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Incompetent Husbands: What Happened Next...

(413 Posts)
overthehillandroundthemountain Mon 08-Aug-16 22:26:19

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2543620-Incompetent-husband-anyone-else?

overthehillandroundthemountain Mon 08-Aug-16 22:29:13

This is a good place to add a link to this blog:
She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes By The Sink
mustbethistalltoride.com/2016/01/14/she-divorced-me-because-i-left-dishes-by-the-sink/

Euphemia Mon 08-Aug-16 22:37:53

Found you. smile

LisaMed1 Mon 08-Aug-16 22:38:33

You asked on the last thread whether we wanted you to keep posting. I don't think it's about us. I think it's what you need. You first posted about this on 7 January 2016. That's eight months ago. Remember the journey? You've found it hard to get to here. Do you want to keep getting that validation that it isn't you? That it isn't a minor and unimportant matter? I think you are going to need it.

Do you think he believes he can still stall the divorce and keep you married?

Kr1stina Mon 08-Aug-16 22:54:17

Hi over the hill
< waves>

overthehillandroundthemountain Mon 08-Aug-16 23:15:16

Thank you Euphemia and LisaMed1

Goodness. My head. I feel shaky and sick. Did that really just happen? That session - she said that there's nothing else she can do, that neither of us is shifting, and would we like to try another counsellor? He said no, before I did. It all feels so surreal.

The sessions have helped me to read the situation, and him, better. All this time, I assumed it was me, he made it sound like it was I who was creating the trouble, kicking up the fuss, not trying...when, in fact, he was as guilty (if not more so, but then I would say that, wouldn't I?). It is so very hard to read it all when you've had the wool pulled over your eyes. We unpicked everything. I think so, anyway. I feel as though I have read every grain, unturned every stone and analysed everything. I bet you do, too grin

LisaMed Thank you for posting and acknowledging...so much time, so many posts. I keep forgetting. It has moved on, hasn't it? Gosh. It feels odd. Did I make that happen? Or was it a natural evolution of the relationship?

Yes, I think I will continue to need validation that it isn't me. Even as I type this, I am asking - did I jinx the marriage? Did I cause the trouble? So much blame from him. That's 'the script', though, isn't it?

God. Urghh. I really gave it to him. He was shocked. I finally found my voice. I asked him the same question, Lisa, does he think he can stall things? Even the counsellor said - we are not getting anywhere. The same old arguments being strung out in the sessions...I told him, I think he has been stringing it out...he gets the good deal, after all! I am a low-maintenance wife who brings a lot to his ideal of marriage. However, NO MORE. I told them that these sessions are not helpful and that they should end (she said it first, anyway).

I told them I have divorce-proofed this marriage well. I have looked after him well. He said "You have NOT looked after me". I told him to shut up and listen (OMG did I do that?! grin) I told him that when I gave up my nice, fixed job to work as I am now, and when I gave up my time, when I gave up my work time so he could take the 3-4 holidays abroad that mean so much to him - that THAT was, indeed, "looking after him". I put my life on hold so that he could have the life he wanted. The only reason I had accepted that nice, fixed job in the first place, was because I knew it would make him happy. Yes, I gave up a lot to look after him. What did I get in return?

Something that happens with 'strategic incompetence' is that we learn to 'put-up-and-shut-up'. How many times did I sigh...."AH well, if I want it doing, I will have to do it myself!" I would say, whilst rinsing his cafetiere out and putting it in the dishwasher. I am so PROUD that I do not do this any more. NO NO NO. Never again. I put up and shut up so much, that my needs took a back step and I allowed his needs (after the children's) to come first. I told him this evening: I treated him like a king.

What did I get in return? One summer, I kept a photographic log. One of the folders is called "My Husband's Back". I took photo after photo of his back. Sometimes rucksack laden, sometimes bare, sometimes shirted. Always about 50 yards in front of me.

