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So I'm going through a divorce currently, and I just am really confused and would like some advice. Dh and I have been married for 2 years next week, our daughter is going to be 17 months old and he kicked me out almost 3 weeks ago. During our marriage he did a tour in iraq, when he came home he was a different person. And yes I know that going to war changes you but he just seemed to be so vicous. I was constantly getting verbally abused, a couple times even in front of our daughter, family, and friends. He's kicked me out about 9 times or so and the last couple of times I told him he needed to get help for his ptsd, alcoholic tendencies and his anger. And that we also needed to get marriage counseling. Although he promised he would but it just never happened. This last time, he kicked both me and our daughter out at 3am without a phone, a car, or any money, in a trailer park with absolutely NO STREETLIGHTS! This is what made me finally decide to stay gone for good. He's supposedly getting help and trying to get me to hold off on the divorce until he can go through his counseling and prove to me that hes changes. But then he'll switch to making threats or making me feel guilty. This last time he tried to say that this was all my fault and that he believes that I only stayed with him for his disability, which is so not true, he never even got any money so how would that make any sense?!? He's also said a few times that he'll take my daughter away from me, he even went as far as calling DFS on ME! I just don't know what to do anymore. A part of me wants to work things out but the other part says no he's hurt you too much, he's never going to change, and you can't trust him. I know he's not a horrible person he just has a lot of problems. Any advice on what I should do?
he needs to get some couseling and you need to stop going back until he does. He is emotionally manipulating you and I think you know it. Ignore him until such time as he gets help. I mean that, ignore him. Have no contact with him unless its to arrange for him to see your daughter. Have someone else be the one there when hes visiting her. If you dont have someone to do this, then tell him you will only meet him in public places for him to visit her. The less time he can have with you alone, the less he can manipulate you.
He needs to get some help, and you need to stand up for yourself and your daughter by putting your foot down and not giving in until he does. Good Luck and I hope things start to go better for you.
First of all, any man who would kick his wife and baby out in the middle of the night with no place to go and no money or car doesn't DESERVE a second chance! Think of the message you are sending to your daughter if you go back. You're telling her that this is how life will treat her and it's ok. You're telling her that ANY man is better than none and that women are weak and need someone to take care of them. I for one KNOW that isn't true! I left a bad marriage of 22 years with 3 kids and not only made it on my own but bought my own house and did quite well! I have since remarried and my husband and I are partners in life and all things. We share the responsibilities and decision making. We are HAPPY! We don't need each other for financial reasons...we need each other because we are very much in love. This is what YOU deserve and your daughter deserves to learn! There are countless agencies that can help you make a fresh start and take care of yourself and your child. Your husband needs intensive psychological help. You can tell him he needs it but he is the one who must seek it and until he does, he is simply not safe to be around for either you or your little girl. It is YOUR responsibility to protect her and if you go back, you are putting not just yourself but your child in danger. Yes it is hard being on your own. But it is also very rewarding when you realize that you CAN make it! I know you're scared and lonely. Don't risk your life just to have someone in the bed next to you. It isn't worth it. Call the agencies in your area. They will help you.
Keep us posted hon and good luck. We're here for you if you need to talk.
So I just got a very enlightening call, apperently my husband called DFS on me saying that I abuse our daughter. *** everyone who knows me couldn't believe it, I would never hurt any child let alone my own. So now I have a lovely meeting with a social worker next week. Thanks for all the support guys but this has been the breaking point for me. -hugs- I'll keep you all updated.
First of all, I feel for you so much! I just want to reach out and give you a big squishy hug! I had the same thing happen and went to court and in the end...he doesn't have any rights to visitation and doesn't see my daughter...7 years and counting now.
Perhaps this is exactly what needed to happen in order for there to be no more confusion with this guy. It's one thing to have disputes, arguments, whatever, it's another when you are attacked and the very thing they use is the one thing they know you love the most.
Let the 'she bear' side of the mama out and prepare to fight-that's what I did. Stop at nothing for your baby.
I'm generally not the person who ever ever takes the side of an abuser, because in my opinion there is never a good enough reason or excuse or circumstance to EVER condone abuse.
However having said that, going through war and living through terrifying life threatening circumstances can really really really mess up a person. I'm the daughter of an army recruiter who lived through vietnam, my brother went through 3 tours overseas, 2 of them in Iraq where he lost many friends.
These aren't your ordinary run of the mill circumstances where it's just the guys typical relational problems, surviving war and coming home is horrendous and my brother has known not one but two men who just couldn't cope after they came home and ended their own lives.
