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Should I separate from my husband?
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Should I separate from my husband?

Hi.  I've been with my husband for 9 years, married for 6. We have a three year old son. I have been unhappy for a couple years now. He is very moody and I think he has bouts of depression and severe anxiety but won't admit it and won't get help for it. He drinks a lot instead, and gets angry at me and my son. He did hit me once before we were married. He knew it was wrong and never did it again although he's hit me in his sleep. (he's a sleepwalker) he has also been agressive with our son. He was so angry once when he was 2 he threw him down hard on the couch. My son loves him to death but is also intimidated by him as am I. I can't talk to him about things because if I don't always see things his way he gets mad and makes me feel horrible. I'm often happier when he's gone and it's just me and my son. I don't want to have sex with him and we've probably kissed 20 times in the last 6 years! I see that as a block of intimacy. Also I have an anxiety disorder which he doesn't understand. And twice when I had a medical emergency he refused to call an ambulance even when I begged him to. Very scary. Since I've been married I've struggled with an eating disorder and panic attacks. I know my husband loves me but he doesn't seem to understand my needs. So far he has refused counseling and won't stop drinking. I'm completely torn up inside and don't know what to do! I don't want to break up my family but I can't live this way and many of my feelings for him have died. Please help?!
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145992_tn?1341348674
There is so much wrong here that I don't even have anything in me to say stay and try to work it out.  Here is what you pointed out in your post and there isn't any excuse for any of it.

1. He's agressive with your child.  
2. He's physically hurt you.  Once or not, still happened.
3. He's an alcoholic.
4. He has severe mood shifts which leave you with severe anxiety.
5. Doesn't care about you or your needs.
6. You are more comfortable and happier when he's not around.
7. There is no intimacy.

I'm sure there are more reasons that you have for being unhappy but having said it here but this is all enough of a reason why you shouldn't stay.  He doesn't love you if he treats you this way.
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303824_tn?1294875001
First I want to say how sorry I am you and your son are going through this, and will continue to go through it as long as you stay. At this point, it sounds like you have exhausted any attempts at trying to make him change, and he refuses. He won't either as long as he doesn't see there's a problem, and there definitely is! I fear for yours and your son's safety and I am concerned that you (or your son) will be a target (again) during one of his explosive outbursts. I am even more concerned that he refused to call an ambulance when you needed medical attention! You have listed many many reasons in why you should end your marriage, and while under normal circumstances, I would recommend counseling, your circumstance is anything but normal. I don't see how in the world you could work it out when things have gone as far as they have. Once you hit a certain point in the marriage (abuse, and in ANY form) there usually isn't any going back unless help is sought, but in your case he refuses. If you have somewhere that you can take your son, GO! I hope you have the resources and the willpower to do it, especially for your son's well being.

Also, the longer you stay, the more your son sees the abuse and will mimick it either to you, or later in life to his own spouse.

You deserve so much better out of a marriage! No one should have to live in fear of their spouse and I pray you will get yourself and your son out before something drastic happens to either one (or both) of you. You will be in my thoughts!
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940642_tn?1336067111
I'm normally one to say hang on to the bitter end, but what you have described is unacceptable.

I dont know your other circumstances, so I would suggest that you get your act together by figuring out a plan for yourself and your son (where you will live, how you will earn money, transportation, etc...) and I would leave.

I'm sorry for your situation.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry that you are going through this, but i do beleive that you have already made up your mind on what to do, so you do not need anyones permission just go ahead and do what you have to  to protect you and your child  luck  jo
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686059_tn?1293837427
Let's see...Unhappy for a couple of years, depressed personality and drinks, has anger issues, past physical violence considered abuse with you and child, agressive with child, child fears and is intimidated by him = unhealthy environment and child might think this is normal behavior within a family, unaproachable for communication, you feel better when he's not around, lacking passion and intimacy, unresponsive to a medical emergency = insensitive in emergency, your body is reacting to dysfunction with eating disorder and panic attack, refuses counseling, fear of breaking up famiy (family is already broken up), your feeling for him have died (you don't love him anymore).

