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Marriage making me miserable

(39 Posts)
itsallgonewrong Tue 20-Sep-16 11:51:36

I'm spending hours of every day contemplating whether or not to put an end to my marriage, which is just crap. Not abusive, not destructive - just crap. We have been together 20 years, married 14, 3 kids (5, 8, 11) and he's 14 years older than me. I don't fancy him anymore in the slightest and we've had sex once in the last year. I could put up with that. But these days everything he does annoys me. Every time he speaks I cringe and I avoid social situations that involve both of us as his social skills are dire (always says the wrong thing to people, talks at them till they glaze over, makes inappropriate comments). He has no money and no job (talks the talk about running his own business but hasn't made any money in over a decade) so I've always been the breadwinner. I just can't be arsed with that anymore and would love for him to get a job as I'm having a really stressful time with work, but having not worked for so long he's practically unemployable. He's a decent enough dad - no awards, but gets on with it, and I don't want to screw up the kids' lives but I'm just so so miserable every day I don't know what to do. Please don't reply just to have a go at me, I know I haven't got it bad compared to so many but I feel totally stuck.

Excusemyfrench Tue 20-Sep-16 12:02:10

Is there anything he could do to change how you feel? For example what if he got a job?

Have you shared some of your feelings with him?
Has that changed anything?

Its no good staying in a marriage if you are miserable. If you have really tried to salvage things and you are 100% there is no turning back then you should maybe think about separating.

flowers

itsallgonewrong Tue 20-Sep-16 12:43:11

I've talked to him, we're both very conflict-averse so don't find it easy, but it doesn't seem to help. He knows I'm fed up, he says he knows things have to change.... but he's literally been saying that for years.
If he got a job it would take a lot of the stress away which is bound to help, and I'd probably have more respect for him... but I can't imagine it would suddenly make me fancy the pants off him or stop finding him so irritating.
But given that I would do anything and make any sacrifice necessary for the wellbeing of my children should I just put up with it and carry on?

CodyKing Tue 20-Sep-16 12:55:30

The saying is 'from moms happy then every bodies is happy'

I believe your children are well aware of how unhappy you are - you aren't doing them any favours !

Get out of he won't help or change you'll be better off emotionally and probably financially as well

Littleelffriend Tue 20-Sep-16 12:56:54

Just leave you deserve happiness

Is this really what you want to teach your children about relationships?.

Do not martyr yourself in such a marriage; your children will not say "thanks mum" for doing that to them. They will call you daft instead and perhaps wonder of you why you put him before them. Staying for the children is rarely if ever a good idea. It just teaches them that a loveless marriage is the norm for them too.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 20-Sep-16 17:14:51

Why would separating screw up your children's lives?

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Tue 20-Sep-16 17:19:42

What about you both writing a personal bucket list and then a joint one? See if anything overlaps? If it's in black and white that their is no 'togetherness' left between you maybe a joint decision to split would seem inevitable and the best idea. If he surprises you and their is still common ground maybe the joint list could be worked on together and see what happens.

overthehillandroundthemountain Tue 20-Sep-16 17:26:48

could have written this word for word, apart from the lack of job.

I disagree with the other posters about teaching your children 'this' about relationships. The assumption is always that you are martyring yourself, but this may not necessarily be the case. As long as you are open with your DCs and that they see many different models of relationships (e.g. via family), you are not necessarily screwing them up by staying.

Nobody goes to a happily married couple and says "Look! You are screwing your kids up by teaching them that some people can argue and, shock horror, divorce!" A loveless marriage can teach children that marriages come in all forms, shapes and sizes. It can teach them conflict resolution. Marriage is based upon intimacy, passion, and commitment. It can teach them about commitment.

Furthermore, I know plenty of love-fuls marriage full of conflict - particularly where one member of the couple has impulsive personality traits. What about arranged marriages, which start love-less by definition, and where the couples grow to love each other? By the time there are kids, that love might not be quite at the same level as in a 'love' marriage, and yet you don't see those DCs 'suffering'.

Children do learn by modelling, but not all from the parents. A lot of modelling is done at school, or on other family members. My own example is true of this: my marriage has been very, very different to that of my parents and I certainly did not learn from them, how to do relationships!

Don't beat yourself up over the children, whichever decision you make. Children are highly adaptable and comprehend more than we give them credit for understanding.

However, your happiness is key. Could you find the gall to suggest counselling? I, too, have conflict-aversion, but found myself suggesting Relate during an argument and it did give us a forum for discussion. It sounds as though you have an idea of what might save the marriage. Secondly, it might help you to re-visit what it was that made you fall in love with this man, and whether that could be rekindled somehow (sometimes the latter is dependent upon the former).

Good luck, OP, not easy when you feel stuck like that. I had to really analyse the situation to make myself realise why I felt/feel so stuck.

SandyY2K Tue 20-Sep-16 17:39:31

I think I'd loose attraction and respect for a man I had to financially support TBH.

Sex once a year.
Poor social skills
No real effort to find a job

It's a no brainer. Just see a solicitor so you know how much alimony you'll have to pay him.

