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How do you know for sure that you should leave?

(431 Posts)
Apty Sat 01-Sep-12 21:59:21

Relationships are full of good and bad. What do you do when you are confused about the balance and how bad it really is?

My instincts tell me to leave sometimes, and then at other times that seems like the worst thing to do.

Do you reach a point when you know?

crystalclear70 Sat 01-Sep-12 22:07:46

I know that feeling - I never imagined it could be so difficult ...and thought it would always be obvious..but its not...I think it depends a lot on what type of person you are...think some people are more able to turn round and say its just not working and not blame themselves and move on....wish I was one of them ! Hope your situation is not too bad...

Apty Sat 01-Sep-12 22:19:03

I suppose having children makes it much harder because however you feel, you don't want to break up your family for them.

I don't know what to think about my situation at all. My husband has depression and it's very hard to live with sometimes. He's emotionally absent. He's a good person, but does some shitty things sometimes.

Feckbox Sat 01-Sep-12 22:24:06

I think when things are going badly and you are up close to calling it quits, sometimes the solution ( separating) seems worse than the problem

lizbee156 Sat 01-Sep-12 22:28:07

Apty hope you are ok and most importantly safe?

I agree with everything crystal said.

My friend C said that she knew it was time to leave her first husband when she realised she was fancying other men.

I had to leave when I knew his behaviour made me behave in ways I didn't like IYSWIM?

Apty Sat 01-Sep-12 22:32:51

Feckbox that is exactly it. Leaving seems so huge and complicated and final, the problems suddenly seem smaller.

And things are never constantly bad, just occasionally bad. I'm sometimes very lonely or sad or worried, but at other times I'm happy to have a husband who is great with the children and nice in many ways. I find that the balance just changes constantly, and any resolve I ever have can be gone the next day.

I don't fancy other men, but I suppose I have felt low for a long time. But then I will probably still feel unhappy as a single parent.

foolonthehill Sun 02-Sep-12 00:26:51

Perhaps you need to explore why you are unhappy in your relationship and/or what it is that makes you wonder if you would be better off out?

Either here...or with a personal counsellor. It's easy to get lost in one's own head sometimes.

ImperialBlether Sun 02-Sep-12 00:30:09

Is your husband having treatment for depression? It's one of the worst illnesses in a way as the person suffering from it believes that is the way the world is; the possibility of living a different type of life seems impossible.

joanofarchitrave Sun 02-Sep-12 00:40:06

It's also quite possible for two people to be depressed at the same time. I do think depression, or depressive thinking, can be pretty contagious.

First rule of living with a depressive; develop a selfish streak requiring you to go out and enjoy yourself three times a week every now and then.

LemonDrizzled Sun 02-Sep-12 00:40:12

this book was a great help to me in deciding whether to leave my EA H after 28 years Apty. The problem is being close to someone like this is your head gets muddled and you can't think straight. He will go through a cycle of nice/nasty so just when you think you have him taped he shifts again.

The thing is, there is no deadline and it doesn't matter if you go slow and watch and see. Over on the EA thread we talk about detaching and observing for a while. It eventually becomes clear what you need to do. And there is fantastic help here to clarify your thinking and work out the dynamic between you.

Well done for posting and taking a step towards a better life!

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 00:47:23

I realised the time had come when, during one of my endless complaints about H's this or that, a friend bluntly asked "Hw would you feel if he were having an affair?' The first thing that came to my mind was "Great, that way he will leave me in peace for a while!"

I was shocked at the thought but knew it was over. I didn't left there and then though... it took me another few years, we had good times in them but... I really didn't think I was saving the marriage anymore, it was mostly about building up some financial independence and sorting DS issues before I was ready to survive on my own and provide for DS.

GlesgaRocket Sun 02-Sep-12 00:54:17

I have nothing substantial to add, other than - if he's not abusive then i would say to explore avenues (GP help, counselling etc) to try to work things out first. Sometimes we all get stuck in a bit of a rut. I left my (now ex) partner when our daughter was 6 months old. He wasn't abusive, but there were lots of arguments, both of us stressed, sleep deprived, both working f/t with baby in nursery, major financial concerns etc etc. Anyway, one day it just got too much for me, and i took our daughter and left. That was a year ago, and it has been the biggest regret of my life. I left without trying to work things out and there's been so much bitterness and acrimony since then, because he hasn't been able to forgive me for that - i had to move back to my parents over 400 miles away :-( If i could turn back time, i would try to work things out, with leaving being a last resort. I acted on impulse and regret it. He was (is) a lovely guy, and i wish i'd a least tried to work things out. Maybe we would have eventually split up anyway, even if we had explored other avenues, but i will always regret not at least trying to give our relationship that chance.

