I feel terrible. So terrible.

(32 Posts)
ilovehugs Sat 23-Mar-13 23:09:32

Two weeks into separating. 14 year relationship, two kids aged 5 and 7. I'm happy to be apart from him, I've wanted out for so long. But... his pain. I feel just so bad. I feel like I've ruined a man's life. I haven't cried once. He is crying every day. I feel wretched with guilt. . I'm certain I could ever have been intimate with him again and that was the cause of so much pain and frustration for both of us, like a dry rot in the relationship. I'm trying to do want I can. inviting him over all the time. Letting him be reallly angry and mean to me without raising to it. Making so much effort, but even that has a whole nother dimension of pain for him. I feel like I've destroyed a persons life. Is this normal to feel this way? Does it get any better?

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 23-Mar-13 23:13:50

I have no experience of what your going through never been in a very long term relationship but you cannot stay with someone who you don't want. You really can't and you shouldn't have to. You cannot stay with a man because of guilt or his happiness his happiness is his responsibility. Also you don't have to take him taking his anger and sorrow out at you, thats really not healthy and not helping either of you.

I don't think inviting him over all the time nd letting him get all emotional is helping. To him, it probably just feels as though he's still got a chance. Be civil and pleasant to him but set boundaries. He has or should have friends he can sound off to.

whethergirl Sat 23-Mar-13 23:19:00

ilovehugs, you are not responsible for your happiness. It would be more cruel if you were to stay with someone you didn't want to be with. Time will heal his pain, but personally I feel that some distance would be better between you, it would make it easier for him and you wouldn't (and shouldn't) have to see him in pain all the time. I don't think it's acceptable for him to be consistently angry and mean to you either, that can't help - no wonder you're feeling like shit.

Of course it will get better.

whethergirl Sat 23-Mar-13 23:19:36

Sorry, that should be not responsible for his happiness

ilovehugs Sat 23-Mar-13 23:39:27

Thanks.... He is so broken and I feel... so utterly relieved that he's out the house. I honestly think he thought he was calling my bluff by saying right 'let's sell the house NOW' and 'as far as I'm concerned we're offically separated now' etc. When he came around today I thought he wanted to talk about sorting out practicalities. When I had an answer for everthing and was talking calmly about renting houses and money etc etc, he suddenly errupted and started saying 'so.. that's it then, you've decided it and you're too pig headed and will never conceed' etc etc. By the end of the day, I had been so disarming that he stopped being rude, but just left looking broken hearted. If I could have managed to be like that when we were together... but still...there is no way, that chemistry was long gone. He has no friends and a small family who he doesn't get on with. They can be very sombre. He is so lonely. He misses us all. But... the thought of living with him again fills me with horror.

whethergirl Sun 24-Mar-13 00:14:53

Whatever he needs right now - whether it's sympathy, empathy, reassurance, support etc. - he needs to get it elsewhere, not from you. I know it sounds harsh, but actually it'll be better for him in the long run. This break up is hard for both of you, in different ways. You have your own stuff to deal with. You don't need guilt piled up on top of it all.

He may be broken hearted but this is not the end of the world. He will see his dc and he will adapt and this will all be quite normal one day. This could all work out better for him too, he just doesn't see it yet. One day, he might thank you (at least internally!) for putting a dead relationship to an end.

Don't torture yourself with thoughts of getting back together. There are good valid reasons why you decided to split and it does sound like you really have made the right choice.

It's alright for you to be concerned for his welfare, he is after all, the father of your dc and you want them to have a happy dad. But his happiness is not in your hands.

Fleecyslippers Sun 24-Mar-13 09:14:18

I'm assuming that you've been to counselling with him so he knows the issues ? And presumably the split wasn't completely out of the blue for him.
It's just going to take him time and as long as the kids aren't being affected by his emotions, then you'll probably just have to ride the storm. He deserves to be with somone who loved him and hopefully when he realises that, things will get easier.

flubba Sun 24-Mar-13 09:26:16

I have no experience or expertise here, but when you said "he misses us all" it made me wonder whether, if you're the one who's instigated the separation, then maybe you're the one who should move out and he should get to be with the kids?

