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#756260 - 11/15/12 06:08 PM I left but want to save my marriage
Sad_girl_in_NJ Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/15/12
Posts: 8
Hello, everyone. I have been lurking for some time and have decided go give it a go. I'm so sad as my screen name says. Now, on to my story....

My husband and I married just under 5 yrs ago. I am 48 and he is 45. We have no children together but have a blended family. My husbands 3 boys 14, 16, and 18 and my daughter, 18. The boy's BM is deceased (alcohol abuse).

It hasn't been an easy road. The boys quickly accepted me but my D did not readily accept the new arrangement. She went back and forth between living with her dad and us much of the time. I feel my husband, meaning well pushed too hard with her and it backfired. When she reacted negatively he lashed at her.

Besides the normal strains of life and parenthood my husband and I had a great marriage. We were best of friends and always prided ourselves on being able to push through anything together. We laughed, talked, shared interests and made time for us. There were no trust issues, cheating or abuse. I treated his kids as pretty much my own. I cooked, made sure they had clean clothes, took them shopping, drs appts, sports...I handled pretty much most of their basic needs. My husband and I both worked full time. He has a federal job on an Air Force base (is National Air Guard) and I am a dental assistant. Things were going along ok. 2 yrs ago he went to school in Fla for 4 months for job training leaving me with the kids. We got through it ok but it was hard. I was kind of resentful, because he was down there in the warmth, mountain biking after class everyday while I was here buried in snow with bickering kids. I never mentioned my resentment. He came home and things seemed ok.

We make pretty good money together and he received a pretty good amount in survivor's benefits for his kids but it never seemed enough. We rented homes and moved about 4 times and the bills didn't seem to get paid on time. We shared a joint account. I really wanted us to buy a home which was adequate for our family size. Then he didn't make the payments on his truck and it was taken back. I was very angry as it ruined our chances to get a mortgage. Now we were stuck in our crappy rental! Ok, I didn't mention it again but I guess things were building up. Working full time, 3 kids (sometimes 4) in a tiny house, money issues. Just life. My husband wanted me to take on the role of mom to his 3 boys but I did not want to discipline them. He insisted I should but I didn't want to cross that line for fear of being disliked by them. This created some problems for us. I felt my husband did not understand the boundries of step parenting. We had some arguments about it and the kids but not enough to divide us.

The last one and a half years have taken a toll on our marriage. My daughter had a drug problem. She went away to rehab and my husband was very supportive. When she came home she came to stay with us. A few months after we discovered she was using again and that night we kicked her out because she refused to go back go rehab. It was a horrible evening which resulted in my husband physically trying to take her cell phone away and my daughter hitting him in return. The police were called and they advised us to let her leave which she did. I was just devastated. Well, it was a horrible night but she has been clean ever since! However, the underlying hostility remains between her and my husband and his boys. Fast forward....

My husband went on a voluntary deployment to Afghanistan for 4 months last Oct. He was gone over the holidays and during that time I was working full time and had all of the kids. They refused to listen to me regarding chores I gave them and simple rules, my oldest stepson totalled a car, and my daughter got pregnant. I became very run down and depressed but managed to work and keep the house and make a nice holiday for everyone. I didn't realize I was depressed at the time but was feeling used and not appreciated at all. My husband came home and things weren't the same. He promised he would get the kids in line but he didn't. I still did most of the cleaning and cooking while he hung out on the couch after a minor knee surgery which required minimal recovery time, I signed us up for a FREE 2 day couples retreat including bed and breakfast sponsored by the military. We didn't go. He also said we would go get a room at a [censored] in Atlantic City for a night...we never did. Sex got non existent.

