I had a hard time falling asleep a few nights ago. I rarely think very far into the future but on this night I coudn't keep my mind from going there. I have been feeling like a caged animal lately, probably caused by Winter and my H being home all day every day since just before Christmas. I just lay in my bed going over my finances in my head, trying to figure out if there was any way I could make it on my own with my son. The more I juggled the figures, the more helpless I felt.

Then I heard my H shut off the TV and head to his bedroom. I heard him pat the bed to call the dog up on it. I heard him make kissy sounds to the dog and romp around with him before becoming quiet. I couldn't help but ask myself-what the h*ll is wrong with me that I don't deserve half the affection that the dog gets! But then I realized that I was wrong, nothing is wrong with me. He chooses to put an animal before his wife. He chooses to push away everyone who loved him, both his sons and me, and lavish his love on the dog. The worse part of this is that his father did the same thing to his mother and he hated that. His parents had cats and those cats came before everyone else in the family. Many times we would visit and my mother in law would be cooking a beautiful roast, for the cats. They would open up a can of soup for themselves. My H knew that his father forced his mother to spend their food budget on those cats but since his mother was completely subservient to his father, there was nothing he could do.

In spite of this and without realizing it, he is doing the same thing. He has told me that I am like his mother, a goody goody two shoes. She put up with my FIL's abuse til the day he died, but I don't plan to follow in her footsteps.

The future scares me sometimes.  The thought of being alone scares me, but then I already am alone. My oldest son visits only rarely now because he feels hurt by his father, and my youngest has never bonded with his father because H was never home when he was growing up. So staying here with a distant husband will end up distancing me from my sons, and (maybe) eventual grandchildren.

I finally did find sleep, after reminding myself that I don't want any affection from my H anyway. He has managed to push me far beyond the point  of no return.

jojewel jojewel
56-60, F
26 Responses Mar 12, 2010

Graywolfy, I did have a job last summer as caretaker for a dear lady suffering from early onset Alzheimer's. Her husband was going to Egypt for a month this winter and I would have lived in during that time. Unfortunately, she took a turn for the worse and he had to send her to a long term care facility.<br />
Enna, I'm am still actively searching for another similar position. Not only would it get me away, but it would also help me out financially.<br />
FoP, I believe that my sons know that there is something not right with their father. I may be wrong, but I do not think that they will emulate him. For one thing, they both communicate better than he ever did, which to me is very important. I've already told my son that I'd stay til he gets his Bsc. but if he wants his Masters, he'll have to do it on his own. He understands this.<br />
TV, you might be surprised. Some children do eventually see their parents for who they are and refuse to be manipulated by them. You are right though, the payback is uncertain. I'm sorry to hear that things are getting worse for TP and her daughter. She must be so hurt with this, please give her an extra hug for me!<br />
Chubasco, I agree that flames do eventually go out for various reasons. This flame was intentionally stamped out. I also know that the grass is not always greener, but sometimes it is.

Whatever the flame that starts a marriage frequently goes out. How people react to that depends on their character. Whether you stay or leave is up to you. The grass is not always greener.

You know... there are worse things than being short on money... and you are living one of them.<br />
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I was too, until my hand was finally forced. Don't wait for that... don't wait for that, my dear friend. Don't let him continue to show your sons how NOT to be a good husband and father...<br />
<br />
Don't let him continue to show your sons how NOT to treat a woman... how NOT to treat a wife... <br />
<br />
I KNOW how hard it is to feel that you are standing at the top of a cliff and the next step will take you over the edge... and I know how hard it is to have to tell my daughter that she will have to go to college/university on student loans... and that I can't help her.<br />
<br /> is still 1000 times better, this life that we have now, than what we were living with my STBX in the house.

Graywolfy, I was thinking along similar lines . . maybe a live-in positrion as a companion/housekeeper? I doubt it would not have long term appeal for you JJ, but it just MIGHT offer you an opportunity to get some independence.<br />
<br />
I do understand that your DH might seek to divorce you if you move out thus limiting your sons' educational opportunities - so I reallise this might not be an option either . . .

