This Is Too Painful

After my first marriage, I prayed daily that God would send me a man who would love my children like they were his own. A man that didn't drink, didn't smoke, and would totally and completely love me. That was when a mutual friend introduced me to my eventual second husband. His first wife had cheated on him. When we were dating I knew he was a jerk, I tried to break up with him, but I could not get rid of him. He married me because my ex-husband wanted custody of our children. It was a justice of the peace and a pair of $50 wedding bands. For fourteen years, I took care of my husband and children. Anything my husband wanted, I made sure he got. When he had open heart surgery and had to be out of work without pay for three months, I found a second job and worked two jobs for a couple of years to pay off all of the hospital bills. During this time, we never did anything, or went anywhere I wanted to go. When we went on vacation we always had to go where he spent his honeymoon with this first wife. When I sprained my ankle and the dr. prescribed crutches, my husband told me I could use the ones he found in a garbage dumpster, they were filthy so I walked on my ankle. When I hurt my back helping move my enlaws furniture, my husband gave me the medicine the dr. prescribed and even though he was with me when the dr. told me to stay in bed for a week, I had to cook dinner. When I had an auto accident, my mother brought him to the scene of the accident. My mom ran to me to see if I were ok, my husband went to the back of the car to check on "his baby." But still, I thought I was the luckiest woman in the world.
In Feb. 2011, I was informed that I needed surgery. It was at the same time I noticed my husband acting differently. He began yelling at me, we always went everywhere together, suddenly, he no longer wanted to be with me. The man that would never hurt anything, began abusing me. Then I started catching him telling lies. He threatened to leave me and divorce me. During family outings with the kids, he would be distant or leave after an hour to go to a friends house. In May, by accident, I discovered he had been talking to another woman on the cell phone, over one hundred calls each month for four months. When I confronted him, he got angry, told me he wanted half the money from our savings account, he was moving out. When I arrived home from work, he was calm and collected and told me the woman was 65 years old. After letting the crap bother me for too long, I did an online program that gave me the name of the person that he had been talking to and she was 59, fourteen years older than my husband. He treated me horribly when I had the surgery and he spent his birthday with a nineteen year old guy. He lied about Thanksgiving and New Years day, he spent neither with me. A month after I discovered the phone calls, he began getting "restricted" calls. I heard him talk to the person on the phone, but he maintained that he didn't know who it was. The "restricted" calls are still going on. Last week, I found a program on the internet where you can get the persons number if they call your cell phone, I paid the small fee for the service and I found out their number when they called me. I was the woman who my husband had been talking to last year. Like an idiot, I let him know who it was. Investigator I would never make. He still maintains he didn't know who it was, and they only played music, but they were calling him five to seven times per day.
After all of this, you would think I would be ready for him to go. But every time I think of him leaving, I have a panic attack. I get sick and have lost over thirty pounds. I dread weekends and holidays because I know we will either get into a fight or he will go somewhere. I do not have any friends, I am the only person who works in my department, the only other human contact I have is with graduate students, who leave after nine months.
So, why can't I let go of him or do as my children wish and kick him out? Staying together is too painful, braking up is too painful. Does anyone have any suggestions?
seasidesally seasidesally
3 Responses May 20, 2012

Well, I have learned the hard way, you can stay too long on a sinking ship. I dumped the first therapist, he wasn't much help, and when he began leaving me in the waiting room because he "didn't know I was there," and "call next week to make an appointment," I thought it best to find someone new. The new therapist is helping me deal with how I feel about all of this. I am taking a mild antidepressant to help with the panic attacks I have at the thought of my husband leaving. I have gained some of the thirty pounds back that I lost, but I hope to join a gym soon to rid me of that extra weight (I am only about 30 pounds overweight, but I want to be with people). My husband has left twice to stay with a male friend (I guess he is male, since I am not allowed to meet him). Both times he was gone, I absolutely LOVED it. No arguing, no "I wonder where he is or what he is doing." I really wanted him to stay gone. I enjoyed myself, I went where I wanted, ate what and when I wanted, I drank some wine (something I am not allowed to do when he is around), went to bed when I wanted, got up when I wanted and there were NO GUILT TRIPS. I separated our checking accounts, leaving him more money than I took, still he calls me a money hungry *****. He tells me he loves me, but is not "in love" with me anymore. He tells me he is at a cross road, he is afraid of turning the wrong way. If he turns left and goes out on his own, he may not find what he is looking for and then I won't let him come back, if he turns right, we will stay together and then we both stay miserable. We decided to separate for three months, after the three months we will revisit our situation. When I asked him when is he leaving, he tells me, when he "damn well feels like it." I do not believe he is planning to leave without taking all his stuff, and since he has no place to go, it is the same old crap everyday.
Why does he have to make me feel like I am horrible. Is this what all people do when they start breaking up?
For me, him being gone looks to be like the most exciting time of my life. Over the years, the house has been neglected, so I plan to redo the bath (shower has been broke for eight years, toilets for three), the kitchen, new porches, and I already have a trip planned for my birthday. I have an appointment with my attorney coming up, I know he will want me to file immediately, which is not a bad idea at this point. Don't think I am rich, I am not, so things will take time, but at the end of the day, it gives me something to look forward to.
My children have been the best. Being very supportive. They love my husband, but also believe it is over. I am thankful for that. I do not want them to hate him, I do not want us to end as enemies. I just want it to end, and now I don't know how to get him out.

One of the first things I think that anyone *must* learn as they mature in life is that you cannot be selfish when it comes to what is or is not your best interest.<br />
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I was in a relationship such as this one. Not exactly like, but it was a bad relationship from the beginning and I knew it. Like you, I willfully entered into it and then when I got hurt, I wanted to blame him. I couldn't live with him, and couldn't live without him -- or so I told people, and so I told myself. The truth, however, is that I very well COULD live without him and more importantly, that I SHOULD live without him. <br />
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The difficult part was admitting to myself and everyone else that I had put me in that situation. Not him. Me. And as much as this may sound harsh, this is the life you've chosen for yourself and continue to choose, in spite of apparently overwhelming evidence that it is not in your best interest or that of your children. You are choosing this for you and no one else and even though you clearly know it's a bad situation for everyone, you continue to choose it because you don't want to deal with the pain of not getting what you want -- your husband. <br />
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Sadly, you're not in a position to be selfish anymore. You only have one life. It lasts the length of a deep breath and then it's gone.. and while you're busy pouring what's left of your life into a bottomless pit, you could be spending this time healing, learning from your mistakes, and yes.. moving forward with living your *life*. It seems hard and it will be hard. But to grow, to mature, to improve your life.. you have to be willing to accept the growing pains. They hurt.. but they bring you to a stronger, happier, healthier place and they are the *only* way to get there.<br />
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Don't be a victim anymore. Not even just inside your head. Don't think of what "he" did to you. Think of what you're doing to yourself, realize that it's your own choice, and then change your *mind*. That's the only thing you ultimately have the power to change and once that changes, everything else will begin to follow suit. <br />
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My heart goes out to you, but you're far from hopeless. I would suggest finding a counselor at Church or somewhere else and after allowing them to build a basis of trust, let them be your support as you begin to take back control of your life. You can, and I sincerely hope that you will. YOU matter.. but sometimes in order to realize that, you have to get rid of something you *think* you want in order to make room for what you truly need.<br />
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Prayers, well wishes and blessings your way.

Remember before there was a man in your life you are capable of anything so don't be afraid to be just you again. You have grown stronger and wiser since the suffering believe me. Pains make you stronger cause it is natural that your heart is fighting to live. Let go and be free again and in time you will find your heart will be able to love again. Love have many forms.