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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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{ 286 comments… add one }

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!

avatar londonlin6 July 18, 2012, 10:05 am

This is a real life Lifetime movie. MOA. It’s just that simple. Cut all ties, emotional, financial too. Pull a credit report from experian or transunion and make sure you are not co-signed on anything either. If you are, kick your name off it, close it down, ect. Save yourself and your son, he is worthless. MOA MOA MOA

avatar GertietheDino July 18, 2012, 10:12 am

Oh my God, get out, call a lawyer and stay with friends. Anything is better than this.

lurkerliz Medie711 July 18, 2012, 10:17 am

I’m going to be such as ass for saying this but wasn’t the first miscarriage and losing that baby a warning to you and an awful heartbreak? why would you get pregnant again in such an awful situation? I used to get my birth control for $9 a month at wal-mart! go there, use it! go to planned parenthood to get the prescription! i did! if you’re going to be stupid, be smart about it!

i was engaged at 21. i know what it is like to be in love and engaged at a young age. i’m happy, successful and married now (to the same person) I”m the exception, not the rule unfortunately. I wish it worked out for more people who got engaged young. But seriously, LEAVE HIM. LEAVE NOW! it’s not all about you anymore. you have to think of your baby now. Go to a friends, parent’s, shelter, church. Go to a food bank for food, anything, something. Anything is better than living with that man. There are resources out there. PLEASE PLEASE find them! I will send positive thoughts your way!!

becboo84 BecBoo84 July 18, 2012, 10:19 am

Don’t have too much pride to take advantage of all the resources that are around to help people like you going through a rough time. Possibilities would include a medical card for your son (and potentially you), food stamps, child care subsidies, etc. This is a very sad situation, and I wish you the best of luck.

avatar Yammy July 18, 2012, 2:03 pm

Indeed! Those resources are for situationslike this. Take the help you need, further your education so that you can make good money. Once you’re in a better place, you’ll be working and paying taxes and will be able to contribute more to society than of you stay in your current situation. Please don’t take any insults you read on here to heart. Yeah, you did make some stupid decisions but that doesn’t make you a stupid person. Now is a good time to start making good choices. Perhaps you could contact a social worker in your area? I think they would be able to point you in the right direction. You might also try calling a local women’s shelter or Women’s Protective Services (if they have that in your area). Even though there’s no abuse going on, they might be a good starting point to help you figure out what you need and how to get it. Please don’t delay this any longer. A baby as small as yours could easily be injured by an intoxicated adult (accidentally). Hang in there, I’m looking forward to your update, I know you’ll be able to get put of this situation and build a beautiful new life for you and your little boy.

avatar SweetPeaG July 18, 2012, 10:25 am

You say that both your family and his family have reached out to help with this situation. Maybe they are not billionaires, but I really bet they’d be willing to take you and your son in for a bit. Especially since a child is involved! I know it sucks to be an established adult and then have to go live with your Mom… but it will be FAR better than this. And nothing to be ashamed of! There are times in everyone’s life where we need help. Let people help you get out of this nightmare situation. Your son will someday thank you for getting out.

I also hope you will update us in future months. I hate reading this kind of letter. We are random internet people… but we want the best for you.

P.S. I went back and read some of the other comments, so I know my post was repetitive, but it seems like a good call.

avatar amy July 18, 2012, 10:30 am

WOW. You are soooooo young. Kick him out or leave with your baby. Do you have any family that can support you?

Get out, now.

PS do alcoholics blow all of their savings and pass out in their cars to feed their addiction? To be honest, it sounds like he’s addicted to some serious drugs, but I’m not sure. I don’t think this is due to alcohol, but I’ve never dealt with an alcoholic. Is it possible for him to drain all of their savings etc. to feed an alcohol habit?

avatar GatorGirl July 18, 2012, 10:39 am

It could be alcohol for sure. People will go to great lengths to get their “drug” of choice- be it alcohol, heroin, meth. And no, not all alcoholics act as she described her husband, but every addiction and addict are different. There are just as many alcoholic mom’s swigging wine from coffee cups at PTA meetings as there are fall down drunk, passed out in cars.

avatar amy July 18, 2012, 10:41 am

So sad. I guess I thought that alcohol wasn’t as expensive as other drugs, but if it’s a bad habit and they are low income, he could easily deplete their savings.

avatar Painted lady July 18, 2012, 10:41 am

Yeah, it absolutely is possible for an alcoholic to do that. But even if he’s addicted to something harder, what’s it matter? He’s addicted and spends every last dime to feed that addiction.

avatar amy July 18, 2012, 10:41 am

That is a good point, I was just curious if it could be worse than she thinks.

avatar Painted lady July 18, 2012, 10:38 am

If you hate him so much – and I don’t blame you – then why are you still with him? I mean, regardless of what he’s doing, regardless of how bad it is (and yes, it is bad), I don’t think you should stay with someone you openly despise. Who’s worse, the father who steals money that should go to his child’s care, or the mother who lets him, over and over again?

If you really want to leave this guy, nothing in the world will stop you. So leave.

avatar amy July 18, 2012, 10:42 am

I really, really hate to say this… but I wonder if she likes the drama? She knew what he was like when she got pregnant the first time, miscarried, then got pregnant again.

I don’t know, I know people that live and thrive on drama so I am tainted by this.

avatar amy July 18, 2012, 10:45 am

Or maybe she just needs validation in her feelings… the letter seems so intense and so bizarre that it’s even a question on whether to leave him or not.

avatar Painted lady July 18, 2012, 10:54 am

Yeah, I think there are a lot of people who, at the very least, get all wrapped up in fixing and helping and saving, or, flipside of the same coin, being indignant and wronged and martyred, and that sort of thing makes them feel special and exciting and exceptional, but it feels like it’s a temporary condition, a story to tell the grandkids, so to speak, how Granny saved Gramps from his debilitating addiction and how beautifully she suffered for him. But then it goes from a one- or two-time thing to a way of life, and at some point that sinks in. At least I think so. And when you’re getting your feelings of worth out of something so destructive, that is so hard to stop.

avatar moonflowers July 19, 2012, 12:37 am

Sometimes it’s also a way to distract yourself from an urgent problem by pinning the blame elsewhere: “If only he didn’t drink, I would be happy!” “If only he didn’t smoke weed, we’d have kids by now!” Focusing on someone else’s problems is a way to distract from the important stuff that is actually under one’s own control but that one is too scared or not confident enough to take charge of.

avatar painted_lady July 19, 2012, 1:52 am

YES! That too! I totally fall for that every time – anytime I’m overly focused on someone else’s perceived screwup, it’s because I’m trying really hard not to see the bigger picture.

avatar GatorGirl July 18, 2012, 10:47 am

Regardless of what you decide to do about staying with your husband- go immediately to a bank an open up an account in your name only. Create an emergency fund for you and your son and NEVER let him know it exsists.

