September 26, 2017 at 11:43 pm #1447
Hello – aside from my introduction post, this is technically my first post! A little background –
I am 43, and currently married and in the process of divorcing my 3rd husband. We have been married for approximately 9 1/2 years. I have 3 children from before the marriage. All are between 20-25 and out of the house. My youngest was raised by my current husband, and has a lot of years of therapy ahead of him I’m afraid. I will get into that later or maybe another time.
My husband is 45, and is an only child. His mother committed suicide when he was 24. His father died of natural causes (not really – he wasn’t taking care of himself) about 6 years after the suicide of his wife, so when my husband was 30. This left my husband essentially “orphaned”, having no other siblings and no living parents.
I met my husband about 6 months after the death of his father. I was personally coming out of my 2nd marriage, from an abusive alcoholic. (You’ll begin to see a trend with my choices in partners once you get to know me… ) Around the time when I met my current husband, I was also struggling with my then 7 year old son. I didn’t understand him, and he is my only boy, and I was convinced I just didn’t know a thing about the male species! My husband and I lived together for about 2.5 years before he agreed to be in a committed relationship with me. This bothered me tremendously, but I was thoroughly grateful for the help he provided with my son, and we were really good friends, and with his support and encouragement, I was succeeding at work and taking new opportunities. It really seemed like we had met each other at the perfect time, as he needed some help, and so did I.
After he realized he wanted to be in a committed relationship with me, and we began to “officially” be together, we continued to live together for another year or so, and then we bought our first house. The first few years were great, we were happy, even though we were poor. It bothered him more than me, but he was raised in an upper middle class family, and I was raised in a severely lower class family, so I always attributed it to him just not being accustomed to going without the way that I was used to.
Shortly after we bought the house, we got married and again, being it was my 3rd marriage, I was absolutely positively sure this was the last one. I thought the sun and moon rose and set on my husband. He was so great with my son, and he was just the biggest support that I had ever had. I was so unaccustomed to someone seeing all of my positive qualities and helping me see them for myself and really believing in me. It was such a happy time!
Then, my son became a teenager. I bet a lot of you reading this are nodding in understanding, but, I wish that was the only thing. It also turns out that as the years went by, I was realizing that things were not “right” with my son. Something was wrong, and I didn’t know what it was. I asked his doctor, I asked his teachers, I asked almost anyone that would listen, but everyone told me he was fine, and I was just being “too hard” on him. Then, he had a situation at school, and I was speaking to a friend of mine who was in education, and she said to me after I told her what happened, that I should have him tested for Autism. I thought there’s no way, because when I think of Autism, I think of Rain Man! Well, sure enough, I had him tested, and he was diagnosed with Asperger’s. Once “it” had a name, and I could research it, and learn about it, everything started clicking for me, in regards to my son’s strange behavior. Also, at about the same time, I was working a lot and traveling a lot for work, so my husband was home with my son and primarily responsible for his care. THIS is when our marriage really began to show some serious cracks.
I call it the “Perfect Storm”. The diagnosis, the teenage hormones, and me not being home as much to intervene. Unfortunately for both my husband, and my son, I didn’t realize what was happening until the damage was already done. I didn’t recognize that my husband was over his head and did not know how to deal with all of this. He became a helicopter parent and although it didn’t happen over night, the wedge of resentment that was present between my husband and my son became wider and wider and wider. Also, due to all the work and traveling that I had been doing, my income skyrocketed, and although my son did not prevent in any way my husband pursuing opportunities at his job, he remained in his position, claimed he was happy doing what he was doing, but it severely bothered him that my paycheck was so much more than his. It was not that I ever threw it in his face, but it was definitely an issue for him.
Through out my son’s middle school and high school career, my husband and I separated several times. We always ended up back together, because we both needed each other on some level. It was very difficult for my son. He resented the helicopter parenting style of my husband, and even though I did not disagree with the message and/or lessons my husband was trying to teach, his delivery was never a way that I would have chosen to implement. Also, my husband who always enjoyed a few beers when he came home from work was starting to drink hard alcohol, and in the course of maybe 6 years, he went from a large bottle of vodka a week (which I thought was excessive at the time) to now he is up to a large bottle a day or maybe every other day.
