CurlTalk

Should I give him another chance? Long.

wonderwomanwonderwoman Posts: 18Registered Users
Here is the condensed version:

Me 27, him 31.

Married in 1996, three children.

Him: Irresponsible, disrespectful, moody, sexually demanding, disregrads my feelings and opinions, impatient with the children, has spent countless hours playing Playstation 2 and computer games, addicted to porn, tells lots of lies secondary to porn addiction. Obviously, there are a lot more details that go into all of the above, but this IS the condensed version.

Me: Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, really tried to be patient, put needs of family first, and love unconditionally. I don't believe that I had any unreasonable expections.

My confusion: We are in the process of a divorce which I asked for about 5 months ago after lots of tears and prayers. But now I am confused. He has begged for a 2nd chance. I said no way. He has gone to counseling ALL BY HIMSELF because I refused to go with him. He is being counseled for his sexual addictions as well. I have truly seen his efforts to be more reliable and a better father. He really seems to enjoy the children now as opposed being annoyed by them, etc.

I don't love him. I can see the possiblity of it working, but it would be a long process of counseling and easing back into our intimate relationship when I feel ready to trust again.

Am I being selfish? Is it unfair of me to throw my children into an uncertian future just because I don't love him?

I know nobody can make this decision for me, but I would appreciate some objective advice. Thanks! :headscratch:headscratch.gif
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Comments

  • wonderwomanwonderwoman Posts: 18Registered Users
    Thanks to those of you that read my mini-life-saga and voted. I am bumping this for more opinions. :D
  • AustinAustin Posts: 37Registered Users
    Whew. Tough one. I'm all for saving the marriage for the sake of the kids 9 times out of 10. Yours may be that one in 10... I admire your keeping whats best for the kids number one in your mind.

    But, I gotta say, I don't buy the "Sexual Addiction' at all. I think it's carp. I think therapists who believe in that give the clients an "excuse" for irresponsibility and selfishness. With that said, I'm not sure he'll change and it sounds like you''ve given him plenty of chances.

    I think you may be right to go with your instict of "enough". However, If you aren't sure, why not kick him out and separate for awhile?
    "Time wounds all heels."
  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users
    Here is the condensed version:


    I don't love him. I can see the possiblity of it working, but it would be a long process of counseling and easing back into our intimate relationship when I feel ready to trust again.

    You don't love, trust, communicate with him.

    Why would you want to stay married?

    I am occassionally for staying together for the kids, but if you are miserable, your children WILL pick up on this. They are very receptive little things, and even though YOU may not think you are showing signs of being unhappy, they will pick up on it.

    You've given it a chance, and undfortunatley, it sounds like his effort came a little bit too late. I have heard about sexual addictions, and I am not sure if they are crap or not. I remember hearing that it is more about the "conquest" of getting someone in bed, someone who is/was unattainable and all of that...I don't know. Have you guys recieved counseling together? I know you mention that he's gone on his own, which is great, but perhaps you need to go together and you can make a better deciscion then.

    Just my opinion.
    :rambo:
  • DiscgirlDiscgirl Posts: 746Registered Users
    Is this the same man who raised a hand to you and who you were afraid would pull a gun on you? The best thing you could do for your children is stay away from there. Ask yourself if you want a son to grow up to be like this man or a daughter to think she doesn't matter and men can treat her however they want. Of course, the answer is no. Stick around and they will think everything that does and has happened between you and your husband is how things are supposed to be between men and women.
  • jabbyjabby Posts: 68Registered Users
    No way, no how. While I think it's great that you're keeping your kids #1 in this, I also totally agree with the above comments - your kids will know how much unhappiness and tension they're surrounded by if you're together. Yes, it's great if kids can have both parents in one house, but it's even greater if they have a happy, safe, secure, comfortable environment to grow up in, whether it's with one parent or both. It's far more important that those needs be met than having 2 adults in the house.

