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  1. The problem is this line of thought is that you are creating a false equivalency. Even if you DO let go of your ex, and BTW- you SHOULD- you aren't going to magically love your husband more. You yourself said that " a gentle husband doesn't float your boat"- will that really change if you never contact your ex again? It's not going to make your husband change who he is. It will just make you continue seeking, whether actively or not, and you will eventually meet ANOTHER man that intrigues you or excites you in a way that your husband doesn't. You may love your husband as a person and the idea of him, but I don't think you are in love with your husband. And if that is the case, then you should be fair to both him and yourself and get a divorce. Your husband doesn't deserve to be your consolation prize and he deserves someone that truly loves him back- madly, truly, deeply. Not someone who is constantly worrying what she is missing and really just loves him as a friend. What is missing for you isn't just going to do away because you feel guilty for not being in love with your husband that you feel you should be in love with, but aren't. If you truly do love and respect your husband as a person, then you should tell him the truth and let him go. Do not stay married out of "obligation" or because you are afraid of being alone. Please get a divorce. You aren't being kind to your husband by living a lie. In the future, don't marry someone based on who your family likes. While it's fine for that to be a factor, you are the one who is married to the person and it has to make YOU happy, too.
  2. Did you marry my ex-husband? I feel for you, OP, cause I've been there. My ex-husband did the same thing to me, it's abuse. He would treat me like garbage til I'd want to leave, then he'd BEG me to come back, "lovebomb" me til I did, then once I did- treat me even WORSE than before. I wish someone had told me this at the time. No matter how much YOU love someone, nothing you say or do will make them love you how you want to be loved. Sadly, love isn't enough. Compatibility matters. Respect matters. How they treat you at their WORST matters, cause that's real life. You need to get a divorce. He won't change- trust me on this, I know from my own experience. You will just waste time thinking and hoping and trying to make things better, but at the end of the day- YOU CAN'T CONTROL HIM. If he wanted to treat you better, he would. Take your son and move out. It's the healthiest option for all three of you. And do NOT let him "reel you back in". This isn't love, it's control and abuse. Best of luck to you. VERY truly.
  3. So. she cheats on YOU- Repeatedly. Then wants to gaslight you and say it's YOUR fault? PLEASE get a divorce. Or stay married knowing she will never stop cheating on you and then trying to blame you for HER actions.
  4. Your parents marriage is their business. If it works for your mom, then that's her choice- not yours. Seek counseling for your own issues and move out of your parents house.
  5. I think you're setting yourself up for a WORLD full of trouble. You know from your own experience, that every parenting story has TWO sides. Your ex might be telling other men that she's dating what your current gf is saying to you. That you just don't care or want to be involved. Parenting is complicated, as you already know, and rarely is ONE side of the story the WHOLE side, so beware. You're already calling this woman the love of your life? Why? Honestly, I'm asking. Find out if you really are by taking some time apart. I'm serious. Make sure that it's really YOU that she likes and not the 'shining knight" routine that she loves. You aren't her children's father. Being a stepparent is far different than being a regular parent. I know because I am a stepparent. You will have to deal with your partner's ex forever, as they will always be the parent of the children. You will not always agree. You may also come to discover things about your partner through them. You also see another way of parenting that you may or may not agree with. I do not think you are ready for this whilst you still have tons of unresolved issues with your own ex and son. You need to come to a more fair visitation agreement. Simply refuse to give money until she agrees to speak about terms with you. I'm curious why this hasn't already been hashed out, as most courts will be on your side to fight for visitation. I think you are seeing your new relationship thru rose colored glasses right now. Take some time apart. Don't be there to be "Hopeful Daddy number 3" and see if she's still interested. Seriously.
  6. OP, the issue isn't about your husband's grooming habits, it's about your HUSBAND and how you don't trust him at ALL. From your previous posts, he's shown you again and again who he is. So, WHY do you just look for clues (spying on his phone, reading into the man-scaping) to justify your distrust when you already KNOW he is unfaithful, a liar, disrespectful, etc. You KNOW these things, continuing to compile proof means nothing if you just plan to complain and stay with him anyway. This is who he is. Period. He's not changing. He's PROVEN it by you talking to him and his behavior staying the same and getting worse. He doesn't respect you. Your choices are stay with him and accept it or get divorced. That's it. And if you continue to stay with him, you might as well STOP playing "detective" because you already KNOW who he is and what he's doing. He's a DOG. Sorry, didn't mean to insult dogs. Dogs are loyal.
