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I have been married for nine years to Paul. We have known each other 14 years, but were only a couple a year before we got married.

I was married before to a man who was physically, mentally, financially and emotionally abusive. We had three children, who are now 19, 14 and 12. I left him for good when he started running around with another woman, even taking her on vacation over the Christmas holiday while I stayed home with our 2 week old daughter, 2 year old son and 7 year old daughter. It was devastating but I also found the courage to leave him for good after this incident.

This relationship affected me in a 100 different ways. I didn't trust anyone and I felt everyone had a motive for something. I even postponed my marriage to Paul a couple of times out of fear that I didn't know how to spot an abusive man. I went for counselling. I married Paul.

In the beginning, things were great. I wanted a marriage contract before getting married and he agreed. Even though I didn't have a whole lot of assets, the ones I did have, were the ones I had to pay my ex for in the divorce settlement. So I paid for half a house, essentially, even though I had not worked during our marriage.

After the divorce I went to university and got a very good job. I swore to myself I would never be dependant on a man again. Paul was fine with this and we proceeded to split everything 80/20 - I paid 80% of every thing and he paid the other 20%. I paid for the mortgage on the house and maintained repairs/maintenance, in addition to my own vehicle, etc. This wasn't easy, but it is the way I wanted it to be. I needed to feel safe.

Then I got pregnant. I did not want to have any more children because I seen having children as a way for a man to trap a woman (the way an abused woman thinks!). Paul was thrilled as he had no children of his own. We had the baby - a boy. He is now 7 years old and the absolute light of our lives. No regrets!

After I got pregnant though, I told Paul he would have to pay more because we had a child. He said he couldn't afford it. I paid for the child - furniture, daycare, programs, clothing, etc. Paul paid nothing. I got resentful. We started fighting a lot. He would work less and less, until it was me basically carrying the financial load. I had to work 60 - 80 hours a week just to maintain this family, while he started hanging around the garage where his friends work. He started lying to me about where he was going and what he was doing. He never brought home a paycheque. Finally, I said that is enough and told him to move out. He did last September. I was through with men. Paul wouldn't even pay child support.

Then I met Brian in January. We started seeing each other and I would not allow him to meet my children because I did not want to be one of those single mother's that have a parade of men coming through the house. So we met away from the house. Then Paul found out I had a boyfriend and started harassing me into getting back together. I said NO WAY. Then I realized that Brian was not much better then Paul - and I broke up with him. In March I found out I was pregnant. I was devastated. I considered abortion but I couldn't bear to go through with it. I told Brian and he was not interested. Paul took this opportunity to act like having a baby would be great and he could raise the child as his own, etc. I was really upset by every thing and sinking into a deep depression (never been depressed a day in my life prior to this). Paul moved back in, in May. We slept in separate rooms while I tried to sort things out. Our son was thrilled to have daddy back. The other three are not impressed because they know that Paul didn't pay his share of the bills and it makes them feel insecure. I told my children about the baby and they were wonderful about it. So mom made a mistake and we're having a baby. My oldest begged me to go it alone. Paul acted like having a baby by another man wasn't such a terrible thing (Paul had a vasectomy after our son but always wanted more).

At 21 weeks, the baby got tangled in her cord and died. She was born weighing 1lb,1 oz. She was perfect. I had her alone. I held her alone. I cried alone (at first, then the kids cried when they found out). The kids named her. I had the memorial with the children (Paul forgot). A week after she died Brian emailed me and said how bad he felt and how hurt he was. Yet he never cared the first 21 weeks about her! A week before the baby died he found a new girlfriend and is playing around with her. I don't care that he has someone else, but I feel so alone in my grief. He gets to laugh and move on. Paul never mentions the baby or acknowledges that she died. I cry alone. I don't want to worry my children. The people that I work with are cautiously supportive - unsure of what to say to me. Believe it or not, the only person that has seen me sob my heart out and hold me up is Brian's exwife (wife actually, as they separated last summer and have not got a divorce yet). I met her through Brian and we always got along. Now she checks on me every day to make sure I'm okay. The whole thing is strange.

I want Paul to move out but my friends think he is such a great guy because he was willing to raise another man's child. I can't help but think that he did that so that he could have a roof over is head (he was living in his car when he couldn't pay the rent on his apartment).

The baby died on June 6, so it hasn't been that long since all this happened. I just don't know what to do. I feel so many tangled emotions.





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