Dear Aunt Becky,

I hesitated to ask this question, because deep down, I think I know the answer, I just don’t want to believe it.

My husband of 6+ years has developed a noticeably heavier drinking habit lately than he has had in the 9+ years that I have known him. We have a 4.5 year old son together. I love my husband, but the Dr.Jekyll/Mr. Hyde syndrome is wearing down my nerves, my energy, and my self-esteem.

He has begun to curse at me in front of our son, tell me that I am not allowed to eat dinner and then throw it away. He has threatened to forcibly have sex with me. He’s told me that he will have me committed. I suffer from anxiety and depression for the last 3.5 years but am stable and compliant on my meds, seeing my counselor regularly. He tells me that I am fat, stupid, lazy, a lousy housekeeper, a bad mother…

I work 6 nights a week every week, do almost all of the housekeeping, the laundry and ironing, most of the child care when our son is not in daycare, and pay all the bills.

I am also trying to go to college. I love my husband, and here and there I dream of happily-ever-after – which he says is fairy-tale bullshit. “This is what marriage is” he says. I don’t want my little boy to grow up without his dad, but I don’t want him to grow up LIKE him even more. I am thinking that I should leave. Take my son and move out.

Part of me wants to have more class about it than his last wife did (surprised?), part of me wants to take everything but the house and let him have back a piece at a time until he gives me what I want: full custody. I think he loves our son, but he has a cruel streak and refers to him as a “son of a bitch” or a “motherfucker” within his hearing. I do not think that he is good for our son in the state he’s in now with the drinking and the verbal abuse and bullying. I am scared: scared of him, scared that I can’t do it, scared I’ll cave if he gets sober and then he’ll go right back to it.

I did leave him once before, but didn’t make it a week, and things weren’t nearly this bad then. My parents and sister will support me emotionally if I leave, and have offered to help financially where they can, but I do not feel right asking them for money. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how this happened to me.

Please help me, Aunt Becky.

———————

Abuse refers to harmful or injurious behavior to another human being

Verbal Abuse: constant name-calling, labeling, ridicule, making fun of, mocking, spoken threats, and regular bullying. Verbal abuse can occur at schools, in homes or at the workplace. It can be very hard to prove verbal abuse as it’s often hard to obtain evidence, even though it’s incredibly damaging. The victim can be told that it’s “all in their head” or that it’s “a joke” and made to feel that the constant attacks are really their own fault or their own problem. This can lead to long-term psychiatric damage to their self-esteem and self-image.

(information taken from Abuse Resource Page of Band Back Together)

Domestic Violence Resource Page on Band Back Together

Prankster, I’m so sorry that you’re in this position. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY deserves to be abused, and your husband is abusing you. You do not deserve this. If any ONE of my Pranksters reading this is in the same position as the writer, know that I am addressing you, as well:

YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS.

The subject line was “is this what marriage is supposed to be?” and my answer is, of course, FUCK NO. Marriage is about love and more importantly, about partnership. Marriage isn’t always good or always easy, but it is never, ever supposed to be like this. Ever.

Prankster, please get out of there. Please go. You mentioned that you have family that will support you and that’s full of the awesome. Here is a list of state-by-state resources available to victims of domestic abuse. At the bottom of this post, I’ve listed other abuse hotlines.

I was in an abusive relationship, too. There are a lot of us out there who have been there before and have gotten out. We’re on the other side and we want you to join us. We’re here for you here, and more importantly, I think that Band Back Together has an awesome network of support, too. You’re not alone. We’ve all got your back and you can do this.

Pranksters, help me out here. Help me help this Prankster.

Much love to you, Prankster. Please be safe.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

National Child Abuse Hotline

1-800-4-A-CHILD

National Sexual Assault Hotline

1.800.656.HOPE

Elder Abuse (state hotlines vary):

Visit National Center on Elder Abuse for a directory of state hotlines

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

73 Responses to Go Ask Aunt Becky

  • MistySpring says:

    I am MORE than pissed to hear this! (Not at the writer) Fuck that asshole of a “husband”. No one what-so-ever deserves to be treated the way he’s treating her OR their child. I don’t think this “man” (I use that term loosely) truly knows what LOVE is. I have worn the same shoes she’s wearing (except, luckily, I wasn’t married to the douchebag), and if I could go to the top of a mountain shouting “LEAVE, PRANKSTER, LEAVE!” within earshot of her, I would. It’s “men” like this that don’t serve to have someone care for them. I’m not sure what went wrong in his life or what he has stuck up his ass to make him act that way, but I can tell you one VERY OBVIOUS thing, [writer] you’re worth more than that and all you need is your son, family and those close to you that care for you. Trust me, the right man will come along and show you that fairytale ending… and it the path to get there won’t be paved with bullshit and dried up semen. Girl, if you live in Georgia, I’ll even help you get out. I’m serious. Please don’t hesitate to contact me. No matter what anyone tells you, you ARE beautiful! If you don’t believe me, ask your little boy :) I wish you the best of luck and hope that your situation improves drastically and quickly.