It's time for you to make a plan for you and your child to leave. I don't think counseling is going to help, since he's not opened minded to it or you. You can't stay with a man who is condesending to you and has the potential of violence (you hear this on the news all the time, husband kills wife under anger) and it's your responsibility to protect your son and his environment. Talk with family first and have them help you, but you need to leave now. Think about divorce once you take yourself and child to a safe environment now.
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686059_tn?1293837427
Also, if have read all of the above responses, we all agree that for your safety and that of your child you need to leave now.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks to everyone for the responses. It is very good to have another perspective. I should clarify that he isn't always angry and we have shared many happy times. I guess all the other stuff has just worn on me over time. I do love him, but I also have anger and resentment toward him. Any time my son is with him, especially when i'm not there too, my son really acts out crying and throwing tantrums. Way more than with me. I used to think it was because I am Mommy, but lately it's been worse. If there's achance to save my marriage I want to try. But things can't stay as they are because I'm not happy. Does anyone think a trial separation might work if I can somehow get him I to counseling? I thought maybe if we were apart for awhile it would help me to gain perspective, and him too. Some of my old feelings might come back for him if I miss him. I'm so confused and I NEVER thought it would come to this! I appreciate everyones help and support.
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry I had another thought. My husbands father is very similar to him in personality and abrasiveness.  So this was his model as a child; a man who was very insensitive to his wife a d still is. But I k ow he doesn't want to be like his father and he also has a very sweet and sensitive side that I love although my previous posts make him sound horrible. Right now I'm struggling with INTENSE guilt about hurting and abandoning him. Also I would feel bad about making my son leave the only home he knows. I fear for my husbands mental health if I leave...how can I deal with the guilt???
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902589_tn?1268152453
It is not up to you to fix your husband. There is nothing you can do to fix him. HE has to realize that he needs to change and HE has to do it for himself. Even if you both go to counseling he will NOT change unless HE wants to.

This sounds like a dangerous situation for you and your child and i would get out before something really bad happens.
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686059_tn?1293837427
Tell him how unhappy you are and would like for both of you to see a marriage counselor or a priest is also trained to help in marital problems. I agree with megochick, it sounds like a potential dangerous situation for you and your child.
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145992_tn?1341348674
Do you see the cycle?  His father was this way therefore your son will wind up this way if you don't put an end to it.  No it's not his fault since his role model was a dysfunctional one but a person needs to take responsibility for their actions.  He can't use his childhood as an excuse for his behavior.  Yes, it's difficult to be different from your parent but it can be done.  Not every person who has witnessed abuse becomes an abuser.  My friend's father used to cheat on his mother all of the time, his son knew this and vowed never to be like him and he isn't.  But like megochick said, it's not your job to fix him.  And you can't.  People only change if they know they have a problem and want to change themselves.  For therapy on abusers, this change will take years.  Of course he can be sweet, or else what would have made you fall in love with him.  But just because someone can be sweet sometimes doesn't mean that that sweetness outweighs all of the bad they do.  His bad qualities will really affect your child in the end.  It's not like he's sweet and then his bad is maybe staying out really late when he's hanging out with friends.  His bad is aggressively attacking you and your child.  You are the one suffering from all of this.  As far as a trial separation, I don't think it will work because he will miss you and then beg you to come back with promises that he will change and you will go back and his sweetness will only last a short while and he will go back to the way he was before.  I do think a separation will be good for you as long as you seek therapy for yourself during this time.  If he choses to go, great but I think you will learn a lot about yourself individually.  You may understand why you allow this man to treat you like this and know you deserve better.
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960021_tn?1270666282
If you do decide to leave your husband, your son will thank you for it later on down the road once he's old enough to understand your reasoning behind it. If you're being sincere when you say to all of us that your son is also intimidated by your husband, then he might even understand your reasonings now for doing so. You must do what you feel to be within the best of interest of you and your child right now.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again to everyone. After speaking with my counselor I mustered the courage to confront my husband about my unhappiness. I was surprised at his ability to acknowledge his behaviors. He was shocked when I told him I might leave if it didn't get better. He ultimately agreed to go to marriage counsing with me. He also agreed to find a  counselor of his own through work. I can tell he is very afraid of losing me. He recently got promoted and work and feels really good about himself now (well, except for my bombshell.) He said that the reason he's been so hard on me these past years is because he was unhappy in his job, felt inadequate in his ability to support us and was super focused on improving his work situation. He said that now that he has a new job he will be much happier and things will be better for us and our son. I think there is truth in that but the problem is I don't feel the same about him anymore. Can I get those old feelings back? Also, he has been so upbeat the last two days since our talk it seems like  he's being super optimistic and acts like nothings wrong. I don't want to be a downer, but things are still wrong for me. Should I go stay with my pare ts awhile? Does he teat get it? Or should I try some counseling sessions with him and see how that goes first before I decide. Also, I don't feel my son and I are in imminent danger. I'm just confused and resentful about his moments of anger. And this makes it hard for us to communicate. Any more thoughts?
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960021_tn?1270666282
Although this might not be the advice you wish to hear right now, I think it would be within your best interest to stay in the same household as your husband for the time being and see how things work out with the counseling sessions for the both of you. Believe it or not, it might even be beneficial to have your child see how their mother and father works through their issues as a team, together. Even though none of us are able to sit here and say that we know you or your husband personally, we can only go on the words in which you've posted here on this thread; But from the sound of your husband's reaction to what you've come forward with to him, it seems as though he truly wishes to make a change for the better when it comes to your marriage.

