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How do I keep breathing?

(45 Posts)
keepbreathing Thu 24-Oct-13 15:40:03

After a long discussion this morning my husband has decided that we can't be together anymore as he wants more from his life and i am unable to guarantee that he will be able to do that. I have suspected that he has felt like this for quite some time but when he actually said it, i felt like i had been kicked in the gut. I know life can be difficult, i am disabled (both physical and mental health) and currently he is unable to work full time or pursue his career as he is my carer.

I just don't know what to say or how to eventually explain it to our 2 DD's. I sort of know what i have to do long term but it just feels too big right now. I keep trying to carry on as normal as possible and thinking about things in the future when suddenly it hits me and i break down and can't stop crying. I still love him and he says he loves me but it doesn't seem to be enough. I struggling to even just keep breathing at the moment, my MH was not great anyway at the moment and i just don't know how to get through this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 24-Oct-13 15:52:35

I'm sorry this has happened to you. You're going to need some help cope with the early days emotionally. Do you have friends or family that you can talk to or be with?

keepbreathing Thu 24-Oct-13 15:56:26

Not really, they are all either too far away or i cant really talk to them about personal stuff. I just keep hoping i can close my eyes and when i open them everything will go back to the way it was.

whattodoo Thu 24-Oct-13 16:02:13

Oh OP. I've been through similar pain.

It felt like hell and I just didn't know how to manage to 'be' if that makes sense (I know it doesn't).

All I can say that it found that I just had to get through one stage at a time. Whether it be planning the next meal, booking an appointment at solicitors, making a phone call to tell family etc.

I've got to dash off for a while now, but hope others can give you some hope and advice. X

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 24-Oct-13 16:02:13

I mean this kindly but the eyes closed thing isn't going to help. When you say you can't talk about personal stuff, why is that? Are they judgemental people your friends and family or are you reluctant to open up?

keepbreathing Thu 24-Oct-13 16:08:30

My family are incredibly judgmental, in the past 10yrs or so my IL's have been my family support and i cant really talk to them about it. I have a few really close friends but they live quite far away (one on the other side of the world) and the rest are either more acquaintances or more his friends than mine which makes me reluctant to open up to them.

Wellwobbly Thu 24-Oct-13 16:12:22

He's fucking someone.

His 'strangeness' happened when he got involved with her.

Find her, and it will make better sense.

helzapoppin2 Thu 24-Oct-13 16:19:04

That's unhelpful to say the least!

VerucaInTheNutRoom Thu 24-Oct-13 16:19:36

Hold up a moment. It's a big leap to conclude that there is someone else just because the relationship has broken down. I don't think "he's fucking someone else" is particularly useful or supportive right now.

Vivacia Thu 24-Oct-13 16:25:58

It's only been a few hours keepbreathing this is still a massive shock.

Let's get a better picture of what's happening. What impact on your husband does being your carer have? What breaks and respite does he get? How old are you children?

keepbreathing Thu 24-Oct-13 16:59:51

Long term if things stay as they are at the minute (I can't gaurntee him that they won't stay the same but its not set in stone) he can't commit to full time work as he is needed at home too much. The careing work depends on how bad a day I'm having but mostly cosists of housework and looking after our dd's. Our dd's are 5 and 3, respite he is in the final phases of a bachelors degree and wants to go on and do a MA he also occasionally does some social stuff with friends. Not as often as he would like but that's more down to location than other commitments.

Vivacia Thu 24-Oct-13 17:29:03

Hmm. So what's the situation as of today? Where has he moved to, and what's he said about seeing your daughters?

Do you think that this is a final decision, or do you think he just needed some respite and handled it badly (although what you've listed sounds pretty much like the norm for a dad).

In your situation, I'd want back the man that I loved, but more than that I'd want to be in control. I'd be thinking about what I needed/wanted rather than waiting around for his decisions.

keepbreathing Thu 24-Oct-13 17:35:38

He is still here, he keeps moping around looking miserable which when i'm trying so very hard to keep everything together is really pissing me off if i'm honest. My emotions are swinging all over the place. He hasn't actually said anything about practicalities at all. I don't know whether to give myself a few days to get over the shock before planning stuff or forge ahead now. I guess i'm hoping if i leave it a few days things will just go back to how they are supposed to be. I guess i know long term if this is it what i need to be do, i don't actually know how to go about doing it though. I just want him to hold me and tell me everything will be ok and it will all work out. Right now it just feels like my life has crashed to a halt and it's all over.

helzapoppin2 Thu 24-Oct-13 18:06:20

Just ignore me if I'm not helpful, but sometimes what people say and what they do are two different things. I would let things settle down a bit and if they do, and I hope they do, talk together about how the whole situation can be improved. I'm sure he loves you and dd's loads!

Vivacia Thu 24-Oct-13 18:06:34

Things can't go back to normal can they? It's not normal to have someone say this and then it's never discussed again.

I would call his bluff, thank him for being honest, agree that a trial separation is needed and that you understand he won't be coming home tomorrow night (just assume he meant a trial separation, if he back tracks then ask him if he actually meant a divorce). Given the change in circumstances, obviously you'll be making the home more secure with dead bolts etc, but you think it best if he keeps a house key for the sake of emergencies.

