Why can't I pull the trigger on ending the marriage?
posted by anonymous to human relations (49 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Married 8 years. Always been up and down. Fights, yelling, arguing, and yet some amazing times. I've seen amazing love, concern, caring, generosity, effort, sincerity. But I've also seen/been the brunt of emotional/verbal abuse, selfishness, not sure if he's depressed/bipolar or what, laziness, disrespect, screwed up priorities, sometimes even as far as going "wow. Do we REALLY have anything in common beyond some laughs?"
I do know he loves me. But I think it's some sort of mixed up love. I honestly feel like I'm the replacement mother opposed to the partner/wife that I should be viewed as. During bad arguments I get accused of being exactly like his mother, giving him no support (which usually means to him shut up and hear his tirades--which I won't). I think he also likes the fact that I make more and well, he's got a pretty good life. He's contributed to bills but also his idea of priorities with work are golfing, going out, etc. over working extra or on the days he should work.
We had our son 18 months ago and towards the tail end of the pregnancy, fighting increased and the "hmmm" regarding this marriage became a huge question for me.
Then as soon as we brought the baby home it was a HUGE "hmmm this just isn't right. His priorities are screwed up, I am sick of the way he argues (yelling, blamming me, zero accountability or apologies)" and since then I've been more or less obsessed with figuring out this marriage. Fix it? Give up? Is it worth it? Is this going down a road to misery and god, can I live with him for another 30 years? I've entered therapy trying to sort all of this out INCLUDING figuring myself out and fixing the negatives I instilled in this marriage (my admitted lack of patience, arguing style, passion/affection because I'm just so bitter/angry at him, etc). So I'm not saying I"m a joy to be with either. I'm learning a lot. But I've also seen 4 lawyers and know that I have 2 years to make a decision since the reality is any marriage over 10 years makes logistics legally very hard on me (alimony, 401k, etc). Sorry but I also need to know the impact since I'm losing everything if I divorce (50% split). He will only be responsible for nominal child support since he makes sig. less.
But that's just it. The issues. Therapy was tried 5 times. Didn't work, he said it was pointless unless I was the one who was fixed.
Fighting is all about me, my fault, I caused it, etc. even if it means out of the blue WTF arguments that he started. I try my best to ignore or calmly deal, but his style is to accuse, overblow, blowup, and just get childish/immature to the point where I shut down and not deal with him.
Since the baby, we hardly see each other. His rationale is he watches the child 2 days but watching isn't quality. It's our son running around while he's texting, FBing, or working. So I come home, he immediately leaves for the gym. I go to bed. He remains out and usually goes out with friends to the bar. This is M-F.
If it's not that schedule it's "hey I talked with so and so and we made plans to go to X" sometimes I'm included. Sometimes not. And if I/the baby are included, it's totally like we're the 3rd wheel because he made plans with them first. We discuss nothing.
He feels obligated to help a friend out to the extreme all because he helps us with some house duties such as babyproofing. DH's personal/work car is his. He pays for it. Friend who is his employee, doesn't have a car. So he uses DH's. Fine. DH uses mine sometimes when I'm at work. Fine. But after work? He GIVES his friend the car and we're left with one. If my car, which I told him we have to watch the miles since I have zero money to get a new one, needs fixing and it's going to inconvenience him where his friend has to drive him to get my car and it's a long time before it's ready....he gets mad at ME because my car, needs, time to get it repaired is causing his friend to wait for the car. Hello, it's DH's car in the first place. Tough. No car, no money to afford one on his own, too bad. Not my problem.
Money. He is bad at money management. He won't work with me to get things in order. His business is always up and down, thus money is up and down, thus my stable income is 100% relied on so....why work more? I make enough to cover mortgage, etc. Living pay to pay? Who cares? He got invited for golf---he goes. If he can't find a nanny/sitter on his day to watch our child, he complains that he doesn't get to do anything and damn it, it's unfair. In short, ridiculously selfish, childish, bratty, spoiled teen attitude when in reality, he doesn't realize that he JUST went golf last week. Boo hoo he can't go golfing again for one day.
Money is also a concern since retirement? Hell no. It's all because of me and my efforts. He refuses to figure out a way to get his own CD, IRA, whatever. Even if it's $25 a month.
Priorites with the child. Does he take him to the park to release some energy? Nope. And he wonders why a tantrum is now an expected thing around our house over every little thing. He wants to go out. Can't find a sitter. Thinks of anyone to watch our child--even if I dont' know them or it's a friend of a friend of a friend or some 14 year old. His needs need to be met over the safety/logic of a STRANGER watching our kid.
Lazy. Zero housework. Zero outside work. I do it all or he pays someone to do it. Or it doesnt' get done.
So why stay?
I. Don't. Know.
I've never broken up with anyone. I'm scared of who the hell who is normal would want a 38 year old w/ 1 young child. I have a history of picking losers obviously. And my therapist said I have never seen a healthy relationship since I grew up in one of the most fucked up houses she's ever seen (made her cry when I told her the abuse I witnessed, etc).
So does that mean I'm doomed for failure? Great. With a kid, I don't even want to try out of fear of what lazy, addict, etc. will I wind up with if I married one (yes he is a pot smoker; sorry, not my thing). I'm terrified for who I will expose my child to.
And lastly divorce logistics. Every lawyer said because I make more I owe 50% of the house equity, maintanance via the 401k, pension, paying for HIS lawyers. I will only get 20% child support. When someone doesn't make much, I'm expecting $200 a month at the most. Not the point for me since I've been taking care of our child's needs.
So with all this mess and negativity why am I staying? I understand my fears. Therapist said I'm living a life of excuses. Maybe she's right. I'm miserable but it's also the fact of life that he's going to flip out if I serve him. With all of the cash going out the door in the divorce, how will my son and I live? I know not destitute or in a bad situation but still--can we afford a house, bills, etc and be ok?
I don't understand why I stay. I don't know why I let fear override me instead of giving me what I know in my gut we need. And I don't know why I let excuses after excuses guide me down a road of this in the first place or not seeing an exit when it's right in front of me.
I mean, I'm even questioning if this is really all me being just intolerable to what a marriage/relationship is like yet my gut is always telling me "dude, you and your child deserve better. This is fucked up unfair, not a partnership, yes he's using you, and you are wasting your life."