Anyway, i wish you the very best.

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 00:57:04

Deciding whether the marriage is unsatisfactory because you are depressed or if you are depressed because you are in an unsatisfactory marriage is a difficult call.

Every time I started talking about divorce Dh dully marched me to the GP for ADs, under prozac everything was beautiful, my marriage was perfect and I could be hugging trees all day while exploding in pink butterflies... honest. But it come a point that I couldn't bear it anymore.

On the weeks before the split I took the decision to prepare for a good dose of ADs to keep me on my feet on the months after the split... guess what happened? Nothing, I never needed them again. Yes there was the shock of going solo and standing on your feet again, the mourning of the routines, and the letting go of mutual dreams, but after about 4 weeks it was as if the sun had come out. That first year on my own was one of the happiest of my life.

That's when I realised that I am not a depressive person, but that I was depressed because I was not happy in that relationship.

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 00:58:18

Oh yes, I agree about trying to work out things first. We were some very good clients of Relate, on and off for several years.

Feckbox Sun 02-Sep-12 01:22:12

OP I am in a similar position. That's why I am awake at 5 am.
I have wished for years he would find someon else, but that I still not enough of a push. I know my children feel an unhappy vibe right now. I also know they would be distraught if we split.

Dryjuice25 Sun 02-Sep-12 01:52:05

Me too Feckbox. Isn't it horrible to feel like that?

garlicnuts Sun 02-Sep-12 02:02:13

We were talking. Looking at him, I 'heard' the inside of my head say, quite clearly, "I don't like you". This happened with both my exes - and also my narc flatmate. I didn't call time immediately. If this ever happens again, though, I will. I should have learned from the first time.

I feel for you, OP. Depression is 'catching'. Please do pay attention to Athendof and Joan above!

Truism: You only get one life.

fridakahlo Sun 02-Sep-12 02:07:27

<Joins the should I stay or should I go corner>

Feckbox Sun 02-Sep-12 03:05:31

Indeed horrible , dryjuice.
Lemon, I read that book years ago. Still could not decide to leave.
For me it's all about our children who love us both. My youngest started to cry at bedtime last night because " I think you want to live apart from daddy " . Tore me apart

Feckbox Sun 02-Sep-12 03:06:14

Fridakahio , what's your story .?

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 03:43:01

Feckbox, it doesn't need to be necessarily traumatic for the children. It is not divorce that harms the children, but witnessing all the problems and arguments that happen before you leave.

We put a date on parting each other's company when we realised we were moving into the nasty stuff, we didn't tell anything to DS until we were sure we could tell him exactly what would happen next and how his routines were going to be affected. He took it well, the school reported he seemed very happy and didn't show what was going on (we were all a bit happy I suppose). The real damage came when my ex started using Ds as a messenger in the middle of a rather complex divorce process. Had he respected his childhood and not gotten him involved, things would have been very different.

WaitingForMe Sun 02-Sep-12 07:43:19

For me it was a friend saying I was perhaps the funniest person they knew then that evening my ex shooting me a withering look and saying I might think I was funny but I wasn't. It was a lightbulb moment and I realised I wanted people who liked me in my life.

It wasn't until later I realised he'd been abusive. The tipping point was realising I was happier around other people.

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 12:47:14

Sad to read so many other people in the same place.

There doesn't seem to be a right answer, both options feel like they're too difficult. I've committed to leaving but am wobbling. It makes it hard that there's such a divide between people who want me to stay and try, and people who think i need to get out - and because I'm so confused I go from one to the other all day long.

I honestly don't know if this relationship is abusive. If I tell you the bad things then it certainly sounds very abusive, but all the everyday stuff in between isn't at all. I feel guilty for leaning on friends and making them listen to be go on and on about this, and then still not really believing that this is the right thing to do despite them making perfect sense. I just want to really believe it myself and have faith in what I'm doing, but I don't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Sep-12 13:29:47

I think it's when draw up a list of pros and cons and decide that you'd rather take the cons than waste your life putting up with the status quo.

deck you don't have to decide whether it's abusive or not. If you're not happy then that is reason enough

I was sitting in the 'stay or go's corner before you. Before it even got named, I think. :-((

I think I'm also depressed. My DH is. It's catching, this much I know. I got it from him. I used to bd so different. Now I just hurt and ache inside most of the time, really.

