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I will do my best not to be too harsh.   The problem isn't you, it's your DH.   What I am reading is that he has things he's supposed to take care of, but then, he doesn't.  So then, kn

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Well, I dunno if it's actually gaslighting or not...I am not really up on trendy pop psychology terms.   But I can tell you that if my spouse EVER......*EVER*....implied that he should "just

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8 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

That’s not exactly my current train of thought. 

Its more like: how do I make it possible to leave? How long will that take? If I asked for separation would I even be “allowed” to leave with the children? What are my legal rights... is that sorta like kidnapping even if they are yours? 

And I don’t want to screw myself over in the religious arena... I don’t know who to speak with about annulments. I’ve talked to at least 3 priests about my marriage & umm that never really helped. I don’t want to lose my right to Communion. That’s a big deal to me. 

So no, it’s not as easy as saying, “I want out.” 

In the religious area, I hope you know you won’t lose your ability to receive communion simply for being divorced. That happens if you remarry without an annulment. From what you’ve posted in the past, I would be surprised if a declaration of nullity was not declared. It is a process and it is difficult, but those I’ve known who’ve gone through it say it has been very healing and helpful in moving forward. I’m sorry you are going through this and even have to think about it.

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

When divorce was discussed before between you and dh, who brought it up?  And why? Was it a civil discussion? 

We’ve both done so at different times. Not recently. There have both been hostile talks about it and civil. I think he was the very first to bring it up, though. I’m sure it was brought up because of unhappiness but possibly I was going through heavier depression at the time and extra mood swings etc which added to our chaos. 

Looking back I feel like my life surrounded by Dh and his family and their lack of respect for me has made me crazy. Well I always knew they “drive me crazy.” But I feel like I could have had a much healthier, normal relationship with someone else. I can’t imagine some of these interactions with some of my exes. Like I’m sure my ex boyfriends would not be grilling me about packing for them or refuse to deal with a tree in the yard for 2 years. Then again, prior to marriage, I couldn’t imagine Dh saying some of these things to me. Dh was different. If he was gaming and I wanted to spend time with him he would step away from the computer. Now I can say his name increasingly louder trying to get him to hear me over his game. I have to walk over to him to try to talk and then he gets mad I got him killed in his game or often says wait til this round is over. He plays these group games that are first person shooter. He talks to these gaming buddies on the headset all the time. He has way more words for them than me. I don’t think he did gaming chat rooms when we dated. 

I didn’t grasp his family influence til later in our relationship. I lived a couple hours away from his family. As it stands I have his sister blocked from my Facebook for being nasty to me. I drew a boundary there. 

Thats true, I forgot divorce doesn’t mean no Communion. I wouldn’t date til if/when I had the annulment. 

Ds was spanked not long ago... a couple weeks ago? Yet ds would maybe pick to live with Dh if given a choice. I don’t know. I think I asked him once hypothetically (I know I know not great parenting) and he either couldn’t decide or maybe said dad. 

Eta: examples of lack of respect from his parents. They lit up cigarettes in front of me when I was pregnant. I left the area. I said no pacifiers and mil put one in ds’ mouth in front of me when he was crying. But she denies ever doing it. 

I gave birth to ds on a holiday weekend. The family invited themselves over — sil, bil, their son (niece wasn’t born yet), mil, fil. They had Monday off from work so decided they should come. I was miserable and didn’t want them there. Dh let them come anyway. Mil stayed a few nights in town after the birth and I got her to leave earlier than she planned making it clear it was not necessary. Dh didn’t back me up. He just tried to guilt me about how I hurt his mom’s feelings. It was years of things like that. He backs me up better now but it’s still a lot about pleasing his family of origin. 

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10 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I don’t know what the point of that hotline was. I said maybe you have local resources suggestions? They said what kind of resources do you want? I said I have no idea... it was suggested to me to ask for resources. I said any advice? They said you seem to know what is best for you. 

🤷🏻‍♀️

Crisistextline.org 

 

I assume they are somewhat vague because a blind text line cannot be sure whether they are talking to an abuse victim, or an abusive spouse trying to track down a spouse who may have left.   

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Fighting for custody rarely ever comes out good.  With a selfish uncaring man your best bet is to let him think he is winning.  

This is why you need to see an attorney in your county and get a lay of the land for what judges normally and routinely grant.  Without a clear reason to give more custody to one parent more and more judges are giving 50/50 custody.  And then with a selfish man this often ends up being he gets 50/50 but always has a reason why he can’t take his time with the kids mom gets them anyway.  

If you decide to go the divorce route you could suggest first to your husband that the two of you work out a custody arrangement that is best for your children and the schedule of you all.  If he bulls up, insists he will only agree to him getting full custody.....do not argue one bit.  Just say well I can’t ever agree to that so we will have to let the judge decide.  And then let your attorney present to the judge what you desire and then be willing to accept the judges ruling.  

The judge likes to see reasonableness.  

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Hmm. I have a lot to think about. Unfortunately an attorney I know in my state doesn’t deal with family law. 

I have a girlfriend that just went through a divorce to separate from a controlling spouse. I’ll ask her questions but her spouse is still her roommate which is weird. I think that’s a financial thing at play? 

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1 hour ago, heartlikealion said:

Hmm. I have a lot to think about. Unfortunately an attorney I know in my state doesn’t deal with family law. 

