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Joined: Mar 2022
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Hi everyone: I apologize in advanced for a long post ahead (my first one) - I never thought I would be in this situation. I have been with my husband for 9 years now, married 7.5. Our children are 2 (will be 3 in April) and 4 years old. We married in our early 30s - the first year of marriage was easy and fun. However, then I got very ill and required serious surgery, followed by a miscarriage and battling infertility for 3 years. We (or maybe just me?) were overjoyed when we finally managed to achieve a healthy pregnancy. It was with many complications though - so another stressful event - and our daughter was born at 3 lbs. and did NICU time. I knew I didn't want an only child; after another miscarriage we were pregnant again 10 months after the birth of our first. More complications in pregnancy, but this time our son was born at 5 lbs. and no NICU time - hooray! My husband would say, "the team's all here, now we can start living life again!" Anyhow - I tell you this because we have been under what seems like extreme duress for a long time.

We live on the west coast and our families are east coast, so raising our 2 small children without help was incredibly difficult. When our son was 1, we decided to sell our brand new dream home in CO and downgrade to a much more modest house in Idaho (cost of living) so that I could quit my full time remote job and focus on taking care of the kids. Well, not long after we got there the pandemic hit. Everything shut down and now we were really ALL ALONE with our 2 small children. It was another very stressful time. I was alone with the children 24/7 and my husband started to spend less time with us. Taking care of them was now my job, and my job alone. I missed us tackling parenthood as a team and I tried to express that to him. My husband started drinking a lot. I had tried to bring up my concern over this multiple times, but I was always brushed off.

Fast forward to summer 2021. This is when, in my head, things really started to escalate. After much discussion and being desperate for help with the kids and to have some kind of family nearby, we allowed my youngest sister to move in with us. She was on parole after spending time in prison due to drug charges. We knew it was going to be hard for her, but she vowed to work on getting outpatient therapy and to live her best (sober) life. This lasted for a few months; it was a struggle. She and my husband formed some type of strange relationship and I became the boring dullard. Their conversations often consisted of bashing marriage and parenthood and they drank together and stayed out at bars while I was home with the kids. She ended up leaving shortly after Christmas and I was relieved. It got to the point where I straight out asked my husband if he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with her; he said he was not. I was excited to just focus on the four of us again and to try to get back to a healthy spot. I mention the issues with my sister because it seems to have escalated the issues in our marriage and force us apart even more.

Before I get to present day, there are a few more instances of things that really stand out in my mind. I mention these because I hate to say the word abuse, but have to ask myself if I am being abused. Also over the summer - I got a call from a fellow mother (we live in a very small town) saying that my husband was out at a bar "making out" with another woman. She said she felt like she needed to tell me this as a mother herself, as she knew we have two small children. I was with my kids at my parent's house in PA at the time; he vehemently denied it. As a matter of fact - and I didn't even process this until he left - he asked "how dare you believe a stranger over me?". I chose to believe him, but his behavior now makes me wonder. I did not check his phone or his emails, but wish I did. At the time I told myself, - if you go looking for trouble, you are going to find it. At this point I made an appointment with a marriage counselor. We did 2 sessions; he mocked the counselor when she told him he had to "walk with your wife in her emotions."

He was in a horseback riding incident the beginning of October where he had to be heli-evacuated due to the remote location of the camp. He ended up being fine - but it was a kick to the head - and they bleed a lot. He needed 8 stitches and had a concussion, but CAT scan came back normal. He seemed fine. It was very scary. A few weeks after the accident, I approached him trying to tell him that the impending medical bills had my anxiety through the roof. He was unemployed at the time and we did not have health insurance. He told me to stop worrying about "stupid s*&t" and to "go find someone else to talk to about my problems." To be honest, after he said that to me I became very avoidant of him and did, indeed, not talk to him about anything.

The end of January is when things really got out of control. My husband was out day and night, I woke with the kids and put them to bed by myself. He would come home after midnight reeking of alcohol. I had a root canal one day and the minute I got home he left and did not return until 1:30 am, leaving me in pain with the children. We had a family trip to Montana planned, where I had found a babysitter for 2 full days so that he and I could ski together. I went alone with the kids; he said he had a work emergency. The following week he abruptly left for AZ (we own some land there), saying he needed to check on our stuff there. However, he never made it there and later told a friend that he had been partying in Las Vegas - drinking and doing things (substances) that keep him up all night. She believes he was talking about cocaine.

Now, I feel really guilty about this - but I had a weekend trip planned to go visit a mutual friend (woman) of ours. I planned this out months in advance and it would be the first time I have been away from the kids. One day before leaving, I woke my husband up at 5:30 am to discuss this with him. I told him that I felt like I shouldn't go, that it would be irresponsible because of how bad things were at home. He reassured me that we were working on things (we did have 1 session with a different counselor prior) and that I should go. I did - but things were bad at home while I was away. He spent the night drinking (or doing coke?) and then when a friend saw him out the next day she took the kids because she said she was scared for them, that they didn't have shoes or coats on and she could smell alcohol on husband's breath at noon. They all went to her house until he sobered up and she took them home that evening. She was bewildered, as she had never seen him like this. Then, according to my sister, that evening she entered the house to pick up her belongings to move away and he got into a physical altercation with her, grabbing at her, trying to push and block her way and take her phone.

