Today, 31 years ago, I married my abuser

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Registered: 01-04-2000
Today, 31 years ago, I married my abuser
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 1:26pm

Today is our anniversary... I am still legally married to him even though we live in different homes. He still pays our health insurance and co pays, car insurance, helps when groceries when he sees it makes him look like a good guy, puts gas in my car (most of the time fills it which is well over 60.00 a week, but lately only 25.00 each time which only lasts for a day with all the running around I have to do) and takes us out to dinner once in a while. He gets the kids after school when I am tied up with a client (but not without grumbling and complaining and trying to dump guilt trips on me) and pretends to be supportive and kind. ...

  He still calls and grumbles at me when my oldest wont comply with his demands and I remind him that it is his house his rules, I have no say or control over that situation...

Right now (last few weeks) he has been Mr. nice guy which starts me wavering about making it work etc...But soon he will do something that will remind me WHY I walked away in the first place.

I keep reminding myself that even if he did change, I will never be able to trust him like I used to and that I want someone I can trust 100% without any doubts or suspicions and HE AINT it...Sigh

I know if I filed for divorce I could move forward and not have to worry, but with not having a regular income and student loans creeping on me in December along with health insurance and such there is just no way I can make it alone. I am reluctant to go to the shelters for help or resources because there are plenty of women out there in far worse cases that need those resources and if I am using them then they are not available for those who need them more than I do...Sigh...

At least as long as we are legally married, I can use that to remind him that he is still obligated to help us and I can also rest assured he is not turning yet another woman into his next victim....

Just needed to ponder...


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 1:58pm

wow.. I truly understand what you are going through and I dont blame you in alot of ways for not divorcing.. Its a nightmare out there these days but and I only speak for myself.. I was so afraid of my financial situation with ex because he was king of the credit cards and other debts.. I was concerned that he would rack up debt and then when our divorce came I would have to pay half.. I didnt want that so I signed the papers.. Surely now I have no medical insurance now but I wonder what would have happened if I didnt divorce him? I also get some of his pension and I got assets from our house..
Fast forward and ex is now in 80,000 worth of debt and a bunch of other things that I never wanted to be responsible for. My lawyer said that would you rather be worried about ex or would you rather trust yourself and God and hope for the best.. Of course I chose the latter but I dont have young kids so maybe I would have stayed around for the insurance..

I do know how it all sucks but I am wondering would you be better off with spousal and child support and his insurance if you divorce? I dont know the laws in your state but have you ever spoken with a lawyer?

I just dont trust abusers with much and I just wanted to so be divorced because of all of my ex;es crap and his debts and all of it.. Like I said though I wish I would have gotten his medical insurance.

Now for the karma part.. My ex just moved down South in with his gfriend after so many years.. I dont think its going well because he actually called me in which I was pissed off but I digress. Anyway; He called me to ask me if I had gone back to our marital home (he rented it out) to get the rest of my things. I said  yes I did.. He said oh; okay.. I said so anything else? He said that he has some bacterial infection that isnt clearing up and he is sick.. I said oh; well I hope it gets better and I wish you the best in your new home.. I guess he is  unhappy and not doing well but its not my problem..  He was nice enough though to leave me one of the tv's there and said for me to take it so of course I did.. He also said take whatever furniture you want but I had nowhere to put it as I live with family.. I so wish I could have taken more but the new people were moving in.. I am still mad because he rented out house and left and didnt ask me if I wanted to rent it out. Not that I could afford it but he never even asked..

Well hang in there and take whatever you can from your husband.. Heck; He owes you..


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Registered: 01-04-2000
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 3:11pm

Part of the beginning of the end was he wanted to file bankruptcy...I don't believe it is OK to bail out on your obligations. Even if you cannot adhere to the original agreement you should still stick it out until you have repaid what you borrowed. Well he filed bankruptcy, the one where you eventually pay it all back but through the courts rather than through collection agencies. But he never made his payments to the trustee..So we got kicked out of bankruptcy so he filed for chapter 13...that is where they take any assets you still owe (the house, cars etc) and wipe out all of your debt. The very one I most disagree with. ..So that being said, the man who does not pay the bills, does not pay the mortgage and then did not pay the trustee..Do you really think he would pay child support?....I think I am getting more out of him this way than if the courts ordered him to pay..That plus he is self employed so he would lie about his income etc so he would not have to pay much in the first place. 

