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In Trouble Within Weeks Of Getting Married

by Gina
(Bristol, TN )

I am a 44 yr old single female. I entered into my 3rd marriage in June of 08, after being single for 11 yrs and being a single mom of two wonderful children. My husband was a world class charmer from the start, with flowers, cards, dinners, weekend trips, etc...he quickly declared that he wanted to be exclusive & so our story began.

I caught him in a pretty big elaborate lie fairly early and tried to call it quits, but then came the apologies, begging & promises. Little did I realize at the time that this would soon become routine. He would call me crazy, hard to get along with etc. Those were the better days.

Things have progressed and he has no patience with my 15 yr old son, to the point that my son tries to avoid crossing paths with him in our own house. This issue caused our last argument. I was trailer trash, a terrible unfit mom, my kids were ruined, I was terrible in bed, I was lazy, filthy, stupid with no common sense. It went on for 45 min. I tried tuning him out by pretending to watch a movie and he came and just turned the channel on tv.

He took my wedding rings and all the jewelry he had given me as gifts and put his ring in my jewelry box instead. I was humiliated to have my friend tell me that he reactivated his old Facebook page today & removed all our pics, removed his marital status and put new pics of just him and his son.

My 2 kids are starting to ask questions and I am trying to downplay things. This behavior has been a pattern and each time it gets worse and more cruel. I am very sad. My kids are the only thing that keep me going. I honestly think if it weren't for them I don't know what I would do. They are my only joy.

My husband tried counseling a few months ago, went 3 times and said he got nothing out of it and that he was only doing it for me. I try to hide my pain at work and friends/neighbors but they think he is a gem and that I am so lucky to have him.

My daughter is only 7 & goes to a private christian school. I sometimes think I can talk to her and tell her we are leaving but she would never understand--this is another issue. When my husband & I argue & he knows how bad it is, he goes way overboard with kindness to my kids. He told my son he might get a tattoo with his name, that he would like to adopt him, take him fishing, golfing, etc. but it never happens.

My heart is broken, I can't remember simple things, can't sleep good, stay tired and have terrible anxiety to the point I have muscle twitches all over my body. I do not have crutches such as alcohol, drugs, etc., I just try to force a smile and keep going.

I know it is so unhealthy but I have no one to help me. I have no answers and no solutions and I can't fall apart because my kids need me.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Gina, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell that this is deeply painful for you, and for very good reason. To have your husband verbally abuse you, lie to you and then try to pull your children closer to him when you confront him is very disturbing.

I know your marriage is important to you, but it is very important that you begin to focus on your own well being. The decline you're seeing in your own emotional health and functioning should not be ignored, especially since you are saying that your husband's behavior is just getting worse over time.

Your children need you to be well. They need you to be strong. It is not healthy for them to be your source of strength, as it needs to be the other way around. They especially need you because of your husband's manipulations.

I am not suggesting that you end your marriage, but I am suggesting that in some ways you don't really have one. The cruelty you are describing is the opposite of love, and has no place in marriage. The only hope your marriage has is if your husband voluntarily gets into intensive, long-term counseling and stays in it for at least a year of regular sessions. Usually, people with his type of problems do not seek therapy, as they think the problem is the other person.

I strongly suggest that you read the following page on relationships, and follow the recommendations there that fit for you:

dealing with verbal abuse

You can do this, Gina. You are worthy of love and respect. Believe in yourself and the goodness inside you.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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