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Old 06-27-2017, 02:16 PM   #1
Iggy
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Feeling stuck... (thoughts on divorce & poly)

I've search around in a lot of old threads here, and finally decided I needed to start a new one. I apologize in advance for the serious tone... I much prefer to post about fun things.

I currently in a situation where I feel "stuck". First, a little background.
I've been with my husband since I was 18 years old (almost 15 years ago). I think our relationship was born of convenience at first. We met at work so we saw each other all the time. He helped me deal with a douche-bag boyfriend and the aftermath of that breakup. As a result, we became close friends. I wanted to move out and he and his then wife (very soon ex-wife) wanted an extra roommate. Their marriage quickly fell apart before we ever had a chance to move in together, but I stayed friends with him. He really needed a roommate at that point, as did I, so we moved in together after he separated from his wife.

As we were living together, it became easy to establish a FWB situation. We were both single and had needs. I didn't want to be in a "relationship" with him because of his recent separation and following divorce, but eventually realized I was in denial. We were in a relationship, whether I wanted to give it a name or not. Because we started out as "just" roommates (in my mind at least), I didn't feel it my place to tell/ask him to help out (e.g. doing dishes, laundry, etc.). The precedence had been set for me to do the lion's share of the housework. That precedence has never changed... he still doesn't help, and there is a lot of resentment over the fact. He agrees he should help, but never follows through. All he does is complain if things are messy, but won't do anything to fix it. For example, he will throw a tantrum because he doesn't have clean shirts for work. He doesn't come right out and blame me, but since very rarely does laundry, there is the perception that it is my fault and he is mad at me.

Over the years we have had our share of struggles. We've been poly most of our relationship, and as odd as it sounds we are actually happier/stronger when we have paramours. I think the ability to love another acts as a band-aid to the issues within our relationship. Recently I've discovered our goals as poly people are fundamentally different. He wants someone to love forever, a new spouse, to be a part of our lives. He isn't interested in casual dating. He feels it is a "requirement" (for things to work) that I get along well and am good friends with any of his paramours. While I am bisexual and do have relationships with girls, we tend to go after different types... his lovers are rarely "my type" (if that makes sense). I enjoy poly more for the experience... the new relationship energy as they call it, getting to know a new person, forming a bond... it doesn't have to be lifelong for it to be meaningful in my mind. I am OK with external relationships that don't necessarily interact with my primary relationship, but my husband is not.

In light of this recent discovery, I don't foresee how we can continue to be poly. I am happy to "play nice" with his paramours, and even generally get along with them. It makes me happy to see him happy. However, when it comes down to us being "very good friends"... I don't think that can be "required" of someone. I can certainly try, but he likes women that I just don't have much in common with which makes a deep relationship more difficult. He is also considerably less "easy going" than I. I feel like it will be more difficult for me to find someone, whether they be a man or woman, that would put up with him in order for it to be a more "permanent" relationship. He likes to rant about things (generally giving off a cranky vibe), doesn't do anything to help out around the house (most people eventually have an issue with this as they see him taking advantage of me), and he is so particular with who he likes that my options in general are severely limited.

I have other concerns as well, outside of the poly debate. Our most recent poly relationship is with a couple and has lasted for many years, off and on. We are currently off. Our paramours expressed concerns to me about how my husband treats me. They aren't the only ones that have expressed that concern. It has been gently suggested that he verbally abuses me, and I shouldn't put up with it. I've done some research on the matter, and while it isn't obvious abuse in what I see as abuse (calling names, physically threatening me, etc.), there are definitely tendencies that could be seen as subtle verbal abuse. For example, threatening divorce when he doesn't get his way, frequent criticism of me (and a lack of positive affirmation), mean spirited "jokes" at my expense that aren't funny to me, turning blame around on me whenever we try to talk things out (he rarely admits any fault on his part), and generally blowing up about things that don't really matter. I've grown accustomed to walking on eggshells around him to avoid his outbursts.

I've thought a lot about divorce. I even told him once that I wanted a divorce after a particularly heavy argument, but I chickened out and we reconciled. My biggest issue with leaving him is finances... while I am the "bread winner" between the two of us, I can't afford to live on my income alone. I don't have parents, and my support system is very limited. I'm trying to rebuild the support system that has dwindled over the years, but I'm not there yet. Honestly I think my support system has dwindled because of him... complaining that he didn't like so-and-so, why am I talking to people online that don't care about me, etc. I think at this point I need something big, something life altering, to make the plunge into divorce and the single life.

We also have a 4 year old daughter, and generally he is a very loving father with her. I worry that if we divorce he will stop trying to be her father and she will lose him as a result. I have considered how his behavior affects her... and how I don't want our defective relationship to be her model for the future. Recently he has been diagnosed with low testosterone, and strangely enough his temper has improved considerably since he started his testosterone shots. Because his outbursts are less often, I don't have that same drive to leave... but the improvement has only been within the last year.