If he was NOT like this before i'd say there might be hope for your marriage in the future. In 6-12 months after he's been in some serious therapy, like 2-4 times a month therapy, he might be able to recover from the trauma he went through and you might find that guy you used to know return.
If he WAS like this before and the war just made him worse then i'd not only divorce him but i'd strongly keep an eye on his visitation with his daughter. Maybe asking the judge to limit it until he's been in therapy for awhile.
I don't think that you staying or going back right now or in the next few months would be healthy or stable for you or your daughter. Like a pp mentioned you need to take care of yourself and her and be a good example of the way a woman should expect to be treated. You need to set up a life and situation away from him that is stable and healthy and shows both you and he that you are capable of living without him so that you both know if you choose to work on things it's not because you're afraid of being alone or worried about living on your own and that you're going back for the right reasons.
Therapy for ptsd takes time though, so even if he shows promise in a month or two i'd highly recommend not making any moves towards reconciling until closer to 6 months or more. Also if you do attempt to reconcile it would be good if you went to some sessions with his counselor and try to work through HIS issues together.
Also if it's what God wants for you guys and it's "meant to be" it won't matter if you guys get divorced and are apart for a year or three you can still end up being a family in the future if he's able to get his sh*t together. I know of three successful marriages that went on to succeed after getting divorced living apart for a period of years and then getting back together. My grandparents were one of them, my grandma left and divorced my grandpa because he was an abusive alchoholic, years later they got back together and remained together until he died, my grandma never loved again and was buried with his ashes 20 years later. So just because you need to walk away now doesn't mean you might not someday have the family you want with him, it just means you're doing what you need to do to keep you and your daughter safe and happy.
Although I do agree with the PP about counseling and not giving up on the person, I do not agree on the PTSD. I think part of the problem in this world is that we hang all of the "Fault" for our misbehaviors on these "disorders" and don't take responsibility for our own actions! My son has done a tour in Iraq and doesn't go around abusing people. I have lived through life threatening times and not become abusive. I lived on the streets and was raped 4 times-twice at gunpoint and once with a knife to my throat. I have been beaten and abused since I was an INFANT and yet, I don't abuse anyone. Yes, I have had some serious bouts of depression and underwent therapy and medications to help me get through it all but I never once liften a hand to my children or my (then) husband. We need to start taking back responsibility for our actions and stop wimping out with the old "not my fault because of ______" Yes, war is HE** and no I would never want to go through that. However, every generation before us has endured times of war and yet they aren't all kicking their wives and babies out at 3 am with no where to go and no way to get there! ENOUGH! MAN UP! There is simply NO EXCUSE for that kind of behavior. I would probably feel differently if he had left himself in the middle of the night but NOT when he throws his wife out with their baby girl! Sorry, he doesn't get the sympathy vote from me and I am VERY supportive of our troops! To allow him to use PTSD as an excuse to do whatever the heII he wants to do is disrespectful to the men and women who serve and DON'T become irresponsible, abusive jerks!
Yes, someday he may come to his senses and apologize and beg forgiveness. Most abusers do. HOWEVER, my feeling is he COULD NOT have acted as he did--PTSD or not--if he didn't have the capacity within himself to do so. I lived with a violently abusive man for a year and he was terrific at apologizing...could make me believe he was sorry and would never do it again...until the night I awoke to find him standing over me with a shotgun as though thinking "should I do it or not?". Sorry. Abusers don't get ANY slack with me! ONE TIME and you are out! No second chances, no apologies necessary! OUT! End of discussion! this man has shown many times that he is not only not admitting responsiblity for his actions but actually trying to blame his VICTIM! My abuser didn't start out with beating me senseless...he started out with insults...moved on to pushes, then to slaps, THEN to punches. Threats are another tactic they use to control. Now, could they remain friends? Sure! Could they put aside their differences and be able to co-parent their daughter? Absolutely! But the chances of the abuse escallating FAR outweigh the possibility of therapy helping him to accept responsibility for his actions and not backslide. Do you really want to take the risk of him backsliding and going out of control one night? I sure would not! LIFE IS FULL OF STRESS! Stress causes frustration and anger and THAT is what triggers these guys to abuse! I have never met someone who "used to be an abuser" but was cured by therapy...have you?
I agree with Dani. I wouldn't stake my children's life of feeling sorry for someone with a disorder. My ex is bipolar and went off the deep end. I did EVERYTHING to protect my daugther. To the point he gave up his legal rights & my Dh adopted her. I'm sorry that he is suffering but I WILL NOT allow it to affect my child.