But that's easy for me to say.

Personally, I think that there's a good chance he's tired and feels taken for granted and is acting a little immature and a little selfish. I expect that a trial separation would be the motivation you both need to consider counselling and support.

Dahlen Thu 24-Oct-13 18:07:18

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It sounds incredibly painful. sad

Is your H a good, supportive person? Despite your problems and your decision to split, has your marriage basically been good? Has he supported you during your pregnancies and illnesses by doing his share with the DC and housework? How you handle this is going to depend very much on what he's like as a person.

When you marry someone, the general consensus is that you do so in sickness and in health. The fact that he hasn't been able to live up to that doesn't make him a bad person, or even a weak one necessarily. You have a very limited support network consisting of just him. If you had a wider family more able to help, and if the state provided more adequate help for those with disabilities and/or MH problems, the strain on your H would be considerably relieved and he might find himself better able to balance his own needs against yours and might want to stay. If he genuinely loves you and wants to stay but can't cope with it, there may be something you can do about that.

However, if your condition is merely a factor, rather than the cause, and the reality is that he just doesn't want to be married to you anymore, then no amount of support will change things. You may, ironically, be slightly better off on your own. You will qualify for more help with the DC and increased financial assistance. One of this first things you should do if separation seems inevitable is start looking into the help you can get. It will make you feel more in control and less panicky. Start by getting on to the turn2us website for financial help, and also make appointments with the benefits advisor at your local job centre (call up and explain your circumstances - disabled lone parent - and they will find you the appropriate one) and your local HV or practice nurse who will be able to find out about grants and practical help you may be able to get.

Sending you best wishes to get through this.

keepbreathing Thu 24-Oct-13 18:35:04

He is a good person, yes we have had our problems but generally i couldn't have asked for a nicer, helpful more supportive husband or a better dad for our DD's. You are right in that my support network begins and end with him and that is an incredibly difficult position for him to in. I think it basically comes down to he knows what sort of life he wants and it is doubtful that he can get there with me. He wants a career, that he has been working towards for several years and come home after work to the family and then do stuff together at the weekend. Non of which is unreasonable in the slightest, just not necessarily possible in this situation. That's not to say things might not improve in future but i been sensing he has been feeling this way for over 2 years. I have done absolutely everything possible to 'make myself better' done all the treatments, tried all the drugs, done everything that he has asked me to try or do that is within my power and in the end it just wasn't enough. The only other help available would be things like hiring a cleaner 1-2 times a week and a gardener but we can't afford that. I want to make things better so much but i just don't see a feasible way that i can honestly offer him what he say he needs without the possibility of letting him down in the future which would just breed resentment and end up with us in potentially in the same situation as now but a lot angrier, which isn't a good environment for our daughters.

I'm sorry if i am repeating myself or not making much sense my head is all over the place at the minute.

QuintsHollow Thu 24-Oct-13 18:42:36

But is it not possible to move into a flat where there is no garden to maintain, hire a cleaner and other help for you so that he does not have to be your carer? If he were working, you might be able to afford all this? If he leaves, you may have to find alternatives to him caring for you. You might as well start to get the ball rolling now, and maybe if you let him carve out a career for himself rather than feeling trapped with you, things might improve.

My mum became my dads carer after his stroke (and I know it cant compare as they were 60 and 75 when that happened, but still had an active love life) and it was terrible for her. She went from seeing him as a sexual person to a chore, and a bum to wash and wipe). In the end she HAD to let other people do the caring as she was not able to maintain their relationship while she was his primary carer. It was extremely tough on her, as well as for him. He felt totally humiliated, and that his manhood had been cut down.

Vivacia Thu 24-Oct-13 18:45:18

I think you're making perfect sense, and I hope you'll find support here for as long as you find it helpful.

BarbarianMum Thu 24-Oct-13 18:52:09

I don't get the 'can't afford a cleaner/gardener' thing. The cost of divorce is massive (for him) compared to getting a cleaner and gardener.

If this is really about him wanting a career then their is a solution, honest.

Vivacia Thu 24-Oct-13 18:56:25

I can fully understand not being able to afford a cleaner or gardener.

BarbarianMum Thu 24-Oct-13 18:59:38

But compared to maintaining a second home and paying child maintenance a cleaner/gardener is really cheap (I'm envisaging a couple of hours of each, not fully time staff). So maybe £35 pw.

Do you really think the OP's dh is going to set up home and provide for his kids for less than that?

Vivacia Thu 24-Oct-13 19:10:56

I don't think he's got that far in his thinking. It sounds like a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees.

cjel Thu 24-Oct-13 19:18:25

I think he has every right to decide he doesn't want to be your fulltime carer. But perhaps you could work on getting another carer and then he could have a career and you could have a marriage.
If he leaves you will need a carer so why not get one while he is with you?

lemonstartree Thu 24-Oct-13 19:25:05

I think maybe cjel has a suggestion that might be workable ? FT carer is a lot to sign up to - if he had the opportunity for continued outside stimulation maybe he would feel better able to support you and DD's at home?

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