Try to decide and act upon it if you can. Don't waste your precious life, this much I am sure of.

akaemmafrost Sun 02-Sep-12 13:50:18

I think for me it was when no matter what I was doing I was thinking about the relationship and how unhappy I was. So I'd be out running and thinking about, talking to my Mum and friends about it, waiting for him to come home from work and dreading it. Even out having dinner and drinks I would be thinking about it or talking about it. It's no way to live.

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 13:57:18

I can't compare my pros and cons though - maybe because i'm not on my own yet so the unknown is hard to imagine. I know that now, dealing with someone who is depressed is hard, but I worry a lot about how i'll cope financially and with the children and all the practical things.

lost i relate to everything you say - I feel the same. I can't always work out if this hurt and achey feeling is because of the relationship or the ending of it anymore. Are you still in that corner or are you any closer to deciding.

Agree, depression is catching - it's a very convincing state of mind to be around and it isolates you from other people - the world is just a difficult place full of bad things about to happen and it keeps you stuck and not moving on or enjoying life. I would like to believe that leaving will free me from that sense of fear and worry - but what if it doesn't? I'll just feel like that, but on my own.

aka - i guess i have been there for a long time too.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Sun 02-Sep-12 14:12:55

Hi everyone, long-time lurker just wanting to say hello and so much of what many of you are saying resonates so deeply with me...
I'm in nowhere-land, constant ache inside - it's bloody awful. I'm financially completely screwed and my husband is a great dad - he's probably better at parenting than I am, so how can I take the kids. And he won't go, so we're trapped
Long story that I haven't the energy to tell right now - just wanted to empathise with all of you who share this awful in-between place

ladyWordy Sun 02-Sep-12 14:18:48

If I tell you the bad things then it certainly sounds very abusive, but all the everyday stuff in between isn't at all.

Sorry to say, this is completely normal in an abusive relationship, and lies at the heart of the confusion about what to do. 

For onlookers it's clear (because he will almost certainly get worse.... It's a highly predictable behaviour pattern)..... But only you, Apty, can make the decisions. If you aren't in counselling yourself, it's worth seeing if you can have some sessions while you think things through. Take care brew

imonthefone Sun 02-Sep-12 14:26:31

someone said to me once, you leave a marriage when it is more painful to stay than it s to leave

I think its true sad

EdMcDunnough Sun 02-Sep-12 14:27:16

I think I knew when I found that the way we were living, or behaving to each other, wasn't how I wanted my life to be - I knew I could not live with that sort of thing going on.

Thankfully it was very early in the relationship so I got out before it became full scale abusive. He was puzzled - to him, quite a high level of arguing, and abuse, and I later found out actual violence, was normal sad and to me it was not.

So it was pretty clear cut to me. I take a hard line with bullshit/drunkenness/lying, and it was a very easy decision for which I have had no regrets whatsoever - just that I should have done it even sooner.

I was in a relationship once that made me very, very unhappy but equally very, very happy so that was more difficult - it didn't involve the same sort of abuse but it was a real head fuck. I stayed in it for four years - then he left - and I felt like I had been killed, for a while. I missed him so much.

Now I am in touch with him again I know that he is destructive, and I do not miss him. I am a stronger person without him. I just had to stop blaming myself I think. It is very hard to leave when you actually love someone.

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 15:04:37

Yes love certainly complicates things a lot.

I can't understand how I can love someone who also can make me so sad.
It's hard to come to terms with love not being enough. I don't know what it is or what it means. Mabye it's just sharing my life with him for so long and having children - and sometimes I wonder if it's going through awful times with him - caused by him - that have created a bond, but not a healthy bond that makes me feel good or loved. And feeling responsible for him because he doesn't have anyone else in his life.

I wonder sometimes if I've concentrated too hard on the bad things in order to justify leaving - or if i've ignored the bad things in order to justify staying.

I have been going to counselling - but things are no clearer. Sometimes they are, but then the clarity goes again and I'm left feeling guilty and full of doubt.

Sherry - i've thought that too, about him being the better parent - but do you think that if he wasn't there, and you were free to parent without that awful feeling you have - that you'd be a better parent? I wonder that all my insecurities about being a rubbish mother are because I'm so unhappy, maybe without that I'd be so much better. I hope so anyway.

amillionyears Sun 02-Sep-12 15:13:58

Are you able to have a break alone,perhaps for say 3 days.
It sounds like you need to clear your head,so you can see the wood from the trees.

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 15:28:58

I have got away without him a lot in the last couple of months - sometimes things are clearer again for a while but when I come home it's confusing again.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Sun 02-Sep-12 15:52:53

It's desperately confusing, esp in a situation where the kids are ok, it's terrifying to think of messing up their lives - for what? So that I can be happy or free. It seems so selfish. It's a total quagmire and I keep losing my resolve and the personal energy needed to claw back some of the children's attention. I find myself hiding away from all of them in my own home. I'm seeing a counsellor but feel so weak and lost and that's just not who I am.