First, I laughed: "Do you have to walk ahead, so I am dragging behind like some sort of home help?" Then I asked him nicely: "Please don't walk ahead of me". I moaned bitterly "Godsakes, man, stop walking ahead!". He always ignored me. Oh but I lag behind, I walk too slow, I take my time. Usually, I was walking with our children. It did not feel like a partnership. Yesterday, during a trip out, I cut through some students to walk ahead of him. He lagged behind, wanting to buy tickets at a particular desk, I told him not to be so slow, and walked another flight of stairs to another desk, ahead of him by the same distance, and bought the tickets. I don't even need him to walk beside me any more. I can walk on, and I can walk alone.

I didn't mention it yesterday, but tonight, I reminded him of it. How belittling, smothering, depreciating, and humiliating it felt. Our whole marriage has been like that. THAT is what it feels like to leave that dirty cup on the side.

The joke is - upstairs, in what is now HIS en-suite, is HIS dirty cup full of coffee grounds from THIS morning. He STILL hasn't learnt!

Second: a family birthday today. Once, I reminded him. Twice, three times, over the past week. The old me, from the 7th of Jan 2016, would have bought a card and present and sent it, and moaned on here. Instead, I ignored it. Tonight, I was able to bring it to light. "If you have changed so much, and have become so engaged again, as you say...then when why did you not take action over x's birthday?"

I realise what I have been trying to do in these sessions latterly. To find my voice. To present back to him the evidence that I have been gathering. Ok. Enough now. I have seen and he has seen I really don't think I need to present it any more.

I MUST NOT lie dormant now. Please help me to take action to proceed with the separation. The other problem with disengagement, is that it is contagious. It is catching. It is easier to be inactive when living with someone inactive. I canNOT just let it go, now.

I can't thank you all enough. I'm sorry for venting, for overanalysing, etc. (I sense Hillfarmer shaking her head when my messages are posted!). Part of it is my personality style, part my obsessional ways and some in my data-driven way. However, I have really found my voice, and I can't thank you enough.

TheSilveryPussycat Mon 08-Aug-16 23:24:45

I'm so pleased you finally got there. What is the next step? When can you do it? Think of the answer, then rest up a bit.

overthehillandroundthemountain Mon 08-Aug-16 23:53:02

Hello Kr1stina and thank you for following!

Hi, SilveryPussyCat It does feel like I 'finally' got somewhere. Where, I do not know! Well, I have a good idea. I feel scared but I did come out of the session with a feeling of calmness and an inward smile. I did it! I actually said: the marriage is dead and I want to separate. Yikes.

Next step...I must work this out. Apart from the obvious. He and I will have to talk by ourselves, won't we? I told him to think about what his vision for the future looks like, when he is away for 2 weeks, and he nodded. I asked him to think about ways of separating.

I think I know, thanks to you all, what a (healthy) separation should/could look like. It is going to be a slow process.

I can start with a move to the spare room, can't I? It would be good to tell the children so they can start processing it. They already know it is coming. Then to tell relatives. At the same time with the other stuff going on: division of finances and care for the children.

I said in the session that I would have to stay, because I am the main caregiver to the children. She said "you don't stop being the caregiver just because you leave" but I can't see how else to do it. I can't afford to leave. He possibly can.

My head hurts. What should be the next step? And when? I sense that if I don't do things fast, they might not get done.

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 09-Aug-16 00:14:06

Have you appointed a solicitor yet?

We both decided we wanted a divorce. But his idea was to live apart for 2 years and then divorce by consent. As he was incompetent, he had no plan for how this was to be done, and as he was a cocklodger, it would have been at my expense anyway. I decided that, no, I wanted to get divorced asap. It took MN for the penny to drop that, no I didn't need his permission, we didn't have to agree how to divorce, that if I wanted to end the marriage, I could do so.

I found a good solicitor through the Resolution site, and made an appointment. That was my first step.

And I kept posting on MN (on the EA Support Thread).

Kr1stina Tue 09-Aug-16 07:35:28

Well if Hes not a caregiver to your children now, he won't start being one just because he moves out .

Normally the parent who is the main carer is the ones who stays in the house with the children . As long as they can afford it .