I have a girlfriend that just went through a divorce to separate from a controlling spouse. I’ll ask her questions but her spouse is still her roommate which is weird. I think that’s a financial thing at play? 

 

Higher up thread I sent a link with Mississippi places supposed to have connection to free or low cost legal advice.

 

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Heart,

I have not read the entire thread yet but it really sounds to me like your dh has ADHD.  I did see you mention a son with it.  It's usually hereditary.  I'm living with a diagnosed child and a non diagnosed dh that fits the bill.  I didn't realize it at first because he is high functioning but the outbursts and overreactions got me searching for answers.

  I wound up here https://www.adhdmarriage.com/forums/support-adhd-partner  and found out I wasn't alone, I wasn't a bad person, yes controlling because I had to pick up pieces to do life that weren't being handled.  RSD Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria https://www.additudemag.com/rejection-sensitive-dysphoria-and-adhd/  is a horrible thing to be on the opposite end of.  A lot of therapists won't acknowledge it exists but it's definitely real. 

There are some great support groups on facebook if you think you fit the bill.  Check out that adhd marriage site I linked.  See if you connect with the experiences from the spouses.  

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9 minutes ago, Manager Mom said:

Heart,

I have not read the entire thread yet but it really sounds to me like your dh has ADHD.  I did see you mention a son with it.  It's usually hereditary.  I'm living with a diagnosed child and a non diagnosed dh that fits the bill.  I didn't realize it at first because he is high functioning but the outbursts and overreactions got me searching for answers.

  I wound up here https://www.adhdmarriage.com/forums/support-adhd-partner  and found out I wasn't alone, I wasn't a bad person, yes controlling because I had to pick up pieces to do life that weren't being handled.  RSD Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria https://www.additudemag.com/rejection-sensitive-dysphoria-and-adhd/  is a horrible thing to be on the opposite end of.  A lot of therapists won't acknowledge it exists but it's definitely real. 

There are some great support groups on facebook if you think you fit the bill.  Check out that adhd marriage site I linked.  See if you connect with the experiences from the spouses.  

Thank you. Yes! I think he has undiagnosed adhd and we even played part of the audiobook (Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?) in the car but he just complained about the narrator’s voice and said he wasn’t listening. 

I’m pretty far into the book. It led me to see so many traits in my spouse that fit adhd and then possibly myself. So that’s how I ended up at the psychologist. 

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26 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Would his family help him financially with legal fees? I ask because honestly I think it comes down to who can out lawyer who. If time was available where you could go without the kids, I would suggest going around and getting a few free consults with non-legal aid lawyers, just to get your butt in a chair and seeing if you could read what they're telling you about your chances. Because honestly, if he can outgun you legally speaking, and you do not feel like you are in a place where you can match him head to head on an attorney, and aren't being physically abused at this point, it may be better to bide your time. I know what you are going through is hard, but I am very cautious of telling you to just plunge ahead with legal separation, or contemplating a divorce, if he can summon up a decent lawyer with the help of his family.

In all honestly, I have yet to see a divorce case with unequally matched spouses as far as finances where the mothers have come out ahead. It just doesn't work that way. And that's even in cases of physical abuse. Especially with a history of depression. I am not trying to steal your hope, but any mental health history is going to be used to rip you to shreds by an attorney if he throws that info out. Therefore I think you should gather information from attorneys, but i would then sit back and give all of that plenty of time to digest before you decide your next move as long as you feel neither you nor the kids are in physical danger. Because like Rosie and Stella both said, psychological abuse towards you and him isn't' really going to play into anything. You also have a pubescent boy who odds would lie with the chance he would chose to be with his dad (statistically). Your dh also has a work history and the term "able to keep them in a manner to which they are accustomed," isn't at all uncommon to be used to hand full custody to a father who has worked long term while the mother has not. You might get alimony if you have been home a certain number of years (depending on your state), but if you are still unemployed at the time of the trial, he could very well get the kids and you end up with visitation. 

I would save legal aid until you are ready to pull the trigger and have no money for a retainer. There's no reason you can't avail to some legal consults of non-aid firms. They don't ask your income when you call. Just say you are contemplating separation or divorce and ask if they can give you a free consult. Then tell the kids you have a job interview or something and leave them with a friend for two hours. Since you are looking for a job anyway, it's not unbelievable that you'd go to a lawyer's office and apply as a receptionist or something. But once you are there I'd be blunt with the truth about the financial situation and what he makes, where you are, etc. and what they think is the best move. Maybe you need to do VIP Kid for a year, skim off the grocery money, be insane frugal and get yourself a nice little stash in some bank somewhere. And also maybe work on yourself and on the marriage. Then you are covering both ends. Maybe it gets better and you don't want out. Maybe it gets worse and you need out ASAP. But I don't think you have to do it today, or tomorrow, or next week. Sometimes it is what is it. But it would be fool hardy of anyone to say, get out, then worry about it. That never is going to work well for you in the longrun unless you are fleeing physical abuse from the looks of it (and sometimes even then they still get the kids because $$ seems to be key in divorce.) 

 

My most recent experience with lawyers was that they would not give a free first consultation anymore unless it was a contingency case type matter.  But—different state, different law area.

 If a couple (or even just one) of the very best lawyers in divorce area locally Would  give a free consult that could be very helpful.

Meanwhile, actually looking for a job in a law office might not be a bad idea.  