Give this a shot and continue to try and remember that you and him got married years ago for a reason. The more you think about this the better of you'll be, but ultimately the rest of the work is up to the both of you and not just him.
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Avatar_f_tn
I decided to leave. I tried and tried to get through to my husband and he just doesn't get it. He said he would go to counseling but he won't admit the drinking problem. A week after I told him it's either counseling or I leave, he said he thought thinks were better because he had put some things away I the kitchen he'd left out, and why was I still u happy? Also my son has been staying with my mom and he told her he doesn't want to go home. He has missed me and I came to visit him, but he hasn't said one word about his dad except that he had a scary dream about daddy. I'm staying at my dads house for now and were getting the house set up so my son can stay with me there. I will work out visitation with my husband. Right now I don't know if were heading for divorce but I'm pretty sure I don't love my husband anymore and I can't live with an alcoholic who manipulates me and scares my son. Also emotionally I have left the marriage after having been disregarded for so many years and I think there is a better man out there somewhere for me. Not perfect, I know, but better and healthier for me. How do j know if I've made the right choice? I'm going with my gut now. I am seeing a therapist on a regular basis who has helped me come to realize many things and muster the courage to do what I've done. Any thoughts?
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145992_tn?1341348674
You know its right when you start feeling like a million pounds has been lifted off of you.  When you start to feel happy again.  It won't be right away but it will happen.  Your kids will start to feel better also.  Once you see what life is really like and you don't have the burden of an alcoholic, abusive husband, you will know it was right.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well things are really tough. I've rallied the support of lots of friends to help me get through this. At this point I'm 99% sure it is over. I don't feel I have anything left to give because I have already been carrying the weight of this relationship for ten years. I feel really bad for my husband and his sense of absndonemenr. He really wants me back and wants to try again. The thing is, I don't. Sadly, I don't love him anymore and I don't want to be married to him anymore. Now I have to somehow deal with the guilt of it all, figure put the finances, division of property, and custody issues while in the mean time he isvdesperately trying to get me to come back. But like I said, I'm done. I'm afraid his family will hate me now too. How do I get through this- especially the feelings of guilt???
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686059_tn?1293837427
I am so very, very proud of you and your courage. You see...you have the ability to take control of a very difficult situation and make the right decisions for you and your child....I'm so very proud of you. This is not an easy situation for you and when he said, that it was because of his job, what would happened if he loss his job completely, would hit you? It sounded as if he has the potential of violence against you and you are your sons, voice and protector. If my child would tell me he is afraid of daddy, I would have left immediately too.