It makes no sense for you and the children to move out while he stays put.

Pussycat is right - you need to find out what's possible legally, make plans and then tell him what you are doing . In an ideal world. He woudl agree and cooperate . But I don't think that's going to happen .

You need to write down a list of all your assets and liabilities and out numbers next to them . Remember pensions and savings ( the proportion built up during the marriage ) .

Starting point is 50:50 but you will want to get more as you will be the RP and you can't rely on him to pay child maintenance . Lawyer will advise .

Most NRP have the kids EOW and one night during the week . Woudl that work for your family ?

Rachel0Greep Tue 09-Aug-16 10:35:17

Oh over please vent away! You have said it helps you. That is the most important thing. Haven't read your most recent updates, just sending you best wishes for continued strength.
brew Try to get some rest or downtime of some sort, if you can. You must be exhausted, and yes, by the sound of things you will be the one who has to keep pushing things forward. Mind yourself.

Aussiebean Tue 09-Aug-16 18:20:12

Well done Over. Sounds like this is the start of you moving forward.

Sending you lots of flowers

overthehillandroundthemountain Wed 10-Aug-16 10:38:56

Woahhhh hello everyone! Thank you so much for continued support.

It has been a hellish few days. I can't sleep. I am smarting a bit from being 'chucked off' by the Relate counsellor like that, and can't help but take it personally. Was I too rude in the sessions? Too shouty? Too passive? Part of me thinks 'whatever' and I'm sure this is some of that counsellor-client link. I am wondering if I need to work on my anger management, and whether I should continue to see her. But that would require asking him, right?

We are engaged in a weird, neutral relationship, the DH and I. We are not horrid to one another, we are not all that nice, either. He is out tonight, doing a hobby with a pal from work. Maybe it's better that way. I noticed he left a rinsed coffee cup on the side, even though the dishwasher was empty this morning. WIBU to print off the article by that chap, and leave it under his cup? I've moved the cup to the sink in the utility room. He can deal with it himself. I'm not his slave.

TheSilveryPussycat I saw a solicitor back in May. Someone I know used this chap successfully, but something about his style made me hesitate. He told me about his own divorce, similar circs...another acquaintance asked me if he had told me about his affair hmm which he hadn't. I can't work out if he traversed a professional boundary by telling me about his own stuff. He seemed quite pushy and enthusiastic to get the ball rolling, but I don't know if he is right.

I can imagine my DH being like yours, and suggesting we live apart for 2 years, etc. The Incompetent's Divorce. The problem is that this inertia is contagious, isn't it? You know how, at school, it takes one person to giggle and everyone is in cahoots? It's similar with this. His inactivity is spreading.

Maybe we will separate in the first instance, and then the inertia will get to me, and I will take legal action. I am a small-step type person (usually arriving to things last!). It buys me some thinking time. OTOH it is better to get things sorted before his financial situation plummets. Said solicitor said it might be in my interests to divorce him whilst there is this financial unknowing.

What is the Resolution site? I would be keen to find other solicitors. Have asked but my other friends had hugely complicated finances & assets, so not quite right for me.

Kr1stina Thank you, good point. He might see himself as a caregiver to the children currently, but he isn't. His job continues as normal, bar 2 weeks annual leave. I can't believe he said in therapy that I should have stayed in my 'conventional' post that I had pre-kids, for pension and household income purposes. What was I, a cash cow? Whilst he was thankful and grateful for my continuing to work, he failed to acknowledge that childcare costs something, and that I bore the brunt of that cost.

I need to work on him moving out. I can't afford to leave. I can't afford the childcare costs, and neither can he.

You're right, it makes no sense for me and the children to move out while he stays put. Also, it makes no sense for me to move out, as I am the childcare.

I have had some legal advice, and now need to show him the different shades of separation. I'm concerned that this adds decisions and lengthens the process. BUt I guess that will be life now. He may well agree and co-operate if things appear balanced.

God the list of assets and liabilities. Argh. I have this already - cannot go into detail why as might out me, but unrelated to marriage. I don't know anything about his pension or his savings. Argh.