  • bellaleanne says:

    I hate to hear of someone going through this.
    I have certainly been in an abusive relationship before, but what this woman is going through is far beyond what I had to endure, because her innocent child is subjected to it.
    If you’re out there reading, know this; you are worth so much more than this. Please get out. It sounds like you are an extremely devoted wife and mother, and the value of what you do each day is immeasurable. You should be treated as if you are worthy of love and respect, because you most certainly are. Not only that, you are intelligent enough to understand that your child does not deserve to be given the impression that this is what a marriage looks like. Your child will only learn to respect you by watching how others treat you.
    I don’t want to preach, because it took me years to get away from someone when there WASN’T a child involved, and there is no way for me to truly understand what you’re going through. But I want you to know that you can get out of this situation. I am so glad to know that you have support, should you decide to make that decision.
    Aunt Becky, thank you so much for posting this and providing resources. Rarely do we find someone who is so ridiculously humorous and entertaining, who also has such wonderful depth and understanding. What you do with your websites is nothing short of astounding, and though I rarely (see: never) comment, I am amazed by what you do. Thank you for every word you have ever written.
    Holy lord that was beyond sappy. Whatever. That’s fo’ real, yo!

  • Twitch says:

    I was there. I dealt with it and let him fuck up my head for six years. It took so much out of me to do what I needed to do, but this is no way to live. This isn’t life. This is a slow miserable death. And if this isn’t how you want your son to behave, you have to take him away from this. Children are parrots, they learn their basic social skills in the home and he is learning that it is okay to treat people this way. If your “husband” does it and you accept it, what else is he to think? Your family is there for you. If it were one of them in this situation and you were able to help them, would you rather them stay with the bastard just because they didn’t want to have to rely on you? Seriously. Leave. Now. I did it while he was at work. My mom and brother drove from MO to TX to help me pack (they did all the packing and moving, I was a wreck – but seriously, I would NEVER take back that day.) I met my now husband that same day. I had no idea marriage could be so grand. You can do this. You must.

  • GingerB says:

    Look, I have worked in the criminal justice system for more than 15 years. This behavior will not change unless he is forced to change it, say for example, by a court, and even that has a poor success rate unless the abuser wants to change. If he is abusive to you around your son, your son will himself become an abuser or a victim – you are dooming him to a similar way of life. And, if he calls his own son those names, you can bet he is pretty far along the abuse-o-meter – this is not actually minor stuff. Threatening rape in not minor stuff. Does he hurt your pets, hide your keys, control your money? This is going to get worse. This is an easy call – you have to get rid of him and you need a plan that includes an evaluation of your safety while it happens. Call a professional who deals with this specific topic, maybe the YWCA or the police victim advocates, and so on. You deserve a better life, you owe it to your son to let him grow up withouth thinking that his father is a “man” and you need to stay safe while you take charge of the path your life will take, and it will be a better one. ASK FOR HELP.

  • Lynette says:

    And sure as hell don’t let him say “Oh, it’s just the alcohol talking.” Alcohol does many things, like lower your inhibitions – that just means it’s *easier* for him to be an asshole. The asshole part was already there. *YOU* can not change him – he has to want to change himself, and the kind of crap he’s pulling? Shows he doesn’t want to change, he wants control – control of you, control of everything about you, and that is 8235097152975907% not cool.

    If you can’t get out to protect yourself, get out to protect your child. Having been that kid, DO IT, because I’ve been pretty much out of that for 20 years, and even though I recognize the things that I do because of what happened? It’s hard for me to not react like that scared kid. Get out for your kid, if you can’t do it for you. Your kid will thank you for it down the road.

  • Andra says:

    Oh Prankster, my heart cries for you! I have been where you are now, minus the child. It is not going to get better… only worse…. You have not done anything to deserve to be treated this way. Neither has your son.

    I was married to someone that hid his drinking while we were dating, it showed its ugly head shortly after. And I KNEW I had made a huge mistake. I could not admit it to anyone. I was ashamed. And I stayed. I was 19, coming from an alcoholic family, and into this hell, and I was too proud, and too stubborn to admit I had made such a huge mistake. And I was scared. And up until this very moment, I have never said that to anyone… So, YAY me! I stayed, for 15 years. While he drank every single day, all day, and all night. He took 4 beers to bed with him, in case he woke up, and for before he got out of bed in the morning. He was verbally, and emotionally abusive. He refused to touch me, in any way… I thought I was a horrible person, that I must have done something to deserve this…. I didnt, but thats how I attempted to rationalize things… Getting out was the single best thing I have ever done for myself.. I have a wonderful marriage now, with someone that loves me,, And not a moment goes by, that I do not know how he feels…. And that is an incredible thing!

    Marriage is supposed to a partnership…. Between two people that love and respect each other.. And are willing to tackle life`s ups and downs together, as a team.. To support each other in the good times, and the bad…. To be there for the other, to love…….. to laugh, to cry, to comfort… Marriage is not supposed to be about power trips.. And your son is watching, and he will remember….. He will remember your pain, and the way your husband/rat bastard is treating you….

    If I could summon the strength, as have so many others you will find here, then Prankster…. PLEASE…. PLEASE… pretty please.. look deep inside, You know the answer already…. You are not alone… ever… You can write to anyone here… We are all willing to stand by your side… Help you to stand, when you dont think you can even sit up….. You deserve so much better!

