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We've been married for 13 years and have a 10 year old daughter and 5 year old son. My biggest issues with him is that he will often stay out until the early morning hours (he does shift work and no, I don't think he's seeing someone else) and I often don't get the attention I want. These are not deal breakers for me... I love him very much.

I got really, really mad at him at a wedding we went to. I rarely stay mad longer then a few hours..I was once mad for 3 days and that was the longest I've ever been mad. I was really, really mean for an entire week, nasty text messages, not speaking to him, so on and so forth. After a week I was exhausted from being mad for so long and I told him if he couldn't say he was sorry or make it up to me that we should probably get a divorce...(threat)...and he said he was moving out. That was the first week in November.

I was floored, I begged and pleaded, cried and argued..nothing worked. He had been sleeping on the couch and even though we weren't fighting and we were laughing and joking...I would think we were healing..but then he'd still sleep on the couch. He would also stay out until 10 or 7am and not answer my texts or phone calls.

His issues with me are that he's been complaining for years about problems he has with me and I've ignored it (mostly true). He says he doesn't think he's in love with me anymore. I finally told him to just go and he left on Dec. 15th.

He has been very supportive with the kids and scheduling arrangements, he answers phone calls and texts, talks and laughs with me, but I have no idea if we are getting better or not. He says he's 50/50. He's been staying at another couple's house, and as of Christmas he told our daughter he hasn't found an apartment yet (probably hasn't looked very hard - or at all).

We are seeing a counselor separately every week, she said she would see us together again once he moved out. I told her and him I didn't want to see her together until after Jan first. I'm just not ready to hear him possibly say that he's having a great time or that he's signing an apartment lease, or that he's still not 'in love' with me anymore.

I have stopped calling or texting him unless it is critical with the kids. I'm trying to give him his space...but I just don't know if I should hope or not. I've been doing things for myself (joined gym, going out with friends, and I just painted my/our bedroom today) and I'm trying to get him to see that he's going to lose me if this 'separation' lasts too long.

I need some advice! What do I say when we go back to the counselor together again? Pleading for him to come back definitely backfired on me, seemed to push him farther away. He is definitely saddened by this, but he still left once I stopped fighting him on it. What if he says he wants to come back (before he's really ready because it's easier)? What do I say/do if he says the separation is making him happy? What do I say/do if he says he's STILL 50/50???? OMG this is just tearing me apart!
 

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Wow - that's certainly a tough situation and I'm so sorry that you are going through this. It sounds as if you both have made a good decision to see the counselor - that's a biggie to have both partners commited. As to all your questions and concerns, I have no answers and I don't know if anyone could at this time. Love the things that you've done for yourself - just wish you could meditate away your stress.

Taking your concerns to a higher Power is personal and you need to do what supports you and your children. Please know that you are going through a process and it will not get resolved in a short period of time. Work on building a strong base individually and together for where ever this journey takes you. And please go with strength and love.
 

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I asked my husband "do you realize what you are losing & giving up, by leaving?" And he said yes...and that was 27 years ago.
ps... mine didn't come home until the wee hours either, ya know-working over, and that "work over" had longer legs than me.
Good Luck kiddo, sometimes all the begging in the world..ain't gonna help..... ((hugs))
 

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Sorry you are going through this........a rough time that I hope turns out whatever is best for you.

I will give you my favorite thing to say (and have used it on myself too).........

Is THIS what you think you deserve?

Also, love the one that Maya Angelo said........"when someone
shows you who they are..........believe them!"
 

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i am divorced four years now and don't have anything to add right now, i will come back when something pops into my mind.

there were no signs that mine was having an affair either... he was too slick.

being mean is abuse, you were abusive to him.
 

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Oh, girl...I feel your pain. I know how much your heart is being ripped apart right now, and you feel like everything in your future is doom and gloom. I wish I could give you a real hug right now. First of all, I will pray for your marriage, you and your husband. In 1996, when I was 7 months pregnant, my husband left me and our two little kids. He was drinking a lot, and I didn't know till much, much later, but was also on drugs and fooling around. I was only 24. Young and very, very stupid. The only thing that made me feel better at all was going to every church service that I could, praying a lot, listening to preachers as much as possible on the tv and radio, and finally, when he would come around (to see the kids), instead of crying and weeping on his neck, begging him to come back, I started acting like, "whatever." I would make sure I was not looking a wretched mess, and would try to look happy and act like whatever he did was no big deal to me.

