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So confused, am I being irrational?

Okay, so I posted on here once before about my husband who was drinking and verbally abusive and was advised by everyone that responded that I should leave him.  Of course, coward that I am, I didn't.  We have 5 children ranging in age from 13 to 21 months.  I am 34, about to turn 35, and have been with him since I was 16 years old.  He has cheated on me multiple times with multiple girls.  According to him, the last time that he cheated on me was about 4 years ago.  We were married almost 8 years ago, it wasn't until after we were married that he told me he had cheated on me several times with several different girls.  Like, I'm talking more than 10 other girls over the course of 10 years, and a couple of those girls he carried on full-fledged affairs with, they told him that they loved him but he says he never said that he loved them.  When he told me he was in the midst of a mental breakdown and ended up in hospital, needless to say the hurt he caused me is something that is basically forbidden from being brought up because he says that I could never make him feel worse than he already does and says it was the reason for his breakdown.  He fooled around again when he, on a whim, said he needed to leave town and caught a plane that afternoon because he wasn't feeling right, he had sex with a girl outside somewhere after leaving a bar with her.  He confessed to me months later.  Despite all my suspicions over the years I never gave voice to them because I was afraid to hear the answer and afraid that it would mean that I would need to be strong and leave him.  It was so much easier to be weak and passive, I thought.  Lately I have been feeling so much the need to move on, to move forward.  I am in a job that I hate, I hate the town that we live in (it's his hometown), and I just feel the need to see what else is out there for me.  I think back on the years and think of all the times I should have left.  I also feel like this is the bed that I've made and that I have to lie in it.  My 13 year old daughter continually asks me why I don't leave him because she sees his verbal abusive and controlling ways.  A comment that I've made to him is that it's like this is his universe and I'm just living in it.  The other day she said to me, "It's like this is just Daddy's life and we're just a part of his life and can't have our own.", I was surprised to hear her words mirrored so closely to mine.  He went out drinking the weekend before Christmas and got in 3 altercations, came home in the early hours of the morning with a big purple goose egg on his head from being kicked in the head, a black eye and fat lip.  After that he has decided that he is quitting drinking and can't live without me, he called my mother and told her that he hasn't always treated me right and he's going to treat me like the princess that I am.  Well that lasted about as long as his hangover, the princess thing.  He hasn't drank again, yet.  But, other than that, his behaviour hasn't changed very much.  I've told him that I need him to stop drinking and that with the kids getting older it's getting so much harder to pretend that everything is perfect.  All my kids (aged 13, 9, 7, 5, and 1) have witnessed him calling me names and telling me to shut-up, swearing, etc.  I have talked to the girls and told them that they are never to let anyone, especially a guy, ever talk to them like that, I have also talked to the boys and told them that they better never treat anybody like that.  But words are just words and my actions tell them that it's okay.  This is the relationship that they will have as a model to them.  Before I was with him I would have never dreamed that I would let somebody talk to me or treat me the way that he does, my parents had a very loving and respectful relationship, I feel like I lost myself.  He's telling me now that he needs me more than ever, that he loves me and I'm the only one for him.  And all of that is tearing me apart because right now more than anything I feel like I just wish he would cheat on me so I could leave him over it or have him decide that he doesn't want to be with me.  I told him that I wanted to move and maybe wanted to go back to school and do something that I love because I hate my job, he said that I was being irrational (we've just built a house) and was having a mid-life crisis.  I've slowly come to realize that I don't trust him at all, I wouldn't be surprised to find out he's cheated on me more than what I know about.  I asked him the other night in bed when the last time was that he cheated on me, he responded by saying, "Why don't you tell me, you should know?", he said it several times because I keep pushing him before finally bringing up the time that he flew out of town.  My instincts are telling me that his response was a guilty response and the response of someone who was trying to buy time to make sure he said the right thing.  I've spent so many years of this relationship being naive, I really don't feel like I trust him at all.  I feel like I'm building a wall around my heart because I don't want him to be able to hurt me again.  I dream about having a man who just loves me and adores me and would never want to hurt me.  The reality is now though that I've got FIVE kids, and that would be asking a lot for any man to be willing to take on a woman like that.  I'm pretty, I'm smart, and I'm worth so much more than what I've had, but do I owe it to him to give him a chance right now when he's making so many promises and making the effort as far as drinking goes?  He's always told me that I don't appreciate him and I need to see all the bad guys out there to make me see that, yes he's a better man than the male role models he's had in his life so he probably believes that, but I know that he doesn't even come close to the male role models I've had in mine.  I would really appreciate any clarity or advice anyone might have.  Thank you so much.