  • ScienceGeek says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I can’t speak from personal experience, but my brother-in-law recently broke up with his de facto wife because she had become an alcoholic. He might love her, he may have had a lot of dreams that are now in ruins, but he simply could not live with the person she had become.
    Thing is, even though he’s broken-hearted, he’s much… lighter. That’s the only way I can describe it. The weight of endless recriminations, being constantly ‘on guard’, it’s all gone. He might not be happy now, but I have no doubt that he will be.
    I think you will be, too.

  • MannyRee says:

    I had to leave a husband I loved for similar reasons and it was hard, yo. I wanted to go back so many times. I didn’t have the money to get my own place, I didn’t have marketable skills, and as supportive as my family was, they couldn’t afford me, either.

    The best advice I heard was to just keep in mind where you’ll be six months from now.

    I finally left in December. I lived in hotels to hide for weeks. I stayed with family for seven months. The biggest relief was when I finally got my own place. The best part was how great it felt to step out of the situation and get a clear view of how bad it really was.

    You have a job, and you’re going to school? Things will be hard for you if you leave, but please trust me on this — THEY WILL BE BETTER. It does get harder before it gets easier, but when it’s easier, girl it is AMAZING. I can’t describe to you what it’s like to live for years walking on eggshells and then to finally be released from it, but I can promise you that it’s worth the hard part.

    Be strong, you can do this. As far as asking for money? Don’t feel bad about it. I have had to accept so much help over the last year. It’s been a huge blow to my pride. Think about how you would feel if you were the one wanting to help…wouldn’t you want to help you? Would you feel good if you helped someone in your situation get out of it? And if so, please let your friends and family feel that by helping you right now, and then, with the freedom that comes from not being in that situation anymore, you can become successful and pay it forward or pay it back.

    Good luck. (((hugs)))

  • Shelli says:

    Leave. NOW! He may not (or may have) not hurt you or your child physically, yet, but it’s just a matter of time. Get out of there before that happens. Really. The guilt you will feel if something bad happens to him is more than painful. You can do this. Your family wants to help you. Trust me.

  • Halala Mama says:

    Please leave. He is going to hurt you, rape you, or at very least continue to tear you down and belittle you. Please trust your family. Use your community resources. There are shelters where they are experts at helping women become independent, can hide and protect you, and support you while you heal and decide where YOU want to go next.

  • I’m so sorry you are suffering right now. You and your son do not deserve this. You have a family that is willing to help you out of this. Please let then help you.

  • I’m so sorry you are suffering right now. You and your son do not deserve this. You have a family that is willing to help you out of this. Please let then help you.

  • michelle says:

    When you are truly DONE being in this position, go to your county’s family court and get a full stay away order of protection. IF you are truly Done, you will be able to enforce it. That means filing a police report every time he violates the order. Calling the police if he comes in to the house. If he violates the order, he will be arrested. In my state (NY), if an Order of Protection is violated twice, it’s a felony. Jail time.

    Both you and your son are the victims of domestic violence. I know it’s hard to swallow. It was hard for me to swallow. You are living in fear in your own home. That’s not OK.

    These are the steps I took when my husband was taken down by mental illness and alcoholism. He never called me names, or yelled at the kids, or raped me. And I knew he truly loved us the entire time. But he refused help and he became psychotic and was potentially dangerous. I did what I had to do to protect myself and my kids.

    I was past the “maybe he’ll…” and the “but….” I was done. And I realized I deserve a peaceful life and a peaceful home. My kids deserve a peaceful life and a peaceful home too.

    You sound like a strong, competent woman. You will be able to take care of yourself. Your husband will have to take care of HIMSELF and take responsibility for his alcoholism and his behavior.

    You have to make your own happily ever after. Regardless of this guy or any other guy. Happily ever after comes from within you.

    email me if you’d like
    michepatrick@gmail.com

  • Maria says:

    You already know, get the hell out!! You and your son deserve far better. Get help and get out!

  • melinda says:

    I love this line,

    “There are a lot of us out there who have been there before and have gotten out. We’re on the other side and we want you to join us”

    ‘the other side’ – you hit the nail on the head. You have to wade through a lot of shit but once you get to the other side you’ll never regret it.

  • MamaCas says:

    A marriage consists of 2 people who love, respect, and protect each other….2 people who feel like friends, lovers, partners, and teammates. I go through my life knowing that, if every single other person on this earth were to turn against me, my husband will be there to say, “They’re all IDIOTS.”

    YOU don’t deserve the situation you’re in. YOU deserve to be loved and cherished. Your SON deserves to be loved and cherished.

    Here’s one way to think about it…..The next 5 years might suck a LOT and you might question every single move you make. But, depending on which decision you make, the end result could be very different.

    IF you leave – You’ll struggle. You’ll question everything. You’ll probably be angry. You’ll cry a lot. But, 5 years from now, you could be a strong, independent woman with a strong, independent son. You and your son could be living a much more stable life. You could be HAPPY.

    IF you stay – You’ll struggle. You’ll question everything. You’ll cry a lot and be angry. The difference is that, over the next 5 years, your husband may escalate to physical violence against you. Eventually, he may start abusing your son. 5 years from now could find you both severely beaten….or worse.

    Accept all the help you can get and please take your son out of this mess. You’ll be glad you did.

  • Emily says:

    Aunt Becky, please give this Prankster my email if she feels comfortable talking to me. I have been on both sides of this – living with an alcoholic husband, and seeking and guiding him through his recovery.