Depending on where he were to go, having kids EOW and one night a week would work well, and it would be good to have that set up before term starts as one child will be away. We have sort of already started practicing this with his trips away with the kids.

Rachel0Greep Thank you so much for this and other post on old thread. It helps enormously. It's weird, I'm sad but not distraught about the marriage. More a sinking pit in my stomach about how we will talk about the arrangements. I know you are a fan of the 'life is too precious' side of it, and I have to cling to that element. Thank you for looking out for me, it means a lot to me to have someone telling me to rest, etc. as I am pretty alone IRL. Yes, exhausted. Being nice to myself by day but beating myself up at night. I can't sleep, I can't relax much. I am worried for the shape of my finances, the kids, the house. Rationally, I know these things will sort out in time, but I am worried about taking the wrong fork in the crossroads. What if this is wrong? What if I regret it in years to come?

Aussiebean Thank you so much. It does feel like moving forwards, even if things with him feel stagnant when we are together. I suppose it's moving faster in my mind than IRL.

You are all amazing. I am so lucky. I think to where I was back in Jan...did I really accept 13 years of putting his dirty cup in the dishwasher every morning?!

SauvignonPlonker Wed 10-Aug-16 11:51:02

flowers overthehill.
I followed your last thread & have "watched" as your marriage has disintegrated.

I hope you don't mind me saying this, but would you consider a trip to your GP? Or at the very least doing one of the online anxiety/depression questionnaires?

The reason I ask, is that I have been there too, at the end of my marriage. I was a shadow of myself, not eating or sleeping properly, couldn't think straight. With hindsight, I was ill & should have had some treatment, as the lack of sleep impacted on my physical & mental functioning.

On another note, I wouldn't bother leaving articles around for him to read. You have told him, multiply, in therapy. He KNOWS. Don't focus any energy on him, but instead on further disengaging.

From the sound of him, he won't really participate in the process of divorce & it will be you who will have to drive everything forwards. Just like you have always done, with everything. He fails to step up & you fill the void. I would think about your needs & take steps, if you can find the strength, to start the legal & financial process.

I'm glad to hear you are finding some time to do nice things for yourself every day; it really helps. Be kind to yourself flowers

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 10-Aug-16 18:41:48

Just spotted your other thread, but will answer here.

Your counsellor has signed you off because there is nothing more to do, and certainly nothing more she can do. It's nothing personal, I'm sure.

From your description, the counselling sounded pretty crap to me anyway, although it has got you to the point of having made a decision.

Stop looking backwards, stop worrying about what others think and what you might have done wrong! You say you have AS traits and overthink this - so do I, so I do understand - but Detachment, plus Knowing Your Own Truth, is the way forward.

Will reply re Resolution later.

overthehillandroundthemountain Thu 11-Aug-16 00:50:08

Hello SauvignonPlonker I remember you. Thank you for flowers. You are lovely.

I promise I will see the GP if things get bad. I am a bit anxious but not depressed. Weirdly, I think I have come through the worst. Thank you for 'looking out' for me. I don't sleep at the best of times, and I think I mentioned my weight loss before, but I have been taking things easier and was lucky enough to take on less work a few months ago, once I sensed that things were not going to mend themselves.

It's fair to say my marriage has disintegrated. I am still surprised and shocked by those terms. Someone asked me the other day if he even still lives here! God, things must be really bad, mustn't they? Also when I tell the other school mums that we are not going on holiday together, I sense a gasp from them. It's like it's happening to someone else. I guess it's part of accepting the reality of the situation.

I recognise myself in what you say - the lack of sleep impacting on functioning. This was me back...well, about last year. Way before I even started the other thread. Wow. I can't believe it has been going on for so long. Two years maybe.

Yes, I didn't bother with the articles. Didn't mention the dirty cup. What is the point? It's part of the script.

Based on his inability to discuss anything so far, yes, nothing will get done unless I drive it forwards. True. I need to find the strength somehow to get the ball rolling on the legal front. It is so hard...

