For 10 years, I’ve either ignored my husband's moody, unkind behaviour, or felt I could make some difference.
When our son was born, I was unable to keep making sure all went well and smoothly at home.
He needs power and control over everything, and has repeatedly verbally abused and belittled me.
There’s constant criticism daily. Standing up for myself adds fuel to the fire.
Whatever I say, he needs to refute, deny, blame, or turn it back on me.
I must consult with him on everything.
I cannot stand to hear any more negativity or feel put down.
My mother says this is an abusive relationship. I’d be packing immediately if not for our baby. We’re both very involved parents.
I’m worried that he’ll be extremely vindictive and retaliatory.
When I raised separation, he said he’d want our son "at least 50% of the time.”
I cannot bear to be away from my child who’s still nursing. I’m also returning to full-time work and am very worried about the future.
If I stay, my son will have a negative model of adult relationships, and I fear he’ll start treating me the way his father does.
Scared and Feeling Hopeless
You need a plan. Consider forming it once you’re back at work, and can see a lawyer privately to learn your rights and responsibilities in a separation.
Joint custody (usually equal time if both are good parents) will be an issue if you separate, but abuse will likely remain an issue if you stay.
If you can get some professional counselling without his knowledge, you might find it easier to weigh your options.
Also, if you don’t fear physical abuse in response, tell him that to stay together he must go to marital counselling with you so you two can hopefully have a better relationship and provide a healthier environment for your son.
If he goes, there’s some hope.
A year ago we adopted a rescue dog. She was super-cute but out-of-control and wild, with high energy.
My boyfriend thought his son, nine, would hang out with us more to help walk and look after the dog.
Sadly, this plan didn't work out so I spent the most time with her, took her for walks, and became super-attached. She was my best friend and little buddy.
My boyfriend liked to let her roam around the neighbourhood, to be free. I worried that she might get hit by a car.
One day, while he was looking after her while I was at work, he took her downtown while doing his errands, and let her out of his truck while he was getting beer.
She took off, ran across the street and was hit by a car. He feels terrible. I'm depressed and sad, missing my dog.
I don't know how to get over her. I also don't know how to forgive my boyfriend.
A Major Loss
If the dog was your “best friend,” your boyfriend was not. He proved himself irresponsible and it cost you a “buddy” you loved.
He should feel more than terrible... he needs to own up to being lax, and for causing you this grief. If he doesn’t, you will not forgive him.
Time will heal the sad loss, as it always does. You may want another pet but should wait until you feel able to have very secure arrangements for care when you’re working.
Meanwhile, let your boyfriend know what you need from him.
For 35 years of marriage, lack of intimacy has eroded my self-confidence, made me insecure, and feeling unworthy.
While raising kids and working, I suppressed those feelings.
My husband only gives closed-mouth kisses and cheek pecks.
I raised this 30 years ago and he kissed me with such force that it turned me off.
If I rest my head on his chest or get close to his face, he becomes uncomfortable. Yet I’ve always maintained oral/dental care.
Many people my age are getting divorced recently, perhaps due to wanting and deserving more.
No Deep Kisses
You had sex to have children, but clearly lacked loving gestures, passion, and intimacy.
His one attempt was clumsy, showing he must’ve not known emotional and physical warmth before.
Can you get it from him now? Perhaps, if he understands what’s finally at stake when you’re already talking about divorce.
Tell him there’s still time for a closer connection, if he’ll try.
Tip of the day:
Leaving an abusive marriage requires a safe plan and understanding your own rights.