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For The Sake Of the Kids

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skvc100 posted 10/11/2013 07:54 AM

Hi, everyone. 10 years ago I married a man that seemed to have it all. A handsome suave business man, who was very affectionate and romantic. I married him in spite of the fact that a co-worker/great friend had confessed his love for me and wanted so much for me to choose him. He was the boy next door, no suave business man. I took for granted he would always be my best bud no matter what. And in the end, my loyalty was to the man who I was dating…. for 4 years.

Every holiday, birthday, Ground Hog’s day, and any little box he gave me I would say, “This is it! He’s gonna ask me!” Every time I was disappointed but at least I would get some nice earrings.

My BFF and I in the meantime had a blast at work, I can’t lie. After his confession and a few years of bonding at work I realized I loved him too! Maybe it was an emotional affair, but I was starting to realize my boyfriend was holding back, and something didn’t seem right. I started to do some soul searching and took a short break from him. But it was too late. I was (unintentionally) pregnant and it was time to get married, and let my friend go. I broke his heart. He was so sure I was going to choose him. Coworkers told me my BFF nearly came to wedding and was going to “Speak Now”. He didn’t. And that’s ok. I had a baby on the way and the man I stuck by, now ready to marry me. Move on. Move on.

Fast forward, I stopped working to raise our kids and to deal with the stress/depression of being married to someone so secretive. I didn’t even know how much money he made, but it was always there when we needed it. With small kids and no job, maybe I didn’t WANT to see. Until I had had enough. I found out my DH put on a suit every day for 10 years and pretended to go to work. Instead he went to a woman’s house. A woman who was my kids Godmother. A wealthy woman who provided him with the financial backing to lead a bizarre double life. He never even had a job.

After much pain and a divorce I swore I’d never look back. Everyone kept saying how strong and brave I was but I’m just a person. And the pain and agony my kids were enduring as a result was killing me. I tried for over a year to do it alone, but my kids were on a downward spiral. We took up residence with my very toxic mother. In addition to having to understand why we split up, they had to endure the psychological mind games I endured as a child. It was horrible. I was broke and broken. I did not have money to make it on my own. My DH begged, and I had nowhere to go.

After he gained real employment, went to therapy, found Jesus, and all that jazz, I said…”ok”. I moved into a tiny apartment, but in a much better school district. It made me happy to know my kids would be in a better place than where I grew up; what parent doesn’t want that, right? Buy here’s the kicker…we live with my mother-in-law. I know. I know what you are thinking. I know. Yes, I know. But she was a easy-going woman, like your favorite old aunt. But I come to find out she’s gross. She keeps a messy house. She helps out with chores but she has a terrible hygiene issue and a tendency to not throw ANYTHING out. And now I can’t stand her. But she is very good to my kids. They have their sweet grandma. And they have their parents back. And they have peace. It is priceless.

But I have sacrificed my mental health for theirs. Shockingly, (yeah lol ok) he is not working now and has decided he didn’t want to work and just kind of chill out and see what comes his way. Doesn’t go to therapy or church now. In the mean time he wants me to stop being so negative, worrisome, miserable, anxious and just “live in the moment”. Hello, we have bills and kids who need…things! And I do not want to live like this forever! I thought we were going to bust our asses and sacrifice to get our own place but it has become clear that between his mom catering to his every need, having his kids back, and his wife back to “satisfy” him…what’s the hurry? His financial backer died. I felt bad, I mean, I’m human I’m not a monster. But without her income he was just working just hard enough to put food on the table with small gigs. The rest of the kids’ needs is mostly on my dime. Anyway, now that it’s all in the open he doesn’t even try to hide his dislike of work. It’s all on me, and I can’t leave, I’m living paycheck to paycheck. I called in all my favors. And I lost the support of nearly all my allies when I took him back. I feel homeless. All my stuff is in storage. The dishes, the coffee maker, all hers. I feel like I don’t belong anywhere and I feel very alone.

I don’t leave because my kids, especially my oldest daughter, has finally made friends and her grades are better. I can’t move her again, and I can’t afford to live on my own yet. In the mean time I can fool my head but not my heart. I tried to love him again….I can’t, not like a wife. I tried. I just can’t give him something that he took from me. I love him like a family member.

I looked up my old friend on FB. He looks so happy with his wife and beautiful baby. It devastates me and makes me hate myself. I chose the wrong guy. He was right there, he loved me and I loved him. And I let him go. I broke his heart. What have I done, not just this year but for the past 14? I am consumed with regret and I can’t forgive myself. I even got a tattoo that says “Live without regrets” to keep reminding myself to, well, not live with regret! Not working.