If you decide to leave I recommend looking into having his parental rights amended so he can’t run off with your child unexpectly. I have no idea how to do this, but I know its possible.

avatar GatorGirl July 18, 2012, 10:48 am

Also don’t be afraid to accept help from your family, friends, government agencies etc. Do not abuse the system but let them help you get on your feet.

avatar jumper July 18, 2012, 12:28 pm

YES! That’s like the very first thing people should do when they want to divorce/leave someone. 1) open your own account 2) call a lawyer asap

avatar Bossy Italian Wife July 18, 2012, 10:47 am

KICK THIS MAN TO THE CURB!!!!!!!!!!!

I am hardly ever an advocate of calling it quits without a lot of trying, but you have tried honey and you have a child to think about. This stress will effect your child and you need to get him o-u-t.

My suggestion would be to have a family member (sister, mother, father, etc.) move in with you temporarily when your husband moves out. Then tell him, “you have until [this day] to vacate the premises. I will be going to my [friends, mothers, ANYWHERE] and when I come back I will not be alone. If you are not gone, I will be calling the proper authorities.” Then leave and come home on the allotted day prepared to back it up.

The bottom line? Yes, people change, perhaps your husband may someday realize that he needs help for his addiction. But as long as you are allowing him to live in your house, eat your food, take your money, and anything else, he will never learn! So put on your big girl panties and kick him out.

No man should be making you that miserable.

landygirl landygirl July 18, 2012, 10:57 am

The question isn’t should you leave him, the question is why haven’t you left him already? Don’t be a martyr, do what’s best for yourself and your child.

avatar MMcG July 18, 2012, 10:59 am

Wow – there were so many alarming details and huge red flags in this letter I don’t know where to begin. First off, LW – you deserve so much better. I have no idea how your husband behaved when you were dating that makes you believe that at any point in time he was a “strong Christian with a huge sense of morals” but he either completely conned you and only revealed his true personality after your marriage, or you weren’t seeing some of the warning signs in advance… but you are seeing them now so let’s deal with what’s in front of you.

Whether his issues are related to addiction to alcohol, drug use, his financial and job security or any/all of the above… it doesn’t matter. He is systematically destroying your life and that of your child, and you need to take immediate action to protect yourself. Immediately – STOP GIVING HIM MONEY. (I would ordinarily advocate for couples counseling and referals for his addiction, but I just have a hard time seeing this as a marriage worth saving if the LW has been miserable the entire time… but something to consider if you want to try and save it) Please hire a lawyer to protect your assets and any potential future you might have, please go online and run a credit report so that you can ensure that he hasn’t taken out loans or done other nefarious things with your identity, please talk as openly as you feel comfortable with close family or friends about the situation because you need support… provided that you are not surrounded by people who will use religion as a reason to stay in a horribly toxic relationship. Also, please consider looking up Al-Anon or similar resources to support you in dealing with your child’s father’s addiction (note I purposely focused on his role as father, because I really do think you should eventually be getting out of this relationship – but that relationship never changes and your child will have to deal with it his whole life).

And most importantly please get counseling for yourself so you can figure out how things managed to get this far out of hand. Some questions for you to consider:
1. why did I bring a child into a relationship with someone who I hate and resent because of a prior miscarriage?
2. why when I knew my husband was capable of lying to me did I continue to give him the benefit of the doubt/not resolve the issue?
3. why am I an adult woman and mother who apparently has no control over my own finances? Seriously… what kind of 1950′s housewife dynamic is involved here if you have the money to pay for your own car, but have to give it to your husband, who ended up using and abusing your trust… and you didn’t even know about it??? Do you open your own mail?
4. why did I somewhat bury my head in the sand and not insist to take control of the family finances, after rent checks were bounced and I had been finding him passed out for months?
5. why do I continue (in your letter LW) to make excuses for my husbands behavior, blaming geography and addiction and him being an idiot for the situation I am in when it is within my control – AND MY CONTROL ONLY – to change my situation and care for my child?

and lastly… how can I move forward in my life to gain security and independence for myself and child (Shout out to Will.I.am from yesterday)?

I really wish you luck LW, if nothing else resonates about my answer — please protect yourself and your child. Situations like this can financially, spritually and emotionally destroy people, and the damage can last for decades.

avatar ktfran July 18, 2012, 11:48 am

This was said so much better than what I wrote. Scratch mine. THIS!

avatar MMcG July 18, 2012, 12:10 pm

Thanks! I had a hard time with it because I kept going in the unhelpful direction of “OMG WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!?!” and then had to edit it back…

avatar ktfran July 18, 2012, 12:28 pm

You’re welcome.

I understand that some of the comments are unconstructive, but I do think the LW needs to realize she played a role in how everything unfolded. She needs to learn from those mistakes and not let them happen again, especially since a child is involved. She needs to grow and learn from this experience and from her letter, I’m not sure that she has.

That is why I liked the way you outlined the questions she needs to ask herself.

avatar spark_plug July 18, 2012, 2:06 pm

I agree with this as well however as well meaning as these comments are meant to be – I doubt they are helpful at the moment. Right now, the LW needs to figure out how to get her life together somewhat, makes ends meet, move out, etc. Her energy needs to be here not an analyzing herself.. right now.

She can write in her journal and think about her life decisions once she and her child is safe.

I grew up in a very poor family – so poor that my parents couldn’t even afford to have me live with them for a few years. I can guarantee you that personal growth and introspection is a privilege of those who are not trying to figure out how to make ends meet day to day.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:49 pm

I loved it too. Very helpful.

avatar Amanda July 18, 2012, 2:36 pm

This is truly excellent advice. I hope the LW reads it.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 11:05 am

LW you can make it out of this mess and into a great life for yourself and your son. Really. You’ve been given some useless, nasty comments, but if you focus on the others and the great advice given, you will turn out fine. Take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this.