    YES, you need to leave, girl. Don’t let your son see this. Put plans in place NOW. Start tucking money away. Take his name off of any asset you can. Have your family start a bank account for you in someone else’s name. Honey, I did all of this and then some in prep for my departure. I knew if he wasn’t willing to change, I was going to change the situation.

    Does he have family or anyone who would be willing to talk with BOTH of you about him getting treatment? If not, the Pranksters are right – you’re going to die a slow and very miserable death. Hang in there girl… and I’m praying for help for you. Email me if you like.

    Emily

  • HereWeGoAJen says:

    You are deserving of better treatment than this. Your son is worth more than this. Neither you or your son deserve this. Please leave. We all support you.

  • Brooke says:

    Please leave. If you can’t do it for you, then do it for you child. Please don’t teach your child that this is okay. Do what you need to do and get the heck out of there.

  • paige says:

    I was their I was like you, my boyfriend was more physical I got kicked, pushed, Punched, held down and screamed at daily. I had horrid panic attacks and my weight went upwards of 400 plus pounds. Just from being miserable and unhappy and being told I was fat lazy & crazy hourly. I was not aloud to work and my family was not super supportive at least thats what I thought at the time.

    So their I was a 400+ lb woman with a 1 & 3 year old that had not worked in years. All I had was my 2 kids and horrid self esteem. I left with our clothes and that was it. I took nothing and just left. I lost 70lbs in 3 months got a job and did what I had to. I never looked back.

    I met my husband 2 years later and he is an awesome dad to my boys the kind that plays with them and teaches them to catch a ball and be men. My boyfriend only hurt my kids (not phiscaly I would have killed him) emotionally and I hated every second of it. I left for my sons, I wanted a better for them.

    Just be strong you can do it.

  • Dana says:

    It’s been almost a year now since I left a similar situation (sans the drinking). It took me 5 years – 5 years of believing I didn’t deserve better – 5 years of allowing him to systematically “break” my now 14 year old son – before I found the courage to go.

    It’s a horrible place to be, but once you realize that what you love is the person you know he *could* be, and not the person he *is*, you begin to believe enough in yourself that you can make the move.

    Hang in there. Stay safe. Know in your heart that leaving doesn’t mean you’ve given up on, or failed, your marriage. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your son.

  • pam says:

    Dearest Prankster,

    Please leave now!!! You say you hate to ask for financial help from friends and relatives. Please swallow your pride and DO IT! AND DO IT NOW! When you are on the other side you can Pay It Forward.

    You owe this to your son. Don’t let this cycle continue. Only you can stop it.

  • Hug your baby, hold his hand, and walk out that front door with your head held high. Never look back. You owe it to your son, to give him the best life that you possibly can. You do NOT deserve what is happening to you, and you do NOT need to take ownership of it. But you absolutely MUST provide a safe, loving, nurturing environment for YOUR child. So very many of us have been there…..so very many of us have struggled right along with you…..through the fighting, the taunting, the abusive language, the shame, the fear, the sleepless nights, the tightening muscles in your throat, the growing pit in your stomach, the constant worry, and the neverending tears. AND — so very many of us are here on the other side, just like Aunt Becky said, we are here, and we are waiting for you. We have suffered, and we have recovered, and we have lived to see another sunrise and yet another sunset. And so will you…..

  • Leslie says:

    Dearest Prankster, I don’t think I can offer you any better advice than everyone above me, but I wanted to tell you I’ll be thinking about you. If you can’t leave for yourself, please do it for your son. I’ve been on my own now for almost 5 years. It hasn’t been easy, but when I look at my own son, it’s validation that the hard times have all been worth it. I love what Mamacas said above – she is completely right about the end result. We’re all here to support you.

  • hannie says:

    When it comes down to “I want to kill myself because this jerk I took wedding vows with for all eternity isn’t only drinking to support the alcohol industry, but takes it out on the kids and me”, it’s time to take a serious look at your situation and swallow your pride and get the heck out. If not for you, for your baby that wants to see Mommy each and every morning in prime and pristine and not “the crap beaten out of” condition. Your baby doesn’t deserve that, you don’t either. Leave however you can and hey, my mom paid for plane tickets home for my kids and me to ensure we got out safely and in one piece.

  • Camille says:

    Dear Prankster;
    I can add little more because of the wise comments that have preceded mine. But sweet lady, please listen to me on this. You are carrying such a heavy load, but that only proves that you are STRONG and capable enough to make this last step. Walk away from this man. The situation is NOT going to get better. This man is NOT going to change for you or your child. This man,left unchecked, will distroy you and your child. Please accept this fact. The other Pranksters and I have been in your shoes. Your life can get better and it will. Start today.

  • Tracy says:

    Dear Prankster,

    My dad was the alcoholic, the verbally and mentally abusive one in my family. From the time I was a little girl, I lived in fear of my father. Let me clarify something, deep down he was a good man. Under the alcohol he was a big Teddy bear–but the Teddy bear was constantly under the effects of hard drinking, making him a mean and scary man. From the way you write, it sounds as if you have the same conflict within yourself; you see the good in him and that is what you are holding onto.