TheSilveryPussycat Thank you for thoughts. I felt a bit like my lifeline was cut with the counsellor's signing off, but now I understood why. I have been so attention-starved and love-starved, that I was almost too receptive to her attention. It's not why she ended the sessions - although maybe she sensed it a bit - but it explains why it felt like a slap around the face.

I have to keep remembering that she signed us both off, because there is nothing more she can do, and that he is part of that, too. Not just my disengaging from help.

People on here say she sounded crap! I dunno. Maybe a bit...narrow-visioned...sometimes. We are all influenced by our cultural upbringings. However, she was pleasant and warm and genuine, and I am starved of a mother-figure who will listen and nod and talk back at me in terms I need to hear. She supplied part of the need that the husband is not providing. That's not part of her job, but it is part of the reason why I was there. For the first time in years, I felt heard and that someone understood why I feel belittled by the husband.

I keep wondering if there is something wrong with me. Would I feel belittled by any husband? Maybe I was never the marrying type. I am surprised by how happy I am by myself. When dh is at work, I am perfectly happy to find things/work to fill my time with, and I am not scared of my own company. I had had partners before and one chap's words echo in my mind: he used to tell me I don't suffer fools...maybe he meant my tolerance for other humans is not good. Argh. Why am I even analysing this?!! Is this part of coming to terms with it, maybe?

Ok. I need to learn to stop looking backwards. Yes, I need to detach and to have faith in my own decisions. Just need to more time to absorb what has happened.

Would appreciate info about Resolution. Have just looked it up. Like mediation, yes?

Thank you flowers I feel so supported on here. It remains my safe place. To think that I posted in a fit of...of upset. Just typed the words out without thinking much. Little did I know...

Rachel0Greep Thu 11-Aug-16 08:48:15

over I hope that when he and the children are away, or even before then that you get a chance to do something that you find relaxing. Just keep reminding yourself to be kind to yourself, and nourish yourself.

I think you are absolutely right about the counsellor, and she did serve a purpose, and gave you a chance to vocalise things that you could not otherwise have brought out into the open.
I also think you are right re just leaving the mug and not leaving the article. Not your problem anymore.

I wish I had something more to offer than a virtual brew and flowers but they are the best I can do smile.

This will possibly sound very simplistic, but it can work. Every so often, if you can, promise yourself a night off from worry. Of course you are worried. This is life changing and of course there is loads of stuff swirling in your head. But, if you can, say to yourself some night 'I need a night off from worry' and do your best to relax. Stuff like lavender baths, nice candles, relaxing music and so on help me. No magic formula, but something that reminds you to be kind to yourself, give yourself a break. Things won't go away, of course, but that one night's sleep, if it comes, will help to refresh you for the next day.

I know you mentioned the GP. Please do keep a close eye on your health, maybe get blood tests, make sure your iron levels are okay. You need to be strong, but you also need to mind yourself. Take care.

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 11-Aug-16 10:19:09

How I found a SHL: I looked on the Resolution site for family lawyers near me, the site was recommended on MN. I was hoping to use the Resolution process to agree finances, as if sucessful, it's cheaper than the usual process (DC were young adults, so they didn't come into it). Then I chose a senior woman with a decade or more experience post qualifying (the date is in their profile on there).

Ex declined to appoint his own Resolution solicitor (in fact, he ended up self-representing, twas a pita) I continued to use the same solicitor to divorce him. Ex refused to supply financial details and in the end I had to go to court over settlement. As part of that process, solicitor suggested mediation as courts would expect us to have tried this, but Ex did not even answer the mediator's letter inviting him for initial assessment. We reached a settlement part way through the court process, at a meeting of Ex, me, and my solicitor.

I take it back about the counsellor being crap - it sounds like she was of considerable help to you, although your previous posts suggested that keeping the marriage was her goal? when deciding what to do, was your goal. Which you have acheived.

I had had partners before and one chap's words echo in my mind: he used to tell me I don't suffer fools...maybe he meant my tolerance for other humans is not good.

