, because of that, I should be so thankful as to let everything else go. Besides, he helps them out around the house sometimes and, even though he is an alcoholic, that never effects his work or his commitments. In other words, he's a functional alcoholic. Maybe, a lot of my problems with him are due t the alcohol. He is trying to cut back, but this has been going on for so long, I think that it just might be too late. I feel like I should just get out before I end up hating him. I already dislike him. I already feel repulsed by him whenever he touches me (touched me - he knows that I no longer like it when he touches me). Do I keep trying or do I get out why the gettings good?

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Let's see....
Threatened physical abuse.
Emotional abuse of you (and your son if he is witnessing all of this).
No intimacy.
Refuses counciling.

I think you have answered your own question. I really wouldn't care what your parents thought, it's your life, get a divorce if YOU want one. So what if you need to get a job, at least your son won't grow up in an unhealthy enviorment with a bad role model. Maybe you can find true love with the right person. I wish you all the luck in the world!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 11:56AM
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Definitely...get out. Don't waste any more of your precious life with this man, and get your son out of a situation that he very well might repeat when he marries. Not necessarily the alcoholism, but how he thinks relationships should be. Not to mention the obvious effects things are having on him right now.

Two suggestions:

1. Find an Al-Anon meeting in your area and GO. Even if you don't like the first meeting, GO again. Attend at least 4 or more meetings, you will get something out of them.

2. Get one or both of Patricia Evan's books: The Verbally Abusive Relationship and Verbal Abuse: Survivors Speak Out. If they don't have them at a bookstore near you, you can get them on Amazon. When I read them, it was as if *my* marriage was being described. Here is her website. Your line: "When I try to explain to him how I feel, he either ignores me or gives me all of the reasons why it is wrong for me to feel that way." is SO typical of what abusers to to their victims, telling them how to feel, and that their perceptions are wrong. They also have a great talent for twisting things around so the issue at hand is YOUR fault.

I wasted 10 years of my life hoping/thinking my soon to be ex would change. Never happened, because they DON'T CHANGE. They enjoy what they do, and it works for them. He's now got his sights on wife #3, who I'm sure will also divorce him. I would love to warn this poor woman, but I know she won't listen. He is SO charming and wonderful at first.

Don't let your parents or anyone else influence you. YOU are the one living this! YOU are the one suffering. YOUR SON is suffering. I am pretty sure your husband doesn't treat anyone else like he treats you. Everyone else thinks he's a great guy, right?

Finally, please re-read your post. In the first two paragraphs you describe what is really an intolerable, unhealthy and dangersous situation. In the last paragraph, you make excuses for him and actually blame yourself somewhat. Really, you do.

Please recognize that none of this is your fault. He CHOOSES to be this way, and if you don't think so, consider that he only treats *you* badly, not anyone else. So he can absolutely control his behavior, he simply chooses not to.

And you do not OWE him anything because you are a SAHM. Don't ever let anyone (including yourself) think that way.

Please seek some help. Go to Al Anon. Read some books on Domestic Violence. Call a local women's shelter to get information on resources in your area. Look at the NDVH website. Just because he hasn't actually hit you makes no difference. He is abusing you emotionally, and in most cases, this will escalate to physical. Besides that, most agree that verbal and emotional abuse is much worse than physical.

Finally, use another computer for this. If he has access, he can see what you have been doing, including websites and email. He can easily install a Keylogger, which will record everything you do, and they are undetectable. That might sound alarmist, but better safe than sorry. If you can't use a friend's computer, your local library has them.

Good luck to you, and never forget, HE WILL NOT CHANGE.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 11:57AM
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Both of you should, in my opinion, be focusing on the well-being of your son. Your boy's relationship with you and your husband is critical, and will deeply affect how he feels about himself and relates to other people for his whole life. You are only seeing the beginning of this.

With your husband's violent threats, I would consider a trial separation. At best, that could jump-start him into facing his problems. At worst, you could relax a bit and get some perspective on the situation.

Alcoholism sounds like a major factor in your family problems.

I don't think it works for alcoholics to "try to cut back." It's too big a problem to handle alone. Drug use is also common among alcoholics, so that's something else to consider that might account for violent outbursts.

It is not too late for him, no matter how long he has had the problem. No other person can convince him to go for help, he has to decide for himself, but the devastating effect of his behavior on your son might wake him up.

If he isn't ready to go to AA or some other source of help, you could find out if there is a meeting you yourself could attend as a family member of an alcoholic. (I put an Al-Anon link below that may show a place in your community).

From your description of him always having to be right and bullying you I would guess your husband is covering up for feelings of insecurity. I would never say that to him, it's just something for you to consider in your dealings with him. Criticizing him, even if you're right, will only make him angry.

He might listen to a third party, someone not in your family. Whose opinion does he respect?

Here is a link that might be useful: Al-Anon info & meeting places

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 12:08PM
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"I know taht this is typical of men..."

Not the ones I call friends. That's just plain wrong.

".....everything will be okay if we try hard enough."