  7. Most wives would be jealous if their husband was cheating on them. And I'm sorry to say that it really sounds like yours is. Feel all the things you need to feel, it's NOT wrong and should 100% trust your instincts. My ex-husband also tried to tell me "nothing happened" when he stayed overnight at another woman's house and just by pure coincidence wasn't wearing his wedding ring and it just happened to be the same woman he wrote love poetry for and never wanted me to meet. But sure, "nothing happened". From my experience, OP- there's ZERO point to confronting him. From my life example above, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS and don't give him the chance to make you feel like you are "crazy" or "just being jealous", as if him cheating on YOU is somehow just your imagination or a flaw of YOURS. All my ex tried to do was say I didn't want him to have female friends (not true) and that I was just an overly jealous person (also not true). It was insulting that he thought I couldn't tell the difference between women that he was clearly just his friends and women he was obviously trying to sleep with. You don't mysteriously "misplace" your wedding ring with people who are just friends. You also don't SHOWER with them, OP. Make a plan, because your marriage is over. Consult a lawyer and start making choices that don't include him. There's better men out there. No matter how your husband acts now or how other men have treated you in the past, know that you do NOT deserve to be treated this way. Best of luck to you.
  8. I'll cut to the chase- He doesn't love or respect you. You don't trust him and seeing as you feel the continued need to snoop, you likely know won't be able to trust him again. Get divorced. Why delay the inevitable?
  9. I say this all the time. You can like someone, you can LOVE someone, it STILL does not mean you are compatible or that your relationship is healthy. You are not compatible and your relationship is not healthy. Even when I advise divorce, I know it is easy to say and harder to do, because I've been through it. Even when you KNOW it is the right thing for you both, when feelings are involved it is still incredibly hard to admit that even with so much love between you, the relationship just isn't working or isn't healthy - as much as you may want it to be. But because I HAVE been through it, I also know that despite it being hard, it can actually be the right, healthiest, and responsible choice for both parties. Your husband is being abusive to you and he is also not helping himself to get better. If your marriage has any chance of survival, he must seek therapy because no one that really loves you would think that you deserve to be abused. I'm sorry, but I do not CARE what his "issues are", none of it is an excuse to be abusive towards you when you love him and only want to help him. You must tell him that you are worried about him and the state of your marriage. If his worst nightmare really is you leaving him, then tell him that that will be the reality if he does not seek out professional help. I personally do not consider that an ultimatum. I consider that action and consequence. This isn't a silly "ultimatum" over a trivial issue. This is abuse. You have to take action because he is not. If you really love him, then the best thing you can do for his own well-being is to be honest with him. He needs professional help. You cannot solve the many issues going on with him and if you try, you will only be disappointed. Your relationship should not be based on your ability to withstand his abuse. By doing that, you hurt not only yourself, but him too. He has no reason to change as long as you tolerate it. You need to sit down and have a chat. Give him the opportunity to fix this, because it really is in HIS hands, not yours. Then once you have asked all you can do is wait and see what happens. If he isn't willing to work on it, then that tells you something. At that point, I would file for divorce. Do NOT have a child with this man. Being a parent tests marriage like nothing else. If you don't already have the BEST of conditions, your marriage has almost no chance of surviving it. Best of Luck to you.
  10. So, let me get this straight... You have OVER a MILLION in retirement and you are still worried? MAN, I would LOVE to be in your shoes! I will never be able to retire, and no, that's not hyperbole. And I've never not worked multiple jobs my whole life (since I was 12) and I'm very frugal. But I've had a lot of bad circumstances hit me and my family. Most kids today will never be able to retire as pensions are a thing of the past and the cost of living skyrockets as wages stay stagnant. So, first I advise to please look around you and realize that for most people, you are sitting pretty and tons of people out there would LOVE to be in your position- I KNOW I WOULD!!!! But this is about you and all I can tell you is this. My dad just died. He was like you, NEVER wanted to spend a cent of his retirement money. Avoided home repairs, going places he always want to go, avoided buying stuff he really needed, avoided going to the doctor for treatments he needed. Now that money is still there- but Dad is gone. He didn't spend it... and for what? He didn't get to enjoy the fruits of his labors, he never got to see places he wanted to (but could have), he didn't keep up his health (and could have potentially lived longer), didn't fix his house - and now the kids have to (and use his money for it anyway). And I've just been thinking over and over- HOW SAD it makes me that my Dad HAD the money and was just too scared to USE it. And he never had anything CLOSE to a MILLION dollars, either. It makes me horribly sad that he didn't enjoy his life as much as he could have, when he had the money to do more. Take a breath, really think about being grateful for what you have, and perhaps seeks counseling for why you feel you cannot spend money.