As I say, I'm no expert, but taking them away from him too must be double or triple the blow.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 24-Mar-13 11:33:26

I don't see why she should leave confused I really don't think it would be good for their dc to be their dads emotional crutch.

whethergirl Sun 24-Mar-13 23:40:52

confused hmm I don't really follow your logic Flubba! Since when should the decision of where the kids stay depend on who ended the relationship?#

Fleecyslippers why would you assume they went to counselling? I know it's common advice on here but it's not for everyone. Sounds to me as if OP felt very clear that she was unhappy in this relationship and unable to continue.

How are you ilovehugs? I do feel for you, it's a heartbreaking situation to be in. The fact is, you can't be with him. You're doing the best thing for him. Don't you think he deserves to be with someone who loves him? It's just that it's not you and he will slowly come to realise this.

flubba Mon 25-Mar-13 06:01:47

No, you're right, the kids shouldn't have to be their dad's emotional crutch, hadn't thought of it in that way, but the reason I did think it is that, for the moment at least, he's really struggling with their being apart (I assume there's usually more 'agreement' (for want of a better word) in a split than there is in this one?) and not only has he lost his partner, but he has also lost his kids (temporarily) - through no fault of his own. So he's done nothing wrong but all of a sudden has no home comforts, no partner, no kids around. Seems not right to me.

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 25-Mar-13 07:33:07

Stop inviting him over it is like slapping him in the face over and over again. When my ex left me I cried every day, all day and everywhere I went LOL. I felt like my life was ruined. If I had to see my ex everyday and still have their emotional support it would have taken an awful lot longer to get over and come to terms with the fact we had indeed split.

Yes it is hard, very hard to split with someone but he has to go through the really shit bit without your support as it is doing him no favours. Set up good contact times and if he has to see the kids in your house then you go out. Although personally it may be easier if he takes them off somewhere or where he is staying. Constant reminders of what you had are hard to deal with.

It took me about 6 months to stop crying seriously would have been a lot longer if my ex had been mega supportive like you being because I would have constantly thought we could have got back together.

Step back and call all his friends and family in to help.

MoYerBoat Mon 25-Mar-13 09:03:04

Why does he have to be the one to leave his home and children? You're the one who wants out, so why does he have to lose his home and kids?

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 25-Mar-13 09:16:36

Whoevers the main carer should stay the main carer IMO. It's not about who's at fault or who deserves what and who it's about the dcs stability and what's best for them. They're not possessions to fight over ffs.

acceptableinthe80s Mon 25-Mar-13 09:18:07

OP i've been in your situation though no kids at the time thankfully and i left as it was his house. My ex got sectioned the day i left which of course made me feel like crap but i couldn't stay just in case he decided to follow through with his many threats to top himself. Ideally a clean break is best in these circumstances but obviously not possible with children involved. The less contact you have with him the better for everyone, sounds like he's still holding out hope for a reconciliation which my ex did for many months. Once you both have homes sorted out you can arrange regular access, until then could you maybe go out when he visits the kids?

whethergirl Mon 25-Mar-13 11:10:08

MoYerBoat the OP also has done nothing 'wrong'! Everyone has the right to end a relationship they are unhappy in. And if one person is unhappy, the other person can't truly be happy. OP is not stopping the dad from seeing their dc. And just because OP ended the relationship it doesn't mean her ex dp didn't have a part to play in the break up.

MoYerBoat Mon 25-Mar-13 12:18:05

Isn't it his house/home too? Why should he have to leave? Why should he have to leave his kids?

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 25-Mar-13 13:24:12

Because in laymans terms its best for the dc.

leftfootrightfoot Mon 25-Mar-13 18:44:36

My H told me he wanted out two weeks ago, it was total shock to me as well. It is actually easier for me if he doesn't come round other than to see kids. I did and do want to talk to him about what I am feeling but it wouldn't help me and it probs won't help your husband. He could well be thinking that you may change your mind. Does he have good friends/family, has he told them and are they supporting him emotionally? Thats what is helping me, the texts, calls, visits etc of people I know will be there for me in the long term where he won't

whethergirl Mon 25-Mar-13 22:42:57

MoYerBoat you are assuming he would even want the kids full time. As for the house, it makes more sense for the kids to stay in the house.

ilovehugs- 'I wanted out for so long'.