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Other things to ask attorney (or someone here might know too)- how is student debt typically split in a divorce? Does it all go to the student, or is it split between the parties? That is important, because the credit card debt will most likely be split between you. And since he's putting his loans on the cc, that's a big deal. Then they aren't student loans. They're credit card debt and you are most likely up for half of the responsibility. I don't know if student loans are dealt with in the same way, or if the borrower (your dh) would end up with 100% of  that debt. 

If the attorney says your dh would be the one to take on the student loan debt in the case of divorce, I would begin to try with everything in my power to keep more student debt from going on the CC with whatever rationale you could come up with to do it., because if not, in that case you would be starting over and paying off his student loans and an insane interest rate on the credit card debt. On a low salary, that could just be the thing that tipped you into bankruptcy. Which then could be used to take you BACK to court. So make sure you ask them things like that and see if they give you any useful info there. Then you can try and be more proactive (maybe if he lets you) in the way you deal with finances. 

 

Only once so far did he use the cc for the classes iirc. He intends to do it again this next semester because it’s been so hard to live without that money. But maybe I could get VIPKID pay and use that as an excuse to not put it on the cc. I just don’t know though. 

The rest of the student loans stuff is his. When we met I had my BA. He had no college degrees yet. My student loans were paid off with the help of my parents and money from my grandparents (my grandfather always wanted to help pay for our college and he saved and saved his money). My side of the family is more reserved with spending. My parents never leased a car. 

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13 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I would do anything in my power not to get that loan on a CC unless you could somehow get it on a 0% card and pay it off immediately. That just seems insane logically to take what is the average CC interest % and use it for student loans. I mean, i know I am coming at this admittedly as an older person when college was affordable and we never even had to have loans, but still. Paying what? 25% on a semester of a PhD program makes me want to faint. 

I completely agree. Plus, even paying any tuition for a PhD makes me want to faint. It just seems like such a bad investment if you have to pay for it.

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14 hours ago, Scarlett said:

My suggestion if it becomes physical is to call the police. 

 

Yes.  Police reports are great documentation even if the police themselves aren't super helpful.  Here most just give out a DV pamphlet.  My SIL has enough of those pamphlets to wallpaper a room.  

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4 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Hmm. I have a lot to think about. Unfortunately an attorney I know in my state doesn’t deal with family law. 

I have a girlfriend that just went through a divorce to separate from a controlling spouse. I’ll ask her questions but her spouse is still her roommate which is weird. I think that’s a financial thing at play? 

 

You’d have to ask her.

But maybe something like that would be an option for you too.

 

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I think in what you have described as the situation, I’d prioritize getting a job and using it to pay for a reliable vehicle to start.   Not so much this thread, but in many, lack of reliable transportation, ability to pay for gas, repairs etc, seems to be a problem for you.

 I ‘d feel much safer if I knew I could go to doctor or other appointments without having to depend on someone else to get me there.  Plus having a job, especially if it had benefits seems like it would be a huge help.

Even just to know I *could*  get away from abuse would make me feel better, I think. 

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https://www.reachofmaconcounty.org/#

this is a place I know of via someone I know who did volunteering   ( And apparently it was extremely nice as to facilities!  And they apparently had an abundance of resources.) 

the embedded film is possibly worthwhile because it mentions “financial abuse”. 

It, like one in my own area I know about, afaik isn’t just a shelter to go to live in, but can separately help with finance, legal, and job hunting...  (they help lots more people with a variety of services than they have as residents)

Maybe they would know of similar broad service “shelters” in your own area. 

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

I think in what you have described as the situation, I’d prioritize getting a job and using it to pay for a reliable vehicle to start.   Not so much this thread, but in many, lack of reliable transportation, ability to pay for gas, repairs etc, seems to be a problem for you.

 I ‘d feel much safer if I knew I could go to doctor or other appointments without having to depend on someone else to get me there.  Plus having a job, especially if it had benefits seems like it would be a huge help.

Even just to know I *could*  get away from abuse would make me feel better, I think. 

Maybe.  Maybe not.  It really depends on how much money her husband makes and other factors.  Many times it is advised for women to NOT rush out and get a job in the midst of a divorce.  If alimony might be awarded, getting a job now could adversely affect that.  

I think Heart does need to of course start thinking of a life where she does work....but I would focus on getting her own head straight, making a record of stability for herself and seeing an attorney.  

We just never know if her husband will be so lazy he won’t fight her or if he will go bat crap crazy on her.  She needs to really get herself together right now.  Be a good mom.  Dependable.  Clean,  organized.  Stable.  And absolutely do not respond in kind to his meltdowns.  

Edited by Scarlett
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I also wanted to speak to Hearts concern that she is just like him.  Abusive.  I was a crazy person through the early years of our marriage. I threw things, broke dishes-including his grandmother’s China.  I once busted down our bedroom door with a claw hammer-because he had locked me out of it.  One day in my 20s I thought ‘what am I doing?   I am letting him turn me into a maniac’.  So with a lot  of prayer and a lot of will power....I stopped throwing things, I stopped responding in kind...and guess what?  He never even noticed.  One day as he was berating me for being ‘that way’, I said, ‘what do you mean?’ He mentioned me throwing things.  I said, ‘I have not thrown anything or broken anything for 5 years.’.  I could see the confusion and panic in his face.....see he preferred that I act crazy.  It made him feel justified.  

So do your thing Heart.  Get your own head on straight.  It will make it easier for you if you need to leave.  