I do have a friend from classes who's wife is a family law attorney. I was trading counseling for counseling. They had taken in her two nephews as foster kids so I was counseling the boys and she was crediting my account toward filing. Well as I predicted, once their dust settled the monsters would come out of the closet. By having them already used to being in counseling, when the big bad monsters started coming out (the ones way beyond my abilities) it was very easy for the boys to switch over to a Psychiatrist...I never really billed them because I had already decided if we get a divorce HE will file not me..That way it will cots HIM and not me..She will represent me regardless though so IF he ever gets around to filing for the divorce I am still covered.

Besides, this state is a no fault state so no alimony is awarded and we were going to ask he keep paying insurances but there was a big chance we would not get it..Child support was the only thing I could be guaranteed to get but it is based on his income versus my income and he would manipulate the numbers to make it look like my SSD was more than what he brought in so I might end up having to pay him instead...My kids are older now, only one is a minor (16) K just turned 18 and D will be 21 soon..So even with that I would not get much...


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Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 3:37pm

Oh; well that all sucks for sure but about the bankruptcy? Arent you liable for that too if you are still married to him?

I always wondered if one could be legally separated and get the medical insurance??

I would def. wait for him for the divorce. My ex paid out alot for our divorce because he sued me after I left home. I was not about to pay alot if I could help it.. Thank goodness mine is cheap and didnt want to spend money on lawyers. Actually my ex wanted me out so bad after awhile because he assumed his new gfriend was moving in... Well I held out for a better settlement and then when he paid me out I went on my way again.. All that time he paid me twice of what I was entitled to just to get rid of me.. It backfired in his face because right after that the market crashed and values went down and his gfriend never m oved in. He was stuck with the mortgage payments and also stuck paying his gfriends rent...

I do know about chapter 7 and 13 and to get that money wont the courts garnish your ex's bank account or pay checks??

He just cant ignore the bankrupcty can he?? I am just asking as to keep learning about these th ings??

Do you feel like you will have weak moments and want to return to him. I so know how that is because I have actually tho ught about that over the years but something kept stopping me like he had a gfriend and he was the same old abuser.. I just didnt want to take that chance again.. Its been 6 years now and we have both totally moved on.. We did become somewhat friends but that is another story.. Maybe more like frenemies.. (lol)

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Registered: 01-04-2000
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 4:37pm

No I think bankruptcy you either make the payments you agreed to or they dismiss your case and turn you back over to the collection agencies. Chapter 13 they take any assets you still owe on (fortunately my car was paid in full) and lock your credit up for what seems like forever so you cannot go and get yourself into debt right away again. Hopefully during this period we will learn to live within our means so when we can get debt again we will be able to be more responsible. I actually like this part because it is him that gets the debt out of control. It started we got a credit card and we determined it was for emergencies only..Suddenly it was an emergency he have a tape drive for his computer (old Vic 20 back then) then it was an emergency he get a monitor for his computer (same Vic 20) so he could watch TV while he was on the computer..Then it was an emergency he get to upgrade to the Commodore 64...etc...well you get the idea. After a few years of too much debt we got a consolidation loan...that was cool until he went and got more credit cards and started racking up the debt we had the old debt we were struggling to pay and now new debt as well...this has been the pattern all 31 years...I once had our credit cleaned up and everything current and actually had 400.00 in savings....he went and got a bunch more credit....this is the credit he just bailed out on using the chapter 13....

I believe they cannot garnish my SSD, but that is mute since I am trying to get off of SSD and get a stable career that will not be affected by my disabilities. He is self employed so it would be difficult to garnish his wages too...not impossible but difficult....Once it was a game to him to get us sued by the creditor, hide the summons so I would not know about it, not show get a judgment against us and a process server would show up at my work to garnish my wages....I learned a lot about that too during that time..Eh had changed jobs several times and did not keep the records up to date so they did not know where to get him...At one point I had 9 garnishments lined up on my pay check...I learned they can only garnish one order at a time and only a certain percent of your pay check...Once that one is satisfied the next one that came in starts getting to collect..Every evening I would come home and tell him another garnishment came today and he would look like the cat that swallowed the canary...Really hurt me a lot..Well I announced the ninth one he was smug and I told him that the next one that walked in the door payroll was instructed to page me and I was going to give the process server information of where HE worked and let them know they can collect far more at a time and a lot sooner since there were nine in front of that one..Never again was a garnishment placed on my paycheck....I think the thing that pisses me off more about that than anything was after all of the garnishments were satisfied he pranced around like a peacock bragging how HE worked hard to get all of that debt paid off...Excuse ME WHO worked hard to get it paid off? wasnt his paycheck being garnished...wasnt him facing the embarrassment of being called to payroll to be shown yet another one showed up...but it was HIM that took the credit for the accomplishment...That actually pisses me off more than the