My daughter came to live with us in June. She was 6 months pregnant. Since the relapse incident she had remained clean and started cosmetology school and was doing well. There was tension in the house. The boys didn't really interact with her much even though she tried. My husband said they resented her and didn't really want a baby around. One night in July things got bad. I feel my husband provoked an argument with my daughter. In that he said something negative to her about her dad knowing she would react. She was 8 months preg!! Well, she picked up an eyeglass case and threw it at him. Then stated she never liked him and never will. Then he said she had to leave the house and go live at her dad's. I thought it would blow over but over the next few days he was texting me at work asking when she was leaving. I told my daughter she had to go live at her dad's. This crushed me. There isn't really a support system for her there and I wanted so much to be there for her as I was for his kids. I know...she got preg and that was on her but, hey, we all make mistakes. I sure did and my parents helped me at the time. My husband stated he HATES my daughter many times. I would never say I hated his kids. Never. They have been far from perfect.

Feeling torn, one night I came home, announced I wanted a separation and left to go stay with a female friend. There is NO other man. At first my husband tried desperately to get me back in the house. I refused as I had too much resentment for him and the boys for not being there for my daughter. I felt had it been one of them, things would've been different and he would've been welcomed back with open arms no matter what happened. But she is the outsider and always will be. Going right back without counseling wasn't the answer.

Since I left my husband and I went on a few dates together, I went to the house and hung out and decorated the house for Halloween with his youngest. We even attended a wedding together and had a nice time. We went to an informal counseling session with the family counselor on base but my husband got mad and walked out. He blamed our separation solely on my daughter calling her bad names.

I rented a townhouse with my daughter and signed a year lease. Her bf is also here and sharing half the bills. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and is back at school and her bf is in the process of signing up in the Air Guard.

I know it sounds like a tough hill to climb but I want to take this time to save my marriage. I love my husband immensely and I know he loves me. I feel there was so much breakdown in communication in our house. Me, him, kids. Last week we talked in the phone. He says he will always love me and thanked me for being a good wife and all I have done for his kids. He thanked me for "showing him what a real woman is" . He asked me if I was seeing anyone and the answer of course was no. He said he was glad because if the answer was yes, he would be upset. I told him I would honor our marriage vows until all is said and done. I asked him in return and he said no, he would only just think of me. It would make him sick.

However, I told him I didnt' want to be without him. He said, "Me either but it will never work because of the situation". I told him we BOTH screwed up our marriage and he said he didn't agree. It was me. I left. I put my daughter before our marriage. He feels our marriage should come FIRST. I feel I shouldn't have been forced to chose. A mature man would have said to her..."ok, if u don't like me then just don't ask me for anything" not forced her to leave. He is putting ALL of the blame on my daughter and I. Maybe I shouldn't have left. He says I abandoned him and we can't work on a marriage apart. I disagree. We can and it can be fabulous. Everytime I say I miss him and don't want to be without him I just says I left. Like everything is black and white. No gray. He is upset I signed a year lease. Says he's not waiting that long "in limbo". Why is fixing your marriage limbo? I don't get it.

We talk and text. He is very nice and even offers to pay half my car ins and told me not to switch my cell phone acct yet. I got my own bank acct and pay all of my living expenses myself. When I text him he responds and engages in convo about whatever. I think this can be saved. I don't think he is ready for a divorce yet. We did discuss it. He said we can do it "after the holidays". I was hurt and I told him "Why wait? Do it now?". He said he would do it online over the weekend but he didn't. Said he is busy. He had complimented me asking if I am dating "because I am a very attractive woman and get lots of attention". Obviously, he is worried and still very attracted to me. As I said..I will never break my vows with another man. All that can wait till IF we get divorced. He says he doesn't want to lose me in his life all together "can we be friends?". That would be hard for me to do at this point. It's been 3 1/2 months since we separated. I really want to make this work. I don't want to end our marriage...even though I left. Try not to bash me too hard. I know leavers aren't very popular around here. At this time my husband is saying it won't work but I feel so much love between us still. He has backed off on calling and texting. Usually I do it first. But just to tell him to have a nice day or wish him Happy Veterans Day. As I said, he always responds.

Other than a lot of bitching and complaining I was a very good wife to him and he was a good husband. We just got wrapped up in our teams with our kids. His vs hers. Also, money issues stress and exhaustion with 4 teens. Ugh. How should I proceed to get him to work on this and see his part too? I called the base family counselor today because I want to start counseling for me even if he isn't ready yet. I'm waiting for a call back. I want my husband and marriage back! I am holding out hope until papers are signed.

