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Your Turn: “Should I Kick My Husband Out?”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I have been with my husband since I was 19 years old, and we got married when I was 21. We’ve been married over two years and I can truly say I’ve never been happy during this time. My husband used to be the sweetest man alive before we got married. He was a strong Christian with a huge sense of morals. His first set of lies came a month after our marriage. Doing laundry, I went into his closet and found weed hidden in his shoe. I confronted him on it and he apologized and said it would NEVER happen again… NOT!

Soon, I started noticing him talking weird and passing out a lot. I would ask him what’s going on and his same response is ‘noooothing.’ Within that year I found out I was pregnant. Scared and worried, knowing my husband and I make very little money, I became very, very stressed. During the first month of my pregnancy I found my husband passed out in his car and realized more and more money was going missing. Becoming more stressed, I went to the obgyn to see if too much stress would harm the baby. Well, needless to say, I found out my baby no longer had a heartbeat! I believe this was the first time I truly believed I hated my husband.

As time went on, the rent checks would bounce and he’d continue coming home hours late. I felt if we moved from the area maybe all the trouble he was getting into would decrease. WRONG! Five months after my miscarriage, I found out I was pregnant again. Hoping he wouldn’t want a repeat of the last miscarriage I thought he would definitely change now. Still, with my resentment and hatred from the first pregnancy we never could really getting along. At 25 weeks pregnant, my life started to go completely down hill. Walking outside to go to my doctor’s appointment to find out the sex of my child, I saw that MY CAR WAS GONE. Calling the police to report it stolen, I was informed it was on the repo list! The money I’d been giving him for six months never made it to the bank. Checking the bank account, I realized he had depleted our entire savings account — the account I had saved in order to take five months off work to stay home with my son and pay hospital and doctors’ bills.

Confronted on the issue, he denied any part of this! He is an idiot, I KNOW! I threatened to leave him and raise our son on my own, and a week later he admitted he had a drinking problem. He said he lost his job a month ago and was taking the car money to feed his addiction. I cooled off hoping with my support for him he would turn his life around. WRONG ONCE AGAIN. My son is now five months old and my husband had gone from lying and ACTING sorry to now lying, stealing, drinking, smoking, and openly admitting he does not care. I’ve tried tried and tried again. His and my family have joined in on trying to help, but he’s made it obvious he doesn’t want it. He denies God, saying it’s my fault because I am an atheist. He is nothing but excuses and pointing the finger.

I have threatened to leave him from the beginning and he has called my bluff. Well, I have filed for the divorce, but until I get my promotion I can’t financially raise myself and my kid alone. I hate hate hate my husband and yet he still lives here to help me support our son. He is a loving father, but a piece of shit of a husband and family provider! The divorce papers are still in the works, but I don’t know if I should kick him out now or wait. I am miserable!! We scream and fight constantly. But I need his income to help with bills. Any advise, please?!? — Distressed New Mom

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Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar Clare July 18, 2012, 9:05 am

I think you absolutely need to not live in the same house. If at all possible, you should move to an apartment you can afford or move back in with your family. This sounds like an absolutely terrible situation and you need to remove yourself and your child. If you continue to live in the same house as your husband, what is to stop him from taking money from you and using it to buy drugs or alcohol, like he has done before? Nothing.

avatar oldie July 18, 2012, 9:20 am

You have to physically separate from him. You know he will steal from you again, if he gets the chance. Do you have a separate bank account that your money goes into and he doesn’t have access to? He will still owe child support if you are separate.

avatar random July 18, 2012, 9:09 am

If you take your son and leave, you shouldn’t lose all financial support from your husband. The court will likely order him to pay some form of support.

avatar Trixy Minx July 18, 2012, 9:18 am

Run as fast as you can from him. He took the money from you car payment and used it for himself. Your car got repoed. What happens if there is an emergency and you need to take your baby to the doctor? Ugh I wish o could say more but I have to get back to work.

katie katie July 18, 2012, 9:18 am

good god, are you serious?? YES KICK HIM OUT. like, yesterday. like, after the first miscarriage. like, after he told you he didnt care anymore about anything. like, after any of the things he has done.

this is way, way, past the point of “staying with him for support”. you have entered into enabling territory… where is he now getting money for drugs and alcohol? why does he have a place to sleep at night if he does not contribute to the bills that a place to sleep at night allows someone? why do you allow a man in your life who so clearly disrespects you and your kid -his OWN kid? kick him out… that is honestly the only way he is will ever get help. most people have to hit rock bottom to truly see where their life has gone. and as long as he has a nice place to stay, rock bottom wont come.

avatar Eljay July 18, 2012, 10:56 am

THIS!!! Two days in a row….WKS!

katie katie July 18, 2012, 11:42 am

you are my favorite.

avatar Eljay July 18, 2012, 12:37 pm

Haaaa! Thanks! But you have been on fire with the comments and advice. Gotta give credit where it’s due. ;)

avatar bethany July 18, 2012, 9:21 am

I can’t even finish reading this letter. MOVE OUT.

I take marriage vows very seriously, but you have a child now, and that child and his welfare are now your priority #1. You need to get him out of that situation. You also need to open your own bank accounts, so that he can’t ruin you and your son financially anymore.

Fabelle Fabelle July 18, 2012, 9:21 am

Uhh. LW, you don’t need the income of a man who spent all of his money AND your money to the point where your car got repossessed. Kick him out. This relationship is toxic.

avatar Chicago-Dude July 18, 2012, 9:23 am

Surreal situation, but allow me to recap events:
1, You attempted to control your partner’s life (ergo finding “weed” and subsequent confrontation – your words, not mine)
2, You observe changes in your partner and continue to use cinfrontation hoping that will change him.
3, First miscarriage induces resentment (my sympathies to you both on that). You grieved, but didn’t fully recover. Resentment builds.
4, Situation spins out of control and divorce is initiated.

Do you see where I’m going?
Your husband may be in the deep weeds (pun intended) and has no guts (or maybe business) being a husband at that young an age but neither were you as your tactics could have fueled his fire.
To admit this is the 1st step to realizing you both need to separate for the time being – you have too much kn tour plate to allow the guilt and resentment that’s built up to fester.
In other words – leave.
Secondly, seek help for yourself and your child.
Thirdly, once you’ve allowed yourself a chance to make improvements in your life (for your son), seek help for the estranged husband/ex-husband.
Forth, please don’t rinse & repeat by jumping into the same/similar pattern of confrontation as a communication method. It doesn’t work & it won’t work.

Bonne chance, mon fils.

FireStar FireStar July 18, 2012, 10:19 am

Finding drugs in your home and confronting your partner about it is trying to control your partner’s life? Are you serious? This is one of her tactics that fueled the fire of her husband’s addiction? How about everyone take responsibility for their own decisions? Why don’t we play that game? Her husband choice to steal and lie to fuel his addiction at the peril of his family is not her fault. I’m sure she has made choices that she is none too happy with now but those are the decisions she is responsible for – not her husband’s. And her focus needs to be on her son for the foreseeable future. She doesn’t have an obligation to seek help for her (ex)husband – quite frankly you can’t help anyone who doesn’t want your help in these situations – the husband will need to seek help himself when he is ready.

avatar jlyfsh July 18, 2012, 10:56 am

i have to say if i found weed in my husband’s shoes, i would say something. i mean one who keeps drugs in shoes? two it would be completely out of character so i’d want to have a conversation about it. and yeah, personally after trying to get him help once, i’d leave it up to his family. like you said until he’s ready it’s not going to do any good anyway.

avatar Chicago-Dude July 18, 2012, 12:01 pm

jlyfsh – as you SHOULD say something.
Forget where the weed is kept. You say something. There’s a huge difference between using that “saying of something” to get a better understanding of your partner and a full on yelling and screaming confrontation.

avatar jlyfsh July 18, 2012, 12:07 pm

she doesn’t say that she screamed at him when she found it. just that she confronted him. exactly what i would do. she says they scream and fight now. quick way to fix that, stop living together! just as much his fault as it is hers. takes two people.

avatar Chicago-Dude July 18, 2012, 11:56 am

@ Firestar – I don’t think our views are too far apart.
We may disagree on the approach to handle the scenario where she discovers another side of him – confront or have a conversation without the yelling and screaming?

