Rock bottom and my 13 year old
So history- My WH (52) and I (45) have now been married 22 years. He cheated with three random hook ups on Craigslist 9 years ago. His why had to do with childhood sex abuse (his sister abused him) and he became anxious when he remembered and expected his Catholic family of 8 kids to ostracize the abuser. They didn’t, so he used sex to treat his anxiety and poor communication with his family. This happened 12 years into our marriage, when our kids were 1 and 3. It occurred over a period spanning almost two years, starting when I was pregnant with our youngest. Who is now 11.
I’m a physician, he’s a stay at home dad. We got a post nupt which I dissolved about four years ago. To be frank, I’d still support him because it’s the right thing to do. He did raise our kids and sacrifice for them, so I’m fine with supporting everyone appropriately and fairly. So I dissolved it.
Two years ago our then 11 year old told me he is trans (FTM). He has been socially transitioned for almost three years now, and has been on hormone blockers to block puberty for the past year. We are seeing a specialist, lots of counselors and a psychiatrist. My trans kid, let’s call him L. The other kid we shall name A. The younger kid A, is super smart and quiet, very rational, very much a thinker. The older kid, L, is my emotional heartache feeling kid. He has such strong feelings, and is very empathetic. He has created a family of other trans and LGBTQ kids in his school. L also has some temper issues, which in retrospect happened because I think his dad might be hurting him.
Over the past three years since L came out, we have moved from Texas (not trans friendly) to the west coast (moderately trans friendly, but it is a small town). L and my husband have been at each other’s throats since he came out. L also has some temper issues (we have repaired at least $6000 worth of dry wall he has kicked in). He is on meds for depression, and carries a diagnosis of depression and ADHD. His adhd meds make him feel bad, (can’t sleep, feels anxious, angry, etc). We have a million resources we are utilizing, so I don’t need that.
L has come to me off and on saying that WH/dad "hits" him. I installed cameras in the house about a year or two ago and witnessed my husband failed to De-escalate (and at times actually escalating L by claiming he is a danger to himself, like gaslighting L). It culminates in screaming matches, L threatening suicide (he’s already been to the ED for taking my seizure meds once, they contracted for safety and sent him home). I saw mutual pushing (more L, more defensive actions from WH, but definite “escalation” behavior from WH also. Granted, L is very easy to escalate and it takes some mad skills to de-escalate him, which I have because I was a kid in an abusive home, my job was to deescalate things with my mom and one of her husbands. I have insight that I am an enabler. But can you enable a 13 yr old in pain? I set boundaries, and have worked intensely on my relationship with him, which is overall good, per the kid. I have said some things that are unforgivable to him two years ago, like I need respite care because I’m overwhelmed, maybe we should do foster care for a couple of days. I never should have said that to him. I dealt with my own abused history and have found a place that a 13 yr old isn’t abusing me. I’m the adult. My job is to teach coping skills, and over the past two years, this kid has learned a huge amount and practices them with me. But not with his dad. At all.)
I am using the word forced here on purpose. I have forced my husband into therapy, I have forced him to reassess his communication skills, I know our 13 yr old prolly has some serious issues, too, but usually a fucking skilled adult can help navigate this with him. I’m not too proud of my own behavior. The 13 yr old threw something at me last night and hit me in the head. Long story short, he continued to insist that his dad is "pushing him". He went on to describe an incident where he chased his dad around some furniture and came at his dad, screaming at him. His dad put his hands up "in defense" and pushed him away. We have a strict no touching policy because L and WH have escalated things to the point where it becomes mutual, except it isn’t. Because one of them is a goddamn fucking adult. Shit ain’t mutual when one is a kid.
So the no touching policy was violated. I asked WH to find a hotel for the night. He came over (uninvited) to the house at 630 this morning, insisting that he has to make things better with L and terribly frightened.
He did this with me, when I discovered his affairs. He steps all over boundaries and people’s space to calm down when he feels anxious. This is a theme for him, and I have pointed it out ad nauseum. AND HE IS STILL DOING IT. Case and point this morning.
He touched our 13 yr old, and I don’t care about the context. He’s the adult. I don’t see that he has enough depth of insight to even control his anxiety to stop himself from coming over uninvited. He will invariably fuck this shit up with L. His apologies are shitty, unthoughtful, and directly related to his anxiety level. His actions are inconsistent and frenetic, bull in a china shop.
He needs to be gone, but this shit hurts. I’m caught, but in some ways my kid telling me this kills me. I ignored it before, attributing it to the very real 13 yr old angst and dad drama. But I think I missed real abuse, guys. And I think I have some fucking accountability I need to do with my kid. Because I stayed after the affairs to keep the family together.
I did wrong and I ignored all the signs, and I’m torn up that I was so stupid. My WH needs to go because of immaturity and poor impulse control and probably abusive actions with the kid. And the kid is now old enough to stay away from him.
And I feel relief, I’m scared about the future, but I’m relieved that this might be over finally.
I don’t know what to ask here. I’m kind of a mess.
35 comments posted: Sunday, January 2nd, 2022
Am I the Asshole?
My sister (47) is obtaining a divorce (married 8 years, two children ages 6 and 8, stbexh age 52) due to her ex verbally abusing her and throwing things and pushing the kids. CPS got involved briefly then closed the case, deeming no actual violence occurred.
