I have posted here previously about my marriage and the problems that my husband's personality disorder have caused/contributed to its breakdown. I have never blamed him totally, but do contend that his issues -- refusing to grow up, support the family, unable to keep a job, diagnosed severe passive-aggressive behavior, mental abuse -- are a large reason why we cannot work through our problems. He refuses to acknowledge that his behavior IS a problem; therefore, refuses to try to change and meet me in the middle on anything.
Yesterday, Christmas Eve, I asked him if he was going to move from the couch at all this weekend. He had promised repeatedly to get some things done around the house, to spend time with the boys and keep them occupied in the afternoon (I had to work, although I work from home), et cetera, and literally did not move from the couch since Thursday night. It probably was not a good approach, and I admit that, but it is such a recurring problem that I'm frustrated beyond belief with his sitting for hours on end and literally doing nothing after he has promised that "this time" he's really going to do it.
Anyway, he flew into a rage and started screaming and yelling and saying that he "could not do this anymore" and that he was leaving and never coming back. He had both kids upset -- the nine-year-old was bawling, the sixteen-year-old hit a plaster wall and hurt his hand.
I took my older son to the hospital to have his hand looked at, and when I came home, I told him that I thought his behavior was out of line and that pulling another stunt like this, especially on Christmas Eve, was uncalled for. I then told him that he needed to take some time to think about his behavior, our marriage, and the harm he is doing to the kids, and that we would be going to my parents' without him. I told him that he doesn't get to continue enjoying family activities if he continues to choose not to be part of our family.
He spent the morning crying, asking the kids if "they were happy now that he was not going to spend Christmas with them." Both kids told him point-blank that HE was the reason he wasn't spending Christmas at my parents' because he refuses to change his behavior, and everyone was sick of him ruining every holiday/special occasion. It's almost like every time there is a holiday/special occasion, he pulls some sort of stunt to cause chaos and make himself the center of attention. He has done it on the kids' birthdays, Easter, family members' birthdays, just-because days.
We came back from my parents' house, and he started raging again, that it was not fair that he was being punished. I told him that I have told him repeatedly since May that I was getting close to my breaking point and that if he didn't get his PA behavior under control, that the day would come where I would just be done. We had reached that point once he ruined Christmas for the kids.
He took off out of the house, saying he needed some time to think. He texted me three hours later saying, "I'm not coming back. Tell the kids I will call them tomorrow."
Now, I was planning on filing for divorce after the first of the year -- wanted to get through the holidays so that I didn't ruin it for the kids -- so I'm not upset that he is not coming back. In fact, I'm glad that he made the decision because his usual MO is to force me into making a decision so he can blame me later. However, I am so ticked off that he is so cowardly that he would send me the text above. Would it have been hard to come back and tell your kids that you are done, that we can't fix the marriage; or call them on the phone to tell them, reassure them that you love them and it's not their fault? Isn't it a bit of a b(&*^^* move to text ME to ask ME to tell THEM for him that he quits?
This is the fourth time since May he has literally walked out the door, sent a text later saying he's not coming back, that he's done. He comes back a few days later, we talk through things, he swears he is going to do better, then fails to do anything different. In fact, in our talk tonight he said, "I have tried everything for the last six months to make you happy, and I just can't." I asked him to tell me what things he has done to contribute to the betterment of our marriage since the summer, to which he replied, "Well, I haven't done anything yet because there is no guarantee that if I do you will want to stay married to me." He just talks in circles, and we can't get anywhere.
Like I said, I was planning on filing for divorce after the first of the year, so I'm not worried about the him not coming back part. How do I help my kids heal from constantly being walked out on, left to wonder WTH just happened, why doesn't he love them?
I obviously need to file divorce papers sooner rather than later, and will call the attorney tomorrow to tell her to pull the trigger. Do I change the locks in case he tries to come back? Is that not appropriate until I have a court order? I would love to change the locks, change my number, and throw his stuff out the upstairs window onto the lawn because that's how mad I am at what he has put my boys through, but I realize that isn't going to help matters any, and may actually hurt them.
I am just so angry over being left here again trying to explain to two boys that their daddy has some issues, that we will get through this, and promising them that I will not let him back in the door -- even if he changes his mind tomorrow, as he often does -- so that he can do it to them again to make any sense right now. I have never hated someone as much as I hate him right now looking at my kids and how he has broken them down and how he completely ruined their Christmas.
What is my first step when I wake up tomorrow to handling this the right way? I don't trust myself to think straight right now.
Thanks in advance for any advice. Lord knows I need it.
I hope y'all had a much better Christmas on your end!!
Check with your attorney. I most states you cannot lock him out of the family home. It's his home too. He has as much right to live there as you do. A court order is probably needed to get him to move out. And you probably cannot get that order until the divorce is final.
