Marriage Trouble

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ML, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    I have been meaning to post about my situation for a while now but finding the time is always a challenge. The computer is in the basement and difficult child has me on a short leash. His separation type anxieties are as heightened as ever and he doesn't like me far from him.

    I was married for 17 years to my first husband. I left finally because of his gambling addiction. He was doing too many things that were harmful to us as a family. I went through 13 years of trying to have a child and thought life would be so much better than it turned out to be. I begged and pleaded with him to stop what he was doing (won't go into details) and get a job but he told me in no uncertain terms that he would never stop and would never get a job. I left with my then 2.5 year old son because he was unable to provide any kind of stability and now that I was a mom, I needed that more than ever. This was before I really knew I had a difficult child.

    Here comes the dumb part. I went into a rebound online relationship barley weeks after the divorce was final. We dated for about a year (it was a semi long distance one whereby we traveled every 3 - 4 weeks back and forth). I fell hard and thought that I had finally discovered love and a soul mate. I had just turned 40 then. We got married and he moved to my state and and we tried to start a life together.

    He was a sober alcoholic (about 8 years). Almost immediately I realized that things weren't what I had expected. He was moody and withdrawn and acted like he hated me. I guess he resented giving up a life that he had known all his life for love that couldn't provide whatever he had expected it would. I think he is bipolar and he met me during a high phase and that was the person I fell in love with. It was really stupid of me to jump so quickly into another marriage. Believe me I know and I've done a lot of beating up on myself for it too.

    Coming off one divorce, I was determined to MAKE this work. I could change, I could make him happy, right? Wrong. Five years later and I'm more unhappy than ever and so is he. I don't think he has ever been happy though. He went back to drinking for a while and just in the past 3 weeks went into the hospital for alcholism and has been a dry drunk since. It's almost worse than when he was drinking because at least then he was nice and warm torwards me at times. Now he withdrawls and detaches giving off silent hositilty and resentment and it's killing my spirit. My difficult child son has been through a lot of change. I want to leave so badly but I am not sure how difficult child will rebound. He's known husband for 5 years as a stepdad. He doesn't do change well at all. And husband despite being withdrawn emotionally has shown my son a lot of love and difficult child loves him in his own way.

    husband does nothing to help me. I am raising difficult child alone and it's so hard. We don't even interact at all and when we do he's a jerk and I'm a @#tch. We bring out the worst in each other. He had already raised 2 kids and hadn't signed up for a difficult child. I don't blame him. It's just too much for him and I can accept that.

    I have no resentment towards him. I forgive him and I am working on forgiving myself for having jumped into the deepend of this life that I now find myself drowning in. I just want to do what's right but I can't stand his unhappiness and resentment towards me any more. I've made enough bad choices in my life that I'm so afraid of making another one.

    As unhappy as he is, he doesn't seem like he's going to leave without my initiating it. I'm not sure why.

    I could use some advice.

  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Gosh, it is so hard. I have been there done that. I have been married twice, both times to the wrong guy. Both times it has negatively impacted my son in a profound way.

    In your situation, I think you have to sluice out your needs from your difficult children though. Not to be simplistic, but I would make a list of pros and cons for both you and your son, and evaluate it. I am unclear in your post how close your son and husband are. If when you evaluate the pros and cons and realize that the only reason you are staying with husband is because difficult child does not like change, than that certainly is not a reason to stay in a long term relationship that is unhappy. But if there are multiple reasons that the both of you might benefit from in staying, then maybe it is worth the time, money, and energy to try and go to counseling and salvage the relationship.

    For me, personally, I am a big proponent of doing what is best for you as the parent - because ultimately it trickles down and affects the child. My self esteem was so badly damaged by my last marriage, that it has taken me 3 years of therapy and self work to repair it. To me, nothing in the world would have been worth staying in that relationship, nothing. And, consequently, my son saw that, and knew that marriage, and that man, were a bad thing.

    Every scenario is different, and every person is ultimately you will have to decide the best choice for you. Just try to go into it as objectively as you can - feelings aside - and I think the truth will be waiting.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you WW. That was really good advice.

    I would love to work on the marriage but husband won't communicate with me about it, or anything. He's shut down. He truly acts like he hates me but I know it's himself he hates. This addiction thing is ugly. I really am powerless.

    I don't know how close difficult child and husband are. I know that my son likes knowing he's there and feels comforted by his presence.

    Anyway, I want to thank you for responding. I feel so awful and stupid ya know? The good news is that I feel like I've grown in many ways and know that I wouldn't make the same bad choices today. That's something I guess.