Maybe or maybe not. It takes two and you're the only one who knows whether such a transition may be possible or not. However, based on your description I'd get myself and my child out of there. Today.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 4:40PM
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Its a very confusing time for you, and when you are in the midst of this turmoil, I imagine it is very difficult for you to see things simply and objectively.

I think you should prioritise things.

You son is the most important person here, if he is upset by the actions of his father, then alarm bells should go off. You must do something to protect your son and yourself, from such an unhappy household.

May you have the courage and strength and clear thinking to sort out your life. I think you have been given some wonderful advice. Act on it today.

All the best to your my friend.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 3:11AM
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Thank you - all of you - for your advice.
Please bear with me. This post skips about a bit, but that's how my thinking has been lately.
I was previously in a verbally abusive relationship that I did not recognize until after a marriage counselor (his suggestion) had me read The Verbally Abusive Relationship. I do recognize this to a degree in this relationship, but it is not severe. He did threaten to hit me just once - no excuse, still intolerable, but just a fact. If he ever actually did hit me, he would be in jail so fast, he wouldn't have time to blink. When he did get out, he would only get to see our son under supervision. I saw way too many of those relationships when I volunteered with Interact. There was one good thing that came out of that verbally abusive relationship that I was previously in; since then, I have learned to stand up for myself no matter how how bad it gets - except when my son is around. Then I try to put it off until later, even it means I have to leave and get away from him. I stand up for myself later, but I just try very hard to keep it down until 'later' gets here. The only time I do not do that is when it comes to my son. I absolutely will NOT walk away from that - even if my son IS there. THAT is an argument my husband NEVER wins - no matter what it is about. period.
Our son absolutely loves and adores his father, more than he loves anybody but me, and my husband IS learning to be a good Dad. It's taken him a while, but he's finally getting there.
When I say that he has cut back on alcohol, I mean that he has cut back. Before I became pregnant, he and his roommate would finish off more than a twelve pack of beer and a fifth of Crown Royal EVERY night. I obviously wasn't trying to get involved with the man - just being stupid. We all have our moments, mine just happened to come out with more of a side-effect than I was expecting.
When I became pregnant, he cut back to 2-3 beers each night except Wednesdays (band practice), when he drank a lot. He has now cut back to Wednesdays and maybe one other day during the weekend.
A friend of mine is helping me out with going to Alanon and understanding co-dependency. Her mother is an alcoholic and she has dealt with this all of her life. She has some hope because I did not ask him to do any of this. He chose to do so in hopes of trying to save us. I suppose that that is probably my main reason to consider trying to stick it out. I feel like, if he is willing to try, maybe I should try too.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 2:42AM
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This is bad.

Your son, who is normally shy around strangers, has begun to tell strangers that his father scares him.
I would guess it's because he really is scared, & he isn't getting any help from his mother.

Your son threw something at you.
He's only 4, & he's already learning to imitate his father's behavior.

"I have learned to stand up for myself no matter how how bad it gets - except when my son is around. Then I try to put it off until later"

Did you know that one of the classic signs of domestic violence/abuse is that the wife tries to "schedule" the outburst so that her children don't witnes it?

Please get that little boy out of that environment for good.

He has his entire life ahead of him.


ps: Yes marriages were arranged in the past, & wives' lives were often short & miserable.

Please get that little boy out of there before he becomes a carbon copy of an abuser.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 8:37PM
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You are enabling your husband. Plain and simple. He is an alcholic and until and unless he gets that problem solved, there is no point in discussing anything else.

I could cry when you post about your son. A child who would speak to a stranger about his dad scaring him is crying out for help. You better hope some stranger doesn't report you to DYFS (or maybe that would be better, it might force you to wake up).

Do the right thing for yourself and your son.

Let your husband make his own choices and get himself some help. All these explanations you are making defending his behavior and that he's gone from crown royal and beer down to beer except for Wednesdays, yada yada. Look at your post. If you read that post by a stranger, what would you really be thinking. Does denial sound like hitting the nail on the head.

I wish you well.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 3:37PM
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What troubles me is that you were in a verbally abusive relationship before and now you have been in one for 4 years. I am concerned that you will get rid of this guy and find somebody else just as nasty and it won't be the father of your little child.
So for what its worth--get help for yourself and the little boy. I don't consider counseling any magic panacea but I suppose its a start. Consider not dating for a considerable length of time,if you get a divorce, and run like heck if you meet another guy who brings over a six pack for the evening. a lot of guys hardly drink at all, and your expectations of what a typical guy does may include drinking a lot. If you have to get up and work the next day--drinking a bunch of alcohol does not improve your performance.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 6:03PM
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"I have learned to stand up for myself no matter how how bad it gets - except when my son is around. Then I try to put it off until later"

This statement bothers me a bit...I could be wrong....but if your son sees you NOT standing up for yourself, when there is conflict going on....what does that say? He doesn't know that you are dealing with it all later.

From your son's perspective, he sees conflict going on, Dad getting mad, and Mum being passive and not reacting. Wouldnt it be more appropriate for Mum to show son the correct way of reacting in such a situation ? Son just sees Mum not dealing with it.

So how are you going Strazydaze ?


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 3:22AM
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