    Also, you know you don't love or trust him, so why in the world would you want to put yourself in that situation for an unlimited amount of time? While thinking about what's best for your kids, don't forget to think about what's best for YOU. Your needs have to be met as well. You don't want to spend your life in a loveless marriage with an untrustworthy and disrespectful man. You deserve better, and so do your children.
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  • brooklybrookly Posts: 32Registered Users
    My parents started their whole run around with divorce when I was in 6th grade, they finally divorced when I was in 12th grade. The reason they stayed together was "for us kids". In hindsight my Mother realzies that it was NOT a wise decision to stay together for us kids, because really, them together=hell. Seriously. It was not good. They didn't beat each other or anything, but even being at the house was horrid when they were both home.

    With that said, I am NOT saying to leave him. If you do give him another chance, it will hurt more than likely. Pain happens, we all go through it, but it can make us stronger. This will be very very hard for you and for him and for the kids. But, if he is truly changing, then this might bring your whole family to a positive change. It will just take a while to get there. I see it as possibly the serious threat of the divorce and things actually happening made him finally get his act together, and you said you could see change.

    But, be careful. My Dad, love him a whole bunch, but he would do that, be great with us for a while--then fall back into his old habits. Same with my Mom. If the changes last for a long period of time, then I would trust them more. This takes change on everyone's part, permanent change-which I don't think is impossible, but it can't be just a surface change, it has to be a heart change. And that can be very difficult to measure, but his actions should speak from his heart.

    I think what you need to weigh are the positives and the negatives...if he really is having a heart change, your family may become really strong because of this trial. However, if things are just at a high point and will crash once again...it could cause more hurt. Is he worth the risk? Are you willing to put your emotions on the line once again? Your kids will be happy if you and him truly are, and that means if you are together or not. Please, do not just stay with him for the sake of the children, as somoene mentioned above, they pick up on things and know how you truly feel despite your outward apperance.

    I personally do not believe in divorce for religious reasons, however, the sex addiction thing (which I believe is very real) I see as adultery, not phsyically with porn, but it is adultery in the heart, which is just as serious.

    I'm praying for ya....that is a very tough situation. Keep us posted on your decision.
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  • curlyarcacurlyarca Posts: 8,449Registered Users
    i voted other; this is what i'd do if this was my dilemma: i'd go to counseling with him. then decide. if it goes well, try again. if not, forget it. get divorced and move on. my initial reaction was get the divorce, though. i hope everything goes well for you!

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  • wonderwomanwonderwoman Posts: 18Registered Users
    Wow, everybody, thank you for your thoughts. They are really appreciated.

    Discgirl: No, I am not the one in an almost violent situation. He has never been violent.

    Brookly: I don't believe in divorce for religious reasons either. I believe that my family is my most important responsibility. That is why this decision was such a tough one, and why, even while in the process of it, I am questioning myself again. And I agree with you about the porn addiction. I would rather that he had cheated with an actual 3-dimensional woman (I can totally understand falling in love with another person) than to feel like my marriage is threatened by every seductive photo or movie scene or anything sensual at all (because this kind of thing is everywhere and so widely accepted).

    Mom2LilRob: You are exactly right too. It was me realizng that my children needed a happy, confident mom that led me to the decision originally.

    I really appreciate all of your thoughts. If I did give him a second chance, it would actually be like his 4th or 5th second chance. :roll: I am probably just not confident enough in my decision because every time I tried to talk to him about my feelings he would tell me I was wrong. :cry:

    Totally unrelated, how do you quote somebody's response into that little white box like Mom2LilRob did? Thanks.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Totally unrelated, how do you quote somebody's response into that little white box like Mom2LilRob did? Thanks.[/quote]

    You click on the quote button in the top of the post you want to reply to and it will appear in your post.
    I am so sorry you are going through all of this. I'm sure it is more difficult with kids involved. Just remember that YOU are responsible for your own happiness, and while your kids may love their dad, they are going to respect you and appreciate you more when they see you making positive changes and being happy again. Best of luck to you and your little ones. Keep us posted! :wink:
  • scubagalscubagal Posts: 44Registered Users
    You don't love him. End of story.