That said it allsmile x

I second what so many other people have said - don't invite him over. It is prolonging the agony and giving him hope. I know you are only trying to be kind, so don't beat yourself up about it, just draw the boundary lines to avoid misunderstandings.

ilovehugs Tue 26-Mar-13 12:00:33

Thanks for all the feedback. The back story:

It's been a very unequal relationship which was allowed to rot away at everything. Before the DCs I had a well paid job. I paid the mortgage alone and paid for expensive training courses to support DP's IT career. When I had DS 1, I wanted to be a full time mum and so gave up my job. DP agreed but expected me to be a 'traditional housewife', which meant even at weekends I was expected to do all the cooking/cleaning etc etc. For a whole catalogue of very silly reasons, I agreed to this. DD to came along a few years later and had some major health problems. Around that time I really started to feel resentful towards DP. I was exhausted and although he 'helped' in terms of playing with the kids and taking them out, was the bread winner, did all the financial stuff, I was still expected to do all the actual hard graft in the house. DD had a colostomy and major bowel issues and having a toddler at the same time. It was really hard. Financially, DP refused to have a joint bank account and I had no money. If I needed anything I had to ask for it. Usually he said yes , but it was awful to have to ask. I just got child benefit and tax credits which went on groceries most of the time. He was and is a heavy smoker and I felt and still feel resentful about how much money he spends on fags. I really, really went off him sexually and tried anything to avoid having sex. About 6 months ago a discovered that for years he had been having online affairs with women where he exchanged personal info about me and the DC's - our names, ages, problems, even a photo of him with the DC that I took of him on holiday - exchanging this info in the same emails and then writing graphic sexual transcripts of what he would like to do to these women. It would usually be the women asking how our children were - BY NAME and how XXX's (mine) nerves were - referring to the fact that XP had told her about DD's forthcoming operation. Then there were be some exchange of something she had filmed/written for him or vice versa - although I never saw evidence that DP had sent films, only sexual transcripts. All this IN THE SAME EMAIL. I confronted him and whilst he apologised, he still blamed me to quite a degree for 'sexually starving him'. He also sent a sex text to my friend which he lied about. Perhaps if he had helped me tidy the house once in a while, cooked me a meal instead of staying up till the small hours doing that stuff, maybe I would have been more open to the idea. He used to come home from the pub drunk and pull me out of bed, shout at me, punch things near me because he was so cross about me not having sex with him. He used to threaten me about living in a council flat saying "go and live on XXXXX if you're not happy". When DD started school I retrained and started working full time. It was such a relief to have a small bit of financial independence. I tried to sort out the inequality by having a joint bank account, but he still refused and I think a big reason was because of the amount of money he spends on fags. The inequality was still there. He started doing more around the house because I worked but only because I wanted him to, he said that because I don't do the commute that he does and less hours, he should be coming home to an ordered house with no jobs. I missed a day of work as DS was ill. I said to DP that we should share taking days off when the kids were sick because despite the differences in pay, our careers and jobs were equally important to he other. He refused and still now after we have broken up has said he will never under any circumstances miss a day of work to look after the DC's as it's my job not his.

He is great at playing with the kids, sorting out cars, fixing family members PC's, popping down the shops with a list I have written (as long as I'm doing some other job whilst he's gone), earning money which he manages himself. That were his duties.

