Fear and divorce

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I'm scared to pull the plug on my marriage. I know that it's the right choice but I'm just so scared. I supposed it's because of change and uncertainty. My life with my husband has been truly nothing short of hell. Especially for the last couple years. He's bipolar and diagnosed with NPD. He takes meds that help stabilize his moods, but there just aren't enough drugs in the world to keep him from cheating on me. We worked through it once before a couple years ago and just when I start to feel safe and that things are getting better, I get a message from a new girl he'd met on an online dating website. And this was thanksgiving morning. We have 5 children. I guess I'm looking here for advice and support from those who have gone through divorce. He still lives here at home. We get along just fine. He's currently working so hard to be the good doting husband but I've been painfully candid that we are likely getting divorced. The truth is if you didn't live with him you'd totally believe his sincerity, but iI do not. It's not my first rodeo. We've been married 19 years. I know he loves me and I love him as well. But I can't stay married to him. Not after this last two years of crushing heartache just to be right back to the same place. I'm not worried about finances. I have an education and a job. We have enough assets to split and We will both be fine in that regard. It's hard to make the final cut though. It's hard because I still care about him. I believe the word for that is codependence. :) this is too long and I'm not entirely sure it makes any sense. I'd appreciate any helpful advice or words of wisdom or articles or books or websites (not dating ones...lol) or experience you might have to share. How do you get over the fear?

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I dont really know what to say just that i'm sorry you all are going thru this. I know Its hard to live with someone who is bipolar Believe it or not its not even easy 4 the person who has this mental condition. Have you had counseling? Have u talked with your Bishop? Have you prayed about this? Trust in the Lord to help you all with this the children too.Hes our great physcian! Its a hard road your on for sure. I sincerely wish you and your family the best.

I do know these dating sites can be bad. I want you 2 know this advice is coming from a woman who has not been married ((((hugs)))).

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Thanks for the reply. Yes we have had counseling. Couple and individual. I'm still getting counseling. He is not. Yes we've talked with the bishop. Together and apart. At this point I don't really feel it's necessary to pray about my choice to divorce (brutal honesty). But that's not to say I haven't prayed about it. There's no way to possibly share all the tiny facets of our lives over the past 19 years or really to explain all the reasons why it's the right choice. But a quick sum up is he's an alcoholic, emotionally/psychologically abusive, adulterous husband and a not so great father. Nothing clears a room faster than dad walking in. If you've ever intimately known someone who is narcissistic then you will know what I'm talking about there. I'm not really looking for advice on ways or reasons to save the marriage. Been there, done that. I feel like I have literally done every single thing I could. It's hard to do even if you know it's the right choice. It's hard, scary, and sad. And I'm struggling because at least I know what I'm up against in my current situation. The unknown is paralyzingly scary.

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Whatever you do, don't make idle threats. If you have prayed and received comfort from the Lord that divorce is the right decision - then finalise it.

I was married to a man that made promises and didn't keep them. During the course of our marriage, he struggled with pornography and had numerous physical affairs with other women. The first incident happened a few months into our marriage with a co-worker. I was devastated but truly believed that with guidance from the bishop and professional counselling, we'd pull through. He confessed to three more physical affairs with other women but a friend of his said that there were more. I chose to stick it out for a few more years. Meanwhile, we continued checking-in with the bishop and a counsellor. Things seemed okay but they weren't great. Then one day I came back home after my work schedule changed. I found my husband upstairs in our bedroom with an eighteen-year old girl. (At least, that is what she told me when I questioned how old she was. She appeared very young, obviously a teen.) I was so mad, I told her to leave, and then I told my husband I wanted a divorce - right then and there. I wasn't going to put myself through this again, over and over, nor was I willing to bring a child into such a toxic and unloving marriage. I stayed with my parents for about a week, trying to sort through my thoughts, I also did a lot of soul searching and praying. I had never felt more confirmed in my final decision that divorce was the right answer. But yes, it was scary, I didn't know what I would do or if I'd ever find happiness.

The happy ending is - I remarried and am very happily married - though it's not perfect, he is a wonderful husband and father to our daughter. I am so glad for the decision that I made and followed through with. The Lord indeed had another plan for me.

It's always scary leaving the nest of what is familiar but sometimes it is worth the leap! Be strong. Listen to your gut and let the Lord guide you.

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Divorce is a scary thing. I am guessing that the reason he is being a doting and good husband right now is because you continually let him know that the marriage is over. I imagine if you were to "recommit" to the marriage and not divorce him that your husband would go back to the way he was.

Truthfully, no woman (or man for that matter) should have to put up with constant belittling, abuse, infidelity, and alcoholism. It sounds like divorce is the best option for you and for the children. Maybe divorcing him will also allow him to hit rock bottom and seek the help he really needs. Tell yourself that you are not part of the problem (in divorcing him), but are part of the solution for all parties involved.

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I'm sorry you've been experiencing this and that you're faced with this difficult situation. All I can think of is that 'what you focus on gets bigger' so stay focused on your strengths and not your fears. Write positive messages on post-its and leave them everywhere if necessary to help. That's all that's coming to mind at the moment but I hope it helps. All the best. Just put one foot in front of the other - you'll get where you need to be.

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Im not married, nor have I ever been so tske this it what its worth, just my two cents. If you hsve recieved confirmation from the lord that this is the right thing to do, let yourself be at peace. Often times the scariest parts of our lives turn out to be the biggest blessings. Everything will work out in the end, it always does. I pray that you will feel at ease. One step at a time. Goodluck x

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It will be scary until you do it.