CatsMeow CatsMeow July 18, 2012, 11:09 am

LW, I’m glad you initiated getting a divorce. I also understand how it feels to be trapped with someone for financial reasons. I lived with my ex who, while not an addict, did lots of stupid shit, including stealing money from me and not paying bills. I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford to live without the measly amount he contributed, but guess what – I did. In fact, I ended up feeling like I had way MORE money because I didn’t have a second mouth to feed, the utilities went down, and I no longer had someone sucking me dry basically. Like others have mentioned, you letting him stay with you is entering enabling territory. He’s an addict. And if he blows all his/your money on his addiction, then I doubt he is truly contributing that much anyway. Kick him out, and find a way to survive. You will probably find that it’s easier than you expect. And it will likely be temporary anyway because once the divorce goes through, he’ll have to at least pay child support. Do you have any friends/family that can help you care for your baby? It might feel scary to be alone for the first time, but you’ve GOT to do it.

(My situation was slightly different because I actually tried to kick him out several times and he refused to leave. *I* couldn’t be the one to leave because everything in the apartment was mine and everything was in my name. If I left and he didn’t pay rent, he would have destroyed my credit. I also couldn’t afford to break the lease at the time. This is how I felt “trapped” for financial reasons. Just to clarify).

avatar Elle July 18, 2012, 11:38 am

LW, first of all, please don’t fight with your (soon-to-be-ex)husband if the baby can hear you. It creates unnecessary stress for the baby, and in a few years you’ll wonder why he has a weak immune system, asthma etc. I mean, you lost a pregnancy over stress. Stress has strong and long-lasting effects – please try to minimize them as much as possible.

I agree with everyone else here – you should kick him out. I think you are underestimating yourself – for months, you have been paying bills and enabling your (soon-to-be-ex)husband’s addiction to alcohol. You can make it on your own. If you need your (soon-to-be-ex)husband’s help with babysitting, he can come pick up your son when you go to work, or you can drop him off to wherever he will live. But you need some peace for yourself.

I think you’re very close to the point where you’ll realize that living on your own is so much better than living with all this fighting. You probably don’t want to get a divorce, because you believe in your vows, and you want to exhaust every possible avenue before you go down that road. Please look at your life now, and imagine this is what your life will be for the next 50 years. Why would you want that? Life is too short to spend it being sad. This realization made me take the decision to get a divorce. Like you, I believed he would change, I believed in our vows, but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be. 4 years later, I’m so much happier. You will get there too. *hugs*

katie katie July 18, 2012, 12:20 pm

i really dont think the lying, stealing, cheating, alcoholic asshat ex husband should be a first pick for babysitter…

avatar Vathena July 18, 2012, 12:23 pm

Agree with all of this, except the child care part. A drunk/drug addict who frequently passes out (at least once in his car!) should NEVER be trusted behind the wheel or with caring for an infant. NO.

avatar stilgar666 July 18, 2012, 11:49 am

don’t get married young, don’t have kids with addicts, don’t trust an addict until they are in recovery.

Most addicts won’t get better without help.

avatar GatorGirl July 18, 2012, 12:00 pm

How is this helpful? She’s realized her mistakes and is asking for help. She doesn’t need your criticism or judgement.

bittergaymark bittergaymark July 18, 2012, 1:29 pm

It’s helpful other readers… You think this response was harsh? Hah, wait till you see mine… Christians like this LW are all about judgment, and this latest fool has it coming to her in spades.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:50 pm

The LW is an atheist.

bittergaymark bittergaymark July 19, 2012, 4:06 am

Oh, well, I guess they can be dumb, too, I guess.

avatar CattyGoLightly July 18, 2012, 11:50 am

Get him gone!! He is an ADDICT, and as one, should not be anywhere near your child. He has a problem, and clearly cannot think or do what is right for his family. If he wanted to get better maybe that’d be a little different, but clearly he doesn’t want to be better. If he doesn’t want to be better, he’s not going to be. End of story. He’s content being a mooch, and if he’s lost his job and steals money from you for alcohol and drugs, then he is not helping financially. I think you actually would be better on your own.

If you have to, move in with his family or your family. Since they know the situation, they should be willing to keep their grandchild safe.

Also, please do not consider using him as a babysitter while you are at work. You know his habits, and he is not reliable enough to care for a child on his own.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 11:55 am

Thank you for mentioning the babysitting thing. I would not leave my child anywhere in the vicinity of an admitted alcoholic/drug addict/a man that seems to simply pass out a lot.

avatar cmarie July 18, 2012, 12:09 pm

My brother is a drug addict currently in jail. He and his girlfriend have 3 kids, 2 biologically his. She had just found out she was pregnant when he got arrested. He lied to her, hid stuff from her; she had no idea how badly he was addicted until he got put in jail. The kids are 5, 2, and 4 months. She doesn’t have a job because she lives in a small, poor town where everyone is struggling and she’s constantly worried about how she’s going to pay the rent and the bills. She did know to some extent the he was doing drugs and a lot of people question why she chose to have another baby with him. I’m not going to do that to you since I believe you will have very similar reasons (maybe it wasn’t an intentional pregnancy, you are pro-llife). We all wanted to help and and we all, to some extent, made excuses for him because we loved him and didn’t want to believe that he was so far gone. It can be difficult to balance loving and supporting someone without enabling. Everyone wants to protect their loved one and it hard to accept when there’s nothing you can do for them. The difference here is that when she found out how badly he was addicted (he stole a TV from Wal-Mart; don’t do drugs) and she threatened to leave him if he didn’t get help, he turned himself in and made a deal to shorten his jail sentence by going into an inpatient rehab center for 3 months. He got a prison job and has been taking classes to try and increase his chances of getting a better job when he gets out. He’s on his best behavior and he’s apologized to all of us for the damage he’s done. Maybe when he gets out it will be different and maybe it won’t, but he’s shown remorse and he wants to find a way to atone for his actions. He took steps to help himself when confronted, instead of burying himself further in addiction. She’s staying with him because he’s given her a reason to believe that he has changed and he knows that if he screws up again it’s over between them. Your husband has done nothing but make excuses and find ways to blame you. He isn’t ready to get help and no amount of support from you will change that. It’s true what they say; the addict has to be the one to take the first step to recovery, until then all your doing is hurting yourself. You’ve done enough to help him and now you need to take care of yourself and child. Frankly, you should have left the day your car got impounded instead of giving him another chance but I can’t judge, I made the same mistake with my brother several times over. Right now you need to get those divorce papers through and move out. Rely on friends and family for help, that’s why they’re there, and if they’ve been willing to rally around him they will definitely do the same for you and your baby. Get a separate bank account, be proactive at your job. If you can’t afford to support yourself with the job you’re at, look for another on your days off. Can your family babysit? Get a second job. Whatever you do, do not go back to him. Even if you still loved him (which it’s pretty obvious you don’t) the only thing that matters to him is his drug. And don’t let him see the baby unsupervised. When my brother was around the kids, he made an effort to not be high and he was a wonderful father. Changed diaper, midnight feedings, and the kids adored him. He cared enough about them to be sober around them. I know to some people that might be impossible but it’s true. However, your husband doesn’t seem to care enough about your son to stay sober enough to take care of him and right now you can’t trust him.
Your husband is toxic to everyone around him right now and it’s your obligation as a mother to protect your baby from him. You’ve given him far too many chances and now you need to follow-through with your threats. Leave him. Get your name off any bills, leases, bank accounts, etc, anything that connects you to him legally and financially. I understand wanting to take care of someone you love, I made too many mistakes with my brother not to, but you don’t even love him anymore, any little money he may be contributing isn’t worth the damage he is doing to you and your baby so you need to leave.
As an aside: moving to new area to get away from potentially bad influences only works if the addict wants to it work.