I didn't know any of this until I got back. The day I got back, he left as soon as I got home. "I need a break, I need to get out of her right now." I thought maybe things would be better after my weekend away, because he had texted me saying "I have become such a sh#%tty father and husband" and "I have so much respect for you as a mom, I don't know how you do this." But the opposite happened. That night, after I got home from taking the kids swimming - the house was dark. I put them to bed and sat on the couch to read. It was very cold, as there was not a fire going (and that is how the home is mostly heated) - so I put on sweatpants, a sweatshirt AND an additional sweater over that plus wool socks. A while later he called out "are you out there?" I came to the door and replied that I thought I had better give him space, since he appeared to be angry. The following scene still shakes me : "Look at you, what are you wearing? Don't even come in here dressed like an eskimo." He continued to berate me, saying that he thinks all counselors are BS and that they are all going to say that he has to meet my needs before he gets any satisfaction himself. He told me "look around; everything you have is because of me. I should get my satisfaction whenever I want it."

My husband left the next day, the beginning of Feb. He did not attend the next marital counseling meeting. I called the women's center to ask if this was normal behavior, I was so scared. I should also mention that he had been becoming more and more physical with the children - grabbing them forcefully, putting his hand over their mouth if they cried, squeezing their faces. He was very sexually frustrated; I did make sure that his needs in that area were met 1 - 2 times a week, but he wanted me to be more enthusiastic, me to initiate more, me to dress up more, etc....However, by this point having sex with him felt awful - due to how he was treating me. Especially after what he said in October. One day he pulled out testicle weights, which I had never seen before, and this was 15 minutes after he had just said that he regretted marrying me because he is sexually unsatisfied. Yes, after he said that he petitioned me for sex and I gave in, as I knew he would be angry otherwise. It was sickening.

He left and went to AZ, leaving me and the 2 kids in our house in Idaho. I tried to stick it out with the kids there, as our 4 year old was in pre-school, ski school and music class - but I couldn't do it by myself. The trauma of it all and not having friends or family there, I just couldn't do it. So, about a month after he was gone I packed up the van with my two little babies, our dog, cat and a few possessions and drove all the way to my parents' house in PA. It was a torturous 4 days. The first day, my daughter cried over and over "I can't do this." Having to drive away from my beautiful home (and my beloved flock of chickens) was terrible, but I knew I had to do it for the sake of my kids. Before leaving, I texted him to let him know we were going. I simply said "I just wanted to let you know the kids and I are going to PA." He responded 6 days later saying "where is the cat?". You see, one day after he left he had texted me and it was very angry. I told him that I would not speak to him unless it was in the presence of a trained counselor, due to the recent verbal and emotional abuse. He hasn't spoken to me since. We have occasional text exchanges, and in each one he asks me to send nude photos. When I don't, he becomes agitated and insulting.

Now - all of this sounds awful, right? I am embarrassed that I would even consider working things out with him. However, I don't want to divorce. I just want things to go back to normal. There WAS a time when he was a doting father and husband. I can still remember those times, which is why I hold on to the thought that maybe we could get back there. I take my vows seriously and to be honest, I don't feel like forgiving him or working on things, but it is my duty to try. Or am I delusional? Is this a serious mental issue? Is it drug and alcohol abuse? He has had 5 jobs in the past 13 months.

He says he does not want marital counseling; that he thinks it is BS. He says in the next sentence though that divorce is premature. I should also mention though that he says awful things - "the kids ruined my life," "I never even wanted kids." Should I even be thinking about trying to reconcile with someone who says something like this? He says that he has tried everything (we have had a total of 3 counseling sessions with 2 different counselors), that he can't make me happy and that he is sexually unsatisfied. However, I don't feel like anything I could have done deserves this kind of treatment and abandonment. He is in AZ riding his dirt bike, horseback riding, camping, hanging out with single friends - while I am living with my parents and the 3 of us are working overtime trying to manage this mess and keep the kids healthy.

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Welcome to MB. I am sorry to hear of the events in your marriage.

I'm going to ask you to try and read your account objectively, as if you did not know the person involved - the way readers of this forum must be reading it. What would you advise this poster? I don't think you would advise her to try and rebuild her marriage. There is nothing here to rebuild.

There is no sign that your husband wants to reconcile with you. He seems to be enjoying his single life. You should leave him to live it, and you should protect yourself from any further pain. Stay where you are, and give up the idea of getting back with him. See a lawyer about getting financial support from your husband, and to ensure that you have legal custody of your children.