It obvious that the problem originated from him, but I’d disagree and stand my ground that perhaps her style of confrontation as a means to “help” him may have negatively hurled him down further down the pit.
She doesn’t have an obligation to help him YET – but remember she has a stake in his successful recovery because they have a child together. If you fail to agree on that note, then well… it’s a matter of a difference of opinion/approach.

FireStar FireStar July 18, 2012, 12:31 pm

Nothing I can say to you – regardless of the pitch of my voice – can ameliorate your responsibility to act correctly. He had no business bringing illegal drugs into her home – and nothing in her reaction to that act, or any act of thievery or deceit, absolves him of the responsibility of his own actions. Period. We differ in our opinions very strongly on this point. Her reactions to his misconduct are not to blame for his bad behaviour. And I think it is dangerous to even suggest such a thing to what is clearly a struggling, young woman. That she stayed so long in such an untenable situation speaks to her self-esteem. What you are saying – and perhaps unintentionally – is that she makes him act like this. This is what abusive men say to the women they abuse. And it is wrong. And to be clear this level of substance abuse IS abusive – to the LW and to her child.
I do agree with you though that a child is best served by having all his parents healthy and involved in his life. I am not sure how familiar you are with addicts. I have a family member who is an addict and what I know for sure is that no one can make him sober or make him get help. The best anyone can do is to be supportive when he chooses to help himself and make the commitment he needs to make to change his own life. By their nature though, addicts are manipulative. So to offer support is to risk disappointment and perhaps even more. If the LW is secure and able to offer that support when the husband is ready to get the help he needs – then I agree with you – it is in her child’s interest she do so. But only if she is able and has enough strength to offer support at that time.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:36 pm

I just wanted to pipe in and say if this girl who has so much god damn work ahead of her also took the time to cure a drug addict, she would not have time left to properly raise her kid. Maybe I’m cold, but cut the ties to this dirtbag. If he chooses to clean up his act alone (or with the help of his own family), then great. I’d take a responsible single parent over one whose spending too much time trying to fix the likely unfixable deadbeat parent any day.

avatar Nadine July 18, 2012, 10:12 pm

yup.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 10:36 am

Wow. Yes of course, of course this is her fault. How dare she get mad when she finds illegal drugs in her home and all her money stolen.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:53 am

And speak up about it? Women these days.

avatar amy July 18, 2012, 11:58 am

Sigh. Women just don’t know their place anymore :'(

avatar BeckyGrace July 18, 2012, 10:59 am

Chicago-Dude…. I think this should be deleted so the LW doesn’t read it. If you really think that his drug and alcohol addiction, lying and stealing can somehow be FUELED by her… you have some major issues. I know we aren’t supposed to attack people who post but your attitude about this situation makes me think that you are EXACTLY like the LW’s soon to be ex… everybody elses fault. You even state that she should seek help for her ex? REALLY… so he isn’t responsible for himself at all… your a nut case…. seriously

avatar jumper July 18, 2012, 12:18 pm

He might just be raising the – probably very valid – point that this relationship is composed of two individuals, and it is entirely possible that the LW has not… oooh how do I say this without the wrong connotations… always handled it as well as she could? Or maybe… that it’s unlikely that she is completely without error? Something like that. I don’t like Chicago-Dude’s response either, but I think he’s just making his point very sloppily. Doesn’t mean he’s completely blaming her.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:56 pm

No. He’s saying he became a drug addict because of her. That’s absurd.

avatar Chicago-Dude July 18, 2012, 3:36 pm

Oh dear. Did you even read my comments?
There isn’t more i can say to help you understand my point but for chrissakes don’t put words in my mouth and state that she is being blamed for his addictive tendencies.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 3:43 pm

You said had she not confronted him about the drugs she found, this never would’ve spiraled into him being a drug addict.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 3:45 pm

I’d quote you, but I just looked and basically everything you said says that, so no point in quoting the entire thing.

avatar spark_plug July 18, 2012, 11:12 am

Have you ever met an alcoholic before? I can assure you that no one forces them to drink.

LW – RUN! My uncle has been a raging alcoholic for over 20 years now. He steals alcohol to the point that my grandmother can’t even have any alcohol based tinctures or disinfectants in her house. He screams and yells and curses at everyone and goes into drunk rages were he threatens people and says he doesn’t care and sends everyone to do a not very nice thing to themselves.

He’s also never stolen a PENNY from anyone including my grandmother who he lives with. In fact, my grandmother makes sure that he knows where all of her valuables are in case something happens and nothing has ever gone in missing in the 20+ years he’s been drinking.

Addiction is a terrible disease and I don’t think you owe someone your life to fix them. If they are family, you’re kind of stuck with them and have to love them for who they are. If it’s a guy you’ve been with for 4 years, you don’t owe him anything.

I think his cheating and lying is an even lower form of disease than alcoholism. Like I said, when my uncle drinks he’s a TERRIBLE person and almost no one except maybe my grandmother can tolerate him. And this raging lunatic alcoholic has enough respect for his family to not steal or put them in jeopardy. Seriously – do whatever you must – move home, move in with his parents, borrow money from friends – just get out.

avatar Sue Jones July 18, 2012, 11:19 am

Wrong! She was NOT being “controlling”! She was doing what any sane young woman who is discovering her husband is not the man she thought he was would do! She didn’t “fuel the fire”. You are blaming HIS addiction problems on HER! It is not HER job to “make him get better” from his addiction but many who are inexperienced in such matters do that because in other situations such as “you left the toilet seat up again” nagging may help…. sometimes….And furthermore, it is not HER fault that HE is a scum sucking loser addict who conned her into thinking he was otherwise. AND I agree, she should kick him out, but once she does, she can move on with her life and his addiction should NO LONGER be her problem. He needs to hit rock bottom and come to grips with his addiction through AA or some other program, or seek professional help in some way. Let go, let God so they say…

But to the LW, surely your family knows what is going on. Surely if need be you can move back in with your parents for some extra support? You are young. You married too young, but now you have a child and need to further your education so that you can get a higher paying job. It may be smart to live at home again if possible while you get your life together? And surely you will actually have more money once he is gone since he will no longer be spending it on his addiction. So sorry this happened to you. So sorry that there is sometimes pressure to marry young in certain cultures so that you can “legally” start having sex. It is not too late for you to have the life you always wanted, but you may need to make it happen on your own first.

avatar Chicago-Dude July 18, 2012, 11:48 am

You know what, you are all absolutely correct. I was sorely wrong and mistaken.
She is perfectly blameless in the mess she’s found herself in.

1. Confronting “him” is absolutely the right way to go – in fact let’s take it a step further. Full on screaming and yelling type of confrontation. Yeah… that’d show him how WRONG he was! Who wants to “chat” about a measly (depending where you stand on the issue), pot found in a shoe box. I mean, he’s already going to lie about it so why chat about it like an adult? Futile.

2. Her getting pregnant 2X! by the same pot-smoking, binge drinking, account draining bastard – yep. Not her fault. Look, it’s him! He couldn’t keep it in his pants and how could she resist that pot-smoking, binge drinking, account draining pipe (pun)? She’s again, clean.

3. Him continuing to lie – well, he’s a liar. It’s not her fault he chose refused to let her in after one measly confrontation – which I’m sure she wasn’t bent on proving how WRONG he was and how RIGHT she was.

4. And how wrong was I to suggest she help him AFTER she’s taken measures to ensure her wellbeing? The audacity. I mean my son doesn’t NEED a father and a mother in a healthy (read: cordial) relationship to help raise him. Screaming and yelling matches around him will only help make him see how RIGHT his mother was and how fucked up his father was.

5. Agreed, the comment should be deleted because BeckyGrace doesn’t agree with my assertion. Free and cordial speech be damned!

MOA MOA, girl… it’s not your fault and Chicago-Dude was feeding you hot bologna. Forget introspection as a leverage for self-growth and personal responsibility. You are fine just the way you are.
Just leave that rat-bastard.

FireStar FireStar July 18, 2012, 11:57 am

Actually, you could have stopped after your second sentence.

avatar bethany July 18, 2012, 12:19 pm

I’d just like to point out that confrontation doesn’t need to be a fight. Confronting someone about something can be as simple as “Hey Honey, I found something in your shoe, and I’d like to talk about it”. It’s sinply bringing an issue up and making it the topic of the current conversation.

avatar ele4phant July 18, 2012, 12:29 pm

I think the crux of the issue here is that you assume “confront” is yelling, screaming, and generally acting irrational. If that is in fact how reacted, she would share a (small) shred of blame (in this particular instance). However, that’s all speculative. Confront could just as easily mean she calmly asked “I found this. Please explain to me what’s going on.”