    Honey, don’t stay. By staying you are telling him you will put up with his behavior. Though it may not seem like it now, your leaving is the best thing for him; in that it will be a wake-up call (hopefully). YOU, on the other hand, deserve so. much. better. I don’t know you at all, but I do know that NO ONE should have to live that life. As for your son, he is already growing up without a father. Looking back now I see that although I lived with my dad, I have few memories ofhim being home–the memories I do have a mostly ones I’d like never to think of again. I feel as if I never had a dad. Please, please get out. Also, find an Al-Anon meeting to attend. Al-Anon goes hand-in-hand with AA–only it’s for family members of alcoholics. You will be amazed at how much it helps. I promise.

    Good luck to you. Please update Aunt Becky on what happens–we would all like to know.

  • Becca says:

    As a domestic violence survivor, I cried reading this. Please leave, please leave now! My son and I survived 7 years of horrific abuse before I was able (read willing) to leave. If he has not hit you or your son yet, he will. Verbal abuse almost always escalates into physical abuse. Please don’t let your son be a witness to this anymore, and please don’t let yourself be harmed by this anymore.

    What I did is not what all people have done, but I made a very specific plan. I mailed things I was not willing to live without to my mother, I took extra money off the atm card everytime I went grocery shopping. I hid it under the mattress in my brand new baby’s crib. My mother kept a journal of everything he ever did to me, thank God she has the memory of an elephant. I waited until he left town, this may not be an option for everyone. But when he did, my parents drove 5 states down in the middle of the night and packed us up, and I left.

    It has been 6 years, and I still have fears and concerns. My son has been irreparably damaged by the violence he witnessed. But, I survived, and so did my son. So can you!! Please save yourself, and your child!

  • Katie says:

    You need to begin preparing. Start saving as much money as you can as quickly as possible without him noticing. Start putting a plan for protection into place. Do you believe that he will come looking for you and your son? If so, don’t go to your parents. You need to find other housing somewhere a reasonable distance from where you are now. Also, start recording everything. Write everything down, and hide the paper somewhere. You don’t want him finding this stuff. Also, get a lawyer as soon as possible. Be prepared with anything and everything to take this assface to court. If you need to ask family and friends for money, do it. If I had a friend in this situation, I would lend them anything I had to get them out. If you don’t do this for you, do this for your child. Think about what your husband’s behavior is teaching the little one. Also, please go out of the house, and call a domestic violence hotline. They can help you make a plan. They can help you get out. Involve your parents. And please, please, please, get out. You are worth so much more than this piece of shit loser that calls himself husband. I may not be married, but I can 100% guarantee you that that is not a marriage. That is a drunken abusive asshole pretending to be a husband, and you need to get him out of your life as soon as possible.

  • Josefina says:

    I think a lot of times being in a situation like this is like the frog in the pot of water…you gradually heat it up until it is boiling, rather than turning the heat on full blast. That way the frog doesn’t jump out. Not that your husband intentionally did things that way, but it seems to work out like that.

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. What a terrible situation. Honestly, when I read this, my jaw dropped. His behavior is jaw-dropping. I am looking in from the outside and telling you it IS that bad. It is not normal in any way. It is not a workable situation.

    This is not going to get better. Period.

    You don’t need him. I promise. Leave. Please don’t wait.

  • swalumni says:

    Oh Prankster, you can do this. Do whats right for you and your child. Living this way will not change anytime soon and hoping that it will continues to leave you miserable. We’re all here for you. I’ve been there and its hard but you can do this. Just keep thinking of your baby and the love you want him to have. You both deserve to be safe, happy and loved.

  • Michelle says:

    Aunt Becky is utterly right: YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS. You are not stupid or worthless, and the problem here does not lie with you. I totally agree with your instincts to get your son away from this man; what children see every day will almost certainly become their frame of reference for “normal”, and he deserves a better attitude toward women and marriage than being around his father will allow him. Please, please leave.

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  • Sybil Law says:

    Please leave – if not for yourself, then for the sake of your son. You’re right – this is not the example he needs of a “man”. Please just pack up your stuff and go stay with relatives or whatever you need to do. You’re doing everything on your own already – please just GO. Now.

  • Everyone has great encouragement for you. I’m right there with them chanting you don’t deserve an ounce of this. The only other thing I’d bring to the forefront is therapy for your son as soon as possible and possibly co-counseling for the both of you now and in the future. If he’s being subjected to the abuse, he’s already feeling the affects. I wish I could offer more resources to help with this.

    You can do this. You know what you have to do. You’ve already come a long way being able to talk about your situation and seeking help. Much love and much luck to you.

  • amy t. says:

    Please take your sweet baby boy and get both of you out of there. You don’t deserve this and neither does your child. If you’re not sure whether to do it for yourself, please think of your son. Neither of you should ever be verbally abused, and I am scared for you both that the abuse is going to escalate if you don’t move quickly. When I read your story, I thought of my sister, whose ex started off much the way you describe. I don’t want to get into her story as it’s not mine to tell, but when I think of all the things that sorry excuse for a man did to her, my family is so fortunate to still have my sister and her daughter with us today. So when I read about your uncertainty, my heart breaks.

    It can get better. You don’t have to live like this. Your son doesn’t have to endure that kind of treatment. Please take everything you need, as soon as you can, and take your son somewhere safe.

    Much love and big hugs. You can do this.