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luckyduckyy luckyduckyy 3 years
You need to leave. I feel so sorry for you and your situation. I was in a similar situation in my family. When I was a baby, my parents separated; they were officially divorced when I was 4. They got back together when I was 6, and my baby brother was born shortly after. My mother's reason for getting back together with him? She had dated a few men, and none of them wanted all of her kids (just me and my other brother). I think she only dated 3 or 4 men; that's it. She felt that my father was the only man who would accept her and their children, and treat them right. Wanna know what happened shortly after this? My father didn't treat any of us right. We were all subject to his constant verbal, physical and emotional abuse. And I was subject to sexual abuse. Wanna know what my mother says now? She regrets her foolish, selfish and naive previous mentality and decision. She preferred being single, with just us kids, instead of being with my father. Now, almost 20 years later, she is still with him, full of regret, and feeling more stuck than ever. My advice to you: GET OUT NOW. AND DON'T LOOK BACK. Do it for your children. Do it for your daughter, who constantly remarks on the abuse and wonders why they can't leave. I'll bet she dreams of a life without him in it. I know I did.
henna-red henna-red 3 years
It's way past time for you to focus on you and your kids. You need to be safe, and you need to be working to provide for those kids. You need to not depend on him, he is not dependable, honest or in any way prepared to care about you, those kids, or anyone but himself. Never, ever depend on an abusive, alcoholic for anything but abuse and a massively f'd up brain, altered by alcohol. You need a support system. You need help to get out of this situation, this relationship and your addiction/dependence on his presence. Women's shelter, social services, People to People or and Every Woman's House, house of faith....I suggest looking around for the closest Unitarian Universalists, and checking in to see what kind of help or resources they can offer, including emotional support for extracting yourself and the kids from this never ending hell. You are damaging your kids by staying in this situation, and by keeping them there also. You are damaging your kids by staying in this situation, and keeping them there also. Should I say it again? You are damaging your kids by staying in this situation, and by keeping them there also. You are modeling the behaviors that they will copy for years to come. It's time to model something else, something healthier. And you're going to need help to do that. Stop thinking that you have to do it all on your own. You have to take the first steps, take the initiative to leave and to get this worthless man out of everyone's lives, but there is help to be had, if you look for it, work for it. It's not easy, is is neccesary, imperative, critical......get out, get those kids out, get him out of your lives. This isn't about a love connection, a sexual connection. This isn't about the ability to move on to a new, healthy relationship with another man. This isn't about "who else will ever be attracted to me." Who cares if anyone else is ever attracted to you, at this point.....romance, marriage, need to taken off the table right now. You need to work on you. You need to provide a safe, stable environment for those kids. You don't need to worry about the next man. You're not emotionaly healthy enough to deal with any of those issues at this moment. They are something to deal with further down the line, not now. Now they are only another excuse you use to distract yourself from what you really NEED to do. "I made this bed and now I just have to lie in it." Bullshit! Make a new bed and lie in that. The one you have now is worn out, sagging, with busted springs scraping and scratching everyone, in which no one can get a decent nights sleep. Stop making excuses. Yeah, it's hard. Yeah, he's going to do everything he can to continue to control and manipulate you. Yeah, everything involved is a struggle....isn't everything a struggle now? You're going to get all of the same advice now, that you got before. The situation is the same, the advice is the same. GET SOME HELP! Listen to your 13 old, she knows what she's talking about. You know what the answers are, you are just unwilling to accept that those are the answers. You don't need "clarity", you need to start taking responsibility for your choices and for the health and welfare of your kids. You need to stop avoiding the challenges you have helped to create in your life....yes...YOU have helped to create. He didn't ruin your have accepted everything, you have chosen to stay, you have chosen to have 5 kids. Now choose to be responsible for those kids and for yourself and for the results of all of your choices. That is the ONLY thing that will give you freedom....taking responsibility for yourself and your choices. Stand up, get help. Get Help. GET HELP! One day at a time. be well, luck and love to you
tmdsk tmdsk 3 years
I am the original poster, I should also mention that I was a virgin before him, he was the third guy I've ever kissed and I have never been with any guy since him in any way.

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