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4 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

@Ktgrok yes. And when I asked about the school book order he said he placed it. I said I have been asking to review the list (had some of my requests on it I wanted to double check) before you placed it since my friend’s book has been revised and that might be the old version. He said, “I don’t give a s#it. Those books are for tourists. You can use google like everyone else.” It is a book called 100 Things To Do In Jackson, MS Before You Die. She revised it because places closed. 

So he’s said the f bomb and s#it in front of the kids this morning. He also barked shut up loudly at dd earlier. I’ve done that before but when I called him out on it he didn’t apologize. If he’d called me out I’d have apologized to her for losing my temper. He had this saying I absolutely hate. “Are you going to be a helper or hurter?” He tries to manipulate us like if we don’t help with something we’re this class of people “hurters.” I don’t like it when he said that to the kids. 

I would turn this phrase on him, without a doubt. He says he doesn’t give a shit, I would say, “Are you being a helper or a hurter right now?” Or if I were going with the “I messages” thing, I might say, “I feel discounted/criticized/like you can’t be pleased.” 

I also would tell him it’s not acceptable to speak to me in that manner/in front of the kids. 

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12 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

I agree,.  DV isn't only physical violence.  But a number of states limit abuse grounds for divorce to only physical, not emotional, financial, sexual.etc

 

Most states don’t require fault or grounds for divorce.  She lives in one of a small minority that does for contested divorces.  They allow irreconcilable differences only for mutually agreed to divorces.  

 

 

 

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He punched a hole in the wall where his wife was, pulled a chair that she was sitting in so hard that she fell out and got a bruise, put a cat in a dryer, and forced his way through a door to get to his wife. Are people going to continue to equate this to children and teenagers having tantrums or excuse it on ADHD?

Heart, please talk to someone in your area who knows the laws and how you and your children can be helped. 

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18 hours ago, WendyLady said:

You are right, most of us are not mental health professionals, but throughout the thread, she is getting so much advice about abuse, etc, without us having the full facts of the story.  I don't know everything about financial abuse, but this may not be the perfect place to get help with this troubling aspect of marriage. 

Absolutely financial abuse is abuse, but it feels to me (just a casual reader of this and other threads) that there is often confusion and lack of financial honesty, but more in a weirdly messy way that is hard to understand exactly how and why things can be so messy - finding out when checks are deposited is not so hard when you have access to your online bank account, which Heart seems to have, and yet she cannot quite tell how it works or when it happens.  So there is confusion and a messy life.  But your brother's life is not necessarily Heart's life. 

It just feels like she is so vulnerable.  To her husband.  But to our advice as well.  

 

While my brother’s life isn’t heart’s life there’s a very consistent pattern that emerges in DV cases.  Back in 2014, my SIL finally left my other brother who was abusive.  The exact details are different than the other DV cases I’m familiar with but the pattern and the cycle and the choices of the abusive spouse?  It’s like they are reading the same script.  When my brother left his husband in 2017, he would express surprise or disbelief at how his husband was acting in the divorce but I had seen it all unfold before.  There’s very little originality with people who feel entitled to that level of control over others.  I’ve seen it with my friends and other family members.  I’ve seen it just listening to the other cases while sitting in court with my SIL and then my brother and a close friend who got tangled up with a bad live in boyfriend and needed a restraining order just to get away.  

Like you, I’ve been reading Heart’s threads for a long time and a pattern does seem to have emerged here.  

I would also like to point out that there’s a difference between maladaptive behaviors and cycles of DV.  My husband has ADHD that went undx until his 30s and he grew up in a very abusive home with an alcoholic father.  At times he’s done things that in the own could be labeled abuse but I wouldn’t consider him an abusive person. Why?  Because his reaction was to get intensive help.  He never rationalized or justified his behavior.  He never blamed it on me or the kids.  There was no verbal or emotional abuse or attempts to control me.  So I do get that not all incidences of shitty behavior in an intimate relationship are abuse.  But a sustained pattern does seem to be apparent not just in this post but in many others.  

My older brother has still not tried to change.  He’s alienated his kids.  My SIL has a lot of problems, which she still has in the absence of my brother but nothing she did, no unpleasantness or mental health challenges she had mitigated my brother’s responsibility for his abusive treatment of his family.  My brother is an addict and has mental health challenges.  Had he gotten help maybe he would have turned it around but my SIL and niece and nephew don’t owe him their lives and safety while he pisses around.  

I say this to highlight that I have seen this from a lot of angles over a lot of years and not just one side of the equation.  Heart’s husband may well need help but this is a situation where she can not resolve this issue, she can not singlehandedly “save this marriage” and more importantly, the damage this is doing to heart and her kids is very, very real despite the fact that he’s not hitting heart.  We have learned this morning that in addition to spanking tweens, he is “popping” a child on the face.  ETA: this is really common- the spouse who is being abused blames themselves, slowly discloses enough that the telltale pattern emerges.  And then, additional forms of abuse that were not previously disclosed or in most cases, specifically denied, are disclosed.  My SIL insisted my brother was a good dad and never hit the kids.  We knew he wasn’t a great dad.  We took her at her word that he wasn’t physically violent with the kids.  In time it came out my brother had hit the kids, had forced fed my niece until she vomited and forcibly shaved my nephews head.  My brother said the same of his ex husband- he wasn’t abusive to the kids. In time, it came out that he had busted through my niece’s door when she was crying on the other side trying to get away, among other things.  There is almost always more going on than initially revealed.  

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Other things to think about include whether if you @heartlikealion get a job your dh will sabotage/ ruin it for you (my father would go into my mother’s place of work and shout at her or engage in obscene language in front of others such that she lost an excellent job in a good place that would have made our lives easier ) .  Limits on your ability to get there on time could be another way. 