avatar Lucy July 18, 2012, 12:25 pm

Awesome comment.

FireStar FireStar July 18, 2012, 12:50 pm

I agree.

avatar Tracey July 18, 2012, 12:23 pm

Contact a local social services charity (places that serve the homeless, battered women, the Salvation Army, etc.) and ask for assistance with housing and child care so you can get out of that house. Contact your local Legal Aid and Defender office for legal assistance with your divorce filing and getting child support. Contact a credit counseling service like Greenpath Debt Solutions for help getting your finances in order. Contact your local Planned Parenthood office for medical assistance for yourself and your child. (By the way, if he’s an addict, I’d also recommend getting yourself screened for STDs, hepatitis, and any other infectious diseases. There’s a very good chance he may be bringing home more than drugs.)

Do not stay. You have to leave, if for anything to protect your child. Do not consider backing off from the divorce.

You have to leave. Now.

avatar Tracey July 18, 2012, 3:11 pm

LW: Note the emphasis on what YOU have to do. You’ve sat back and gotten yourself into a horrible position. Moreover, you’ve put an innocent child into a horrible position. Now you have to fix the mess you’ve made.

You have to leave. Now.

When you leave, don’t go back to him. The cycle will only repeat itself if you do. I’d also recommend you go directly to a therapist to find out why you let yourself get into such a horrible mess. If you don’t do this for yourself, do this to protect your child.

You have to leave. You. Have to. Now.

avatar Anna July 18, 2012, 12:58 pm

Yes, by all means kick him out! Drinking and smoking pot are far from the major issue here – the major issue is lying and stealing from you. Anyone who would do that would not deserve you. It would be one thing if he made plenty of money, paid the bills, provided everything the kid needed and put money in savings every paycheck before buying alcohol or pot. If that were the case, and I found the pot, I would just be pissed he wasn’t sharing. In a case like this, he is blatently disrespecting you and your child by stealing your money.

If you still have any joint bank accounts with him, you need to get rid of them ASAP and get accounts in just your name. Then find somewhere you can afford to live with your child. Whether it be a small apartment or with a friend or family member temporarily, you need to get out of that house. You will have his money again to help raise your son; it’s called child support.

Good luck.

avatar MMcG July 18, 2012, 2:28 pm

I laughed out loud at this… “If that were the case, and I found the pot, I would just be pissed he wasn’t sharing.”

Thank you:)

bittergaymark bittergaymark July 18, 2012, 1:10 pm

Sorry. But I just can’t bring myself to give the tiniest rip about anybody THIS dense. Sorry, LW. Seriously, your marriage is an obviously a disaster… YOU”VE NEVER BEEN HAPPY WITH HIM?! Wow, okay… And your staggeringly clever response is, hey, LETS KEEP GETTING PREGNANT? Lets bring an innocent child into all this. Fucking brilliant. Oh, and we’re all REALLY supposed to believe that science article bullshit about women being smarter than men? Yeah, right. Whatever.

Look, obviously, this guy is a total loser wastoid. But hey, at least he has the rather handy blanket excuse of substance abuse and addiction to explain away his many mistakes. The LW has no excuse. She’s just stupid, it seems. Incredibly stupid. And right now my patience with stupidity is at an end.

LW? Give the kid up for adoption and get your tubes tied. Because clearly, all you’ll do post divorce is run straight into the arms of another “good christian” loser… Somehow, I just don’t see you ever learning from your mistakes. You certainly haven’t thus far.

katie katie July 18, 2012, 1:22 pm

i also really worry about her running to another man and repeating the cycle. this is the start of the 30 year woman, single, divorced multiple times, multiple children with multiple deadbeat dads who she will never see a penny from.. i hope that she sees this and adjusts her life as needed.

i really worry about people like this, especially when people (like they did earlier) go with the “helpless victim” defense for the LW… as if she has no say in her life and how she lives it, she is just a helpless victim to the whim of whatever man she is with..

bittergaymark bittergaymark July 18, 2012, 1:24 pm

The helpless holier than thou bullshit tone of this letter is a huge part about what set me off. I just LOATHE people like this. For they truly have nothing to offer society and their incessant breeding just keeps dumbing down the world.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 2:01 pm

For me, it was the calling him an idiot for emptying out their account. As far as drug addicts go, that is a pretty smart thing to do if you need money to, you know, buy drugs. And she just let that go!! Brilliant move on her part…

CatsMeow CatsMeow July 18, 2012, 2:11 pm

THIS is what bothered me. Her tone was “Hey guys, can you believe what an ASS he is?! Woe is meeeee….” without taking any responsibility at all. She’s not to blame for HIS actions, but she’s entirely to blame for her own. I thought the first miscarriage was a blessing in disguise and she SHOULD have let it be her wake-up call. That said, what’s done is done and we can only hope that she learns from her mistakes in the future.

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 1:27 pm

Exactly. People talk about taking responsibility for one’s actions? Well, this LW has a lot of responsibility to take, and we can call her out on that without excusing the father’s actions. I outlined a bunch of legal issues below that she may have royally screwed herself on, but above all she needs to take a critical thought class — and, yes, that’s what they’re called — about making better decisions, recognizing warning flags, etc. They’re not that expensive, and they can help volumes at identifying bad patterns.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:32 pm

See, this is what I meant a couple comments down. This is actual, very helpful advice for someone who clearly doesn’t have a clue. Better to teach than berate in situations like this.