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 16:02:16

That's so familiar Sherry (hug)
The thing people have said to me, is that it's important for children to have a happy mother, being free IS important, feeling ok and not miserable is important isn't it? We're role models - I don't want to have my children grow up to think that women have to just suck it up for the sake of everyone else and be miserable to keep the status quo. I want girls who grow up to be brave and strong and happy.

(I can say this to you and really mean it - applying this stuff to ourselves is much harder isn't it?)

Athendof Sun 02-Sep-12 16:46:18

"Yes love certainly complicates things a lot. "

Oh yes it does, but please be careful to notice that one thing is "love" and another one "charitable work". So if there is just the later and not the former... well that is staying out of duty remember you are not a saint and neither should you become a martir of some other people's problems.

Respect for yourself and your needs is the way to go, while respecting his of course but keeping an eye on the balance. If that sound too selfish... I recommend you to set a date by which you will take serious steps to leave if things do not improve. (I even got a ring to remind me of that date... I still wear it, I call it my "freedom ring" not that I really needed it though... the date is still printed in my mind)

amillionyears Sun 02-Sep-12 16:49:00

Apty,so what do you think and feel you should do,when you are away?

ThistlePetal Sun 02-Sep-12 16:56:17

Hi, marking my place here as I am also struggling with this decision. Have downloaded the "Too Good to Stay...." book (thanks for the recommend smile ) and it's very interesting reading so far.

I posted here a few weeks ago that I felt I was really looking for permission to leave as there's no abuse as such, merely years of neglect (years from him, more recently from me too), nothing in common, no joy, no intimacy etc.
We're 4 weeks into relationship counselling, and I've been waiting for some sort of epiphany to shift my mindset from "I don't want to do this any more" to "This is worth me investing time and effort". It hasn't happened, but the book tells me that that's not to say I should leave... I'd say counselling has been great for getting us to talk openly about our feelings, but I'm quite horrified at how withdrawn I've become from our relationship and worse still, horrified that I don't even feel I want to fix it.

So I'm currently even more confused! Don't want to look back and have regrets at not having tried hard enough, but at the same time I hate this period of limbo which I think is so damaging for both of us and the children. I feel I know my answer..... But what if I'm wrong? The book says I should know the answer by its end.... I'll report back when I've worked through it.

Good luck to all of you going through the same thing - it is painful, but hopefully each of us will find a way through it and come out the other side, whether that means we stay or we go.

out2lunch Sun 02-Sep-12 17:04:26

well for me it was much more of a mid life crisis type thing

we had been together for twenty odd years - our silver wedding anniversary was approaching and i just couldn't feel true to myself 'celebrating' that event, i also felt that i would feel like that when my dcs got married sometime in the future that our relationship wouldn't be a very good template for marriage

also i looked at the things i didn't like about my dh and though if he really hasn't changed in the last twenty years he really is not likely to in the next twenty

a few events pushed us over the edge but it also felt like the end when i felt that things would be much better if i was out of the relationship

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 17:22:45

amillionyears - that depends who i'm with and talking to. Lately I've finally admitted to all the hard and unacceptable bits of this relationship - and when i've spoken to friends, i feel clear that i can't live with it anymore.

When I'm with people who know us both and I'm not able to be honest about all the things that have happened, I don't really know what I want to do and I can see him through their eyes and know he's a good person.

When I'm around him and he's being nice and kind and great with the children, I feel guilty for talking to anyone. When I'm around him and he's being introverted and difficult and strange and unpredictable, I know I can't keep going with it all because it won't change.

I think that I have made my decision - and he is going to go, I just have overwhelming fear that I've been too hasty or am jeapardising my children's future or that I won't cope on my own or that I'm wrong about how bad it's been, or i've made this all into something that it isn't, or that i'm throwing things away without trying hard enough.

thistlepetal - permission to leave is exactly what i've thougth i needed - but when people give it to you, you still can't believe them.

out2lunch - was it how you hoped it would be? Are you happier?

out2lunch Sun 02-Sep-12 17:31:38

its different apty - i think it will be better in the long term as i know i have made the right decision and i would def not go back but really you just change one set of problems for a whole load of new ones

i am now free to meet someone else and that is what i wanted so that's good - i have to see my ex quite a lot due to the dcs so it is quite difficult in that respect but i am hoping that will change as time goes on

ThistlePetal Sun 02-Sep-12 18:22:54

I too have been given permission - I know this - but it still doesn't help, does it? I guess it's because no-one can actually say whether things will turn out alright. And we don't want to do it so it'll be just alright anyway, we want things to be better - for everyone.