 

To be continued

 

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33 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

He punched a hole in the wall where his wife was, pulled a chair that she was sitting in so hard that she fell out and got a bruise, put a cat in a dryer, and forced his way through a door to get to his wife. Are people going to continue to equate this to children and teenagers having tantrums or excuse it on ADHD?

Heart, please talk to someone in your area who knows the laws and how you and your children can be helped. 

Yeah when it was just hitting a wall and anger I was willing to say OK, could be impulse control. That other stuff? I don’t care what causes it, that’s abusive and she needs to get out and get her kids out of it.

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You need to start documenting every single time he does something verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive. You need things written down the day they happen. So you need to write down today in a file somewhere that he told you to shut up, that he said fuck you to you in front of the kids, but you told your daughter to shut up, etc. You need to write down that he spanked DS this morning, and that it was because he didn’t wake up fast enough.

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21 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

 

 there’s a very consistent pattern that emerges in DV cases.  

this.   my brother is a narcissist.  he's certainly not healthy, and is currently on his third marriage. (same age as his oldest child, she won't come around family.)

I was at a family event for his son and his girlfriend - so his youngest daughter (2nd marriage) did show up.  she avoided him, and asked me a lot of questions about him. (she wouldn't talk when my sister was around as she didn't want her to overhear either.  she didn't know what her standing would be.)   she's 21, has chosen to not have contact with him (they'd been doing therapy together last year until the therapist put a stop to it because he's so toxic.), and is saving texts and emails from him in case she wants to file a restraining order.

he emailed me later wanting to know what we were talking about.  I deflected, and refused to answer.  then he gave me some song and dance about how hurt he was, he was almost in tears, and was going to leave because he was in so much pain, etc. etc. etc.  just like our grandmother 'oh, you're killing me (she said that a lot), woe is me, you need to treat me better" - that's an abuser pattern when they're NOT getting what they want.  they will turn it into they're "the victim".

you know what - a toxic person might be hurt, but that does NOT excuse them from the damage and hurt they cause their own family members.   and by themselves, and others, turning them into a victim, it diminishes the damage they do to others.  (but it puts the attention on themselves......and they love that.)

 

 

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The confusion with finances — 

I know he gets paid at the end of the month. I know it says “pending” a couple days in the bank. I view the bank account regularly. I just don’t know if they are paid “last Friday of the month” or what the pattern is because the money had hit the account on a Wednesday before. There is no obvious pattern. The person at the bank was confused, too. 

I went to a financial advisor with him once. It was a free meeting through our credit union (I say bank a lot, but it’s really a cu). He said he was eager to be debt free but his actions speak otherwise. The woman suggested the Dave Ramsey method. Dh won’t even help me grow the folders (emergency fund, savings, etc). 

I made a few folders in our account and you know what he did? He said why did you do that?? And he moved the money out of every single folder I started... except $5. You have to keep at least $5 apparently. I have no idea anymore how much should be in ds’ folder since Dh “borrowed” from it so many times. I told my parents not to send money that way for ds anymore. Just create your own savings for him if you want him to have it later. 

When I got married Dh asked me to close my joint bank account with my mom. It was probably $1000. It was gone before I knew it. When I complained he said we needed it for bills. But our Amazon history shows all the other crap he was buying at the time — mostly physical movies. When he got a student loan he once bought a $1000 LCD tv and it was delivered and mounted while I was at work. I came home to that crap. It wasn’t even mounted at a proper height! Nearly touching the ceiling. We still have the tv. Got it right before Super Bowl with the Saints and he invited people over against my wishes. I’m shocked he didn’t run out to replace it with an LED in recent years. He did a couple big purchases like that without my blessing and/or consent. I thought he got past most of that... was slowly getting more financially mature. But the living room furniture purchase says otherwise. 

I asked him when we were calm if he could please not put the next student payment on the cc. He said he has to because we need to pay the post office box, save up for Christmas etc. I asked if there’s anyway he can get his family to agree to only do gifts for kids or a name drawing. He will suggest the band drawing he said but I don’t think it will happen. I’m sick of going into debt because he has to keep up with his family’s gift giving/spending. Some years his sister takes out a loan for Christmas. 

This is probably some type of financial abuse. When I asked about paying on the principle of the cc he said we haven’t in 4 months (!!!!!!!). I feel like I’ll never get out of debt with him. 

He gets student loan forgiveness about X number of payments. At that rate I’ll be what? 50 years old? 

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7 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

You need to start documenting every single time he does something verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive. You need things written down the day they happen. So you need to write down today in a file somewhere that he told you to shut up, that he said fuck you to you in front of the kids, but you told your daughter to shut up, etc. You need to write down that he spanked DS this morning, and that it was because he didn’t wake up fast enough.

I did not tell her to shut up today. I have in the past and usually calmed down and apologized afterwards if I barked at the kids. Sometimes Dh may apologize but a lot of time he doesn’t see the error of his ways. 

I am less snippy on my meds. I take them for the kids’ sake more than my own. 

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the way he spends money is a concern.  you don't know how much he's hiding - and I would assume he's hiding.  the inconsistency about paycheck deposits, and holding a check - makes me wonder if it's being deposited in a different account, and he puts what he feels like in your "joint" account at the end of the month. - again, most legit regular employers pay 2x a month, or every two weeks.

have you seen a copy of the "paycheck" at the CU to make sure it's really coming from your dh's employer?   and not another account?  (eta: there are a lot of digital copies of checks today, so it can be seen.  ask at your CU if they can access that picture for you - then get copies.)

get copies of the last seven years of your tax returns, and keep them together where he won't find them.

