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Would you still be together if it weren't for the kids?

(99 Posts)
Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 19:02:54

I've found myself pondering this so much lately. And, for many complicated reasons (most boiling down to a complete lack of compatibility), I'm feeling certain that the answer for me is a categorically firm: no.

I mean, absolutely definitely - I would have ended things by now.

I guess my question is - does that mean my marriage is over? We are so different and I fantasise about a life without him. But how do you know what's fantasy and what's genuine desire?

I also find myself hoping that he won't come home one day. And that makes me feel pretty cruddy about myself. Reading it back, it sounds terrible enough to stop ignoring it.

All these things are stacking up and I'm wondering what to do. We have periods of time where things are pretty okay but the sex is next-to nil (only when I'm drunk, I never want it), there's no passion and we just don't have that much fun together. He's a lovely, sweet guy and deserves to be happy but truth be told, he's just a bit boring and i don't know how much longer our relationship is likely to last. I'm a bit of a fiery one and I need someone I can spark off (although many of our friends would consider him a good leveller to my out-going nature).

Anyway, back to my original question. Really curious to hear if anyone else feels the same. And if realising the answer to the question was 'no', was that the beginning of the end?

Hotwaterbottle1 Mon 27-Jun-16 19:39:41

Exactly the same, and yes was the beginning of the end although very early stages.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 19:42:15

Hotwater hugs to you, thanks for input. I sometimes wonder if normally I give up on relationships too easily and I need the glue of DCs to hold things together. It's a rollercoaster. No idea what to do other than work my arse off for the coming months/years and make sure I try everything.

ZansForCans Mon 27-Jun-16 19:43:04

I felt like this. It was getting worse and I had fantasies about leaving, but having the kids made me too scared to do it and cause that much upheaval. Then I started thinking along the lines of how old would they have to be, and how long could I hold out. Then ultimately yes, because I'd tried and tried, it became something I just had to do, and face the consequences and the fact that I was breaking up our family. It's hard and very upsetting for the DC, but I do hope that in the longer run it will benefit them, not to be living in a house with arguing and a bad atmosphere, and thinking their parents' relationship is what a relationship is meant to be like.

I too have had that thought of I wish he'd just be removed from my life, and I felt really bad about it too. Since telling him it's over, I feel much less like that – I appreciate the kids get a lot from him and that we can try hard to be amicable exes. It's a reaction to feeling trapped and stressed IMO.

Before I made the break, I had a chat with a friend where we both admitted we would already be out if it weren't for the kids. It's an understandable place to be at because you don't want to put your DC through a break-up unless you're sure. She's still with hers, though I predict she will go eventually.

AnnaMarlowe Mon 27-Jun-16 19:44:30

Yes, we would still be together even without the DC.

We've been married for nearly two decades and I still adore him. I'm very lucky.

In your position, I'd sit down and have a very honest discussion with my DH. He deserves that much surely.

Maybe don't tell him you hope he dies though. That's pretty awful really.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 19:47:12

Yes I know, it sounds utterly horrid. But honestly I don't want a slither of harm to come to him, it's just the inner wimp wanting a way out that I don't have to instigate. Same as many others wish their OH would have an affair to put the final nail in.

We have talked a lot and there are issues relating to the amount of effort he puts in with me and the DCs that never get resolved.

Really useful to hear from both sides.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 19:49:13

Zans so glad you can empathise with that horrible way of thinking. I do feel extremely trapped in many ways. I adore my children and would do anything for them, but there's an awful lot I've got lined up for when they fly the nest! and I automatically see myself doing those things alone.

I have talked to him about this recently, and I've been very honest. He doesn't want us to break up but also he isn't trying hard enough to ensure it doesn't happen IMHO.

Ginmakesitallok Mon 27-Jun-16 19:49:48

Yes we would. The only time we've considered splitting up was pre kids, and neither of us was brave enough to tell Mil! So we didn't.

Goingtobeawesome Mon 27-Jun-16 19:52:09

Don't stay for the kids. What a burden to put on them when they find out.

ZansForCans Mon 27-Jun-16 19:53:58

there's an awful lot I've got lined up for when they fly the nest! and I automatically see myself doing those things alone.

Yes I relate to that too. For years I had fantasies of things I'd do once I'm older and I didn't really like to admit to myself that he wasn't in the picture at all! blush It took a long time to really listen to what my true self wanted, IYSWIM.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 19:55:46

I'm not saying I'm going to stay for the kids. I'm early on in deciding what to do and coming to a forum like this helps me sort my head out and work through how I'm feeling.

