Trouble In Paradise

Dear Relationship playbook,
I’m in a 9 year relationship with the father of my 3 children and we have been married for 1 year now. I’m so confused on whether I should continue to stay or move on. Where do we begin?
Our relationship has been rocky on and off with different women problems. Some women just pass through but some attempt to stay in for the long haul, but never accomplish a relationship with him without me. The most recent relationship with a female has lasted almost 2 years. This woman was his co-worker and they started off as “just friends”. She was in her 2nd marriage and has 5 children. Of course through these online social networks, I found out about her and it has been horrible ever since. Before we married, we couldn’t afford our apartment and went to stay with our parents until we could save money to get another place. During this time, THEY WENT HARD! He completely put us on the backburner and this women left her husband and they divorced. It was to the point where, they had the same work schedule, days off and were just completely convenient for each other.
I was so hurt and amazed because he took this female around his entire family, including my youngest daughter because they worked overnight and he kept her during the day. His sister developed a close relationship with the other woman and I was so hurt by it, that we fell out. Her excuse was “She was my friend too!” Which was true, when I met my husband he was with another woman that I didn’t know about and was 9 months pregnant. Difference is, they were only together 1year before I met him, and both agreed that they were broken up when I came in the picture, but they started messing around and we went back and forth for the 1st year and a half of our relationship. Nothing major really happened since then until this new woman.
I attempted to talk to the woman, but she wouldn’t listen. I told her the truth about everything. Everybody in his family would even tell her to go back to her husband because he would not leave me. She didn’t listen. She came up pregnant before we got married but had a miscarriage. Nobody believed that she was pregnant, but I decided to move on with my life because I was tired of the drama. As soon as I stopped feeding into the drama, and started focusing on myself, here he comes saying how he missed me and there wasn’t anyone else out there for him and for our 8 year anniversary he wanted to get married. I was all with it, he showed many signs that he had completely left this female alone and his family confirmed! The female took a leave of absence after he left her alone and she wasn’t working when we got married. She found out later after she went back to work and almost attempted to kill herself. Everybody felt bad for her because she was suicidal and that’s actually when his sister became her friend, AFTER WE GOT MARRIED! His sister and I have been back talking since Dec of last year and stopped talking for about 5 months. I’m still a little leery of getting back close with her though, because its WELL KNOWN that her and this female are still friends. She tells me little things about them and what they do, so i’m sure she gives this other woman info as well.
Naturally, he felt bad for the other woman and began back talking and seeing her again. She got fired from their job, and I thought most of my problems were over, little did I know they were just beginning. After this point, his sister took her around all his extended family. Even took her to their grandmothers 90 year old birthday celebration (keep in mind she has 140 grand and great grandkids so this was a huge event). We didn’t even go because we knew of her presence. Every time my husband and I would argue, he would pack his things, and leave for a few days, and of course where did he go? Her house. It started being more frequent to at least every month a few days he would go and stay with her. I lost 30 pounds from depression. Of course, she came up pregnant again…carried the baby for 8 1/2 months and then the baby just disappeared. He was at home when she had the baby and she told everybody she gave the baby up for adoption. Then we heard that the baby died. Nobody knows what really happened to this baby, but I guess that’s how GOD works when you’re dealing with a marriage. It took this situation to get back in touch with God, because I just pray pray pray and go to church. Most of the things I worry about or have worried about, He has definitely worked it out!
Most recently he stayed gone the longest. 3 weeks in May he was gone. It started off with the first 2 weeks, and I let him come home for a week, and something didn’t feel right and I offered to take him back to his other woman. He stayed there a few days and just begged to come home. I set up some terms that he had to follow in order to come back, he agreed to the terms and completed them so he could come home. He has been home since then (Its now July), but Monday there was a missed call from her on his cell. I called her back and she says he still calls her and that’s why she calls him. Since he’s been home there has been no arguing whatsoever! But since Monday (today is Thursday) we are constantly arguing. Its almost as if I have to walk on pins and needles to make sure I do everything right or he will leave again.
His family and my friends say I’m a soldier and every woman that steps up to combat with me, better come suited and booted, but I’m actually getting tired. I want my marriage to work and I want my kids to grow up in a household with their father, butttttt……!! Now of course this is what I need advice on so I haven’t talked about all the good things. He is an excellent provider and a GREAT father to his children. The oldest 2 don’t know what’s going on, because he doesn’t surround them with that nonsense. I believe that’s one reason he won’t leave me alone as well, because of the love he has for his children. In my opinion he just uses this female. She has bought him all kinds of things, and just caters to him hand and foot. He loves kids, but he loves his OWN! He complains about her kids and from what family members say, they don’t like him and he doesn’t like them. Anytime he goes on vacation( that’s what my mom calls it…lol), he goes broke, and always comes back home around payday. She spends all holidays alone because he is with us, even Valentine’s Day. He left her the day before Valentine’s Day once, to spend it with me and shower me with gifts. I don’t get it! Some people say he’s just running his course and soon it will pay off because men get tired of running when they get a certain age, but he’s 31.
