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12 hours ago, Tamra said:

🤦🏼‍♀️ Lord. Sorry. I’m here. I’ve been working that’s why I haven’t responded. My daughter loves her dad. She misses him so bad when he’s not around. She’s not herself when we’re apart. I wish there was a fly on the wall to put into words for u guys every little detail. It’s not as easy as everyone makes it sound to just up and leave like that. I think my first step is to get into therapy.  

No, it's the hardest thing you will ever do.  I was a stay at home mom with no marketable skills with two young sons.   My ex threatened that I would sleep in my car and never see my sons if I left.   I got myself into therapy and I slowly started speaking up for myself and asking for change. I was given the tools and support to handle my end respectfully with confidence and an objective 3rd party who helped me find my way. 

My ex always played the "how low can I go" game.   But I was proud of how I learned to handle myself when faced with toxic conflict and not let him rattle me.

The turning point was seeing an attorney.  That was the hardest thing I did and it took me about a year into therapy to make that phone call.  I kept viewing that as a final fact, but I was encouraged to view it at as just seeking information.  That's all.  Information is power and whatever information I received I didn't have to act on it. I kept the appt and even with that I think I waited a few more months before I acted on it and put him on retainer.  I no longer had the crippling fear of what leaving would look like, as far as finances and custody would look like.  Because if fear was the only thing keeping me at that point, I need to know.  I ended up with primary custody of the boys but was committed to them having a good relationship with their dad, because that's what they deserved.

We did ultimately go to couples therapy.  He went for the wrong to reasons.  He attempted to negotiate that he would go if I stopped my individual therapy.  He went if I would fire the attorney I had put on retainer on, but wasn't even using at the moment.  He did it to control the situation.  I said a firm no to both conditions, but he reluctantly went.  Which is a sad way and a wrong way to go about marriage counseling.

Sitting in front of a third party therapist who challenged us both, all the ugliness spilled out.  In the end counseling didn't save our marriage.  What it did show me is that is was irrevocably broken.  I begged for change and he fought to keep things the same. 

From the time I started individual counseling to the day he moved out, it took about 18 months.  It wasn't an impulsive decision.

In the end, I do not have any second thoughts that I didn't do everything in my power to save the marriage.  Though it's sad life changing experience, I have a clear conscience. He left me no choice.  He on the other hand lives with regrets.

I used to tell myself I would stay and fight for my marriage for my kids.  In the end I left for them.  I didn't want them to think it was ok for men to treat women the way he did.

So, when you say it's complicated and we might not understand.  I can safely say I understand.  I think a lot of women in your place can.

I went back to school and today I have an 17 year career, I am a homeowner having just paid off my mortgage and anticipating an early retirement.  My sons are thriving, educated and have great jobs.   I can't find the words to express what living in a peaceful safe home feels like.  

The boys have a good relationship with their father.   And in spite of everything. . and it took a looong time, we all spent this last Christmas together, myself, my bf, my ex and his gf, the boys and my new granddaughter.   If anyone asked me if I envisioned this happening, I would have fallen off my chair and fainted.

I hope my story helps you in some small way.  Hang in there.  You only get one life.  Take that leap of faith.  But start with therapy and get yourself some much deserved support.

People can easily throw out the 'just leave' comments.  It's a process.  Being aware that it's miserable and seeking advice is often just the start of your journey.

Edited by reinventmyself
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