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On 9/29/2019 at 11:58 AM, Manager Mom said:

RSD Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria https://www.additudemag.com/rejection-sensitive-dysphoria-and-adhd/  is a horrible thing to be on the opposite end of.  A lot of therapists won't acknowledge it exists but it's definitely real. 

 

@heartlikealion, did you read the link Manager Mom gave above?  That sounds exactly like your dh.  

I can’t remember if you said whether or not he’ll go to counseling?  I think I remember that you have serious roadblocks to getting it—cost, time, etc.  

This thread is reminding me of that running article that used to be in a woman’s magazine, Woman’s Day or something like that, called “Can this marriage be saved?”  

Each issue, a wife would explain her side and you’d think her husband was just awful, but then the husband would explain his side and you would realize he wasn’t that awful and that there were 2 sides to the story.  Then the article would discuss how the counselor helped them to meet in the middle.

Heart, I’m not saying that you’re not right and he’s not entirely wrong.  I’m just saying that without knowing you in person and seeing you two interact, perhaps things could change with a counselor.  Especially if his ADHD could be treated.  Now, if he refuses, that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax.  

I can’t remember whether or not he accepts that he has ADHD, but if so, is he willing to try meds for it?  That might go a very long way to changing things for you and maybe you wouldn’t need the counselor at all if the ADHD could be addressed. 

————

(Removed some personal stuff)

————

 

Back to the OP—your DH does things that are such jerk moves—threatening to leave you on the side of the road, etc.  But he also does things that are classic ADHD things.  And I wonder whether if the ADHD stuff can be helped, if the other jerk behaviors will go down.  

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46 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Maybe.  Maybe not.  It really depends on how much money her husband makes and other factors.

 

Statistically speaking in terms of averages, he probably is making around 59K/year.   

An academic administration job might bring that up to $65K/yr 

But if ~30K for an EdD gets onto Credit Card, the interest on that is likely to exceed the increased salary.  

46 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

 Many times it is advised for women to NOT rush out and get a job in the midst of a divorce.  If alimony might be awarded, getting a job now could adversely affect that.  

I think Heart does need to of course start thinking of a life where she does work....but I would focus on getting her own head straight, making a record of stability for herself and seeing an attorney.  

We just never know if her husband will be so lazy he won’t fight her or if he will go bat crap crazy on her.  She needs to really get herself together right now.  Be a good mom.  Dependable.  Clean,  organized.  Stable.  And absolutely do not respond in kind to his meltdowns.  

 

I agree with all that.  And yet I still would feel more grounded if I had a basic job and reliable transportation. 

Just not having reliable transportation would give me a feeling of anxiety.  

I guess a lot of people don’t feel that way though.   

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2 hours ago, Garga said:

@heartlikealion, did you read the link Manager Mom gave above?  That sounds exactly like your dh.  

I can’t remember if you said whether or not he’ll go to counseling?  I think I remember that you have serious roadblocks to getting it—cost, time, etc.  

This thread is reminding me of that running article that used to be in a woman’s magazine, Woman’s Day or something like that, called “Can this marriage be saved?”  

Each issue, a wife would explain her side and you’d think her husband was just awful, but then the husband would explain his side and you would realize he wasn’t that awful and that there were 2 sides to the story.  Then the article would discuss how the counselor helped them to meet in the middle.

Heart, I’m not saying that you’re not right and he’s not entirely wrong.  I’m just saying that without knowing you in person and seeing you two interact, perhaps things could change with a counselor.  Especially if his ADHD could be treated.  Now, if he refuses, that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax.  

I can’t remember whether or not he accepts that he has ADHD, but if so, is he willing to try meds for it?  That might go a very long way to changing things for you and maybe you wouldn’t need the counselor at all if the ADHD could be addressed. 

————

 

So much truth in this.

I'm always a bit wary of the idea that abusers are abusers and will never change because quite honestly a lot of abusive behavior is just really poor coping skills sitting on top of anxiety or ADHD or something. 

And if a person gets help for the underlying issues and works with a good counselor a lot of positive change can happen. And understanding from a family member doesn't hurt.

Now, plenty of times, the affected person refuses to seek help and a spouse or other involved person has to just cope with that reality as best they can. In the case of marriage that does often come down to separation because making as healthy a life as possible for oneself and one's children sometimes requires that. 

I tend to be sympathetic to ADHD type struggles because I've lived with them myself my whole life. I have a much harder time understanding anxiety and it's accompanying issues but I've learned a lot over the years.

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12 minutes ago, maize said:

So much truth in this.

I'm always a bit wary of the idea that abusers are abusers and will never change because quite honestly a lot of abusive behavior is just really poor coping skills sitting on top of anxiety or ADHD or something. 

And if a person gets help for the underlying issues and works with a good counselor a lot of positive change can happen. And understanding from a family member doesn't hurt.

Now, plenty of times, the affected person refuses to seek help and a spouse or other involved person has to just cope with that reality as best they can. In the case of marriage that does often come down to separation because making as healthy a life as possible for oneself and one's children sometimes requires that. 

I tends to be sympathetic to ADHD type struggles because I've lived with them myself my whole life. I have a much harder time understanding anxiety and it's accompanying issues but I've learned a lot over the years.

!! I'd totally forgotten that in the past couple of years I've seen this happen!

