Thanks to all of you who offer support. It means so much to me at this time.
My daughter is the single most important priority. I have passed up going back into my prior field of work which meant much more $ so that I could be here ( locally) for her when she needs to be picked up from school due to illness ( she's only 6-the littles go home sick sometimes) to be here to support her during homework after school, to get her home at a decent time after school ( some parents need to work late and far away so children need to be in aftercare sometimes until 6 pm) I like to get her home, homework done, time spent together etc, bedtime at a good time ensuring her a good nights rest. My salary is 1/2 what I could be making but I choose this for her. Yes children must come first.
We have not gone to counseling. I haven't even suggested it honestly because the love is gone, though I have tried tried tried every possible avenue but things work when 2 people make them work. We are not good parents together. Just this morning I was trying to discuss with him why he was yelling at me the other day in the street....story: he is currently laid off from work ( due to winter construction halts at times) We had significant snow the other day so he plowed the driveway. I had to work still so I went out to see how much longer he'd be because I didn't want our daughter inside alone for more than say 20 minutes while he took care of that stuff outside. He yelled at me, because I said he couldn't leave her alone inside. I went late to work because I didn't want her alone inside. This morning I'm trying to discuss why he shouldn't leave her alone for more than 15 minutes like that, that he shouldn't do it repeatedly...in to check on her back out to work, in to check...he says I'm just being a B*(^%. Doesn't see things the way I see them-that our child comes 1st. Clearing off the walk needs to wait. Driveway needs to be done but the rest-wait. She woke up while we were talking about this. While we weren't even shouting or yelling-she was upset: kids know. It breaks my heart & I as her mother have to stop this, for all the reasons GS mentioned. I am responsible for her future decisions regarding how people treat her. She is learning by my example and my allowing him to talk to me the way he does, to leave the room while I am in mid-sentence, to completely disregard what I say...this is teaching her that it's ok for a man to do that to her. So my decision is made. It is a matter of how to proceed now. With my low salary...things to pay off...I have to wait until those are taken care of I guess.....
I am not sure how he will be with her when the dust settles: maybe he will be a better father with me out of his picture, as I know I will be a better mother with him out of my picture. Yes he will always be her father and there will be visitation and such. I am prepared to offer as much time for them to spend together but with no overnights until she is ready. She has never been a sleepover kind of child-she is still very much in need of her bedtime routine.
The way I see it is that with us apart-there will be no fighting, no scariness for her in how he gets when he gets mad at me.
A week before Christmas we had an argument. He had other things to do rather than bring down the decorations from the attic so she could decorate the tree. He yelled at me, cursed at me, scared our dogs so bad they could hardly stand. And our daughter. He said to her "Bye - have a nice Christmas" and left while she clung to me screaming and crying out of fear because his yelling & cursing scared her so badly. I called his sister because frankly I didn't know of anyone who could make him see what he did to his child...how wrong his behavior was...I do not like ppl to see our drama, but I needed help. She was floored by his behavior in front of a child-his own child. After that he apparently felt badly (days later) but said it was my fault. With us apart-there will be no more of that. There is nothing a mother wont do for her child.
Its a matter of how to go about this. How to quickly save the $ I need and to tell him.
I wish there was an atty here.....
I just keep looking forward to the future-a time where I can take her to pick out her Christmas tree, to decorate it, to make the childhood memories she deserves. A time where she feels safe & secure & has a good relationship with both of us.
I read that what GD said about how some say its better for kids even if parents fight-to stay together. I read that. I do not believe it is true. I feel the lesser of the 2 evils here ( us together with horrible fighting or apart) is us apart. I believe she may never be as secure as children who come from happy marriages, but there inst anything I can do about that. I can only do my best. My best is to make sure she knows she deserves to be treated respectfully in relationships, to be with someone who supports her not tears her down.
So now that I've written a book here....what is the next step-after paying down what I need...do I file for custody or see a lawyer 1st? Do I offer him mediation so that we can save $ ?