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Thread for those who swing widely between wanting to leave and wanting to stay

(38 Posts)
FranGoldsmith Tue 09-Aug-16 08:06:34

Is anyone else like this?

Sometimes I feel like I'm going mad. We are both age 42, no children, two dogs.

Ours is a sexless marriage. It wasn't at first - we couldn't get enough of each other - but the last time we had sex was February. The time before that was August 2014. Before that, June 2013. Apart from the self-esteem erosion it causes when your husband doesn't fancy you, I'm not that bothered. It's always over in seconds, it's never good for me. I still have a decent libido though. He doesn't.

He has all the traits of passive-aggressive personality disorder and all the traits of obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD: a different disorder to OCD). Sometimes I could scream, he's such a frustrating man to live with. Of course he doesn't accept he may have any kind of disorder. He is perfect, normal, and is right all the time, and I am unreasonable and emotional.

But he's also great company. We're very comfortable together. We like the same things, laugh together, enjoy each other's company (mostly). We like holidays, eating out, going to the cinema, walking the dogs. He adores our dogs. He brings me flowers home from work. He looked after me when I was ill. He works very hard and he's not a lazy man.

More and more I think, this marriage is no good. It's got no emotional depth; it's superficial; we're just friends sharing a house. He shuts down any conversation about anything meaningful, anything about our relationship, but he will talk endlessly about jobs on the house, his work, himself.

I've decided several times I'm going to leave. But then I miss him when he works away, or we laugh together at something, and I change my mind.

Anyone else going through anything similar?

MummyBtothree Tue 09-Aug-16 08:11:54

My God I've just seen your thread and it could have been me writing it!, more or less every element. Im 37 and my dh is 48. I literally sway from stay/go daily and if I had some funds available for me to go im not sure I would still be in this marriage. We are also a sexless marriage now & my self esteem is lower than low.

Mavisblewitt Tue 09-Aug-16 08:47:36

Me too. Although we're not married. 2 teenage DC's
Luckily my job takes me away from home quite a bit, I think we both like that.
However we're a good team, get on really well, just no sex!
I'm 44, he's 48 x

FranGoldsmith Tue 09-Aug-16 14:59:51

Mummy and Mavis, I'm sorry to hear you're in similar positions. It's hard isn't it?

I can go days at a time thinking I really hate him, when he's been so unreasonable, and I've definitely decided to leave him. Then things blow over - although he will never admit to being wrong - I calm down, we start to laugh again or have a nice day out. And then I can't imagine not having him in my life.

If I'm completely honest, I know it's not sustainable to stay with a passive-aggressive person with obsessive perfectionist tendencies, and in a sexless marriage. And I'm less and less tolerant of his negativity and fussiness the older I get. In my heart, I know we won't be spending our retirement years together.

MummyBtothree Tue 09-Aug-16 16:17:06

I feel exactly the same. Often we can sit and chat away or have a lovely day out with the kids and I feel quite settled but other times I can look at him & everything about him irritates me. He's never been one for romance or date nights, in fact in 13 years of marriage I think me & him have been out for a meal/drink together about four times!. The only physical contact between us now is a quick peck (literally! ) on the lips before lights out at night. I do love him though, although if im honest not IN love with him these days. I can't fault him as a dad though to our boys.

achangeisgonnacome Tue 09-Aug-16 16:47:40

This is me and DP too.

We have moments of real closeness and then a few weeks later we're irritating the hell out of each other and in that (un)healthy passive aggressive way, pretending all is ok when really it's so bloody not.

At the moment we're in a not good place sad

Actually if I'm completely honest .....DP (and I know this is sooo NOT the point of the thread) is most def EA. He will turn on a sixpence and suddenly I'll be getting blank looks, silent treatment or monosyllabic responses. Once he's over whatever I did that annoyed him, he will deem me worthy to be spoken to again and it's all back on track.

This is the way our 24 year long relationship has been and I cannot see it ever changing. I had scenarios in my head I'd leave when the kids began school, left primary, did GCSEs, Alevels. DD has just graduated and DS has begun work, but I just can't do it. I'm terrified

Sorry to derail, but am feeling quite shit today...

MummyBtothree Tue 09-Aug-16 16:56:13

achangeisgonnacome flowers sorry you're not feeling too great at the moment. What your dh does to you sounds exactly like my dh, I feel like I'm walking on eggshells constantly.

achangeisgonnacome Tue 09-Aug-16 17:09:54

mummy yes that is exactly it- like walking on eggshells.

Hey ho, he's just called to say we need to have a chat. That means him telling me all the things I've done wrong and how it's made him feel. If I say how he makes me feel, it'll be because of what I did to make him behave that way. In the end I'll say ok, let's just forget about it and start again. We'll have sex and all will be good in his world.

