When I was first became a furry, I also became an artist, and the two have been inseparably linked for me. I was also bi sexual at the time. During that time I had enough male companionship, but no female companionship that I craved. I eventually chose to be hetero and met a woman. When she found out that I was previously bi, I had to swear that that part of my life was in the past. She also did not like that I was a furry, and after a year, I eventually left the furry fandom. We ended up doing the American Dream bit, getting married, graduating college, getting steady jobs, getting a house with white vinyl fence, dogs, and eventually had a kid together. My partner's health started to really deteriorate once we had a kid, to the point where she was disabled and unemployed.
After 11 years, I happened across one of my old friends from way back in the furry fandom, who had become a successful illustrator and comic book artist. With only a little encouragement, she gave me homework assignments and I started getting back into art, and pretty quickly, into the furry fandom as well. And I have to say, it felt satisfying, deep down to my soul, to be producing art again.
Not going to lie, I didn't make the smartest of decisions. I tried to keep that a secret from my partner. Two years later I ended up checking out a local major furry convention, and I ended up getting bit by the fur suiting bug. About this point in time I started ramping up my participation in the furry fandom, and it starts spilling into other aspects of my life. I also started spending less time exclusively with my partner so that I could work on art and projects as well, and have become chronically sleep deprived. Being an artist is a funny thing. You could have spent the whole day doing things that needed to be taken care of, but if you don't put a pen to paper, the whole day feels unproductive. I digress. My partner at this time had told me that she did not want to hear _anything_ furry related for 6 months. Not my most mature decision, I tried to keep my furry passion underground during that time, and it wasn't until closer to the end of the 6 months that i realized tha t really, my partner just wanted me to spend more time with her.
After the 6 months were up, I was starting to try to strike a balance between the two, spending time with my partner, and trying to be honest and open about my increased presence in the furry fandom. I really want to make a fursuit. But then a major life altering event occurred and my partner was the victim of a crime. My partner reported this crime, and the police then made her a victim a second time by victim blaming her. It's a great injustice my partner has suffered, but the topic itself has also become a very polarizing issue in her life. People either believe she is innocent, or that she is not the victim.
Anyway, a year from the previous furry convention, and I'm allowed to be as involved in the furry fandom as I want to be. I end up making a group of friends who all come to attend the convention, and I have managed to make a tail by this point and attended the con with my friends. My partner, after 2 days into the 4 day convention, basically tells me that either I can continue to attend the convention and she'll divorce me, or I can miss the rest. Tough pill to swallow, but I'd rather not let a furry convention be the reason I get divorced.
A couple weeks later, and we're out having dinner together as a date, and she mentions that she can never accept the furry fandom or me for being part of it. She has a confirmation bias that the furry fandom is all a bunch of perverts. That was basically my breaking point. I've had multiple people tell me that I am in an abusive relationship, even though my partner always tells me that I am the one who is emotionally abusive to her. Having lost our primary source of income when she became disabled, we were on a financial precipice, and at this point in time I can accept that we may finally lose the house and a lot of other stuff. She had made it very clear that if we didn't have a child together, she would have already left me long ago as well. She has repeatedly issued me an ultimatum, do I want to get back together with her or do I want to get a divorce. The first time I did say yes on the divorce, and she did _everything_ in her power to get me to change that statement. No w I simply don't have it in me to tell her that even if it is what I wanted.
I know ultimately, the only person who can make that decision is me, stay or leave. And I know that the reason my life is in financial ruin is from that relationship, but I also know that I have my responsibilities to my child and will not just walk out on my child's life. Sorry to have to give you the whole life story, but I could really use some outside advise right about now. What is your thoughts on staying married vs getting divorced?
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When it comes to the question of getting a divorce, I think you already know the answer. The issue you have come across is not about your being a furry. It is about control and lack of acceptance. You could substitute "I enjoy doing furry stuff" for many other things (e.g., "I am a fanatic about playing golf" or "I really enjoy going to Star Trek and Dr. Who conventions") and she would put an ultimatum on those things, too. Why? Because she feels you are not paying enough attention to her. One might think it is because of her bad impression of furries, but you tried showing her a convention and you have probably told her until you are blue in the face that you aren't having fursuit sex or whatever and she has not listened, has she? Again, it's about control.
Healthy relationships are not about one spouse controlling the other, but you already know that, too. Being a furry is part of who you are, and if she can't accept that then she can't accept you for being you. If that is true, then it is already over, whether or not you divorce.
Next terrible thing is how she is using your child as a weapon. This is unfair to you and it is unfair to your child. Back when I was in high school, my parents were getting ready to break up. I was told several times, "We are only staying together because of you." What a horrible thing to say to your child! In other words, it was my fault that my parents were miserable? If I didn't exist, they would be happily divorced? Holy crap! This is an act of her extorting you, as well. There might be an implication here that you won't get to see your kid?
This all said, I am very sorry for her legal troubles. I believe her and you when you say she was the victim and the police are part of the problem. My sympathies. That is a different issue, however.
It is possible for you to continue to support her and to be a father to your child after a divorce. When my wife divorced me after I realized I was gay and came out to her, we had a rough time of it, yes, but we are now friends, and we still support each other as friends. And if you get divorced, you and she will always be the father and mother to your child, and you can and should always be there in the father role.
My recommendation? Find yourself the best attorney you can afford, and if you are confident in your decision, file for divorce before she does. Why? According to the Washington State law firm McKinley Irvin, there are several reasons to file papers first, according to their website:
Be honest with yourself as to what you want and why, and be prepared for the legal consequences to follow. After the emotional and legal difficulties you will endure, make sure your heart is always in the right place by maintaining your rights to be a father and by trying, if you can, to remain friends with your ex. After all, there were reasons why you married her in the first place, so she can't be all bad.
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