I met him at a time in my life when I was very vulnerable. I was a newly separated mom, 3 kids, working two jobs 7 days a week and a N-husband who I didn't know was an N. I had spent Christmas alone, drinking in a bar with my sister and it was now New Year's eve. I was a waitress, he was a customer and the rest is history.
Within 2 months, we were functioning as a family. He billed himself as a shy, quiet, overwhelmed single dad of 5 kids. I was taken in by his charm, sense of humor and family man persona. And the sex...oh the sex. I moved in with him by month 5 and seriously considered moving out by month 10. I didn't know why but something was really wrong with him. He would make nasty comments to me in front of other people. He would pretend we weren't a couple in public. The sex had completely stopped. I thought he might be seeing someone else.
But then he changed. He went back to being the shy, sweet, charming guy I met and we were engaged almost 1 year to day that we met. I was over the moon but he didn't seem thrilled and refused to set a wedding date. 2 months later I found out I was pregnant, I had come in to a large sum of cash and he suddenly wanted to get married. I'm ashamed to say I didn't see through him at this point. He was so sly, cunning, covert and manipulative...he's really good at his game.
We were married in a small church and 5 months later our daughter was born. Once the attention was no longer on him life went to hell in a handbasket. He started threatening to divorce me when she was about 6 months old so we started counseling. Then the abuse really started in earnest. I was always wrong, he was never to blame, my kids were the problem, my job was the problem, the baby took up too much of my time, I was too hard on his son, I needed to make him more of a priority, blah, blah, blah.
In January of 2011, the abuse became overt and he raised his hand to me. I filed for a restraining order but was denied because he hadn't actually hit me or threatened my life. In February I made contact with the domestic abuse center and in March he drove me across 4 lanes of traffic during one of his rages without stopping or looking. It was then that my kids (15, 13, 9 and 18 mo) and I moved in to a shelter. He changed the locks, didn't call or try to find us, didn't ask to see our daughter for 17 days and filed for divorce. I started with an attorney who kept urging me to "just settle this" so on a psychologist's recommendation I fired him and found another. I have a great therapist, a great new attorney and I'm fighting for my daughter's life.
He is now fighting me for custody of a child that he spent less than a 1/2 hour a day with. She was only ever an obstacle and now she is a weapon. Our temporary hearing resulted in joint custody with week on/week off visitation. I've never been apart from my daughter overnite up to this point and she is exhibiting behavior consistent with being emotionally abused as well. I'm a successful business professional, drive a nice vehicle, had a good life before him and I never thought this nightmare could happen to me.
To top all this off, my ex-husband has submitted an affidavit in favor of my husband but it was excluded from the temporary hearing. He could still testify in court and he hates my guts. The judge we will go in front of will give sole custody to one party and the other will get every other weekend, every other holiday. The trial likely won't be until January if we are lucky. I'm scared but relying on God to see me through this. He is my rock.