    • amy t. says:

      Also, having been on the family side of things: I promise your family really does want to help you. My sister needed a lot of assistance (childcare, shelter, food, money, clothes, everything) when she got away from her ex, and I know we as a group were happy to be able to come together and give her that support. It meant that she and the baby were safe and THAT is what matters, when it comes down to it.
      I’m lighting the candle for you this afternoon, lady. My thoughts are with you today. Please let us convince you — it’s time to take your boy and go to a safe place.

  • jessiee says:

    Because it hasn’t been said, sweetheart, get out. And fast.

  • Emmerson says:

    It’d been 2 years since I got out. You can do it! You have so much more strength than you know!

  • SharleneT says:

    This is not the time to worry about pride. Take any money your family can spare and get out! This is not marriage; this is tyranny. It’s his ‘disease’ and he’ll have to deal with it. No one has the right to use up someone else’s life while they abuse their own. More importantly, your job as a mother supercedes your role as a wife — it’s your job to protect your child, and that means getting away from this creature… The behavior doesn’t change, it escalates. Verbal to physical is a drink away. Go. Now! Your son’s safety is at stake. {{{HUGS}}}

  • Lauren says:

    Oh god honey run! Run as fast as you can and as far as you can. There is no getting better. People are how they are, and they never change much from that. If he treats you badly (and from the sound of your email, he does), he probably always will, and you deserve better than that.

    No matter what happens, no matter what he or anyone else does. Know that I love you, and I pray for you. I spell for you, I hope for you and I wish for you. You deserve happiness, and you need to run from this and seek it.

  • Lara says:

    I have not been in an abusive relationship, but I am the daughter of an addict father and co-dependent mother. It doesn’t get better. The slowly simmering to a boil analogy is right… unfortunately it almost seems normal until it boils out of control. I seriously thought it was normal until I was in school and went to friends houses… then it all made sense. WE weren’t the “normal” ones, we were fucked up as hell, and I wanted out.

    Please, please, please, leave. Don’t feel guilty accepting help of ANY kind in this situation. Anyone who cares about you isn’t doing this out of any type of obligation, they are doing it out of love. They WANT to help you and your son, let them.

    I wish your courage and many good thoughts!

  • Fox says:

    The only thing I can say is : GET OUT OF THERE IMMEDIATELY!

  • Katya says:

    Get out. Leave. Protect yourself and your son.

    There are tons of DV resources in different regions. I HIGHLY encourage you to contact Social Services in your state. There are lots of programs available. Where I live, it even includes victims counseling for children and survivors in most cases. TOTALLY FREE.

    There are also lots of free legal services for filing protection orders.

    And go to a bank in the next town over one day and open an account in your son’s name. With you as a cosignor. Use that to stash bits of money away while you make your plans.

    If you need help, ask for it. Please feel free to email me if you need help finding resources in your area. I used to work for lawyers. I’m good at it.

    When I was going through my first divorce, a friend I had gave me an image I still cling to sometimes:
    She told me to picture a basket. In the basket is everything you’ve ever been, ever could be and ever wanted to be. When you need something, you can go to the basket and pick up what you need. She told me to go find the strength in my basket. There’s strength in your basket too. Go find it.

  • linlah says:

    Grab that child and get out, get out, get out and keep going and never look back.

  • Rhiannon says:

    Good god for the sake of your son if nothing else get the fuck out of it. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. Even go to counseling together if you don’t want to leave him, with your son seeing it he is likely to grow up to treat his future partners and you the same way.

  • Rhiannon says:

    Good god for the sake of your son if nothing else get the fuck out of it. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. Even go to counseling together if you don’t want to leave him, with your son seeing it he is likely to grow up to treat his future partners and you the same way.

  • charity says:

    Get out and do it soon. He won’t change and it’s only going to get worse. Your question to Aunt Becky sounded just like me years ago. It started out with throwing/breaking things, swearing in front of the kids (called me a “halfass” so much my toddler started calling me that…) then progressed to daily beatings and my wonderful case of anxiety and PTSD. If not for you, do it for the kid. It will do him lots of good, because otherwise you are showing him that it is ok for a man to treat a woman that way. Fuck your husband, he’ll be ok and dont you ever worry- you’ll get custody of the kid no matter what he tells you…judges have a way of knowing right and wrong. Good luck.

  • Stephanie and her sort of funny blog says:

    Prankster,

    It’s so hard, and a part of you probably want to defend him a little bit because these people don’t KNOW him, and he wasn’t always LIKE this, and MAYBE he can change… but in truth, he is crushing your soul and you sound like you are dealing with so much of your own pain/anxiety that you cannot endure additional emotional abuse at his hands (or words).

    This is terrifying, and easy for the lot of us to say “get out now” but we really mean it and we really care. You need to. If for no other reason, justify it to yourself that it is best for your son if you can’t be convinced that you are beautiful, wonderful and deserve much better than this.

    Good luck and stay strong. You are clearly capable of handling an immense amount of stress. It won’t be easy, but it will be better, and in time, it will be awesome.

    Thinking of you, Prankster.

  • Jen says:

    this man is abusive. clearly. just one more person to confirm.

    the BEST book you can read about abuse is:
    http://www.lundybancroft.com/?page_id=52
    Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft

    its better for a child to grow up without a father than grow up with an abusive father.

  • Jen says:

    http://www.lundybancroft.com/?page_id=52
    please read:
    Why Does He Do That, by Lundy Bancroft
    its the best book about abuse and will help you understand why you are better off without this man, and why the children are better off without him too.

    marriage counselors are rarely trained to deal with abuse, in fact they are trained to believe that marital problems are half his fault, and half your fault. they often do NOT help, but make things worse. seek our an abuse shelter.