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#756261 - 11/15/12 08:12 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: Sad_girl_in_NJ]
elliesmom Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 8852
I think you are both wrong. And right.

You had extremely unrealistic expectations in your role with his sons. Their mother is dead and their father deploys. That means you will have to be the sole disciplinarian for periods of time. You abdicate that and chaos will ensue. And it did. I imagine he was very frustrated with you refusing to do what he could not - that is not a marriage team.

Your daughter. Your ADULT daughter physically assaults your husband, who is graciously allowing her to live in his home after bringing drugs in and around his kids, he orders her out and you think HE is the problem? I don't care what he said. You don't hit people who make you mad. If you are going to take her side when she is clearly in the wrong - I don't know how you expect the marriage to work.

I can't imagine being married to someone who disliked my child though. I think his dislike is likely just a manifestation of his profound frustration with you excusing her behavior and how that has crumbled his marriage, but only you can find that out.

I truly don't get the money stuff. Either you share finances or you don't. If you don't - then his truck is his problem and get your own mortgage. If you do - I don't know how his truck got repo'd without you knowing. All this hints at is that you guys were never playing on the same team.

What is it about this relationship that you are trying to save?
_________________________
Forgiveness is...letting go of the hope that the past can be changed.

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#756262 - 11/15/12 09:26 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: elliesmom]
Sad_girl_in_NJ Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/15/12
Posts: 8
Thank you for reading, Ellie and I appreciate your honest input. I want to clarify that when we asked my daughter to leave at the time of her relapse we BOTH agreed and I felt justified in doing so. As far as I know she never brought any substance into our home and I would not stand for that around the boys. I was in no way excusing her behavior. About our finances, we shared an acct but he paid all the bills. I never really asked him what was getting paid and what wasn't. We needed both of our credit to get a mortgage. I don't make enough income to get it myself. I know I've made my mistakes. I was drained and not thinking clearly in the situation.

You ask me what is it about the relationship I am trying to save? I want to save our family, our friendship, our love ...everything.

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#756263 - 11/15/12 09:32 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: Sad_girl_in_NJ]
ssmom79 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 7988
A marriage is always a tough hill. Have you considered counseling? Something to help you two communicate and learn to communicate with each other.

It can be so difficult when you find yourselves on his vs. hers teams and when you have kids in the mix it can add to the stress. But you can learn to cope with it, learn how to accept what you cannot change and focus on what you can. It sounds like neither of you want to abandon your marriage. That is the first step and for many it's a lot of progress just knowing you're both willing to work at it.

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#756264 - 11/15/12 09:32 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: Sad_girl_in_NJ]
Sad_girl_in_NJ Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/15/12
Posts: 8
...and now I realize my daughter is an adult and I will put our marriage first from now on. Do you think this can be resolved through counseling if he participates?

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#756265 - 11/15/12 09:42 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: Sad_girl_in_NJ]
Sad_girl_in_NJ Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/15/12
Posts: 8
SSmom, think you for reading my long post. We love each other very much. I would hate to give up a lifetime because of kids and money problems. I feel overwhelming guilt for leaving it's just that I thought we needed to get the teams in different corners to work on it. I miss my family together. Those were the happiest times in my life. Having everyone in the same room talking and having fun but we got divided somewhere along the way.

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#756266 - 11/15/12 10:02 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: Sad_girl_in_NJ]
elliesmom Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 8852
If your husband truly can put aside any animosity he has for your daughter and you both discover in counseling that you can come to an agreement on your expectations of one another - I wouldn't call your marriage doomed. But those are tall orders. And you may find that you can't agree. That you simply avoided arguing about those things on which you could not agree for a long time. Some people make that work - agreeing to disagree - but you have to confront those issues not hide them from one another (truck repos, your resentment at him for the responsibility of caring for his kids, etc.).

I find it difficult to believe your daughter was an addict and never had drugs in your home or was on them in your home. As a parent - knowing someone did that I would never want them around my kids again. My point was - he DID let her come back and live with his kids. Probably at your request. And then she hit him with something. And it became a huge fight between him and his wife. You can see how he might be resentful of her, to avoid getting angry at you - because he loves you?