Yes when he is being Mr.. Nice guy, I start suckering back into the "well maybe he has changed, maybe it was not all that bad, maybe we can make it work out after all" stuff we all know and "love" (said with sarcastic tone)...But I have caught on after 31 years...he will be Mr. nice guy, sometimes for a couple of days, sometimes a couple of weeks and occasionally a few months..But he will blow...Something will set him off and he will be Mr. jerk again...usually when we need groceries the most or I am in desperate need of medication refills....and I am then brought back to reality really quickly....I guess if he stayed Mr. nice guy for a minimum of three years consecutively with no slips or blow ups I could consider going back...But I doubt he can manage that task....

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Registered: 01-04-2000
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 4:38pm

Oh and I am not liable for the debt because we filed joint bankruptcy...if we were divorced or seperated and he filed and I did not then they would come after me...but we were still living together at the time he filed and I signed on the paperwork too...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 5:49pm

Did you realize that you said "we" in alot of the paragraphs.. Is that a Fruedian slip (lol)

This is what I th ink about it all ? I think that so much time has passed and for me also.. For me its like 6 years since I have been out. At times we are still going to think they can change and we have regrets. I think its normal but then something like you said slips us back into reality.. I do wonder th ough if they can change.. If mine changed it wouldnt matter at this point because I dont love him anymore and I dont even like him as a person.. Do you love your exH still? Imagine going back and being a loving wife. I think i would vomit alot.. How would you feel if you had to do that all over again? I know I just couldnt do it.. I know also that I dont have any kids with my ex so yes its much easier. Not that I wouldnt use him in a heartbeat because I have for helping me out here and there when I had no one and he was around. Not for money but for getting a ride or something minor and I was desperate and there was no one else around.  I had a heart scare and had to rush to hospital and get some tests and he drove me. I literally had no one and I was scared.. So far I am okay but he did take out time to drive me. AFter that he left and that was that...Next time I guess I should take a cab but I am such a chicken when it comes to this stuff. Yet there was a payback. when he had no one I drove him to the doctors.. I guess they might make better friends than husbands or that is what a counselor told me..

I though do wonder and I know all the gurus would wipe the floor with me.. I wonder why and how my ex';es gfriend has put up with him for many years. I am like did he change or what??

I do know that I am a much better person and I like  myself and I love  my life now.. More than I could have had with ex.. I think I was never really my authentic self was I was with ex abuse or no abuse and yes there were times when I was talking to him on phone that he started acting all crazy.. so I thought oops he is the same and will never change. Good Riddance.......

Hang in there. I hope you can get some help from somewhere... I know now that we have some food pantries where we live. My mom gets some things.. I am always looking for freebies and things....(lol) I know how challenging it must be with three kids. I can barely support myself so I know how it goes.



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2000
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 10:30pm

Yes I still use "we" when I talk about choices WE made and things we still have to do...yes I do still love him, I do still really care what happens to him..But in truth, when I focus on the trust...No I probably will never be able to go back and be his wife again..Trust is a big thing to me and has always been...I even told him when we were dating to NEVER lie to me because it will break my trust in you and trust cannot be restored...Even after he cheated on me and was busted in many a lie I still tried to rebuild the trust but it never got back to the 100% that is very important to me...and after this last financial mess I am not even interested in trying to rebuild any kind of trust in him...he actually hid the notices the bank sent to me regarding the pending foreclosures and all..In foreclosures they have to send notices to all parties on the loan..Individually even if they have the same address...he would intercept the mail and hide the negative and dunning notices from me so I would not know what he was doing (or not doing as the case may be)..So no trust is too important to me and apparently not important enough to him....

There are some food banks around here but you have to be referred to be able to use them and I am not about to grovel like that when I can milk the cow (husband) for what we need...There is a food bank here that with a 60.00 donation you walk away with more than 200.00 of food and supplies, mostly fresh fruits and IF I ever get too desperate for food I have that resource..Plus my parents own this house we are living in, it was a rental and my dad was done being a landlord so was waiting for the economy to recover so he could sell it...He is letting us rent the house from him for 200.00 a month which is less than a third of what it normally rents for..Also I got behind on the water (sometimes I have to skip a month here or there but I do send 20.00 with a note of explanation)..So a couple of months ago I forgot to send in the payment which would have covered the two months and they sent a late notice to me as well as the owner of the property...without even checking with me he went and paid the bill in full....but the day before I had sent the check in and it cleared the day after he made the my water bill the next month was -36.00 which was nice I didn't have to pay the water bill and this month will be only about half since I still have the 36.00 pending in the account...Also if we get really desperate for food, my parents are only about a mile away from here and we can always go and eat there....they will have no problem letting us eat there..Also my dad told me to have the kids make a list of things they like to eat for breakfast that they can eat on the fly (he knows my kids are always running late and we still travel 30 minutes to the school they were attending before we left) my parents are there if we need.....

