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Feeling responsible for the end of my marriage.

Sotired345's picture

I have posted on here before and I have posted about BM, my SD and the fact that my H has 30 reptiles living and breeding in our basement. He started out with 5 the number went up to 12 then up to 50 then down to 30 because some of them died. I’ve had countless issues with BM and SD but my main problem was his reptiles. The risk factor of the kids getting sick from them, the amount of time it took to care for them and the money he spent on them. Last week I told my husband I’d do anything to make our marriage work but I can’t live with 30 reptiles living and breeding in our basement. I asked him to please cut down and he said he refused to compromise took his animals and left. The next day we had a huge fight I yelled called him every name in the book and told him he was leaving his family. He all of a sudden changed the subject and made it about SD. Saying I was never a good enough stepmother. I’ve had my issues and at times I have felt like I didn’t like her but I never did anything bad to her. I tried for years the only reason I stopped trying was because I have two kids of my own and one with autism. BM and stepdaughter complained about everything I did so I stopped. I still continued to do her laundry and make her meals and she would say nothing to me. He just would complain I wasn’t doing enough and didn’t love her. In the end I was ready to put my best foot forward and try harder but I needed him to compromise with the animals he would not. I’m trying to cope with this. The fact that it’s over and he gets to go out there and find someone else while I’m alone caring for our kids. He went into so much debt trying to start a breeding business by himself I begged him to wait. He’s over 20,000 in debt he’s left the house and this need attention. My son has needed new glasses for a month now and he keeps spending money in his animals. I need a plumber because the tub is backed up and there’s no money. I’m getting my car inspected right now and I have to put that on a credit card. I am a stay at home mom I don’t have a job. I can look for one but don’t have care for the kids. This whole thing is horrible and at this point yes I know I could have tried harder with SD and yea I could have kept my mouth shut more when it came to his ex’s demands but I honestly never did anything abusive to this child this past year when she’s come over I just let her hang out with her father. I just wonder if I had been different. But my god BM complains about everything and my SD would walk into the house and just pretend I didn’t exist. She used to say nasty things to me make fun of me behind my back and everyone just thought it was ok. And even in the end through all this BM shocked me by telling people I was a good mother. How horrible could I have been to her child if even BM that caused the most drama said that?

Rags's picture

In summary you care for the children you share with STBXH, you have attempted to work with his toxic crotch nugget and the manipulative womb donor and you feel guilty about the end of your marriage to an infantile snake lover financially failed non man?

Sorry, I don't see any reason for you to feel guilty.

So, call an attorney, nail his ass to the wall for CS and Alimony, and quit worrying about his ability to move on while you are stuck at home with the kids.  Invoke  your rights, and take his ass to the cleaners.  Document, document, document.

Once you get your situation stablized then you can start moving on. He will be the one stuck with his scaley pets and a massive CS/Alimony burden and you can get on with your life.  There are many programs for single parents that allows them to pursue education, improve their ability to support themselves and their families, get support with day care and finances and better their circumstances.  There are also great programs for special needs children that your state will invariably offer.

When we met my bride of 24+ years was a single teen mom college student. She had WIC, susidized day care (she paid $1/day) and the state provided medical coverage for the kid.  She did bust her butt working two jobs and going to school full time but she did get some help.

Use it all and quit lamenting the loss of this POS and his shallow and polluted prior relationship gene pool.

Take care of you, take care of your kids. 

tog redux's picture

I'm with Rags. What the hell are you feeling guilty about? He refused to work with your very reasonable requests (I would not live with 30 of any type of animal in my house) and then blamed you. That's called "animal hoarding", and the fact that many of them died is despicable.