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 1:40 pm

Well, to be clear, I also want to point out that I haven’t been a 24 year old single mother, so technically your argument above that “If you haven’t been in that situation, you dont know what steps to take and what resources are out there” isn’t 100% true. Just trying to provide helpful advice ;-)

avatar ktfran July 18, 2012, 1:29 pm

Yes! This is where all my comments on this letter stem from. She messed up. I hope she sees it and learns from it.

Calling her stupid is not constructive, but neither is saying she was blameless and feeling sorry for her.

LW – listen to those who offered advice on how to get out. Also, listen to some of us who have called you out. And DON’T repeat the cycle. You’ll be better for it, I promise. I just can’t say it enough to you, because I really do feel you can make a better life if you want.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 1:31 pm

I’m one of the ones “defending” her. I wasn’t actually defending her though if you read my comments carefully. I was pointing out that calling her a total idiot isn’t helpful. I like to think at the very least everyone on here cares about kids. We always get worked up about LWs who have them. So if we’re still trying to help the truly helpless victims, the children, the best thing to do is give actual advice, steps to take, to get these LWs in a better place. Another thing, everyone says how dumb she is. Ok, lets say she actually is dumb, like didn’t finish high school, or grew up in the backwoods of somewhere with no real role models. Then clearly she really NEEDS good advice. She’s coming here basically admitting she doesn’t know what to do. So let’s tell her exactly what to do. If after that she wants to continue making dumb mistakes, then by all means, have at her.

katie katie July 18, 2012, 1:37 pm

im with you. i dont think that calling her names or anything is going to help ultimately, but at the same time, she needs to understand how her own actions (and in-actions) lead her to where she is now. she doesnt need a bunch of people saying that her husband did this TO her, she needs to know that she is a equal player, and she also did things to herself, even if it was with good intentions and in a round-a-bout way. she needs to understand that when the shit hits the fan, she has the power to change things, she doesnt just have to sit and take it, like she did when her husband took all her money. she doesnt have to take that.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 2:04 pm

Agreed. Whoever listed the questions she should be asking herself to prevent a cycle was genius.

avatar MMcG July 18, 2012, 3:22 pm

I THINK THAT WAS ME!!! Thank you… that’s the most positive feedback I’ve gotten during the workday I’ve received in a year… and it comes from the friendly confines of DW:))) Honestly, it was hard for me to come up with a way to point out the ways in which the LW has contributed to her situation – either through action or inaction – without freaking out about the parade of stupidity involved.

I do have another question to add, since the first batch went over so well:
6. LW, why would you ever have a physical, intimate, sexual relationship with someone you despise? What has happened to you in your life that when you felt like your husband contributed to the death of your unborn child – you would curl back up in bed with him and make another baby??? I understand and can even sympathize with people in love, wearing blinders, inexperienced, wishing and hoping that there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, acting in ways that are detrimental to their well-being… but she doesn’t even like him.

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 1:47 pm

I understand where you’re coming from on this, and I agree, but only to a point. It’s not beneficial to just say, “You’re an idiot!” and leave it at that, the same way it’s not beneficial to say “Oh, you poor thing!” and give her a hug and have THAT be all that’s said. But I also think, with how deeply she’s fucked up — I think we can all at least agree that she’s really stepped in the proverbial pile of dog crap ankle-deep here — some merit may come from saying “You fucked up royally, and this is why.” I mean, I’m pretty sure that’s basically what I said in my long post below; I may have used nicer language, but you could probably summarize it in that way.

I’m honestly not sure that she really DOES get how badly she’s screwed up. Granted, she realizes it to some degree, and that’s a good start, but she’s put herself in a position where it’s going to potentially get MUCH worse before it gets better, and some of it really is based on choices she’s made. And that’s not even counting all the potential health risks she and her baby have been under by, for example, having her 5 month old in a house where the father is smoking; the odds are that he’s smoked around the kid, so there’s that too. I’m just saying that there’s room for both a warm hug and a kick in the ass here, provided both are done correctly.

avatar GatorGirl July 18, 2012, 1:53 pm

Thank you for saying this better than I could. She is asking for help- not judgement or to be told what she has done in the past was wrong. LW- I hope you ignor all of the rude and mean comments and focus on the people trying to give you positive helpful advice.

landygirl landygirl July 18, 2012, 1:59 pm

You had me at wastoid.

avatar spark_plug July 18, 2012, 2:19 pm

I frankly don’t understand the points of comments like this. These comments to me are akin of someone not double checking for traffic as they cross the street, getting hit by a car, the paramedics arriving and saying “You’re so stupid.. why didn’t you look while crossing the road.. I hope you learn this lesson forever, I can’t believe people are so dumb” rather than stopping the obscene amount of of blood gushing out of the person’s body.

I really really don’t understand. I doubt this LW has the healthiest views on herself and life right now – let’s help her out by making her feel even shittier about herself! Let’s help her make better decision by focusing on the previous shitty decisions she made – because we all know that if all of a sudden we realize that everything we’ve done for the past 4 years has been an utter mistake then we’ll realize that we’re able to make really good and well-adjust decisions.

Newsflash – tough love doesn’t work. Don’t berate the LW for “not understanding” her husband with his pot if you can’t understand her situation. I

landygirl landygirl July 18, 2012, 3:21 pm

Talk to Mark about it.

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 1:24 pm

I’ll let the others sit and bicker about the merits of hugs and kisses versus kicking your ass into gear on certain aspects (because, despite what other people have written, I’m not fully certain the lightbulb is 100% on, seeing as how you seem like you’re still reacting to things he’s done rather than acting independently). But let’s break down the legal aspects here, since that’s my forte:

1.) Frankly, it’s not clear from the letter what kind of employment your husband has, but I’m assuming from the way it’s been phrased that your job is steadier and better-paying than his. Given that, and given that you noted that he’s “called your bluff,” I think people are missing the HUGE landmine you may very well be walking into: spousal support/alimony. Yes, I get that people don’t believe courts will still pull out that old chestnut, but, believe me, they will. He may be planning on pushing you for that, or at the very least using it as leverage to negotiate a better deal in the divorce. Be prepared for that.