You have absolutely no reason to feel guilty for leaving or aftermath of a seperation. If anyone is to feel guilty or have is conscience bother him is your husband. Write on a piece of paper all of the terrible things he has said and done to you and your child and everytime you feel guilty of anything, pull out that piece of paper as a reminder of this abusiveness. Keep your child safe and one step at a time for you. It's going to be a little rough ahead, but you ARE a strong woman as you have proven to all of us here. We are here for you if you just want to talk.  God bless and rest easy....it's going to be alright.
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686059_tn?1293837427
Also, you owe his family nothing. As a result of his upbring, they have created a dysfunctional, abusive man and you don't owe them anything. Do not permit them to make you feel like a "bad woman" for leaving your home. Within time, they will realize that your husband poor treatment of you has resulted in your leaving, so do not feel guilty of anything to anyone.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well it's been a week since I left. I agreed to meet my husband for dinner so we could just talk and he showed up dressed really nice with a huge bouquet of roses. We sat in a booth in the restaurant and neither of us could eat anything. He looked skinny too. He said he hadn't eaten or slept well foe days. I tried explaining why I felt it was over and he cried and begged me to stop saying that. He said he wants to change and be a better
man, that I'm his whole life. It killed me to see him like that. When it was time to part he gave me a hug and wouldn't let go. I was so worried about his state of mind I made him call his parents for support before I left. I'm scared to be starting over alone and oh, the GUILT!!!
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686059_tn?1293837427
It's a very difficult time for you and your husband. It's obvious that he is showing remorse at his abusive behavior. I recommend that you both seek a marriage counselor to help sort out the problems in your marriage if he is willing to do that.  Take it one day at a time at this time, but make sure he is aware that you want change or you are not coming back.
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Avatar_f_tn
We have been to see a marriage counselor and through that and other conversations with my husband I realize that he still cant see what he has done wrong over the years.  He says I have unrealistic expectations for marriage and that I will never be happy or satified with any man.  He also says because I left so suddenly I am unstable and not fit to take care of our son.  He changed the locks on the doors to our house and demanded the wedding ring back.  One day he says he has made mistakes and has hurt and blamed me for a lot and the next he says I'm crazy, cruel and horrible.  He yells at me one day on the phone and then calls me up the next to see if he can come by to make me soup?? Also he has been calling my family and persoanal friends to ask questions about me, including my parents! I had the cell phone plan divided so he cant track my calls anymore.  I had to change my email account because he could get into that and block him from my facebook page because he was tracking me there too.  I finally have fantanstic lawyers on retainer and we are getting the ball rolling for filing for divorce.  He is right in that this has happen fast but I cant stand to be with the man anymore and I don't love him and there is nothing to "work out" in my mind because of who he is fundamentally as a person.  He cant accept me for who I am an never has.  Years and years of resentment have built up to the point of when I see his face or hear his  voice , I cringe.  I have found a house to rent and will be moving in in about a month with my son.  Right now my main concern is him.  I want him to know mommy and daddy both love him and he will have two homes now.  I don't want to keep him from his father and I want the custody to be managed fairly.  I wish my husband any ill will, I just dont want to be with him at all anymore.  BUT I still feel guilty for leaving the person I feel I have taken care of emotionally for almost 10 years.  I still worry about him even though my friends and family tell me to stop.  How can I? Everytime we talk on the phone about our son it leads him to question me about my feelings, who I'm spending time with and his hopes for reconciliation which tears me up with anxiety.  How can I cope with this and just focus on me and my son???
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Avatar_f_tn
What I meant to say is that I DON'T wish my husband ill will and if I could spare him the pain of all this I would.  Sometimes I actuallly wish he would find another woman to comfort him right nowl.  Anyway, just wanted to clarify that I don't hate him, just dont love him at all anymore.
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686059_tn?1293837427
All this is expected during a divorce. A divorce is a life changing event that if not managed properly can affect your future relationships. I am still very proud of you and during the divorce, let your attorneys be your voice towards him. Take sometime to heal, reflect and gather your thoughts on your new "abusive" free life.

I'm glad to hear that you mutually agree that it is very important for your child to maintain a good relationship with his father, as long as his father is not abusive with him.