And I agree, generally, a relationship is composed of two people, and that dysfunction in a relationship is pretty much always the result of actions of both. However, in a situation where one of the partners has an addiction, they do get the overwhelming lion’s share of blame.

avatar ele4phant July 18, 2012, 1:17 pm

I do want to add, doesn’t AA consider alcoholism to be a family disease. Thus the existence of Al Anon. So yes, I agree that the LW does have *some* culpability here.

I do, however, think it is unproductive to beat her over the head with “You dummy!” when she’s finally ready to do something. Better late than never.

LW – you do need to leave. You know that. Its not good for your child to stay, its not good for you to stay, and you know what? Its not good for him for you to stay together.

Leave, and please go to Al Anon.

avatar Sue Jones July 18, 2012, 8:00 pm

I agree about leaving the rat bastard. I think she was probably brainwashed by her conservative Christian culture to marry so she could have sex when young people want to have sex. And perhaps when you are married that young in that brainwashed Conservative Christian culture, you don’t think you have any other career options besides being a SAHM. Hopefully she will pull a Katie Holmes on all of that religious bullshit and go to college so she can have a career and support her kid. Hopefully her family will be supportive and help her leave him. But yes, now it is up to her to DTMFA and not buy that religious BS anymore and make better decisions for herself.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 10:25 pm

She’s an atheist! Does anyone read the actual letter?

rainbow rainbow July 18, 2012, 11:53 am

Ok, so confrontation is a bitch move. What do you suggest then?

avatar Chicago-Dude July 18, 2012, 12:05 pm

You absolutely miss the point.
Confrontation is not a bitch-move. It’s a bitch move when it’s used as a means to change/control a habit and especially so when combined with yelling and screaming.
I dare you to use that a means of communicating with 10 people in your life on a daily basis. Report back in a month and let us know where you stand with said 10 persons.
Point is – it doesn’t work when a fruitful relationship is to be built.

They are both immature. Can you not see that?!

rainbow rainbow July 18, 2012, 12:16 pm

“Confrontation is not a bitch-move. It’s a bitch move when it’s used as a means to change/control a habit and especially so when combined with yelling and screaming.”

I don’t know where you’re getting that she yelled and screamed about the weed, the letter says “I confronted him on it and he apologized and said it would NEVER happen again”. It doesn’t sound like a screaming match to me.

And, again, if confrontation as a means to change a habit is a bitch move, what do you suggest I do if I ever find myself wanting someone to change a habit that’s putting me in danger? How exactly do you help someone change a habit without confronting them about it?

“They are both immature. Can you not see that?!” Unnecessary, missing the point and including too many exclamation/question marks to be polite.

avatar Lucy July 18, 2012, 12:17 pm

“You’re trying to control me!” is the classic addict’s response when someone wants them to stop using. It’s not even worth listening or responding to.

The LW didn’t ask “Am I immature? Did I contribute to my own situation in any way, or am I blameless?” She asked for advice about what she should do now, not a litany of all the places in the past where she could possibly have made a better decision. Most people dealing with addicts for the first time make the same rookie mistakes she did. It can be very hard to accept that the person you thought you knew and loved is really just a hollow shell in service to a substance.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:39 pm

GREAT REPLY!

avatar krissy July 18, 2012, 12:59 pm

They are both definitely immature, but they are at a very young age and being confronted with a huge life event! Most people who find themselves with an addict don’t have a “how to effectively communicate with your addict” guide book. This LW fell into the same pattern that just about every other person on the planet does when they are involved in this situation. They try to support and fix them, and hope that they can cause a change. You can’t fault her for not knowing exactly what the most effective way to confront his addiction was. I doubt that she would say that she hasn’t learned from this situation. I’d bet if she ever finds herself anywhere remotely close to this situation again she’d be fleeing for the hills! She didn’t come here for advice about how she could have handled this differently, she came for advice about what to do now.
I also get the feeling that you are severely over personalizing this. Most addicts see any disagreement with their use as an attempt to control. The issue here is that he is the one that developed this addiction. He created the problem. She doesn’t have a masters in addiction counseling and can’t be expected to react to such a dramatic event in the most clinical and correct way possible. She has no blame in his addiction. I work in a 28 day inpatient program for recovery. I have never once heard someone that was fully in recovery say that the reason their use got worse was because of their nagging wife or mother or whatever. They have accepted that they chose to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism instead of addressing their problems in a more healthy way.

FireStar FireStar July 18, 2012, 1:02 pm

Thank you.

katie katie July 18, 2012, 12:05 pm

i agree with you, chicago dude.

this LW has made poor choices. and she needs to learn from them, make her current situation better, and prevent these things from happening again. maybe not in that order, but that is what needs to happen.

and i dont think that by saying that her actions “fueled the fire” you are implying that she is to blame for the whole situation. you are saying that she did not make good choices, those absolutely contributed to the situation you now find yourself in, so recognize that, accept that, learn, grow, and become a better person.

avatar Chicago-Dude July 18, 2012, 12:07 pm

Boom! WKS!

katie katie July 18, 2012, 12:15 pm

im on a freaking roll with these WKS’s… haha

avatar Lucy July 18, 2012, 12:06 pm

Comments like this make me long for the purple thumbs. You seriously think that finding his illegal drugs hidden in the house they share doesn’t justify her confronting him with them? The confrontation isn’t the problem here. The problem is that her husband is a lying, thieving addict. If she made any mistake, it was the same mistake that most loving partners make when they discover a secret addiction – she did not immediately assume that everything her husband said and did from there on out was in service only to his addiction.

LW – your husband will not change until his addiction costs him enough to make it worth it, and every day that you ‘help’ him delays the day when he hits bottom and maybe decides to get help. He will not change for you or for your child if he hasn’t done so already. Throw him out yesterday. Don’t give him another penny, ever. Cease communication except through your lawyers. Your divorce lawyer should be able to assist you in filing for child support.

avatar Lucy July 18, 2012, 12:18 pm

Oh, and LW, get to All Anon stat.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 9:25 am

I know you are a new mother, and stressed and tired, and you are probably not thinking straight, but the only constructive thing I can say is you should have been out of there when you had gotten pregnant the first time, and nothing changed. Since you didn’t leave, it makes me think you are not too bright yourself. Sorry, at 24 years old, with a young son, you should be way smarter then this.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 10:39 am

Is it a full moon over DW?! Your advice was that you’ve determined she’s not too bright because she thought she could help her husband and keep her family together? Wow.

avatar Nadine July 18, 2012, 11:01 am

Yeah, there is so many judgemental comments! I’m pretty she knows she has to leave, she knows the situation is shit….. now her problems are financial. Constructive advice would be better than ragging on a Distressed New Mum.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 11:10 am

Yes. Coming from another young mom who was clueless and scared to death, the last thing I needed was people telling me I fucked up. Like, really, did I? My life’s a disaster, I thought I was Doing great?! What helped was actual, real advice-find resources, talk to counselors, start saving, etc. I hope she sees those comments because some were excellent.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 11:08 am

Sorry, but sometimes that is simply the truth. Her husband passes out a lot and is talking weird and she accepts his answer that nothing is wrong???? What is it if not dumb? Then she gets pregnant, fine, she is married and has a right to get pregnant. Then she finds money is missing and becomes more stressed about it, but does nothing??? I am sorry, but where is exactly the limit? Oh yeah, she is saving her ”family”. Women need to stop looking for excuses for their dumb behavior, and STOP THE INSANITY!!! Your husband stole money from you!!!! He refuses any kind of help!!!! You have a 5 months old baby on your hands that you are responsible for!!! How is it even a question what to do next?

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 11:15 am

So point out everything she wrote herself? That’s helpful? No. It’s being a useless asshole who seems happy to have someone to judge.

It is a huge question of what to do next, specifically at least. If you haven’t been in that situation, you dont know what steps to take and what resources are out there. She clearly knows she didn’t do the right things which is why she’s writing in now to find out exactly how to fix it.

Also she made zero mention of trying to save her family. It sounds like this spiraled. At first I would’ve given a few chances too.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 11:34 am

Well you know what, maybe if her close friends told her the truth for a change instead of saying things like ”oh, of course he will change once he becomes a father”, if they gave her a push, if they made her angry at him , if they did anything besides enabling the situation, maybe then she would have realized sooner that her husband is an ass.