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1 hour ago, kdsuomi said:

He punched a hole in the wall where his wife was, pulled a chair that she was sitting in so hard that she fell out and got a bruise, put a cat in a dryer, and forced his way through a door to get to his wife. Are people going to continue to equate this to children and teenagers having tantrums or excuse it on ADHD?

Heart, please talk to someone in your area who knows the laws and how you and your children can be helped. 

No of course we’re not.  All that talk started much earlier in the thread before all the things you’ve cited came out.  

There is a side discussion going on about how treating mental illness issues can change a person, yes.  But that’s a side discussion and is applicable only to abusive spouses who realize they have an issue and are willing to work on their illness. Sometimes those people need the help of the abused spouse to get treated and that’s ok.  What’s not ok is when the abuser doesn’t think they’re being abusive or doesn’t care and won’t get help, even when the spouse tries to help them.  In that case, the abused spouse is no longer obligated to try to change the abuser and can cut their losses and do whatever they need to do to protect themselves and the children.

Right now for Heart, it has become clear since it was first brought up in this thread that she has informed her spouse that he needs help and he has refused to see the truth and has refused to get help.  

So, her next step is to get that plan to leave in place and figure out a way to live with him while she’s getting her plan in place.  Like, she said she’s already working on disengaging when he gets crazy and people have talked to her about getting copies of financial documents and keeping a list of his abuses, etc.

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3 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I’m not offended at all that any of us would want him to get mental health help but I want you to know this man shoots me down over every little medical thing so no, there isn’t much room to have a civil conversation about him having anger issues or w/e. Also I’m an HSP so people sometimes throw that in my face. “You’re too sensitive.” I’m more in tune, though. He wants to take ds hunting. Ds is tender hearted. I don’t think he’d like that in reality. But Dh doesn’t follow through with much so I don’t think it will even happen. I said ehh don’t you take him fishing first? You guys bought a pole like 2 years ago and never used it. 

Getting off topic again but yeah he’s not going to get anger management help. Not right now. He doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. I have hit him before and I later told myself I’d never hit him again. I don’t want to sink to that level. I am much smaller than him so I was surprised to actually inflict any any. After an argument he tugged my chair and I fell out of it and host a nasty bruise. He said it was not intentional for me to fall but he was just pulling the chair closer to him. It was pretty fishy and I told my psychiatrist about it and showed pics of the bruise to a girlfriend or sister I think. 

He has been mean to the cat before. She kept trying to go in the dryer. She did once and he closed the door and I believe let it go around one rotation. I freaked out and yelled at him. He said oh I didn’t hurt her. She won’t do that again! I brought it up later and he said he didn’t turn the dryer on  but I’m 99.9% sure he did. I know my cat is mean but I love her and try my best to understand her temperament, nature, etc. I would never do that to her. 

When I was pregnant I asked him to scoop the litter box. Before then I scooped it 1-2x a day. He hardly did it. Every do many days. Or no scooping and just dumping the old litter. Then I started slacking on it but I feel like I only started slacking because of his attitude and I regret that and know I can’t neglect things just because he did. He’s the one that forced the cat on me but doesn’t help with her at all now. I would not leave him in charge of her. 

 

In my $0.02 curbside long distance opinion, my sense from what you have written is that He seems to be abusive (to you and to the kids at least indirectly and probably also directly) and you need to get out.  You need to do that, if possible, with good legal guidance so that you aren’t seen as kidnapping your own kids or whatever...

any one or two things can be excused, but there’s a general pattern and  the general pattern cannot be excused  

you also need to work out a reasonably clear, succinct explanation of the facts for speaking to a Mississippi lawyer.  You can say “some examples are” to be clear that there’s more, but try not to wander around in paragraphs about laundry, or Christmas trees.  

He rages, belittles, swears at you, in front of the children, etc.

closing cat in dryer, breaking hole in wall, threatening to rip out curtain rod, threatening to leave you on an Interstate   All seem to me to be pretty clear

Wanting to refuse xrays for child who caught hand in car door, spanking, refusing to learn positive parenting methods may also be worth mentioning 

 

 

 

another potential big issue to watch out for is that if women get labelled “unfit” in a divorce custody battle so that they lose tHat they lose kids from a first marriage, then subsequently marry someone else and get pregnant, in some states child protective services will immediately seize newborn due to the “unfit” finding during a divorce battle.    It could be a potential reason if it were to look like that were possible to allow custody to go to the father and to plan on having really wonderful every other weekend and 5 weeks of summer visitation.  An excellent lawyer should be able to assist in all this.  

 

I agree that you need to act carefully, don’t do anything rash.  Don’t leave without your ducks in a row if you can possibly help it.  

Yet, I think you also need to get out before you do something to him that puts you seriously in the wrong yourself.  

 

 

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37 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

The confusion with finances — 

I know he gets paid at the end of the month. I know it says “pending” a couple days in the bank. I view the bank account regularly. I just don’t know if they are paid “last Friday of the month” or what the pattern is because the money had hit the account on a Wednesday before. There is no obvious pattern. The person at the bank was confused, too. 

<snip>

 Heart, I bet your dh's job handles direct deposit like my job does. (I work for a county government.) I'm paid every 2 weeks and officially the pay checks are deposited every second Friday. However, more often than not, the money is actually in the account by Thursday morning at the latest, sometimes Wednesday afternoon (especially if there is an official federal, state, or county holiday on the Friday that we're paid). So, your dh's work has a regular pay schedule, especially if it's associated with the state - a state university or whatnot. It's just that when the deposit hits the account may vary by a couple of days within the pay week. I'm not sure what pending means for you. I mean, I know what pending means; I just don't see that on my account. Once the deposit shows up, the money is available. Unless your dh's college is in financial straits and is in danger of closing, your dh is paid on a set schedule, again, especially if he works at a state university or community college. 

