Don't Know What to Do.

by Anonymous

I have tried several times to write my story here. It's 20 years in the making. And when it comes down to it, no matter how short or how long I keep it, why write the details... It is very clear that I have been living in a very unhealthy relationship. I don't know why I choose this path, but I did.

I am a Catholic, with morals and values. Ones that I have broken to be with this man. I am yet to be a bride. I had to beg for a family and finally had my son at 38. Now, he is the true love and purpose of my life. A life that I must shape and protect to the very morals and values that I could not keep myself.

I have lost my true self being with this man. I have been separated from my family and friends whom I left in another state to be with this man. He put anyone down that I associate with. He puts just about anyone down that walks the face of the earth.

He is a very intelligent man. He is very wealthy but everything he makes is put away. We live substantially below our means. We don't share bank accounts or any money for that matter. I work for a family business. If I didn't work, I (or my son) couldn't buy tickets to go see my family (because he would never do it), I would never be able to buy gifts for my family (because he refuses to do it)...

My son is enrolled in a Catholic school. Because his father would never pay for it, I pay for everything for my son (clothes, daycare, sports, camps - you name it). Occasionally his father slips me a few hundred bucks (but not without an ear-full how I don't control my spending, etc). He makes me pay the bills (he conveniently, takes care of the mortgage). He claims my son on taxes (we don't file jointly). So he gets all these financial perks while all my money goes to electric bills and tuition and car payments etc.

We have been in a town-home for over 15 years now. One of which I never wanted to be permanent as I preferred a free-standing home. After 3 years of looking and being turned down by this man over and over on potential houses, I finally convinced him to at least remodel our current home. It was a project that was supposed to take 90 days, turned into 7 long, stressful months. Yes, one of the worse things for any relationship. Long story short, we moved back in just about 2 months ago and it's been a living hell
and prison for me and my son ever since.

My son and I are constantly, and I mean constantly, being yelled at. This man is beyond anal and OCD on the new house. He stands or sits in the kitchen watching over me to see if I grab the handle or the painted door on the cabinet.... he watches to see if I drip water on the hard wood floor... he watches to see if I put a scratch in the new stainless sink... not to say what he's doing to my son.

My stories go on and on... and yes, I know, this is all unhealthy. I am to the point I want to leave. My son adores and loves his father very much and I don't want his father out of his life. However, i don't want my son becoming his father.

His father's father was abusive, to what extent, I don't know. I only get bits and pieces from his mother, who has passed. She would tell me stories that very much reflect some of the same behavior (not physical) but verbal and emotional, that I am going through. She would tell me how her son (my significant other) at 10 years old was trying to protect her... I have finding my son do it at 6.

So I want to leave, but am very afraid. I don't know what is better for my son. To grow up in this household or grow up with parents who don't live together.

Here's the problem... he has millions. Millions put away that no one can ever get to (all legal...he actually is a very honest man). However, the amount of money he actually makes is not linked to him, but through LLCs etc. He also (supposingly, has a viscous lawyer).

This is all about my son. I would leave so that my son is not damaged emotionally (or as little as possible). If I would ever try to have another man in my life (not to say I want that), but even after years of separating, he wouldn't stand for it.

I just want my son to grow up where there is love in a house. Where he's allowed to be a 6 year old kid. Where he can make 6 year old mistakes. Where he can have play dates without 1000 rules.

I just don't know where to start. I'm not sure I can do it financially. And he's going to fight me on moving out ...

Do I start with a therapist (to tell me what I already know?) Do I start with a therapist for my son to see how this has effected him thus far? Do I get a lawyer.

I have no idea.

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Eugene Kayser, MA, MFT's profile on the Gottman Referral Network