He did come back after two months. That was so long ago. We never had counseling, but managed to repair our relationship through's God's help. I'd say he's my best friend now.

But I told you all this to let you know that you are a strong woman, whether you recognize it or not. This situation will make you stronger. Learn from my past mistakes...try as hard as you can to not badmouth your husband around the kids, don't cry in front of them. This is very hard on them and I'm sure they are scared. Leave him alone. You can't change him or his mind. But you can change yourself. Someone told me this long ago, but it only started clicking with me the last couple of years, "the woman sets the tone in the home."
 

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I waited till I was 35 to get married (and some days I still wonder if I'm mature enough . . . but thats my insecurity talking.) I've really made a point to learn what makes my honey 'tick' - read books, observation, took relational classes, etc. From Eggerichs Love and Respect Ministries (loveandrespect.com) is a valuable resource for me: a checklist, so to speak, that speaks to the inner man. It lists "As your husband I feel respected when. . . I feel you are appreciating my pursuits in my field (my desire to work and achieve), I feel you are appreciating my position as overseer (my desire to protect and provide, and even die for you), I feel you're appreciating my power on your behalf (my desire to be strong, to lead, and make decisions), I feel you're appreciating my perspective and proposals (my desire to counsel and analyze), I feel you are valuing your partnership and pastimes (my desire for a shoulder to shoulder friendship), I feel you are appreciating my passions and pleasures (my desire for sexual intimacy)." These items seem to be core issues/desires in men (they are not built like us!) and although the source of this list is Christian-based, I feel anyone can relate and apply them to any man in their lives. Thinking of you both and hoping the lines of communication stay open, in order to grow together.
 
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So I'm going to answer this from a male perspective, based on your post, and I'm going to simply say what I think. I'm not saying this to be mean or hurt you, though I expect some of the things I say won't be easy to hear. I may get some things wrong about you - this is your first post after all - so if you think I'm wrong, say so, and show me why.

But be open to the possibility that I may be right too - because if I am, it's maybe a chance for you to figure that out about yourself and start changing the path you're walking on.
I told him if he couldn't say he was sorry or make it up to me that we should probably get a divorce...(threat)...and he said he was moving out. That was the first week in November.
So after days of being mean to him because of something that happened at a wedding, you threatened him, and he called your bluff, and now you regret your rash, thoughtless, hurtful action.

I was floored, I begged and pleaded, cried and argued..nothing worked. He had been sleeping on the couch and even though we weren't fighting and we were laughing and joking...I would think we were healing..but then he'd still sleep on the couch. He would also stay out until 10 or 7am and not answer my texts or phone calls.
How long had this been going on?
His issues with me are that he's been complaining for years about problems he has with me and I've ignored it (mostly true). He says he doesn't think he's in love with me anymore. I finally told him to just go and he left on Dec. 15th.
So for years, he's tried to address issues in the relationship and YOU ADMIT that you didn't want to deal with it, so you ignored it - till it was too big to ignore and too late to avoid.

You are my ex-wife (except for the kids). I tried to address problems in our marriage for years, she would *say* she wanted to address them too but never took action. Ultimately, the relationship ended. She used to say things like, "Well you should probably dump me" and the like - and eventually she got her wish.

He has been very supportive with the kids and scheduling arrangements, he answers phone calls and texts, talks and laughs with me, but I have no idea if we are getting better or not. He says he's 50/50. He's been staying at another couple's house, and as of Christmas he told our daughter he hasn't found an apartment yet (probably hasn't looked very hard - or at all).
Well he's manning up with regards to the kids, and you're putting on a good front, but...

We are seeing a counselor separately every week, she said she would see us together again once he moved out. I told her and him I didn't want to see her together until after Jan first. I'm just not ready to hear him possibly say that he's having a great time or that he's signing an apartment lease, or that he's still not 'in love' with me anymore.
..you are STILL AVOIDING THE ISSUES. Why on earth would he change his opinion on about whether or not you two can work things out when you're still not stepping up to the plate. You can only fake reality in your head, but sooner or later the reality NOT in your head will step up and bite you - and it's done so, but you're still trying to fake reality by avoiding the possibility of hearing the truth.