I do realize I am more fortunate than many on this board...But what I did differently was I was open with my parents about what was going on, and my kids also talked freely of what was going on..So when I announced I was done, I give up, their response was "good, we don't know how you managed to hang on for so did far more than anyone would have expected to try to make it work" there again..It is the secrecy that keeps feeding the abuse monster...Talk about it openly and the monster cannot win...

Now I have not told his mom about what was going on...I tried once and she announced she didn't want to hear it...So now he tells her his lies and she believes him fully without question...but he is her baby (literally because she still bails him out of financial messes he gets into) and she started trash talking me to the kids at family get togethers..Now the kids wont go over to visit her at all any more...I told them it was OK to tell her that she was not allowed to talk that way about their mom to them but they are too chicken to stand up to her..So they just don't go over at all...which is sad because she is in her late 80s and she is their grandmother....

Having family knowing what really going on does help having the support and encouragement to leave and stay away..Part of my strength to stay away (other than his Mr. not nice guy behavior and lack of trust) is my family WOULD KILL ME and put me out of my misery if I ever did...they also will probably not be there next time when I needed to leave rather than burn the bridge I have for escape, I just stay on this side where it is safe....

I do know when he realizes it really is over he could snap and become violent...I do fear that...Probably another reason I am too chicken to file the divorce papers..If he makes that call he can't get mad at me for

As for counseling and support groups, it is incredible what God has put around me...First God led us to the house we just lost that just so happened to be next door to a retired military nurse who had M's number from the "Hi I am your new neighbor" and was wise enough to not tell me I need to leave etc...Instead she started ending our conversations with "you are a smart woman or you are a good mom" which actually started planting the seeds in me of I deserved better...then God led me to this board through April...I was curious what the link was "follow me to domestic abuse board"...and discovered YES I was being abused..Not physically but emotionally, mentally and financially and that was just as not OK as the physical abuse..Then  I volunteered for three years as a deputy probation officer and the whole probation office is decorated in anti DV posters....and the probation officer who actually hired me is very proactive in stopping DV...I believe she is a survivor herself..She recently opened a facebook page "breaking bubbles" Her hope is to reach out to the girls who are finding themselves in abusive relationships while dating...She has been a great help in encouraging me and helping me find the strength to move forward...Then God put me in a masters in counseling program where all of my classmates actually listened to my frustrations and encouraged me and helped me discover my strength....then cheered when I announced we moved out...Even the professors were supportive (and this was a Christian college) One professor is teaching me to do neurofeedback in her private office and pays me 15.00 per person that I treat so I can have a little extra money...and she is letting me treat my kids too..That is a whole different exciting story (L was born with no sense of smell and after two treatments she started having small moments when she could smell things and D has lessened his anger responses to things) So God has given me support and encouragement and training .. I am hoping some way I can use what you all have taught me as well as my friends and teachers to help encourage others to be able to walk away and not look back...I am still working on the not looking back part myself, but someday I will be able to achieve that too...But by me being through what I have been through and struggling with what I am struggling with, I was able to help one client get away from her abuser and am able to encourage her when she starts having those "but I love him" moments simply because she knows I am right there with her experiencing the exact same struggles..One difference....she is actually brave enough to file for the divorce

Actually I think that is exactly what helps the women here...knowing those offering advice and wisdom and strength are women who ether experienced those exact same things themselves or are experiencing them currently..Sometimes knowing your situation is not as unique as our abusers want us to think helps us find the courage to do something about it....

WOW that became a long ramble..Sorry

OH yes, when I had to go in for a biopsy the other day for a lymphnode in my neck that was HUGE...he drove me and sat and waited then brought me home again...he has run to the store for me to pick up a perscription...and last year sometime I took him to have a bad tooth pulled and drove him home again I do understand using him for things like that....then there are the times my car needs fixed and he will drive me where I need to go and wait for me...or take me out to eat while we no he is not a bad guy...just untrustworthy

Avatar for happyasme
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 1:24pm

Thank you for sharing your story.  I think you are a remarkable, strong and wise woman.  Reading your story gives me strength and resolve in my decision to leave my H (I have recently filed for D, were never separated and we are still under the same roof).  I wish peace, prosperity and happiness to you and your children.