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I just want to say that there's a danger of creating a false equivalency. 

My abusive brother used to justify his abuse or say it was a 2 way street because my SIL would occasionally throw things or hit back.  He's a foot taller and has 100+ pounds on my SIL.  I asked my brother if he every felt scared of his wife when she supposedly abused him.  He laughed.  Of course not.  Because what was she going to do to him?  Whereas he can, and did, send her to the hospital on more than one occasion.   My brother and his husband were roughly the same physical size but my brother is physically disabled and was throughly demoralized, isolated and financially controlled by an older man for 12 years.  

Heart's husband is a 6'5" and 300+ pound man.  When he busts through the locked door or yanks her chair out from under her, she fears him in a way that I guessing he doesn't fear her.  She shouldn't use nasty words towards him and the kids.  She shouldn't have hit him or thrown things in the past. But I'm guessing her actions are/were not terrifying him in a commensurate way to how his actions feel to her.  A parent who yells at the kid and than apologizes and gets help to do it less is fundamentally different than a parent who hits you for not waking up fast enough and consistently tells you to shut up and never shows the least remorse for his actions.

This is why DV agencies have tools to identify primary aggressors.  

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24 minutes ago, maize said:

Heart, I think one of the first things you need to do is get a bank account separate from your husband, one he doesn't know about. Use your parents' address. Stash some money there however you can.

 

I've been thinking about this, and going back and forth of the ethics, but the more OP says, I agree it sounds like you should open an account as soon as you have the minimum. Make your kids, or your mother beneficiary. But I would ask an attorney again, or even the DV hotline- phone not text, if putting another address on it could backfire on you later in court that you were hiding/redirecting funds from him.

You have to think proactively, and I know it probably sounds petty some of the things I bring up, but it's because I've seen things happen that no one with a logical mind would ever think would be twisted against them in court. People lie all the time in divorces. They make up abuse. They hide money and justify it. They do all sorts of things and judges hold a hard rule on it- attorneys can twist things that would make it look like it wasn't him, but YOU who were financially irresponsible. Now hopefully, it never comes to that. And he can't afford or isn't motivated enough to hire a barracuda for an attorney. But, if you have the trail, that you sought the lawyer- you called the DV line. You did XYZ, then it makes things seem less like deception and more like a woman seeking help from a dominating spouse.  And that is good. So maybe I'm overly pessimistic, but as I've said several times now- if I had to lay money on it, it's that if you leave or seek a divorce he is going to come at you and he's going to come at you hard. And it sounds like your state might not be as clean cut as others. So dot the i's and cross the t's. Stash the cash in a box until you can find out about the account. 

If you do open one and can't get any local, legal advice (I stress LOCAL) in the meantime........You are primarily the one home, so maybe between paperless billing/statements and being home to intercept that one initial notification you usually get, there hopefully wouldn't be paper going to your house. I know we just opened our dd a new account at a CU at the last six months and there's been no paper beyond an address confirmation. They printed the cards there for her at the office and everything else is online. But there was that paper confirmation. Not to mention if you share a computer, the history for an additional account could show up if he checks things like that. 

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Don't quote. I will edit this post later and soon ask the thread be removed. 

Its empty but I have done the bank account (credit union) thing not long back and I was very upset when I signed up for electronic mail and they sent me paper. I did a lot of behind the scenes stuff to make sure that never happens again. Never. My family knows.

I’m trying to reach someone in law now. 

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I am really glad your family is supportive even if they don’t completely understand.

My sister and her two very young(at the time) kids moved in with me when she left her abusive ex.  He kept showing up on my doorstep and trying all kinds of manipulative ways to see her, but I kept kicking him off my property and eventually he got the hint.   I do think if you leave it might be helpful to stay with someone else who can run that kind of interference.

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Heart, it is good to get a little money together he doesn’t know about so you can use it for a retainer when the time comes.

If I understand correctly you know for sure the deposit is coming from the school.... but you don’t have access to the actual pay stub.  Correct?  If you have access to your tax returns take a peek and see if you can determine if he is syphoning off some before it gets to your joint account.  

I suspect if you ask him for the electronic pay stubs he will not give them to you.  The only way you will see what he actually makes is if he is compelled to turn it over by a court of law.  And he seems disorganized enough that it is very possible he isn’t hiding money, but regardless he keeps your family in constant financial crisis.  And that is not ok.  At the very least he is disrespectful of your desire to handle money a certain way.  I mean lots of couple disagree about a fundamental way of handling money but they compromise to make each other comfortable. He does not care about your comfort.  

I am not clear on the support you have locally where his job is.  Because unless he agrees to it I doubt you can take the kids and move back to where your parents live ( but you have said your parents don’t have room for you anyway as a temporary solution.  So I think it  is crucial you get your ducks in a row and have a plan.   I disagree with others that you should run out and get a job.  I can nearly guarantee he will not make it easy or help you and you will just add more stress to your life while you are trying to figure out how to get out of this mess.  

I would 1) see a good attorney so you understand the local courts and get your mind ready for what is likely to be ordered if he fights you.

2) figure out how much of a retainer you will need to get the ball rolling when you are ready.  

3) somehow save that money.  Or borrow from family.  Which is why it is good you confided in some of them this past weekend.  