TV, I think that you did impact your previous partner's sons and in a very positive way. They will realize one day that the gift of an education is invaluable, and it makes you a hero to me that you have given them that. Your ex sounds like a self absorbed twit who couldn't appreciate how good she had it. Her loss is VP's gain, and it sure seems that she's appreciating the heck out of you! ;)<br />
HesitantlyHopeful, those sure are wise words for one so young. I'm really glad that things worked out for your mom!

This makes me so sad. I hope you can find the strength or corage or money (or whatever it is that's stoping you from leaving) to leave him and find your own happines. I grew up in a home with an abusive father and my mother left him, taking me with her, when i was 13. I'm 18 now and she has a boyfriend who treats her so good and she's so happy. She tells me all the time that she can't believe a realtionship could be this happy. Do what is right for your happiness. It might be hard at first but I'm sure it will be worth it. Good luck!

Thank you, LadyA, for your encouragement. Writing does help me put my thoughts in order and it is true that many comments point out aspects that I hadn't considered before. I know that things will work themselves out eventually, it's just that sometimes my patience gets severely strained. As for my finances, I know I'll be okay when I just have myself to take care of.<br />
GivenTake, you have hit the nail on the head on how the behavioural traits which he so disliked in his father managed to manifest themselves and grow in him. I will take your advice and start a diary. I believe it will be very therapeutic.<br />
It22t,-WoW- your comment explains everything-it also explains why he withdraws his love from the dog as soon as it becomes too much trouble. He is still a child!<br />
Thank you 13bullet, I have found this group and its members have been an enormous help. I am thankful to all of them.

Dogs are easy to love. (Cats are a little harder, but not that much.) They don't bring up things you don't want to think about, or ask questions you don't want to answer, or point out realities you don't want to confront.<br />
<br />
When boys are still children, before they start to mature, they like dogs way better than girls.<br />
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You got it right. He wants a dog, not a wife. He can't handle a wife; he's still a child. Good luck finding someone who can. Or better yet, finding someone who can handle both a dog and a wife, and have the sense to know which is which.

JO<br />
I can understand and relate to your comment about how your marriage started out good, but sooner or later, upbringing surfaces, and all unrecognized or unresolved family issues find their way into our lives, marriage and family. Your clue words to your husband on his behavior was a start to recognized and change these traits - somewhere his want or need to do that changed. As you now know his choice to leave them unresolved - gave them room to grow and at the <br />
expense of you and your sons. <br />
Yet, in spite of all you have been through, you have chosen to grow. You know that you can't change his behavior, but you can control how much you will allow it to impact your family. Your commitment and love for your sons has helped you to see this. From your stories they seem like wonderful young men - you should be proud of yourself. Your future is something that you fear but fear of the unknown is normal. It is your ability to make that step, not your choice to do, that will tame those fears. I think you should plan for this time - journal your dreams and desires.You have showed such strength of character, it can only be admired. Thank You......((HUGS))

Thank you, Papamoose, I appreciate that!

I'll keep you in my prayers. Sleep well tonight knowing that you are not alone, and that this isn't because of you.

KoP, your comment proves once again that our children see much more than we think. It is sad that your wife prefers the company of her cats to yours and your daughter's.<br />
Married2TheShrew, I have read your posts about Mr. Plastic and I find that your wife is extremely cruel. I agree with you that we all deserve to be loved, be we all seem to have had the misfortune of falling in love with someone incapable of loving back.<br />
Kdog, when I first told my son of my plan to leave, he asked me if I could postpone it and I agreed. He had just been accepted at the University. He's got a little less than 3 years to go. I have always promised myself that I would give my children the chances that were denied to me.

