I can’t even begin explaining the complexity of emotions embodied in me about this failing marriage. It is so overwhelmingly complicated that it stops me from expressing myself about it. I never know where or how to start.
There is so much regret, pain, anger, shame, and disbelief. The constant thought is: how did I allow myself to be in this mess and what have I done to deserve such pain?
From very early on, the signs were loud and clear. From his anger management issues, to our cultural differences, to his communication disability. I will just let out whatever comes out. Maybe it is a good way to start. From the beginning, I feel that I am being emotionally and verbally abused. His constant swearing, even when he is talking to himself. Hearing his non-stop negative, aggressive, and bad-mouth complaining all the time. I remember that while I was breastfeeding our youngest, 2 years ago, and would hear him in the house complaining out loud this way, I would literally feel my body being hammered down into the ground, and something pushing on my shoulders downward, while I sink deeper into something so heavy and sticky. I will never forget that image.
So many nights I would cry, alone, after having put the kids to sleep, because that day, he had yelled uncontrollably in front of the kids or swore badly in their presence. I would imagine their innocent minds and hearts becoming corrupt and broken. When I was breastfeeding our youngest, he actually once told me that I do nothing. I still had the eldest at home. She was two.
His disrespect to motherhood, lack of appreciation to what motherhood is, represents, and means… disgusted me, angered me, and made me feel so cheap and invaluable. Me, who is such a good mother. I give my all to my children. How could I have ended up with a man who can’t see the value in that?
He would say that I was asking too much of him. I would tell him that he needed to be present at home, and that he needed to participate in house chores. For him, working and getting the groceries was more than plenty and that I should be so thankful just for that.
Once, after he had acted in impatience and anger in the presence of the kids, I told him that he needed to act by example, that he needed to bring out the best of himself and improve the bad, for their sake, to show them how we one should be. Do you know what he said? “I’m not a druggy or an alcoholic, what more do they need?”
…. What to say to that? I remember what I had said. I told him that I was going to be superwoman for them… There is so much. So many horrible moments like this, that made me realize I was up against the impossible. That there was nothing I could do to make my children’s father a better person, a better model, a better father.
It kills me everyday to know that I gave my children such a man for a father. The only responsibility that lies on me alone, is the choice of father to my children, and I failed them. What is worst, is that they will love him and want his appreciation and attention, and he will never be good enough for them. He will never give them what they need from him. My children will always suffer internally because of his lack of so many things.
What’s hard and overwhelming is that I try to compensate for everything they are missing from him. I play rough with them, I do all the physical activities that are usually done by two. I adapt my way of talking, of being, so to make sure I compensate for his negativity.
I remember when the eldest was one and I would play with her at home, he would get so angry when we make noise because he insists on working from home. He wouldn’t let them be kids!
I always feel I need to control every moment so that he doesn’t blow or lose patience or swear. I tried for so long. Only to realize that I didn’t have that capacity. I couldn’t have such control. I only stayed with him this long because I wanted to do damage control. I wanted to be around when he did wrong so that I could repair the damage caused to them and be able to understand their behaviour afterwards. Imagine, staying with someone just so I can minimize the damage done to my children.
I would ask him to give me just one day when I could sleep in the morning because he would never get up at night for them or in the morning when they wake up, and it was not doable. He would even go out every Friday night with his friends, get pissed drunk and sleep most of Saturday, hung over and sometimes even sick. He would tell me that Saturday is a work day anyway and that I shouldn’t count on his presence anyway on that day. How can I not go crazy with that logic? I don’t know how to reason with that. I just don’t know how.
Well, of course, it only made things worst. Tension went up, hatred grew more than ever, and when he did the unthinkable (actually, I have to say that I predicted it would happen one day), then I wasn’t able to handle it anymore. I told him that it was over. He had called me a whore in front of the kids (yelling of course) and said he was going to step on me and crush me.
It went from worst to hell. He has only been punishing me since then. Making me feel like leaving him will make my life impossible and being with the kids alone will be too hard. He would punish me by leaving when he knew I had started Yoga on Tuesday evenings, so that I don’t get to go, and he would say “oh I don’t care about your schedule anymore”. He would leave at night when the baby would be sick.
When both kids were 6 months old, those were the first clues, he would yell at them for crying so long. He even told them to shut up a few times.
What is crazy is that my biggest fears of being with this man became true. And what is scary is to wonder if it is because they are my fears that they became true. Did I bring all of this onto myself? Did I cause all this unconsciously? Did I act in such a way in my life, thinking I was making sure I would never be in this situation, that I guaranteed myself this outcome?
Today, he is making the divorce close to impossible. He threatens me with court, with taking the kids, with wanting crazy amounts of money for the house. What I felt was liberating in leaving him became once again an unescapable trap that I can’t find a solution for.
How does one get out of such a situation without causing damage to the kids? He wants to fight and it will be ugly and I did everything to make sure it doesn’t get to this. Or did I do everything to make sure it did? So fucked up. After all this, I still find a way to blame myself for this hell I am in.
What makes it harder is that I cannot talk about it. I never expressed everything and I don’t think I will ever be able to. None of my friends can fully understand. One is an angry woman who only poisons me more, and it hurts me so much to realize that. Another is so far away that I can’t dedicate every time we speak to my depressing situation. My sister knows most but not all, and still doesn’t grasp the reality or magnitude – she lives in a completely different reality, and country. My parents don’t know how to make me feel better, or I don’t know how to let them make me feel better.
When problems had started to be bad, I would go to him at night, after putting the kids to sleep (alone), and would want to talk to him. He would tell me to fuck off, to leave him alone. He would laugh when I would tell him I hated him; he would say it is my hormones. I would tell him that we need to plan financially for when the kids are old enough to go to school and he would get defensive, saying that I never think what he does is good enough and would tell me that he knows nobody who can make more than 4K a month. I had told him that to be able to stay in this home and take the kids to the schools that would be ideal for them, we would need to make together 10K a month. I told him that I was going to do a masters and get good paying work. His proposal was to go gold digging in Lebanon.
I am just not able to understand why this is happening. I know I am strong. I know I am smarter than he is. But I never realized how difficult it would be to deal with trashy logic. He drains me. These last 4 years have killed my confidence, developed self-pity in me, and have made me such an indecisive person.
I haven’t been myself for so long.
I just want to be at my best with my children. I just want to give them the best, my best.