4) be on the lookout  for a job that will be a good fit for you.  If you are going to have to stay in the district then I keep going back to thinking you need a job with the school system. I would not run out and get just any job at this point.

5) use this time to become the perfect seeming wife and mother.  Work on your own mind.  Disengage.  Do not act in kind.  And don’t be surprised if he hates that and tries to goad you into being reactive.

that is a lot but that is where I would start.  

This spending family money and never getting reimbursed? That would infuriate me.  But just make note of what he spends...keep track of it without really discussing it with him.  It can go on your financial forms when and if you have to fill them out for court.  

 

(((Hugs)))

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Might there be any sort of job at all at the same CC your dh works at?  (Receptionist, secretary, food service, development? Anything? ) 

He might be less likely to do something like harass you at work if he has an appearance to maintain because it is his employer too.  

It also seems like the distance away from home would be excellent.  

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Dear internet fans... will you buy my memoir? LOL (reference to other thread). 

I really do appreciate the feedback at the hive and yes, I know I have to get a plan and not just run randomly run off with the kids. Thank you for putting up with my typos/autocorrect and meandering stories. 

Im all over the place so I’ll try to make s few things in this post more clear/concise. 

I’ve been pretty good with money for most of my life. As a teen I was a mall rat but didn’t spend money every time I went there. That joint account with my mom had her name on it but it was considered my money. I think we both had a sinking feeling when we went to close the account. Dh refuses to do separate bank accounts and once said if I ever opened my own he’d ask/expect me to hand over money when we needed it for bills. 

He has a history of poor spending habits and yes I plan to document it soon. I have amazon history as my main guide. It will be time consuming. 

I will be pleasant and non reactive as much as in my will power right now. 

He did not hit me in the face over the curtains. Just clearing that up (some question about that a few pages back). He has not “popped” the kids in the face recently (I got very stern over that). 

I did need to hear from others how bad things are. From you guys, from my girlfriends. I’ve only told a couple. Neither live that close to me but one went through a MS divorce. I would ask her if I could stay with her if I absolutely was desperate. She’s hours away but she’s got my back and knows my kids. But that probably would only work as a very temporary thing for space issues. Same with my folks. She told me about her affordable home but she had to buy. It’s in a good school district. 

Dh has had poor decisions with the opposite sex. No telling their side of the story but supposedly one neighbor made a pass at him when they were cooking together at night for a school event. They were drinking. I told Dh he was stupid to make the decision to go over with alcohol. Told him I didn’t think it was “normal” to cook & drink in that scenario. Others were supposed to be present but they were alone at some time. He rushed home and told me but it’s like he still doesn’t see his fault. He said he stopped it. He also personally took a woman grocery shopping when she moved on campus. He knew her from previous work circles & she didn’t know the area. I said he was ridiculous and should have given her an address and told her to use the gps. He also had that female coworker he used to exercise with. I was very upset about it. He said I was jealous, made him lose a friend (boo boo). Who cares if I’m seen as jealous? Just recognize it makes me uncomfortable. I cut off communication with a male friend. I was talking to him a lot (online). I recognized the issues it was causing. 

I emailed the lady at the law school. Her phone went to voicemail. 

So much for concise lol! 

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11 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Dh has had poor decisions with the opposite sex. No telling their side of the story but supposedly one neighbor made a pass at him when they were cooking together at night for a school event. They were drinking. I told Dh he was stupid to make the decision to go over with alcohol. Told him I didn’t think it was “normal” to cook & drink in that scenario. Others were supposed to be present but they were alone at some time. He rushed home and told me but it’s like he still doesn’t see his fault. He said he stopped it. He also personally took a woman grocery shopping when she moved on campus. He knew her from previous work circles & she didn’t know the area. I said he was ridiculous and should have given her an address and told her to use the gps. He also had that female coworker he used to exercise with. I was very upset about it. He said I was jealous, made him lose a friend (boo boo). Who cares if I’m seen as jealous? Just recognize it makes me uncomfortable. I cut off communication with a male friend. I was talking to him a lot (online). I recognized the issues it was causing. 

I am saying this gently, since you have a lot on your plate:

with a normal, functioning marriage, none of these would be any issues. On several occasions, I have taken men who just moved here on shopping outings in my car - that's the friendly thing to do and not at all ridiculous, and my husband very much appreciated me doing it. It is because your interactions with your DH are so dysfunctional that these things cause issues in your relationship - not because a man and a woman cannot possibly cook together and have a drink without shenanigans. You should be able to have male friends and he should not be forcing you to cut those off. 

Edited by regentrude
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Try to learn if there are any nice women and children’s safe house organizations in your area. Or anywhere you could get to in emergency.  

The assumption that they are all awful is not correct (I have had friends and relatives who have worked or volunteered at some and these secret shelters have included a large house at a beach and a mansion-like facility on a huge acreage...often standing almost empty because people imagine that they are going to all be like inner city flop houses...  and they have all sorts of resources that a friend would not have, counseling, child care, legal, transportation. Many have short stay limits and won’t accept people who are already in a safe place so that one can go from a home with the abuser in it to shelter safe house and then to a friend’s house, but not from safe friend house to shelter safe house.  It could give an added 20-45 typically iirc days of lots of support before possibly needing to impose on the friend.  

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14 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I am saying this gently, since you have a lot on your plate:

with a normal, functioning marriage, none of these would be any issues. On several occasions, I have taken men who just moved here on shopping outings in my car - that's the friendly thing to do and not at all ridiculous, and my husband very much appreciated me doing it. It is because your interactions with your DH are so dysfunctional that these things cause issues in your relationship - not because a man and a woman cannot possibly cook together and have a drink without shenanigans. You should be able to have male friends and he should not be forcing you to cut those off. 