2.) Contrary to popular belief, just because he used your money on whatever he used your money on doesn’t make the debts any less yours, especially if you’re in one of the nine states — Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin — where community property laws apply (since any income by either party during the marriage is considered OURS, not YOURS). If you can’t come to an agreement with him on who owes what, the Court’s likely to split it 50/50, but even if it does that creditors can still come after you for “his debts”; your only recourse would be to file a petition to the Court to find him in contempt for failure to pay. Meanwhile, your credit goes down the toilet.

3.) If you kick him out and you’re renting your place, he can make the argument that he is no longer responsible for any subsequent rent because you’ve deprived him of living there, and some judges will buy that. So if you’re going to “kick him out”, make sure you can either afford the rent by yourself or that you leave too so at least both of you get screwed equally on it.

4.) Your gut reaction right now is going to be to limit his access to your child, but before you do that you better be prepared to document up the wazoo evidence of drug and alcohol use. I always advise my clients to play nice for at least the first month or two of separation, let the other parent see their kids, all the while making a list of every missed visit, rescheduling, sign of trouble/distress, etc. Then, once you have a good list of evidence, you can file a motion to modify the visitation during the pendency of your divorce, and you have the documents. You can try to do it the other way, but absent any concrete evidence you can show a judge your accusations will likely fall on deaf ears, and then you’ll have the “boy who cried wolf” syndrome going when you make the argument next (i.e., they’ll believe it a little less each time).

In short, the easy emotional answer is to kick him to the curb and move on with the divorce, because who needs a leech in your life? But speaking from a legal perspective, you may want to give some weight to the concept of withdrawing the petition for divorce (or, better yet if the courts allow it, freezing the petition for 6 months to “consider reconciliation”, even if you don’t really want to do it), creating a separate account he doesn’t have access to (which is still going to be considered joint money come the finalization of the divorce, but at least then he can’t drain it in the interim), keeping him around to assist in the rent, and building up enough documentation so when you DO file for divorce you can hit the ground running and not look back. Truthfully, filing for divorce should be preceded by a thought-out plan of attack, even if it’s painful to stay around. I get that his actions are reprehensible, but 3-4 months extra of grief may be worth it if you can save yourself decades of trying to recover from it financially down the road.

katie katie July 18, 2012, 1:28 pm

this is awesome.

i wonder if the LW has a lawyer, or has gotten any kind of counsel… i mean, she filed for divorce, so i guess thats a yes? can you file just by yourself?

either way, i hope that the LW is coming at this very smartly. i have a gut reaction that she is not, but i still hope.

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 1:35 pm

Oh, you can file for divorce pro se. People do it all the time. In fact, I don’t have formal statistics to back this up, but I’d wager that the vast majority of divorces are filed pro se, and certainly less than 50% of petitioners have a lawyer involved at any time from start to finish. The problem is, of course, that there’s a lot of truth to the notion that “the man who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer.” Put another way, you don’t generally divorce someone because you can calmly and rationally review the potential landmines before you.

(As an aside, in case people think I’m just saying everyone should get lawyers because I want my fees: I’m a HUGE believer in the growing practice of “collaborative family law”, where divorcing couples have one lawyer handle the divorce in a mediator-style resolution. Where I am, you can sign up for it and be assigned a lawyer to handle it. If any part of it needs to be contested, then that lawyer withdraws, and each party is on their own in finding your own lawyer and/or fighting it. It saves money, saves time, and saves you a lot of posturing and sniping that is unnecessary.)

katie katie July 18, 2012, 2:21 pm

yea, that makes sense.

would you say that it is better to have a lawyer in a case like this where there is addiction/illegal drug use going on?

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 2:32 pm

I’d say that the bigger statement is “it’s better for her to have a lawyer in this if she makes more than him”. The bigger danger is the alimony; I could see a situation where she has to pay alimony and he has to pay child support (and they usually separate it into two payments for documentation’s sake), which means they’re BOTH under court orders to pay. And his being in contempt wouldn’t excuse her contempt, you know? The drug use sucks, and having a lawyer could mean the lawyer has an investigator to research it, but she could still document it herself.

katie katie July 18, 2012, 2:38 pm

so it all comes down to money, as it always does.. lol. life sucks.

avatar GatorGirl July 18, 2012, 1:56 pm

Thank you for providing her some insite into protential legal hurdles she may face. To me, your comment was a perfect mix of tough love and helping the LW. Kudos.

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 1:58 pm

Oh! I forgot:

5.) Do not — DO NOT — assume that you can rely on child support payments being set. Biggest mistake divorcing parents make. In every state I’ve seen, there are three factors that are always considered in calculating child support for the first time (with the “change in circumstances” factor coming up in subsequent modifications):

a.) What the guidelines say child support SHOULD be given the number/age of children
b.) Employment information/income of the parent who doesn’t have primary placement
c.) The non-placement parent’s “ability to pay” (the factors for which vary state to state)

True story: I walked in with a client with two young boys whose soon-to-be ex made more per week than I do (which isn’t to say I make a lot, but I could pay support, yknow? :-) ). We asked for reasonable support and even offered to delay the start of support for a month or so to have this guy get on his feet. This guy’s lawyer proceeded to provide reason after reason as to why his client couldn’t afford to pay what the guidelines set forth: medical bills, care of his elderly mother, projections for business into the future, etc.. When the dust settled, we ended up getting support, but at $350 less per month than the guidelines said. I was absolutely blown away by how ridiculous a ruling it was, but it was, and to this day she still hasn’t been able to get the court to raise it. So, seriously, don’t count on child support.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 2:08 pm

All good advice.
I’ll reemphasize the last one–never, ever rely on child support, or any support from anyone. Nothing is a guarantee. Prepare yourself to be the sole support.

avatar Flake July 18, 2012, 2:52 pm

Just curious, and please do not misunderstand me, but in the context of this letter, I would like to know how fast and when did you learn that particular lesson?

