Thank you horselvr and the others.....
RE: deriliction of duty and my respsonibility to protect my son-
Perhaps it's a matter of opinion but I, indeed, am doing that very thing - protecting my son. I did state that I refuse to go back to live in the mold house, therefore not exposing my son to it.
No, I do not want to live permanantly in this camping trailer but it is a big safety & health improvement over where we were, if just left up to my husband. And no, I do not wait for strangers to bring us bags of groceries.
Everything you have told me to do based on what make sense to you involves legal action which would immediately put my child at risk because it would create a situation where custody of him (and the new baby) would likely be shared and for my children to be exposed to my husband outside of my presence and control would be the worst deriliction of motherly duty I could do.
At least right now, he acknowledges that I am the sole caretaker and nurturer of the children and he leaves me alone re: them. Yes, it's weak, pathetic, unmanly abdication of his fatherly responsibility. But, he is not capable of any better as long as he remains a narcissist unwilling to get help. He does give me some money, although he is often "jacking around" with what he gives me and often plays games with me in order to get, but eventually, I do get it...or at least some.
Ya, it sucks, very, very much so. But what would be the worst thing of all, would be that in an effort to gain a more secure mode of financial support by him by the courts enforcing it, I end up putting my children at great risk because of having to share custody with an emotionally dangerous man who is not governed by any sense of good conscienous or fear of God.
You say what makes me think he'd get custody? No, not because he said so or threatens it. It's easy for others to sideline it and think FOR SURE a guy like that couldn't get custody but I know him. I know his power and skilled deceptive ability. I know this small, good-ol' boy town we live in. He also has been through this before having gone through a divorce years ago in this town when his now adult daughters were small. His ex had all kinds of proof, too, yet he managed to decieve the court and get joint custody and even get her in trouble during times when she'd call the police on him.
It's naive to think this is a open and shut case. It's a game....one that he knows how to play very well.
Horselvr, you said I should grow a backbone. What do you think it takes to sacrifice more common comforts in order to provide for and protect your children alone & pregnant in a camping trailer that is at least clean & healthy? You may think courage only comes by way of a court system, but I tell you, I don't think most women would have the strength and courage to sacrifice in this way. I don't mean to pat my own back but I'm just trying to get you to understand courage may come in ways that are foreign to you but that does not make them less courageous. I don't expect you or anyone to understand that but I do think you are out of line to think I am not a responsible mother without a backbone.
A more regular, court-enforcable income in exchange for the emotional & mental health & safety of my children and possibly their physical safety? In the name of responsible, dutiful, self-sacrificing, courageous mothering - I say, no thanks. 18 years is a short time for my children to be under my not-perfect but at least God fearing influence and care...that's number one.
While I appreciate the kind and thoughtful input that people have given, please do keep in mind my question was not, what should I do but simply trying to understand if the Church (spoken or unspoken) is more accepting of mistreatment of a wife but at least staying married to her as opposed to divorcing her. I ask that question trying to understand my husband's motivation for trying so hard to drive me to be the one to do it but his refusing to be the one to file the paperwork.
I do know that he and his brothers (all except one, divorced and unable to keep women married to them) maintain the notion of "Poor men, it's just another story of another woman doing her man wrong" type mentality. Perhaps his motivation truly is to be able to say in the end, "Yep, another woman did me in by divorcing me. She did it, not me." Maybe it means that much to him.
One bit of his childhood background that will help understand him a bit more: although they had a strong, Catholic upbringing, the father was horridly abusive to the children, my husband getting the worst of it, for some reason. The mother always just looked the other way and prides herself in that she never left her husband, staying married to him (in the home) through it all. You can see traits in all the adult kids of how they just create their own realities and are knocking & judgemental of everyone else except themselves, lie and decieve because that's the only way they knew how to survive the pain of childhood. To this day, all the kids worship their mom, even though she never protected any of them from their father. Her glory and pride is that she never took the kids and left and they literally, just about worship her. She is an awful, arrogant, cold, prideful in a very bad way type of woman and yet she seems to be the measuring stick for the sons.
Anyway, I'm sorry...I can take a lot but when someone starts attacking me as a mother, the one single most important thing that keeps me fighting (albeit unconventional for most) the best I know how to protect my kids from exposure to their father outside of my presence, that's where I don't do so well. Constructive critiscism, absoluetly. Condescending remarks, please, keep them to yourself.