Also, since when did 25 become too young to be able to understand some basic things in life? She has been living as an adult for at least 6 years. Take some personal responsibility people for your actions.

And another thing, I am not judging her. I truly do not care one way or another what she decides to do. I do wish her a life of happiness with her son though.

bittergaymark bittergaymark July 18, 2012, 1:46 pm

Seriously. I get so tired of everybody takes constant pity around here on those who not only make their own mistakes. But go well out of their way to make those mistakes… In a tragic and miserable marriage? Hey, lets have a baby!

Ugh, I get so tired of people who deliberately fuck up their own lives — not to mention those of innocent children — and then come crying here for sympathy.

The only thing worse? How much sympathy they tend to get around here…

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:55 pm

I’m not saying she didn’t make mistakes. She did. I presume she knows she handled it wrong and doesn’t know how to handle any of this, since she wrote in for advice.

avatar ele4phant July 18, 2012, 1:55 pm

I can certainly understand your feelings, and would be lying if I said I didn’t often bang my head on the table (metaphorically speaking – of course) after reading many of these letters.

However, I also understand where many of the “softer” responses are coming from. What’s going to be more productive at getting someone to turn it around? Telling them they’re a fucking idiot and deserve what they’ve sown? I know you’re more of the tough love kind of guy, but from my personal observations this approach seems to alienate people more than it gives them the kick in the ass they need. Maybe you’ve observed differently, but IMO a harsh approach is counterproductive.

And she does want out of this. She knows she needs to, and she’s looking for advice on how to make that happen. I don’t think anyone would disagree that she shouldn’t have married this guy, she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant once, much less twice. But short of a time machine, the past is the past and there’s no reversing those mistakes. So I struggle to understand how berating her for her past mistakes is going to help her build a better future.

But that’s just me….

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 2:48 pm

I would like to say that I, personally, do not believe anyone deserve this. But everyone has a choice at one point: do you, a grown woman, a mother, keep playing a victim and accepting the circumstances, and keep allowing bad things to happen to you, or do you get your ass in gear and finally take some responsibility and control over your life? My problem with this particular LW is that everything she writes about just happens to ”happen” to her, as if she is an innocent by-stander complete uninvolved in her own life.

What I am really trying to say is, the first step to recovery is to admit that you have actually made a mistake. Nowhere in the letter she says that. She just want to leave him to show that she is not ”bluffing”. My point is that whatever excuse she had up until this point, it is time she smartened up and started acting in HER and mainly, HER SON’S best interest.

avatar ele4phant July 18, 2012, 3:04 pm

This is true, her letter did not seem to show her taking responsibility for her decisions and culpability in her own life.

All the same, I generally find that an exceedingly harsh approach isn’t going to wake people up, its going to put them on the defensive. And that’s not going to help anything.

I think there’s a way to call people on their shit and wake up them up, and a way to utterly alienate them.

But again, that’s my perspective. Maybe the LW will read BGM’s response and a light bulb will go off in her head. But I personally think its more likely she’ll be put off and disregard his many valid points.

avatar 6napkinburger July 19, 2012, 1:52 pm

Ross: I need advice. Any advice!
Joey: You’re not going to like it.
Ross: That’s ok!
Joey: You got married too soon.
Ross: That’s not advice!
Joey: I told you you weren’t going to like it.

End scene.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 11:38 am

Everybody is so freaking afraid of saying the obvious. Instead of trying to help him, their families, or in the very least, her family should have been trying to help her.

Anyway… I realize that this sounds harsh and judgmental, and anything else you may want to call it, but it does not change the fact that this girl needs a reality check.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:43 pm

I’m not afraid of saying the obvious, I just don’t see how that helps. It doesn’t help. No one writes into DW looking to hear advice on the past, they are looking for advice on how to move forward.

I agree, her family should’ve been helping HER.

rainbow rainbow July 18, 2012, 11:51 am

“How is it even a question what to do next?”

Sounds like you’ve never been in way over your head. In that case, maybe you should refrain from being mean until you have a clue of how the real world (where people are often confused and terrified) works.

rainbow rainbow July 18, 2012, 11:52 am

That was for Flake, not LBH.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 12:03 pm

Please do not tell me about the real world. The way the real world works is that you have to take care of your own sh?t. In the world that this girl lives in, however, problems just go away on their own, people read your mind, and everything turns out just fine without any effort on your part.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 11:11 am

P. S. She did absolutely NOTHING to save her family. Saving her family would involve having a constructive conversation with her husband, maybe forcing him to go to rehab/therapy. Burying her had in the sand and ignoring blazing rad flags all over the place does not save a family.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 11:18 am

Is it not obvious she’s realizing this now? Did you have all the answers at 24? She’s trying to fix it now and get answers now. I respect that.
When you need guidance or advice in life, do you find it helpful when people say what a fuckkn idiot you are for not knowing?

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 18, 2012, 11:28 am

I think this LW is trying to get out and would benefit more from constructive feedback – i.e. solutions than a lashing, but it’s hard not to sometimes.

I think it all depends on how you were raised. My Dad has been compared to Red Forman on that 70’s show more times than I can count. He would have chewed me up and told me I was a fucking idiot like 4 mistakes ago. Probably around the time he was stealing money and drinking/lying about drug abuse/whatever it is. He probably would have given me some solutions eventually – but first there would have been a swift kick in the ass and a lot of “did I really raise you to be such an idiot? Did I raise someone that has such little self esteem that you’re willing to put up with this worthless asshole?”

I remember in the forum about healthcare someone said something along the lines of “there’s no room for all this ‘pick yourself up by your bootstraps and never ask for help’ and defending that sometimes people need help and the wealthy should pay for more. Well I was raised that you do just pick yourself up. You don’t ask for help – you figure it out on your own and you act like a fucking grownup. (Sorry for the language I’m just talking like I can imagine my Dad would, haha). I would become a stripper before I went on welfare – at least then I’m working for my money instead of it being given to me.

So I guess I’m not really defending flake – because I think this LW is genuinely trying to get out of her bad situation – but you have to understand that there’s a whole group of people that can’t comprehend how it got to this point.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 11:41 am

”but you have to understand that there’s a whole group of people that can’t comprehend how it got to this point. ”

Exactly this.

avatar SweetPeaG July 18, 2012, 12:32 pm

You ate your wheaties this morning iwannatalk!

Seriously though… that was a very thoughtful response. While I don’t fully agree with Flake, I see where she was coming from. I know many people in that “Just take care of your own shit” group. I have sometimes been one of them. So, I see what Flake is kind of saying.

But, what it comes down to is YES, the LW could have made better choices a lot sooner. But coulda, shoulda, woulda does not really help her here. What she can do going forward is so much more constructive.

avatar SweetPeaG July 18, 2012, 12:35 pm

Also, I think there is a way to say “Next time, make different choices” without saying someone is outright stupid. Just sayin’.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 12:43 pm

That’s what I would have said after the first two incidents she mentions. After that, it becomes ‘Fool me once-shame on you; fool me two, three, four times-well, that is definitely on me”.

Lili Lili July 18, 2012, 12:51 pm

Could this letter even be real? I’m wondering….

katie katie July 18, 2012, 12:56 pm

unfortunately, it most likely is….

avatar trix July 19, 2012, 1:27 pm

That was absolutely my first thought. The manner in which its written made me give the old side eye.

Kate B. Kate B. July 18, 2012, 12:32 pm

My dad was the first one to call my brother and I idiots if we deserved it. There are many things about this situation I cannot comprehend, but that comes from age and experience. I don’t know where the LW was raised, but I do know that there are still plenty of places where women are raised to believe that a man will take care of them and they don’t have to worry about things like finances. (Now, at the risk of being slapped for this, I will say that if you do want that for yourself and you find a man who is willing and able to accept that responsibility and keep his promises to do so, then that is a valid choice. But you must pick a man who keeps his word, is responsible and is who he says he is.) My former S-I-L was an intelligent, working woman, raised in a sophisticated, urban environment, and yet my brother was able to wipe out their bank account when he left. (He got called a lot worse than an idiot for that, by me and my dad.)

