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Please give me advice at our current crisis point. (Quite long!)

(32 Posts)
alembec Thu 07-Jul-16 06:35:48

I have been together with my long term partner just over 10 years, we are both in our early/mid 30s with one little boy nearly 1. I feel we are at a nadir in our relationship, and I can't decide whether we can work at it to move forward, so any words of advice would be so gratefully received and considered.

Background:

We are both very independent, and career wise successful. he in particular has excelled in the last few years and now is very financially secure. It was always the case that his career was very important to him. For me my career is enjoyable and gives me financial independence but it comes definitely a second to my family and home life.

Early in the relationship he made it clear he never wanted children, due to huge commitment in terms of emotions, time and finances. I didn't feel that way but I was in my early twenties, we were deeply in love (we are really both weird in exactly the same way, we are great friends, and we have neither of us met anyone quite like each other before), and I gave myself until 30 to decide whether I'd be prepared to give up having children to be with him (and obviously hoping that he might change his mind). We are both lukewarm about marriage and are not.

When I turned 30, he still did not want children and also seemed quite reluctant to commit to the long term (e.g. Buying a home together), even though it was clear he still loved me. We had a year or two of a tough time as I dithered between leaving or not, I still loved him deeply and had to choose between a childless future with him or leaving him to pursue these goals with a theoretical someone else.

Quite suddenly (btw should add that he finds it very hard to be communicative about feelings and relationships), he seemed to realise that he was about to lose me, and within the space of a year committed to buying a house together (we don't live there permanently, and it is being renovated majorly), and having children together. We got pregnant very quickly and our baby is nearly 1. In hindsight I realise I never really probed why he changed his mind, I didn't want to Rock the boat as I was so overjoyed. I suspect he mostly did it for me.

Because I realised how hard it might have been for him to make that decision, I took on 90pc of the share of baby and household duties. You will laugh at me for putting up with this, but he has never:
Washed a bottle
Done a load of laundry
Cooked a meal
Fed the baby a meal
Done food shopping
Dealt with night wakes
And a million other things that tend to be shared as parents.

That said, it would be unfair to not recognise that he does try his best in some ways, he pays for our cleaner and our nanny to take some of the burden from me, he pays the majority of our outgoings, he is thankful and often brings home little gifts to remind us that he thinks of us. Also, until now I genuinely didn't mind - I knew that he hates all of those domestic chores, and we agreed before baby that he had a pass on this.

I sound like a total pushover but I promise you I'm not, I adore domesticity and it was not a chore for me to do this because it is my life goal to create a lovely home, and a wonderful brood of well behaved and happy children. I have spent the last year working so hard on our home life (also renovating a whole house!) that I haven't been always very easy to live with, and I can sometimes take out my emotions on him.

Currently:
Two things happened.

1. He went without telling me to the home of a young lady about a month ago. I don't want to be specific but the timing of the visit, and the personal relationship between the two of them, makes the visit highly inappropriate. I was very upset. He says that he 'likes' her but that nothing happened. I think I believe that nothing physically happened, but whether he wanted to is a different matter. For the sake of the family I did my best to see this as positively as possible (he's just an insensitive oaf who didn't think about what it all might have looked like), rather than the worst (he's trying to have an affair). And we basically patched things up, But then:

2. He said he will not have more children. Despite having talked about siblings for the baby, despite only last week joking about silly names to call number 2, despite other little hints. He said it as though it was a tiny thing, but of course for me it is such a huge deal. Not only am I upset that we may not have more children, but also how he said it so carelessly without any thoughts for how I might feel.

Of course right now I hate how much I have done for the family. Why did I do more than humanly possible in the last year if we aren't even on the same page with regards to priorities? Ridiculously I was even trying to ask him to take more time away from the baby on the weekends to sleep or relax! What is my reward for all the effort I put in? Why is he even in my life?