Then it will be painful.

It's just the way it is.

No matter how good, or how necessary.

A lot like childbirth. It's scary till you've done it, it hurts as you do it, and life is different after.

I was married for over 10 years.

It was abusive: divorce was a good thing.

A necessary thing.

But it was scary and it was painful.

Meet with an attorney.

Action dispels fear.

Not all of it, there will be fears from beginning to end.

Expect them.

Fear is not our minds way of saying a thing is wrong.

Fear is our mind' sway of letting us know about danger.

Pretty much all significant change = danger.

The whole "evil you know better than the evil you don't" kind of thinking.

So expect the fear, and move forward with the spirit.



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  • 3 weeks later...

You have to follow your heart and do what is right for you. You have to keep in mind that it's not you that can change him only he can try to do that. So do what you think is right for you and the rest of the family, and if that means getting a divorce then so be it. It will be hard, nothing is ever easy, but in time you will see that it was the best decision because you choose to follow your heart.

Edited by mandy151982
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I can totally relate to a LOT in your situation. My ex-wife has NPD to the extreme. She also has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which made her especially difficult to deal with during our divorce because she wouldn't listen to her attorneys until it became very clear that she was going to likely lose custody of our son. Her first attorney withdrew because he refused to deal with her. Over two years after our divorce has passed and I still deal with her being unreasonable, except now I don't put up with it.

Coming from an abusive marriage to a narcissist and having gone through a divorce with a child, there are a few things you need to prepare yourself for. It sounds like you have made up your mind, so I won't bother talking about trying to save your marriage. I would do the same thing you are. I already did the same thing.

1. Be prepared for the fight of your life. Narcissism is all about elevating one's self above EVERYONE else. Once you make the move to divorce, his battle horns will sound because he will feel threatened. There are therapists who refuse to work with narcissists because they do not think anything is wrong with them. You can see this because your husband is not in counseling. He believes he doesn't need it, that YOU are the only one who needs it. My ex-wife did exactly the same thing. Nothing is ever the fault of a narcissist.

2. Be prepared to be accused of things you never did or ever even thought of doing. This is used to tear you down, make you weak, and lessen your will to fight for what is right for you. He will offer no evidence, only heresay. You are a woman and a mother, and although it is unfair, you have the bias of the Court in your favor by default.

3. Be prepared to have your children used against you. Your number one focus should be on them and not trying to hurt your husband. But don't use them against him either.

4. Be prepared for a lengthy divorce process. Hopefully you can get it over quickly but it will not likely be short. Mine took 4 1/2 years. A lady in a former ward of mine, one of the most elegant women I've ever known, had to go through an eight-year divorce from her narcissistic husband. A close friend's daughter took nearly two years to divorce her narcissistic husband. It will NOT be easy.

5. Be prepared to spend a lot of money. Do not force him to pay for the divorce. You pay your share, he pays his, period. My divorce cost almost $20K. Some are less, others are much more.

Now for some words of advice:

1. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING!!! Documentation is your greatest tool. It is what gave me the upper hand in my divorce. I cannot stress enough its importance. It does not matter how petty the documentation seems at the time, document everything. If/when you separate, document when he picks up your children for his parent-time. Document when he drops them off or when you pick them up. Document to the minute. If it takes five minutes for him to answer the door, document it. If you have an argument, document it but be truthful in the documentation. Don't try to persuade anyone in your documentation. It should be an unbiased record of facts.

2. Limit your time talking on the phone or in person, especially in front of your children. They should be protected from the divorce at all costs. If any of your children can drive, have them take the others to his place and yours. Use text messaging and emails as much as possible. Why? DOCUMENTATION! If you do talk on the phone, record the conversation. If you live in a state that does not require two-party knowledge of the recording, then record every single conversation. When you talk in person or on the phone it is very easy to get entrapped into a fight.

3. Keep the divorce about your children. Do not focus on his problems or trying to get even for his hurting you.

4. Never give in to anything your are uncomfortable with. Get to know your state's legislative family laws like the back of your hand. Keep a copy of them with you wherever you go, and do not try to extend to yourself more than you, yourself, are allowed. Also, get to know as much as you can about family law in general, particularly how long things take in the courts and the processes, legal terms, etc.

5. Don't rake him over the coals financially. He will be ordered by the Court to pay alimony to you, typically for a length of time equal to your years of marriage (19 years in your case), and he will be ordered to pay child support for your children. Do not ask for more than what your state's laws dictate. Also, don't use his not paying child support or alimony as an excuse to withhold his parent-time with your children. The two are unrelated.

6. If you get into an argument in person while the divorce is going on, do NOT turn your back on him. If he harms you, it will be very bad for him. Most police officers are biased on the side of women but that does not mean it's okay to set him up. That is dishonest and wrong. Make sure you have a witness to almost everything.

7. Be patient. This is probably one of the most important words of advice for you. If your attorney does not call back right away, be patient. If it takes a day, be patient. Two days, be patient. Nobody wins in a divorce except the attorneys but most of them are way over-extended with clients. If you file a motion with the court, he is allowed a certain number of days to respond, then you are given a certain amount of time to respond to his response and petition the Court for a decision. Then the Court is given a certain amount of time to rule on the motion. The whole process for just a motion can be upwards of 60 days. You'll also be required to mediate.

I could go on but I believe these are the most important things to consider in your situation. I do feel for you. I've been there and I know almost exactly what you are dealing with.

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