I believe that if you look hard enough, you will find that many of your own problems could be minimized or even completely avoided if you had done something differently. This is called learning from experience. It sucks, but that’s how we grow up. I think this is what Flake and others mean by saying that people need to take responsibility for their actions. Personal responsibility has gone way out the window. There were definitely signs that she should have seen and paid attention to. However, going back to picking the right man, I also think that her husband did con her into thinking that he was a different man and that is not her fault. Picking herself up by her bootstraps is a laudable thing, it’s what I try to do whenever I have a problem. But, sometimes even the strongest person needs help and the LW definitely needs it. She should make use of any resources she can find, including family, friends, NOW, a shelter and all the others that have been mentioned. And then she needs to look long and hard at herself and figure out what she could have done differently so she can learn what not to do in the future. I wish her luck.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 12:41 pm

The thing that pisses me off a little in this letter, and that justifies (in my opinion) the tough love approach, is this:

”Checking the bank account, I realized he had depleted our entire savings account — the account I had saved in order to take five months off work to stay home with my son and pay hospital and doctors’ bills.

Confronted on the issue, he denied any part of this! He is an idiot, I KNOW!”

She specifically calls HIM an idiot, as if she has no responsibility what-so-ever over her finances.

katie katie July 18, 2012, 12:53 pm

yea, that part made me really mad too.. like, what he is doing is so terrible for her but she has no way of making it any better, like he holds all the power over their collective situation.. i just dont like that.

Kate B. Kate B. July 18, 2012, 1:07 pm

Maybe she believed she didn’t. My own mother tried to raise me like that, to defer to a man’s authority in everything. LW should have, though, taken control of the money right then. Only she knows why she didn’t. Getting pregnant the second time really blows my mind. I mean, birth control exists, people. Even my uber-conservative Republican father admits that. And if you can’t use it or afford it, then just say no. That is on her. But that doesn’t mean she can’t change her situation and make sure she is never in this situation again.

Fabelle Fabelle July 18, 2012, 2:42 pm

Yeah, I have to say that parts of this letter bother me as well. She accuses the husband of pointing the finger at her, but all she does throughout the letter is blame him for everything wrong in her life. He may be a leech, but did he really cause her miscarriage? Why is it “needless to say” that her baby lost his/her heartbeat because of the stress her husband caused? No one knows for sure what causes miscarriages, but they are very, very common.

Caris Caris July 18, 2012, 10:42 pm

What bothered me about how she talks about her pregnancies is that she sounds as if she had no part in making them happen. If you have no money to take care of another human being then use birth control (“I found out I was pregnant. Scared and worried, knowing my husband and I make very little money, I became very, very stressed.”)

And then it’s like she hoped having a baby would save her marriage. No people, if your marriage is not working the last thing you need to do is bring an innocent baby into the mix. (“Five months after my miscarriage, I found out I was pregnant again. Hoping he wouldn’t want a repeat of the last miscarriage I thought he would definitely change now.”)

CatsMeow CatsMeow July 19, 2012, 11:19 am

I thought that too. I couldn’t fathom why on earth she could possibly want to get pregnant a second time, and then I realized that she thought she could use it as leverage to make him change.

avatar adaas July 21, 2012, 3:32 am

THANK YOU Caris. This was bugging me, too! You hit the nail on the head.

avatar spark_plug July 18, 2012, 11:18 am

In all honesty, the girl is in her early 20s. She’s stressed, upset and scared. Not to mention poor. Sometimes the right thing to do is really hard.

For example, in this situation maybe the right thing to do is to hold criticisms and judgements to yourself. And if some people have such a hard time controlling their behavior and emotions that they simply MUST defend their criticisms on anonymous forum, how much harder is it going to be for a freaking 20’s something, poor, scared and upset girl?

becboo84 BecBoo84 July 18, 2012, 4:56 pm

Amen!

avatar amy July 18, 2012, 11:47 am

Uh… you don’t force ANYONE into rehab. And if you DO, it doesn’t work.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 11:58 am

Then it just becomes another clue for you to leave.

avatar Nadine July 18, 2012, 10:22 pm

SHE KNOWS SHE HAS TO LEAVE THATS WHY SHE WROTE IN HERE.

SweetsAndBeats SweetsAndBeats July 18, 2012, 1:53 pm

I’m not sure you understand how hard it is to be in a marriage with someone suffering from the disease of addiction/alcoholism. It’s in one ear, out the other. “Forcing” them to go to therapy is a waste of money. They will lie, pretend to change, or force you between a rock and a hard place via gaslighting, blatant refusal to change, or new, craftier methods of subterfuge.

Addicts/alcoholics (I’m in NA so I actually don’t think there is a difference, it’s all addiction, but I am putting both here so that there’s no confusion from people without experience in this) have to seek out help themselves. They will not do that if you are pushing them toward it. Even if there is temporary reprieve, it is a “dry drunk” situation because they are not doing it for themselves.

There is no such thing as forcing someone into recovery.

avatar sia July 18, 2012, 11:37 am

Love how you demonstrate your own failure to understand the meaning of a basic word like “constructive” by calling her “not too bright”.

avatar SiSisodaPop July 18, 2012, 3:09 pm

“but the only constructive thing I can say is”…… followed by NOTHING CONSTRUCTIVE…. Telling her she should have left sooner and she’s dumb?? Really??? Not helpful at all….I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be a bitch (don’t need to try, it just comes naturally sometimes) BUT Nothing you said was constructive. As a matter of fact, it was rather destructive, and just plain mean.

Here’s my two cents: LW,You are not to blame for your husband’s choices. The things he did were horrible, and no one should have to go through what you have been through. But Life happens. And sometimes you get sucked into a vaccuum without realizing what’s happening until it’s too late. I’m sure you recognize that there were some things you’ve done in the past few years that you could have done better. Learning from the mistakes will help improve your future. But, for now, focus on the present. Living with this man whom you hate and fight with every day is not good for you, and even WORSE for your child. Move out now, don’t rely on him to get up and get out. And depending on where you live, more than likely you cannot MAKE him leave without going thru legal eviction or getting a temporary protective order. For now, for the sake of your child, you should leave. Move in with your family, a friend, or go to a shelter until you have saved up enough money to be on your own. Shelters can also help you with obtaining financial assistance from various agencies and programs. (Not that you have to go to a shelter to get this help, just that they may be able to point you in the right direction.) Leave him alone. Let him hit rock bottom, let him fix himself if he chooses to. Know that You cannot do it for him. But he has to do it for himself, not for you. Go file for cutody/ child support. IF one day, one day far far away, he cleans himself up and is capable of being a good afther figure – like you KNOW that his presence will not be damaging – allow him to have a relationship with his child. Hope for the best, expect the worst. You are in a difficult situation, and your mind is no doubt clouded by emotion and stress. But nothing around you will change unless you DO something different. If you keep doing the same thing, you’re going to get the same results. I wish you and your babies the best of luck.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 4:04 pm

You know what, when she writes in with the update to say that she has taken all the constructive advice given here (Guy Friday’s in particular), then I will retract every single word I said.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 4:06 pm

It must be sad to think the worst of everyone, or at least of strangers. Seriously. Give her a chance.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 4:41 pm

It doesn’t matter if I give her a chance or not. I have nothing invested in this. She has had plenty of chances. It’s just that I have a few friends like that as well. Everything happens ”TO” them. As if they have no free will at all, and sadly, so far, none of them have taken any constructive advice given to them to heart. There is always an excuse. As a friend, it is very frustrating to watch.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 4:52 pm

Really? You’re not invested in this? It doesn’t matter because you are both strangers toeach other? Wow. Here I was assuming we all knew the LW. Ugh.

I’m guessing if you give your friends advice the way you gave this LW advice, there is a good reason they don’t pay attention to it.

Caris Caris July 18, 2012, 10:52 pm

I have friends who will come crying / complaining about their situation. I will listen to them, and then give them advice and I try VERY hard not to be mean and to give them constructive criticism and not destructive criticism.

What do they do? Whatever the hell they want to do. A lot of the times, they ignore everything you have told them and then they come crying again cause oh life is so mean to them. Like Flake said, it is very frustrating.

Sometimes it doesn’t really matter if you give them constructive or destructive criticism, and I think we have seen this with quite a few LW’s who will write an update about how they totally did the opposite thing that was recommended by pretty much everyone and how it totally backfired like everyone predicted and how she should have done what Wendy and everyone else said.

avatar MJ July 18, 2012, 9:26 am

How is his income helping you with the bills if he’s using it all to feed his addiction? Get out and take your son with you.

