I am a 32 year old woman who had been married before, had 2 kids, separated, and went back and had another child and 2 years later divorced. A little background: I was with my ex from the time I was just 16. He moved in with my family and we ended up getting pregnant and getting married. I had only had one other partner before him. After our first child, he cheated on me. We had another child, and in turn, years later I cheated on him. Eventually we separated for a year and got back together and had another child.
After a couple of years I was being influenced by another man and decided that I should divorce my husband due to my lack of experience in life. My children and I lived alone for almost 6 months before moving in with my parents. Throughout the first part of our separation, my ex and I would have”casual sex.” I never really wanted the divorce, but my ex told me that he would not go through another separation and that we would have to get divorced. Essentially, I threw my marriage down the drain without really thinking about it.
I began seeing an ex friend’s ex husband and things were going well. I moved in after a couple months, and then eventually we got married. He, in the past, had a bad temper but took anger management and is doing really well. He has never been physical with me, but I have recently noticed how manipulative he is. Looking back, I now see some of the signs. For instance, he has controlled the money from almost day one, cut me off from my best friend of all, and drove a knife between my sister, parents, and I. I have recently found out that he was even trying to start conflict between me and one of my other really good friends. He is constantly belittling me (in front of his kids and my kids), and then turns around later and starts being all sweet to me.
All in all, I am very unhappy and now realize that I rushed into the marriage and am regretting it. I am stuck and don’t know how or when to leave. My two step kids had their mom walk out on them for another guy and move across the United states. I am afraid they will feel that I am doing the same thing. She is back now and sees them on a regular basis. My husband tells me that if I leave, he hopes he doesn’t lose his kids. Therefore I stay. He has told me that he won’t beg or ask me to stay if I want to go. He is always making me second guess myself.
Dear Sweet Potato,
Thank you for your Dear Vera email. I’m sorry that you find yourself in this situation. One problem I see here is that you barely had any time for yourself and you went from one relationship to the other, and because you met your ex when you were 16, you never really had a chance to get to know yourself. You went from being a child to being a wife and mom. I won’t focus on all the things that should and should not have happened, so I’ll focus instead on the here and now.
You say you’re very unhappy, but why are you really unhappy? Happiness isn’t something that someone else is responsible for giving you. If you want to be happy, then be. Take your husband, your children, and his children out of the [mental] picture and ask yourself why you are truly unhappy. If your husband’s words are getting to your head and making you second guess yourself, then maybe you are not yet sure what you want. My suggestion is to think it through and decide what you want and WHY you want it (I hope it’s not to get back to your ex). Seek clarity from the God that you believe in, if any, and when you make up your mind, stick to it, and make sure you have a well-thought out plan (like can you financially take care of yourself and your children?).
I wish you the best of all luck, Sweet Potato, and I hope you find what you’re looking for sooner than later.