I’ve been with him since I was 19 so he is really all I know. During his playtime, I have explored myself as well, but I haven’t come up with anything! All of the other guys I’ve run into are all pretty much doing the same thing, and that’s when you think “I might as well stay with my kids father!” He always blames me for talking back to her, because I keep up so much drama and I push him to her and when he’s there its peaceful and she just lets him be him. Which I know is not the truth because his sister tells me everything that the female calls her with while he’s there. She may not mention anything to him, but she definitely doesn’t feel safe and secure while he is there. He feels like when I saw the missed call, I should have just ignored it. But after all this that we’ve gone through, how can I? My cousin says, I’m not going to do anything about it, so why mention it? But despite of all the drama, he is like my best friend. You know how its really hard for you to keep a secret from your best friend? And its the same with him..he tells me everything, even stuff I shouldn’t know! I’m hoping that this time is it, and he has left her alone, but she’s still calling and he’s probably still calling her. I kind of feel like i’m going to play tug o war with her for a while, because she gave up everything for him, and i’m sure she doesn’t want it all to go in vain. Since he’s been back, there hasn’t been any disappearing acts and he calls me from work the entire time he’s there and comes straight home. He doesn’t party or hang out with friends. So its work and home. This has always been his routine and that’s how I would know if he was with her. He would go outside his routine. He’s also been to church with us every Sunday since he’s been home. I’m still praying, but don’t what to do in the meantime.
Can somebody please make sense of this for me?
Nic’s thoughts…
Hearing your story reminds me of many people who get in the trappings of the “childhood” relationships. Since you’ve never experienced anything outside of this man, it sounds like you’re having trouble being able to see how badly you’re being treated. Without any other experience to compare it to, its easy to be oblivious to these things. It is evident that your husband does not respect your marriage. It doesn’t sound like he respects you either. He has continued to see other women and from what it sounds like, is having children with other women. That affects you in 2 different ways. One he has violated you and your trust in the marriage, and two he is risking your health.
Clearly, if these women are having kids by him he’s obviously not protecting himself while he is out creeping. Listen, it’s one thing to be suited and booted as you say and be willing to go combat over your husband. But that’s only for a husband who is deserving of that loyalty and actually needs your support for a good cause. I’m amazed his family friends seem to be ok with it, but it sounds like everyone including yourself is that NUMB to his behavior. The whole back and forth of your husband going on between you and these other women, is dangerous and unhealthy both physically and emotionally. And you don’t need to speak to these women or try to befriend them. It will not do you any good and won’t solve anything.
I know you mentioned you decided to explore a little while he was doing his thing, that would almost sound logical, but it’s not. If you don’t like what he is doing, then it will solve nothing to simply emulate his behavior. And despite the fact that you bumped into a lot of men who do the same thing, rest assured every man out there isn’t like that. As a matter of fact, a lot of them wouldn’t be ok with being BF#2 to your husband. When you find a quality man he’s not going to tolerate the fact that you’re willing to cheat on your husband, despite how badly he treats you. I understand that your concerned about your kids having their father in the household, and that is a valid concern.
But it would be a lot worse for your kids to witness the emotional abuse you’re suffering. Not to mention the habits and learned behavior they will get from watching how he treats you. All abuse doesn’t have to be violent, and you don’t want them to be as numb to this behavior as everyone else seems to be. That’s how that cycle repeats over the generation of young boys, the learned behavior is destroying young kids before they have a chance.
That’s something you’ll have to seriously consider when you think about whether to stay in this marriage or not. You can seek marriage counseling, and also consult with your local pastor or minister at your church. That may or may not help him though. No one can make this man stop doing what he is doing except HIM. He has to want the change and want it for the right reasons. Not just because its Valentine’s Day and he want’s to “sew” things up for the time being. Or any other excuse he may find to temporarily stop acting up.
So at this point you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to forgive all the indiscretions, if you are, then you can begin the healing process. At that point you can try to get the counseling and of course see if he is willing to make the change within himself. If this isn’t possible, I’m inclined to say move on with your life. Do it for yourself and do it for your children. This person has made his choices, and as adults we have to be accountable for them. If he loses his family because of the choices he made, then he’ll have to man up and take accountability and work on himself. If you do decide to move on that’s something to think about too, doing you for a while. Get back in touch with your own worth and learn how to love yourself again. You’ll be glad you did and your children will see your strength. Now that’s being a soldier!
I hope things get better for you…
Best of Luck…
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About Nick Campbell

Nick Campbell has written 163 post in this blog.

A modern day gentleman who loves to explore all aspects of relationships and discuss problems this new generation faces in love. Born and raised in the Bay Area, well traveled and cultured. Single Dad, tech connoisseur and news junkie. Drop a line if there is something you'd like discussed!