I Got Out

I am not a member of this group, but I could have been back in the 90s.  I married in 1975 to my high school sweet heart.  We had a great marriage for 11 years until I had our son, then it all went downhill fast.  It was as if he had reverted to the behavior of his chauvinist father somehow!  When our son was born, I took the option of being a full-time mother, and I am proud to say that our son never saw the inside of a daycare center.  But it came with bad consequences. 

All of a sudden, the money my husband earned was his, and as he was starting a new company there was a shortage of it.  He wanted us to live as if we had the same income as before, buying new vans(for himself), taking friends out to dinner, buying a huge house, buying expensive clothing(for his job in sales), etc.  I was left to pay the bills and borrow from dwindling savings and even our insurance policies to pay the bills.  When I would explain to him our budget, it was as if he never could get it!  And wouldn't!  I finally handed over the bill responsibilities to him-BIG MISTAKE-BIG!

The arguments grew worse. His SILs were judgmental and insulting, but "that's just how they were."  He never stood up for me.  I made fellow artist friends, he did not like that at all.  It got to the point where I never knew for sure what he wanted!  If I did all of my "chores" properly, I got the silent treatment.  If I didn't do them correctly, the silent treatment.  He would begin an argument and when I began "talking back" he would abruptly leave the room.  I guess I was supposed to stand there and take it in silence.  After an argument, which usually ended with me in tears, he would call both my family and his and tell them all about it.

I realize that all-in-all this sounds fairly not so bad, but you had to be there for all of the insults and the put downs in front of others and the ignoring, and the just feeling like a stick in the sand with the line drawn continuously changing around me.  I was slowly going insane.  I have a graduate degree, he wanted to be married to someone smart, however I shall never understand why when everything I did or achieved made him behave even worse toward me, as if I was a threat to his ego.

He drank vodka everyday, I began to drink wine everyday.  This made things even worse for the household.   My family was bewildered when he called them, his family supportive.  He called my friends.  He claimed that many of them wanted to have affairs with him.  He informed the neighbors about my every action, but none of the good things.  I lost many friends, my family was in askance, he tried to date my sister, but she was onto him.

With the help of my true friends and family I got out.  I lost the equity in the house, tons of belongings, health insurance and almost my son.  I lived with a very dear friend for several years and healed.  I was in the "All Men Are Idiots and I Married Their King Club."  I started a custom framing business with the help of my family-I had been doing that for about 20 years off and on, and through a temp agency, got a 1st shift job in a pager refurbishing company, remember pagers?  We fixed thousands of them.  I hated the job, but it had excellent benefits.  I was standing on my own, with tremendous support from family and friends-and it was reciprocal.

Re-met a guy whom I had dated in college.  We had been good friends for about 25 years.  Our families exchanged Xmas cards, and we ate out together when we were in the same towns for years.  His wife did not want to be married anymore.  Not wanting to be the "rebound girl" I kept my distance.  After about 9 months we began a long-distance dating relationship with him supplying the airline tickets.  One year of dating we decided to wed.

We talked about EVERYTHING.  Money-I had my own business and was now teaching college.  Moving and marrying would change all of that.  I was shown bank statements and I shared mine.  Religion-he's a laid back Episcopalian and I'm a very laid-back Methodist with polytheistic ideas.  We could live with that.  We've been married 9 years now and we couldn't be happier.  He supported me, and still does in my recovery from alcoholism, I go to AA meetings 4 times a week, and he joined AL-ANON.  I support him in detailing his Jaguar for Concours and we have had several national championship winners over the years.  I have my own national champion now, so we enter both.  The main key-mutual respect.

He, being an architect, designed and built an art studio onto the back of the house to both our expectations.  He made every adjustment to the house and closets to accommodate my belongings and to make me feel welcome here.

I interviewed and got a job part-time teaching at a community college here.  I want to contribute to the household, to have a little something of my own and to not buy him Christmas and birthday gifts with his money.  He, having learned what I went through in the past, understands completely and supports me wholeheartedly.  It is my pleasure to take his clothes to the cleaners, pick up prescriptions, pay bills, do laundry and cook(although I am pretty bad at that) as he is always appreciative.  He works very hard, and anything I can do to help is my pleasure because I know that he appreciates it.

 

I have read pretty much the whole set of stories in this group, why-I don't know.  However, it roiled up a lot of old feelings that I am so glad that I do not deal with any longer. 

Here's what I know:

ALWAYS keep something up your sleeve be it education, car, money or a vocation.

YOU ARE NOT TRAPPED!  Does he hit you?  Call the police and make a report it.  Press charges.  Do not take the kisses and the flowers and the "I will never do it agains."  It will happen again, and it will get worse.

Don't want your kidlets to experience the trauma of divorce?  They are experiencing trauma now.  They see everything, and they think it's their fault.  They are being abused whether they are around the arguments or not.

Ashamed to face your family?  YOU are not the failure, the marriage is. 

No means of transportation?  Find one be it busses, trains or whatever.

Don't have supportive family near you nor friends?  Meet your neighbors.  One in 4, according to statistics, has an abusive SO.  Someone will know something.

I by no means have all of the answers, but I have been through some rotten things and I have found a better life, and it took a lot of work.

By the way, wife #2 left my ex after about 4 years.  She caught on faster than I did.  He has gained about 100 pounds, my son elected to live with him(he let him get away with more), and they both now share the vodka.  He's 23, has totaled 2 cars and can't leave the county due to DWIs and can't get a job.  He dropped out of college the first semester.  I can't do a thing about it, except to encourage him to get sober and to get his life together.   Being a recovering alcoholic has taught me that much.

This got to be so long!  Y'all take care.  And don't stay with physical or emotional abusers.  You don't have to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exaspera Exaspera
56-60, F
7 Responses Feb 10, 2010

wow. My wow is to you and your beautiful "recovery. <br />
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I am very glad you changed your life and found someone that appreciates you, very glad. <br />
Hats off to you Mrs.exaspera! <br />
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really very delighted to have read your story!

I'm so glad this story can help anyone.

Thank you very much, I’m young and I don’t have any children , but now I realize that if I don’t do something I’m heading the same way. Your advice is deeply appreciated.

It sounds like you have found a great man! I'm so happy it turned out that way for you, your story is truly beautiful. I came to your profile because I LOVE your avatar! It makes me happy everytime I see it!

wow! what an incredible story! Your strength is an inspiration!!

Your story does give me hope, that I will be strong enough to leave when the time is right. Thanks for your inspiring story!!!

Reading your story, gives me hope, i know i have to do it this year and will, my daughter she's 13 knows the score and wants to live with me, and can't wait, but i do have fears, i'm excellent at giving advice about people facing their fears and laughing in the face of it, but yet i still feel scared. <br />
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Reading some of the stories on here i fully understand women who hate and want their husbands to die or have an accident - i don't feel that, as he is my children's father, but honestly the times i feel hate for him, when he has verbally abused me, and in front of both my girls.They both stand up for me, they are 13 and 7, the more they stand up for me the angrier he gets. I will deal with the feeling scared, and tackle it head on. I just can't stand him any more. He makes my life miserable, and i feel certain he will go on to relationship after relationship, i mean who ever would put up with the **** i have taken would have to be insane, which is how they drive you.