Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Which life would you rather have?

(50 Posts)
MClass Tue 24-May-16 19:02:36

Would you rather have a life of a really nice house (mortgage paid off), two happy dc (9 and 11), enough income that you don't have to work, everything provided for, dh in a good job, dh is good with dc and is with them all weekend and family and friends around i.e. a great lifestyle

BUT a marriage that doesn't work and gone years beyond getting anything back, only discuss the dc, do most things separately, separate bedrooms for 5 years, no affection and often tension??? Dh could be having an affair for all I know.

OR to leave dh, move to smaller houses, get a mortgage again (I don't work and don't know what I could do - no qualifications) and dc go between parents, lose his side of the family and my lifestyle and no one to look after dc, they then don't see their father daily?

something2say Tue 24-May-16 19:08:37

Or a pretty house, an enjoyable career, the odd weekend to myself and the excitement of the open road....?

something2say Tue 24-May-16 19:09:10

Or, a husband coming home to say he is leaving me and we do it that way....

confusionoftheillusion Tue 24-May-16 19:09:29

The second.
Without hesitation
Been there - made the choice.
Have a third life now which is tough in that I only have DC 70% of the time but I have much more happiness and fulfilment.

Dangerouswoman Tue 24-May-16 19:11:01

The second, for the independence and freedom.

MardleBum Tue 24-May-16 19:18:07

I could live with a marriage lacked sexual intimacy but still had a degree of affection, friendship and respect, or even just a healthy sort apathy/distance, in order to keep hold of lifestyle 1.

But not tension. The tension isn't worth it. If there's a bad atmosphere, resentment and no mutual affection then I'd go for 2.

Bitchqueen90 Tue 24-May-16 19:26:25

The second. Been there, done the first. Had a 3 bed house with exH, didn't need to work, etc. But I felt lonely, and unhappy. No amount of material things could compensate for that.

We split 2 years ago. I live with Ds in a rented 2 bed flat, had to claim income support for a long time. Did an access course and am about to start my degree this year. We don't have loads of money. But I feel happy, and free. Ds is almost 3, he's happy too.

Resilience16 Tue 24-May-16 19:30:39

If there is constant tension in the house then your kids will probably be picking up on that. They will also notice the seperate bedrooms and no affection between the two of you. Is that the template you want them to model their future relationships on?
Do you really think, deep down, that material possessions and being financially comfortable are more important than emotional happiness?
I don't think many people lie on their deathbed and regret not having paid their mortgage off, but I bet a hell of a lot regret wasting their lives on crap relationships.....

comingintomyown Tue 24-May-16 19:35:25

Seven years ago that was more or less me and I knew I should take option 2 but didn't have the bottle luckily he did

Sometimes get a pang or two about the lifestyle on the kids behalf and his remarriage has been shitty but no question I'm happier , it was a gilded cage

MClass Tue 24-May-16 19:48:03

Really hard reading because at 36 years old I know I've got a lifestyle others crave. I know I've got hardly any worries compared to what I could have but I haven't got a happy marriage, just a marriage.
We live in a lovely 4 bedroom house, it's the life I wanted, just don't know if I can live like this until dc are 18 plus. I don't know if I can take dc away from all this and dh away from dc all for the sake of my happiness (which to be honest I am when I'm alone at home) just not when I'm with dh.
I don't know if I could manage as a single parent either as dh does so much with dc at weekends to give me a break.

chalkandcheesee Tue 24-May-16 19:51:50

I can only speak from my own experience... I am in a dead marriage and am planning to get out. I had seen solicitors and went to citizens advice etc and u was working but then my job got too much and I had to quit. I am now sailing along at home, very happy with my toddler, until my husband gets back each day. I felt I had no choice but to chug along unhappily as I was now completely reliant upon him. Worse I have no friends or family. So, I got myself into therapy. I think it's so important to speak to someone objective. I suggest that if you can, you see a therapist as they can point out the possibility of you staying in the marriage or help you make the decision to leave. My therapist said that even the worst of couples can stay together if they want to work on it. I don't want to work on it anymore so I am now applying for a job and hope to get one soon. Once I have a job I am going to apply for a divorce. I wish you all the best. It's a very difficult position to be in.

AnyFucker Tue 24-May-16 19:52:51

The second

Your "lifestyle" is built on shifting sand, sorry

When either of you (but most likely him) meet someone that makes it worth exiting for, the nice house will seem like ashes in the mouth.

tabpepsi Tue 24-May-16 19:55:50

unhelpful but my guess is everyone will suggest that you break free and go alone for happiness/sanity.

you are thinking about a home - do you have enough capital from your current house for a lump sum to get you a deposit for a home and then mortgage after? you might have to rent in the interim and be prepared for a change in expectations of what spending you can do.

what is the tension like? what is it about? why has it gone past the point of return?

AgeOfEarthquakes Tue 24-May-16 19:56:26

I had the first one OP. No mortgage. Nice house. I was a SAHM. I was also utterly miserable, had a crap marriage and was bored out of my brain after giving up work to look after the kids.

I moved out with the children. Got a job (a fairly low paid one but still....) and found a house. It has been very tough but I don't regret it. If I'd stayed until my youngest was 18 I would have been nearly 50 rather than 30 something. Would that have been easier? I doubt it.

