Dear Ms. Vicki,
I just need someone to listen to me without judging. I have known my husband for about nine years, and he's the father of our two boys, ages 6 years and 7 months.
Throughout our relationship, I have caught him with other women.
He deployed six months after I moved to Texas to be with him. I didn't know anyone there and was left all alone with our son. While he was deployed, paperwork from the court system in Hawaii arrived at our house requesting a paternity test from him! When I asked him about it, he admitted that he'd had sex with the mother of the baby there. Paternity was later established, and he acted like I should just accept it and get over it.
From that point on, our relationship was chaotic. We moved four times within a three-year span. I know it had something to do with finances, being that he had four children to support by, yes, four different women.
I was able to finish my course as a medical assistant, and I found a job that I saw as a gateway for me to get into nursing, which is my dream. Things were good for a while, then it all went sour.
I suffered psychological and physical abuse from him and had to deal with his manipulative and demeaning behavior. Last year, he moved us into an apartment but he lived with a friend. He would just come over whenever he wanted to, sleep with me, and then leave! He wouldn't take no for an answer, if that makes sense. I would get hopeful that he would want to move back home, but each time he left, I could see it was just his sick game.
I wanted us to be a family, to give my son what I never had. Then I found out about a woman in his unit that he had been seeing. I questioned him about her, and he denied everything.
By then, I was four months pregnant. I called his command, and they told me that they couldn't help me because he and I were not legally married. They recommended that my son and I go to a shelter.
I went to my job four days out of the week and every other weekend, working 12-hour shifts and staying stressed and tired because I couldn't understand why was this was happening to me. Eventually, my water and lights were shut off, and my son and I barely had any food in the house.
After paying my student loans, car insurance, car payment and gas, there was barely anything left for utilities and no money left for food. I lay awake every night praying to God that I'd miscarry because I didn't want the baby I was carrying to have a father like him.
At one point, I started having contractions and messaged him to tell him that I might be in labor. He wrote back to say that he didn't care. After that, we went weeks without speaking to each other at all. But after our baby was born and he saw him for the first time, it was like a turning point. He started coming over again and would stay overnight.
He was still carrying on a relationship with the woman in Hawaii, though. I found messages between them with him asking for her ring size and asking where she wanted to be stationed with him next.
He and I got married on May 28, but I think he only married me by default. The ring he gave me was the wrong size. I wonder if he bought it for her. I am the only woman out of the four to have two of his kids, and I know our families pressured him to step up to the plate.
Then, just last month, I found out that he's been on singles hook-up websites and on married-looking-to-cheat websites.
I have anxiety issues, and I don't trust him! Maybe you wonder why I am with him and why I agreed to marry him? Honestly, I don't have an answer.
I feel like I'm trapped and don't have anyone to turn to or any place to go. We are supposed to move to Italy in five months, and I don't know what I'm going to do now.
I can't take nursing classes online to finish my degree, and nursing is where my heart is. I do not want to depend solely on him for everything. He's left me high and dry so many times before. What do I do?
Sincerely, Married By Default
Don't go to Italy with him -- that's the first thing you should do. It will be a big mess if you join him there. You should continue in nursing school. You have to be able to take care of you and your children. You will never be able to depend on your husband to provide for your family, and he will continue to father children all over God's great creation.
I'm not judging you, but you are not in a good marriage. Your husband doesn't care about you at all, and the vows he said to you mean nothing to him. I understand that you want your children to have both parents in their home, but sometimes it's worse for children to have two parents present when one of those parents is manipulative and abusive.
You have been doing everything alone. Your husband has been absent, carousing with other women and getting them pregnant. My advice is that you need to always be able to take care of yourself. If you stay with this man, make sure you are fitted to wear a good pair of roller skates -- because being married to him will always mean that you need to roll out quickly.
Staying married to him will only lead to more heartbreak and disappointment for you. He enjoys going from house to house, sleeping with you and then sleeping with the next one.
You think he's coming over because he loves you and really wants to be with you. You make passionate love to him, and you believe he is responding well, because he is ... in bed. But when it's over, it stays over until the next time he decides to drop by.
But you are not his captive and he can't force you to do anything. He can only do what you allow him to do to you. Please remember that. Thank you for writing me. Stay in touch.
Sincerely, Ms. Vicki