I'm trying to get him to see that he's going to lose me if this 'separation' lasts too long.
HE CHOSE TO LOSE YOU, already! He KNOWS what your deal is, he's lived with you for more than a decade. Trying to manipulate him into thinking, "Oh wow she can paint I better not lose her" is trying to fake reality again.

I need some advice! What do I say when we go back to the counselor together again?
You go in there prepared to let down all the walls, to be hurt, to hear things you don't want to hear, and to SAY THE TRUTH, especially about yourself, even if you don't want to.

And you go in there prepared for the possibility that he's NEVER going to forgive you for your treatment of him. Oh, I'm not saying he's blameless in all this - I certainly could have handled some things with my ex better (just ask Ceashels) - but that doesn't mean her behavior in our relationship was fair, and when we split, I only left physically. I'd left her emotionally LONG before and had no interest in getting back.

Sounds like he's not where I was - you may have a chance - but the only way you're ever going to have that chance turn into reality is to start working really hard on the INNER you. Going to the gym, painting, etc. is all surface material. It's the INNER you that he's fed up with - and you need to decide whether YOU like the inner you or not, and if you do, well that's his loss, and if you don't, you better start fixing it for real honey, or it's already your loss - him leaving is just frosting on the cake.

Pleading for him to come back definitely backfired on me, seemed to push him farther away. He is definitely saddened by this, but he still left once I stopped fighting him on it. What if he says he wants to come back (before he's really ready because it's easier)? What do I say/do if he says the separation is making him happy? What do I say/do if he says he's STILL 50/50???? OMG this is just tearing me apart!
You're trying to figure out how to "handle" the situation - ie - manipulate it - that hasn't worked out for you so far - that's not going to start working for you now.

You need to really open up with your counselor and start addressing the hard to face issues with yourself first, and start to accept that you know, you can't control everything. Then, maybe, you'll start being ready to be in a relationship with him or someone else again.
 

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I'm so, so sorry to read that you're going through this. {{{{HUGS}}}}

A few thoughts:

1) As you saw, begging and pleading is the opposite of what you should do and will push him far from you. There is a very effective technique called "the 180" as in "doing the opposite of what you used to do." It means that you focus on yourself, take good care of yourself, you are neither cold nor overly affectionate with the spouse and you don't discuss the future with them. There is a long list of rules, here is a good summary of it: The Healing Heart: The 180

2) Never threaten divorce unless you are willing and ready to follow through with it. And remember that a divorce process can be started and then stopped at any time all the way up to the end.

3) If you have joint accounts, consider withdrawing half and moving it to your own account, because if you wait he might just take it all. Possession is 9/10 of the law, after all. You're probably entitled to more than half because of the children actually. Get a lawyer who can advise you.

4) It's possible that he is having an affair. If he is, reconciliation will be impossible until he ends any affair. Both have to truly want to reconcile for it to happen.

5) Remember that he is probably terrified of losing his kids. This may be affecting his behavior. Try to keep a level head and remember that you have to protect yourself.

Reconciliation is hard work and can take years. You're still in the beginning. No matter how much it is tearing you to pieces on the inside, stick to your guns and do NOT turn into a doormat in front of him, because it will just push him further away.
 

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Read Greebo's thread again and then read it one more time.

You are trying to manipulate him. gym, painting, etc is not for you....you want him to think you are wonderful...work on yourself and be wonderful instead of trying to look wonderful.

Good luck. I hope it all works out for the best...I really do. Children need loving loving parents together OR separate.
 

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i'm back. read about the abuse triangle, with yourself in the role of abuser.

this too:
 

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Sorry to hear you are going through this.

I don't want to offend but ask yourself this - would I want to be with someone that acted like me?

If he is actually working and not anything else then he is working hard for the family. You are acting like a spoiled brat (again my intention is not to offend)

I have found that when I realize that I can't change certain things, I accept them and work on the things I can change - namely me. About 11 years ago I thought my DH's moodiness was against me, I was mean to him and he finally moved out. I was a bit sad but I also had this incredible freedom and courage to do stuff on my own. It was great and I learned I was strong and capable. My dh realized that and wanted to come back home. It was only after that, that I was able to accept him for him and ever so often I tell him how much I appreciate his hard work and do small things that make him smile. I have learned what he will and wont do. He will do anything for the kids, but if he is to lets say go pick them up at a friends house I have to give the kids strict information like "your dad will pick you up at 1:00 and he will be outside waiting, please keep an eye out for him" I know he will not go up to the door and knock, I have accepted this and worked around it.