Stop blaming yourself and let this guy go live his life with his reptiles. But call the ASPCA to check on the reptiles' well-being.

susanm's picture

He took the reptiles and went where?  Who on earth is going to take that on?  No one is going to rent to him and no one is that good a friend!  Is he going back to BM?  If so, good riddance!  Make sure you get a good lawyer.  You can file for child and spousal support on your own and I would go fill out the forms today!

susanm's picture

Oh for pete's sake!  Really?  You are better off without an over-grown child playing with snakes and moving in with daddy.

justmakingthebest's picture

Of course he is going to cry "skid"- It shifts the blame from him and his filthy animal hoarding to you. Now here you are questioning yourself... He got you. 

Being a single mom and going back to work after being a wife and SAHM is super scary. I totally get it! However, you can do it! There is help for you, you will get child support. You can work out all kinds of things with alimony while you get on your feet. Get into some online classes if you don't have a degree or any certificates- even getting a quick accounts payable cert is like an 8 week program and around here at least starts at $15/hr. It isn't great but you can start there and go up. If you have something else, great! You are ahead of many SAHM's!! You can and you will get through this. Don't take this man back, it isn't worth it. 

Mumof8's picture

i will add to what has already been said, that I have been a married woman and been completely alone and no one cared to help.  I was REALLY stuck, and then I was a single Mom, and had endless help and support.  Single Moms actually have many things easier than a stay at home mom with a deadbeat spouse.  You will move on with a clean home and happier kids.  BTW, I doubt that the courts would award custody to one one hoarding that many reptiles.  Pretty sure you can win in court.  Also, if BM is back in the picture and SD has bee. Rude and spoken ill of you you can obtain Restraining Orders protecting your children from the influence and negativity of their half sister. Pursue that early.

Sotired345's picture

He moved back in with his father. He has basically told his entire family I hate his daughter and that’s why it’s over. I’ve had issues with SD and yes I’ll admit the past 2 years I haven’t liked her but never hated her. I’ve had issues with my inlaws with their attitudes and of favoritism but I never hated them either. I’ve been an overwhelmed mother of 2 with no help and man that went to work care home and would disappear into his reptile room for hours. I was nervous wreck having those things in my basement. The smell was horrible and the time and money put into it. Plus the germs they carry a lot of germs.i called my kids pediatrician and she told me I had every right to be concerned. My lawyer also feels the kids are not safe with him for a full weekend. I got a letter from the pediatrician stating all the risks to the kids. The fact that there are 30 is even worse. People are saying he’s sick and you guys are not the firsts to call him a hoarder. He’s trying to breed them claims it’s a business but he hasn’t sold anything in over a year and his last clutch of eggs dies. Plus he’s got 10 plus animals down there he’s not even breeding. Huge lizards that need big housing countless heat lamps. 15 snakes. I just couldn’t take it anymore I wanted them out. I used to chase him around with a can of Lysol I was so nervous. Would wipe down door knobs daily. Since he’s been gone I noticed I’m not ding at much and I’m not as nervous anymore. Just more devastated this has happened 

MissDenise's picture

Be thankful he moved out! I'm with the others.. file the papers, he'll have to pay alimony and support. I was a SAHM during our first marriage and after the divorce I did a small home daycare. Had 3-4 kids and it worked out great. My kids had little friends to play with plus the income wasn't bad which still allowed me to stay home. Not for everybody, but ANYTHING would be better than living with all that. What kind of reptiles did he have??  

Sotired345's picture

He has like 6 iguanas, 15 snakes, 8 tortoises some other type lizard. Snapping turtle. I had to count them for my pediatrician to do research. But the iguanas are big bigger than a medium sized dog. The housing for them was big took up our entire boiler room. I would say 12 plus heat lamps on all day long. He spent a lot of time with them. I am very worried about him having all 3 kids on the weekends and then running around a reptile room putting things in their mouths. My youngest is 2 and my 4 year old son with autism is not really verbal and runs around like a 2 year old. My lawyer is doubting he can take care of 3 kids and 30 reptiles.

Rags's picture

See,  you and your children are already realizing the benefits of his departure.  Unplug your feels for a while and look at this as purely an intellectual exercise of a benefit analysis.  I see zero down side in this and nearly infinite upside. Work through the grieving process in parallel to the analytical process and try not to let those two activities cross.

