This is my first post, and I know this story is long, so Ill try to leave out some details, and ask if questions if I dont make sense!
I'm 37 and my husband is 42. He has pretty bad OCD. We have been married almost 12 years, and have an 11 year old son (who has been a challenge from day 1-severe colic, sleep disorders, high anxiety, but very smart and handsome and physically/sports talented, but also very defiant and difficult to deal with-he already weighs well over 100 lbs and is as tall as me, and has no problem puching holes through walls because he has to do homework or something), a 9 year old daughter (very sweet, good girl), and a 4 year old son (super mellow sweetie pie-has epilepsy and a severe speech disorder).
My husband is an auto designer, and I am a photographer/own my own business/SAHM.
Just before my oldest son was born, my husband started to become verbally abusive toward me. It started mildly, but I thought it was stress. He never drank, cheated, always paid the bills and we were always together, so I tried to get him to stop caling me names and think before he yelled.
When my son was born, everything got hard. He had severe colic. My husband would not even hold him. He refused to come home unless I could stop the crying-which I couldnt.Onve my son was over the colic, he started having night terrors three or four times a night, every night. I had my daughter when he was 20 months, and still, my husband did not want to be involved in thier care. His resentment of me, (I am not sure what he resented, since I did ALL child care, ALL household chores, ALL night care, and he went to work, watched TV, and fished) intensified. His verbal abuse became horrible, to my and my older son. I insisted we see counselors, and he went. He got kicked out of one office for his hostility, and went to another alone, where he began taking Zoloft.
It worked well-for a time. He seemed calmer, happier, more caring. We decided to have a 3rd child. Once, I was pregnant, he quit the meds cold turkey and refused to return to his counselor. Things worsened.
Over time, he began living a life that only included Television and forcing my oldest to play AAA hockey and force extensive training on him. My husband went through stages where he wouold become obsessed with things, like once it was flipping houses, once it was Jack Russell terriers, and body building. He would only discuss these things, researched them day and night for maybe 6 months, be completely consumed by them-then drop it suddenly. He went through days where he would rage-accuse me of cheating (I NEVER even thought of it!) and try to force admissions from me that I had, sometimes refusing to even let me sleep at night unless I admitted to cheating, which I would not do. He would have issues with road rage, with kids in the car, that culminated in him getting out of the car and trying to fistfight. I was locked out of the financial accounts. I was not allowed to drive or touch our new Jeep-it was "his". He bought an old car for $500.00 for me to drive the kids around in.
He started talking about me in inappropriate/sexual ways to the kids to embarrass me. He told them I would not care for them of they left with me. He woud use any excuse to call my son names, knock him down, or hold him by the neck. Finally, he started telling me and others that he wished I were dead, and that he wanted to shoot me or punch me so hard I would not ever get up. On the last day, he started to call me over times to scream "you F----ing A-----le!" then slam the phone down, then call again and repeat.
I left. I got a PPO and went to my mom's house 4 hours north. I thought we would be Ok there for a while. I was wrong.
My mom insisted that I file for divorce that week. I wanted to talk to my pastor first, and was considering Legal Seperation. She threatened to call CPS and try to take my kids unless I filed. I caved because I was weak and tired and so sad. I filed.
I got sole legal and physical custody of the kids. My husband contacted me and begged me not to divorce him. I got confirmation that he has been seeing a psychotherapist and back on his meds since we left in April. He said he knew he was wrong, that he wants to fix this situation, that he will do anything the right what he can of his wrongs, and that he loves us and is so sorry. I told him we would stay here for now, but I would reconsider the divorce if he continued in therapy.
My mom is FURIOUS! She started stealing and copying my legal papers, and is threatening to say I am a child abuser and petition for my kids unless I divorce and stay here. She calls me and my kids names like "liars" and "wussy" and "retards". She "punishes" us by turning off power to the house, and turning off the water heater.
I had hoped to move into an apartment with the kids in my old town near my husband by fall, but ONLY if he was following through with his therapy. Now, my mom has threatened to have me written out of a substantial will if I do, call CPS, and has told everyone she knows that I am a child abuser, enabler, and not to come near us because my son has Bipolar (he does not).
I am so upset. Here, I have no health insurance, no job, no business, no freinds, and cannot finish school. There, I can finish my program at college, have health insurance, go to counseling with my husband and kids, get a job/continue with my clients, from the safety of an apartment if my husband backslides. Also, my youngest may be being weaned from his seizure meds, and I do not want to be 4 hours away from his neuro if he starts to seize again-and driving is a trigger for him.
I am so sad. I feel like I am stuck in the middle of a tug-of-war, and I love everyone involved. I am a devout Christian, and also a child of divorce, and I VEHEMENTly HATE divorce, although I realize sometimes it is necessary.