We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I don’t believe it *usually* helps a marriage to have opposite sex friendships with one on one interactions. Like friendships that involve a lot of interacting. 

Dont ask me about bi/gay interactions. I’m not splitting hairs. I’m talking about any relationship that makes the spouse uncomfortable I guess. Your Dh was not uncomfortable so it’s apples and oranges. 

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32 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

 

Dh has had poor decisions with the opposite sex.  

he claims the woman tried to flirt with him.  because of the distorted way he see's things (e.g. your place in your marriage is an indication) - I would question how accurate that was.

23 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I am saying this gently, since you have a lot on your plate:

with a normal, functioning marriage, none of these would be any issues. On several occasions, I have taken men who just moved here on shopping outings in my car - that's the friendly thing to do and not at all ridiculous, and my husband very much appreciated me doing it. It is because your interactions with your DH are so dysfunctional that these things cause issues in your relationship - not because a man and a woman cannot possibly cook together and have a drink without shenanigans. You should be able to have male friends and he should not be forcing you to cut those off. 

I agree with this.  My dh has also helped/done things with women on occasion.  (he even tried to stop the dd of his parent's age childhood friend from remarrying her ex.  she divorced him again.).   Nothing inappropriate would ever happen.

6 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I don’t believe it *usually* helps a marriage to have opposite sex friendships with one on one interactions. Like friendships that involve a lot of interacting. 

 

she didn't say it "helps", nor about "friendships" with regular contact outside of employement/etc. - she said, and with which I agree - because even after 37 years of marriage that's the kind of relationship we have - it isn't an issue in a healthy marriage because inappropriate stuff doesn't even enter dh's thoughts.

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13 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I don’t believe it *usually* helps a marriage to have opposite sex friendships with one on one interactions. Like friendships that involve a lot of interacting. 

Dont ask me about bi/gay interactions. I’m not splitting hairs. I’m talking about any relationship that makes the spouse uncomfortable I guess. Your Dh was not uncomfortable so it’s apples and oranges. 

The bolded is precisely my point. In a functional marriage where both partners are secure, friendships with people of the opposite sex do not normally cause a problem.

The fact that you are uncomfortable with your DH taking a woman shopping is an indication of the bad state of your marriage. But the interaction itself is not intrinsically ridiculous and rather a fairly normal thing to do for people with healthy marriages.

Edited by regentrude
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3 hours ago, Pen said:

another potential big issue to watch out for is that if women get labelled “unfit” in a divorce custody battle so that they lose tHat they lose kids from a first marriage, then subsequently marry someone else and get pregnant, in some states child protective services will immediately seize newborn due to the “unfit” finding during a divorce battle.    It could be a potential reason if it were to look like that were possible to allow custody to go to the father and to plan on having really wonderful every other weekend and 5 weeks of summer visitation.  An excellent lawyer should be able to assist in all this.  

 

Non-custodial DV victims do not get to have really wonderful other weekends and summer visitations.
 

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Heart, you are trying so hard. We can all feel this. You have limited time and energy and you’ve received so much advice here. I would limit your energies to a few areas: 1) get some free legal advice 2) set aside some money in a separate, private bank account 3) get a job 4) continue to take care of your children

Please do no spend energy on: 1) justifying with him any decision you make whether it is regarding child rearing or finances or getting a job for anything else. You are an adult and can make these decisions and no discussion is needed.  2) helping dh with any task he is capable of performing himself. This includes getting him coffee or packing or making his lunch or, really, anything else. 

I highly recommend you get a job. Any job even if the pay isn’t great. You will need the car for this and you don’t need to listen to his objections. He will quickly realize the money isn’t going into a joint account. No need for discussion about this other than, “this is what I’ve decided to do. I’m not discussing it further.” Let him rant and walk away. 

The dynamic will shift dramatically in your home. You will need to make sure you and your children are safe. 

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He works summers. The library is open. Someone asked upthread— It’s a community college not a state university. 

Pending on the income means “this is how much you will get but it’s not accessible yet.” So this past week, it was pending on Wed but I couldn’t access the funds til Friday. 

Just had Dh follow up on dd’s life insurance. Now he has to sign something they have emailed him. 

Theres a reason I bought a book called Not Just Friends. He hung around after grocery shopping and had a beer iirc and used to run off to “work” lunches with her when we were on vacation with family. His mom and dad didn’t flinch. I thought it was weird mainly because he hardly spends quality time with me. That’s grocery lady. Neighbor lady supposedly tried to kiss him. Exercise lady had an injury so walked very slowly. He would walk at her pace and chat. But he never would walk at my pace. He said well she is injured. I would say and I’m your wife. Whatever. I have an easier tendency to stray (emotionally) so I don’t go out of my way to hang out with guys one on one anymore. Now maybe people don’t gossip everywhere but you know small town people and spotting a married spouse with someone else. Just doesn’t look good. 

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5 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Just a thought, but maybe because my abusive spouse is not my child, and I am not responsible for him ?

All these 'if's. 

Do you really think that abused spouses don't spend a hell of a lot of time - too much time - asking why ? Trying to come up with ways of fixing the situation ? Offering therapist numbers, or programs or books or....all things Heart has done, btw.

Do you really think abused spouses are just spoiled and neglectful people who are too lazy to try to fix things from their own end ? 'Cos that's what it sounds like.

Abuse is not, and should not be 'manageable'. There's not a certain amount of abuse that's OK, but no more.

It should stop, and if the abuser can't stop, then they need to be removed from the home.