  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Oh Michele. Hugging you right now.

    You could be me!! In fact, you AND your second husband could be me! Neither one of you are bad people, just not great together.

    Sweetie, WW is right. Your happiness affects your child, either directly or indirectly. If it is not good for you, your child can FEEL it even if he can't see it.

    Do NOT beat yourself up for one more second. Your original goal was what is best for your child. Am I right? that is why you left the gambler. That is why you hooked up with the new guy. and this is why you are considering leaving the new guy. You are allowed mistakes. But the thing is, your ULTIMATE goal is STILL your child. So you are doing just fine, and you have been all along.
  5. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Don't beat yourself up. I would talk to a lawyer and see the best way to do this. It might be hard, but it's harder to stay in this situation. You didn't know, how could you? You know whats best for your child now. That's the direction you've always been going in.(((hugs)))-Alyssa
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you all who were kind enough to respond to my post. It's not easy posting such personal stuff but I really don't have any real life support and am feeling isolated. So I'm sorry if I crossed the line and gave out too much information. Michele
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does husband improve your life in any way? Did he once? How?

    What has changed in you BOTH that makes this not work like it did in the beginning?
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    What happened is that we got married before really knowing each other. We knew each other for a year but we did long distance dating which isn't a true test of compatibility. I think he's bipolar but I never saw the down side of it before we got married. When we were fist together he was so happy and full of words of love and appreciation. After we were married a few months he was sullen, introverted, detached, hostile and unhappy. I changed as a result I suppose. I gained about 20 pounds so that is one way I changed. Basically, I stopped being happy. At first I blamed myself for his unhappiness but have come to realize I'm not responsible for it. Nor he mine. He will not change. His basic personality is depressive and negative and mine's pretty upbeat and positive most of the time. Not saying my way is better. We're just wired differently.

    The one way he improves my life is by his consistency. His presence is a comfort to my son who has known a lot of instability. My son has a love hate relationship with both of us.

    Financially: I make twice what he does. I do 95 percent of the work around the house but some days the thought of doing an extra 5 percent is huge. And occasionally he'll watch difficult child so I can get out of the house. I don't have anyone else who can do that. So there are advantages.

    Thanks for making me think busywend.

  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    It takes two people to make a marriage work. If you're willing to try, i.e., go to counseling, etc., and he's not, then it's not going to change no matter how much you want it to. Is he willing to do what it takes? If he's not and you decide to stay then you have to be ok with the way things are, otherwise it will just breed resentment. Being lonely in a marriage is way worse than being lonely alone.
  10. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I don't think I could have said it better than WW and Wynter. Your happiness or unhappiness does trickle down to your son like WW said. And being lonely in a marriage IS way worse than being lonely alone like Wynter said.

    Don't beat yourself up about any of it. You were and are trying to figure out what is best for your son and you both. We all make mistakes, we're human. We can't always be right, even if we wish we could.

    Don't ever feel like posting in Watercooler about anything is too much information or not board appropriate. Thats what the watercooler is for, at least thats what I've come to think it is for. I ask questions about my cat, we tell joks, share recipes, and talk about things outside of our kids. This is an online family in a way and this is what we're here for. Support!
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    ASO, is right. We are very much like a family here. Only better. I wouldn't spend this much time with any members of my family. LOL

    What I have found here is support without judgment, compassion and lots of hugs.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, he may change, but it will only be temporary if he is bipolar and not medicated.

    It is important to be happy for yourself. A marriage is supposed to add to your happiness in life, but it is not your entire life. When he became sullen and unhappy after getting married, perhaps it was due to the expectations of marriage not being what he thought - but when he will not communicate what can you do? I am with a non-communicator. We went through a spell and broke up last year. We both realized we did not want to be without the other. But, we had to communicate a lot during the months of getting back together. Some of it was painful, let me tell ya! If he was not going to open up - we would not be together today.

    No matter what you decide to do with your marriage - you need to decide to get happy right now. That may very well mean ending the relationship - but the reason will be much clearer when you are happy.
    One never knows - the happiness you used to have could be just what attracted him to you and when he sees it again....truly you just never know.
    That last bit is assuming you would want it to work out and improve.
  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    You mentioned that husband treats you like he hates you. Have you read "The Verbally Abusive Relationship"?

    I found myself in the pages of that book some years back. All at once, I understood exactly what was happening in my marriage and could combat it.

    Wishing well.

  14. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    go to counseling with or without him to sort out your feelings.
    you also could try a trial seperation for a bit to have time apart to think.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member