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 3:01 pm

I realized that the minute I knew I was going to be a single mom.
I guess one could say the same time the LW is at now.

becboo84 BecBoo84 July 18, 2012, 2:37 pm

Is there anyone the LW trusts enough to set up an account for her, then it wouldn’t be considered joint assets? Perhaps she could give someone even $20/week, or something small that could be in the other person’s name?

avatar Guy Friday July 18, 2012, 2:47 pm

I’d advise against that strenuously. If the goal is to prevent him from being able to drain the account, having it in an account in only her name is sufficient to accomplish that. If your goal is to hide the money so she doesn’t look like she has as much . . . well, first of all, it wouldn’t be hard to track that when she can’t account for where her money is going on her Financial Disclosure Statement (which each party in a divorce is required to fill out). Second of all, If the husband ever caught wind of it and brought it to the Court’s attention, it would be viewed as the LW hiding assets, which is essentially fraud and contempt of court and is a SERIOUS no-no.

avatar MMcG July 18, 2012, 3:26 pm

Kudos to this! I love the emphasis on reacting versus acting and couldn’t agree more… she needs to move from defense to offense, for her child if not for herself.

Budj Budj July 18, 2012, 2:15 pm

I’m sure a lot of people had some good advice…but…

WHY THE FUCK DID YOU HAVE A SECOND PREGNANCY WITH A GUY YOU HATE?!

CatsMeow CatsMeow July 18, 2012, 2:18 pm

That was my first question as well. She already hated him, so she decided to bear his offspring?

avatar ele4phant July 18, 2012, 2:20 pm

It is an interesting (and baffling) question. But at the same time, what does it matter anymore?

Kid’s here. No changing that. Kid deserves a stable and loving environment to grow up in. So rather than focus on why she decided to have this kid, I think the focus on “How can she properly care for this child?”

katie katie July 18, 2012, 2:23 pm

i do think finding out the “why” of that question (and a lot of other questions this letter has drawn up) will benefit this woman though, so she doesnt repeat the pattern. it speaks to a bunch of issues that should be tackled with the help of a professional of some kind.

avatar ele4phant July 18, 2012, 2:27 pm

Oh, it’ll probably help in the long-term. But as someone upstream noted, her immediate concern should be getting out of the situation.

Once that’s done, then there can be time for introspection. But I think to focus on that question now is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

Budj Budj July 18, 2012, 2:25 pm

It matters because the thought never even grazed her mind. Other posters are more than being helpful with the other issues at hand. I have nothing to add to that.

avatar Addie Pray July 18, 2012, 4:02 pm

The answer to your question (or at least the one posed in the title), is yes. You’re welcome! Back to work I go.

Who’s dying to know what I learned at BJU? No one? Fine, I’m going back to work. I’ve been putting fires out all day long! Bam, bam, bam bam bam. [That's the sound of me putting fires out.]

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 4:04 pm

Do tell!

Lili Lili July 18, 2012, 4:10 pm

I almost lit my kitchen on fire yesterday. And then I spilled cranberry juice all over the carpet. Sigh. FML.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 4:13 pm

My grandma sent me home with leftovers and reminded me not to put tin foil in the microwave. :(

avatar ele4phant July 18, 2012, 4:13 pm

Well, if its darker carpet, I think it should be okay. Why do rentals even have light carpet…its the worst.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 4:20 pm

Get more cranberry juice and the whole carpet willbe a lovely shade of red.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 18, 2012, 4:37 pm

Look at you with your helpful solutions! You turn those lemons into lemonade.

(I had lunch beers. Well mentally I am drunk. But really I’m just hungry. Which is kind of like being drunk. Stupid cleanse.)

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 4:40 pm

I need to do a cleanse. I have exactly zero self control. My issue is portion control. I eat too fast and too much. :(

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 18, 2012, 4:48 pm

I do too!! My cleanse allows me to have sour cream and onion chips and turkey apparently. But I’m still hungry.

I wish I could for reals do it. Like actually have willpower. It kind of makes me judge myself a little bit.

avatar Addie Pray July 18, 2012, 6:09 pm

Yikes, kids, how did what was supposed to be a convo about BJ’s turn into all this girly “eh, I’m on a cleanse” / “eh, I’m a fatty” talk? (But real quick, here’s what I ate today: peanut butter and honey English muffin (it’s becoming a stapple); bread and cheese (they fucking had cheese in the cafeteria – like sliced gouda, cheddar, brie, etc. – WHAT THE FUCK? I hate 2 bowls of cheese); lasagna; and salad. Today was a WINNNER for me b/c I rejected donuts and did not eat dessert at the cafe.

But back to the BJ’s, the class was funny in that it was very SERIOUS. I was very drunk and the teacher got mad at me a few times for being loud. She even asked what my name was and said “Addie Pray, I have a feeling you’re going to cause a lot of trouble tonight.” And she was serious. And I was having junior high school flashbacks when I used to get in trouble ALL THE TIME. I spent so much time in the principal’s office in Jr. High and even in high school sometimes but that was because I’d skip class and go hang out with my principal who was the greatest lady ever. I would have maybe tried harder if my dad had gotten mad at me. He never seriously got mad at me so I never thought I had to seriously pay attention and not talk in class. He messed up, haha.

Anyhoo, the class was very serious. The first half was about hand jobs which I really enjoyed. I really wish I had taken this class in high school. Maybe I would have been more popular, ha. The BJ portio of the class was also very enlightening. The teacher tought us about 10 HJ moves and 10 BJ moves. Turns out, I had been doing just 1 or 2 moves. I can’t wait to try out my new 18-19 tricks.

Lili Lili July 18, 2012, 6:16 pm

I might have a date next week. I’d be interested to learn HJ techniques! Although, if I really like him I shouldn’t give a HJ right away right?!

Lili Lili July 18, 2012, 4:43 pm

Great suggestions everyone!! ugh I need to start a cleanse Iwanna. I think I’m going to have celery, carrot and apple juice for dinner. I had the most delish curry chicken salad wrap for lunch–made it myself btw, and that is how I almost burned down the kitchen! Also, I have some homemade pesto waiting for me at home. God why does food taste so good. I need to not eat so much of it. But I’m a damn good cook.

Lili Lili July 18, 2012, 4:46 pm

I guess now’s a good as time as any to announce that I am in fact eating for two. I’m eating for Lili, and the THING THAT ATE LILI. Gah, cleanse here I come.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 18, 2012, 4:51 pm

Haha. My favorite thing about eating nothing is that it reminds you what is really important to you. Like yesterday I was starving so I cheated and had turkey and sour cream and onion chips. Today I’ve just had turkey. I am such a meat head. Like I think I could survive on unlimited meat and that’s it. The sour cream and onion chips were just because I mean I already cheated so why not. But the turkey I NEEDED.

Sigh. I really am done for the day though. I swear.