  11. You've been together since you were kids. You can like someone, you can love someone, you can be friends with someone and someone can even be very helpful at times when you need them- HOWEVER, this all STILL does not mean that you are compatible in the long term or that you can live together harmoniously forever. 11 years is more than sufficient time to see if your relationship is capable of growth or change. Repeated past behavior is the BEST indicator of future repeated behavior. I too married my childhood sweetheart. It was hard to get divorced and let all that history go, but it was the right thing to do and we are both happier and with partners much better suited to us both. The thing is- it's not JUST "how you fight"- because how you fight also gets into how you communicate. How you communicate can make or break a relationship. Sometimes when we are with someone too long (especially as kids) we stifle our own growth. You're both stuck in your same childhood patterns which ultimately makes you wrong for each other in the long-term. You're holding onto the nostalgia of the relationship and not enjoying the current relationship. It sounds like you just aren't in love with each other anymore, and that's okay. Sometimes relationships come into our lives when we need them, they serve their intended purpose and then it's time for us to move on. There's nothing wrong or shameful in that. It's nice that your families like each other, but that's no reason to stay married. Those people aren't IN the marriage and the only opinions that matter is who is IN the marriage. Remember, it's not about blame. Sometimes you can both be doing everything you can, and at the end of the day, you are still incompatible. Contrary to what a lot of movies tell us, you don't have to hate someone when you break up or get divorced. And even when you KNOW it's the right thing for you both, it's still hard when you have all that history. I remember when I got divorced, it was very hard even though I KNEW it was the right thing for us both, it was still painful. In the moment, it was hard to walk away from all that history and you listen to people say stuff like, " If you loved each other once, you can again"- but it's not that simple. Marriages are about more than "feelings". I had moments of doubt, it's hard to let go of something that's been part of your life for SO long. But ultimately, I'm very glad that I did and was brave enough to let go. I am so much happier now in my current marriage and my ex is much happier now in his. And I don't have any bitterness about it. We were part of each other's lives when we needed to be until it wasn't serving us anymore- and we moved on. And yes, part of it is sad- but the happiness that has come since has been more than worth it. So, in case it isn't clear- Yes, I think you should move forward with the divorce. Even if your husband "wins you back"- trust me on this (cause I went thru the exact SAME THING)- that joy will be short-lived and before you know it, you will slip back into your same old patterns. Time for you both to move on. GOOD LUCK!!!!
  12. Honestly, OP- your husband sounds really shallow to me. I'm not exactly sure TBH why you are defending him so much. Most women gain weight after childbirth or their figures are never the same again. Even without childbirth, our bodies change with age. If everything you are saying is accurate, WHY would he go from being SUPER into you to not at all interested in you sexually just from gaining weight? Unless he's really really shallow or perhaps wasn't as madly in love with you as you thought. IMVHO, everyone feels that spark right away. Real love is tested in moments like these, when you aren't at your "best", when everything has gotten familiar, when nothing is "new" anymore. My husband and I have been together a long time now, we've both gained weight, but we are still as attracted to each other as ever and want each other as much. Because we still deeply love and want each other, our bodies don't matter. I say it often because it's a truth a lot of people don't want to consider, much less accept. Lots of marriages are tested when children get involved. You say you didn't plan on being parents. Even though I'm sure your husband loves your son, perhaps this is impacting your marriage more than you think. It's not uncommon (weight gain or not) for men to look at their wives differently post-baby. To not view you as sexual anymore. Some men can really struggle with this. Is it possible your husband could be having an affair? I'm sorry to say this can also be very common after having a child, especially an unplanned one. Men can often feel jealous of the attention that gets lavished on the child OR start looking for a new conquest to feel "validated" again. Maybe this is the case, maybe it isn't- but the point I want you to consider is perhaps NOT putting these problems down to simple weight gain. There could be much more at play under the surface than this. OR your husband is just very shallow, but either way, this isn't good and if you want to stay married, you have some work to do. Please please stop blaming everything on weight gain or time. Those are easy and convenient excuses not to look further. I get it, it's more comfortable to assume it's a surface level thing cause confronting other things are scary. And if it's a surface level thing, we can view that as easily "fixable", when whatever is really at play may not be. I'm unsure what you want. Do you want to stay married or get a divorce? If you want to stay married, you are going to have to get uncomfortable and really figure out what's wrong. You may get some answers you don't like. But whatever you do, PLEASE do NOT think you deserve to be treated this