When my husband and I decided to get married we had been together for about 6 years. We had 3 kids together (plus my 2 and his 1), so we were a family of 7 sometimes 8 when his oldest daughter would come visit. We also had known each other since we were 14 years old. So this wasn’t a whim decision. We had our ups and downs but when we decided to get married I was in it to the end. I thought we would fight through everything together and come out stronger. All our issues we would work on together and in the end we would be a happy family working on our life goals together.
I was wrong. He wasn’t happy and instead of trying to make things better he came up with every excuse as to why he should leave. To be honest, we all were not happy. There was so much negativity in our household it was like a dark cloud of repression hanging in the air. When he finally left it was sort of like that fog lifted and we all could breathe again. He was miserable and he made everyone else around him miserable as well.
Due to the course of actions taken I have lost so much respect for him. It is hard for me to look at him sometimes or even talk to him. I know there is goodness in him, there were reasons I loved him and married him. But after all this I find it hard to see them sometimes. I am not going to bash him. He is a human and working through his own issues. Just as we all are and I am not perfect in any way. I just find it very hard to comprehend his actions and all the things he has done and said this past year and a half.
It all boils down to he doesn’t want responsibility anymore. He doesn’t want to be a husband and father on a daily basis. He loves the kids and wants to see them but he doesn’t want to everyday. He didn’t like being a father. He was so angry all the time. Every little thing would upset him. Even driving to the store would put him in a bad mood most times. I would dread his days off of work. We all had to walk on eggshells so we wouldn’t upset him. And once he was upset that would be it for the day. There was no going back. It was hard to live like that. His yelling and constant nitpicking of the kids, especially my oldest 2 and of them especially Ophelia, got worse and worse. It was like she couldn’t walk through the same room as him with out some criticism being thrown her way. Sometimes he would straight up ignore her. She would ask him a question and he would just walk away. Most nights at dinner he would wait until she was done eating before coming to the table. It was sickening. Then it started more and more with my oldest son, and then with our 3 year old son too. He never acted that way with our 2 daughters, to be fair our youngest was only a toddler. He would get upset sometimes with them but he treated them more delicately.
He started breaking dishes in his rage. Then some furniture and eventually punched a hole in the wall while screaming at Ophelia. That was around the time I got pregnant with our last child, baby 6. That was the final time he moved out. I told him he wouldn’t be able to come back unless he got counseling and anger management. We also needed more marriage counseling and family counseling, him and I with the children. He decided that the easier way was better.
At first I would have taken him back if we could have gone to counseling. But as time moved on and I was forced to take care of our family by myself my own anger and resentment toward him grew. His leaving I could have understood to some extent. He was overwhelmed with the large family that we had. But what made me angry and sickened me more was the things he would do or say when he would come around to see the kids.
My Husband lives about 40 minutes north of us, near his work, living off a coworkers couch. That has been his living arrangement since he left our home, and needless to say it is not very accommodating for visiting with children. When he left us in January 2015 when he would want to come down and see the kids he would come to my house to see them. I tried to encourage him to take the kids elsewhere and visit with them there but he would complain that he didn’t have enough money to take them out all the time, to feed them and to pay for gas driving back and forth. So I let him come here. But I hated it. After a couple months when the weather got better I had him take the kids to the park or beach as often as I could. I didn’t like him coming to our house and hanging out all day. Or taking naps on our couch or trying to in my bed. Most times when he was here he would end up spending more time with me than our children. Occasionally he would help out by putting away our sons laundry or washing the dishes or sweeping. And I did have him help me prune and weed the garden once when I was 7 months pregnant. Though those things helped, I would have preferred if he visited them elsewhere. I did not want to hang out with him if he wasn’t willing to work on our relationship. I didn’t feel like I needed to be his friend. He left our home and family because he wanted to not be a part of it anymore.
But he wouldn’t leave me alone. He would tell me he loved me and missed me and try to touch me or kiss me. It hurt for many different reasons. I asked him to leave me alone over and over. He didn’t want to come back or to work on any part of our relationship or that of the children. He did not get to still act like he was my husband. He was disrespecting me by doing so. Treating me like my feelings didn’t matter. It made me angry with him and angry with myself for not be stronger and pushing away harder. It made me sick with myself when I would let him touch me, rub my back or my feet. I was pregnant and I was sore and it was hard to say no over and over. But then when he’d leave I would feel so disgusted with myself. He would try to kiss me and I’d back away and sometimes he would corner me so I’d have to push away and try to get by. He would tell me “I’m still your husband.” Or if I’d be giving the kids hugs and kisses he’d say “where’s my kiss?” After he’d leave I’d tell him over and over how bad it made me feel that he’d do these things and he’d apologize but do it again the next time he came. The whole situation was eating at me and I really could not take it any longer.
It’s come to the point now where I am telling him to come down just once a month and get a hotel to visit with the kids at. I absolutely hate the idea of them being away from me and our home but I don’t want to see him or talk to him. Sometimes I wish he would just go away forever. We implemented my one whole weekend a month plan this month, February. Before that he had been coming down for a couple hours on most of his days off (once or twice a week). So, I was barraged with all this every week for the past year, but I can’t do it any longer. It makes me sad, the whole situation. I grieved for a long time over the life we could have had. He was my husband and he did mean a lot to me, but I need to move on. I need to be healthy for myself and my children. I know that if I hold on to that anger and resentment it will grow a big pit in me and I can not let that happen.
This past month I have only had to see my husband once, and I feel better than I have in a long time! I feel a sense of freedom. Two weekends ago he came and took 3 of our children out for a couple hours, and this weekend he will be coming to visit with them again. This time he will be getting a hotel and keeping our eldest over night while bringing our younger children home at night. Then he will pick them back up in the morning for another visit. He won’t be taking the baby, our little one is still exclusively breastfed being only 3 months old. Besides not wanting to care for an infant with out food on his own for a few hours, my husband has a small car and 3 children hardly fit in it safely. I’m hoping in March it will just be the one weekend. I am flexible, if he wants them 2 weekends that is ok too. I just can’t keep having him at my house, and I’d like to keep the kids home some weekends so we can have some of the fun time too. Not just the worky weekdays when its all school routine and no movies and popcorn kind of life. I think I deserve to have some of the fun time with my family too.
I will always care about him and have a certain love for him in my heart. But he is the one who wanted to leave and not work on the things that were wrong. There is only so long I can hold on to hope that we can work it out before it’s time to let it all go and just move on.. And it feels really, really good. I am actually a little excited to really heal and to start connecting with that inner spark of life, God, the Divine.. whatever one wants to call it.. at times I even feel a bit giddy! 🙂