When my marriage failed (and I ended it) my H expressed a similar sentiment. Although he phrased it "You're so far up your own arse you can see what you had for breakfast!" grin

In a relationship, I think this phrase of "you don't suffer fools gladly" is often used instead of the more accurate "you have boundaries and I don't like you stating or enforcing them."

I keep wondering if there is something wrong with me. Would I feel belittled by any husband? Maybe I was never the marrying type.

I also felt like this while we were splitting up, and for a while after I left. It took me about 3 years before I felt ready to consider living with someone again. But I did, and it was fine. Because my new partner was willing to compromise, and so was I. That's healthy, and it's required to make a relationship work. I realised that in my marriage, and it sounds the same in yours, that I was the only one making compromises - it was all one way. Whenever I suggested him making a compromise to please me (and - revoltingly - my biggest ask was that he take a fucking shower before coming to bed and expecting to shag me while smelling like a badger in heat) it was as if I'd asked for the moon on a stick. Not only was there a huge list of excuses as to why he couldn't compromise, but the underlying emotion was outrage that I would ask him to change something, just to make me happy, or to make my life easier.

It was such a watershed moment, when I realised how little he cared about my happiness. And how different it was from when we'd first met, when he would have given me the moon and stars if I'd asked for them. sad

OccultGnuAsWell Thu 11-Aug-16 16:29:03

I have just spent the last four days on and off reading the entirety of the last thread and the posts on this one. OP I'm feeling drained just reading it, you've lived it, my hat is off to you.

Good luck for the future.

MrsDilligaf Thu 11-Aug-16 21:45:07

Hi Over

How are you feeling? I've been chatting to a friend today and she has started journalling recently. Like you, she is in the midst of a break up and was feeling overwhelmed by everything so she started to put things in a journal.

She said that every day she writes down 3 things that have made her smile and 3 things that she wants to accomplish the following day. I know that some days what she wants to accomplish is to just put one foot in front of the other and that she has smiled because there is milk in the fridge.

She's doing so well (95% of the time) but recognises that there are days when she would say that frankly, brushing her teeth is an accomplishment.

It might help you if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the process? Just a thought flowers

overthehillandroundthemountain Thu 11-Aug-16 23:32:12

Gosh, you are all so lovely flowers

Just checking in. Proper replies later. I took on some work which has been really absorbing and just what I need. I have been juggling childcare and the DCs have been brilliant. We've had some lovely times when he's been at work.

This eve has been hard. He and I are carrying on as normal, it seems. He is driving me MAD.

He is preparing for his 2 week hol from this Sat, looking for validation from me about going. In the end I told him to just get on with it and to stop telling me, as I have to work. Like, literally, I have to do the bulk of my work in the evenings, but he insists on researching his holiday from the same room (we share a study).

He went to buy sweets/chocs and insisted on eating v.v. noisily whilst I was trying to work. In the end I asked him to please stop shuffling wrappers, and his comeback was that I was making noise in opening my packet, too. How caring of him! I had to take myself out of the room at one stage, and he asked what was wrong - trying to provoke an argument. He then asked me to find DD's passport for him...more incompetence. WTF could it not wait until tomorrow? He was thankful when I passed it across (it was on my desk) but it's as though he is deliberately sabotaging my efforts to get on with work.

He probably IS doing just that, isn't he? He prob can't take it that I can hold down my job in everything else that is happening.

God, I really do seem to have to unpick and nurture and tend to him at every stage. Arghhh. How will I cope without the counsellor to offload on, each week? I will use here. Sorry in advance for boring and repetitive posts.

Proper replies after a bit more work... THANK YOU.

overthehillandroundthemountain Thu 11-Aug-16 23:59:10

Ok - replying bottom up tonight...might take some time as dipping in and out of work. He has gone to bed now, so I feel 'free' to talk.

Hi MrsDilligaf Thank you for asking. I feel like a fraud. Nothing has really changed in our home behaviours, but everything has changed in my head. I'm sorry about your friend. Yes, was also thinking about keeping a journal. Tbh, I find it easier to pour forth on here as I'm scared he would find and read a notebook.

