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Struggling in my marriage: do I stay or go?(30 Posts)
I am coming on here because I'm feeling really lost and not sure what to do. I've read posts that are similar to my situation and the MNers have been great, so thought I'd lay out my situation.
Basically I'm desperately unhappy in my marriage and need to figure out whether it's worth salvaging, or even possible to salvage.
We've been married for five years, together for almost eight. Two young kids and an older one from his previous relationship. I've always wondered whether getting married was the right thing to do, or whether I just 'fell' into it.
Our life feels very 'ploddy' and my DH is extremely lazy, always tired, never up for seizing life. I'm naturally very enthusiastic and love socialising, doing new things, basically living life to its fullest (within reason considering the kids) I feel like, when I'm with him, I'm just existing through life. When I'm with friends, working, exercising, being with my family etc. I feel like myself and I feel free. Then I come home and this cloud of slowness and apathy descends again.
We've been to counselling together and separately. We had to stop the joint counselling because It was getting so expensive at nearly £100 a session with childcare and travel. The counselling seemed to help temporarily but both times, things have just settled back into the same old ruts.
Now I realise that all marriages have their ruts and that riding these out is all part of the journey.
But the thing that's made me really take notice lately is that he's started taking his tiredness out on the children. My eldest recently told me that he hit the younger but he argues it was 'just a tap', won't happen again etc. She also told me that he threw her favourite doll against the wall because she wouldn't go to sleep. And what's really upset me is that he called my (very sensitive) eldest a 'stupid child' and a 'cry baby' when she woke up in the night recently. The rest of the time he's very loving and a great dad, but he takes his tiredness out on them and I can't bear it. It breaks my heart that my daughter climbed into bed with me crying because daddy called her stupid.
We've also had a lot of family tragedy lately and several people have died, throwing everything into a rather sharper focus. I.e. Life is too short.
So with a bit of background, a lot of dissatisfaction and plenty of upset about the way he's been treating the children, I guess my quandary is - do I stay or go? Is it worth pursuing a marriage which feels so stale and broken already, and one that could be negatively impacting my children? I've asked him to see a doctor, do anger management and generally get help, but he never does. His general attitude is one of apathy, and it feels like he just assumes I'll never go anywhere. This theme runs through a lot of our life, and my feelings regularly take aback seat so that he can appease other people. I want to feel important, supported, and like he would do anything for his family. But I fear he's just at best a bit of a coward, at worst extremely selfish and lazy.
Anyway I'm going off again! I would just really appreciate a little help and guidance as I just don't know what I should do.
Thanks so much x
Does he throw things when he argues with you? Does he call you names?
Your children shouldn't be exposed to his outbursts
He has thrown things in the past and slammed our sliding door shut so hard it came off its tracks. He's never thrown things at me, but definitely has physical outbursts which are gone as soon as they start.
And he hasn't called me names, although he once said I was being childish for getting upset that his ex threatened to head butt me!
I'd get rid of him purely for the abuse of your children! What do you mean "could be negatively impacting my children"? It has. It is. Your children don't deserve to be treated so meanly by this arsehole. You have a choice but they don't
Your love of life shines through! Run for the hills before he gets rid of this! X
These are the responses I've been afraid of. I think I've been excusing it because it's only happened a handful of times, and he's always explained it away. Oh goodness now I'm scared that I've let him get away with it. Thank you for being honest. I'm scared to talk to any friends or family because they think the sun shines directly out of his ass.
I can't believe I might have to break up my family
It sounds like you've outgrown him, if that makes sense. Perhaps when the relationship was new and more exciting, and then you had the thrill of two new babies, his apathy etc was masked. Now that life is more on an even keel and settled, you can see elements of his personality that you didn't before.
The family tragedies would test any couple, but if you felt safe and secure in your relationship with him you'd battle through together. It sounds like he hasn't coped well, has let you down and not shown himself to be the man you hoped/thought he was.
As for his behaviour towards your youngest children, just appalling and inexcusable.
Thanks nicenew I think you might be right. We're so different and our energy/enthusiasm levels are so out of kilter.
But the problem is, the issues in our marriage could probably be worked on and we could probably battle through. More date nights, more time together etc. I could demand it and if he said no, I could legitimately give up.
But do I leave him on the strength of his behaviour towards the girls alone? Forgive me if I sound naive, I guess i've just excused his behaviour because he's generally a good person and a good father, just has a crap handle on his outbursts.
The verbal insults are horrible. No excuses here, but if they were a one-off and he is mortified, if he assures you that he will never do so again how would you feel ?
My worry would be the physical signs of anger. Throwing a favourite doll seems particularly cruel, and hitting described as a tap only you can decide upon.
I notice he called you childish for being upset that his ex threatened to headbutt you. This looks like minimising violence to me. Obviously I've no idea of the background, but shouldn't he have been shocked and outraged at the threat to you, and sympathetic to your distress ?