What I'm trying to figure out is whether this is something that can be fixed or not. I'm starting to feel like it isn't and it's the first time I'm feeling like a definitely 'no' to the question.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 19:57:05

Zans thank you for your post. Helps to know I'm not alone in feeling like this. How long between feeling like I am now, and leaving? Did you try counselling?

ZansForCans Mon 27-Jun-16 20:02:49

It was such a long gradual process, and for a lot of that the idea of leaving him wasn't consciously on the table at all. From actively realising that I wanted out, until telling him – about 18 months.

It's been a long relationship, and my previous breakups, when I was very young and pre-kids and mortgages, were (obviously) much simpler - it was like "right that's it, bye". Splitting up with kids, a house, etc is a much bigger decision, and I now realise that it's a longer process and something I had to come round to gradually.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 20:06:43

Definitely, it won't be a snap decision for me. I have had two long term relationships (and a fair few shorties!) where the end has come because our differences have just become insurmountable. And both times I was able to make that decision very confidently.

This time, especially because of the children, I need to know I've tried everything but I'm also aware that phrase can become an excuse for many people who are too scared to make the jump.

I think if I do decide it's done, I'll be confident in my decision. But I think it'll be a little while coming...

00alwaysbusymum Mon 27-Jun-16 20:07:02

I felt like this in the past, wanted to leave , felt we were living like room mates, really unhappy lots of arguments , no sex ! . Gave my self 6 months to make a real effort in our relationship ( fell pregnant with number 3 the one time we had sex in 6 months) and now actually 3 years on I'm really happy. I've always loved my oh but not loved our relationship. I think I now realise I needed some time to be me and have some more outside interests and this has prob blade me a happier person and in turn my oh seems to like me a lot more. We have got the "spark" back even after 3 children and I'm so glad I put the effort in as our children have a stable family. Would I have made this effort without kids ? Prob not. I think marriage is a long term game and investment and there may be hard periods but you can turn things around it depends on your priorities. Equally in this day and age there is no need to stay in an unhappy marriage.

windygales Mon 27-Jun-16 20:11:47

Feeling exactly the same!!
We've got relate starting next week. To help make or break the relationship.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 20:12:27

always that's interesting, good on you for pouring yourself into it and you're right that you need to commit to trying everything. My marriage is a firm priorit but I am starting to feel like that commitment to trying is not shared by my OH. He does try, but it doesn't last.

On a personal level, I'm really happy with my life. I have my own business and a great social life (which OH isn't really interested in joining despite my pleas) both of which I've built from scratch having moved here to be with him.

It's only when I'm on my own with the kids or outside these four walls I really feel like myself. Which is pretty bad... huh?

windygales Mon 27-Jun-16 20:12:34

I really feel for you flowers
It's plaguing my mind, and feel contributed to PND

DickCheese Mon 27-Jun-16 20:13:14

I highly doubt I will be married to OH when the kids are grown up. Great guy, does everything he can, we have a decent life but I feel the same as you - my life is boring and I'm a bit of a headcase. Want to spread my wings. But the reality of breaking up your family, sharing custody, being skint, hurting the kids and the rest of the family - it's too much for now.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 20:13:53

windy I really hope the counselling can help you to find a clear path. I tried a solo Relate session but didn't find it particularly helpful. Interested in trying a private couple's session as I've heard Relate can be a little bit anti-divorce. NO idea if that's right, though.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 20:15:42

dick with that screenname you sound like someone I could enjoy a pint with already. I'm the same: sick of downplaying my lust for life and excitement about opportunities because I'm living with someone who's constantly on a low level and doesn't get exicted about anything.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 20:18:06

windy thank you, so sorry to hear you've suffered PND flowers

ShatnersBassoon Mon 27-Jun-16 20:22:53

We're still together in spite of the kids blush

My parents stuck it out for the sake of us children. They despised each other and their hatred clouded every single miserable day of family life. I think they ended up resenting us children sad. I wouldn't recommend that path to anyone.

Lostandlonely1979 Mon 27-Jun-16 20:34:09

Shatner that sounds awful. Our DCs are pretty happy and well adjusted and we keep any atmosphere away from them, though I'm sure they pick up when things aren't right. Can't bear the idea of them growing up in that horrid environment.

OneTwoOneTwoThreeFour Mon 27-Jun-16 21:35:58

No. We get in well, and I do love him, but he had an affair. I was, obviously, devastated.

If I'd been child free i would've run for the hills and started a new life far away.

The family is a happy one, but I wouldn't have attempted reconciliation but for the children.

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