I have but one hope…I went back to school for my Masters and in two more years I will be a licensed physical therapist. I will be financially independent. We live in a gated community. The plan is to move out on my own with kids, but within the same community, so we can still be a family, and we can meet at the community park, and kids can come and go between our homes effortlessly. They are small. 3, 5, and 10. The little one has Autism. I can pretend I got it covered, it’s challenging with my little boy. And the truth is I need him to be a dad, I don’t hate him and we NEVER fight in front of them. He doesn’t deserve all this consideration, but my son (especially) deserves to have his dad in his life. He’s a lousy husband, but he would die for his kids. I can’t pretend that doesn’t factor into my decision. One day, though, I will have my home, my freedom, my peace.

In the mean time it feels like a jail sentence. Two more long, long years. And in a way, I feel like I deserve this for being so naïve and blind. Never again will I offer a man a second chance. This will teach me to grow some self-respect and make better choices. Oh, and to save money on the side for the unthinkable. If I had been smarter I would have been prepared so I would not have to rely on anyone post divorce. Thank you for reading. I needed to tell someone.

MovingUpward posted 10/11/2013 08:29 AM

Thank you for sharing. Watch out for the slippery slope of pining over your lost BFF. One can never truly know where the other path could have ended. Your best bet it seems is to buckle down and get through your schooling so that you can support yourself. It might seem like eternity but you can do it.

seenow posted 10/11/2013 08:58 AM

Keep your eyes on that goal of independence. You can see it, right? You are doing the work to get there. Good! Keep looking forward.

TrustGone posted 10/11/2013 09:51 AM

I stayed with my XWH#1 for far too many years. He went on SSI at a young age for a back problem and has been on it ever since. He is now in his middle 50's. I knew that I could not depend on him to work and make a decent living for us, so I put myself though college and got my degree. It was hard and I became pregnant while in college with our second child, so I stayed even longer than I anticipated staying. Eventually he screwed up again and I filed for D and have never regretted it, except for the damage it caused my kids having a NPD dad.

Do not look back and dewell on what you lost. You can not know how a relationship with this other guy would have turned out. Your WH sounds like a real mess and the sooner you get yourself and your kids away from him the better. Being a single mother is hard, but not as hard as what you are living with now. Once you are away from him you will realize that you are a strong person who deserves more than what he was giving you. Have you spoken with an attorney? If not you need to find out what your rights are where you live. I know my XWH#1 tried to stick me with paying him alimony, but the judge said no because he got SSI for himself and the kids. If he hadn't there is no telling what I would have had to pay him every month.

confused615 posted 10/11/2013 09:54 AM

He would die for his kids..just not support them or do anything to help better their life.

This is not a man..he's a little boy in a man's body.

Keep your eye on the end won't be happy in this situation..and neither will your kids. If your WH grew up being catered to by his mommy,and now your kids are too,plus their father is a big kid himself, they could very well grow up thinking this kind of behavior is acceptable.

ionlytalkedtoher posted 10/11/2013 10:16 AM

I knew a guy that also lied about having a job for years and lied to his girlfriend who thankfully did not marry him because a friend found out and told her the truth. But he also put on a suit and tie and said he was going to a particular place to work....I share this since you are not the only one that this happened to. In this case of this guy I knew, well he turned out to have schizophrenia. I do not know what your H has but he surely has a serious mental disorder that is in no way normal and potentially dangerous. Insist that he get a serious mental check up if he hasn't already. At the very least with a dx mental disability, he could be given social security or disability money. Something to play his part into this marriage. He needs to contribute monetarily something either via real work or disability.

Otherwise, i have sort of experienced similar things. We had to move in with H's family for 9 months and it was 9 months of hell. I couldn't last any longer than that. There may be a point where you just snap and say--I have had enough of this living situation. If you have to stay there for the whole 2 years then I hope it passes quickly and you find the strength to continue. I share this since I have known what it feels like to have all your stuff in storage and be "homeless" say, even this toaster isn't mine, this broom isn't mine, etc...everyone needs to have some sort of ownership to their existence or they WILL go crazy as I have really been there. it killed me to never have any ownership to my existence when I was in that situation. Just throwing it out there as well that since I was married when I was in this situation I was entitled to less outside help if you kwim? If I was divorced for instance I could get money towards day care and I could get a job then etc...I am just saying, it may benefit you to talk to a lawyer to see what your options really are--or at the very least a counsellor or social worker--someone!