I have a friend who started opening up to me about her husband.  He never hit her, though there was one time it was very close and she ducked down expecting a blow.  He was certainly verbally abusive, though.  He's a big, strong, fit, intimidating man and would yell and her and her daughters and make them all very upset with his loud booming yelling.  He was mean and crabby all the time about basically everything. And sometimes he would say cruel things to my friend out of the blue that were very hurtful.

As she was telling me this I was thinking, "Oh my goodness!  She has to get out of there!  She needs to leave asap!"  but I sat on what she'd told me for a week and thought and thought about it.  Because there were other times she told me of his social anxieties in groups and how his family causes him a lot of anxiety (lots of weirdness in his FOO--too much to go into here.)  

So, instead of advising her (with no degree, no job and 3 little girls) to leave him, I sat with her and we seriously discussed his mental health.  And we talked together about his anxieties and how they aren't treated.  And we talked about how very, very unhappy he is overall.  And she decided to talk with him about getting help for it.  And somehow or other, he listened and started talking anti-anxiety meds.

And he's a whole new man.  He's joyful instead of miserable and angry.  He stays calm and doesn't yell anymore at the drop of a hat.  They still have issues, sure, like we all do, but they're normal issues now.  They're nothing anywhere near worth leaving in the middle of the night with daughters in tow over.  

Of course, not every situation will be like that. The person has to be willing to listen and get treated. And some people even with treatment just flat out won't/can't change.  I want everyone to know that I'm not saying that every single marriage can be salvaged--some simply can't.  At all.  But sometimes, they can be.

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The thing is.....we all have issues.  All of us have ‘reasons’ why we might behave poorly.  But it is our responsibility as an adult human to work on self awareness and work on fixing what our loved ones are telling us is a big problem.  

My personality did not suddenly go mild and meek....just now Dh and I had a heated conversation about our future plans with regard to kitchen remodel, selling and buying of houses, his surgeries on the horizons....,and he said to me, ‘ you are ramping up’. And I took a deep breath and he took a deep breath and now he is outside working on the lawn.  He isn’t threatening to drop me off, divorce me, rip out work I hired done or telling me how stupid I am.  Because grown up adults don’t treat their wives that way.  

So yeah, maybe he has pain or adhd or whatever.  His responsibility is to FIX those things and treat his wife right.  

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15 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

The thing is.....we all have issues.  All of us have ‘reasons’ why we might behave poorly.  But it is our responsibility as an adult human to work on self awareness and work on fixing what our loved ones are telling us is a big problem.  

My personality did not suddenly go mild and meek....just now Dh and I had a heated conversation about our future plans with regard to kitchen remodel, selling and buying of houses, his surgeries on the horizons....,and he said to me, ‘ you are ramping up’. And I took a deep breath and he took a deep breath and now he is outside working on the lawn.  He isn’t threatening to drop me off, divorce me, rip out work I hired done or telling me how stupid I am.  Because grown up adults don’t treat their wives that way.  

So yeah, maybe he has pain or adhd or whatever.  His responsibility is to FIX those things and treat his wife right.  

Grown ups don't throw dishes at people either.  And yet you did.  You managed to stop without external help but not everyone can.  Some people, like the ones in the these examples, have needed some help from medication or counseling. 

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Just now, Jean in Newcastle said:

Grown ups don't throw dishes at people either.  And yet you did.  You managed to stop without external help but not everyone can.  Some people, like the ones in the these examples, have needed some help from medication or counseling. 

And that is different from what I said how? 

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

And that is different from what I said how? 

I think the difference is that, first, you recognized the need for change; and, two, you had the ability to change. Not everyone can without help of some sort, medication or counseling, maybe both.

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1 minute ago, StellaM said:

 

Medication or counselling that any adult of average or above IQ can seek out FOR THEMSELVES. 

I'd love to live in this world where other people can be expected to sort it out for you.  Not any kind of world I've ever lived in.

Exactly.  Because in the end,  doesn’t matter if it is something that requires outside intervention.  It the abusive person REFUSES that there is nothing left for the abused person to do.  

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3 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

I think the difference is that, first, you recognized the need for change; and, two, you had the ability to change. Not everyone can without help of some sort, medication or counseling, maybe both.

I don’t necessarily believe that....but ok, if it is true...,what  do people expect an abused person to? In this country you cannot force your husband to get help for his abusive behavior.  

Edited by Scarlett
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7 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Medication or counselling that any adult of average or above IQ can seek out FOR THEMSELVES. 

I'd love to live in this world where other people can be expected to sort it out for you.  Not any kind of world I've ever lived in.

I hope what I wrote didn’t come across the way you’ve said above.  

If a person doesn’t recognize within themselves what is wrong and a spouse tells them, “You seem to have ADHD or anxiety, and I think you’d be much happier if we could work through this together and get you some sort of support/treatment,” then yes, it’s up to that person to think it over and then try the treatment or counseling etc.  But sometimes without the spouse bringing it up in the first place, they don’t know they actually have a problem that needs help.  

I tried to say a few times in my posts that all of this depends on whether or not the person with the adhd/anxiety/whatever is willing to try to help themselves.  And if they are willing to try, things can turn completely around.  If they’re not willing to try, then that’s a different story.

I hope it didn’t come across as if it’s the spouses job to somehow *make* them be different.  That won’t happen.  But the spouse can be the first person to tell them, “Dude! You need help!” And then help them get the help they need.

But yeah, 100% the person doing the abusing needs to recognize that what they’re doing is wrong and then accept the fact that they need help. 