You can't change anyone - so please be nice to those around you, cuz you don't know how long they will be there.

Good luck! A marriage is HARD work but so worth it, plus your kids need to see a GOOD marriage not one with their mother that is mean to their dad. Again this post is not to offend but to help you realize you stronger than you think you are, after all we are women right?
 

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The best advice comes from the wisdom of those who have had similar experiences. You would be wise to listen. Good luck to you. Figuring out who you are and then changing yourself to be who you want to be...always comes with a lot of pain. However, those lessons are the most valuable in the long run.
 

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OMG you are in a tough situation. I guess I am going to mean.. he is working shift he should be a grown up and come home from work to be with his family. Yes he may need to unwind, he can watch tv, make breakfast for everyone when they get up or stop and buy it... I am sorry but I think u are naive to think that he is not fooling a round... Because a man will come home and take care of his family.
My man in 10 1/2 years has stopped at the bar 3x to have a beer with the boys. He has went to 3 boys weekends at the races (Nascar). Went one night to Hooters and stayed out late.. He has worked out of town he called us every night we ate supper on the phone, talked with the kids while doing homework he helped while on the phone. And called me every night before bed.
Counseling might or might not help.. It is really is in his ball park... I am sorry to be harsh but you 2 kids and your head has to be straight as possible. Prayers and hugs for u and your family...
 

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You may not want to believe that he was having an affair, but men (and women, too) are very good at hiding things from their SO. Affairs aren't exempt.

If he's out late at night (even though he does shift work) and not answering your texts or calls, chances are that he has the phone off when he's with someone else.

Most people (men and women, not just men) will do things to make the situation easier to handle. If being with someone else that is nothing like you is what he did to stand as much as he could until you made the threat, then that's more than likely something that he was doing.

I have been with my DH for almost ten years now (actually, it is ten years this week) and married nine. I've threatened divorce more times than I can remember and we're still together. Are we completely happy? Nope. Do we work on it? We do. Have I worked on the things that made me unhappy? I was... then I decided that until other things fell in place, there wasn't much else that I could do.

If your DH has complaints about you that you're sitting there not fully admitting to being guilty of, then I would honestly say that this is more your fault than his. He has told you for years about the things that have bothered him and you haven't done a thing to fix them. You were mean, spiteful and hurtful to him and you expect him to come back?

I'm sorry to say that people are not going to come back to an abusive relationship, regardless of whether there are kids involved or not.

Even if you two worked things out with a counselor and you promised with your hand on your heart that you swear you'd change, all those years where it didn't change even after he has told you to your face about it are what's going to keep him away.

You threatened him and he made good on your threat. And quite honestly, I wouldn't come back to someone who acted that way to me either... not when there are other fish out there in the sea that don't act that way.
 

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I have to put this out there after reading some of the posts...

It is possible he is not having an affair. It is possible that the reason he isn't coming home after work is that he doesn't want to have to listen to someone saying nasty mean things to him. Any man or woman would get tired of that. It is emotional abuse and it can be just as destructive as physical abuse.
 

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I have to put this out there after reading some of the posts...

It is possible he is not having an affair. It is possible that the reason he isn't coming home after work is that he doesn't want to have to listen to someone saying nasty mean things to him. Any man or woman would get tired of that. It is emotional abuse and it can be just as destructive as physical abuse.
My thoughts exactly.

I would never - *NEVER* - have dreamed of having an affair when my wife and I were still together. Didn't mean I wanted to be around her much.
 
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I was raised by someone abusive and saw what it did to my Mom and I have been in long term relationship with an abusive man. When the door opened for me to leave.... I walked, well ran.

Being in unfamiliar territory is scary but being abused again and again causes an emotional death one blow at a time. I had emotionally distanced myself out of that relationship long before that door was available to me. I took my time getting home from work just to avoid the situation. I was not having an affair, I just needed a safe place to be. Many times it was just driving alone in my car or taking extra long at the grocery store.

I feel bad that you are in this position but you have a lot to work on in yourself before you could ever be happy with anyone else. If he is willing to stick by you and go to counseling things can get better. I hope he sticks with it because if this behavior dynamic has been happening for awhile and in front of your children..... they will learn the same behaviors and take it into their relationships as well.