I think what I'm struggling with most has already been said by another here - if I stay, I feel I'm sacrificing my own long term happiness. If I go, I might be sacrificing 4 people's happiness including my own. It just seems too selfish to go. But then it seems pathetic to stay on that basis too, and are the other 3 currently happy anyway? Clearly not.

Need to carry on reading that book for now.... Hugs to you.

ThistlePetal Sun 02-Sep-12 18:33:30

Out2lunch I totally agree with your point about modelling a template for marriage that you wouldn't want for your DCs. Do you mind me asking, did you try to change things, e.g. through counselling, before you made your decision? Sorry, i don't mean to pry.

It's just that I can see from our counselling sessions that there are changes I could make which might make day to day life in our family better - but I feel too resentful at the moment to make changes, and especially since DH is banging on about all the changes he wants to make, but hasn't actually put in place yet. It feels like backing down, which I think would pave the way to things going back to exactly as they were before.

Apty I feel like I'm hijacking now, if this isn't useful to you I will start my own thread!

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 18:47:12

Thistle everything everyone is saying is really useful - please feel free to hijack as much as you like!

I've not wanted to do counselling because I feel like i've had years of listening and trying and seeing everything from his point of view - his mindset really gets me down though, I just don't want to do it. I don't feel much hope that he'll be able to grasp the impact of his illness on me either, so I don't really see the point. He has lots of ideas of the things that I need to do to make things work better but after putting up with things I shouldn't have to - why should I keep being the one to change?

I don't even feel hostility towards him, I just want to not consider him in everything I do anymore because the pressure is too much.

Coconutter Sun 02-Sep-12 18:52:18

Can I join? I feel so unhappy. Took my wedding ring off to have a blitz on the garden for a couple of days and I just don't want to put it back on. That's never happened before. sad

Trouble is, I do love him - I think I always will - and we were always, in our and everybody else's eyes, 'meant' to be together. I feel like I'd be such a failure if the 'golden couple' split. And he's not abusive, he's lovely. But I'm just not happy. I think about living on my own, and I feel relief. If I found out he were having an affair I think I'd feel relieved that we could both find someone more suited to each other. He disagrees, says I'm his whole world. But I just don't know what to do, and as we don't have children and I'm not getting any younger I don't want to realise in ten years that I should have left.

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 19:04:34

That sounds really hard - especially if you feel like you have to make that choice before you miss the chance to find someone you could start a family with. Can you imagine it being ok with him? Are there things he could do to make the relationship good enough - or are you sure of your feelings?

What other people see from the outside messes with your head. I've had such varied reactions - everyone sees something different and in the end, it doesn't matter what any of them think.

out2lunch Sun 02-Sep-12 19:17:00

thistle - no counselling ex refused just said i would talk my way around things as i always did apparently.i was in this frame of mind for a few years before taking the plunge - i needed to know if things were going to get better or if it was how i really felt.i have never even contemplated getting back together for one second although weirdly it is the one question everyone asks.

crystalclear70 Sun 02-Sep-12 19:27:42

I was "seeing"! an on-line counsellor, and at one point she was like...what on earth are you doing with him..why don´t you just leave ..I´m finding it hard to see what you are trying to achieve etc...she was trying to be honest but it just did my head in even more. Everyones´ threads are just showing when you are in that situation its not down to logic. Its not just us to think about any more, its a complicated knot . Partner not taking any of the responsibility ,not acknowledging real issues - we are left with "the decision" and the guilt that will bring. But first get yourself strong..counselling, kick-boxing ! , whatever it takes...to feel a bit more like you again, because I think whether its make or break time you´ve got to get your strength back...I think your partner has taken a lot of your energy because of his illness - you sounds like a really caring person and have given a lot. It´s time to concentrate on you for a while, and then make your decision if you can...time out from the worrying about what to do at least..he should also respect that space you need..and if he doesn´t then take it anyway...