Surround yourself with good people and a good environment for you and your child and your future is going to flourish. Best wishes
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Avatar_f_tn
My lawyers are filing a petition for divorce in two weeks.  My husband has received a letter stating this and that it is advised that he seek his own legal representation.  Right now our custody issues are up in the air and its very difficult to deal with.  Every time I have to talk to my husband regarding my son he starts asking me personal questions about what I've been doing and who I've been spending time with.  He especially wants to know if I've had contact with other men.  The truth is I do have male friends now, which I was never "allowed" to do during our marriage.  He accuses me of seeing them and says he "has his sources" to inform him.  Its creeping me out.  I told him that what I do and who I see is none of his business anymore because we're getting a divorce.  I keep my life with my son very separate from my social life so he doesn't have to worry about that and I don't think he is, he just can't stand that I'm moving on.  Every time we talk we have the circular arguments that go round and round where he claims someone told him something bad about me but wont say who, that I'm cruel and disloyal and have destroyed him, how it must be nice for me to have no heart and not care anymore.  AHHH! I have tried to be neutral and even sympathetic with his side through this but every time I talk to him it just reinforces why I want the divorce! What can I say or do to get him to leave me alone??
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145992_tn?1341348674
My best friend is going through something similar.  Her husband was very controlling and emotionally abusive.  They've been separated for a year now and every time he comes to see his son, all he wants to do is talk about their relationship.  When he calls if he starts talking about them as a couple, she hangs up and doesn't answer his calls.  If he starts in on her during a visitation, she leaves and tells him that he can see his son on his next scheduled day.  She won't stand for it and makes sure that he knows the limitations.  You need to do this as well.  Set rules with him and if he goes against any of the set rules you cut off conversation or you leave the situation.  You have to gain back the control here.  Don't feel pressured into answering any questions.  He's just trying to intimidate you.  Don't fall for it.
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686059_tn?1293837427
Tell him "Refrain from any future contact with me, you will be easy to forget"...that should get him off your back.
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686059_tn?1293837427
One more thought...tell him that the only communication he should have with you is in regards to your son and that's it. If he threatens you in anyway, warn him that you will put a "Peace Bond" on him, which means he will have to stay away 500 feet from your home and work place (That's in Illinois, find out the info for your home state).
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184674_tn?1360864093
I never got a chance to see this post from last month, but I caught up with the story through all the posts, and I just wanted to tell you, I can relate to your feelings and situation 100%.
I was never married, but maintained a relationship with my ex for eight years (we were ages 14-22--way too young, but by ages 18-19, it was basically an "unofficial marriage"). We had our son when I was 20 and he was 19. Like your ex, he had extreme and sporadic mood swings, he was an alcoholic/drug user, had a bad father-son relationship with his dad, and he was controlling, manipulative, and emotionally and verbally abusive to both me and our son. It wasn't at all uncommon for him to cuss out his 2 year old son and get right in his face to do it if he thought our son was "out of line," and one time he slapped him (at age 2) across the face because of a typical toddler tantrum, and left a handprint across his face. I don't know why I didn't leave him then.
Anyway, I finally got the gumption to kick him out of my life shortly after that incident when yet another incident came up when he was slightly drunk and was cussing me out and shouting at me for renting him a wrong movie. In his rage, he turned on our son for simply being in the same room and getting scared that his daddy was in my face shouting at me and threw him onto his bed for a "time out" and threatened to spank him if he dared to come out of his room.
I knew nearly a year before all of this that I didn't love him anymore; I was just staying with him because it was like a sick, dysfunctional comfort zone and I felt like I could handle it. When I kicked him out of my house that day, it was the most liberating and happy feeling in my life. I knew I was finally doing something RIGHT.
After that, my ex started going through the EXACT same cycle as your husband, with the regret and remorse, crying and begging for me back, he was so sorry. He changed his entire appearance "for me:" cut his long hair, shaved his beard, got some nice casual dress clothes, kept his button-down shirt tucked in, wore slacks, and get this--carried around a Bible because he claimed to have become a Christian, then started coming to church when he knew I'd be there when all the years before never wanted to regularly attend church with me.
When that tactic failed, his rage with me started. He was always calling me and accusing me of being cruel and heartless, how that must be great for me to be able to deal with this without a heart, and how I was ruining his life, how no one would ever love me the way he did, and I'd be lucky if anyone saw in me remotely what he saw, because, in his words, I wasn't "a very attractive woman" and I had "a big nose" and my "t*ts were too small." At one point he said he hated me so much that he "wouldn't p*ss on me if I was on fire."
Then he would change and be "neutral" and just want to make small talk, like one time he called me asking for a recommendation for an eye doctor. These conversations, although I tried not to entertain them, always led to personal questions of wondering if I was seeing another man.
Eventually, six months after the breakup, he moved back to our home state, which is 1500 miles from where I live now. That was triggered by the fact that I did start seeing another man, which he claimed was too heartbreaking for him to deal with, so he was just going to leave, and he did.
Since then, he's done little to maintain any contact or relationship with his son, who is now 4½ years old and knows him only as his dad who lives in Colorado and not much more. He wants to see his daddy again, and misses him and prays for him every night, but his father has made almost no effort whatsoever in the last two years to maintain a relationship with him, even though I've never kept him from doing so, and never would in a million years.
Oh, and that man I had started seeing that supposedly caused my ex to move back to CO so he wouldn't have to face the "heartbreak" of me moving on with my life without him? I'm marrying him next week, and he is the most wonderful, decent man I could ever imagine having, and my son and him have an extremely close bond and he calls my son his son.
There is life after such heartache--and believe me, as liberated and happy as I felt to be rid of a controlling, emotionally abusive relationship, I was still heartbroken. I felt so guilty for breaking apart my family, for allowing my son to be treated as I allowed myself to be treated badly, and for putting my son through losing his father. I felt like I'd wasted 8 years of my life and like I had ruined my ex's life. With a few months of counseling, family and good friends' support and encouragement, I was able to heal considerably, although not completely. I don't think it's possible to ever heal completely.
But life will and does get better if you're willing to move on, setting goals and standards that you know are better for yourself and your child.
I wish the best to you! There is hope--I may be young, but I've been there. God bless!
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