Follow Your Gut!

I got married when I was a naive and super sheltered 19 year old. I believed my Marine boyfriend when he started talking marriage and love so when he wanted to sleep with me I thought I was in a fairy tale and it would all end up happily.....not so much when afterwards he started telling me he couldn't get married cause his dad would be mad....?!?! I was pregnant by then so we got married and I still tried to believe that we were really meant to be....I told you I was naive. He always put everybody else before me and would laugh when his friends or family treated me badly. His mother would tell me to stay home on family outings when she came to visit and he never once stood up for me.....ding, ding, ding, I should have gotten a clue then. When deployment times came he pulled even further away and would talk about the girls he was meeting who were friends and were so great....ding, ding, ding, another clue? Finally after 3 kids he came home from a deployment of 3 weeks and told me he had met somebody in El Paso who he thought could have been who he was meant to be with.....DING, DING, DING!!! That's when I started knowing that I should get out while I was still young but instead I thought of the kids and how bad divorce was supposed to be and I continued to stay. We went to counseling where all the counselors basicly sided with me and said he should work on his end more but he would only try a few days and then back to telling me how I was a loser and nobody liked me and look, that is why you never have friends......ding, ding, ding. He would tell me he couldn't take a day off from work for my birthday so we could spend time without the kids but then I would find out that he was always taking off days from work to help his friends with their cars......ding,ding. I numbed myself to the pain by immersing myself with the kids and living for them and lost sight of who I was and why I deserved anything at all that smacked of love and kindness. We moved to Okinawa with him promising fun and adventure but we had to live out in town with the Japanese and not speaking the language isolated me even more. He loved it (did I mention his Asian fetish?) and he began to leave me and the kids alone even during he wknds while he toured the island sights. He didn't let us be involved with his Marine Corps life and even told me that me and the kids would always rank behind the Corps in his life...ding, ding, ding. The chaplains were flabbergasted when he said that and told him he was nuts. By now he had come home again and told me that he had again met somebody else who he thinks he should have been with but I'm ashamed to say that I went a little crazy and still tried to keep this man who told me I was a loser and he wished I would kill myself. I started making plans to leave even though I was in my mid 30s with a houseful of kids and no skills for a good job. I visited the base law office and was told I could get enough support to live simply while I attended school to get some training. I found places to rent in N.C. that would enable my children to have health care from the base. As I started taking my baby steps to set up a life without hatred he decided he wanted to be a family with us and said he would try harder and do better for us. I too had had advise from others that divorce is not good and to do your best to work it out so I stayed again. Gullible and naive still. We ended up moving to NC and a few months later he was deployed to Iraq. He had stopped trying again, actually pretty soon after the move so it was decided again that we would end it and he didn't need to call/write me and I wouldn't either. Not even a month after he left he was writing and asking to try again, that time alone had made him miss us all so much and he wished only to be a family man afterall. I was leery but looking at my kids' face and thinking of starting over yet again made me weak so I listened and dreamed that fairy tale was still alive. he came home for his 2 weeks r/r and took the kids to Busch Gardens. Like a good wife I was washing the clothes he had brought home in his seabag when lo and behold a paper dropped out and I saw a note he had wrote for himself. It wasn't much, just him jotting down something to remember but my heart fell like a ton of,DING,DING!! I'm so ashamed to say that it didn't end there, so much more to happen, so much more indignities to suffer, all in the name of saving my marriage, avoiding divorce, and keeping the kids with their father. Was that worth it? I live with a man who still tells me I'm a loser, who tells the kids behind my back that I'm the "old bag" and I'm no good. My daughters learned from watching that women don't deserve respect and love and kindness so have never been in a relationship and prefer to be alone. My son feels bad for me and wants to protect me but now I worry how he would treat his wife if he ever marries. Will he know how to treat somebody with love? Will he even know how to love at all? Of course my husband's hatred of me colors his views of our kids, he tells them too that they are losers but he just says he is kidding....can't you take a joke? The kids most like me are the ones he treats the worse. This is why I stayed? I don't know everybody's situation but I know mine and the one constant has been that my gut has tried to alert me to lots of red flags but I always ignored them in order to "save" my family. How sad that my efforts to do so may have instead doomed them for life. Get out while the getting is good and your increased self-respect and the realizations that you deserve kindness and love will bring good things to you two-fold. It's like that saying that what you put out into the universe will come back to you. Your kids will blossom along with you and learn what is important is life isn't living in the same house, it's loving and respecting each other through words as well as actions. Pray for me that I and my kids can still survive and learn and find love in this lifetime.
mom10 mom10
1 Response Jan 13, 2013

I'm so sorry for your suffering. I too am a military wife, got pregnant at 17 and married under the notion that it is "what's best for the child" but my marriage seems loveless and hopeless, I know my husband doesn't love me and I could be treated with respect and love...I just don't want to fail my daughter.

Thank you for your kind words! I hope that you realize that you deserve so much better and so does your daughter. I used to think that my husband would grow up and treat us better, would realize he was lucky to have a family and would love us. It just doesn't happen that way I guess. I pray that it is different for you but if it doesn't get better then know that you didn't fail your daughter at all, you gave her a chance to see real love means respect and dignity and not just being in the same house with somebody who gives none of the above. It has taken me almost 25 years and sometimes I feel that I wasted my life hoping for change. I can tell you that my oldest daughter pities me and doesn't respect me at all since I stayed in this situation. This is why I stayed married for? She wasn't better off I guess, maybe I should have set a better example by standing strong for myself and showing that I deserved better? So now my sadness is joined with guilt and second guessing about what I could have done better for the kids. I can't presume to tell you what to do but I can show you what my path looks like and how it affected my kids so you can have a better idea of what is to come if the situation continues. I will keep you in my prayers, please know I am wishing the best for you and your daughter.