SmallSherryforMedicinal Sun 02-Sep-12 19:44:25

Just agreeing with crystals post - it seems to be key to try to get back some proper sense of self, to build yourself up somehow - easier said than done. My dh is ever present, he doesn't go out much except for when I'm out myself, it's suffocating.

fridakahlo Sun 02-Sep-12 20:23:28

My story (which someone asked for)is, in brief I married someone who I never should have married in the first place but due to ongoing mental health issues I felt like I really had no choice.
It is only now, that I realise, I would have been better off collapsing totally back then, getting sectioned and starting the process of re-building myself several years ago. But then I would not have my two beautiful children, so who knows.
I spent the first year and a half of my dd's life pretending everything was fine and I was wonderfully happy, while thinking about suicide.
Got to a point where I went to the GP for help, which was the start of the bumpy road to recovery, while dealing with a husband who really did not get it and wanted to continue pretending every thing was fine, he has also admitted that quite a lot of his behaviour to me has been emotionally abusive to me over the years.
So I tried to leave him, in 2009, but he persuaded me to have another go and enter marriage counselling, when it all transpired between my husband and my counsellor, that the bad things were mostly my fault (did not mn back then), bearing in mind that I had been struggling with my mental health for years.
So at that point, I went back to pretending everything was fine, he had a couple of job offers in different places and I thought perhaps moving would help in some way (how, who knows?)
We moved to NJ before we did we agreed that if I felt I was struggling, I would be able to seek out a therapist.
When we had moved, it did of course, get worse, his working and drinking increased and despite many positives, the negatives increased.
April 2011, I was starting to feel homicidal towards him, at which point I said to him, "Time for that therapist", to which his answer was basically no. I had started reading mn by this point and was really beginning to grasp the unhealthy aspects of our relationship.
When he said no to the therapist I had no mental faculties for dealing with the situation in a healthy positive manner so basically started looking for any way of making myself feel better, which mainly involved extra marital sex.
There is a long thread on here detaling my insane summer last year, feel free to search for it.
I have been pretty much stable since last December, not acting out ect.
Husband has stopped.drinking, is around more and is much nicer to the kids, we have been having marriage therapy but for me the changes feel too little too late and I don't trust them to be long long term, plus I should not have married him in the first place.
This is all complicated by the fact I have long term fatigue issues, I will have to go back to the UK to get a divorce, the kids could not come with me, at least not in the short term.
Oh and due to the past mental health issues, I have no idea how I would cope on my own as well.
So kind of stuck.
I know that was long but that was a summary of the issues as they stand.

Apty Sun 02-Sep-12 21:34:28

Frida that's an awful lot of obstacles in the way for you. Are your children still quite little? Do you think that your dh makes your mh issues worse or does he help?

Agree about getting back sense of self - that's so important, you completely forget who you are when you're bogged down in all of this. Work has been a good escape for me but lately i've been too stressed and anxious to feel like I'm doing a good job at anything. With jobs and children it's hard to find the space to do nice things sometimes but I do need to try.

VanderElsken Sun 02-Sep-12 21:39:30

Read 'too good to leave, too bad to stay' by Mira kirshenbaum. It diagnoses the truth and gives you a solid answer as much as is possible.

fridakahlo Sun 02-Sep-12 22:28:08

Thanks for the support,.I shall be ordering the book over the next couple of days.
I am sure I will get to the right decision sooner rather than later.

ThistlePetal Sun 02-Sep-12 22:59:22

I am also hoping that getting a bit of space away from DH will give me time to sort my head and self esteem out, seems like good advice.

Apty it is so difficult to find this time and space, I guess especially so for you, but even just having a long bath can be useful time out, or walking to work/ home from school run... Listening to loud music helps me zone out of real life for a while too.

Frida I hope you do reach your answer, sounds like you've had an arduous journey so far - I'm finding the book really helpful and quite different to other relationships books, but haven't worked right through it yet.

My DH is away for the week so I will get the space I've been asking for (initially when I asked he actually started following me around and buying me presents - unheard of - had to ask counsellor to spell it out to him and he seems to listen to her). He's promising to start making some of these promised changes this week so we shall see. I'm still thinking it's too little too late, trying to stay open to the possibility it's not.

Feckbox Sun 02-Sep-12 23:06:50

Oh my goodness. I SO relate to hiding in my own house , even from my children sad

TotallyKerplunked Mon 03-Sep-12 01:10:10

I'm in the same sort of situation sad.

DH is a good man and we have had many good times so it is so confusing and he loves DS and our families would never forgive me.

I'm just so unhappy, I dread DH coming home from work and weekends are torture. I can't really explain why its just so many little things. The relationship is cloying, from the moment he moved in he gave up his friends/hobbies and made it all about us which sounds wonderful but I have things I used to love to do which he has gradually stopped as I can't cope with the sulking. The constant sex groping, the selfishness of not even letting me have a hour lie in (our DS is a non-sleeper 1 yr and counting) without banging around is really pushing me over the edge.

