I need some advice. Iím sorry if this is long. Iíve been married for almost 13 years, together for 15. We have two kids, 10 and 6. It has been a very rough marriage for most of the time. There were actually things that happened before we got married, some red flags I didnít see until years later.
A few years into the marriage, I noticed he was always in a bad mood. Griping about everything. My kids and I walked on eggshells just trying to keep the peace. My daughter told my mom that all her daddy does is yell. They didnít want me to tell him anything that happened or things they did wrong because he would yell at them for everything. I couldnít voice my opinions about anything or stand up for myself because it just ended up in a knock-down, drag out fight. Heíd yell and cuss. It was easier to just keep my mouth shut and let him have his way.
When we would fight, he wanted to win. To prove me wrong by any means possible. I always remembered situations incorrectly and he was always right.
l give a few examples of things that happened with us. Weíd been holding our freezer door shut for almost a year with a child lock because it wouldnít stay shut. Fridge food was freezing and freezer food was thawing constantly. We had to replace the child lock every 3-4 weeks because it would break. I finally asked for a new $1200 fridge and was told we couldnít afford it. Then, a week later, he told me he wanted a $1300 gun. I reminded him that he said we couldnít afford a new fridge and he got mad and started a huge fight. He bought the gun, then told me we could get the new fridge. Like we could afford both.
I put an $80 mug that he got me for Christmas in my desk at work, because I didnít have a locking cabinet and didnít want to take it in the bathroom. Yuck. It got stolen and he yelled at me and told me it was all my fault and how pissed he was that I let it get stolen. I wanted to get a new used car because my 9 year old car had cost us almost $6,000 in repairs for head gaskets ($2800 two separate times), transmission went out at 65,000 miles, it flooded through the sunroof drains every time it rained which shorted out my fuse box twice, kept overheating with my kids in the car and causing me to have to pull over, etc. I asked to trade it in and was looking for used cars around $17,000. He told me we didnít need to get a different car and told me I was acting like a spoiled brat. He freaked out and started yelling and cleaning the house one night, which was the only time he cleaned about once a month. I was cooking dinner and washing dishes, after working full time.
He told me that he was embarrassed about how the house looked, as always. I started crying and said I couldnít work full time, do everything for the kids, and keep it clean all by myself. He said, ďWhy not? Single moms do it all the time.Ē
After telling him that the waitress at our usual restaurant charged us for an extra 2 drinks, he asked, in front of her and our kids, if I was sure I wasnít wrong because she didnít usually make those kinds of mistakes and was I sure I didnít have more than I thought and that she wouldnít make that kind of mistake. She wouldnít make that mistake, but the wife and mother of your children is more likely to be wrong than the waitress?!
He always talked bad about my parents and the rest of my family. How stupid their decisions were, how he didnít want to hang around them, etc. The list goes on, and on, and on.
I was ready to leave. I was done. Iíd been asking for a year and a half to go to marriage counseling. He wouldnít. He realized I was going to leave him. Now all of a sudden he wanted to get help, like that day. He was frantically trying to get an appointment with a therapist. He was told he needed individual therapy. He went and almost immediately started acting nicer, helping around the house, etc. He would get frustrated when I didnít start responding right away. Iíd been treated like crap for over 9 years. I just felt nothing. I was emotionally numb.
Anyway, itís been almost 2 years later, heís quit helping around the house as much, quit doing as much for the kids, and is in a bad mood a lot, again. I still feel nothing, like I just donít care. We havenít had sex in over three years (the first 1 1/2 years was him turning me down and the past two has been because I donít feel any desire to), we donít hold hands, kiss, etc. Heís tried the past 2 years, but I just donít feel comfortable with it. It feels awkward, like kissing my brother.
My daughter has started has started telling my mom that all her dad does is yell, how she wished he would move in with husband newly divorced friend, that she doesnít know why he even bothers coming home because heís always mad, etc.
Am I just being stubborn by not being able to ďjust get over itĒ, as he stated? Did too much happen before he decided to help and I was already done for good? What is wrong with me.
He became everything Iíd wanted for over 9 years and it just didnít seem to matter anymore.
I struggle with my emotions and conflicted feelings on a daily basis. I donít feel anything for him, but I donít want to leave and mess my kids up. Can my marriage be saved? Do I want to save it? Ugh! Iím so confused! I need help, advice, something. Again, sorry itís so long!
How long was he "good" for after he started the therapy? Is he still in therapy?
No you are not just being stubborn, because the problem is NOW. Right NOW your daughter is saying all daddy does is yell.
How can you "get over" what is currently happening? Even if he did become a great guy (which odds are .00000001% of ever happening) you may be so shell shocked by the emotional abuse you've taken for year that no, you couldn't get over it. And why would you want to? You could go be that SINGLE MOTHER he spoke about and have your house as dirty-but-happy as you want.
Also, if your children are living in a house where dad yells all the time and they are saying they'd rather live with your divorced friend, why do you think getting out of that horrible environment would "mess them up?" Sounds more like it might save them to me.
The only thin "wrong" with you
is that you are living with an abusive, mean, selfish, insecure bully who is gaslighting you and making you feel crazy. You probably have PTSD from being exposed to him, and your daughter is probably very unhappy and feeling unstable in a home with him and this drama.
Hang in there. I'm sure more people will weigh in tomorrow with some really good advice.
PS - when typing, press the enter key on your computer or phone a couple times every few sentences so your text appears in paragraphs, it makes it much easier to read. People will resist reading really long one paragraph posts because they are hard to follow with your eyes.