My ex sees the kids EOW so I do get a break.

tabpepsi Tue 24-May-16 19:59:17

i mean, option 2 will be hard on a practical level.

option 1 will be a "staying to keep my societal status" (sorry), erode your esteem and the tension (you dont say how nasty/unpleasant it gets).

tabpepsi Tue 24-May-16 20:04:27

if you do have a large enough fund from a sale of family home to get two smaller houses, will yo ube able to afford in the same area so the kids can stay at schools they are at now is more what i meant. if you are in a well regarded area, then the costs of two small houses might not be possible.

i'd start looking for a job now and formulate a get out plan - even if you decide you dont separate, then at least you will have a job that you can always leave.

crayfish Tue 24-May-16 20:16:05

The second, no question.

Think about it this way, your DH could come home tomorrow and tell you he wants a divorce, so you would have no choice but to do option 2. Your perfect life is just an illusion really and you need to get your ducks in a row and live a life you deserve.

You can start over, lots of people do. Your kids are old enough that you could get a job (anything, shelf stacking doesn't need much by way of qualifications) and study at night. Don't let this be the life you are choosing for yourself all because you have a 4 bedroom house.

whoopthereitis Tue 24-May-16 20:42:32

If you could keep the lifestyle without DH in it, would you? If so, I think you've answered your own (subconscious) question. You have more to lose leaving dh, than, I guess, he does. I could be wrong. But, please don't stay for the `trappings`, because, if you are feeling like this, they are just that.

RiceCrispieTreats Tue 24-May-16 20:59:05

Life is not just about material wellbeing, but your OP is centred on material aspects, so it sounds like a good mental exercise for you would be to see how you might be able to downsize.

What benefits could you get as a single parent? What maintenance? What job, even part-time? Now, compare that to the rental price for a 2-bed flat in your area. Do the numbers add up?

If you work out the very concrete ways in which a single life could be materially possible for you, it won't be a nebulous and scary unknown anymore. And knowing what it would look like materially, you can project yourself in that life, and see if the idea repels or attracts you.

Oliviaerinpope Tue 24-May-16 21:02:30

I will never leave my marriage, so I would say first option. Although I say that from within a happy marriage, perhaps I'd feel differently if I was unhappy?

SleeplessRageMonster Tue 24-May-16 21:06:42

The second. My mum and dad divorced when I was 8, best thing they ever did.

TheSockGoblin Tue 24-May-16 22:00:47

second. I wouldn't want to teach my kids to exist in an unhappy marriage for financial reasons. Nor would I want to be with someone just for the lifestyle which seems to be the main thing keeping you there.
I also think that kids pick up on atmospheres and they internalise what they think a 'normal' relationship is. In this case loveless and for convenience it seems.

As far as it concerned myself aside from aspects of parenting I'd go as far as to say I'd be ashamed to stay in the first situation just because its a materially nice lifestyle. I think thats shallow.

But thats me, not you.

Theladyloriana Tue 24-May-16 22:39:44

Hmm I've recently left my h .... and I'm skint, I'm tired, I feel guilty... but... I'm generally speaking a lot happier. And so are the kids. you only have one life. I can't find any part of me that thinks it's a good idea to spend it with someone you don't love, no matter what the perks.

dilys4trevor Tue 24-May-16 22:55:01

I had the rich lifestyle, the big house, the big joint income, three lovely kids. We also worked together so didn't want to rock the boat.

I was also ignored, spoken down to and ridiculed regularly. We slept in separate rooms and he made me so angry with his behaviour towards me (often in front of our colleagues) I actually had violent thoughts and I ended up hating him.

Turns out he was having an affair.

He died soon after it all came out and I threw him out.

I have issues over his behaviour and his death but I sure as fuck don't miss the emotional abuse.

How bad is it OP? There is tension and lack of affection (bad enough) and then there is rudeness, insults, silent treatment, confidence erosion: emotional abuse, basically.

PoundingTheStreets Tue 24-May-16 23:37:59

How do you think your H feels?
What do you think he wants?

What do you mean by 'tension?' (and BTW if it makes you feel uncomfortable, you can bet your mortgage-free house on the fact that the DC are picking up on this).

I think what you need to be sure of in order to step out of this indecision is that your marriage is beyond fixing, either because one or both of you doesn't want to fix it, or because it has gone too far to be fixed. If there are no elements of abuse, control or betrayal, it may still be possible to turn things around, albeit not necessarily or overnight. If you still have any feelings for each other, however, that may be a cheaper option than divorce and ultimately more fulfilling for both of you.

If it's not an option and your marriage really is dead, you could always discuss the possibility of remaining married but not 'being' married - i.e. carrying on as you are now but without the tension because you each accept you are staying together only for the DC and therefore have no other expectations of (and this resentment towards) the other. That can work, but it is highly unusual and relies on the weaker party (you) having some pretty rock-solid legally-drawn-up financial protection and the more powerful party (him) having a strong conscience and feeling of loyalty towards the mother of his DC even if he doesn't love her anymore.

Sadly, many people can agree the above in principle, only for it to fly out of the window as soon as they meet someone who sends their hormones racing...

Personally, I'd go for option 2. Freedom, self-respect, control over your own life and setting an example to your DC that you don't settle for unhappiness, you take control of life and change it - those things are worth way more than a mortgage-free 4-bedroom house.

Hope you find a way forward. flowers

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now