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How do you know for sure that you should leave?

(431 Posts)
Apty Sat 01-Sep-12 21:59:21

Relationships are full of good and bad. What do you do when you are confused about the balance and how bad it really is?

My instincts tell me to leave sometimes, and then at other times that seems like the worst thing to do.

Do you reach a point when you know?

crystalclear70 Sat 01-Sep-12 22:07:46

I know that feeling - I never imagined it could be so difficult ...and thought it would always be obvious..but its not...I think it depends a lot on what type of person you are...think some people are more able to turn round and say its just not working and not blame themselves and move on....wish I was one of them ! Hope your situation is not too bad...

Apty Sat 01-Sep-12 22:19:03

I suppose having children makes it much harder because however you feel, you don't want to break up your family for them.

I don't know what to think about my situation at all. My husband has depression and it's very hard to live with sometimes. He's emotionally absent. He's a good person, but does some shitty things sometimes.

Feckbox Sat 01-Sep-12 22:24:06

I think when things are going badly and you are up close to calling it quits, sometimes the solution ( separating) seems worse than the problem

lizbee156 Sat 01-Sep-12 22:28:07

Apty hope you are ok and most importantly safe?

I agree with everything crystal said.

My friend C said that she knew it was time to leave her first husband when she realised she was fancying other men.

I had to leave when I knew his behaviour made me behave in ways I didn't like IYSWIM?

Apty Sat 01-Sep-12 22:32:51

Feckbox that is exactly it. Leaving seems so huge and complicated and final, the problems suddenly seem smaller.

And things are never constantly bad, just occasionally bad. I'm sometimes very lonely or sad or worried, but at other times I'm happy to have a husband who is great with the children and nice in many ways. I find that the balance just changes constantly, and any resolve I ever have can be gone the next day.

I don't fancy other men, but I suppose I have felt low for a long time. But then I will probably still feel unhappy as a single parent.

foolonthehill Sun 02-Sep-12 00:26:51

Perhaps you need to explore why you are unhappy in your relationship and/or what it is that makes you wonder if you would be better off out?

Either here...or with a personal counsellor. It's easy to get lost in one's own head sometimes.

ImperialBlether Sun 02-Sep-12 00:30:09

Is your husband having treatment for depression? It's one of the worst illnesses in a way as the person suffering from it believes that is the way the world is; the possibility of living a different type of life seems impossible.

joanofarchitrave Sun 02-Sep-12 00:40:06

It's also quite possible for two people to be depressed at the same time. I do think depression, or depressive thinking, can be pretty contagious.

First rule of living with a depressive; develop a selfish streak requiring you to go out and enjoy yourself three times a week every now and then.

LemonDrizzled Sun 02-Sep-12 00:40:12

this book was a great help to me in deciding whether to leave my EA H after 28 years Apty. The problem is being close to someone like this is your head gets muddled and you can't think straight. He will go through a cycle of nice/nasty so just when you think you have him taped he shifts again.

The thing is, there is no deadline and it doesn't matter if you go slow and watch and see. Over on the EA thread we talk about detaching and observing for a while. It eventually becomes clear what you need to do. And there is fantastic help here to clarify your thinking and work out the dynamic between you.

Well done for posting and taking a step towards a better life!

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 00:47:23

I realised the time had come when, during one of my endless complaints about H's this or that, a friend bluntly asked "Hw would you feel if he were having an affair?' The first thing that came to my mind was "Great, that way he will leave me in peace for a while!"

I was shocked at the thought but knew it was over. I didn't left there and then though... it took me another few years, we had good times in them but... I really didn't think I was saving the marriage anymore, it was mostly about building up some financial independence and sorting DS issues before I was ready to survive on my own and provide for DS.

GlesgaRocket Sun 02-Sep-12 00:54:17

I have nothing substantial to add, other than - if he's not abusive then i would say to explore avenues (GP help, counselling etc) to try to work things out first. Sometimes we all get stuck in a bit of a rut. I left my (now ex) partner when our daughter was 6 months old. He wasn't abusive, but there were lots of arguments, both of us stressed, sleep deprived, both working f/t with baby in nursery, major financial concerns etc etc. Anyway, one day it just got too much for me, and i took our daughter and left. That was a year ago, and it has been the biggest regret of my life. I left without trying to work things out and there's been so much bitterness and acrimony since then, because he hasn't been able to forgive me for that - i had to move back to my parents over 400 miles away :-( If i could turn back time, i would try to work things out, with leaving being a last resort. I acted on impulse and regret it. He was (is) a lovely guy, and i wish i'd a least tried to work things out. Maybe we would have eventually split up anyway, even if we had explored other avenues, but i will always regret not at least trying to give our relationship that chance.