Edited by Garga
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10 minutes ago, Garga said:

I hope what I wrote didn’t come across the way you’ve said above.  

If a person doesn’t recognize within themselves what is wrong and a spouse tells them, “You seem to have ADHD or anxiety, and I think you’d be much happier if we could work through this together and get you some sort of support/treatment,” then yes, it’s up to that person to think it over and then try the treatment or counseling etc.  But sometimes without the spouse bringing it up in the first place, they don’t know they actually have a problem that needs help.  

I tried to say a few times in my posts that all of this depends on whether or not the person with the adhd/anxiety/whatever is willing to try to help themselves.  And if they are willing to try, things can turn completely around.  If they’re not willing to try, then that’s a different story.

I hope it didn’t come across as if it’s the spouses job to somehow *make* them be different.  That won’t happen.  But the spouse can be the first person to tell them, “Dude! You need help!” And then help them get the help they need.  

Sure.  I think that is what a loving  spouse does.  Similar to me saying, ‘Dh, you gotta get some of this weight off of you because I don’t want you to drop dead of a heart attack. ‘.  Heart has asked for counseling.  She has asked for better treatment.  He not only does not acknowledge her, he attacks her.  

You described maddening behaviors in your Dh.  I would go nuts too with stuff like that.  But is your  Dh mean to you? Because none of us are suggesting this is an abusive marriage because he didn’t dispose of the Christmas tree for two years.  

Edited by Scarlett
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Reading this thread and other posts by Heart always makes me feel dis-heartened. (pun intended 🙂) Everyone here gives her a lot of advice, after reading just her side of usually rather confusing and often mixed message threads about her life.  Then she tries really hard to follow the hive advice. I worry about her mental health and the fact that we are diagnosing her and her husband and son without really knowing the situation - especially because she often seems keen to follow the hive advice no matter how relevant it really is for her actual life.  This big push toward divorce in this thread that has resulted in a conversation with a helpline for domestic violence seem to be one of those times where her story, our advice, and the results are just a little wacky.  

Maybe I missed something - is he actively hitting her and her children?  He is basically the most irritating and unkind person I "know" on the internet, but it's maybe not the best to decide for Heart that he is abusing her. Her hubby doesn't seem to be particularly pleasant to live with, but neither does Heart. Her living situation seems really frustrating, but I don't think blaming her husband for being an abusive jerk really solves most of her problems - so many things in her life seem so challenging, not just her husband but her own lack of follow through or know how or basic self care. I hope that she can find courage to focus on her own growth and strength as she moves forward and doesn't make any irrational decisions based on suggestions from internet fans.  

Maybe divorce is the answer, but maybe there are other solutions.  I worry that Heart is so likely to listen to advice here. that she will jump into something before she is really ready.

 

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Sure.  I think that is what a loving  spouse does.  Similar to me saying, ‘Dh, you gotta get some of this weight off of you because I don’t want you to drop dead of a heart attack. ‘.  Heart has asked for counseling.  She has asked for better treatment.  He not only does. To acknowledge her, he attacks her.  

You described maddening behaviors in your Dh.  I would go nuts too with stuff like that.  But is your  Dh mean to you? Because none of us are suggesting this is an abusive marriage because he didn’t dispose of the Christmas tree for two years.  

 

Right.  It’s threatening to rip the curtain rod out of wall, threatening to leave her by side of road, refusing to help her to get to a doctor, begrudging medical care for the kids while getting himself meals out, threatening to get custody of the kids if there’s a divorce...  that are the sorts of things that have me worried... 

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3 minutes ago, WendyLady said:

Reading this thread and other posts by Heart always makes me feel dis-heartened. (pun intended 🙂) Everyone here gives her a lot of advice, after reading just her side of usually rather confusing and often mixed message threads about her life.  Then she tries really hard to follow the hive advice. I worry about her mental health and the fact that we are diagnosing her and her husband and son without really knowing the situation - especially because she often seems keen to follow the hive advice no matter how relevant it really is for her actual life.  This big push toward divorce in this thread that has resulted in a conversation with a helpline for domestic violence seem to be one of those times where her story, our advice, and the results are just a little wacky.  

Maybe I missed something - is he actively hitting her and her children?  He is basically the most irritating and unkind person I "know" on the internet, but it's maybe not the best to decide for Heart that he is abusing her. Her hubby doesn't seem to be particularly pleasant to live with, but neither does Heart. Her living situation seems really frustrating, but I don't think blaming her husband for being an abusive jerk really solves most of her problems - so many things in her life seem so challenging, not just her husband but her own lack of follow through or know how or basic self care. I hope that she can find courage to focus on her own growth and strength as she moves forward and doesn't make any irrational decisions based on suggestions from internet fans.  

Maybe divorce is the answer, but maybe there are other solutions.  I worry that Heart is so likely to listen to advice here. that she will jump into something before she is really ready.

 

 

I think you are missing something, yes.

Financial abuse is a form of abuse, so is controlling and threatening behavior.