There's no violence, no financial abuse, no external issues eg: drugs/alcohol so what am I complaining about eh? (What DM said to me once way back....)

hillyhilly Tue 09-Aug-16 17:10:40

I think if you can't see your old age with him then at at least formulate a plan for when you'll split? You may not keep to it exactly but if you have the plan you will make yourself ready, whether that's emotionally or financially and you will feel more in control.

mumbathing Tue 09-Aug-16 17:53:16

Oh I feel this too. Before we got together I was a single mum with 2 kids. He had one. We've now got 2 together. Sometimes I think back to when I was on my own - the freedom! The never having to compromise! Me making all the rules. Sure it was hard at times but I loved it! Now? There are times that I just think I can't deal with his shit anymore. He's not a bad person, just lazy. Really lazy! Does fuck all but try and say that and he'll say he does everything and it's me whose lazy! I hate him scrutinising every penny I spend. I hate his lack of drive (he is forever daydreaming about fancy cars and large houses then goes out to his minimum wage job which he has no desire to progress in).
But then when it's good, it's great. We laugh, we be silly, we have fun and I think I'd miss it plus the kids would be heartbroken! So I stay, though keep planning on saving just incase I can't stay anymore

MummyBtothree Tue 09-Aug-16 17:54:14

I met my dh far too soon after my relationship with my ex broke down and I think I was at a low ebb and had my rose tinted spectacles on. My ex was a complete contrast to my dh, literally the perfect man...until he left me for another woman. My dh might be all these things but I know he would never be unfaithful so thats how I justify some of his behaviour to myself. Im estranged from my family (my choice) as my mother is a narcissist but one thing I can say, all the "He's not right for you, he wont make you happy" lines that she threw my way years ago were right. God I can hear her "I told you so's" now!.

MummyBtothree Tue 09-Aug-16 18:01:27

mumbathing - that also sounds like my dh to a tee!. The other night he made my blood boil. We had a couple of beers and were going to order a take-away. He wanted to know something about a particular burger on the menu but as I always have to ring the order through (he point blank refuses, dunno why!) and instead of relaying the details to-and-fro I told him to speak to them as it made more sense and was a hell of a lot easier. He completely lost his rag and told me I was pathetic!!!!. My God if I was to call him pathetic, even when he was being my life wouldn't be worth living. Does anybody else have those kind of double standards to have to put up with? .

mumbathing Tue 09-Aug-16 18:02:50

Oh achangeisgonnacome flowers
I've always said that when the kids are all adults I will leave.
You can't live the rest of your life like that. Yes leaving is scary, but it can also be liberating and freeing.

starsandstripes2016 Tue 09-Aug-16 18:10:33

Stbxh and I are in the final stages of separating. Reading the posts I see myself in both descriptions - the pained and the one who is the pain in the arse. I literally can count the days until I'm out of here. How does everyone else manage the anger, sadness and feeling of barrenness? I feel I could tear the walls down but am being sooooo self controlled. Stbxh has a gift at being polite and yet it is the most unkind of qualities. Hence the term passive aggressive is so apt here.

mumbathing Tue 09-Aug-16 18:11:14

Ha I feel you there! Dh won't do paperwork or forms or deal with finances. That's all my job. We get tax credits so I have to do the annual renewal declaration as he wont. My god trying to get his p60 out of him is like trying to get blood out of stone! He doesn't have. He can't get hold of it. They haven't issued it yet. Can only get it online and don't know the log ins etc etc. Why make it so bloody difficult? You want me to do it but you have to help too!!!! AAARRRGGHH!! Then finally get the info, send it off and I received a letter back saying because Dh did another 3 jobs in the last tax year (agency work whilst between jobs) he earnt more according to tax office then I've declared. So there comes the next argument of "well I didn't earn that much". Erm yes you did! So much hard work for such a simple task

MummyBtothree Tue 09-Aug-16 18:17:01

My dh deals completely with all the finances and because I'm not working it makes it impossible to save anything on the side for when I do want out one day (which I will, believe me but when the kids are older). I too have to deal with all the ringing tax credits and all that pain in the arse. He's actually told me that he's never loved yet hated someone so much before during a row. At first I was shocked but soon realised I feel exactly the same about him.

