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Old 09-03-2008, 06:49 AM   #1
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Just need a few shoulders to lean on

A lot of you know about my situation. I have changed my user name, but it is still me. Briefly, I have been in a loveless marriage for almost 10 years and have 2 children, almost 8 and 5. My husband has been emotionally abusive for most of our marriage. I filed for divorce last year, but changed my mind out of fear to not be able to make it on my own and also for the sake of the kids. I talked myself into that things are going to get better. We moved last year to another house and the kids started a new school. Things didn't get better. My husband put me down recently and I looked at him and realized that this is going to be my story for the rest of my life unless I get out of this marriage.
The problem is that I feel emotionally paralyzed. I am very depressed and have no idea how to get myself out of this mess. We have a lot of debts that I didn't even know about until recently. I feel terrible for my kids. The school is starting now and they need peace, not this kind of family situation.
I do have a few friends, but they have their own lives and problems and nobody can really help me. Right now I have a hard time seeing a way out of this marriage. I am barely able to look at my husband, I feel so put off by him. I see a small, frustrated person who has taken his frustrations out on me for 10 years now. I feel that I paid for all his disappointments with his failed careers and bad situation with his family of origin.
I have enrolled in a couple of classes, but these steps seem so small and at this pace I may not be able to get away from my husband for a very long time, especially as half of the debts will be my responsibility to pay off.
I have no relatives in the US and feel bad for my kids because they have no support from anywhere except me and my husband. I am in such state of mind now that I am not that great of a mother. The fact that the school is starting causes me also stress. I have to be involved there to some extent and socialize with the other parents and can barely deal with that kind of pressure right now.
I've already got a lot of support here, but I just needed to let this out. Sometimes I feel at the end of my rope emotionally.

Last edited by negot; 09-03-2008 at 06:52 AM.

 
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:28 AM   #2
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

I'm sorry you're dealing with this, but your situation may not be as hopeless as you perceive it to be.......talk to an attorney and find out what your rights are. I'm not so sure you're responsible for 1/2 those debts, especially if you've been a stay at home mom raising children. You might find that you have more rights than you think you do. Your husband is responsible for his children no matter what, he will have to pay child support, and possibly spousal support.....I urge you to explore your options. Talk to someone at a battered womens shelter, or seek out a lawyer that deals with womens rights.
Good luck.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 07:45 AM   #3
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

Is this you niki?

I'm sorry for you....I think Rose has some good points. Please see an attorney. He/she will advise you as to what your husband is responsible to pay for you/the kids. Do you have family? Siblings? They may be your best support right now.....my family always is.

We all feel at some point in our lives that we are hitting a brick wall and we don't see a way out. Have faith that once you shut that door.....another will open for you......and you will finally be on the road to better things.

I am trying myself to convince myself that alone is better than being put down. Niki wrote in a post to me last week that her husband said....after she was trying to tell him a story...get to the point! Whta is the point! It made chills run up and down my spine.....I can't tell you how many times those exact words were said to me. I didn't know that these so called men...could be so hurtful and bully us....and the better woman we are the more they do it. So......you take yourself look in the mirror and tell yourself until you are convinced that you are out and you deserve so much better than this.

Go see a lawyer, many give free consultations. If you can't afford it, perhaps there are attorneys that give free services. Look into it.

Good luck.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 08:06 AM   #4
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

Thank you for your responses. I am going to see a mediator who gives free advice. Meanwhile, I am waiting for my husband to give me paperwork pertaining to the house. He has it all at his work, that's why I know very little about our financial situation. It's my fault too of course. I should have demanded to know long ago. My husband is one of those people that thinks he knows everything best, but I see now that our financial situation is a mess.
DMA, yes it is me, Nelli. I've changed my user name. Yes, the last of many, many put downs was the one when he yelled at me to finally get to the point when I tried to tell him something.
Thanks for your support, rose and Dma. I know that nobody can tell me exactly what to do, but I am grateful for the support I am getting here. It feels like so many people understand and are so supportive and it makes me feel like I am not alone.
DMA, not I have no relatives here. They are all in Europe. One relative would make a world of difference, especially for my kids, but I don't have anybody here.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 08:24 AM   #5
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

How about a very good friend? How about going to a support group for divorcing women or abused women? Perhaps you can make a few good friends there and you can support each other?

Does your husband know you are leaving and wanting out?

 
Old 09-03-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

Believe it or not, I found a source of support at work. Someone I'd just met, but became a friend, and gave me a kick in the rear when I really needed it. There must be some single or divorced mothers of children at your kids' school. Can you start a casual conversation with one who seems trustworthy and sympathetic? It's amazing how supportive divorced mothers are to one another...we've been through it and are willing to help out someone else who may need support. You may need to step out of your usual comfort zone to find someone, but supportive friends are a Godsend at times like these.

I managed to divorce my husband with almost no funds of my own. I had a job, but one that didn't pay particularly well. My son and I struggled along in a little single apartment for a couple of years, but as time went on things got better. And it was such a relief not to have to deal with my husband any longer...