  • This man does not know how to love. Yes, attend the domestic violence support groups. But also consult an attorney who can give you good advice about how to exit safely and in a way that gives you the most financial security. Children raised in this environment grow up to have a higher rate of finding themselves in abusive relationships (to include being the abuser). I hope you get strong and get some help.

  • Maria says:

    I send you love and strenght.
    It was never this bad for me, but it was going that direction.

    I kicked him out. You can do it. Of course, things are different here in Sweden, I suppose, but you can do it.

    I completely agree that you should not be with that man.

    But I disagree to some extent that you should be the one that leaves.
    You and your child need the house, being homeless and staying with family and friends might not be helpful. Perhaps get friends to stay with you for a while? Get restraining orders (or what they’re called) get the help from police, social services and everyone you can think of. Stand up for your rights, because you have them. He has done everything to lose his rights.

  • There is absolutely no ambiguity here. The husband is abusive, the writer needs to get out immediately, and take her son with her. No matter how much a kid may need/want the influence of the other parent, that need is never, ever more important than growing up in a safe environment. I can’t say for certain that physical abuse is next, but every red flag for it is right there. Do not take that chance. Please, please, please get away from him.

    He may be sick, but staying is not going to make him better. Leaving might make him worse, but it is his own responsibility to take care of himself, just as it is your responsibility to take care of yourself (and your child). What you are in is not a marriage, it is a hostage situation.

  • Anna says:

    Oh Prankster – GO.

    I would gladly get a second, third or ninth mortgage on my house if it meant helping out my sister in a time of need. They wouldn’t offer if they weren’t serious. Please go.

  • Layne says:

    I can’t emphasize more what the other Pranksters have said. LEAVE. NOW. My ex-husband was (is) a compulsive gambler, and living with an addict will damage you more than you will ever know. It’s been six years for me, and I’m still discovering things about myself that he damaged. I got to the point where all my energy was directed to his addiction, and my children received the fallout of me not being there for them. I lost about 4 years with them because all my attention was focused on the addiction. I never wanted to leave him, not because I loved him, but because my kids did. Guess what? I left him and we’re all FINE…I know it’s a cliche, but it will get better, but you just have to take that first step. You will be a better mother in the long run, I promise.

  • Dr. Dre says:

    It has been 142 days since I left him. Me and my two young children, 5 and 9 months have been living in a detached apartment next to my parents’ house. I had no idea how bad it was until I got out. When I would describe to people what I had been living with, people would just look at me like, “how can you think that’s normal?” And they were right. I thought that’s how things were with everyone.

    Now, my husband did not abuse any substance nor did he ever physically abuse me, but he was:
    1. extremely controlling – I couldn’t even shift a couch 2 feet in my living room. I couldn’t buy an $8 shirt from Wal-Mart without hearing about it so I have been wearing hand-me-downs for years. Not awesome;
    2. jealous – he accused me of screwing all my coworkers because I must be if I mention something funny someone might have said;
    3. verbally and mentally abusive – he told me our son wasn’t his multiple times up until the day before he was born. That’s a real comforting thought when you’re recovering from a c-section.

    Sound familiar?

    Just like the frog in the boiling pot, I grew to tolerate his behaviors while slowly dying inside. What ended up happening to me was that I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror one day and didn’t even recognize myself. I had all but died inside and out. And my little girl thought this was normal. Fuck a bunch of that.

    I was numb. I had to be. If I even lifted my guard for a second, he would hurt me again. I had completely lost all respect, love and feeling for him. There was nothing left but an appreciation for his sperm.

    I don’t know you, but I know you. You will feel a tremendous weight lifted off your shoulders about 30 minutes after you see that place in the rear-view mirror. Get what you need, what you love and what you don’t want to leave behind, get that car packed and get out. I had no idea how bad it was until I was surrounded by love and support.

    Here is what you have to do in the days after. Be strong. Record phone calls. Keep voicemails. He is going to tell you that you took your son from his home. He may tell you that he will fight for full custody. Then he will try to apologize. Then he will get mad again. He will pull out all the stops because that’s what has worked before. You are protected now. Do not give in. Do not let him put his proverbial foot on your head ever again. You are in control now and you will call the shots. Be strong and assertive.

    Your son will be fine. He will be resilient. When my five-year-old girl asks me why we are living grandma and grandpa, I tell her that mommy and daddy couldn’t get along. I tell her that we both love her very much. That’s all I have said. She is too young to try to grasp what is really happening and it would break her heart to know that daddy is a __________. Insert appropriate title. She will learn for herself in time.

    I waited a few months before I talked to a lawyer only because his mother begged me to not do anything final. When I did talk to a lawyer, after I spilled the beans on everything that had happened, his words to me were, “let’s get rid of this asshole.” And my asshole didn’t even drink!

    So yeah. Remember who YOU are. Remember where you came from. Remember what your dreams were. Remember you can do this. You HAVE to do this. It’s so much easier to stay and continue the pattern. It takes balls to get out.

    Balls out, yo.

  • Dot says:

    Another woman who’s been there. I left 22 years ago and never regretted it for a single second! As others have said, verbal abuse turns into physical and/or sexual abuse. Get out now, please.