way because you put on weight. Cause honestly, if that's the only reason for your husband to be distant and non-sexual with you, that's pretty scummy. It's not "normal" for your husband to not want to have sex with you. I understand people can get complacent, but if you desire an active romantic marriage, then you already know things have to change. Nothing will change by ignoring it. Taking all the "blame" is harmful to you. Please stop doing that. Not every relationship is meant to last "forever"- it's a ridiculous standard our society still has. That if you don't last forever, it's a "failure". IMVHO, that's a childish attitude. Sometimes we have the relationship that we need at the time and if it no longer serves the two people involved, it's ok to end it. You don't have to hate each other. You can look at it and say " It worked for us for a while, but it doesn't work now and isn't serving either of us positively anymore and it should end." AND THAT'S OKAY. And IMO, MUCH healthier than trying to "force" something that you both know isn't working or making either of you happy. Have a conversation with your husband. Talk about what has been going on. Talk about your feelings- do NOT assume you know what he is feeling or why. Just hear him out. Do NOT just blame yourself. Then talk about what you want going forwards and find out if you're on the same page and if he's willing to put in the work. (Cause this cannot just be " You need to lose weight". ) If you are- GREAT. If you aren't, then you need to think about if you want to continue to live this way or if you do not see it continuing long term. Whatever you decide, do NOT use your child as the sole reason to stay if the marriage will not make either of you happy. I believe it's entirely possible to be fantastic co-parents without being married to each other. GOOD LUCK!!!!
  13. No one and I mean NO ONE has the right to INSIST that they alone be your WHOLE world. I mean it. Everyone from spouses, to parents, to children. No one person should ever be your entire reason for existence. Human beings are social creatures and no one person can or SHOULD be your everything. Not only is it totally unrealistic, it's toxic. You are not responsible for HER mental health. Please re-read that over and over. It's unfair of her to put you in that position to begin with. It's one thing to ask your partner to be supportive, I can get behind that. It's another to where you are; her entire reason for living, you cannot live your own life, have other meaningful relationships, do things of your own accord, have purpose beyond her, be perfect, be her psychiatrist, be her "salvation, and basically she's asking you to be her God. That is incredibly unhealthy for BOTH of you. This cannot possibly sustain itself as is. She needs to get help and if she's really reached that level of codependence with you in which she is threatening to kill herself if she cannot control your every action, then she is severely ill and really should be hospitalized. You will never be able to live up to these standards long-term. It's already driving you buggy. Mental illness isn't anyone's fault, you are right. Behaviors are, though. Just by ASKING you to let her dictate what you can and can't do, is not fair of her and she likely knows she should not be doing this. This is within her control, so please do not defend that in her. I understand it's a tricky line, as I've had several family members with mental illnesses. But ANY psychiatrist worth their salt will tell you that; playing into delusions, letting them control everything, not setting boundaries, accepting any and ALL negative behavior, is detrimental to their health and you are exacerbating their illness, not helping. I know you don't want to leave her and that's good of you. But you MUST make it clear to her that things cannot continue in this manner. She needs to find coping strategies to deal with not always getting her way with you. You are your own person and behaving as your puppet master IS within her control and it must stop or trust me, you WILL reach a breaking point. So, if she wants you to remain in her life, she needs to really seek change in her treatment of you. Right now, this is a dictatorship, not a relationship.
  14. You should look into pro-bono attorneys. There are many out there for cases just like yours- for domestic violence cases or hotly contested divorces with an abusive partner. Why do you "doubt they'll give it to you"? You can get an order of protection by just telling them about trashing the house, threatening your children, and that he said he's going to " ruin your life"- that is more than enough to get you an order of protection. You do not have to be divorced or even filed yet. OP, what everyone has already written to you ought to be proof to you that EVERYONE thinks he is abusive. Why do you still doubt that the law will? The law is really on your side in your case, you just have to seek it out. Best of luck to you and please do everything you can to keep yourself and your children safe.
  15. SIGH. Let's deconstruct this. 1. You don't want to end your relationship with your children. That power is IN your hands. You are a grown woman. Choose THEM. 2. He's feeding you lies and blaming everyone but HIMSELF (classic abuser behavior) 3. You don't have to explain yourself to him. If you want to talk things over- talk to a friend, relative or therapist. Every time you talk to him, he'll keep trying to convince you to take him back and every ELSE is wrong but HIM. 4. It's in your power to end the cycle. 5. You should look into getting an order of protection- you can get this prior to divorce. That way, he can't just "stop by anytime"
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