I met my ex at age 5 she was 8 at the time. After a mutual friend's wedding, we connected strongly, and began dating her. I have to say that I was barely in college and just didn't know how to date. It was a summer fling and ended at my request. She is a person that has a lot of drive when things don't go her way.
After about 6 months of no contact, she called me up to see if I wanted to meet her at a restaurant in the city in which I was going to school. She was there on business for her father, while she was on the job hunt after she graduated. I couldn't deny her, she was up there and I had been womanless for about 3 months. We had a good night and we stayed in contact a little bit. It was always weird with her, the less I paid attention to her and thrived on my independence the more she wanted me. I get a phone call at the beginning of my sophomore year, with her proclaiming that she had applied and got accepted to grad school. Well, there went my college career. For the next 3 years I was essentially connected at the hip with her. She was a huge control freak, she would never let me drive and always spoke for us in everything we did. I lost who I was, no more fraternity parties, no more hunting, no more roadtrips...just her and I. She was always feeling very left out, if I went to have a drink with a friend, without her company. I warmed up to the idea eventually, it was nice to have somebody to cook meals, help with laundry, and be intimate with. After a while, I did fall for her, after months of struggling with the notion. I felt obligated to love her as she moved 9 hours from home to be with me. It got really comfortable and the love she gave was very reassuring, it felt unconditional or maybe desperate. Our talks were very open, almost too open. I really hadn't been as experienced in love as she had. I practically lost my virginity to her. So the depth of not knowing anything about the subject was very new. She taught me a lot. After awhile I felt very threatened by all this and let her know about it. I was on my way out until my brother died in a car cash. I went through hell. Began to drink a lot and was pretty broke up about it. Shortly there after, I became very dependent on her and flipped a switch. I ended up proposing to her.
We were married after 5 years of dating. After college I took a job and was fired. After two other unsuccessful stints working for companies that were either downsizing or nearly bankrupt, her father offered me a job. I took it immediately and relocated to our hometown. Life was great, we had our first of 3 kids a sweet little girl. As time went by we began to drink quite heavily on the weekends because our daughter was a very restless baby. Things at the job began to get hostile between the secretary and myself. She was jealous of me cutting into her retirement, and me getting bonuses all the time for Christmas and work well done. After putting up the b/s the job began to get less interesting. At one point in time, her father suffered a massive heart attack, and I ran the office for several months. We had 2 boys during this time (almost Irish Twins 16 months apart). Life was really spinning out of control. So much unrest in the house, nearly dysfunctional. Fights all the time. Yelling and screaming. Depression set in with me, because I couldn't believe what was going on. She became detached about 3 years ago or so she said. She blames me and my hobbies (golf, hunting, and watching sports). I blamed her because she never showed any affection. It was like she got me and I became less of a prize. So, about in January shortly after our 10th Anniversary, she began talking with a friend from high school, who had just lost a wife due to suicide. She was open about it and quite frankly I didn't approve. I thought it would calm down but it never did. After our son's 4th birthday, she went over to his house and spent 8 hours talking about our dysfunctional marriage and how unhappy she was. She thought that it was perfectly normal to hop in to her SUV and drive to his house eat dinner and talk about our problems to some guy I didn't know. The next weekend she had a girls weekend, and they met up at a bar where she cut her chin on the toiletpaper roll. She was then rushed to the hospital by him and he stayed and waited for her to take her back to her hotel. Apparently something happened, because she said that she felt vulnerable and admitted to doing something with him or at least used him as an excuse to put the final nail in the coffin. I lost control and restrained her then let up and thought to myself "what are you doing".
The next day I was forced to leave and she said that she'd like a divorce. Her dad then laid me off with 2 months pay, which a good chunk went to paying the mortgage, child care, and bills. At that time, I was in a state of shock. I looked for 2 months and finally found something, however, it is about 300 miles away from my former life. I miss my kids so desperately. I have quit drinking because it would only do harm to me. I live in an apartment with a roommate, because I was having terrible anxiety (used to live in 3000 sq ft house). My finances are not that bad, but my mental health is not great. What am I going to do? I just want to die.
Somebody please help me. I am in so much depression. I can barely focus on my work and live a productive life. She is living a great life and is reminding me everyday on facebook. It would be so much easier if I didn't have kids with her. I could accept my lot in life and move on. She now has the house, the car, a boyfriend, and my kids.
I fear somebody is going to jump in and raise them, while I'm trying to make sense to all this and it hurts that I can only be in their lives' on the weekends when I have to drive down to Houston from Dallas. When I see them, all I want to do is cry. Will I ever make escape this depression?
The problem is I need this job and it's the only thing that could give me stability, a possible chance to live a decent life and keep up with the child support and medical insurance. I can't just up and leave, I have nothing to go to. The support I get from colleagues and management at work is worth it's weight in gold. I can do it, it's very hard, but if it's going to get me to the next phase in my life, as a professional, and as a father, then I can't really go back. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. I got a $10,000 bonus to move up here and if I leave, I have to give it all back. I have been nursing that money as supplemental income as needed. I haven't been a man nor have made a living independently since I was hired by her father. I have made good strides, but I am struggling to adapt. What is real and what isn't seems to run together.
Besides, if I moved back, I would have to move in with my folks and although they wanted me to take this job, they warned me that I could not move back and stay with them, my options are not good, no place to go...and no job. I am so lost and am trying to make sense of all this.