I am not saying you should divorce--if that's not what you want--but I would really be wary and in such a situation and careful.

ionlytalkedtoher posted 10/11/2013 10:17 AM

ohh and I forgot--that other guy you loved--please stop thinkign about him. he made his choices to move on and so should you. Revisiting the past does not help you. he is probably happy with his wife and family and you should stay away. It will not help you to become the OW.

skvc100 posted 10/11/2013 17:45 PM

Wow I cannot thank you guys enough for taking the time to reply. I really did feel like no one would understand.

Pining..I like that word...I never thought of it as pining, but it makes so much sense THANK YOU!

I am going to concentrate on that which I can control which is my education.

I never expected anyone to be able to relate to me having a man put ona suit and pretended to work, or someone who would move in with her Mother In Law.

You have all validated my feelings and made me feel less alone. Again, thank you

cantgetup posted 10/12/2013 07:04 AM

I think your doing great. Keep doing what your doing and you will be ready to move on without him in no time. He on the other hand will be left behind in life. He will go nowhere. You deserve better and your kids deserve better. Maybe as you become strong and independent he will see that and wake up and be motivated to do the same. But don't wait and see, keep moving onward and. Forward.

solus sto posted 10/12/2013 20:21 PM

I'd think long and hard about staying together "for the sake of the kids." And then I'd rethink.

As the daughter of "for the kids" parents, I can tell you it's a piss-poor reason to stay in a marriage. It also causes irreparable damage.

Furthermore, it's a lie. Parents don't stay together "for the kids." They stay together because they're not ready to end their marriages. They stay together because they want to. They stay together because it's financially easier, or because they are doing "penance" for their own poor choices.

But not for the kids.

Quite often, they stay together long after the "kids" are gone--because an empty nest really does not make it much easier to face the realities of separation and divorce. I mean, it's not like older kids vanish from our lives. Adult (or near-adult) kids are PROFOUNDLY affected by their parents' divorces. And if separation or divorce coincides with kids flying the coop, then don't for a MINUTE think they don't think, "If it weren't for me/us, Mom would have been happy."

Because that's what kids do.

My parents were together and miserable long after there were no "kids." It was all about money--in their case, too much.

I don't suffer from that particular financial "affliction," having so much to lose that staying together seemed a better option. (In fact, I wonder how long I will be able to keep the house, and where I'll live if I lose it.) But I had a certain degree of "for the kids," myself, early in the game.

No one was less prepared, financially, to live on her own.

But I would have rather died than model, for my kids, what was modeled to me. By the time I reached the place you are now occupying, I knew that, hard as it might be, I could not stay in the marriage. Not if I wanted my kids to have a prayer of winding up with partners who were NOT like my father, or their father. Not if I wanted my daughter to learn the importance of listening to her gut, or respecting herself, or accepting no less than a real man who really loves her. Not if I wanted my son to learn that his wife is to be cherished and respected--and that he should be, too.

I hope I got out early enough for them. I'm still not sure. If I'd known who their father really was, it would have been much sooner.

Kids know when you're faking it. They blame themselves if you do it "for them." It causes profound damage.

It is a cruel burden to inflict upon a child, IMO. It makes YOUR happiness (or lack thereof) THEIR responsibility. Yes, it's hard to move. It's hard to downsize. It's hard to switch schools (though that's not always necessary). But it's a shitload easier than carrying the burden of your mother's unhappiness. And it's a shitload easier than winding up with a spouse who is like their opposite-gender parent---one of whom martyred herself and the other who betrayed her, and the family.

Stay with your husband if you want. But please---don't do it "for the kids."

It will do them no favors.

ETA: How does the "man who has it all" wind up living with his hoarding mother? This sounds like an untenable situation, long-term.

It sounds as though your children are young. Would it not be a better idea to work toward self-sufficiency, so that you can strike out on your own sooner rather than later?

ETA again: I relate to the putting-on-a-suit charade. My father did this. And my husband was never honest about his career. After one job loss (there were many), he did not tell me for over a week. Do you see a pattern? I married a man like my father. Know what? It took me almost 30 years---and a long separation--to see this. But when I did, I was damned if I was going to model that for my daughter and son.

You know who your husband is. He's shown you.

Please consider what he's showing your kids.

[This message edited by solus sto at 8:38 PM, October 12th (Saturday)]

skvc100 posted 10/17/2013 23:58 PM

Wow solus sto thank you. Really. It helps to get your perspective having been a child of parents in my situation. A world of thanks. I will be thinking of your words...

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