svenwhen Tue 09-Aug-16 19:13:14

Oh I'm there too. I can't see us being an advertisement for Golden Oldies.
We're late 30s , together since our early 20s and I often look back and think Why did I meet him for coffee, why... didn't I just break it off after the first few dates when I even told him he seemed to enjoy a good argument....why didn't I break it off before we moved in together...before we got married... before we had kids... and yet I'm still here.
We do have good days. He's good with the kids, well when's he's in a good mood. He's works hard and I'm a sahm . We have a laugh and get on well . It really all depends on his mood though. He is controlling and passive aggressive.makes me feel guilty when I meet any friends,which I have very few of left because of the hassle I'm given when I tell him I'm meeting x for coffee. I never go out anymore . He even follows me around the house sometimes if I take too long upstairs for example. It's exhausting and I don't know how how more i can keep going with it.
Then there's days where he's affectionate and jokes and we have fun. It's sad really because like a pp said It's like walking on eggshells. I don't know why I married him some days.
A pp said make plans for when or if it happens do I'm trying to do that. It's makes my heart hurt almost as I love the idea of marriage, I just didn't sign up for this double standard relationship. I know the kids would be so upset and my parents would be at a loss as they love him.

svenwhen Tue 09-Aug-16 19:14:10

Sorry that I went on a bit there!
I only ment to write yes I'm there too !

MummyBtothree Tue 09-Aug-16 20:15:19

svenwhen - you didn't go on, it seems theres alot of people in our situation. I've got no friends left these days due to my dh getting jealous of anybody else getting a snippet of my time or attention even though he's not interested in me most of the time.

starsandstripes2016 Tue 09-Aug-16 20:54:22

well I took myself off for a very small glass of wine and I see that There is an alternative to being down trodden. stbxh is boring and I need to make an effort to find ways of finding my sense of humour and it's certainly not with Mr Nice sitting across the way from me!

MapleSyrupAndJam Tue 09-Aug-16 23:55:30

Can I join too?

Having a rubbish time at the moment. We have three DC who are still tiny, I'm 30 so relatively young. DH and I have had a tough few years with a lot of pressure on our relationship. When we've argued he has disappeared for days at a time. Along with other stuff, namely his refusal to communicate, this has really changed how I feel about him. I do love him but I'm not IN love any more. I'm financially dependent on him too. I keep thinking to myself how great it would be to be single, having fun. But I don't know what to do 🙁 I'm most concerned with my DC being happy. But I'm scared what will happen if we split.

FranGoldsmith Wed 10-Aug-16 06:35:28

I'm sorry to see there are so many of us who feel like this. It doesn't matter if some of us are in different situations to how this thread started - I'm sure we can all sympathise and offer support.

A change.. are you ok after your 'talk'?

We're going through a 'superficially polite and nice' phase at the moment. This really struck a chord:

Stbxh has a gift at being polite and yet it is the most unkind of qualities. Hence the term passive aggressive is so apt here.

I often get the feeling that, although my husband is being polite on the surface, inside he is positively brimming with fury. For example, things belonging to me will annoy him - I had some lounge wear type clothes on the floor next to my side of the bed, and he had kicked at them. I noticed they had moved and asked why, and he said, all reasonable and polite tone, that they were in the way of the bedroom door (they weren't: it was a tiny pile of two items tucked next to the bed).

Meanwhile, he always has clothes scattered over our bedroom floor AND the spare room floor. He cannot see the irony in this, and he twists it so I feel like I'm unreasonable for leaving a top and pair of jogging bottoms on the floor. So much so, that I've never done it again, but he continues to have piles of clothes all over both rooms.

FranGoldsmith Wed 10-Aug-16 06:42:34

svenwhen you've made me think with your comment about when you first met that he seemed to like an argument. My husband lied to me about a couple of things when we were first dating - his relationship with a female friend, who he was going out with, etc.

He always seemed so reasonable and made me feel like I was kicking up a silly fuss at him just trying to 'keep the peace'. But looking back now, I can't believe alarm bells didn't ring that he found lying and untruths so easy.

MummyBtothree Wed 10-Aug-16 08:08:42

Morning all smile well I've had a rotten nights sleep after my dh having one of his 'talks' to me just after I finally got to sit down and have some time to myself. Apparently he and my two teenage sons are concerned that im not coping very well with our youngest son who is 4 and has adhd and wondering if I am making his behaviour worse because of my depression and anxiety issues. Im having counselling at the moment to deal with stuff I went through with my parents and do everything around the house and for our kids, theres no wonder im stressed! . He used to bath our older two kids and give me some time to myself but ds no. 3 came along by suprise and he doesn't lift a damn finger with him. It all gets left to me and im always the bad guy. I was in floods of tears last night, talk about being kicked while you're down and dh got up this morning and gave me a smile & a kiss like everything in life is dandy.

darreldixonishot Wed 10-Aug-16 08:34:35

Fran have you thought about counselling? Just for you?
I can sort of see why couples who have children stay in relationships like this but I can't understand why you would put up with it!
You can have a good relationship, with friendship, love, laughs and sex!
You only get one chance at this life, it's not a dress rehearsal!

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