* You and your children are in a far healthier environment both physically and emotionally.

* The source of the your pain and discomfort is gone. Namely STBXH and his toxic prior relationship spawn.

* You have no need to ever again consider what your STBXIL clan may think or feel.  Keep in mind that they are the source of this guy.  How good could they be?  I am confident that the answer to that is "not much".

* The hardest part is done. And STBXH is the one that did it. He is out.  So keep him out and set yourself and your kids up for success.

Please forgive  yourself, though there is nothing to forgive, give yourself and break, and dive into the future with all of your energy, heart and soul.  Your kids will see their mom thriving and they will thrive.


still learning's picture

Time to stop being so nice and get your life in order. Legal aid can help and some lawyers will help at reduced costs or pro bono. You can also ask the courts to pay your fees since he is the one who abandoned you and created this mess.

 Manchild has went home to daddy to run his "business" in daddys basement.  Guess what, you need a license to run a business like that and I'm sure the BBB, daddy's HOA and the IRS would be interested in knowing that he's running an illegal operation plus he keeps killing them so it also qualifies as animal abuse, call the humane society too.  Make some anonymous calls. Make that idjit face the consequences.  

TexasPickles's picture

Ditto on Rags' comment. Stop beating yourself up. Your behavior  towards SD had absolutely nothing to do with your marriage disolving. In fact, living with 30 reptiles and putting up with his snakey SD and slitheryt Ex as long as you did should earn you some kind of sainthood.

Get a good lawyer. Get some kind of certification so you can earn a living. Keep your chin up. You've got this.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Your fatal mistake was marrying that asshat. Everything else; the animal hoarding, enmeshment etc are on him.

CLove's picture

And trying to do major image management. The snakes and reptiles are living at his parents as well as him? Well, they certainly derserve his sorry a$$, they created him. He sounds aweful - im sorry that you had to deal with him for so long. At least you have your kidlings.

Child support and alimony - although this dude sounds like he might be the type that doesnt want to help support children that he helped create. You sound nice - but havinga  tough time brings out the worst in anyone - especially when you are being treated badly. Sd didnt appreciate anything you did for her, and probably has been fed a bunch of lies by BOTH BM and your H.

Rags is spot on - there are so many great programs available for mothers with children.

somethingwicked's picture

up to 50! in the basement and some died from neglect.I cannot imagine the smell  and the filth and that everyone 's health could be impacted  let alone the lost financials as you pointed out in your post.

Was your H always this way with obsessing or collecting ?

This ain't Jurassic Park.

This is the creation of a very disturbed adult man with a psychological illness. Hoarding is a symptom of a deeper emotional issue .It is rooted in control and fear of loss.

He needs help. You can't fix him.All that you are able to do is find a safe place to raise your children .

Get him out or you take the kids and go.

 Sort out the legals in time.Good luck..and Rags is spot on.


Sotired345's picture

I’m not going to lie I probably could have done better as a stepmother but BM drove me crazy and after having 2 of my own and then my sons diagnosis and then H fighting with me all the time about how I needed to be better I just gave up. I couldn’t do it anymore. 

But yea it’s funny you say Jurassic Park because he had hundreds of dinosaur figures in the basement too. In the other room. A whole shelf he was obsessed with dinosaurs too. My H was suspected to be on the spectrum when he was young. Asbergers was what they suspected. He used to tell me he was so depressed he’d think about Suicide. Whenever I would bring up getting rid of the reptiles or cutting down to 4 or 5 he’s loose it. He’d even yell “no” “I’m not getting rid of any” at one point he was taking in other people’s snakes that turned out to be sick. He had a bunch of them that needed antibiotics injection I helped him once administer them. But being in there and just having them in my home just upset me I felt it very unsafe for my little kids. I once told him during a fight it was a health hazard to have so many and he threatened to get lawyer and divorce me. I guess those are classic hoarding signs it just sucks the whole thing. 