To be blunt, the positives of him are:
He's now financially set enough that I'd never have to worry about money, but I would have to 'ask' for some things, and I wont be say deciding when I buy a new car. However I have a large salary too, and it would easily fully cover the outgoings for me and the baby if we lived a fairly middle class life.
I do love him. He is original, intelligent, and interesting. We are basically still great friends, and he inspires me in my mental life.
I'm used to having him around, and It is nice to not be lonely
Whilst I'm pretty certain that I could find someone else who i could love, and who loves me and the baby, I also know that right now, on paper, he is a better catch than me. Would I feel awful if he had a family with someone else?
he would put up with a hell of a lot before he'd leave me and the baby (perhaps physically if not emotionally) because he sees it as duty as a father.
He is my baby daddy

There is of course so much more I can add. But given the above, do you still think there is still some grounds to work this on, so that we come out of this? Am I a total fool? Is this worth salvaging?

Thank you again so much in advance.

TheTurtleMoves Thu 07-Jul-16 06:43:16

It sounds all on his terms. I would doubt how much effort he's really putting in to your relationship. It takes two to make it work.

Costacoffeeplease Thu 07-Jul-16 07:00:09

It depends on the visit to this other woman and what that entails, whether you want to be controlled to the extent you describe financially, and whether you can accept not having any more children

Personally I think they're all deal breakers

totalturmoil Thu 07-Jul-16 07:05:08

I am in a vaguely similar sort of position, vaguely, and my conclusion is that there needs to be a heck of a lot more work (counselling), discussion, quality time together and time before making any major decisions. People here constantly say - leave! But finding someone to love and be with who also provides and cares is not at all easy.

HandyWoman Thu 07-Jul-16 07:05:10

It sounds like you have this man on a pedestal in many ways. You have very differing values about life and just want to please him all the time, and having pandered to his every whim feel that he should stick to your side of the the (imaginary) bargain and have another child. Well life and relationships just don't work like that. And not surprisingly you're finding it doesn't work. What did you learn about relationships growing up? What was your parents' relationship like?

Resilience16 Thu 07-Jul-16 07:06:14

Hi alembec. Only you can decide if you want to continue trying with this relationship but for it to work there needs to be buy in from both of you.
The main things that strike me from your post are firstly he always said he didn't want kids but you had one anyway. Did he give in to shut you up, or because he genuinely wanted one? He has now made it clear he doesn't want another,so where do you go with that?
Secondly this "meeting" with the "young lady". I don't know what went on there but it seems to me you are minimising something to avoid rocking the boat..that isn't the grounds for a healthy relationship.
There seems to be a big mismatch in terms of your expectations. Are you willing to put up with being perpetually disappointed, in order to be financially secure and "not lonely"? Only you can answer that.
To be blunt it seems that you make things comfortable for him, and he gives you financial security and the occasional pat on the head/little gifts.
Is that enough?
Good luck x

WipsGlitter Thu 07-Jul-16 07:06:53

It doesn't sound like a very joyful life.

Does he love your child? Interact with them at all? Are the rest of your social circle child free?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-16 07:13:55

I do not think there is all that much if anything to be worked on to be honest with you. He is also not above being potentially financially controlling either to you; what is all this nonsense about having to ask for some things or to have no say on when a new car is purchased?. This is a further indication of just how skewed the power and control balance is, its all in his favour. You've handed your own self completely over to him at your overall expense. You've carried the relationship to this point, where is his effort to maintain the relationship here?

I am wondering if you are co-dependent when it comes to relationships and I am also wondering if you are falling into the sunken costs fallacy trap. You've put this man above your own needs always and have squashed your own needs and concerns down. Re this visit to this woman, is he going to see her again?. How did you find out?. Again "for the sake of the family" (sigh) you squashed your concerns down. What about you though re your own self?

Staying for a lifestyle is no reason at all and your positives re him are not all that great either. I think he likes having you around because he has someone to look after him, your efforts have also facilitated his career path. If you do want more children it will not be with him, that is a deal breaker if you do want them. Also he was highly reluctant to become a father in the first place.

