Emotionally Disconnected

by Beth
(New Hampshire)

A friend introduced me to the man who became my husband and we hit it off immediately. We had lots of shared interests, both in and out of the bedroom. To say we made out a lot is an understatement. We were doing more of that than anything else.

My only real issue with him at this early point was the fact that he had inherited his house from an aunt. As well as a very substantial lump sum. He was living off this money and neglecting the house entirely. His cats had ruined all the furniture, the Siberian husky he owned (that had bitten him several times and scared me) had defecated on the white carpets and he failed to clean it up. He was also very much a slob. He never picked up after himself, and had mountains of soda cans and ashtrays overflowing all over the place. The few times I tried to clean up, he snapped at me.

Other than this, I was doted upon and spoiled rotten. He held my hand, gave me hugs and kisses, and told me he loved me. So after dating for six months we got married, and five more after that I found out I was pregnant. He was thrilled.

That's when everything started to change. Everything came to be about the baby. Except for when it was something that I thought needed to be done, like fixing the floors. I didn't want my baby to be crawling through dog mess, and even getting rid of the dog itself had been a battle of wills.

Eventually, I succeeded in getting him to relinquish the dog. I had to take her to be put down. I also had to find a contractor to fix the floors, replacing them with hard wood.

We were still in a hotel when our son was born, and that was when I might as well as not existed. All that love I once felt, that connection that we had, vanished seemingly overnight. He'd failed to pay his taxes for six years, and the IRS cleaned us out. This in turn required him to go out and get a full time job so we could have medical benefits for the baby. While he was off at work, I was at home by myself with a brand new infant. I had no support from my parents, or from his. I began to slip into a deep depression.

As our son grew, it became clear he had issues. He was destructive (gnawed on his wooden crib until we had no choice but to throw it away, later punching holes in his walls and stuffing them full of toys) and would finger paint his entire room with his own fecal matter. I had to deal with this all on my own, because my husband would come home from work and drop in front of his computer, unmoving. The only time he would really talk to me was when the baby was doing something that was bothering him, or to remind me to make dinner.

I found out I was pregnant again a year after our first, and miscarried at 7 weeks. I was devastated. Shortly thereafter we had a small kitchen fire, and I had to pass up on a job opportunity due to the fact that he wanted me to stay home and be a full time parent as well as manage the massive house repairs he decided to make. When it was all said and done, I had transformed our depressing raised ranch into something beautiful and relaxing. (Of course later, when I brought this up, he said I
had very little to do with making the house nice. As he had paid for it all, and I never did anything in it to keep it nice.)

Because of the lack of anything really affectionate or emotional from my husband, I started in on this cycle of behavior. Rather than clean up after him, I let the house get filthy. I started to feel resentful of my son because he was getting all the attention from my spouse that I wasn't. It got to the point that I had to force myself to get out of bed. I stopped taking care of myself. He and I would argue, and I would get to peak proficiency doing everything. And he would spend all day making messes and playing on his computer. So I would stop doing things to see if he would pick up the slack. He would move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and then make a huge pile of clean laundry on the floor in our bedroom. He 'hated' folding laundry so he wouldn't do it. He 'hated' cooking, so he wouldn't do it. I would eventually give up and do nothing and we would argue. The cycle would restart.

Even after he lost his job two years ago, he would park himself in front of his computer and that was where he was, all day. His mother had 'found' another substantial sum of money, and so back we were at square one.

Whenever I wanted to do something, he always had plans or some excuse thanks to his online games. I eventually picked up on that, and it became part of my deal as well. Of course I was expected to drop everything the second he mentioned wanting to go somewhere or if he wanted something from me.

In the eight years we were together, I put on over a hundred and thirty pounds. My lack of dental care led to severe dental issues and the loss of many of my teeth. I can't even look at myself in the mirror anymore. Towards the end, I couldn't function as a person either. I couldn't get out of bed. I didn't take care of myself or the house.

About a month ago, he came and sat down next to me and asked me if I was happy. He told me he was not, and that he wasn't even sure he loved me anymore. He wanted to pursue marriage counseling (we went three times and then he stopped wanting to go). Soon after that, he said he wanted a divorce.

He wants primary custody of our son, and he has plans to move to Texas (when he manages to sell the house so he can go to college to be a vet). He'll be 39 this year! He won't listen to me on how hard that is going to be, and he feels that this is something he has to do and is still a valid option.

As I was a stay at home mom for eight years, I of course have no money, very little property of my own and no education outside of high school. I'm completely lost on what to do with myself, or how I would survive all this. I'm still living with my soon-to-be ex-husband, still cooking, cleaning and tending to our son. Nothing really has changed. Other than the fact that one day, sooner than I'm ready for, he's going to ask me to leave. Leave the home I made, the son I carried and gave birth to, and quite possibly the last man who will ever have loved me.

I'm lost.

Comments for Emotionally Disconnected

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Dump Him
by: Leah

I would file for a divorce and let him keep the kid and start my life over. Pay your support and visit when you can. That’s what I did and was able to remarry and live happily ever after. Your support is based on 33% of what you make. I would re-invent myself. But that’s just me.

Serve Him First
by: Amber

Please do yourself and your son a favor and file divorce papers first, requesting primary custody. Go to your local courthouse and have the Self-Help Center help you. File Temporary Orders as well (Order to Show Cause) asking the Court to grant you custody and money to live. Ask for a Fee Waiver so you don't have to pay any filing fees. Just filing the paperwork bars him from removing the child out of state. Go back to family who will support you, either your parents or other relatives. You should not do this alone. Empower yourself by taking action first. Have a trusted friend go with you for support. This is what I did. Good luck!

Not that easy
by: Beth

I have a seven year old son. I have no intention of moving into a homeless shelter and leaving him behind. He has special needs which require a schedule, structure and medication. So no, a shelter is NOT an option.

But yes you are right on one front.

I never should have married this man.

Writing on the Wall
by: Dorothy

You are answering your own questions. You know it's time to go. You know you should never have married this man. You know you settled when the writing was on the wall. Now it's time to pick up and move out as quickly as you moved in. Now it is time to disregard everything that is causing you to stay, just as you disregarded everything that should have kept you from moving in and marrying him. Many times our mistakes cost us more than we want to pay. But a shelter is an option. It's just temporary until you get back on your feet. It is hard to think clearly when you are dealing and living in crap. You will be so glad you freed yourself from this situation and will one day just consider it a lesson learned.

When someone shows or tells you who they are, believe them.

I'm here
by: Beth

In the month since I posted my original message I have gotten a part time job. I often come home after a long day to find the house a mess. If it isn't popcorn all over the floor, then things are not put away, or the dishes from dinner still sitting on the counter and stove. The soon-to-be ex does nothing all day but sit on the couch with his laptop playing some online game. He only gets up to smoke and use the bathroom and the computer always goes with him. He was sick for a few days and I was of course cleaning up his snotty tissues, flu capsule packages and making sure he had an ice pack or a hot water bottle.

I don't go to church, haven't in years. And I don't think going to a shelter is at all a solution.

He wants to keep my son! And when he moves to Texas he'll be taking him half way across the country!

Are you listening?
by: Linda W.

I'm not sure when you posted this or how you are now, but I want you to know that there is always a way out of a bad situation. You owe it to yourself and your child to move forward, out of the mess and into a more stable environment. Please do so! Your church or even a shelter will help you if you have no place to go. Good luck!

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