AT, I don't mind at all, in fact I agree with you. I have tried to help him, my psychiatrist tried to help him, but he refuses all help. Everyone has a problem but not him. It is sad, because we were happy at one time. I have told my sons many times that they were conceived in love and that is the truth.<br />
Reflections3, if it were just for myself I don't think it would worry me that much. My youngest is still in university and he still needs my help. He has very good grades and I couldn't forgive myself if he felt he had to give up his education just so I could leave. There is so much truth in what you say.

JJ, does your son know you're staying for him? Isn't there any way you could leave now? You are a dear, wonderful person and you deserve a home that has peace and not this madness.

I too look for the same crystal ball that you describe in the post above. My daughter and I were having a very serious conversation tonight at supper. I know she wants to talk to me when she asks if I will take her out. So we talked for a long time about her and her mom's relationship and the distance that she feels. She also mentioned a problem she is having with her best friend, whose father is my best friend and we are both dealing with similar problems there also. She is not really willing to make a move towards her mom and her mom feels the same. It is sad for them. Then she asked me some very difficult questions. They were about mine and her moms relationship. Why have I stayed, why is like this, do I love her. Lots of hard things to face. I answered them but it was so hard to do. However, if I was under some illusion that she was oblivious to the madness of this relationship, it was only I that has been kidded all along. I can no longer hide behind the lie that I am doing what I do to protect her. To move into the next idea behind this comment is to say the cat is out of the bag. Which is reflective to another part of this post. My wife also connects better to the 4 cats in this house than us. She calls them to her after she gets into bed and is upset if they choose not to sleep with her at night. She works hard to please them and does little to improve the human relationships around her. I used to be angry about all of this, I used to blame myself, now I just feel sad that it is her choice and not mine. So just as you H, the day she wakes up to find only the cats or in his case the dogs around them and our lives move forward will be lesson in reality that no one can prevent for them.

BeMySelf, wouldn't it have been wonderful to have had a crystal ball when we were younger, it would have saved us such pain! When we were first together my H was terrified of ending up like his father. His father was terribly verbally abusive to his mother. We had devised a way for me to let him know when he was falling into his father's patterns. I would just call him by his father's name and he'd be more careful. After a while though It stopped having any effect on him. <br />
I bet you made sure that your lover had no dogs-Lol!!!

There is a happier place in this world for you and your son ... I understand the finances ... this is where I falter ... worrying about were I am going to end up ... imagine living in walk up tenements, leaving my beautiful home on 10 acres, and everything that has been familiar to me..... <br />
<br />
This is where my head has to move onto ...because when I do ... I feel happy, lighter, and positive.<br />
The familiarity of our lives have kept us prisoners in loveless marriages.. this I believe to be true.<br />
<br />
I am going to get to that place of peace of mind .. with or without the "stuff" surrounding me now. <br />
<br />
We can't change anyone else .... we can change ourselves .. how true

There is a happier place in this world for you and your son ... I understand the finances ... this is where I falter ... worrying about were I am going to end up ... imagine living in walk up tenements, leaving my beautiful home on 10 acres, and everything that has been familiar to me..... <br />
<br />
This is where my head has to move onto ...because when I do ... I feel happy, lighter, and positive.<br />
The familiarity of our lives have kept us prisoners in loveless marriages.. this I believe to be true.<br />
<br />
I am going to get to that place of peace of mind .. with or without the "stuff" surrounding me now. <br />
<br />
We can't change anyone else .... we can change ourselves .. how true

JJ - I hope you don't mind, if I see not one, but two unhappy people in your household. This does not mean that everybody carries equal blame. You husband probably never learned to reach out to a human being, so he settled for the dog. How sad. You, on the other hand, know better, and I wish you find a way to get out of this dungeon.

People definitely come first.<br />
When I met my husband he had a dog. He always put her first before me but I just told myself that I was being silly to think it meant anything, he loved me of course, but he used the dog as a wall between us, and since she died he just uses other things. If you say you are jealous of a dog, folks would think you were mad, but it can be a barrier!<br />
I can't believe the story of your in-laws. His childhood was not a great role model. But what I don't understand is why he can't see that and do something about it, instead of letting history repeat itself.<br />
Dogs are great companions but they are not human. You must be so rejected, I know I am. <br />
I feel like the sofa or the chair, just not seen or acknowledged, it is so hurtful. I just think well I am being a great mum and that is wanted so that's how I go on. Plus my wonderful wonderful lover. He does not have a dog and does not like pets so I am thrilled!