On my part I am guilty of being a crap house wife TO HIM. I've taken bloody good care of our DC . I am guilty of being withdrawn from him. I reached a point where I would recoil at his touch. I lived in this fog for years in denial about how shit it was and too scared to do anything about it. I'm not scared any more and I have done the only thing that I could - leave him. To flubber - I have devoted the last 8 years to my DC's care. My DD had major health problems and is now thriving. They both are. I have now fought tooth and nail to get a job with prospects that fits around their care. His refusal to take any time off to look after one of the DC has extended now into our new setup. I left my DS who was recovered but tired with my best friend yesterday while I went to work. He rang me up and chastised me for it, saying that I was a crap mum. My daughter is ill today and I am off. She's still going to be off tomorrow. XP has said he will never, ever take a day off his job to look after the DC. He said that before we split and he is still saying it now. And he doesn't want me to leave them with family members or friends - putting me in a precarious position with my new, precious job. A job which is our lifeline. Which his DC will suffer from if I loose it because the hours fit around them. Why should I leave them with him after all that? I KNOW they are better off with me full time, especially given what XP can be like. Emotionally ignorant and controlling, with me a least.

He never made me laugh. He says and does things that I simply can't understand. I couldn't be intimate with him again if someone put a gun to my head.

Despite all this, I do feel his pain and dont want to see him in pain but continuing to live with him would have been a slow death to me, as would handing the kids over to him, who I do really believe are better off in my care. I have always been there main carer and XP made me a pay a price for that - what I did was so lowly that I couldn't even claim a day off from housework at the weekend for almost 8 YEARS. Yes....I'm bitter.

I just wanted to know if this would feel better.

ilovehugs Tue 26-Mar-13 12:06:49

Even this weekend, he is having them for a day but "not so I can just hang around and do what I like." I am expected to work on the house to help it get sold - which I would do anyway - but the point is he expects me to be in a position where he can dictate how I spend my time.

Control?

He sounds like a totally one hundred percent unreasonable abusive arse. Well done for leaving.
Send him elsewhere for his emotional support. He can pay for counselling if he has no friends.

lostdad Tue 26-Mar-13 12:25:11

ilovehugs - not sure if you'd go for this. But if he wants support Families Need Fathers may help him. They provide emotional support amongst other things and will help him work out the best way forward for your dc. I'm an active member of them. They're a government-funded parenting charity.

I know how he feels - I went through the same thing as him. I felt ripped in half (and my ex was nowhere as reasonable as you seem) for a long time and they helped me lots.

ilovehugs Tue 26-Mar-13 12:42:20

I do want him to be ok and I do want him to have regular contac and be involved. But refusing to take time off work and then chasting me for leaving a recovering child with my friend whilst I work and dictating how I spend my time when he had them are big issues. I want us all to be better off from this in the long term. I will look into support for him though so thank you for the info.

ilovehugs Tue 26-Mar-13 12:47:11

Also there are big communication and trust issues. I have agreed to all his terms on everything so far in terms of contact, money and housing. I have done everything he has asked. The one thing I can't do is live with him again.

Well done on getting away from him. He sounds a horrible person and controlling. Could you speak to a solicitor to draw up proper agreements about money/housing etc... He has no right to say what you can or cannot do when you are alone, I would suggest you take a day off and try to relax and do not be an emotional crutch to this man again.

lostdad Tue 26-Mar-13 13:46:48

Don't get into the `blame game' that seems to be so popular with some people here on Mumsnet.

There is usually fault on both sides when it comes to a relationship breaking down and there is nothing to gain from painting the one side as a villain and the other as victim. It's hard seeing as it after the death of a close relative it is the worst situation most people will find themselves in.

If you can talk to him at all - for God's sake do it. If it doesn't work face to face, use mediation (google National Family Mediation). Do not expect a solicitor to `make it all better' - it doesn't work. They resolve the legal issues...but while court cases end bitterness, hurt and vengence can last a life time.

It's a sad truth though that once one side decides to `press the nuclear button' and take a heavy-handed legal approach the other one is obliged to do the same. It's mutually assured destruction. It's going to take chunks out of both of you in ways you couldn't ever possibly imagine. If you can avoid a nasty fight you should do - not for his sake...for your childrens'.

Yes. He's doing and saying things he shouldn't (chances are you are too...but it's not a competition to determine the most wronged). You have a right to an independent life now you have parted and a right not to be bullied, intimidated or harassed.

In time there is no reason why you and he cannot be the strongest in allies working together for your kids' sake.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 26-Mar-13 15:39:36

^^wise words

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