I hope they get the chance to see the both of you heal.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Many of you are SOOOOOO right and I'm so glad I found this forum to ask for advice. I am going to answer some of ya'lls wonderful posts and thoughts so that maybe ya'll can expand on your advice and understand my situation more.

Greebo - thank you for giving me a man's perspective.
He would also stay out until 10 or 7am and not answer my texts or phone calls.
How long had this been going on?
It's been going on for most of our relationship and marriage. Mostly he comes in anywhere from 230am to 530am. No, there is - or at least was- no doubt in my mind that he WAS NOT having an affair. He is very easy to read when he lies so I know that before he left on Dec. 15th he was NOT seeing anyone, but now that we don't talk about what he does I can't tell if he is now.

His issues with me are that he's been complaining for years about problems he has with me and I've ignored it (mostly true). He says he doesn't think he's in love with me anymore. I finally told him to just go and he left on Dec. 15th.
So for years, he's tried to address issues in the relationship and YOU ADMIT that you didn't want to deal with it, so you ignored it - till it was too big to ignore and too late to avoid.
His issues with me where that I didn't clean the house enough (mostly clutter and issues with not being able to find things like lunch boxes), that I didn't go out with my own friends, and he thought I was jealous/resented his own social life. My fault entirely for not doing more around the house, but it wasn't dirty, just kinda messy and not as bad as many of our friend's houses but since he threatened to move out the house has been mostly spotless. I didn't go out with my friends more because I would rather stay home with my family and I'm not from around here (LA) and he grew up here (PA). I've always told him that I do not resent his social life because I understood he needs that outlet...seemingly more then most husbands...and I really, really didn't have a problem with it unless it was more then 3 times a week.

We are seeing a counselor separately every week, she said she would see us together again once he moved out. I told her and him I didn't want to see her together until after Jan first. I'm just not ready to hear him possibly say that he's having a great time or that he's signing an apartment lease, or that he's still not 'in love' with me anymore.
..you are STILL AVOIDING THE ISSUES. Why on earth would he change his opinion on about whether or not you two can work things out when you're still not stepping up to the plate. You can only fake reality in your head, but sooner or later the reality NOT in your head will step up and bite you - and it's done so, but you're still trying to fake reality by avoiding the possibility of hearing the truth.
Maybe I am avoiding the issue, but I also can feel that he is not really ready to work on 'us' and I want to give him some time to see that I AM working on me so he will be more receptive to working on 'us'.

Sounds like he's not where I was - you may have a chance - but the only way you're ever going to have that chance turn into reality is to start working really hard on the INNER you. Going to the gym, painting, etc. is all surface material. It's the INNER you that he's fed up with
Those are the only things I can think of to work on my 'inner me'. I've now read a few books on relationships, going out with my friends even when I feel like I'm dying inside, going to the gym to get out of the house and fight depressed feelings. I also told him on Christmas Eve that I realized I had made many mistakes by not recognizing the things he had asked me to do/change really were important to him (honestly I just thought he was being nit-picky), that I realized I had been selfish, and I was going to work on that.

To the many people who said I was being an abuse - you are all right. You must also understand this was probably the first time in our relationship where I had gotten really, really mad at him and didn't let it go after an hour or so. Was I abusive that first week after the wedding? YES! Have I ever done anything like that before? NO! Since I am basically a submissive person I am more of a 'go with the flow' sort of person. I come from a military family and I don't "fight unless it's the hill I want to die on".

I realize that I may be (or am) trying to manipulate him. I am changing myself for the better so that I can be a stronger/less selfish/better listener woman. I do love him so much. I don't even think he really wanted to move out when he first mentioned it, but it seems like once he made that statement he couldn't let it go. I just need to know what to do to keep him from moving farther away from me because I KNOW this relationship is fixable, I just don't want to make any more major mistakes and push him farther away.

Please give me some advice on how to reconcile my beautiful family :(
 

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Maybe I am avoiding the issue, but I also can feel that he is not really ready to work on 'us' and I want to give him some time to see that I AM working on me so he will be more receptive to working on 'us'.
This is an assumption. Until he says this himself, it is only a guess. If he wants to do the joint counseling, and you want to get your family back together, pushing out the counseling is a terrible idea. Any changes you make to get him back, they will have to be continued. You can't change for a few months, and then revert.

Greebo said everything else I would have. Never say anything, especially things like "maybe you should move out", if you aren't prepared to live with the results.
 
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