My husband and I went on an "Engaged Encounter" weekend before we married. I found their program very helpful in identifying potential issues and forcing you to face them and helping you come to an agreement. They have other programs for married couples and for married couples having difficulties. It is faith based. We went to a Catholic one - though we aren't Catholic - and didn't find that it mattered (we just skipped the NFP lecture since we believe in birth control). But if that program is as good as their engaged program - I would have to recommend it. You can check it out at retrouvaille.org
_________________________
Forgiveness is...letting go of the hope that the past can be changed.

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#756267 - 11/15/12 10:22 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: elliesmom]
Sad_girl_in_NJ Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/15/12
Posts: 8
I didn't say she never had drugs in the house. I just didn't see any. We searched her room and car and didn't find anything. She has been clean for over a year and a half and I am very proud of her for that. Thank you for the suggestion. I hope we can find our way out if this mess. I am willing to take my share of blame and change.

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#756268 - 11/16/12 11:29 AM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: Sad_girl_in_NJ]
Sad_girl_in_NJ Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/15/12
Posts: 8
Update: My husband and I spoke much of last evening through text (I was watching my grandson so a phone convo wasn't going to happen). When we started out he was a bit tenative. I poured my heart out telling him how I didn't want to end our marriage. We went back and forth pointing some fingers but overall it was a very good convo. There was a lot of love and he was happy I texted him. He said he would think about the counseling but he seems to be leaning in the direction of going. He also said he hopes we can get together soon and talk. I am happier now that there is hope. Thank you all for reading.

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#756269 - 11/16/12 05:09 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: Sad_girl_in_NJ]
ssmom79 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 7988
Keep pressing the importance of having an impartial third party help you both to learn to talk to each other and listen. I really think that counseling can assist those who want it to work. Best wishes for a positive progression from here.

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#756270 - 11/16/12 08:25 PM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: ssmom79]
Sad_girl_in_NJ Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/15/12
Posts: 8
Thank you, ssmom...I agree that is key to saving this. If we talk about issues unassisted it would just turn into a bash fest on each other's kids as usual. Thank you for your well wishes. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#756271 - 11/18/12 03:02 AM Re: I left but want to save my marriage [Re: Sad_girl_in_NJ]
finz Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/17/08
Posts: 6756
I'm glad you were open to listening to EM's comments on your parenting. That seems to be a huge part of this.

His sons are in a different position that your dd. Your dd still has a dad. His sons lost their mom. It sounds like your husband wanted you to step up and fill a full parenting partnership role with them, while you expected that you should treat them with the full mom love, but limited mom discipline, that you saw as being the step parent role. Communication might have saved a lot of stress there.

Yes, we have all made mistakes. Your dd has made some SERIOUS mistakes. They are more serious than a teen smashing a car (as long as that wasn't a DUI and no one was killed). People can triumph after making serious mistakes. A first step is looking like you have learned from them and matured. A dd who is preggo and dependent on a parent and a step who she has already put through hell with her drug problems has no business throwing things in anger. It doesn't matter what he may have said first. That you backed up her poor judgement should infuriate your husband.

I'd start with owning some of these parenting issues. That you screwed up with excusing your dd's behavior. That you didn't try to step up with his kids when your hubby was deployed. (Truthfully, teens aren't easy.....it probably wouldn't have all gone smoothly even if you were in your best disciplinary mode, but magically thinking teen boys will control themselves for months when dad was away was poor judgement). Tell him those things that you recognize that you need to change.

Then talk about what more you need from him. Probably giving your dd another shot, if/when she acts sincerely repetent.

The money issue is fixable if you both want it to be. If he has a history of being a late/non payor, then you do the bills. Period. Deal breaker. You can work out of you both put your whole checks in and get a "working allowance" and what your savings goals are, or if you keep some seperate and contribute "x" amount into a joint bills account....your choice. Tell him that I said that as "the spender" in my relationship. You gotta go with your strengths as a partnership.

It sounds like you both want to make this work. Good Luck !

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