I do that little exercise most days, too! It is so, so helpful. Have been trying to break life down into small steps and to identify small achievements every day. I suppose I should add things to make me smile. I have a very good friend online and we send texts throughout the day, which pulls me through. I do feel well-supported in my own little world - just the big world 'out there' that is scary...

There is so much other stuff that I can't share on here - extended family stuff. Family politics. DH had supported me, but recently I've not been able to share stuff with him. It could eat away at my self esteem, but I have fought, and am fighting it, head-on at the same time as this.

Thanks again for that suggestion, MrsDilligaf. Once I get the ball rolling properly, I'm sure I will feel overwhelmed more, and a journal will be very helpful at that stage.

Woah OccultGnuAsWell bear in mind the thread started in January! I am flattered by your patience but sorry the thread drained you. I don't think it has been as bad IRL. Does it seem that bad to you? I can't believe I am still questioning it. Maybe because I know women who put up with far worse and stay in their marriages. I guess everyone is different. Thanks for luck. I'm going to need it.

pocketsaviour Good point about the boundaries. Also echoes what DH says - that my expectations of a husband are just too high and that no matter what he does, "it's never good enough". This is not true at all. I have lowered my expectations but they are at an all-time low, and I don't believe he is giving his best. Anyway. There are two sides to the story - when I asked him what his expectations are of a wife - because I, too, appear to be failing to reach some sort of standard in his mind - he was unable (unwilling?) to answer.

Men use it as a beating stick, don't they? DH says "I respect you for working" but at the same time sabotages my attempts to work. He says we are equals, yet he insists on pacing yards and yards ahead. Etc. The same stick he dangles in front of me, he uses to beat me with. I can't win.

Thank you for telling me you felt the same. It helps a lot to work it through. Maybe this thinking that I am not cut out for marriage is a part of the splitting up process. It still feels liberating to think that I could potentially 'unwife' myself. I haven't worn my wedding ring for weeks, and it feels really good.

Goodness, you have been through the mill - fancy his not taking a shower! Urgh, poor you. Yes, yes, I recognise that outrage. How dare we ask for things! How dare we! And yet we don't need asking, we just make those compromises. This is why I am so messed up - it has come naturally to me to keep the peace.

This is exactly it: how little these husbands care for their wives' happiness. He could have made things better months - no years - ago, by putting the goddamn cup in the dishwasher! It's not about the frigging cup, I can't believe I am still typing that, LOL! The fact it is reduced to these petty things just signifies how little they are willing to shift. It appears to be a battle of wills, but it's not, is it? It's a suffocated, one-man power struggle.

And how different it was from when we'd first met, when he would have given me the moon and stars if I'd asked for them.
YES! Yes, exactly. He promised me so much. What a con.

overthehillandroundthemountain Fri 12-Aug-16 09:41:34

Morning all,

Sorry for posting so frequently. I wanted to reply to posters on here, and to think things through. He has booked his trip, and is taking the DCs to France for 2 weeks. This is the first time EVER that we have not been on holiday en famille in August. He can't believe I said no. I can't believe I said no. But I have to introduce the separation, and I didn't want to go away over the summer, as I need to be earning for our DC's school fees which, if you recall, he has not shown any inclination or support towards funding. I know he will cough up a few £££ but not knowing how much makes me nervous (and he knows this - financial abuse at its best). I have put some strategies in place and I think it will be ok. However, I need to go alone, don't I? Never mind. Once the legalities are sorted he will have to pay his half.

Rachel0Greep There are certain posters with whom I associate 'topics' on here and you are my caregiving MN angel halo smile You have given me so much moral support. Thank you for checking in and "looking after" me. If I am correct, you have experienced a similar, previous loss to mine, and I think you know that pain. I'm sorry you do, but thank you for being so sweet and for looking out. That pain was hugely worse than this. Perhaps we become immune over time. Maybe I know that this is for the best. I think about grief a lot. You can replace a husband, but you can't replace a mother. That sounds negative, but it helps me to maintain perspective.