At this point, a lot of damage has been done. We have 14 years of history with his poor attitude, and I feel like the changes/improvements he has made are "too little, too late". There is also the huge unresolved issue that he still never helps me around the house, and I'm tired. I feel like a single parent. I work the overtime, do all the cooking/cleaning, do most of the parenting... I find myself thinking I would be happier without him.

I don't know if I want to continue this relationship, but I don't see how I can leave either. I feel stuck. One of our recent issues was related to finances, and we have finally started getting that under control. We are no longer relying on credit cards and have refinanced all our credit card debt into installment loans to aid with paying it off. I feel like I just need to wait it out a while longer so we can get on more secure financial footing... and the thought of leaving with all this debt terrifies me. At the same time, I'm not happy. I ask myself, do I want to put up with this for another 5-10 years? I haven't been able to answer that myself yet.

I've seen various threads with some that have gotten divorced, I welcome any thoughts or advice that you have. What was the final straw that finally got you to leave? Did it take you a long time to work up the nerve?
Has anyone stayed because they couldn't afford to leave? Or left, thinking they couldn't make it, but found a way?

I think maybe a lot of this is just getting everything off my chest... maybe I will feel better afterwards. There isn't an easy answer here. Maybe the only thing that will help me make a decision is time... time to see if things ever improve, time to accept what positive changes have occurred. We will see.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:11 PM   #2
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Hi Iggy *hugs* It's really lovely to see you again, even if the context is distressing. I don'y have much in the way of advice, or comparable experience to offer - others will, I know - but I can offer a hug
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:37 PM   #3
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Hmmm, that story sounds familiar, like maybe I saw it in a video here or something ...
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Iggy
My biggest issue with leaving him is finances... while I am the "bread winner" between the two of us, I can't afford to live on my income alone.
You may want to consider that if you are awarded primary custody--and as the mother, you almost certainly would be--then he would be ordered to pay child support, and you would not therefore be living on your income alone.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:05 PM   #5
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Thanks all.

Child support is a valid thought, but I have doubts that whatever would be ordered would actually be paid. He can't afford to live on his income alone either, and as they say "you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip". I don't think I would get much in that way, especially since I make the majority of the money between the two of us. He is also lacking a support system and I don't think he would have anywhere to go if I kicked him out.

He is actually currently paying on back child support from his first wife. One of the pieces I didn't get into earlier was that his wife had a child right around the time they separated. She got pregnant to try to keep the marriage going, and instead it caused more strife and contributed to their eventual divorce. The child has since been adopted by his ex-wife's now-husband, so he isn't accruing any further child support. However, he does have back child support he pays and the judge ordered him to pay about half what he should have paid due to his income lacking. He is going to pay on that for several more years at least. I don't think he can pay any more than what he is now, so regardless of what a judge might order as far as child support I'd likely not see any of it. I don't want him to go to jail for lack of payment either, so I'm not even sure how that would play out...
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:54 PM   #6
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Yes, first of all.
I've witnessed your basic outline and complaints playing over and over, only different details. Not enough money, too much debt, making you feel trapped is the most common reason for staying in hell. Maybe that's why so many lottery winners break up.
Kids are the second, and never an easy answer to that one. Is it better to grow up with one loving parent, than grow up in a toxic atmosphere. Not an easy answer to that because of the variables. Some kids can adjust, some can't, but should never be used as a weapon, a threat.

I can't help you with getting up the courage to do it as in my cases both left, so I must be the dick. One with the support of the local Jehovah's Witnesses, and one with a paramore who lived in the boondocks and likely murdered his previous wife.
Neither made me unhappy, but cleaning up the mess and their debts was a struggle.

When you threatened divorce and didn't go through with it did he try to talk you out of it? Act contrite? Play nice for awhile? Sounds like the situation getting better isn't likely, but even if he straightens up, can you bury past transgressions? And if he doesn't can you put up with it?

I'm not being much help other than giving you things to ponder which you've probably pondered ad infinitum. But best wishes for a workable solution.
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:54 PM   #7
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I'm sorry you are going through this, Iggy.
I'll just offer that you should speak with an atty specifically regarding your financial situation.
Dunno bout KS laws, but if you make more than him, you may owe him support.
Google the crap outta this on a PRIVATE computer.
Also, there is life on the other side of divorce and it can be a happy one.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:32 AM   #8
Iggy
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Originally Posted by classicman View Post
I'm sorry you are going through this, Iggy.
I'll just offer that you should speak with an atty specifically regarding your financial situation.
Dunno bout KS laws, but if you make more than him, you may owe him support.
Google the crap outta this on a PRIVATE computer.
Also, there is life on the other side of divorce and it can be a happy one. -on:
Thanks. When I get to the point where I'm ready for divorce I will definitely consult a lawyer.