As far as the locks go, if his name is on the house you can't legally lock him out, even though my H changed the locks on me a couple hours after I said I wanted a divorce... Your situation sounds a lot like mine. H lays around all the time. Always makes special occasions miserable and never wants to do anything as a family. he is mentally and verbally abusive, and a few months ago decided to drag me out of the house while I was holding our 2yr old son. All because I wanted to drive since he had been drinking... I also had started the divorce process and was going to wait until after the Holidays but I couldn't wait and did it in November. Now he is going to counseling and wants to make things work, but like your H he keeps talking in circles. he is just a jerk!!
If I were you I would give him an ultimatum. Either get his crap together or get out...for good. I'm sorry that the kids had to whitness that. And that's not good for them to see it either. He needs to realize that he needs to be the Dad for the kids, not another child (easier said than done!!) I wish you all the luck! It is not easy, but you need to do what is in your heart and what is best for You and you kids!!
Again i had similar issues with my wife. treating her badly, verbal abuse etc. she seperated from me and i went to see counsellor and 3-4 weeks later i have realised my faults and am now working on them.
Your husband appears to have similar issues as i did. he needs to see a counsellor however guys being guys (its an ego thing) they dont like to think they have a problem. It takes a lot of effort and guts to admit you have a problem.
He might have other underlying issues, guys think that burying their head in the sand will solve the probelm. belive me i have been doing that for ages. I am glad that my wife seperated as much as i want her back it has given me the opportunity for self grow and to realise what a jerk i have been.
you maybe have to seperate or get him to agree to go to counselling together in order to trigger change
You've been so kind in responding to all of my posts and I only just now have read your own. I didn't realize how fresh everything is for you too. My husband has the same behavior...of not taking any responsibility for anything he's done. I could tell you horror stories as I'm sure you could share with me. When I think about some of the things he's done, I wonder why I'm not rejoicing rather than upset that he's left us. It's the times when he's not angry and running away....it's like two people. I've taken such strength from your posts and actually had a fairly ok day. I took your advice and played some games with the boys tonight....something we haven't done in a very long time because my husband doesnt like to play games...so somehow we all stopped. We had fun and my boys laughed...I fought the tears and won....improvement. Do you think it's all worth it? I feel like I've fought to prove to my husband that we're worth being with for our whole relationship...why am I trying so hard to get him back knowing it will just happen again? Has it been worth it for you? To have him back I mean...
Starfish you made me smile. I was soooo mad when he first left that I changed the locks within days. Well I should say I tried. What I was attempting to do was just change the front door knob with the back door knob....he didnt have a key for back lock....well the front door went well but changing the back door seemed to be an issue. I had myself in such a state....crying and half a door knob hanging off when my oldest son came home from school. He looked and said "uh mom I'm pretty sure the lock part goes on the outside...its backwards" Yep not much of a handyman either
Ohhh I want to put in a garage door opener with big bright lights. I hate our little fluorescent lights and my H never wanted to go to the expense/trouble. THOUGH I think I will pay someone to install it for me!
Good for you and the boys taking some time to hang out and play games!! And how awesome, after the last few days of the kids worrying about when is Dad coming home, that they laughed and smiled? That was always the best part for me....seeing my kids laughing and having fun and not being consumed by this mess. You are doing great, and it really is just a one-minute/hour/day-at-a-time process.
As for feeling like you've always been trying to prove that the family was worth it, God, I know that feeling well. Somehow, though, he always made me feel like we were just "this far" out of reach of being worth it to him. It's only been through counseling that I've learned that while his actions may make me feel like that, I'm also partly responsible for that feeling by the way I internalize everything given my own childhood and by seeing it through a flawed filter. I have to tell you, I started counseling less than five weeks ago, and the results have been nothing short of amazing. She really speaks to me, and I walk around today know that myself and my children ARE worth it....just maybe not to him, and that's okay. Our kids' counselor has also done amazing work in a short time, getting them to understand that none of this is their fault, or related to anything they have done; that the issue lies with him. I think we've all given up trying to prove anything to him and are all waiting instead for HIM to prove to us that he can get it together enough to stay here forever.
Is having him back worth it? It's been worth it in the sense that his income is allowing us to meet our financial obligations without filing for bankruptcy and to get everyone paid off that we owe.
It's not been worth it at all in the sense that he hasn't done a anything to try to address his issues, to stop playing his destructive passive-aggressive games, to try interacting with our boys and spend time with them, to give any of us the feeling that he's brought his A-game and is willing to roll up his sleeves and do what it's going to take to make this work.
Maybe that's not fair. He DID make changes that lasted for about ten days; now, it's just more of the same, and that means that history will probably repeat itself in terms of him walking out the door. I guess I'm in a different place this time, though: Everyone here knows that's it. If he walks again, he doesn't walk back in. In other words, you will probably seem me posting on the Going Through Divorce board really soon