    It isn't better for the kids to be in a loveless home, all that does it teach them that this is what a marriage is..

    Better to be apart and provide a happy home then togther and living a loveless life.
    porn.gif
  • gemidevigemidevi Posts: 510Registered Users
    if he wants to change thats great. going to councilling and all that is wonderful for HIM. for you however, u need to realize that being a marriage where there is no trust or love is hard on the children. my parents have had a rough marriage and sometimes i wonder why they are still together. obviously there is no love, yes they care for each other, but i know that they stuck thru the marriage for my brother and me. and now i feel guilty for their 'loveless marriage'. stay with him if u believe he can change. otherwise, its time to let go. he should change for him, not for u. u never know what will happen tomorrow, so its best to take care of urself, today. if he changes and its a change that lasts...then maybe in the future, since the kids are the bond the two of u have...maybe u'll be able to get back together. i think for now...u have to take care of u and ur children first. u dont want them to grow up in the environment he has created. u dont want them to follow in his footsteps, bc really, children learn from their parents' behaviors.

    i hope u find some peace in all this...as hard as it is...take care!
    *disclaimer* spelling, grammatical and psychological errors are for your enjoyment. :)
  • hnyhpshnyhps Posts: 134Registered Users
    agree with mostly everyone. But continue to pray about it. I'd leave, I don't like the sound of the sex addiction stuff.
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  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Posts: 10,572Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    Other. If you really don't love him anymore (be honest with yourself), then it's time to move on. IF he changes in the future, then I agree w/gemidevi that you could always get back together. If not, then you've already made your break and can start getting on with your life. Do what is right for YOU. I agree that the kids are important, but you don't want them growing up in a loveless-marriage environment. Good luck.
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  • charlicharli Posts: 6Registered Users
    But, I gotta say, I don't buy the "Sexual Addiction' at all. I think it's carp. I think therapists who believe in that give the clients an "excuse" for irresponsibility and selfishness.

    I agree wholeheartedly. And I must add that if I were with a man who claimed to have a sexual addiction, I would not have unprotected sex with him, if at all. Because a lot of cheating men use their 'sexual addiction' as an excuse for their infidelity.
  • SixFootRealtorSixFootRealtor Posts: 11Registered Users
    the sex addiction thing (which I believe is very real) I see as adultery, not phsyically with porn, but it is adultery in the heart, which is just as serious.

    Several years ago I had a friend who was dealing with this. Her husband simply could not make himself stop doing it. He even got a PO box with an assumed name so that he could order XXX rated videos through the mail and she wouldn't know about it. They all starred the same woman, which made her feel really inadequate. Obviously this woman is what he prefers and she didn't look anything like that.

    After promising so many times that he'd stop, she finally found a book in his briefcase called "How to film porn movies at home using your friends and neighbors as the stars." She finally left him at that point.

    Divorce is hell, there's no going around it. But staying together in a loveless marriage is just as awful.
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  • msrandeemsrandee Posts: 61Registered Users
    scubagal wrote:
    You don't love him. End of story.

    It isn't better for the kids to be in a loveless home, all that does it teach them that this is what a marriage is..

    Better to be apart and provide a happy home then togther and living a loveless life.

    I agree.
  • wonderwomanwonderwoman Posts: 18Registered Users
    Thank you everybody for your thoughtful responses.

    I think I figured out what I am going through and it is GUILT. Guilt for moving on and feeling good about it. It just doesn't come naturally to a mother and wife to put her own needs first, whatever they may be.

    I am a doormat no more! :D
  • charlicharli Posts: 6Registered Users
    I think I figured out what I am going through and it is GUILT. Guilt for moving on and feeling good about it. It just doesn't come naturally to a mother and wife to put her own needs first, whatever they may be.