I don't make *that* much more than Mr. Iggy... Maybe 25-35% more each year. I plan to try for primary custody of our daughter. I already do everything for her now... Drop her off and pick her.up from daycare, bath-time and bedtime routines, etc. I'm not positive, but I think as long as I have primary custody I don't have to pay him anything... But I also don't know if he would be told to pay me. He definitely wouldn't get alimony because he has held down a job and the pay discrepancy isn't ginormous.

I don't have a way to consult an attorney until I've made my choice to leave.... Finances are shared and he would find out if I paid someone. If I'm ready to leave I can delay him finding out for a short time, but he would definitely find out.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Yes, first of all.
I've witnessed your basic outline and complaints playing over and over, only different details. Not enough money, too much debt, making you feel trapped is the most common reason for staying in hell. Maybe that's why so many lottery winners break up.
Kids are the second, and never an easy answer to that one. Is it better to grow up with one loving parent, than grow up in a toxic atmosphere. Not an easy answer to that because of the variables. Some kids can adjust, some can't, but should never be used as a weapon, a threat.

I can't help you with getting up the courage to do it as in my cases both left, so I must be the dick. One with the support of the local Jehovah's Witnesses, and one with a paramore who lived in the boondocks and likely murdered his previous wife.
Neither made me unhappy, but cleaning up the mess and their debts was a struggle.

When you threatened divorce and didn't go through with it did he try to talk you out of it? Act contrite? Play nice for awhile? Sounds like the situation getting better isn't likely, but even if he straightens up, can you bury past transgressions? And if he doesn't can you put up with it?

I'm not being much help other than giving you things to ponder which you've probably pondered ad infinitum. But best wishes for a workable solution.
He didn't really say much... Though he listened to my issues more carefully. We were arguing over the phone at work when I said it so I didn't speak to him about it until several hours later. When he got home he was distant towards me, but we didn't say much as our daughter needed tending to. Once she was settled, he basically asked me calmly if I meant what I had said and asked where should we go from here. He didn't seem phased by it. Didn't seem sad or upset... just resigned. I told him I wasn't sure what I wanted... Andbafter discussing it we came to a compromise on the issue. He hadn't been willing to compromise earlier, which was the last straw for me and prompted my statement that I wanted a divorce. I explained to him that I didn't want to be in a marriage where my opinions weren't important and weren't taken into consideration. It was anticlimactic after the argument we had earlier.

It was interesting because he commented that I shouldn't "threaten" divorce (usually he was the one threatening). I agreed, but the big difference for me was that it wasn't a threat when I said it. He would say things like "delete your Facebook or we are getting a divorce, your choice". I just told him I wanted a divorce... No ultimatum, just a statement. Since I backed out on that statement I could see how he felt it was a threat. However, I honestly didn't expect divorce when I said it.
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:18 AM   #10
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Hi Iggy, I used to be a Cellar regular years ago - not so much the pas few years - and I don't thinks our paths have crossed here before.
I 'm 56, and have just separated with my husband after 20 years. No kids, but a farm. I came to the Relationships room of the Cellar to ask for advice on my situation. Mine is different to yours, but OMG, so many parallels. And the same feeling of being stuck.

Before write up my own thread, I want to ask - how did things go? I see this all happened last June.

Are you okay? Are you coping? Not just financially and logistically, but emotionally?

I'm at the south western tip of Australia, but I read through this thread and felt a flood of compassion and empathy for you

I hope you see this and we hear from you.

Tinker / Sandy
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
Thanks. When I get to the point where I'm ready for divorce I will definitely consult a lawyer.
I think it might be helpful to consult with a family law attorney before you get to that point. A competent attorney would be able to advise you on issues you may not have even considered. The good news is, there are plenty of attorneys that don't charge for an initial consultation.

And, if you can find one, I highly recommend going with a "certified specialist."

Quote:
attorneys who have met or exceeded rigorous certification standards relating to experience, continuing legal education and integrity while demonstrating an in-depth understanding of the law in their specialty area
I used to be an administrator for the California State Bar Legal Specialization program, working with family law and taxation law attorneys. If someone can make it through the certification process (very lengthy and difficult to achieve), you can be assured that the certified attorney is the best of the best. Honest, ethical, experienced, and wise.

Not every state has this program, but the National Board Of Trial Advocacy also certifies attorneys in specific areas of law. I see that there is one such certified family law attorney in Kansas . . .

http://www.paprotalaw.com/practice_areas.html

I hope this helps.
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