Heart went into a marriage with her financial house in order and otherwise able to care for herself, basically, as a young adult woman.  The way I see it, both financially and emotionally her dh is undermining her stability. 

and the dh is acting like he might himself either initiate divorce proceedings himself at any time, or might become more abusive than he is. (There was a past series of threads on here where a mom was writing about hanging curtains whilst people were telling her the dh was abusive...and it then escalated to him hitting her in the face iirc) 

Heart has no very nearby family, and especially none where she and her kids can all go for an extended/indeterminate stay because her mother is very ill.  She probably has no local friends where she could just move in if needed. so imo it would behoove her to have an emergency escape plan.   In terms of where to go in emergency, in terms having of document copies and other needed things somewhere safe, in terms of legal counseling to know what’s best to do (not do) in her state in case there is a divorce, in terms of having reliable transportation, in terms of having some money of her own...

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15 minutes ago, WendyLady said:

Reading this thread and other posts by Heart always makes me feel dis-heartened. (pun intended 🙂) Everyone here gives her a lot of advice, after reading just her side of usually rather confusing and often mixed message threads about her life.  Then she tries really hard to follow the hive advice. I worry about her mental health and the fact that we are diagnosing her and her husband and son without really knowing the situation - especially because she often seems keen to follow the hive advice no matter how relevant it really is for her actual life.  This big push toward divorce in this thread that has resulted in a conversation with a helpline for domestic violence seem to be one of those times where her story, our advice, and the results are just a little wacky.  

Maybe I missed something - is he actively hitting her and her children?  He is basically the most irritating and unkind person I "know" on the internet, but it's maybe not the best to decide for Heart that he is abusing her. Her hubby doesn't seem to be particularly pleasant to live with, but neither does Heart. Her living situation seems really frustrating, but I don't think blaming her husband for being an abusive jerk really solves most of her problems - so many things in her life seem so challenging, not just her husband but her own lack of follow through or know how or basic self care. I hope that she can find courage to focus on her own growth and strength as she moves forward and doesn't make any irrational decisions based on suggestions from internet fans.  

Maybe divorce is the answer, but maybe there are other solutions.  I worry that Heart is so likely to listen to advice here. that she will jump into something before she is really ready.

 

Honestly I do think she is ready.  She talked to her mom.  She chatted on a Dv helpline.  She is thinking things through.  I for one am not pushing her toward divorce.   Am pushing her toward not accepting this as normal.  

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I also meant to post earlier to Heart, that I was never going to go to a shelter either.  I recognize that they are necessary for some situations but not mine and probably not Hearts.   One night I went to a friends.  And if he had been constantly violent I would have gone to my parents or any number of friends.  

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28 minutes ago, WendyLady said:

Maybe I missed something - is he actively hitting her and her children?  He is basically the most irritating and unkind person I "know" on the internet, but it's maybe not the best to decide for Heart that he is abusing her. 

 

Or maybe it is for reasons described upthread.

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1 minute ago, HeighHo said:

 

Many of these incidents are in response to behavior that is not normal, which seems to be driven by medication that isn't working or isn't being taken at the prescribed dosage for an mental condition. The partner has not been involved in counseling with the doctor, so really doesn't know what he can expect or how he can help in the moment when the anxiety heightens or whatever side effect gets going.  Its not like he can take the patient to the ER and get quality psych care.

What in God’s name are you talking about? 

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52 minutes ago, WendyLady said:

Reading this thread and other posts by Heart always makes me feel dis-heartened. (pun intended 🙂)

Maybe I missed something - is he actively hitting her and her children? 

 

You really should refrain from offering advice about domestic violence if you don't understand the basic facts about abuse. DV includes a lot of very damaging behaviors. Hitting her would be just one type of DV. The absence of hitting doesn't mean that what is going on is not DV.

My brother's husband never hit him. The damage he did do was severe though, and my brother was able to access DV services through an LGBT DV agency, including continuing to meet with a DV advocate 2x a month.

Financial, emotional, verbal, sexual, abusive use of conflict, exerting control, enforcing non-consensual gender roles. Rarely does one form of DV exist on its own in a relationship. Usually, if someone discloses one type of abuse, more forms of abuse are in the mix.  

Also, your pun and other little attempts at being cute in your message are insensitive and rude.  

There are many resources to learn about the devastating impacts of DV, which may or may not include physical violence.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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22 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

The court system does not often (ever?) consider non-physical abuse in custody cases. Restricting a father's access to his children below what a court would usually grant is a great way to ensure custody is given to him.

I keep saying this because losing custody doesn't improve a woman's life.

It also may not consider it even a justified cause for divorce, depending on the state.

Edited by TravelingChris
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1 hour ago, StellaM said:

 

Where does it end, though ? Abusers rarely change, and they don't willingly seek out help for their poor coping skills sitting on top of whatever trauma they have going on, and so they keep abusing.

It's not heart's job to fix her dh, whether he is financially controlling and emotionally abusive because he can't cope with his family or his possible ADHD or whatever.

It's his job. He's an adult. If adult victims of abuse are capable of picking themselves up and getting help for their own issues, without any particular care and understanding from the abuser, why on earth would the abuser require or deserve something more ?

It's heart's job to look after her own wellbeing and mental health, and that of her children. End of.

Her husband holds down a job - he's not incapable. If he can hold down a job, and treat his co-workers with respect, he can do the same for his marriage/wife, or at least seek out help in order to do so. Most abusers are not merely incompetent. They choose to abuse. 

And having ADHD is not abuse in and of itself, just as having depression or anxiety does not an abuser make. Plenty of people out there struggling with mental, neurological or physical conditions who just don't abuse. 