No. I don’t think that at all, which is why I said that and bolded it repeatedly. I don’t presume to know exactly what heartlikealion should do, nor do I know much or probably not even the whole tip of the iceberg on what has gone on in her family life. I haven’t even read every post in this thread, nor every post in her past threads centering on the same subject. 

I have been in an abusive relationship before and the one I am in right now has had some “bad streaks”, so yes, I know all about trying to come up with ways to fix the situation. All I am saying is this: there is an interplay in every relationship. He does X, I do Y. He says A, I respond with B. There are ways this can go that don’t help; sometimes there are ways it does help. 

Just this past weekend, he said something to me that I (probably correctly) interpreted as a criticism. But, instead of responding in a way that almost definitely would have helped - something like, “I feel criticized; is that what you mean to do? - I just snapped, “Well, no shit!” So he matched my crappy response with his own crappy response and it created a couple hours of bad feelings. I am NOT suggesting that heart or anyone else can live blissfully free of abuse if she just uses the right words. I don’t pretend to have the slightest idea what would help; my current situation is not remotely as dire as what has been described here. What I *am* saying is that all relationships are an interplay and how heart responds in each situation affects what he believes he can continue to do. 

If I were in heart’s shoes, I would definitely, without a doubt in my mind, be making plans to shore up my position if I have to flee. But she still has to function in the daily until the day comes she leaves, if it does come. 

Anyway...

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I know relationships are a teeter totter. I read The Dance if Anger. 

I’m only starting to get better at not being reactive though. 

I have put out feelers for free legal counsel. 

I’ll still apply for that job. 

I’m being pleasant to Dh. But if I just suddenly stop doing laundry or anything he can do, it will make things worse. We’re trying to Katie Holmes this mess, guys lol 

I would not send all funds to myself. Subtle guys, subtle is the goal. 

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12 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

How do you finesse abuse, Quill ? Please tell me.

Cos I still live with my abuser, and I'd like to know. 

Should I drag him to the doctor ? Done and done.

Should I force him to receive mental health care ? Tried that one over about, oh, 15 years ?

This is all so damaging. Yes, sometimes women can't leave. For a lot of reasons - financial, custody related, because leaving is the time they are most likely to get killed. The ONLY good advice in that situation is the advice Soror gave upthread. Draw your boundaries tight. Disengage from the abuser. Get your ducks (however slowly) in a row. 

This thread is so harmful. If I had read this thread even 5 years ago, it would have broken me, with it's assumptions that 'two sides, it's not physical, you do it too, maybe you just don't care enough, why aren't you a good wife/partner, I think you're exaggerating, well, you're better off because you can control yourself, he's the one who is suffering' which are all - co-incidentally or not - things that come out of the mouth of abusers constantly.

 

I don’t know how you are interpreting my thread as saying this when I specifically said this: 

14 minutes ago, StellaM said:

please, nobody think I’m saying you can just talk an abuser out of abuse. Not at all

Multiple times. 

I agree with @soror‘s advice upthread. It is precisely what I am saying! Draw your own boundaries - I agree! Disengage - I agree! 

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27 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

Non-custodial DV victims do not get to have really wonderful other weekends and summer visitations.
 

 

I was trying to bring up an area for @heartlikealion to be aware and ask a lawyer about.  

Many people are completely unaware that woman losing a custody battle in a nasty divorce if the dh alleges “unfit” can lead to her never being able to be allowed to have children at all.  Not any contact at all with the children in the Custody battle, not future born children, not work as a teacher...  

 

It can be relevant to decision making.

usually moms get the day in day out hard parenting, and daddy gets the special fun weekends, the fun summer times, the amusement park trips....     that can sometimes be reversed.    By “fun” my perspective is as from a child POV, where the child sees the daily caregiver as dull and unfun, and the occasional weekend parent who provides ice cream and games as their special parent——not that the mom may not be weeping before and after.  

 

 The chances that there will be a genuinely terrific outcome in a situation like this is very small.  So going for the least bad may be necessary. 

 

Edited by Pen
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2 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

So, abused people can respond in ways that lessen the abuse ?

I’m not saying it’s a magic wand. But some responses can make things better and some can make them worse. 

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16 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

No, they get  every other weekend and summer to try to help a child heal frrom a situation where she or he is being constantly retraumatised. Fun times. 

 

And they're not exactly in a mood of peace after a relaxing fortnight of "me time" either.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

He works summers. The library is open. Someone asked upthread— It’s a community college not a state university. 

Pending on the income means “this is how much you will get but it’s not accessible yet.” So this past week, it was pending on Wed but I couldn’t access the funds til Friday. 

Just had Dh follow up on dd’s life insurance. Now he has to sign something they have emailed him. 

Theres a reason I bought a book called Not Just Friends. He hung around after grocery shopping and had a beer iirc and used to run off to “work” lunches with her when we were on vacation with family. His mom and dad didn’t flinch. I thought it was weird mainly because he hardly spends quality time with me. That’s grocery lady. Neighbor lady supposedly tried to kiss him. Exercise lady had an injury so walked very slowly. He would walk at her pace and chat. But he never would walk at my pace. He said well she is injured. I would say and I’m your wife. Whatever. I have an easier tendency to stray (emotionally) so I don’t go out of my way to hang out with guys one on one anymore. Now maybe people don’t gossip everywhere but you know small town people and spotting a married spouse with someone else. Just doesn’t look good. 

 

5 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Don't worry about it. Withdraw your energy from ruminating on it. Put that energy towards your goals. You don't need to justify yourself.