I need to make a plan for while they are away, don't I? There are various friends I have arranged to see smile, and a few 'self-maintenance' things (haircut, dentist, smear test hmm). Domestic chores - getting school uniform ready. Work. If I can get ahead of myself financially, I will feel better. I will concentrate on looking after myself, too, maybe some new bath stuff and face packs. I have been feeling better for not having school runs lately, sleeping a lot better, even if going to bed later. I have snatches of rest in the day and iron levels, etc. are ok. I will keep remembering the GP.

It's hard with the counsellor. People on here thought she was not good - maybe they were right, maybe the standard is high, MN has a lot of knowledgeable people! It doesn't matter too much now. She helped me to articulate these matters, and that is what counts. I will send her a card, as I feel worried that we shocked her too much with our angry ways! OTOH she must have seen it. It would be good to see her again. I am considering asking her to counsel me alone, marriage stuff aside, on self-esteem issues.

I love your idea of promising myself a night off the worry. Yes, this is a brilliant technique, should do it more. I tend to do the opposite. I panic and worry and then say - well, I will allow myself half an hour of it, and then need to do x or y. Work is a lifesaver. If I absorb myself in a task, I can lose myself and forget. Plus the returns are good - professional attention and the feeling of achievement. Thank GOODNESS I didn't give up my job for him. Of course, he didn't suggest I should (apart from one weak offer when our baby was first born hmm). I was/am too much of a cash cow for him.

My worry taking time off the err worry, is that I won't get on and that I might become passive. I need to find a decent solicitor.

Which is a good stage to reply to...TheSilveryPussycat THANK YOU for those tips. I will read the Resolution site once he is away. He hovers in the study every evening so I can't type on here much. It's as though he is doing everything he can to sabotage my work. Or is it a need for my attention? Urgh.

PERFECT advice - you hit the nail on the head for the person I am looking for. The person I saw was too flaky, and my friend's lawyer is too specialised. I don't need anything complicated, proximity is key, I need someone close by who can be a good head on shoulders for me. A senior and experienced woman would be perfect.

God, your ex! Fancy declining to appoint a Resolution solicitor for himself!
Incompetent to the end. I predict mine will be okayish at the start, but might start to bully over the school fees. He is weird - he jumps to professional attention, being one himself, and wanting to be considered professional and competent at work. Hmm shame his work ethic did not transfer to his home life. In his eyes, he is fixing things, "helping" out here and there. However, nothing about the big issues: no financial plan, no life plan, no options. He is a man about to fall, and has no provision in place. I think I have given him ample warning via the counselling sessions, don't you? How clearer does he want it? And yet, I feel guilty. But of course I do! His inertia is designed to make me feel guilty. I am learning.

Sorry, I am deviating. Yes, you're right, counsellor was a good means of support for me, but was most certainly intent on keeping the marriage. Perhaps at the start I was more willing to consider reconciliation. Maybe she saw a glimmer. That same glimmer was me, unturning all the stones to make sure I didn't miss anything. The biggest lesson I have learned from this is how to see the same story from two sides.

Going to zone out for a bit, and to book all those things...

Thank GOODNESS I found you all! I feel like huddling together and just...just...just...Honestly, when I typed that first post back in Jan, I expected to be flamed. I thought nobody would understand. I didn't comprehend why I felt like this. This is not a TAAT (not much, anyway!) but I saw on here someone contemplating moving in with a DP who has more 'wealth' than her...the imbalance that is about to be created. She asks, should-I-shouldn't-I. There are parallels, enormous parallels, with my situation. I was that woman.

Ho hum. Sorry for long posts as usual.

Mamia15 Fri 12-Aug-16 11:44:28

Catching up on your posts - sounds like progress is being made.

However, you seem to care too much about what your counsellor thinks - not surprising given how little your emotional needs have been met.

Also you really need to work on detaching yourself from him and HIS needs, you need to save all that precious energy and mental space for yourself - no more tending to him so next time he asks you to do something, tell him to do it himself.

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