And while it’s too late now, for future reference, don’t have a child with a man who stresses you out, takes your money, lies to you, etc.

avatar Taylor July 18, 2012, 9:26 am

LW, is there another source of financial support available to you in the interim? Do you have family or friends that could kick in, or help with childcare? Have you determined how much money you need to get by on the bare minimum should you kick him out? I interpreted your question as pretty practical – it’s not that you don’t want to kick him out, it’s that you’re concerned with paying the bills if you do? Is there someone you can talk to about your finance? Corners you can cut until the promotion comes through? Financial aid you can qualify for? Find a local source for help with this stuff – call a woman’s shelter, see what your city/town offers, talk to people who have been in similar situations. I get that your are angry and betrayed, there are sources of support out there, I think the first step is finding them so you aren’t in this alone.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 10:41 am

Excellent advice. Glad someone offered real helpful advice rather than make this poor woman feel worse.

avatar Taylor July 18, 2012, 9:18 pm

Thanks! Not sure where all the harshness is coming from for this LW. I feel the DW community is usually more generous with practical advice and support.

avatar summerkitten26 July 18, 2012, 11:15 am

I’m not sure if this is an option at all, but it seemed from your letter that you have the support of your husband’s family in trying to get him clean. Have you had their support in other areas of the relationship? Would they be willing to give you and your baby a place in their home to stay (it is after all their grandson and his one stable parent)? if this is at all possible, it could be a viable option for shelter and child care. If it is not, do you have any friends with whom you could room?

End story is that yes, you need to kick your husband out. It is affecting you terribly, and there is no way to salvage your life or your son’s future if you don’t remove the source of the constant damage. I wish you the best.

bagge72 bagge72 July 18, 2012, 9:31 am

There really doesn’t seem like there should be an option here, I’m not sure why you have kept him around this long, he still needs to provide for his son no matter if he is living with you or not so try to start working on that paper work as well.

katie katie July 18, 2012, 9:35 am

there shouldnt be an option!

i mean, LW, really, where is your line? where is the line that you draw for yourself that you wont accept certain behaviors anymore? because it definitely isnt stealing from you, its definitely not having a baby with an alcoholic drug addict, and its definitely not the man you married lying to you.. so where is it? what is it going to take for you to finally get it?

bagge72 bagge72 July 18, 2012, 10:12 am

Yeah I have some other feelings on why she stayed with a guy she hates, and decided to have a child with him, but I guess she is putting herself through enough crap right now!

avatar Nadine July 18, 2012, 9:33 am

I’m not american so I dont know all of the resources that are at your disposal, but I think you need to start taking preventative measures to get this man out of your life NOW. You akready know he needs to leave. I seriously doubt his economic value is really all that valuable, but if you really think thats whats keeping him in your life and your house, please do some research into welfare. If you are a young mother, you must eligible for something.
If you earn a little too much to qualify, look into abused women organisations (emotional abuse counts too, such as living with an addict, and also resource abuse (not sure what it is actually called), which is what happens when he cuts you off from your money or car).
If you don’t qualify for that either, you need to look to friends and family. All you need is a six month grace period, to get on your feet, figure your situation out and get your kid out of there. Tell people that. They will more likely to welcome you in if they know you never intend to stay forever.
You know you need to get out. Do the research, and get out.

FireStar FireStar July 18, 2012, 9:35 am

Speak with your family law lawyer. If all he is is an income that helps you pay bills then you are still entitled to part of that income in the form of child support.
I don’t get the part where you say he is a good father. How exactly is the “lying, stealing, drinking, smoking” alcoholic a good father? Sweetie. Your bar is set too low. It is not a good situation for your child. Explore every other option – moving to a smaller place, renting a room, staying with family, friends, at a women’s shelter. Whatever your income – you can manage on your own for now. You currently have your 5 month old child around someone unpredictable who is ultimately only interested in his addiction. If the choice is between your son’s welfare or alcohol – your husband will pick alcohol. Ten times out of ten. You cannot continue to expose your son to that type of risk. I’m sad for you and your son that you chose to have a child with this man but what is done is done the best you can do now is to protect your child from harm – and make no mistake – his father is a harm to him right now.
If all the family is capable of rallying around trying to fix your husband then now is the time to tell them they have to rally around to protect their grandchild. Do not be ashamed to ask for help. You need it and your son needs it. And your primary job as a mother is to keep your child safe. Good luck. I have every faith in your ability to do the right thing for your child. You may have made mistakes in the past but now is the time to grow up and put your child’s interests first.

CatsMeow CatsMeow July 18, 2012, 10:41 am

“Sweetie. Your bar is set too low.”

Haha. As Wendy would say, aim higher!

avatar MMcG July 18, 2012, 11:03 am

Yep x 1billion… if there was even a bar set in the first place;)

avatar jumper July 18, 2012, 9:39 am

It sounds like in your letter the only reason you’re staying is “I need his income for the bills.” Wait, what? I thought he wasn’t working, that he was stealing money, etc. He’s clearly more of a financial burden than potential helper. Needing money is not a good reason to stay in this cesspool. Get a cheaper place, get a loan, go on temporary welfare, just do what you need to do. Hell, my friend went to her HR department when she was getting a divorce to ask for a brief temporary wage increase, and they made a deal where they’d decrease her raises in the future to give her one now. There are options out there, all of them better than staying with this jerkface for money he can’t provide.

Yes, you made promises in your wedding vows. He has already broken them. You can try to do as much as you can to help him, but you need to do it AFTER you having taken steps to protect yourself and your son. It’s like when the oxygen masks drop in a plane and you’re supposed to put yours on first. You can’t help him if you’re passed out. Get yourself and your son in a secure, safe, and financially stable place before worrying about his problems.

And honestly, the fact that you’ve stuck around through all this, never investigated your financial situation until rock bottom came, didn’t check your bank balance for months knowing he had problems,… that all makes me think that in addition to getting rid of this human parasite, you yourself might want to see a counselor about self-esteem and assertiveness issues. Kinda harsh, I know, but the above situation does not strike me as something a wise 21st century woman would ever consider sticking around for.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:05 am

and perhaps to a planned parenthood.

avatar jumper July 18, 2012, 10:24 am

even as a Catholic, I say AMEN to that!

avatar kerrycontrary July 18, 2012, 10:45 am

This is why women need to be involved financially. We can’t walk around blind about finances in our own marriage and then get totally shocked when all of the money is gone! While I know people need to decide who deals with finances in a marriage, it’s usually a good idea for everyone to check up on things once in a while. Then maybe the LW would’ve realized that bills weren’t being paid and money was being stolen. People make mistakes so I don’t think the LW is stupid or anything, but it’s a lesson for the future.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:56 am

Men too! I know typically it is the men who handle bills and women who have their head in the sand in that kind of situation but it goes the other way too. My husband hasn’t looked at our bank account in the 2 years since we joined finances. I urge him to look once in awhile! He just says that he trusts me. I say he’s damn lucky I’m good with money! (and afraid of consumer debt)

avatar kerrycontrary July 18, 2012, 11:14 am

lemongrass, I think I actually read something recently that women handle the finances more often than men now (as we handle more household chores/tasks on top of our day-jobs). But yes both spouses need to be informed.

avatar bethany July 18, 2012, 11:01 am

I totally agree. My mom “controls” my parent’s finances, but you’d better believe my dad knows how much money they have, and what they put on the credit card that month. If you have any joint accounts, you need to make sure you look at those at LEAST once a week to make sure you know what’s going on. It’s not like the old days when you have to wait for a statement in the mail. Go online and inform yourself!

avatar spark_plug July 18, 2012, 11:28 am

I get the sense that the LW is not very financially literate. I mean, at 19 and 20 who’s really that aware of what’s going? Especially if she’s from a poorer family or parts of the country without a good education system. Not everyone grew up in a big city with a bank on every corner

I don’t think its necessarily that she was blind to it as she just didn’t know any better. Combine with that she didn’t think it would probably get that bad and being slightly immature (who in their early 20s isnt?) she got herself into a big hole. Now she knows better!

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 11:31 am

Considering she had saved to pay her hospital bills and take 5 months off of work, I think she was financially literate. She just had her hands over her ears and was screaming “la la la”

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 12:59 pm

I completely agree with you. Yet when other people called her out for that earlier in the thread, we had the resident “moral police” telling them what terrible people they are. I might put on your knife-proof vest and ready yourself for the nasty replies . . . :-)

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:46 pm

You love me, don’t you?