Lili Lili July 18, 2012, 4:56 pm

My one super skinny friend only eats plain salad (no dressing) and boiled beans/lentils. If those were the only options in my house, i think I’d eat less too. Or nothing. I rarely eat at her place. But when I had no food at home over the weekend, I vowed never to let it happen again–Scarlett O Hara Style–and have since then been stocking my kitchen with various items to make tasty dinners. I’m being good and inviting my friends over for lasagna this weekend.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 5:01 pm

This is my problem, sorta. If I had no access to bad food, I would eat healthier, or way less at least. Like if McDonald’s didn’t exist. If food isn’t in front of me, I can go a long time wihtout getting hungry. Even if I’m not hungry though and you put food in front of me, I’m eating it.

Lili Lili July 18, 2012, 5:11 pm

So I don’t know if this is cleansing or not, but I just added some lemon slices to my water. I feel it refreshing me already. Cleanse me lemon water!

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 5:14 pm

Chant it louder. That usually works.

So since everyone loves everything about wedding complaints on here…I just got a call about how I’m not “excited enough” about someone’s daughter’s upcoming wedding. Apparently I will now need to place a daily call of excitement to this lady. And I have to invite her and the bride to come with me to find a dress for myself.

Lili Lili July 18, 2012, 5:29 pm

So I feel like if I gave up drinking and only drank lemon water, I’d get thinner. Ok. Trying this out.

theattack theattack July 18, 2012, 5:31 pm

hahahaha, wtf, LBH?! I can’t believe you even needed a reminder to do that. (Totally butting into your convo here)

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 18, 2012, 5:48 pm

Let me know how that works out Lili. I am also giving up booze during this 10 day cleanse. So far it hasn’t been hard. Today is day 2.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 18, 2012, 5:12 pm

Haha agreed. I even do all the grocery shopping too – but I justify all my fatty choices by saying “just because I’m on a diet Ethan doesn’t need to be too” but Ethan is one of those freaks who just doesn’t really like fattening food – so really I’m just buying it for me.

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 5:16 pm

Peter does all the shopping and cooking. If its not pasta, I stop on my way home for McD’s and tell him I’m not hungry. This worked well for quite a while until he sat me down concerned that I was starving myself. I’m not kidding. So now I just whine and pout until he agrees to going to a restaurant.
Ethan’s like my daughter. Bunch of freaks I tell you!

avatar lets_be_honest July 18, 2012, 5:17 pm

Oh wait. I thought of something healthy I did. I no longer allow myself to buy smores pop tarts. I used to eat the whole box in 2 days. Those are sooo good.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 18, 2012, 5:29 pm

Yuummmmm those things are really good. I haven’t had them in years though due to the whole gluten thing.

AKchic_ AKchic_ July 18, 2012, 4:25 pm

Of course he’s called your bluff, it was a FUCKING BLUFF.

Get serious and leave. Go stay with a friend, move back in with family, do something. He spent all of your money, he is an addict (admitted), and he DOES NOT FUCKING CARE. Stop deluding yourself and stop wasting your time. You were an idiot to get pregnant again so soon after the first miscarriage, knowing full well that he was an addict, but at your age, it’s called “optimism”. I’ve been there. It sucks. Now it’s time to grow up and grow a pair. Straighten that spine and do whatever it takes (short of prostitution) and do the right thing for your child.

Pack up what you NEED for you and your son and leave. Let your manchild of a soon-to-be ex-husband deal with what he’s wrought. Being an athiest has nothing to do with his alcoholism and drug abuse. Finding daycare isn’t hard. Paying for it won’t be either if you are living with a friend of family member. You are simply making excuses. Find solutions. Be an adult.

avatar MMcG July 18, 2012, 5:25 pm

“You were an idiot…but at your age, it’s called “optimism”. I’ve been there. It sucks. Now it’s time to grow up and grow a pair.”

*standing up, clapping, jumping up and down with spirit fingers*

youth really is wasted on the young, by the time you figure out your shit your too old do anything about it;-) sigh, i miss not caring enough about my well-being and endangering myself sometimes… amongst the carnage some good times were had.

landygirl landygirl July 18, 2012, 5:50 pm

You ain’t kidding.

avatar Lynn July 18, 2012, 6:02 pm

You know, I guess I just don’t understand how it got to this point. I have a family member who is

You say he was a good Christian man prior to the two of you getting married, and then all of a sudden you find weed in his shoe. And then all of a sudden he has a drinking problem. How did this all start? Did something happen to him? Did he start hanging around different people?

I have a family member who fell into drugs and alcohol, and he didn’t just all of a sudden start bring weed home or talking weird/passing out in his car. It began when he became mixed in with the wrong crowd.

Honestly, anything can trigger substance abuse, but as his wife, I guess I’m confused to how you never felt something was “off” prior to finding the weed. It amazes me how in such a short period of time, this situation completely spiraled out of control.

Also the tone of your letter and the word choice, and the use of all caps… you seem a little condescending, and trust me, it doesn’t help when dealing with someone with a substance abuse problem. Having feelings of hate and being so angry doesn’t help any situation. It just blurs your judgement and affects how you react, and often times makes a bad situation even worse.

In hindsight, it’s always easier to wish to have done things differently or say what you should have or could have done differently, but I genuinely think the first miscarriage should have been a sign to legitimately reevaluate your situation and think about whether or not you really want to bring a child into a loveless (between you and your husband) enviornment. Why would you do that?

You need to pack your bags and walk right out the door. If you love your son, you’ll do this. This isn’t just about you – it’s about him too. And when you leave, maybe, if your husband really is the Christian man you knew before… maybe, just maybe it’ll be a wake up call for him to find God again and to get help so that maybe he can one day be the father he needs to be. (I’m a Christian, so I do believe God is everything.)

Good luck!

Caris Caris July 18, 2012, 10:56 pm

Leave him already. Either you leave the house or you kick him out, but do not stay with him. The only way he is contributing to your financial situation is by draining your bank account, so I can’t see why you would stay with him.

Do not stay with him just because he can baby sit your baby while you work. My mom stayed married to my dad basically so that she could work and not have to pay a baby sitter and to have someone that could take us to school in the morning. They fought ALL the time and it was horrible and when they finally divorced when I was 15/16 it was SUCH a relief.

avatar LTC039 July 19, 2012, 10:04 am

Yes. You should kick him out… Your son should be your first priority, & as of now, you are not providing a safe, healthy environment for him. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for him. THINK about your son.

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