But I am so consumed by whether all this is enough to ruin so many lives? My DM told me I had made my bed and at least he is not violent but I can't imagine another 40 yrs with him. What do you do when you've got no job and are reliant on another?

fridakahlo Mon 03-Sep-12 01:27:04

The constant groping is never a good thing, before I dropped my basket, every time I bent over I would get my arse slapped, every time we would hug, I would start getting a stiffy rubbed against me.

God that makes me feel sick. Kudos to my DH, he would never treat me like that. In fact, if anything I don't get any sort of sexual behaviour outside of the bedroom. Maybe it would help if I did - it would help kep some sort of thrill alive i n my head.
I've noticed - I feel like I'm detaching mentally from him. I am closing down all sorts of emotional responses when he talks. Like - there's a problem and I think 'It's because of XYZ (if it is, not if it isn't - i am not that horrible!!!!) and so you caused it, you sort it, nothing to do with me, my dear.....'

DOes anybody else do that? It worries me. I should be engaged mentally with him.

fridakahlo Mon 03-Sep-12 06:39:43

I guess in your shoes, lost, I would sit down and think about whether I wanted to reconnect with him and then if I did, try and think of ways of doing that. If I did not, figuring out why not would be important to me too.
You could always try relate, on your own perhaps?

ThistlePetal Mon 03-Sep-12 07:26:11

Kerplunked, I so recognise what you are saying - my DH has also over the years let his own friendships dwindle away to nothing.... And I dread him coming home, as he has been so dependant on me to run his life and he is just this big presence waiting to be guided....

And I have a fairly toxic mother who would see my leaving him as a great big stick to beat me with. So there will be less than no support coming from my parents - if anything I'll end up having to prop them up too as I'll have disgraced the family once again and they will create a drama of their own....

But these aren't reasons to stay another 40 years, are they (I'm trying to convince myself as much as you here!)?

I know from reading other threads that CItizens Advice might be able to help you work out how you can support yourself if you do leave. If you can see how it would work then that's one less barrier to leaving.

Lost - my DH hasn't even tried anything sexually of any sort for some time now (again, once I stopped taking the lead, it all just stopped) - and I do think it's part of the problem - the odd thrill would have been nice....

Stayed up late to finish the Too Good to Stay book.... Still processing it but very worthwhile read indeed!

Feckbox Mon 03-Sep-12 07:53:13

Did the book held you decide ? It did not really help me. I KNOW I want to be apart from him already.
IT JUST SEEMS TOO CRUEL ON HIM AND THE CHILDREN TO MAKE HIM LEAVE

ThistlePetal Mon 03-Sep-12 08:04:52

Well Feck, I'll reflect on it a bit more today, but right now I could say the same as you! There were definitely 5 or 6 questions I answered No to.... So it confirmed my worst fears that I do want to leave. Still not convinced I'd be happier, because of the upset it would cause (and lack of support as above....). But maybe those are short term problems and in a year's time we might all be happier....

Aargh! I'll report back later.....

Toastwithatwist Mon 03-Sep-12 09:28:46

I've been lurking for a long time and registered to send a message on a this thread, specifically to Coconutter but it may help others.

I was one half of a 'golden couple'. We were destined to be together, people commented on how amazing it was we found each other, we were going the full distance, and we were solid. No children (I never wanted them, he was ambivialent at best - although I think he'd be a terrific father).

Except we weren't a golden couple. We loved each other very much (still do), never argued, there was no abuse or affairs. But we weren't married. There wasn't a marriage there, there was two fantastic housemates and friends. We knew about it, talked periodically, made a few big efforts to sort things out. Nothing changed - we were fantastic at being friends, but not very good at being married. last summer I got home one evening and sat in the car knowing I didn't want to be there. A couple of days after that we talked, a bit, and I said I was going to a friend's for a few days. That was a Wednesday evening, and he was distraught.

The Saturday morning I looked at a flat, having agreed to go 'home' again that afternoon. He rang me (we'd agreed radio silence for the few days) and explained that he'd realised that when I came back, I wasn't coming back to live, but for us to sort out what happens next. I'd started to tear off the plaster if you like, he finished it.

So we split up. I live in a lovely flat near my new part time job, I'm managing to keep up with the PhD I'd started before the split, I have an insane cat and I'm seeing a lovely guy. I helped my ex choose a suit at the weekend, he was trying for us to organise another meal (me, him and my fella - who he knew I liked before I did), I helped revise a speech he's giving next week for work, he bought me a funky hat to say thanks for the suit help. He's paying for the divorce next summer, I'm buying the meal out to celebrate. We're still desparately good friends. It can turn out ok. There have been no regrets about having been married, just a sadness for a while that it didn't suit us. There's no bitterness, anger or hurt.