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 1:49 pm

Absolutely. You’re my one and only, LBH.

(For the record, I know it feels like I’ve been picking on you a lot, but it’s really not meant to be a critique of you in isolation. A LOT of people are saying the same things. You just have a . . . shall we say, more colorful way of phrasing them that stands out to me :-) )

SweetsAndBeats SweetsAndBeats July 18, 2012, 1:57 pm

I think it’s just that at this point in her life, the LW has an overwhelming amount of crap on her plate. A brand new son, an addict husband, no money, etc. If I were in that situation, the last thing I’d need to be hearing would be “Shoulda-woulda-coulda”, especially from random strangers on the internet. I would need advice on how to immediately remedy the largest problems in my life, get my son into a stable environment, and THEN learn how to not let this situation happen again via such lessons like personal financial responsibility.

avatar tbrucemom July 18, 2012, 9:39 am

I agree with all the other commenters but I have to make a few additional observations. I’m perplexed how a “strong Christian” and an atheist got married in the first place. Being on the same page religiously is one of those things that usually need to be somewhat in sync. I know people of different faiths can make things work, but this is a case of no faith and a strong faith. I also have to comment on her miscarriage. I’m not saying stress didn’t factor into it, but there usually is no explanation why most miscarriages happen. I’ve had one and sympathize with the LW but I don’t want her to think if she had another one someday that it was her or anyone else’s fault. Her husband needs help big time and doesn’t sound like he wants to get it. She needs to protect herself and her son above all else. Hopefully her family is supportive and can help her get on her feet.

FireStar FireStar July 18, 2012, 9:49 am

My mother is a devoted Catholic and my father is an atheist. Religion was never an issue in their marriage as they respected the other’s choice and never disparaged each other for it. My brother and I were raised Catholic and my mother introduced us to faith and a belief that there is something bigger than us at play and from my father we got early lessons in learning to question things others accept as absolute. I think I got the best of both worlds ultimately.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:07 am

I was raised with the same religious household- catholic mom, atheist dad. It was awesome. We went to church until we were allowed to make our own decision. My dad made brunch on sundays while we were gone. I was never baptized, letting me make that decision for myself. If my parents fought about it, I had no idea.

avatar amy July 18, 2012, 10:35 am

My fiance’ is agnostic (as a philosopher, he doesn’t believe he has the knowledge to make a decision if God exists or not… or… etc… I get confused with his philosphical terms). Anyway, he doesn’t really believe, and I’m a true believer. I don’t attend church, but I believe, and I’ve discussed how this would affect our children in the future. He doesn’t mind me talking about my belief in God, which is good, but I want them to know that everyone believes in different things.

I think we talked about this before we got engaged, religion can be a big deal, especially when it comes to raising children.

avatar Lindsay July 18, 2012, 10:07 am

Yeah, religion often is something couples like to be in sync on, but I don’t think it has to be. A lot of couples have a few things that are super different about them, and only they can decide which things are OK and which aren’t. It sounds like she appreciated the morals that she thought came with his Christianity.

avatar kerrycontrary July 18, 2012, 10:43 am

I second your comment on the miscarriage. While the LW’s husband is clearly making bad choices, I don’t think the miscarriage can be blamed on him. Miscarriages are extremely common, especially for first pregnancies. But, at the time the LW realized she didn’t want to have a kid with this guy. Why get pregnant again? Oh well what’s done is done.

CatsMeow CatsMeow July 18, 2012, 10:44 am

I agree that she shouldn’t blame the miscarriage on her husband.

I also was shocked at the end when she said she was an atheist – not because I don’t think atheists and Christians can have successful relationships, but because she did a lot of things consistent with those that identify as “devout Christians with strong morals.” She got married young, didn’t use birth control (I’m guessing), didn’t have any control over her own finances… Of course, I’m not saying everyone who identifies as Christian does these things, only that those who are very religious are more likely to do so.

bittergaymark bittergaymark July 18, 2012, 1:59 pm

The miscarriage thing was laughable. Same exact thing — no heartbeat happened a while back to good friend on mine who had the best of marriages and ZERO stress. Sometimes it just happens, sadly.

But what REALLY set me off was this… Okay, so she blames the death of her baby on the stresses brought on by her apparently horrible husband. And her response here is to simply get pregnant by him again? Come on? Seriously?

Ugh. Peace out.

CatsMeow CatsMeow July 18, 2012, 2:20 pm

I KNOW!!

parton_doll parton_doll July 18, 2012, 3:02 pm

I have to agree. Especially since she went out of her way to say how much she hated him after the first miscarriage.

And just thinking about something constructive to say … if the LW is strapped for cash maybe she should start looking into social services that can assist her if she doesn’t have close family or friends and let those contacts be the basis for making a plan and timeline for getting out of this situation.

I can’t help but comment on her past because it seems to be an indicator for her future. She needs to start making some rational decisions instead of impulsive, emotional decisions.

avatar Desiree July 18, 2012, 10:48 am

Interfaith marriages can work if both parties acknowledge the difference and what dynamic it will play in the marriage/family. Based on the age at which this couple married, however, it is possible that they never thoroughly addressed it. Also, religious differences should NEVER be used as a blame tool like her husband did with theirs. That’s just mean.

avatar SweetPeaG July 18, 2012, 12:47 pm

I see what you are saying regarding the religion thing. It all depends on the people.

I was raised in a devout Christian family (but, thankfully, one that allowed me to ask a million questions and one where I was never berated for being quite doubtful at times). I once dated an agnostic Jewish guy (it was more the history of Judaism and the culture that he identified with… didn’t fully believe in the religion). He always said it would work… but then when we broke up, he kind of said some rude things about my own beliefs (basically saying JESUS ISN’T REAL! in a pretty immature manner). I think that was a dodged bullet, for many reasons. We would have argued about it because clearly he was holding back from saying some mean stuff. Only a matter of time.

Now I am engaged to a guy who believes there is something/someone… but hates to put a name on it. While the whole Jesus thing is pretty ingrained into the fabric of who I am, I totally get where he is coming from. And any conversations we have are 100% respectful. He agrees that we should raise our kids Christian, but always let them ask questions. We think it is good to give our kids a base. And as they grow, they will change and develop new thoughts… and that is fine!

I just think two people have to be on the same page as how they want to treat their differing beliefs. And always be kind and respectful.

avatar jlyfsh July 18, 2012, 9:46 am

I’m going to give you a break because you’re young, too young to be married and have a child already. I’m sure by now you’ve figured this out.

You mention that both families tried to help support him to change. Do you think that they would not help support you and the baby now? It sucks asking for help and moving back in with Mom and Dad. And it’s not always an option, but it’s at least worth pursuing.

And there is federal and state aid for people like you. Go and apply. And use it wisely. If you don’t have an education, get one. If college isn’t for you, use the help to get some sort of technical job. There are usually many different programs available at community colleges.

And always put your child first. Look at your soon to be ex-husband and ask yourself if you want your child to be in the same house as him. Hopefully you moving out and getting on with your life will be the wake up call your husband needs to become a better father. If not just be the best Mother you can be.

avatar jlyfsh July 18, 2012, 9:49 am

Tried to edit, meant to say…for people in situations like you…

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:10 am

24 is too young to have a kid?? 18 year old’s can do it properly! This is a maturity issue, not an age issue. I really think we have to start expecting people to act maturely at a younger age. At 24 your brain is fully developed and you can understand the consequences to your actions.

avatar jlyfsh July 18, 2012, 10:12 am

honestly, yes i think 24 is too young to already be married and have a kid. for the reason that most 24 year olds are not mature enough to be parents. some are, but the majority no. that’s just my opinion. and it’s definitely very true for this lw.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:21 am

I really think that we should expect more from people by 24. That is way too old to be living an immature life IMO.

avatar jlyfsh July 18, 2012, 10:37 am

i don’t disagree with you. i think we should still hold people accountable for their actions at 24 (and 23,22,21,etc…). but, for this lw she is too young to be married with a kid. it’s not saying we shouldn’t expect her to be mature at her age, but rather that part of being mature is acknowledging that you are too young/immature to be married/have kids/etc. some people in their early 20s like Medie711 below are mature enough for it, some like this lw need to realize they needed to grow up a little more before they jumped in to something that’s meant to be a life long commitment.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:48 am