Sixand0, I don't think that I'm jealous of the dog(not anymore, anyway) because I know that I no longer want affection from my husband. Moving to a separate bedroom has helped me see him more ob<x>jectively and I am no longer attracted to the man he has become. I really can't explain it, but that night I was overcome by a strange sort of wistfulness.<br />
Richardkiss, I also know about the bond between dogs and people. I bought the dog for my son, but my husband has spoiled the dog to such an extent that he is no longer my son's dog. I would also be more inclined to believe his love for the dog if once in his nine years my H had taken him for a walk, or taken him to the vet, or given him a bath, etc. These are all things that I do, so even his supposed love for the dog is damaged.

Thank you for your comment NIL. I really don't know if he will regret it when I leave. I do know now that he stopped loving me(if he ever really did) way before I stopped loving him. I also know that he most probably doesn't love the dog either because he threatens to have the poor thing put down whenever he gets sick. Love and hugs back to you.<br />
Thank you Gryfnn, your words encourage and soothe me greatly.<br />
You are right, Randomjack, that devil you don't know is very scary, but the devil I know is slowly killing my spirit.<br />
Thank you Konaprincess, and I'm sorry that you are in the same predicament. It is painful to be put aside in favour of an pet. I love animals, I am the one who bought the dog, but I believe that people come first.

jojewel,<br />
<br />
I am incapable of understanding how your husband cannot resist a warm, loving woman who would like to shower him with intimacy and passion.<br />
<br />
I can, however, understand the bond between your husband and his dog. A dog is such a wonderful animal in so many ways but how anyone could ever prefer the affection of a dog to that of another human being I just cannot imagine.<br />
<br />
Would your husband mind if you were to find someone who would appreciate your undoubtable charms? How could he be jealous of someone else having what he did not want himself?

JJ - I know only too well what that is like. My STBX is like that with our dog. It has gotten to the point that he kisses the dog good night and pats me on the head. I think that is part of the reason why I made the final decision to divorce. Like you I got tired of having the dog put before me. You know your in a SM when your jealous of the affections your dog gets from your SO. I feel like a pathetic fool for being jealous of the dog and am tired of the feeling.

((hugs)) jojewel<br />
<br />
H and I have a dog that I absolutely love and who has become a large part of my life. She is a great companion and gives me alot of attention and affection.<br />
<br />
Having said that though, she is at the center of my husband's world. She can do no wrong. He showers all sorts of love and affection on her but yet he cannot show me (or anyone else) the same level (or any!) affection. Perhaps the dog is safe to him. Regardless, he is not capable of deep affection or intimacy.<br />
<br />
It is maddening. It used to really tick me off. But now it makes me sad that he can only share affection with a dog.<br />
<br />
Just the other day, the dog jumped onto my hurt so bad my immediate reaction was to yell, and then I teared up from the pain. Instead of asking me if I was ok or consoling me, he said, "awwwwwwwwwwwww, poor puppy. Mommy scared the puppy".<br />
<br />
If I wasn't halfway out the door I would be livid by his reaction. But it just reinforces my decision to leave.<br />
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I am thinking about you; please PM me if you need to chat about this!<br />

I was in a very dismal marriage for 17 years--I left when I was about your age. Best thing I ever did.<br />
Being alone is nowhere near as lonely as being in a futile relationship. My first husband was the love of my life. He died young. The second one was a disaster. I have my youngest son from that marriage. So it was worth it. I'm just sorry I didn't leave a lot sooner. I am seldom lonely now...My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren live close, usually one either visits me or calls me every day.. also nice friends and neighbors...These years I've been free of that relationship have truly been some of the best years of my life.