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How I Ended Up Here

I grew up in a fairly unstable family. There was physical abuse as well as emotional abuse and alcoholism. There was some really wonderful parts to my childhood, though, it wasn't all bad. But there was some very hard, dark times I went though. So when I was still 17 and just barely out of high school I moved away from my parents and rented a little studio apartment from a friend of the family. I went to some counseling to help get over some of what I had been though and it helped me learn to let go of a lot of my pass. During this time I dated and had friends and was generally a pleasant time in my life.

But then my mom caused a huge blow up with the friend who was renting me the apartment. Now because this person was a friend of the family she let me have the apartment on the rather cheep side. It was very affordable, and the only reason I could live alone. After the big fight my mom caused she (the family friend) came to me and said that while I played no part in the blow up that maybe it would be best for me to find other living arangments. She wasn't kicking me out or even giving me a time line; but I knew where she was coming from and as long as I was living there my mom was going to cause trouble. (Even though I left we are still on good terms and I still see her from time to time.)

I had been dating a man who lived about 90 miles away from me, not quite a long distance relationship but far away enough that we did not see each other all the time. We got together about 3 or 4 times a month and I was really falling for him. He seemed to be everything I had wanted in a man. He was smart, and funny, hardworking, the sex was great. So when the family friend asked me to move out he suggested I move in with him. He had 2 other roommates--a newlywed couple who I liked a lot--and we all got along well and it just seemed like a big adventure. I was twenty-ish and moving in with a boyfriend and another cool couple in new town away from all my crazy family just seemed fun.

For the first few months it was, but then my boyfriend started to pull away. It seemed like every week he got more and more involved with work/friends/role playing games or computer games and he was waiting till I was asleep before he would come to bed. The sex was almost gone, within 6 months of moving in we were having sex once a month. I was planning on moving out and looking for new roommates when I found out I was pregnant. (Since the sex had tapered off so much I had stopped using birth control and we were just using condoms. Bad idea) .

I wasn't going to keep the pregnancy/baby. I had not decided on whether or not I should have an abortion or go the adoption route when he asked me to marry him that he would change and be a good father and a good husband. We had discussed the sex and he said he would not be so distance....I agreed to stay and we had a quick wedding and move out into our own little house. Bad idea #3. Of course it didn't seem that way then, but hindsight is 20/20. Things were ok for a year or so and baby #2 came. But then about 6 months after our second was born he went back to his old ways and has not changed since. Over all we have sex maybe every 4 to 8 weeks. Sometimes we have gone over a year without sex. It's horrid as most of you know. And it's not just the lack of physical intimacy, but also the emotional intimacy as well. We get along like roommates, but not much more.

We been together now for 17, going on 18 years. Early in the marriage after our 2nd child was born I considered leaving. I was working on a degree in teaching--but before I started working our son was diagnosed with autism. It was a huge blow. I had known he was not developing as he should have been, but it was devastating when the doctor--after months of testing--told us the news. We were giving pretty grim news, the doctor felt we should do the "kind thing" and put him in a group home. He felt that his needs would be more than we could handle. We sought a second opinion and started a therapy. Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Play Therapy, Music Therapy, sign language classes. I finished my degree--it took several more years than it normally would off, and I had to take out massive amounts of student loans to pay for it and his therapies. But I was taking my son to therapies and classes and doctors 4 days a week. We were told not to have any hope that he would even walk or talk, let along tie his shoes or be potty trained. And don't even expect any sort of affection from him.

But after years of therapy he showed improvement, he could walk, and communicate, (we still have trouble with tying shoes, but he can do it) he goes to school, and is potty trained. But ti came at the price of not starting a career. I don't regret it--but it has made me financially dependent on my husband. Only in the last 5 years have we been able to scale back on the therapies which has allowed me to work part time. Though I'm still struggling with massive student loan debts--and a teaching degree that is pretty much useless since I have never been in a classroom and due to not having my student loans caught up my college transcripts are frozen so I can not even prove that I do have a degree.

I'm only mentioning all of this because it is a HUGE reason why I have not left my husband. Believe me I WANT too so badly. But I feel that I have to put my children first. He is not a bad father or even a bad person and both children are very much attached to him. I don't want to destroy my family. And I don't even know where to start in finding a job that would support myself and two children--one of whom has a lot of needs.

But I crave being with a man so much. I did have an affair a few years ago. It was wonderful. He was a single man about my age and we got along well. I didn't want to leave my husband and kids, and he didn't want to take on a family. We both wanted an outlet for passion and sex. We had a lot in common and in any other circumstances we probably would have fallen in love--but we both held back. I don't know what would have happen to that relationship, it ended when his job transferred him out of state. We both felt that a long distance relationship like that would not have worked. so we decided not to communicate once he left. I was sad, and gained 30 lbs.

At first I didn't care, and didn't want to be in another relationship and since my husband didn't care about the weight either I just stop bothering about it. But now I'm feel like I'm getting to an emotional breaking point. I want to find another lover and I feel the weight is a barrier. I'm trying to loose it, but it is hard. Food has become a coping mechanism and a hard habit to break.