Harry's picture

SD has a BF and BM to love her.  Your EX should of had this child with a mother, not going looking for a mother after child was born. As long as SD had food, shelter, ect. That all you have to do.  It’s nice to have some fun with her, but sometimes it is just not possible.  No reason to feel guilty.  

elkclan's picture

I was in a marriage with a guy who I'm quite sure is on the spectrum. They can have many wonderful qualities, but never forget that the way their brains are wired mean it's very difficult for them to express empathy or act in an empathetic fashion. It was also very difficult for my ex to accept any responsibility for things that had gone wrong. He would often turn things back on me - in often truth-y but exaggerated ways basically just to deflect. 

It may well be true that you could have been a better SM. Sometimes when we're feeling stressed and unloved it's a lot easier to pick on someone who doesn't contribute to our financial well-being. Sometimes we just don't have the emotional support that's required to keep on acting with love in the face of dislike and disrespect. But believe me, you could have been Cruella and he wouldn't have cared (much) - as long as you didn't try to get him to cut back on his special interest - the reptiles in his case. Your story almost makes me feel grateful for the 40+ hours of role playing games a week and more figurines in my house than games shop. My ex is now happily/unhappily who cares? living with his D&D miniatures - I'm living with a man who pays me attention and gives me love and affection and supports me in raising my child and in step-parenting his. 

My point is - there's time to reflect on your personal growth later. Right now you have a fugitive man-child who will not want to do right by you so you have to make him. Heck - you may even now find that you and BM have common ground and end up with a good relationship with SD after all (but that should not be your priority right now). 

Sotired345's picture

I’m really pissed about this. For years he’s bitched that he didn’t want kids and we shouldn’t have had them. For years he put all the responsibility on me including SD. He Claimed for years he didn’t want a family and there were other things he wanted to do with his life. Now he’s crying saying he wants to be their father. He put his animals over the needs of his family for years. Now he’s requesting that they spend the weekend at his fathers house with all those animals in the basement. That chances all three of them will be in a house while he leaves the kids alone with his father to go take care of his animals or worse he brings them down there. I’m sorry if some of you disagree but I’m saying no. He can take them for the day on Sunday. I’m not ok with this at all. 

still learning's picture

Nope, not until he has a safe sanitary environment for the kids to be in should he take them overnight.  Put your foot down hard on this and put it in the CO.  Don't give in or be nice to this man who really just doesn't care.  His parents are probaly pushing for this more than he is.  

Sotired345's picture

He had a bunch when I met him not as much as now it was like 7. BM didn’t care their SD was 3 and a half when they split. BM was a different parent then I am. She also used SD to get revenge on him by making him feel guilty and making him take her for days sometimes week because she wanted free time. Some women withhold the kids and turn them against dad she did the opposite. She made sure that we suffered as a couple by having no free time. The first year of our relationship I care second to his guilt and BMs pressure.  We had her for double the time we were supposed to a good 4 days a week. She used to make him take SD for days and days on end. A lot of days I was the one alone and responsible for her. SD slept in a room with a large iguana. SD also used to cry for her mother because BM would demand we take her and H had to work. The crap I went through with them was nuts but I definitely remember even when SD was young he’d just let her roam around his reptile room while he took care of them. I remember us all being together and he would always bring her down there. She went down there by herself a few times to my recollection. My kids are different though my daughter is 2 puts everything I her mouth and my son is 4 with autism can’t speak more than 3 words and he will have all 3 of the kids this weekend. I knew he’s pull that. Wanting all 3 of them on the same weekend so SD and my kids could be together and he could get it over with in one weekend. I’m telling him no.

elkclan's picture

talk to your lawyer before you make any decisions. But don't set up any precedents you're not comfortable with. My ex pulled this shit said he'd never do another pick up again and basically left ALL childcare to me. Once we split he wants 50 50. He's still the same neglectful parent, but my boy's a little older. No way in hell I'd leave a 2yr old in that situation.