I can't imagine living my life with another adult being financially dependent on me for ever.

Get out now while you're younger and can find happiness with someone else.

adora1 Tue 20-Sep-16 17:49:10

Why would you want to stay with a useless unemployed bum with no social skills?

I'd not.

You should not have to financially look after anyone apart from your children, I'd have zero respect for him; I think you know you can meet someone a bit more intellectually challenging that him.

itsallgonewrong Tue 20-Sep-16 21:03:12

Thanks for the responses. Some good points, and it's true, I have zero respect for him which is what worries me most. I think him and his approach to life is a far worse example to set to our kids than the fact that I'm not happy - which I have to say I hide pretty well.
And as for the 'not wanting anyone to be financially dependant on me' I don't, I really don't - but what would happen if we split? He has no income so wouldn't have to give me and the kids a penny, but he'd still get to see them and that would probably be even harder to bear. At least while we're together I can get something out of him - childcare, DIY... in fact someone did suggest that I might have to pay him some support given that I earn and he doesn't and that would be unbearable? Anyone know if this is true?

itsallgonewrong Tue 20-Sep-16 21:05:45

Oh and overthehill Relate is probably a good idea, I'll look into it thanks.

HuskyLover1 Tue 20-Sep-16 21:32:46

in fact someone did suggest that I might have to pay him some support given that I earn and he doesn't and that would be unbearable? Anyone know if this is true?

No. That is not the case if you are in the UK. Unless you allow him to be the parent that has the children the most number of nights a week. Then you'd need to pay child support. But I'm guessing the children would be with you more? So, no.

Look, life is too short to be this miserable! My kids were similar ages to yours when I left their serial cheater Dad - they were 11 & 9. My DS didn't care at all. My DD had her moments of sadness. But it passes. They are now both at Uni with their own love lives and couldn't care less. I am now re-married and they both like my DH and get on fab with him actually. Me and DH are going up to see DD this weekend, and the 3 of us are going out for cocktails and dinner. Quite often, when we are together, and I see them laughing with him, I cannot believe that I managed to get to this point. Away from their dad. With another man, and we all get on. It CAN be done.

Having sex once in a year is totally dire, you must know this. fwiw, I didn't fancy my first Husband in the end, and would avoid sex at any cost. Had I not had the balls to leave him, I'm sure I'd be in the same awful position to this day. I am now with DH, who, after 8 years, I still get butterflies when I see him/kiss him, our sex life is amazing, he's my soulmate. Thank god I had the balls to exit first marriage. Please, please do the same.

I love this saying (which I used a lot on leaving first H)..."The Ship is safe in the Harbour, but that's not what Ships are for"

SandyY2K Tue 20-Sep-16 21:50:04

in fact someone did suggest that I might have to pay him some support given that I earn and he doesn't and that would be unbearable? Anyone know if this is true?

Yes it could be true.

The law on alimony is about the higher earner and not about gender.

He doesn't earn and you've supported him for X number of years, so just like if he was the breadwinner and you were the SAHM, he'd have to pay spousal support to you.

He could also be entitled to a share of your pension.

The court would look at his earning ability and determine how long spousal support is to be paid, but you need to see a solicitor to find out what would happen in your case specifically. Every case varies.

SandyY2K Tue 20-Sep-16 21:58:11

No. That is not the case if you are in the UK. Unless you allow him to be the parent that has the children the most number of nights a week. Then you'd need to pay child support. But I'm guessing the children would be with you more? So, no.

Child support is seperate from spousal support, also known as alimony. He could try and argue that he's the primary carer and as such they should live with him, as you work and he picks up and does school runs etc.

In all honesty I don't know how a man gets dependant on a woman like this. I know some will think it's sexist, but a man who can't provide for his family, unless through ill health or job loss, would not do it for me.

aliceinwanderland Tue 20-Sep-16 22:14:56

If you're really that turned off by him then you should split. It's not really a question of blame. You're just not compatible any more. It was how I felt about my ex -although no kids involved.

itsallgonewrong Wed 21-Sep-16 11:07:22

Husky - that makes me feel like it could work out okay... but my youngest is 5 and a real Daddy's boy and I worry that he would grow up resenting me for it if we split up.
And Sandy - that is what worries me. I'm working, and it can be erratic, so he often drops off or picks up from school or both - so what if he ended up with the kids? And then demanded money from me to support them? I just seem to be going round in circles. Oh and the house is in his name only, did I mention that sad .
I like the ship analogy. That's me... safe in the harbour. Going nowhere, but not quite sinking either. Taking on water definitely, but bailing regularly. Have I gone too far now?!

theprimreaper Wed 21-Sep-16 11:50:05

I also could have written your post word for word, except my OH is, I would say, emotionally abusive also. I am in the same position except I have now lost my job and am stuck at home freelancing and looking for work while he busies himself with his important unpaid projects and snaps at me if I suggest he also look for a job to double our chances. Worried sick, quite frankly, and also feel trapped.