You are very lucky to have the support of your parents. Be grateful for that and do not give it up. It might be hard for the three of you to look after the kids and keep them healthy, but it would be so much harder for you to end up doing this alone, because you left your parents to go with your husband and he abandoned you again.

If your husband were to crawl back to you, begging you to forgive him and take him back, I would advise you to do nothing until and unless you both speak to Dr Harley, the founder of Marriage Builders. You need his expertise for such a mucky situation.

However, I don't see your husband crawling back. He doesn't really want to be married with kids. Rebuild your life on your own, with your parents. Your kids are lucky to have their grandparents looking out for them.


BW
Married 1989
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2 kids.
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I agree with SugarCane.

Please read all the letters in this ALCOHOLIC SPOUSE What to Do with an Alcoholic Spouse


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
I agree with SugarCane.

Please read all the letters in this ALCOHOLIC SPOUSE What to Do with an Alcoholic Spouse
I must say that I missed the fact that he is an alcoholic. This is such a long and detailed post that it is easy for readers to give up reading, or to plough through as I did and forget some of the facts.

The alcoholism is extremely important. You can't deal with anything if he won't deal with that. It makes me double down on my advice not to think of reconciling with him.


BW
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I know, I’m sorry it was so, so long and a whole lot of word vomit. I feel sick myself. Thank you for taking the time to read it all and respond.

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Originally Posted by mothermom
I know, I’m sorry it was so, so long and a whole lot of word vomit. I feel sick myself. Thank you for taking the time to read it all and respond.
Will he get help for his alcoholism?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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No, he will not. The last time I tried to approach him about it he said I was being controlling, couldn’t tell him what to do and that he didn’t want to be married to his mother. He most recently said, “I know you think I have a drinking problem.”

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Originally Posted by mothermom
No, he will not. The last time I tried to approach him about it he said I was being controlling, couldn’t tell him what to do and that he didn’t want to be married to his mother. He most recently said, “I know you think I have a drinking problem.”
Did you read the articles about Dr. Harley wrote about this?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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I just started reading them. Thank you. I know it’s true that someone won’t change unless they want to. I know it’s true that he can’t meet my needs due to the alcohol (he is unable to go a day without drinking at this point). I know it’s all true. I also know that I don’t want my kids growing up around that. I tried to get his family involved, telling them that it wasn’t a discussion about our marital issues, but that I was truly concerned for his mental health and addiction issues and that I believe he has been doing hard drugs. They never responded and I haven’t heard from them since that plea. What’s odd is that my husband is a white collar C-level professional, although it has really begun to affect his job performance and he has gotten fired multiple times this year.

Last edited by mothermom; 03/22/22 09:52 PM. Reason: Add
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Have you made a decision to stay where you are and give your children the benefit of their loving grandparents' support?


BW
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His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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I will stay here in PA with my family, where the kids and I have love and support. It is devastating, as I have not lived here for 22 years and I will have to leave behind life on a ranch in a beautiful home on acreage, and all the recreation I have dedicated my life to and hoped to share with my children. Gone will be the farm animals, the snowmobiles and skis, our raft and our camper. However, I know this is what I have to do for them. This is their best chance at normalcy and is not the time for me to think about what I had wanted our life to look like. I/we couldn't get through this without my parents.

Last edited by mothermom; 03/23/22 04:43 PM.
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I'm sure that's the very best thing.

You can build a new life and eventually get a beautiful home again, and there will be different recreational activities that you can do in your new location. It might feel as if you have lost many things right now, but in a few years you can work to get some of them back. What is most important is that you and the children are not subjected to your husband's cruelty ever again.


BW
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2 kids.
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I agree with SugarCane. The best thing is that you’re away from your cruel husband. Have you heard from him yet or is he still partying in AZ?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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He texted me on Monday to ask me to send his mail to his new address in AZ. I immediately called him and said “What are you doing? I need to know what is going on?!?!” He responded that he cannot reconcile his differences with me and doesn’t want to try. I did have to hang up and call the lawyer. I didn’t want to divorce. I don’t want to divorce. But I do believe that what is occurring here is some serious mental illness and substance abuse. It’s very sad for me to think back to the days when he was a loving husband and father. Like my counselor said, “he is so very far away from that right now.” How does this happen?

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Dear MM,

you should document his text messages - take extra screenshots, don't delete them - where he treathened you and was abusive. Right now, he may not be interested in your kids, but this could very well change in the future and you may need them in the future in court. If he wants to blackmail you, he could give you problems for "having taken away" the children from him. Also document the times that he left you and them and did not take care of them - have witnesses write things down, now that you are still in contact and their memories are fresh. This may seem superfluous, but if you ever need it, you will thank God on your bare knees, that you saved your diaries / calenders / phone protocols.

I hope all is well with you and the children.

Sincerely, Happyheart


me, DH
all the children

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