Anyway, i wish you the very best.

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 00:57:04

Deciding whether the marriage is unsatisfactory because you are depressed or if you are depressed because you are in an unsatisfactory marriage is a difficult call.

Every time I started talking about divorce Dh dully marched me to the GP for ADs, under prozac everything was beautiful, my marriage was perfect and I could be hugging trees all day while exploding in pink butterflies... honest. But it come a point that I couldn't bear it anymore.

On the weeks before the split I took the decision to prepare for a good dose of ADs to keep me on my feet on the months after the split... guess what happened? Nothing, I never needed them again. Yes there was the shock of going solo and standing on your feet again, the mourning of the routines, and the letting go of mutual dreams, but after about 4 weeks it was as if the sun had come out. That first year on my own was one of the happiest of my life.

That's when I realised that I am not a depressive person, but that I was depressed because I was not happy in that relationship.

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 00:58:18

Oh yes, I agree about trying to work out things first. We were some very good clients of Relate, on and off for several years.

Feckbox Sun 02-Sep-12 01:22:12

OP I am in a similar position. That's why I am awake at 5 am.
I have wished for years he would find someon else, but that I still not enough of a push. I know my children feel an unhappy vibe right now. I also know they would be distraught if we split.

Dryjuice25 Sun 02-Sep-12 01:52:05

Me too Feckbox. Isn't it horrible to feel like that?

garlicnuts Sun 02-Sep-12 02:02:13

We were talking. Looking at him, I 'heard' the inside of my head say, quite clearly, "I don't like you". This happened with both my exes - and also my narc flatmate. I didn't call time immediately. If this ever happens again, though, I will. I should have learned from the first time.

I feel for you, OP. Depression is 'catching'. Please do pay attention to Athendof and Joan above!

Truism: You only get one life.

fridakahlo Sun 02-Sep-12 02:07:27

<Joins the should I stay or should I go corner>

Feckbox Sun 02-Sep-12 03:05:31

Indeed horrible , dryjuice.
Lemon, I read that book years ago. Still could not decide to leave.
For me it's all about our children who love us both. My youngest started to cry at bedtime last night because " I think you want to live apart from daddy " . Tore me apart

Feckbox Sun 02-Sep-12 03:06:14

Fridakahio , what's your story .?

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 03:43:01

Feckbox, it doesn't need to be necessarily traumatic for the children. It is not divorce that harms the children, but witnessing all the problems and arguments that happen before you leave.

We put a date on parting each other's company when we realised we were moving into the nasty stuff, we didn't tell anything to DS until we were sure we could tell him exactly what would happen next and how his routines were going to be affected. He took it well, the school reported he seemed very happy and didn't show what was going on (we were all a bit happy I suppose). The real damage came when my ex started using Ds as a messenger in the middle of a rather complex divorce process. Had he respected his childhood and not gotten him involved, things would have been very different.

WaitingForMe Sun 02-Sep-12 07:43:19

For me it was a friend saying I was perhaps the funniest person they knew then that evening my ex shooting me a withering look and saying I might think I was funny but I wasn't. It was a lightbulb moment and I realised I wanted people who liked me in my life.

It wasn't until later I realised he'd been abusive. The tipping point was realising I was happier around other people.

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 12:47:14

Sad to read so many other people in the same place.

There doesn't seem to be a right answer, both options feel like they're too difficult. I've committed to leaving but am wobbling. It makes it hard that there's such a divide between people who want me to stay and try, and people who think i need to get out - and because I'm so confused I go from one to the other all day long.

I honestly don't know if this relationship is abusive. If I tell you the bad things then it certainly sounds very abusive, but all the everyday stuff in between isn't at all. I feel guilty for leaning on friends and making them listen to be go on and on about this, and then still not really believing that this is the right thing to do despite them making perfect sense. I just want to really believe it myself and have faith in what I'm doing, but I don't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Sep-12 13:29:47

I think it's when draw up a list of pros and cons and decide that you'd rather take the cons than waste your life putting up with the status quo.

deck you don't have to decide whether it's abusive or not. If you're not happy then that is reason enough

I was sitting in the 'stay or go's corner before you. Before it even got named, I think. :-((

I think I'm also depressed. My DH is. It's catching, this much I know. I got it from him. I used to bd so different. Now I just hurt and ache inside most of the time, really.

Try to decide and act upon it if you can. Don't waste your precious life, this much I am sure of.

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