Absolutely. I don’t think everyone should be ready to be married/have children at 24 but we should expect them to be able to see that by then. I also think that letting it slide for those that don’t really ruins it for those that are. I think that most people at 24 can recognize where they are in life.

lurkerliz Medie711 July 18, 2012, 12:59 pm

I’m 27 now and have been married for 4 years. We don’t have kids yet. Like I said before, if you’re going to be stupid, be smart about it. I know I got engaged WAY too young at 21 (kinda stupid) but I purposely don’t have kids yet (SMART), because I’m way too young. Now, we have a house and both have successful careers. But unfortunately, its not the case for everyone :(

LW needs to grow up and put her baby first. She was stupid for not learning the first time after miscarriage. I really hope she can think and use the resources out there to better herself and get the aid she so desperately needs for herself and her baby. I really hope she gets out of there intact and can get help from family/friends/wherever and can put this chapter of her life behind her and slowly improve her life. Who knows, in a few years she could be a totally new woman! :)

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 1:30 pm

I’m 23, married for a year and pregnant. I’ll be 24 when I have my child. This was not a stupid decision (for me). I do not think that I got engaged too young. I do think that my relationship with my husband moved fast, although we had been living together for 2 years by the time we got engaged. We own our house and have been very smart with our finances, allowing me to be able to stay home while our kids are young. I’ll admit, this is younger than most of my peers would like to be in my life stage, but for me, it is perfect.

theattack theattack July 18, 2012, 3:08 pm

I’m so glad to hear someone else say this. I feel like getting married in your 20s at all is a big no-no on DW, but especially your early 20s. I’m doing it at 23 next year, and it’s not at all stupid for me.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 3:12 pm

You’re way too young silly girl.
;)

There will always be exceptions. Many people are too immature at that age, some aren’t.

avatar jlyfsh July 18, 2012, 3:16 pm

a lot of that comes from seeing so many people get married young and it not work out. like lbh said it’s about the specific person, not being married at that age in general. this lw definitely got married too young. i don’t think she or her husband were ready for marriage or to be parents.

theattack theattack July 18, 2012, 3:42 pm

I totally agree. That’s the way I look at it too. Most of my friends are not ready for it at all and shouldn’t even consider it for several years, so I definitely agree. I’m just glad to hear a few people agreeing that it’s sometimes appropriate.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 5:21 pm

It seems to be an internet thing. I have read so many people say marriage under 25= DOOMED. I was expecting to hear it from everybody when I got engaged. The only thing I heard was congrats.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 10:32 am

Not that it matters much, but I think that by now she is closer to 25 years old, which is definitely old enough to have grown some brains.

avatar ele4phant July 18, 2012, 3:18 pm

Uh, biologically speaking, at 24 women’s fertility starts to go down hill. If we were doing the things the way nature intended*, we should all be popping out babies before then.

Perhaps what you meant to say is that she’s too immature. That’s an individual thing specific to her, but also a cultural thing. Over the last half century, the duration of adolescence was invented, and then continually lengthened.

Are most of the present day 24 year olds ready to be married and have babies? Maybe not. But that’s because we’ve socialized them to be that way, not that they are inherently incapable of being full fledged adults.

*Nature is totally a construct, but let’s not get into that today.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 5:23 pm

I totally agree. I plan to treat my teenagers (when I have them) like mini adults. That’s what my parents did and we grew up pretty good.

avatar Eve Harrison July 18, 2012, 9:48 am

Move in with parents, friends or whoever. Check out local support groups because you are going to freaking need it. There may be local non profits that provide services to young women, single mothers, and young children in your area. In NYC, the NOW [National Organization for Women] hosts frequent divorce sessions hosted by a Divorce Attorney for free. Check out free consultation from a divorce attorney to see what you need to do to prove your husband has a drug problem. Records from the repo might help you.

I am not a lawyer by the way. :P These are just some random, unprofessional suggestions.
Good luck!

avatar ktfran July 18, 2012, 9:49 am

First of all, just because you found pot in his shoes, does not mean he lost his morals. One does not equate with the other. All the other stuff makes him a complete a-hole, but mentioning the pot bugged me.

Secondly, you two have some serious communication issues. I can’t help to think that some of this could have been avoided if you two talked rationally to one another. It doesn’t sound like you do. Back to the pot thing, you blew up at him about it before all this other stuff happened. Maybe he didn’t feel like he could talk to you? Rational conversations about how something makes you feel are way better than going on off someone.

Third, this is why funding for birth control and available options are so important. Why would you get pregnant with this dude a second time? I realize what is done is done, but next time, think things through before you act.

Finally, for you poor son’s sake, leave this guy. Now. Get your head on straight and be a good mom to your son. Everyone else is covering the how you can leave, so I won’t go into it.

I apologize for sounding harsh, LW, but you’re young and I honestly think you have some growing up to do, especially since a baby is now involved.

avatar ktfran July 18, 2012, 9:57 am

Sorry, I also need to add . . .

Babies do not solve problems. Do not have a baby to keep a boyfriend or make him propose. Do not have a baby to save a marriage. And do not have a baby in the hopes of changing someone.

bagge72 bagge72 July 18, 2012, 10:18 am

and don’t have a baby with an asshole, just to have a baby.

avatar Ominous Anonymous July 18, 2012, 10:25 am

I don’t get that either. A kid won’t fix things between you and the asshole. It will, however, ensure you’re stuck forever with them.

avatar Painted lady July 18, 2012, 10:27 am

BAHHH! Why do we keep defaulting to this name?!?!

avatar ktfran July 18, 2012, 10:55 am

That too. Thanks!

avatar Nadine July 18, 2012, 10:00 am

I’m assuming the pot thing was because he perhaps had previously been anti-drug. Maybe its my own experience coming in here, but people described as ‘good christians’ dont tend to be all that cool about illegal drugs. I too would be shocked if I discovered someone had been acting against their own personal moral framework, but I dont believe in a moral absolute.

avatar spark_plug July 18, 2012, 11:36 am

Or maybe the LW is anti-drug. If I found drugs in my house all hell would break lose. To me that would mean that the person did lose their morals. If they had that understanding before marriage I don’t think how she over-reacted.

I get that some women over react but I don’t get some commentary that I’ve been reading in the past few weeks. Found illegal drugs in your house and upset? You’re controlling! Your husband is flirting with another woman and you’re upset? You need to stop being jealous!

I do agree that they do have serious communication issues though. And I’m also confused why would have unprotected sex with a man you claim to ‘hate’/

bittergaymark bittergaymark July 18, 2012, 1:12 pm

Somehow I don’t find drugs as morally bankrupt as deliberately bringing a child into a hopelessly, hopelessly fucked up marriage where you’ve never for a moment been happy with your husband. But hey — that’s me.

avatar spark_plug July 18, 2012, 2:00 pm

That’s a beautifully crafted strawman you got yourself there!

avatar Lindsay July 18, 2012, 9:57 am

I think you already knew the answer, or else you wouldn’t have written this long a letter outlining every terrible thing your husband has done. Find some other way to pay your bills. There must be some resources somewhere. Family or friends, or some program in your city (there tend to be a lot for women, specifically mothers). No amount of money is worth the stress he’s causing you. And in the long run, he’s going to be required to pay child support, I assume, though I also assume you were asking about his money in the meantime.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:00 am

Leave him. Get a smaller place if need be. Take the bus, get rid of your cell phone, internet and cable and clip coupons if you have to. Your son should not have to grow up in that environment and it is your responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.

avatar SweetPeaG July 18, 2012, 10:34 am

I agree with all this for the most part and not trying to be nit-picky… sorry :)

But, with the father of her child being this potentially dangerous, she should keep the cell phone. Have a very minimal plan obviously. No smart phone crap needed. But, enough that she can call for help if she needs it.

Everything else… YES! People can survive off a lot less than they think they can.

avatar lemongrass July 18, 2012, 10:50 am

You’re right. I didn’t think of that situation.

avatar MMcG July 18, 2012, 11:07 am

I would get a cheap burn phone Katie Holmes style – she can call if needed but he can’t reach her – if it outsmarted the scientologists it can work in this situation

avatar SweetPeaG July 18, 2012, 11:32 am

Ooo, I don’t follow celebrity news that closely… but this sounds interesting. Go Katie!