Look into legal support services, find out what you are entitled to, and you will start to feel better and more in control of your destiny. Good luck.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 09:57 AM   #7
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

DMA, my husband knows I am miserable in this marriage, but he thinks that when I mention divorce, I am just talking. I am convinced that he thinks that we are going to live like this until the day one of us dies. Which is exactly what happened in his own family. According to my husband, his mother was miserable in the marriage, but endured until she got cancer in her early fifties and died. My father in law remarried quickly. My husband blames his father for his mother's death, he says his father made her so miserable that she finally died. Ironically enough, he doesn't see that he is trying to repeat history.
Redneon, I don't care if I struggle financially as long as I can support myself and take care of my kids. Anything is better than this. This is a nightmare to live like this with an abuser. My husband is a devil in sheep's clothes (is that how you say it). He is very nice to everybody, but extremely abusive to me. I can't stand him any more. It is hard to even look at him. He blames me for everything, every discussion ends with him saying that I am mentally not well and if I just was on medication, things would be good. He is constantly diagnosing me although he is not in the medical profession. He says that I am bipolar, mentally unstable, delusional, have anger problems. He thinks that he is a great husband. He has torn apart the little self esteem I had when I met him.
Thanks for all your support. I am just really down at the moment. I think the fact that the school is starting is stressing me out. I have to be there for my kids, their school work and after school activities and I don't know where to get the energy from.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

Perhaps your husband and my (if you want to call him...BF) don't realize they are doing what they are doing. Maybe they think they are fine. You need to get some control and take care of yourself and your children.

Do you have parents? If so, a phone call....a call for help would be a good idea...do you have siblings? Let them know how you feel and what is going on...and not to mention a thing. They are your shoulder...even if they are far away. You can trust your parents.

You need to carry out your words....show him action and leave.

Was he like this before you were married?

May I ask how old he is?

 
Old 09-03-2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

I wonder if this is a pertinent question or not (you don't have to answer it, if you don't want to, of course): why did you change your user's name? Or in other words, did you change it because you also sensed that something was changing in your attitude?

Now, coming back to our muttons... (that is, to the main subject):

I endorse the idea of consulting an attorney, but I would go even further. Since you are from another country, you should also consider getting in touch with your country's ambassador or consul. Probably the ambassor lives in Washington, DC, but surely there is a consul close to you, as I gather that there are people from every European country living in California and they certainly need consuls to look after their affairs and problems. Why not try this way, too? If not the consul him/herself, then folks from your own country. In a foreign country, people from the same country tend to help one another more than if they were in their original country - my impression.

Also, my impression is that you are somehow afraid or maybe too proud to ask for help. I think I know how it feels: asking for help shows your vulnerabilities, and nobody likes to show they are vulnerable. Ask for help even if you afraid they might say no or even if you are too proud to ask. It would help to think that many people like to help, because they feel important when they do so, but of course you shouldn't ask for money. People will shun at such a request. It would also help to realize that you may need a network of people: one person will help you with this, other with that, a third one will provide you with this, and so on. Don't assume that one single person will do everything you need.

Good luck. You will find your energy back when you start doing things. If you sit down and do nothing and wait for a key to drop from the sky, you will certainly feel disappointed and then lacking energy. Keep moving for movement is fuel itself, but get sufficient rest between each movement.

Last edited by pendulum; 09-03-2008 at 11:16 AM. Reason: poor English

 
Old 09-03-2008, 11:21 AM   #10
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

DMA, my husband is 50. He became abusive very shortly after we got married. The first month or so, he told me I am stupid and useless.
Pend, I'll try to find some kind of network. I know, one person is not going to be able to help. And, I would never ask for money. What I really need is as my post says, shoulders to lean on. I feel the weight I am carrying feels too heavy on me.
As far as my user name, I posted on the OCD board why I changed it. It has to do with trying to keep some privacy.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 11:59 AM   #11
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

Quote:
Originally Posted by negot View Post
DMA, my husband is 50. He became abusive very shortly after we got married. The first month or so, he told me I am stupid and useless.
Pend, I'll try to find some kind of network. I know, one person is not going to be able to help. And, I would never ask for money. What I really need is as my post says, shoulders to lean on. I feel the weight I am carrying feels too heavy on me.
As far as my user name, I posted on the OCD board why I changed it. It has to do with trying to keep some privacy.
That was my point, anyway. I am sure you would never ask for money. That is what makes people shun in the first place. If you are not asking for money, what is holding you back, then? Fear, pride, shame, whatever. You may never overcome them completely, but don't allow them to be an obstacle for you, either, in asking for help.

Of course you didn't believe your husband when he was telling you were stupid and useless? Good gracious, I am afraid of sounding a little offensive here, but anyway. In theory, he would be the stupid one in the first place rather than you, because he would have shown no intelligence in picking up a wife for himself, the brute.

PS. And since life is exchange, you certainly will have to help other people, when it is your turn and when you are in the position to do it. It can also help to keep this in your mind.

Last edited by pendulum; 09-03-2008 at 01:10 PM. Reason: adding PS

 
Old 09-03-2008, 05:50 PM   #12
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Re: Just need a few shoulders to lean on

Thanks, Pend and other "shoulders" who are allowing me to lean on you. Pend, it is hard for me to ask for help, it always has been. Even when people offer help, I feel uncomfortable accepting it. I think the reason is that I don't think I deserve it, and it also is shame and pride. I've always tried to hide the truth about my circumstances and pretend like everything is ok. I'm changing that though. Today I called a woman whom I've known for a while and whom I was supposed to get together during the summer so our kids would play. I told her about my situation and although she can't directly help me, at least she wanted to listen and be supportive, which is what I need now. She suggested that we get together for coffee when our kids are in school.
Through posting on this board and reading all the inputs and suggestions and also reading other people's posts about their situations, has really given me clarity. Why, oh why do we put up with so much? Life should be pleasant. Life is too short to waste it by spending any time with somebody who doesn't respect you.
And Pend, you are right. It is important that one gives back. That's actually something I am already teaching my kids. I think you can't have a fulfilling life unless you give back, monetary or in any other way you can.

 
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