    Ay yi yi. I'm one of those who advocates mothers sacrificing for their children (within reason and reason is always a subjective measure). However, I feel your statement that it was putting the needs of the children first (to stay with him) is an inadequate miscategorization and that may be where your guilt is coming from. It's not like you are leaving your husband to be with some hot boy toy who gets you off. Yes children need a father, but not just any kind of father. From what you mentioned about thim, they could be suffering more being in his presence than being away from him.

    It might have been some projection going on that your kids needed him when, in reality, it was probably you (or part of you) that needed or wanted him so you stayed for security, for familiarity, for companionship and such.

    I just can't see how someone who was bothered by his own children is a positive influence. You know? I'm all for fathers being around, but that's when they are FATHERS and not dudes taking up space. You're not a father just because the biology is there.
  • wonderwomanwonderwoman Posts: 18Registered Users
    Thanks everybody, let me say again how appreciative I am for your responses.

    Lovin_my_curls, can I just say YUCK!!! Your poor friend. Is she doing okay now? Did they have children? As someone who experienced just a fraction of what she went through, I truly hope she has found confidence and happiness.

    Sigh, why do such lame things happen? :?:
  • hnyhpshnyhps Posts: 134Registered Users
    the sex addiction thing (which I believe is very real) I see as adultery, not phsyically with porn, but it is adultery in the heart, which is just as serious.

    Several years ago I had a friend who was dealing with this. Her husband simply could not make himself stop doing it. He even got a PO box with an assumed name so that he could order XXX rated videos through the mail and she wouldn't know about it. They all starred the same woman, which made her feel really inadequate. Obviously this woman is what he prefers and she didn't look anything like that.

    After promising so many times that he'd stop, she finally found a book in his briefcase called "How to film porn movies at home using your friends and neighbors as the stars." She finally left him at that point.

    Divorce is hell, there's no going around it. But staying together in a loveless marriage is just as awful.
    3b
    Carlos and Carmen Vidal just had a child
    A lovely girl with a crooked smile
    Now they gotta split 'cause the Bronx ain't fit
    For a kid to grow up in
    Let's find a place they say, somewhere far away
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,380Registered Users
    Two parents that are happy, responsible and seperated are better for the kids than two parents that stay together who are miserable, fighting and not able to spend loving, quality time with their kids. That's just my opinion...

    Ask yourself if you want your children growing up thinking that women are supposed to be treated the way you are, or that your marital situation is setting a good example for your kids. Don't be afraid to be selfish in this situation, it's really a gut instinct your dealing with, not self-centered tendancies...
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • melloweermelloweer Posts: 2,308Registered Users
    I couldn't even begin to say stay or go and don't think it's my place to even give advice being the situation at hand. But I did want to say the least you could get out of his going to counseling and trying to make a change is a good divorce. No fighting no name calling no bashing to the kids about the other parent makes a world of difference in a child's life. Maybe through all this he's doing to change he'll get that picture if it doesn't work out
  • MephistoMephisto Posts: 555Registered Users
    I see where you've refused to go to counseling. You think you've got your crap so together that you need NO guidance to sort thru your feelings? What happens if he becomes everything that he should have been for the last 7-years?

    People fall in and out of love all the time. Marriages/loves go thru ebbs and flows... rises and falls... good times and bad times.

    It's easy to say "You don't love him. End of story." It's entirely another to recognize that you don't love the person he WAS (or became) and yet now he goes to counseling all on his own (very difficult for the usual egotistical male)... AND you see it's actually paying dividends!!!

    How freakin' often does THAT happen!?!?! A second-chance need not take 7 more years. Maybe it's a year and things turn around splendidly!!! Maybe it's a year and he falls into bad habits.

    He's making an effort. I think you have some work to do sorting out what your feelings really are... I suspect that it is not loving who he became. He is making an effort to change that and you see the positive turnaround (so far).

    My recommendation is that YOU go seek some guidance. Be sure that you are not confusing not being in love with the past-him and failing to re-establish the ties that bound you to commit to each other in the first place. It takes work to get over bad history. From what you've posted above, you found someone who is DEMONSTRATING that he is prepared to rededicate himself to his marriage and family... and that the work he is putting in is paying dividends.