This woman reminds me of the eternal optimist. She puts on this always happy front. She is generally a happy person, almost to a fault. It's quite annoying and I just hate it. I am at the lowest point of my life and she is making it through o.k. My problem is I feel like my future is bleak. I'm just so lost.
[You aren't going to like this. Keep in mind I'm on your side. Stop F@C&ing up.]
1. First you write that there were "no more fraternity parties, no more hunting, no more roadtrips;" then you say she distanced herself from you because "[s]he blames me and my hobbies (golf, hunting, and watching sports)." Stuff like this makes the rest of what you write hard to follow. Except the depression thing. You are confused.
2. "I practically lost my virginity to her." Practically? What does that mean? Anal but not vaginal sex? Oral but not vaginal? Never mind.
3. How did this "I was forced to leave" happen? She said it, and you simply obeyed? Why is that? What about the fact that you'd lived there as much as she had, and you contributed an equivalent amount of genetic material to your kids? How was it that your right to live there, and more importantly parent there, was secondary to hers?
4. No matter how loudly you protest it, your mistake by leaving the house is an Epic Fail for your kids. You want to get out of your funk? The hugs of your kids are the best medicine. You are being incredibly foolish and short-sighted by prioritizing money over your proximity to the kids as critical to stability in your life.
5. Best part of your posts is te strength you demonstrated when you quit drinking. That's the kind of strength you need for the other elements in this difficult situation. You had the balls to do this; you therefore have the balls to take the other necessary steps to get back on track. Quit doubting yourself.
6. Agree that you need to seek professional mental health care. But you need to move back to where your kids live and figure out the rest. Again, no matter how loudly you resist, you are still wrong. Sorry if you don't like it. Tough $#!+.
7. Agree you need to cut out your FB stalking. Where's your dignity, man? Come on, shake it off, that's all her strategy to make you feel less of a man than you are. Don't let her convince you that her campaign against you is factual.
8. If you actually "fear somebody is going to jump in and raise them," then your first priority should naturally be to return home and start being in their lives again. If not, then you don't appear to mean what you say on this point.
9. Don't cry in front of your kids. Unless they achieve something awesome, I mean. This is the time to suck it up and be strong. They need you to be strong. And they need you to be nearby too.
10. If the "problem is I need this job and it's the only thing that could give me stability" then you are saying that it is a priority over being there for your kids. I suggest you are starkly wrong.
11. This part of your post really hacked me off: "I can't just up and leave, I have nothing to go to." Then please tell me WTF are your kids, nothing? You are smoking some serious crack.
12. Another part was equally disgusting: "Sometimes you have to make sacrifices." Again you make clear your priorities in life. Sickening, man, totally vomit-inducing. You need to WTFU, bro.
13. Hate to say it, but your parents suck if they refuse to help you if you move back in order to pick up your responsibility again as a father to your kids (i.e., their grandkids). I know it's not their job to bail you out, but they seem callous and heartless for saying this to you.
14. You have no right to think about dating. You need to fix your life and your parenting time before you are ready to date. The five-knuckle shuffle is your friend.
"Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth."
Sounds like its as simple as choosing your job (replaceable) or kids. Come to accept the advice above, or forever be without your babies (but you will have your job, and support from management, so thats something).
The courts in Texas had nothing to go on financially so they had to go by my previous salary for child support. I made a big effort into finding something close by, but it never materialized. You have alot nerve doubting my commitment to my children. I was in no position to collect unemployment because her father really didn't need probable cause to let me go, especially since he hired me as a favor to his daughter, by moving us so she could teach at a very good school district. He didn't even need to give me the severance package.
I don't really know what choice I had in the matter, especially in this recession. My parents took me in for two months and said that I needed to take the job and not to come back if I can't cut it. My parents are going through a rough stretch financially, due to my dad's health, he is dying from a failing liver brought on by Type 2 diabetes. So go ahead and make me feel even more like ****. I did what I could with what I could, and it's hard. I'm looking at this as an opportunity to learn and develop a more into my field of work so I can move and be more marketable, there are some opportunities that were thrown my way once I get some more experience under my belt. If you think this is selfish, I guess that's on you. In Texas and I'm sure in any other state, for that matter, you have to spend thousands to get Child Support lowered and I just don't have the money, so I'm stuck. Just kind of hard to process such huge life changes (new job, move, and missing my kids as a result of divorce). Real simple and all I wanted was a little support.
Thanks to those of you that offered up your support.
You took Trevor's advice too lightly. He is supporting you. We understand what you are going through. Many guys on this board have faced the same decision.
Trevor's post comes down to you feeling really unhappy, and he rightfully posted the way to alleviate that unhappiness is to change your situation. Not in 5 years when you feel you have 'developed' more within your job/skills. The time to alleviate that unhappiness is now. And the way for most dads (here) to alleviate the unhappiness is to spend as much time with their kids as possible.
Your decisions have separated you from your kids. You made a decision (which is perfectly logical, although flawed in the eyes of most of us here) to follow the money, to be the provider for your kids (and yes, I know there is a court order). That, my friend, is the crux of your unhappiness. Money does not buy the love your kids give you. Be the poorest man in the world, but if you have your kids in your life meaningfully, you will be the richest man in the world.
Re-evaluate your situation. You have made choices, although you present them as non-choices. They were your choices. Time to re-choose, or to resign yourself to being an ATM for the X, and not seeing your kids.
Seriously, I am glad I am not in your shoes. I wish you luck, and hope you can find your way out of the morass you now find yourself in.
The meaning of life is Happiness. What makes you happy? - Dalai Lama
For a more peaceful life, live the serenity prayer.
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