Does he treat the child from his previous relationship better than he treats your two ?
Going to follow your thread as I can relate to being the enthusiastic and sociable one married to a tired, lazy grump. Mine is asleep upstairs while I cook, play with kids and keep life going.
"I'm scared to talk to any friends or family because they think the sun shines directly out of his ass.
I can't believe I might have to break up my family sad"
Abusive men are often plausible to those in the outside world, they do not live with him day to day though. You have done so and you have all too clearly seen what he is like. What you are seeing is the real him and such men do not change. If he is "nice" and "normal" to people in the outside world he does not have an anger management problem. He is only angry at you people.
His previous relationship likely ended for similar reasons too.
Do not worry about breaking up the family; by leaving him you will go an awful long way to repair the damage he has already done to you and your children. You won't be breaking up the family here; he has already done that by his actions towards his children.
This is not the model of a relationship that they should at all be seeing either; I bet they do not regard their home as a sanctuary at all.
There is nothing at all to be gained by staying within this relationship.
"He has thrown things in the past and slammed our sliding door shut so hard it came off its tracks".
That would also be seen as domestic violence within the home.
I'm not excusing any anger issues be may have shown as these are not acceptable. But with him being so tired all the time has he ever had his health looked at? There are a number of issues that could cause this and he would just get more tired and impatient. I'm just wondering as you saying he's getting worse.
Tired people fall asleep
Angry people explode
Tired people are too exhausted to explode
The door slamming and throwing, plus calling you childish in the face of a threat, and the unkindness towards the children adds up to abuse
Thank you all for helpful and supportive posts. Reading it all back makes me realise how wrong it all is. Yes, he is absolutely mortified and just admitted that he has issues with tiredness and anger. MigGril He's said he will go to the docs and has asked that I go with I'm so he doesn't back down or get pushed into the wrong kind of treatment/therapy.
He says he wants to fight to save our relationship but I don't know if it's a bit too late for me. Even if he managed to get on top of his problems, I don't think I feel the same about him any more.
Mamaka doesn't it just sap your soul? I hope you can find a way to be happy in a situation that I know is a daily struggle.
Attila is that right? I feel so naive thinking that, just because I haven't been directly injured, I am not a victim of something so awful. I can count these incidents on one hand. I guess because they're spaced so far apart and he realises how awful they are, I make excuses. Hi previous relationship ended because the pregnancy was the result of a one-night stand, and his ex was not a nice person at all - hence headbutt threat!
nicenew as to his other daughter, she is a very poorly adjusted child and has been through her fair share of difficulties, not least having a very unbalanced mother. But in terms of being tired and taking it out on her, absolutely. He says things which I think are extremely unfair, which criticise her character and abilities, but always subtly. I adore that girl but find it very hard to connect with her as we don't spend enough time together (once a week).
Even if the steps you take don't end in your relationship being saved they will, hopefully, address his behaviour towards the children. Don't want to sound pessimistic but if you do part you need to know he can be trusted on his own with them. He won't have you around as the happy, calm rational parent then.
That's very true. He's looking a bit like a deer in headlights at the moment, realising how awful he's been. I just told him that he regularly says 'what's wrong with you?' to my stepdaughter if she's taking too long to do things, and he had no idea. He's in bits and wants to book in at the docs first thing. I think, as you say, even if things are looking bleak for us as a couple, this is the first time I've made him confront his anger issues.
I've also asked him what he thinks about moving out for a little while so we can both take some time to think. He's going to mull that over and I will, too.
He sounds awful.
You might find that things like date nights make a small temporary difference, but it will most likely slide back again. The benefit there could be that it convinces you that you really have tried everything that could have a lasting effect.
With regards to breaking up the family - if the marriage is broken then that is the fundamental problem. Actually splitting up is a consequence and an addressing of that problem. If that makes sense - so if you do leave its not that you are breaking up the family, its that you are recognising things as they are and tackling that.
bb888 doesn't he? Reading it all on one page... well I feel a bit shellshocked.
I wholeheartedly agree that breaking up is the only way if things don't take a sudden upswing. Which I'm fully aware they may not. I just want the very best for my little girls, and as much as I don't want to disrupt their lives, it's better than having them grow up with unhappy parents.
Sounds to me you want out of the marriage regardless. The way you talk about going to the Dr's in the morning but still suggesting a trial separation
Yeah... I think maybe I do. But then I'm very tired after little sleep and lots of tears so I'll see how I'm feeling in the morning after (hopefully) a better sleep.
It does sap your soul yes!! I find it takes a lot of my energy too, I've always had a lot of energy but I feel drained and tired from pulling my weight and his and not being able to do the things I love ie going out and socialising. I can't quite get my head round how we ended up together! I wonder if they are depressed?
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