Is this really the model of a relationship you want to show your child?. It should not be.

Joysmum Thu 07-Jul-16 07:18:20

Sounds like he, and you don't see yourself as equals.

Everything DH have, earns and are responsible for is seen as joint. Yours is not.

Yes, you are a pushover because you've gone along with this, and 'not rocked the boat' for fear of losing your man.

Dozer Thu 07-Jul-16 07:20:49

You made a huge mistake staying with this man so long IMO, and should leave him.

Not having wanted a DC is not an excuse to be a shit parent, which he clearly is, doing fuck all for his DC , and a shit partner, which again he clearly is if he's watched you run yourself ragged doing paid and domestic and DC related work.

It's good that you are still working so are not financially dependent on him: I suspect he may well abuse this power, and you're not married so the law wouldn't offer much protection.

You also don't actually know the extent of his emotional/physical affair with this OW. Suspect there's more to it than you yet know and it is a huge betrayal.

daisychain01 Thu 07-Jul-16 07:25:01

It seems your DP has called all the shots and 'set the pace' of all major decisions - from the beginning of your relationship. And that was him doing nothing. The precedent was set. Only when things got to crisis-point did he wake up and do something. You responded, then he slumped back to doing nothing (hence your long list of the things you do that he doesn't bother to invest in).

To move things forward in your relationship, you have to shift to a more equal footing, with him stepping up to the plate and doing more than the bare minimum and you not feeling like every time you step a foot out of line, you'll lose him.

I bet he's oblivious, carrying on with his career, happy with his lot, while you're worried as hell what to do and having to work and keep your home up to standard.

He has way too much power in the relationship, and doesn't he know it.

daisychain01 Thu 07-Jul-16 07:39:17

If there was one thing I'd suggest you work on, it's to cultivate a different communicate style with him.

Get him to see you as the intelligent woman you are, which you are! Not a "mummy", not a housekeeper but an independent person in your own right, who has opinions and needs, yes you do have needs in case he's forgotten!

He is my baby daddy

Sorry to play back your words to you, but can you see what I mean?

Chick3ns Thu 07-Jul-16 08:38:33

Wise people of Mumsnet generally advise to listen to what your partner says

He says he does not want more children
He says he does not want to get married

You wanted a child - you have one now
You wanted a home together - you have one now
You are saying that this is not enough ! You want more children and him to be more involved in family life
You are working, you can pay for your next car and it does not have to a new car

You have a choice
stay with someone that you have known for 10 years under their terms - no more children
or
Seperate and start a new life

I think him going round to another womans house is sending you a signal
His actions speak louder than words

FreeFromHarm Thu 07-Jul-16 08:49:12

Good morning, I agree with Dozer, he has total control over you. It must be awful that he has no interaction with ds, and from what you have said he rarely interacts with you.
It is fab that you have all the nice things, a nanny, cleaner and financially secure, but do you not owe it to yourself to be happy with someone who loves and cares for you spiritually as well.?

hellsbellsmelons Thu 07-Jul-16 08:55:54

He is my baby daddy
NOPE he is not.
He is your baby's biological father but he's no daddy.
He hasn't even fed his own child.
That's just frickin' odd.

You've done everything.
Time to stop doing it all.
Do you have any down time of your own?
Go out with your friends?
How often do you see your family?

alembec Thu 07-Jul-16 08:56:41

Thank you. Your posts are very thought provoking.

My background is that I come from a broken home, with no father figure in my life, so I know little about what a real father 'should' be. My mother is very resilient though emotionally somewhat childish. I have had to be financially and domestically very independent from an early age, so I guess I was brought up to think that it is a matter of course that one should take on all the burdens of life, ie one wipes their own sh*t. And until the arrival of the baby it really didn't seem like so much hard work, I love to cook and we hired cleaners to deal with anything I didn't want to do. but as we know a baby multiplies it a million fold.