Yes.  I agree. There is a huge variety of opinions on male/female friendships.  I believe I have a very healthy marriage and my husband and I are on the same page as far as boundaries with opposite sex.  My husband would NEVER do any of the things you listed about other women.  He is very handsome and charismatic and friendly.  But his boundaries are pretty tight and I really appreciate it.  In fact a good friend of ours mentioned that just Saturday night to me...because we were talking about another friends troubled marriage and his poor boundaries even though I believe he is a good person and would never want to cheat on his vows.  Friend says to me that my dh is very friendly but always appropriate and makes everyone feel comfortable.  

So don’t waste your energy defending your feelings on that issue.  Because although not everyone operates that way you aren’t weird for wanting your husband to be more careful about opposite sex friendships. 

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3 hours ago, Pen said:

Yet, I think you also need to get out before you do something to him that puts you seriously in the wrong yourself.  

 

This is a legit concern and I think HeighHo made some valid points (not in the best way sigh) but I’ll let you guys know I’m much more emotionally stable these days. I think I’ll be able to hang in there. I *do* have a shorter fuse when my meds have worn off. I’ll be hyper vigilant about that. Otherwise though, I will focus on my own crap. My aunt and uncle are visiting this week for lunch (they flew here to see my sis & bil and are hopping around the state to see me). I’m gonna meet them with just the kids in the city. Dh knows. But maybe I could use them as a sounding board, too. If the kids are distracted. 

Friday is my birthday celebration I have planned with Dh and the kids. I will try to make it as happy as possible. It’s dh’s fall break Friday & Monday. 

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3 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

I was trying to bring up an area for @heartlikealion to be aware and ask a lawyer about.  Many people are unaware that a DV victim woman losing a custody battle in a nasty divorce can lead to her never being able to be allowed to have children at all.  Not any contact with the children in the Custody battle, not future born children, not work as a teacher...  

It can be relevant to decision making.

 The chances that there will be a genuinely terrific outcome in a situation like this is very small.

 

 

Yes, I knew what you were saying.

I'm also aware that many people think it's lovely when the kids are allowed to come visit, and it isn't. It's a shit ton of pain for both the kids and the non-custodial DV victim parent, just as painful as being away from one another though a different kind of pain, and most of the weekends are spent dealing with meltdowns.

Because this also is relevant to decision making.

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6 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

there is an interplay in every relationship. He does X, I do Y. He says A, I respond with B. There are ways this can go that don’t help; sometimes there are ways it does help. 

To me, this suggests that if the abused person doesn't do Y or doesn't respond with B, she can make the abuse stop. I think that's naive.

And it's not advice I would give. Maybe it's good advice for rocky marriages which are non-abusive. Abuse isn't, however, just a rocky marriage.

 

To make the abuse stop, no. To manage it somewhat, yes, depending what type of abuser you have. 

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5 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

A person being abused can make the abuse worse by responding in certain ways? ie holds some responsibility for the escalation of abuse ?


This line of thought reminds me that there's a good reason to distinguish between responsibility and culpability.

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11 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

I know relationships are a teeter totter. I read The Dance if Anger. 

I’m only starting to get better at not being reactive though. 

I have put out feelers for free legal counsel. 

I’ll still apply for that job. 

I’m being pleasant to Dh. But if I just suddenly stop doing laundry or anything he can do, it will make things worse. We’re trying to Katie Holmes this mess, guys lol 

I would not send all funds to myself. Subtle guys, subtle is the goal. 

I would discuss this “subtle” approach with an attorney. I’m not sure if this is needed. Maybe even get a second opinion on it. 

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Reached out to a friend that works in a lawyer’s office. She said there’s no legal separation in our state. I wouldn’t get any child support til divorce was finalized (that’s not too surprising but good to know since some drag on) and for the most part she said judges here would rule in my favor for custody so long as there’s no issues with mental health or drug use etc. Yes, he could try to use my mental health against me. But I’ve been treated for over a year and think I’ve made positive steps so I’d hope they would take that into consideration. 

Ok subtle to me means like moving part not all or nothing. I’ll seek legal advice on this front though. 

ETA: she clarified and said not to worry regarding my meds. 

Edited by heartlikealion
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1 minute ago, StellaM said:

 

there is an interplay in every relationship. He does X, I do Y. He says A, I respond with B. There are ways this can go that don’t help; sometimes there are ways it does help. 

To me, this suggests that if the abused person doesn't do Y or doesn't respond with B, she can make the abuse stop. I think that's naive.

And it's not advice I would give. Maybe it's good advice for rocky marriages which are non-abusive. Abuse isn't, however, just a rocky marriage.

I don’t what else to say, Stella. Every relationship does have an interplay. If her husband says, “Do my laundry, you free-loading oaf!” And she says, “Do it yourself, you effing tyrant!” It’s probably not going to lead anywhere good. 

If she’s trying to line up her ducks, I think it’s prudent to not yell back Do your own stinking laundry. 

I have repeatedly conceded that I do not know the full situation and I am not in a situation of the same direness.  Abusive behavior exists on a continuum. *I’m* certainly not going to think I’m the authority who says where “rocky marriage” has veered off into “abusive marriage.” Some of the things heart has said in this thread are certainly “worse” than what dh has said or done to me. But some things, if I said them here (which I wont) that I have been subjected to are surely worse than how somebody else has ever been treated. If I think it’s horrible that a husband would say “fuck you” to his wife - and I do - there’s surely someone here who would think it’s horrible that my dh said, “This meal isn’t fit for a dog.” (He never said that; I’m just trying to make a comparable example.) 

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13 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

A person being abused can make the abuse worse by responding in certain ways? ie holds some responsibility for the escalation of abuse ?

What would be the purpose in agreeing that de-escalation is a good management technique if escalation doesn’t affect the outcome? 

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