I’m sure you will agree with us when we say that divorce is an emotional and heart-wrenching experience for everyone involved.
For many people, the last thing they would want to do it to let the world know about it.
That wasn’t the case for Jeni, mother of two boys Deacon and Drake, when she candidly shared online her horrible experience during the final two years of her marriage.
“My life is harder that it has ever been”
Jeni’s story starts just before her second son, Drake, was born. Jeni and her husband were enjoying being mother and father to their son Deacon, and were excited for the arrival of the new member of the family.
Jeni noticed some odd behavior from her husband but didn’t think too much of it at the time. Sometimes he would come home from work, and head straight to the bathroom where he would stay for an hour or so. Every now and then he would have the jitters and “was a little off”.
At the time they were struggling financially.
“He had a great job. I had a great job. We shouldn’t have been struggling.”
The checks he was receiving from work were getting less and less and Jeni was picking up the slack. She didn’t think anything of it at the time and any checks her husband was getting she thought were going straight to the bank.
It would be some time before she discovered where they were really going…
The financial struggle continued for some time, and his jitters evolved into a hot temper. It seemed that even the smallest thing would make him snap and “flip out”.
“I actually remember having a birthday. I was pregnant. I was with Deacon in the bath tub and I was just hysterically crying because he had completely flipped out on us about nothing”
“I tried to hide my face in the shower curtain so Deacon couldn’t see me so upset”
Incidence like that continued to carry on.
Verbal abuse became a common occurrence. Whilst Jeni wasn’t comfortable with it, she blamed stress and work for his behavior.
“I found excuses for everything”
Often, her husband would work long hours and remove himself from the family. Many days they would rarely see him, and when they did it was ugly.
Meanwhile, money continued to get tighter and tighter when it shouldn’t have.
As Drakes birth came closer and closer, Jeni would consult the videographer they had hired to document the pregnancy. There was minimal footage of Jeni’s husband and with what little footage there was he was snappy and “a jerk”.
“In the pictures you could see he was not there.”
As Jeni’s pregnancy progressed things started to get bad.
Jeni and her husband had recently moved to save money and get closer to her husbands work. Jeni also quit her job to be a stay-at-home mum. It was financially sound for her to take care of the children, rather than work and pay for childcare.
That’s when things started to get suspicious.
“He started hiding his phone.”
The verbal and erratic behavior continued…
“All of a sudden this person I’ve been with for 9 years is all of sudden being so mean to me and so short tempered and so horrible.
At one point, I remember he got mad at Deacon. He was giving Deacon a bath and I was doing the dishes or something. And I look down the hallway and Deacon’s sitting in the hallway, soaking wet, naked, just screaming.
I’m like ‘What’s going on?’
And I’m like ‘Are you kidding me?!’ “
There were much more moments like these. Every single day for quite some time he would be short tempered and behave weirdly. Their financial struggles continued to worsen.
“I was returning items to the shops so I could buy produce, fruit and vegetables, things like that.”
He blamed lending other people money that they had failed to pay back. It didn’t seem right, but Jeni believed him.
“I wanted to believe him. And I did believe him for so long and I stood by him and I did everything I could.”
Finally Jeni sat her husband down and confronted him about his behavior.
Jeni was suspicious that something was up. Maybe he had a gambling habit that she didn’t know about.
Finally they sat down to talk about it. He told her he had a pill problem. It completely took her by surprise.
“It had gotten out of control. He had been withdrawing large sums of money from paychecks and getting money from payday loan places.”
As a result of his drug habit, he had accumulated a huge about of debt.
Jeni worked with her husband to pay off the debt and help him off the drugs. She sold old clothes to pay off loans and after 3 solid months they had paid off the majority of her husbands debt.
Things were looking good. They had made a plan to take control of their lives and started up a new exercise routine together.
She was excited to see that the weight fell off him and she attributed to the exercise.
But it was something more. Not being someone who knew a lot about drugs, Jeni didn’t recognize what was really going on with her husband.
That was until January 2013…
“I was in the master bedroom. His wallet was on the counter and was open. I saw a registration in it and I was like, ‘well, why is there a registration in there?’ And I took it out and opened it up and there was some ‘crystally’ things in the bottom of it.”
After finding the substance in her husband’s wallet she texted her husband’s dad – something that she was terrified to do.
Her husband had said he would leave her if she ever texted his dad about his drug problem. She didn’t know what to do.
“I didn’t want to be left. I didn’t know how I would do it. It was so scary to me.”
She had never fathomed even the possibility of divorce.
Jeni was incredibly upset that something like this was so accessible to the kids. He had been lying to her all this time.
It was only later that she found out that the substance was Crystal Meth.
It continued to get ugly.
Once again she bailed him out of it and continued to stand by his side.
“We struggled for 6 months.”
The odd behaviors continued to develop. He would take on a hobby with Remote Control Helicopters. The hobby would turn into an obsession.
A common behavior with Meth users is they tend to tinker with things, pulling them apart and putting back together.
However, at the time, Jeni didn’t know it was a sign of anything. Her husband had said he had stopped.
Jeni wasn’t the only person affected by her husbands increasing odd behavior. The kids were showing signs of distress from it all.
The final straw would come on Deacon’s birthday.
As they were setting up for a party, Jeni’s husband was yelling and screaming at the kids.
Her husband’s family, who had witnessed the behavior, finally confronted Jeni, saying it was time for her to leave.
“It was done. It was enough. I had put in my time. I had dealt with it for 2 years, of the abuse from him.”
The whole situation hit Jeni when she finally called her mum.
“I’ll be so strong and everything’s OK and I can keep it together and the moment I talk to my mum, or I give her a hug, I just break.”
Jeni moved to her parents place, removing her and the kids from the chaos of it all.
She would continue to help her husband, taking him to rehab and other institutions to make it work.
“It sucks so bad to just know somebody for such a large portion of your life and have them choose a substance over their family. I don’t even know what to compare it to.”
She would ask herself, many times, if there was a chance to get back together. In the beginning she wanted to, but it only got worse.
Jeni would eventually get custody of her children, allowing her husband to have supervised access to the children.
Jeni’s video is not about bad mouthing her ex-husband. Her video testimony is aimed at helping others. She wants to help somebody who might be living with somebody dealing with the same things and let them know it is OK to leave.
“You have to get to a point to make a decision that’s best for your family.”
Jeni’s video was not about bad mouthing her ex-husband. Her video testimony was aimed at helping others. She wants to help somebody who might be living with somebody dealing with the same things and let them know it is OK to leave.
“You have to get to a point to make a decision that’s best for your family.”
Jeni continues to hope that her husband gets better, but at the time of this video, he’s not. She realizes it is not going to change any time soon.
“It’s only effecting me harder and harder and worse and worse and everything else everyday but…you know…there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully we reach that light soon.”
You can watch the entire video here:
Are You Struggling With Your Divorce?
If you are in a situation like Jeni’s please reach out and contact the following organisations:
- Lifeline Australia: A national charity that helps Australian’s experiencing personal crisis like Jeni and her husband. They offer a 24 hour crisis line and suicide prevention services. Call them on 13 11 14
- Kids Help Line: A free 24 hour councelling service available for young people aged 5 to 25 years. Call them on 1800 55 1800.
- The Salvation Army: Provides domestic violence support options. Their 24 hour care line can be reached on 1300 36 36 22.
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