    I don't know the whole of your history, but you've indicated that he is going thru a positive transformation that he took the initiative to undertake, even if due to facing the end of his marriage.

    My vote? Given what you've typed to open the thread... I say second-chance.
    The good people do is interred with their bones. Their mistakes live on forever...
  • StephSStephS Posts: 352Registered Users
    Meph - excellent response. I was thinking the exact same thing.
  • mandyvmandyv Posts: 2,437Registered Users
    It might sound ruthless but I don't think it would do the kids much good living with a man like this.

    I don't see how you can love someone who's deceitful and mean. Why is it about you that you don't want to put up with it any more?

    ETA: I have a bias that we make excuses for ourselves and others way too much b/c we're either lazy or dishonest with ourselves. Do the hard work and feel good about life.
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  • MephistoMephisto Posts: 555Registered Users
    StephS wrote:
    Meph - excellent response. I was thinking the exact same thing.

    Granted... there may be more to the situation about which I am unaware... he knocked her around... something like that. Or there is something that indicates that his transformation will be short-lived.

    But I gotta be honest... what I wouldn't have given (a while ago) to have my SO embark on such an initiative. For me and my children... having loving parents who remain married is too late. For wonderwoman... unless I've missed something... there clearly is a shot.

    I think that many of the respondants are focusing too much on the history, and not enough on the effort WHICH has yielded (apparently) positive, desirous results (though it's early yet).
    FYI... the "gun-waving" thing, if I remember correctly, was wavylexi's SO... not this dude...
    
    The good people do is interred with their bones. Their mistakes live on forever...
  • kennesawkennesaw Posts: 29Registered Users
    Can't believe I'm typing this, but... I agree with Mephisto. :shock:

    Maybe try a legal separation, live apart, and go to counseling on your own to see how you feel about it. This would help give you some time to figure out whether he's for real and what you want. Divorce and being a single parent is hard (and so is being married). If after doing the counseling thing on your own, you decide you might want to give it a second chance, try going to counseling together before bringing him back in the house. Good luck!
  • Dancing QueenDancing Queen Posts: 247Registered Users
    If you decide you want to start back over, I would start from the very beginning: regularly scheduled dates, clear sexual boundaries until you feel ready, etc. I'd also expect him to publicly reaffirm his vows. These conditions may seem harsh, but will help each of you see this as a new phase in your marriage and not just "one more chance".

    I'd also pay attention to how much effort he puts into maintaining a quality relationship with your children. If his "new leaf" is not sincere, it might be much harder for him to fake a real relationship with your kids than it will for him to fake a real relationship with you, because he already knows what buttons to push with you to get his way.

    Also, if you decide to give him another chance, pray that God will help you love your husband again. God is love, and I have no doubt He would be glad do that for you. :)
    Psalm 30:11 "You have turned my mourning into dancing."

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  • karyzmakaryzma Posts: 158Registered Users
    I agree 100% with Meph on both his posts.

    If he wasn't showing change then I'd say walk but he's making the effort and it could be very worthwhile now to also take that step and join him in counselling.

    You state you don't want to divorce for religious reasons, keep praying into the change that has started and expect great results. Look for the good and encourage the good as you see it occuring and don't keep beating him up for the bad.

    It won't be easy but I don't see this marriage as a total loss either. Also, your kids will see your working it out and they will remember that even though things are tough right now.
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  • SixFootRealtorSixFootRealtor Posts: 11Registered Users
    Lovin_my_curls, can I just say YUCK!!! Your poor friend. Is she doing okay now? Did they have children? As someone who experienced just a fraction of what she went through, I truly hope she has found confidence and happiness.

    Yes, they had a baby boy who was less than a year old when this started. She knew he liked porn when they met and was ok with that, as long as they could watch movies together. She didn't know he had the PO box until she rearranged the furniture and found 75 videos crammed behind his desk. He kept saying he'd stop, and then she'd find more crap. They had nonstop drama for three years before they finally got divorced.
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