I my heart is so broken, I am so sad. Any advice is appreciated.
Do not go back to your husband. It is way to soon. How do you know that he won't stop meds and counseling again as soon as he has you home? Make him continue with those things for a really long time, minimum 1 year, before you even THINK about going back. If he is really putting on the pressure for you to come back then he could be doing all this just to impress you. Don't fall for it.
Signs he has changed. . . .
He is willing to wait however long it takes for her trust in him to be rebuilt, and does not pressure her to forgive or reconcile until she is ready.
He does not say or do things that threaten or frighten her.
He listens to and respects her opinion, even if he disagrees.
She can express anger or frustration toward him without being punished or abused.
He respects her “no” in all situations, including physical contact.
He does not prevent her from spending time with friends and family, and does not punish her later.
He is willing to continue counseling as long as necessary.
He takes responsibility for his actions, and does not blame her for his bad behavior.
He is kind and attentive instead of being demanding and controlling.
When he becomes frustrated or angry, he does not take it out on his wife or children.
When he fails, he admits his mistake and takes responsibility for changing abusive behavior.
He admits to his abusive behavior, and stops trying to blame or cover up.
He acknowledges that all the abuse was wrong, and identifies all the ways he used to justify his abusive behavior.
He acknowledges that his abusive behavior was not a loss of control, but a choice on his part.
He recognizes and is able to verbalize the effects of his abuse on his spouse and children.
He identifies attitudes of entitlement or superiority, and talks about the tactics he used in maintaining control. He replaces distorted thinking with a more positive and empathetic view.
He consistently displays respectful behavior toward his wife and children.
He wants to make amends for the harm he has caused.
He is committed to not repeating his past behavior, and realizes it will be a life-long process.
He is willing to hear feedback and criticism, is honest about his failures, and is willing to be held accountable for abusive thinking and behavior.
“Beware of the temptation to gauge change by means of the perpetrator’s church-going behavior. Going to church is not good enough . . . does not prove that he is no longer going to hurt her.” —Woman-Battering
Wow, sorry about your mom. She sounds just as abusive as your husband? Has she always been like this?
Have you talked to your lawyer about child support? Is your ex paying support yet? If not he should be. That would help a lot. Have you went to your local DV shelter for advice and help? They may be aware of financial resources that could help you.
Do you have other family members that would be willing to let you say for awhile?
I'm sorry, I wish I had more advise for you, it sounds as if you are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Edited to say, I just reread your post. If you think you can afford an apartment in your old town then it would probably be best to move there and away from your mother. And tell her to keep her money from the will, you don't need that kind of harassment and unless she is going to die soon you don't need to subject your kids to her abuse. And apartment would be better for your kids, better to be in an apartment where you can provide a stable environment away from all the abuse of their father and their grandmother.
Your oldest son sounds as if he needs some counseling. Please get him some soon.
And if I were you I would keep their contact with their father to a minimum and supervised for awhile. He doesn't sound like a stable influence and father or not it sounds as if your kids have had enough drama in their life.
Edited for a second time to say be careful about talking to you pastor. Pastors mean well, but they are in the business of 'saving marriages'. I have known pastors to give really bad advice. I have known of women who were in a hospital bed and who were put there by their husband who had beat them to near death, and their pastors still advised them to go back and forgive their husband. To many pastors 'saving' the 'marriage' is the bottom line no matter what. And if the woman gets the crap beat or of her or the kids are terrorized so what? At least they didn't get divorced!!
Sadie, thanks for your advice. My husband, SO FAR, seems to be following that list. He isnt pressuring us to come back, but obviously would be happy if we were closer than four hours away.
The kids are acting out horribly, and miss him so much. I do have supervised visits set up to start ASAP.
My mom was extremely abusive to me from about age 11-18, when I moved out. For the 20 years I didnt live with her, she was way not so bad. As soon as I moved back, the old dynamics came back.
At age 16, she had no problem calling me a "****" or a "lesbian" or a "liar", and none were true.
I have been to the DV shelter and am in counseling. My H is set to start paying support soon, but it seems that it keeps getting held up in court. In the meantime, he has given me money as he had it and I needed it.
I have checked around, and no one else here has room for 4 more people and a dog. I think we could try to stay here for the summer while my H is in counseling, but I do not want to rip my kids out of school again, so I want to know where we will be by August so they have a more permanent life.
I've told my mother to keep the money if she has too. She can't control me that way. Its very sad for me, though, they she would think that way.
Also, my son did just start counseling last week, he is also being evaluated for suspected Narcolepsy.
I know what you mean about Pastors-but this one seems especially caring and smart. He is the one who initially advised me to take the kids and leave.
Thanks again for reading and advising!