I hope in the example given above that once the abusive spouse gets treatment and is joyfully happy, people's attention can turn to the wounded spouse, who will live with the effects of abuse (and yes, making your wife think you are about to hit her IS abuse) all their life. Does she get therapy after he's fixed ? Is any friend sitting him down and keeping him accountable for the effects of his prior behaviour ? I bet a million dollars the answer is no. One rule for women - be understanding, help him - another for men - be understood, be helped.

 

 

It's his job to address his issues, sure, but if his issues are tearing my family apart I've got skin in the game. We all know that "walk away" is rarely a nice simple resolution when children are involved. Encouraging him to get help and supporting him through that is as much to my benefit as his, so yeah I'll happily make that my job if he will cooperate.

If he doesn't cooperate, well, then I do what I have to do to make as reasonable a life for myself as possible. 

If he does move towards healing and being a better husband and father that is a win for all sides and well worth my effort.

This is my actual life, not an easy path but not a bad path either. I'm one of the fortunate women with a spouse who has been generally willing to get help--but yeah, that has involved an awful lot of support and encouragement and yes putting my foot down when that is what it took. 

Ideally anyone with an issue would recognize that and go right out to find help without any prompting but...what about this human world we live in is ideal?

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55 minutes ago, Garga said:

If a person doesn’t recognize within themselves what is wrong and a spouse tells them, “You seem to have ADHD or anxiety, and I think you’d be much happier if we could work through this together and get you some sort of support/treatment,” then yes, it’s up to that person to think it over and then try the treatment or counseling etc.  But sometimes without the spouse bringing it up in the first place, they don’t know they actually have a problem that needs help.  

I tried to say a few times in my posts that all of this depends on whether or not the person with the adhd/anxiety/whatever is willing to try to help themselves.  And if they are willing to try, things can turn completely around.  If they’re not willing to try, then that’s a different story.

I hope it didn’t come across as if it’s the spouses job to somehow *make* them be different.  That won’t happen.  But the spouse can be the first person to tell them, “Dude! You need help!” And then help them get the help they need.

But yeah, 100% the person doing the abusing needs to recognize that what they’re doing is wrong and then accept the fact that they need help. 

This is the sort of scenario I had in mind.

 

50 minutes ago, StellaM said:

So, abusers don't know sometimes that they have a problem ?

I'm basing my response on a situation my cousin faced. Her dh had been raised in a fairly authoritarian family. He felt he needed to *make* his children behave. He also had not frequent, but occasional, anger management issues which were basically like an adult temper tantrum. He didn't hurt people, but his behavior scared them, so they were walking on eggshells. 

My cousin eventually drew a line. After asking him to get help, and being rebuffed, she took the kids and left. He was horrified, crushed, realized that he had to make changes. He followed through, while they lived apart for several months. He ended up with a couple of diagnoses- not sure just what, maybe anxiety and depression-- and medication, which took a couple of tries to get right. It was a long process. Things are much better now, though, and they seem happy together.

I'm not at all sure this is like Heart's situation. My cousin's dh was absolutely devoted to his family. He was willing to do anything to fix the problem, once she got his attention and made it clear that she was serious. Was he an abuser? Dunno. His behavior caused serious problems until he changed it, but I don't think he ever emotionally abused her in the ways Heart has described. The kids suffered in some ways like abuse victims, though.

So, when Scarlett said she fixed things on her own, and I said not everyone can recognize the need or do that on their own, this is what I had in mind.

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15 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

 

Nah, I think her advice was fine. She said divorce may be needed, but not to jump into things too quickly. I also think that while forum members can give great advice, we truly can’t know what they’re lives are like together. Everyone has been trying to help, even WendyLady.

I agree that not jumping to divorce is often wise and necessary (especially given the state she lives in).  But honestly "maybe I missed something, is he actively hitting her" is way off the mark for what is abuse, as is telling Heart that she sounds like an unpleasant person to live with.  So I have to disagree that that advice is helpful.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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On 9/27/2019 at 7:10 PM, heartlikealion said:

He works at a community college but they do offer a discount for a specific state university. He’s taking classes through them. His co-worker chose a similar thing elsewhere but she’s paying more and will finish sooner. 

He was paying all it out of pocket for the past couple semesters but it’s really messing us up so next payment will be on the CC (ugh) and the one after that will be paid with the tax return. 

His income isn’t so much the problem. It’s our debt/spending. 

We are paying on a cc, medical bills the flex card didn’t cover last cycle (maxed out our flex card then), interest-free furniture set, car, and student loans. 

He does his classes online. 

Can't he defer those loan payments since he is actively in school again? DH is getting a masters degree and while we pay tuition for that we are putting off the student loans from his bachelors as we can't float both at the same time. (In DH's case he already has a job lined up, but they are increasing the education requirements so it makes sense to get the additional degree)

20 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

That’s not exactly my current train of thought. 

Its more like: how do I make it possible to leave? How long will that take? If I asked for separation would I even be “allowed” to leave with the children? What are my legal rights... is that sorta like kidnapping even if they are yours? 

And I don’t want to screw myself over in the religious arena... I don’t know who to speak with about annulments. I’ve talked to at least 3 priests about my marriage & umm that never really helped. I don’t want to lose my right to Communion. That’s a big deal to me. 

So no, it’s not as easy as saying, “I want out.” 

You can take communion right up until and unless you remarry without an annulment. And if your DH was mentally unstable, or didn't consider marriage to be the sacrament you and the church believe it is, or if you felt pressured into the marriage, etc etc you would have reason for annulment. 

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