I also love the Ship in the Harbour quote. I would love to act on it but since losing my job fear that my vessel has sprung a leak.

Regarding the finances though, much as I wish and pray Huskylover has a point, This Thread which I also posted on with more detail seems to suggest otherwise - as did advice I once took from a solicitor. My full details are on here but think I posted on this thread when it was already zombified, and will probably get it removed as may be outing.

I wish you and other people in our position all the luck in the world. I feel I am coming to the end of the line now (DCs are both teenagers). I have a miserable home life and now I do not have the distraction of work I am forced to look at it, and also confront how little support, emotional or financial I get from my marriage. It is just another problem piled on top of the redundancy.

I would be interested to know how you get on OP - it might inspire me to finally act, though scared of the repercussions (both financially and also massive backlash from him and his family who see no wrong in him)

itsallgonewrong Wed 21-Sep-16 12:00:53

primreaper I just read your post and thought 'hmmm I'd be interested to know how she gets on, it might inspire me to act...' Sounds so similar - my work is also freelance so can be erratic and I have suggested some mutual job hunting too - with similar response. Some days I just think, that's it, enough is enough this needs to change... and then other days I think I don't have it so bad and I should just hang in there and maintain a nice stable home for the kids. And before anyone says it I know that makes me a bit spineless but as I said, I'm really conflict averse and am an expert at burying my head in the sand...

itsallgonewrong Wed 21-Sep-16 12:11:24

Primreaper - just read your other post. Are you actually me?!

theprimreaper Wed 21-Sep-16 12:28:46

God yes, I think I may be you! I thought that when I stumbled upon your post this morning (hello, I thought, I don't remember writing that, have I amnesia now? grin )

I am also conflict averse and find myself justifying our sexless, affection free marriage sometimes to avoid massive upheaval. I have a few friends (more as years go by) who know how I feel, though not all the details, and I imagine that they think I am spineless.

Having a reunion with one friend tonight and it's made me realise I'm in the same position as I was 8 years ago when I last used to hang out with her. When she asked if I was still with him I felt embarrassed to say yes.

My massive worry is that if we split up he will take half of everything out of spite and dependence. So much so that I keep trying to normalise my situation, even though I know it isn't normal or I wouldn't try to hide it from people I know. If I so much as have a normal conversation or he offers to take one of the kids to an activity instead of me doing it I think that perhaps I can carry on yet that is such a small thing. We don't socialise together (well, he doesn't at all - like yours, he is so antisocial and both me and the kids cringe sometimes), usually sit in different rooms at home and are basically just cohabiting and sharing responsibilities for the kids, but I pay for everything.

Just got a LinkedIn message now offering me possible regular 3 days a week and was thinking 'Oh, that's OK - I'll be out and working and the money worries will go away and I'll carry on.' But actually I really, really don't want to or else I will turn round and another 8 years will have flown by, the kids will be gone and my life will be over.

itsallgonewrong Wed 21-Sep-16 12:41:24

Exactly! I'm also looking for more regular income and know that if I find it then so much of the stress will be gone that I'll be able to bury my head for the foreseeable.... but then what? Is that what I should do - until the kids are older, more independent etc. I'm going out tonight and catching up with old friends who have known me a long time and I know they'll be hoping for progress but there just isn't any... I suppose I'm still hanging on to the hope that IF all the stress was lifted, he manned up a bit and got a job, we were much more financially stable etc then maybe we'd rekindle whatever we once had before and live happily ever after.
So make that conflict averse, spineless and fantasist !!

SandyY2K Wed 21-Sep-16 13:34:59

I would suggest that you find a way to keep some regular secret savings in preparation for a split.

theprim I think if I was you I'd leave while I didn't have a job, so he won't get spousal support from no income.

In some cases the longer you stay married the more of your pension they get.

I really sympathise with you. I knew a lady in your situation and it had been about 11 years of no sex. She was repulsed by him ... to the point she said she'd rather pay for him to have a prostitute than him touch her in that way.

She didn't divorce because it would cost her and she'd have to split the house that she paid every last penny for. Then he died and she was lumbered with funeral costs and was so angry about everything.

She then wished she'd left him instead of playing the grieving widow. She was so angry and damaged at the end.

Her son actually told her the marriage was a sham.

OP - why is the house in his name. I suggest you sort that out asap.

theprimreaper Wed 21-Sep-16 16:50:32

Sandy what complicates matters is that like your friend I paid for the house myself therefore can't leave as will effectively be giving him my equity, and as he doesn't contribute to bills I would be paying them as all in my name, plus cost of rent. All while not earning. I hear what you are saying though, and like OP mine is older than me (10 years) and doesn't look after himself so my other fear is he will become ill, heart attack or whatever, and I'll have to pay for care or nurse him when it will all have been self inflicted through smoking and bad diet.

OP we are definitely twins. I shall think of you on your night out with disappointed old friends while I am out on mine grin wine

Though I have given up the fantasy of him ever getting a job. Ashamed of myself as I type this, how did I end up with such an unashamed freeloader?

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