I have been asking my husband for a lot these past years. I don’t think it’s been unreasonable. I asked him to learn more about my son’s condition so that he could understand the difference between things he was choosing to do, and things he had no control over. I asked him to try to help me more with finances – not by contributing more income from him personally, but just being involved in general, so he would know and understand where the money was going, and then would not feel so “deprived” if we could not have something that he wanted, or go somewhere that he wanted. The last thing I asked him to do, was cut back on his drinking.
To date – my husband has been able to do none of the above. As as matter of fact, on every level he has gotten worse. It finally has gotten to a point where I can no longer sustain this marriage and I have filed for divorce. Through this process, I realized that all the times before when we separated and we got back together, it was always me, that patched things up and smoothed things over. It was always me that was apologizing for all the wrongs – my son, my income, etc. I don’t know why I never noticed it before, but this time around I did. It was like a light bulb went off! I was listening to him during a conversation where he was telling me everything that was wrong with me, and wrong with what I say, do, and react, and at the same time, he was saying the end of the marriage was 50/50. Yet, if I tried to bring up something that made me come to this decision, it was quickly turned back around on me, or my son.
I’ve been living like this for weeks, since we’re still technically living together. No matter what I say, he tries to force me to admit that the only reason I am divorcing him is because he doesn’t make enough money. This is not true – although, I have admitted that of course it would be wonderful if he did, I wouldn’t feel so much pressure, but this was apparently the wrong thing to say, because that’s what he has latched on to. I refuse to admit that I need him to make more money, because for me, it’s not about the amount he makes, it’s more about the fact that he will say/suggest/recommend something that costs money, and then the expectation is that I will fulfill that desire because I have the income, and he doesn’t. I have only asked him to figure out for himself how to make some things happen. Not everything that he wants is for the family – sometimes it’s just for him (hunting/fishing trip, etc.). I am happy to sit down with him and create a budget to get him to the goal, but that is not what he wants. He wants to be able to write the check or swipe the card and let me work the hours to pay it off. I just don’t think that’s fair or reasonable.
Anyway – to the advice…. so the paperwork has been filed, and I thought we would have to remain living together until it is final, and I can refinance the house into my name, and pull out some equity to give to him. We’re talking at least another 4 months due to not being able to refinance until after the 1st of the year (I am self employed first time, and I need a full year of tax returns before I can refi). While we’ve been living together I have been working very hard to be civil, and compassionate, and understanding. Knowing full well that my life isn’t going to change much when he’s gone. I work from home, I pay all the bills, and I don’t rely on his income whatsoever. For him though, it’s going to be a complete upheaval, and he is NOT happy about it. It only causes him to find more fault and blame with me, and no matter how much I try to be civil or understanding, he is in full on attack mode.
I found this site literally from a Google search of “How to win an argument with a narcissist”. Unfortunately, what I found was what I was afraid of. It doesn’t happen.
He is actually moving out this weekend. He decided to move in with a co-worker and has been bragging to me about how much money he is going to save, and how great his life is going to be once he’s out of this house and away from me, and my drama. And the advice I need is how to I stop feeling so sad?? I am so conflicted with emotion because I absolutely want this to end. The roller coaster is no longer fun. But I cannot stop crying over knowing that he is going to be gone and even though I don’t think we are compatible anymore has husband and wife, I feel a deep sadness that I wont even get to keep him as a friend. And even my head is telling me how foolish that sounds – he is not good for me. Toxic for me and my son… but yet, I still can’t seem to get past my sadness.
I guess I am just wondering if it’s normal to feel like this? I feel like I have a lot of work to do on myself, but even with that said, I have come a long way towards maturing and growing up and becoming a person that I am proud to be. I am a hard worker and a loving mother and wife. I am a provider to the Nth degree and love to give to my family. I don’t know if my sadness is a sense of failure for having yet a 3rd failed marriage… or if it’s a sense of failure because I couldn’t be who my husband needed, and neither could my son. I don’t know if it’s a sense of loss or mourning… I just can’t understand how I can be so confident that this divorce is absolutely necessary, but be so wrecked inside over it.
I am happy to answer any questions. I welcome any suggestions.
For self care – I am doing the following:
I have been seeing a medically supervised weight loss doctor since March.
I have joined a gym and hired a personal trainer (first time for both)
I am quitting smoking
I am forcing myself to go to bed at a reasonable hour
I work from home and rarely leave the house unless for errands, so I am actively making plans with friends and family to get me out of the house and some fresh air/change of scenery.
I would like to see a therapist, but I will lose health insurance once the divorce is final, and since I’m self employed, I will have to buy my own, and I have not looked into that yet.
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