Like you, my H has never been physically violent, but I now know too well that I was being abused emotionally, mentally, financially and now legally (he has moved his bullying to the court system.  I am fortunate that I have a good job and should survive financially (it is still not clear how his debts with the IRS will affect my financial situation).  I sometimes feel naive or plain dumb to have allowed this for so many years.  For many many years, shame has kept me stuck.  But I just tell myself  that allowing to continue this way any longer is even dumber and cowardly and most importantly, my staying in an abusive relationship is certainly not what is best for my children.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2000
Fri, 08-31-2012 - 1:20am

Thank you for the encouraging words..They do make a big difference.

As for your husband's IRS issues..Depends on several factors..If you get notified by them take it serious and contact either a tax lawyer or a CPA that specializes in tax (and has been doing taxes for several years)...

They can garnish everything in your bank account then YOU have to move heaven and earth to get it back..If there is any possibility of that happening you might want to live a cash only life for a little while and leave as minimal money in any bank accounts you have out there...Also I believe they can come and take your whole paycheck and not just a percentage but not positive on that one.

Also If you filed joint then yes you are on the hook..If you filed separately then his taxes are his and yours are yours..That does not mean the IRS wont try to take your money to pay his debt..So you need to be very aware of what is going on until this is resolved

If you filed joint and they come after you you can claim innocent spouse and possibly get off the hook..But you will definitely need someone who understands those laws in your corner to help you succeed in the filing and pushing through the courts then demanding the return of any money they take ....

Also bankruptcy (all levels) will NOT release you of any tax liability. If you do get stuck paying the tax you can request an offer in compromise which if accepted you would pay a percentage of the outstanding bill and the balance is waived..Another option would be to request payments be made....

And heads up...even if the divorce decree says he is obligated to pay the tax bill, if he does not they can and still will come after you and take it from you...then it will be up to you to take him to court and sue him for what they took....IRS is not bound by divorce decrees just the parties divorcing

(note here, my husband is a CPA, and living in that environment for 31 years I picked up a thing or two...but I am confirming with him as I am typing because I don't want to give wrong information)

As for the abuse being moved into the courts...that is text book behavior...that is why it is important you have a good attorney that is well versed in Domestic Abuse so they know the games and not cave to them and stand up for your rights...

I kept trying to protect my kids from this mess, but it was my kids who kept asking "why don't you divorce dad? (that was my oldest when he was in fourth grade..He is 21 now)...and the kids begging we just leave..."we can worry about the money part of it later lets just leave"....

So instead of having my kids fight me in leaving and making my life more miserable for leaving, I had the kids dragging me out the door..When I confide in them I do still love their dad and I sometimes think maybe we can make it work somehow...they threaten me with bodily harm if I do.....that helps staying away too....

Yes I stayed too long, my oldest is showing the same abusive and narcissistic patterns as his dad, and the other two are so bitter and angry and hurt by him I am not sure they will truly get over it all...L did confess the other night that she thinks she can start to forgive him but she will never forget what he did nor trust him....My heart she is now reaching out trying to build some kind of relationship with him but she is very guarded...

My middle is far from there yet...he has yet to find one positive thing in reference to his dad...and my oldest is just plain angry at everyone and blames everyone for all of his problems in life...Someday I hope he will actually grow

Hang in there Happy, and hang on ..It will be a roller coaster ride but if you have a good attorney and you hold your ground regardless of his treats to manipulate your will come out on the other side to a very pretty life....



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Fri, 08-31-2012 - 7:28am


After I read these posts and alot of things I have read and studied it just appears these men are sociopaths.. I am wondering where does this come from? Childhood? Learned behavior like if they dont get their way they resort to bizarre behavior . I also wonder is there a level of this behavior. I mean we read about the Scott Petersons and the sickos but then we have the regular dads and husbands as we read about here.. Its all so surreal and I am thinking this could happen to anyone ..

Its like living in a cloud and then the cloud dissipates when we see what is real. Over the years I have really understood what my ex was and it totally scared the beejezus out of me.. I was like how did I get involved with this man because I assumed he was normal.. To this day I still have the ptsd and its been years..I still think he can do damage and we have been divorced since 2007 and that he is still doing damage out there... I just dont know about it..

Take Care and Hang In