  • Eric says:

    You are in such a difficult position, and a lot of kind people will tell you to “Do” this or that to get out of it. And they’re right. But also remember, there is a lot of burden put upon you to be the one who takes action and faces uncertainty. Please don’t beat yourself up for hesitating or being afraid. It is a big leap to just go. You will know in your heart when you’re ready to do that… just go… when so many details aren’t worked out yet. As for the question of whether or not your husband can change, you don’t have to answer that right now do you? You just have to find a way to get yourself and your son to safety. Again, a huge burden on your shoulders to be the one. But you can do it, you can do it, you can do it.

  • Zoeyjane says:

    In case no one has mentioned it yet, if she is preparing to leave, the writer might want to look for legal proof of his alcoholic and abusive behaviour. If she’s seeking full custody, having the proof could be the difference between her waiting for him to ‘give’ it to her, and a judge TELLING her husband it’ll happen. But, alcoholism, without legal record/witnesses, is pretty much he said/she said in court, so it’s important to document and seek out supports/witnesses.

  • Kimmer says:

    Do you imagine yourself living in this same situation 5 years from now? If the answer is no, take some time,try to document the abuse, the alcoholism, make sure you have your tax returns, pay stubs, financial information to prove how much you make, how much he makes, then get out. Go directly to Family Court and file temporary custody papers. I lived through 20 years of verbal and emotional abuse, and barely survived. I have been divorced for 11 years now and I’m doing ok. It takes time and hard work, my family helped when they could.
    When the going gets rough remember, just think of the difference it will make to your son to grow up in an environment where women are valued, not abused.

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    I hope this woman left. While her husband suffers from a disease, that does not mean she has to tolerate this sort of behavior. I have been in not one, but two relationships like this. It always starts out with the words and progresses to blows. Somehow the blows are easier to take. I have learned that I do not have to take either.

    I hope this woman got out. I got out, twice. The second time, my dumb ass waited until it took two ear surgeries to repair the damage done by a diseased partner.

    I hope this woman escaped. It doesn’t matter how much we think we love them, or actually do love them. We can’t fix them. And we can’t spare their feelings, or a child’s feelings, at the expense of our own. Nor can we risk the child’s future. It starts with words, it progresses to blows. If he is already directing the words at the child, it is just a matter of time.

    I hope this woman left. We CAN leave. It is not easy. It can be done. I am living proof. I didn’t do it alone. It took a lot of dear friends walking with me, lending me their strength when I had none of my own. I will be sending out my prayers to this woman so that she can find the strength to do what is necessary for herself and her child.

  • The Anonymous Asker says:

    Thank you all so much for your support, and thanks Aunt Becky for the links and info. I did leave! After he threatened to kill me if I left him, then told me to get out, my son and I moved in with my parents while my soon-to-be-ex husband was on a business trip out of the country. He left on Thursday the 28th, and on Friday the 29th I was handing my parents’ credit card to the lawyer while my son was at preschool and my parents, sister and her mother-in-law were clearing room in their house. The next day sister’s mother-in-law brought her dad to help. I had everything out by 10 pm Sunday the 31st. My neighbor helped my son get his jack-o-lantern carved Saturday, my dad took us around the block trick-or-treating like always, then Sunday the little pumpkin went to a church festival with the neighbor’s 2 kids. While he was gone my husband placed a “morale call” from the base he was staying on and found out I was leaving. He freaked out and his boss had him brought home Tuesday. I filed reports and swore out warrants Wednesday for domestic violence-harassment and harassing communications (53 text messages Tuesday afternoon)- there will be a protection order in place as a condition of release. I filed for divorce Thursday. He hasn’t been served yet, but he will be. And he will flip when he sees that petition. My mom found me a good lawyer. My sister found a safe house for my mom and son to stay in until I get a custody order so my husband can’t take him. I haven’t missed a day of work this week, and my anxiety is starting to lift. Of course I carry my (licensed) pistol with me everywhere. But that’s okay. That’s why he bought it for me: to defend myself. the funny thing is, my son seems to totally understand why we left and he’s fine with it, I think he’s relieved too. He’s asked for me, his kitten, and his Batman toy. Not for his daddy. He’s playing with gramma, the horses, the dogs, and the wonderful Christian people who will keep them and hide them and keep them safe. He’s sleeping well, eating better than he ever has, and being a good boy. He asked me on Wednesday before we left if we could go live with gramma’s new kitty. Little did he know!
    Thank you all Pranksters for your encouragement! I cried as I read your comments. I thought I had cried all the tears in the world already, but these were tears of joy that so many who have never met me would show me such love! You all are The Awesome! I know I still have a long row to hoe, but I have lots of stuff on tape, and some other stuff that should be sufficient to protect me and my son from my husband.
    I love you all.

  • Natalie says:

    I don’t know if anonymous asker will see this…

    I was 5 years old when my mother (bravely) left my father. He was an abusive alcoholic. I don’t recall her talking to me about leaving, although maybe she did. I do remember just knowing that we had to not be with him anymore. I knew I didn’t want her to get beaten anymore. When we did leave, I was just relieved. As young as I was, I knew it was the right thing for her, me and my two little brothers. Your son gets it.

    I am still proud of her, 30 years later, for doing it.

    Proud of you too.

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