I’ve been in a common-law marriage for nine years, with two beautiful happy kids, ages six and four, a beautiful home in an area with exceptional schools and teachers.
My partner and I have known each other for 15 years but only moved in together once we decided to get a home and have children. We’ve been together nine years.
He’s very hot-tempered, had a difficult childhood, had to leave school in Grade 9 to support his family, and slept on the floor because of the many new immigrants his parents helped settle here.
He has a very expletive way of yelling and talking when mad.
His discipline when young was corporal and he’s still of this belief, which I don’t tolerate or allow. He tried anger management because I threatened to leave many times. He’d lie about having quit the therapy while I thought he was trying.
We’ve had on/off sessions where I don’t talk to him because he’s been very inconsiderate, mean to me, swearing and screaming.
He’s learned not to swear or argue in front of the kids, but I’m sure they’ve heard him. I encourage their self-discipline, and showing love, kindness, etc.
We haven’t slept together for a year; he stays in the basement as soon as dinner’s finished and I’m with the children and their care. I’ve really had it!
I’m in my early-40s and don’t want to delay a big separation when it’s too late for me to have a new long-term relationship.
I’m very protective of my children and am afraid to change their school, which is terrific because one is just getting settled in as she has problems socializing and with attention.
Our high-end home depends on our two incomes. By splitting up I couldn’t afford to live in this area or stay in this house.
I’m afraid this would affect the children, especially the one who’s been struggling with issues at school but now is happy.
My spouse is doing everything to make things better because he knows that I really mean it this time.
I never know if his behaviour will last, or as he always acts totally different to keep me then goes back to his unpredictable behaviour.
Example: I had surgery and he was yelling at me on the ride home because it was my fault that I didn’t do something at home.
I’m always to blame but I’m starting to feel better about myself.
How can I escape this situation without endangering my children with a move to a home with no pool, big yard, excellent school?
Growing up without a pool does not endanger children’s chances for a secure future. But living in a volatile environment of daily yelling, swearing, anger and blaming their mother, is emotionally harmful to young children.
And it’s been much harder on your personal self-image and mental health than a move to another area would be. You’ll find excellent schools and teachers in other locales if you do the research, and talk to other parents for suggestions.
At ages six and four, your youngsters have every hope of adapting well elsewhere.... especially if they’re no longer living in the midst of such discord, with a hot-tempered father who ultimately believes in corporal punishment and currently is emotionally abusive to you.
Proceed thoughtfully. If and when he knows you mean to separate, he may be very difficult on issues over which you’ll need a lawyer and mediation.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman’s fiancé who’s infertile and refuses to explore other ways for the couple to become parents, including use of sperm from a donor to impregnate her or adoption, because people will see that the child doesn’t look like him (May 1):
Reader – “In a world of diversity, anyone can be anyone's child... it only takes love.
“I was broken-hearted to read that a man who is knowingly infertile has such a shocking attitude towards adoption. The idea that he would have to spend his life explaining where his child came from reeks of insecurity, ignorance, and selfishness.
“I was adopted at birth. Both my parents had red hair, blue eyes and freckles. I have none of those attributes, yet there wasn't a person I ever encountered in my life who ever questioned if I was their child. I have several adopted friends, and again, no one has ever questioned their relationship.”
Tip of the day:
An emotionally healthy home life is far more important to young children’s development, learning, and adaptability, than a high-end house/pool.