I hope this hasn't been too long. I have hardly ever put most of this into words and I find it is just pouring out of me right now.
cherryblossomhotel cherryblossomhotel 36-40, F 5 Responses Jun 5, 2012

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A child on the spectrum completely changes one's life choices. That is why I am here, and my story is similar to yours. My non-functional family is out of the question for any support. My child is an only, and we are older parents. H's family is the best resource for trusted adults, along with a nephew whom I trust to honor his commitment to watch over said offspring and finances, if this proves necessary when we are gone. I can't recreate that were I to leave.<br />
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I'm at the stage of having given up after a lot of struggling, family deaths, and then having an exit plan collapse. I am holding out hope that a phoenix will rise from my current pile of ashes.

I think at this point, it is very tough to seek divorce.I guess you need some forms of diversion to keep yourself sane.This place is a good place to vent and make like-minded friends so that you will not feel so alone.My daughter used to be autistic too but she has improved over the years with therapy.Don't give up.My kid's psychiatrist ever told me my kid was a hopeless case but he was wrong in the end.Your deep concern now is also feeling unloved and rejected.I feel same at times.Am in a sexless marriage and learning to cope with the loneliness.My kid and my pet dog are the ones that keep me going when life sucks at home with hubby.Take care dear, ya not alone.:)

I do try to stay busy. I volunteer in a few social groups and I have my children and pets. But it's hardest around 10 or 11pm when I'm lying in bed alone and my husband is up on his computer talking to total strangers on line and all I want is for him to come and hold me close after a hard day.

Understand how you feel.Many times at night my hubby would take his pillow and sleep on the sofa in the living room.He is also active with his smartphone.Times like that I just cuddle my doggie and surf the net.Am finding comfort here as I feel less lonely, knowing that I am not the only one sleeping alone as a married woman.

If there is an aversion to intimacy in your marriage, your risks of divorce are higher than usual.<br />
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If there has been cheating in the union, your risk of divorce is higher than usual.<br />
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If there is a kid with a disability in your family, the risk of divorce is higher than usual. (just have a look around the parents in your autism support group to check this out).<br />
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If your marriage has got to the stage where you join this group, again, your risk of divorce spikes even higher.<br />
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Might be as well to prepare.<br />
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Tread your own path.

If there is a divorce it will be when I do it. My husband has said many times that he is very happy in our marriage and doesn't want for things to change. He really acts as if he does not understand why I'm so unhappy. It seems that more often than not the refuser is the one who happy and unwilling to leave. I wish he would divorce me.

Nolo press. nolopress.com has resources for divorcing people.

You are facing very difficult choices - and each choice comes with a partial reward and a partial penalty. Stay - the reward is continued financial stability; the penalty is your unhappiness. Leave - the reward is your peace of mind and the chance for a happier future; the penalty is financial penury.<br />
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So you will need to be quite ob<x>jective about your decision making. Take the time to think clearly through all the pros and cons - it might help to make a list of these.<br />
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Seek legal advice. Many Women's Health services and Women's Refuges will be able to assist you to find free or low cost legal advice. Find out exactly where you stand financially if you and your husband divorce.<br />
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Think about your support options. These are especially important in the case of your child with autism. Do you have family members who can assist? Is your son able to access other services that might give you the support you need to find work? Be sure you have up to date and complete knowledge of his entitlements AND your entitlements as his primary Carer.<br />
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As you feel you are not really able to consider a teaching career due to lack of experience, could you consider a job as a Teaching Assistant supporting children with disabilities in the classroom? With your background as both teacher trained and a parent of a child with a disability, you have unique qualifications for such a position.<br />
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The advantage to you would also be that, after a few months exposure to classroom situations on a regular basis, I feel sure you would have developed sufficient confidence to consider applying for a teaching position.<br />
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Consider other options too. Whilst it would not be ideal, you could possibly share with another woman and her child/ren. This has the advantage of reducing your rent and providing some adult company (and hopefully support) in the months after you leave your marriage.<br />
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As a SAHM of a child with a disability, you may well be entitled to financial support for yourself either through a Carers Pension or as additional support from your (ex) husband.<br />
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Read widely on this forum and check out the many stories and forum posts. Find out as much as you can about living in a sexless marriage - it will help you make informed decisions about your own future.<br />
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Leaving a sexless marriage is a process. It works best when you make informed decisions ba<x>sed on genuine information about your situation AND a well formed Exit Plan. Take your time, and may your decisions (whatever they may be) lead you to a happier future.

I have tried getting a teacher's aid job, and even substitute teaching. But neither one has happened. The schools in my city/state has been hit very hard with the recession and are firing instead of hiring. I have several friends who have lost their teaching jobs. We are slated to close 4 schools in the next 2 years.

If I was to leave right now I have two places to go too. One is my sister--but she lives 700 miles away. One of the reasons I am so reluctant to leave is I don't want to upset my children's live so drastically by going so far away they have never lived anywhere else. Their roots are here. Even for me it's hard to think about leaving for good.

The other option is a friend who lives a bit closer, about 100 miles away--same state but still far. She is a single parent too, with one child. I have two. And her house isn't very big. She doesn't really need a roommate, her house is paid for so all she has to do is keep up with the taxes/lights/food. But she has made the offer. But I don't know--I have thought about it just for the summer. But still I'm stressed over the whole situation.