She paid for him to move out three months ago. She is now dating someone who is a 180 from her own personal and political views, and within a week of meeting him, met his 15 month old love child. He was on his second marriage (20 years), then met a young AP and impregnated her. My sister has him over to her house, puts the 15 month old baby to sleep while they have adult fun.
Three months after she had her Soon to be ex move out. She has filed but it is not even pending at this point.
I think this is cheating. I hated her ex. He was a bad guy. This guy is pretty awful on paper as well. Very different than everything she has ever said she wanted, and he is an ex cheater with a love child with a woman 30 years his junior.
I called her on all of this. And unfortunately, her soon to be ex husband was watching her texts on her old iPad and came across this crap. So she screwed up her divorce. Ugh. Her ex came across her texts to Mr Wonderful for 3 weeks, not mine.
When I say I called her on it, I pointed out the irrational decisions she is making. I also pointed out some hurtful stuff she was doing. She absolutely lacks insight.
She is giving the usual excuses cheaters give. "I’ve sacrificed everything for everyone else, I just want to be happy and he makes me happy." They have known each other 3 weeks. I told her she should get an arm brace because her arm is gonna get tired with all the times she puts her wrist to her forehead. It’s pure Scarlett OHara.
When is having sex after you separate ok? This concerns me because it feels like cheating to me. And I just don’t want a part in that at all.
Like yuck. Let the sheets cool down. Did you even wash them between dudes?
I know she had trauma from exhole, but three months?!?!? This is weird right? Or am I old fashioned?!?!
10 comments posted: Monday, November 22nd, 2021
Just when I thought I was already dead inside…..
My sister moved to my city about a year ago as she made moves to leave her emotionally abusive husband. She works from home, and her divorce is nearing finalization.
My sister knows about my husband’s affairs. We are open about things. I will always value my honesty and transparency.
He had three random Craigslist hookups nine years ago, one of which lasted a few months and became a sex only thing with some low level BDSM. This was around the time of 50 Shades of Grey coming out. He was 43, the woman (girl?) he did this with was 21. I was 36 and a physician, supporting the family so he could stay home with the kids.
I am now the medical director in an obstetric emergency department, and the past two years has been a living shit show. There are not words to express the emotional injury this pandemic has done to me. Watching pregnant women breathless, delivering their babies preterm as they get intubated from Covid, wondering if they will ever wake up to see their baby.
It’s been fucking hell. Every part of my life is overtaken by this shit show. I totally have PTSD from this pandemic. Patients have written me up for telling them to get vaccinated when they ask me what they can do to help their premie babies. Anyway. Shit. Show. And no one cares. I am seeing terrible things left and right.
Back to my WH. I had a very rough patch from every front (80% work, 15% I have a trans kid who tried to commit suicide, and 5% my usual bullshit with my immature husband)- a few weeks ago and managed to get away for three days to go hide in the woods to camp by myself. While I was gone, my WH had my sister over. And he started talking about an emotional affair/more inappropriate friendship than anything else I already knew about. This was about five years ago. He and this woman would hang out at kid drop off at school and chat. About their marriages. Long story short, the woman’s husband called me to threaten my WH, stating he had a PI follow them both and the Pi was convinced there was something going on, although there was no proof. I talked down this dude who was going to go kick my WH’s ass (poor choice, right? Lol). I confronted my WH, knowing this was not his MO. He preferred random hook ups, and this was a very expensive, very high maintenance Eastern European women who was basically a mail order bride.
Anyway, so he’s talking to my sister about this and mentions that this woman was beautiful. Like stunning gorgeous, and wore Prada, etc, totally the stereotypical high class mail order bride. [edited for politics]
So I get back from this trip, aimed at keeping my head out of trouble, and my sister mentions casually in a positive way that he seems to be getting less stupid. She then mentions that he mentioned that this woman was beautiful.
My heart fell when I heard that. I knew it. I just never had to hear it. Of course you assume when you’re with an oil tycoon (which her husband was), that she would be gorgeous.
But then my sister says "He said she wasn’t his type because she was so beautiful."
Ugh. I’m a scrubs wearing emergency operating bad ass mother fucker. I’ve saved lives. Many. I just never thought this would get me this hard. And it’s not because my sister was trying to be a bitch or anything. I guess when she said this, I must have had a look on my face, and she gasped and said, "OMG. I’m sorry, I thought he told you this. I’m so sorry. I never should have said anything."
I just always thought being a badass was enough, and that’s what he respected. And I never thought it would have hurt this bad to hear this.
And the fucked is thing, I feel bad because now I know he’s wanted a beautiful woman and he’s stuck with me for 22 years. I’m not young. I was never beautiful.
I don’t want to hear positive shit, that won’t help me. Clearly he doesn’t value this. And when I told him it hurt me, he just continued to insist he didn’t want someone beautiful.
Which was even worse to hear.
I guess I’m just venting.
42 comments posted: Monday, November 15th, 2021
Have you ever been accused of abusing your spouse?
I just want a random sample, please.
1. Ever been told you’re abusive by your spouse?
2. Emotionally or physically?
3. Do you think you were?
4. Was your WS abusive to you?
3. I actually think I was, briefly. I kept him up all night to try to get him to confess and he passed out. I kicked him in the leg while he was down. I also did not hesitate to call him names, all of which were true.
4. We were codependent, and he definitely made sure I knew the affairs were my fault when I found out. “You didn’t give me enough affection.”
28 comments posted: Thursday, June 17th, 2021