I have been in only two LT relationships, one 7yrs and one 10yrs (current). I left the first because I did not find him intellectually stimulating, even though he was 'perfect' potential father material (shared chores, handy, loved kids). I guess I aborred the idea of a boring life of gentle domesticity with someone I basically tolerated instead of loved and respected. Of course that was when I was quite young.

The current partner, it is not unfair to say that is the love of my life. Quite honestly we get on so well outside the sphere of domesticity, which of course has grown to fill all of my time now I'm on maternity leave, but which prior to having baby was only the odd hour here and there (other than sleeping). Also, financially it has only been the last two years when our circumstances have gapped, until then we basically earnt the same amount and shared things equally.

I can see that a lot of the current problems come from choosing to have a child together without the logical thing of properly talking about our differing roles. We did talk and define some things, but not what to do if things didn't happen as we expected, and much of it was that we'd wing it a little bit. We also naively did not know how much time baby chores would take, and also how our financial situation would change. Until I was 30 and started seriously talking about whether to leave him to find a father for my potential child, we had never once fought because we genuinely were on the same page for almost everything.

Whilst it may seem that he does little for me, and again perhaps putting him on a pedestal here, I can see that he does what he thinks I'd want (getting me a little cupcake, booking travel which I hate) as well as quite large things that were not painless for him (he paid for our house entirely but it is joint owned, he puts up with my mum staying whenever she wants).

Anyway, I say this all to see if your opinions change.

Thank you all again for your time.

alembec Thu 07-Jul-16 09:03:20

Just to answer some questions:

I don't want to be married, he did ask me (not particularly romantically but still, I could have had it)

He does love the baby and spends time with him. But he works long hours weekdays (always had) so it is only the weekend, and he does plan little trips and so on for us together. He just doesn't do meals. He does change nappies.

I have lovely friends, absolutely the freedom to go see them and family. They are very supportive. I suppose I'm embarrassed to talk to many of them about this, though I have talks to a couple. They suggested communicating more, rather than just leaving him..,

alembec Thu 07-Jul-16 09:05:04

Ps as a percentage Of his free time outside work, and when baby isn't asleep Etc he probably spends 70pc with baby and me as a family.

We go out once a week on a date night.

Costacoffeeplease Thu 07-Jul-16 09:06:18

What about the visit to the other woman? What's the deal with that, you have rather glossed over it?

timelytess Thu 07-Jul-16 09:10:50

He's seeing another woman, you value the financial support he gives to the family even though he does not make an emotional commitment. You've made your choice.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 07-Jul-16 09:17:13

Well your last post gives some hope to the situation.
I've no idea where you go from here though.
Is he someone you can sit down and have an honest discussion with?
Write everything down you want to talk about.
Will he listen to what you have to say?
Maybe some counselling would help?

DaisyBooMum Thu 07-Jul-16 09:17:26

How upsetting that he would openly cheat on you and think nothing of it

You must be a saint, or a naive ?

alembec Thu 07-Jul-16 09:20:02

Sorry I don't mean to gloss over it.

To elaborate, you can clearly see how DP is a bit emotionally retarded. I can easily see how he thought it was a perfectly reasonable thing that he did what he did, as he had no intentions (he says) to do anything and didn't realise what it might have looked like. Of course I can't say whether that is the truth or not, but bad as he is at communicating, he's not known to be a liar, and he is generally honourable in the old school sense. That said, if thigns have changed so much since the baby, then perhaps he might have become one. I really don't know.

Resilience16 Thu 07-Jul-16 09:31:36

Just a quick one.
You are on maternity at the moment and doing the majority of childcare through the week with no support from your partner for whatever reason. If you return to work you will be working AND still doing all the childcare, with no support from your partner through the week. It ain't going to get easier and will cause more stress and resentment if dp just swans in for the easy fun bits.
You need to address any cracks in this relationship now. As other posters have said you seem to be glossing over or choosing to ignore the other woman issues.
I am glad you have got good friends in real life. You may need them.
Good luck.

ElspethFlashman Thu 07-Jul-16 09:38:30

You think this man is God Almighty, don't you?

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