Sorry - bit of an epic. But I just wanted to tell you my story in the hope it might help. Good luck to you all.

hersuit Mon 03-Sep-12 09:53:31

It's so hard to know what to do. I don't feel like our relationship is bad enough to cause the massive upheaval that a split would cause. Aside from the major concern of upsetting (damaging?) the children, and breaking his heart, we have a business together. It would be very messy. But I'm not happy. I like him a lot, he's the loveliest, kindest, most caring person...but I don't fancy him at all. And I definitely fancy other men. So confusing.
I blamed our problems on my depression for a long time but after good CBT & ADs I don't feel depressed anymore. In fact I'm so much more confident, I think it's making me lean towards leaving the relationship.

Coconutter Mon 03-Sep-12 10:35:43

Hersuit I know exactly what you mean. I really feel for you. I have a good life, I could have a good life with him, but after CBT I am much more confident, like you, and I don't rely on him like I used to - and I want more than good, and he deserves that too. He is such a good man. He thinks I am his world and I don't want to hurt him any more than I already have but I don't know if I can give him what he needs any more, and vice versa. It's so hard sad

dnjr Mon 03-Sep-12 10:53:11

I've read the thread and Im hoping that you can all maybe give me some advice.

I basically started going out with a guy who was not completely out of a long term relationship a year ago (although he led me to believe it was much further on and over it at the time). I invested alot of time in the relationship and was patient and understanding as to why he didnt tell his family friends etc about me. He has a son with his ex and I was too patient about meeting him. Things did progress but slowly and I'd given it until he'd finished renovating this house (which compromised a lot of time) to see if things changed and if they didnt I was ready to end it.

I fell pregnant however. He was desperate for me to have a termination, justifying that it would just be a mass of cells and nothing more. Having had a termination when I was younger, I couldnt go through it again even if it were at such an early stage.

I found out at my 12 week scan that Im expecting twins and this was another shock. At first he was realistic and said I couldnt really have a career (I am in the last year of a degree so havent been in f/t work) and would have to look after the twins. Then he changed his mind and said he'd resent me for not bringing any financial contribution to the household and has put pressure on me to expect my parents to give a handout just because they're not badly off.

We've had many arguments about progression, where we'll live and how he cant afford it on a 30k salary. His house is still co-owned with himself and his ex and she's been understanding over me staying there frequently and recognises that I will need to live there. The problem really is with him. One minute we're progressing to get his son who he has half of the time, ready for siblings and me living there and then the next he wants space. He asked me to hide upstairs when his ex's mother came to collect his son for the day. Things like this are a regular occurrence and I feel as though he's ashamed of me.

We had a particularly big argument last week when I simply said that I didnt want to get overly expectant of my father and said we weren't working. He would rather be on his own, he doesnt know if he can get over the resentment towards me and we are two completely different people. The amount of times I get one extreme of character to another is that frequent I almost dont know how its going to be from one week to the next and Im due to give birth in December.

I've stayed because I have wanted to give the twins a family but then I feel its unhealthy for me to be like this on such a continual basis and should be enjoying my pregnancy.

ThistlePetal Mon 03-Sep-12 12:26:39

Hersuit and Coconutter - It does seem that your increase in self confidence, which is fantastic for you both, is helping you to see that you could be happier on your own. I'm fairly sure that someone objective would say to nearly all of us on this thread, that we should set ourselves and our partners free so that everyone has a chance to find happiness, whether on our own or with new people. It's so painfully difficult to make that decision though, isn't it? Whilst it's reassuring that other people are in the same boat, it's also terribly sad sad.

dnjr - hugs to you, you have such a lot to deal with right now. I think all you can do just now is work on how you feel about your situation, and maybe take solutions or even an ultimatum to your partner once you're sure how you feel. Maybe a counsellor could help you (as an individual) to unpick? Lots of luck to you, and keep posting.

OliveandJim Mon 03-Sep-12 12:37:19

It's difficult to give advice without knowing the full story but I tend to come from the following perspective: for me relationships require hard work on a pretty regular basis. I hear far too often wasn't happy so I dumped him. I have the feeling that a lot of people do not put the effort it takes to make a relationship work anymore.
DP is depressed and mind f*cked for life by his extremely narc mother and it does get hard sometimes (routinely) but I would never contemplate leaving because we made the choice to have children together, how I could I leave him especially when he's not well. What example would I set for my kid, daddy's not well so we're leaving him because I can't cope? Wouldn't DS fear that I'd leave him too one day if I can't cope with him either?
My parents fought for decades and managed to stay together. They were times when they seriously contemplated divorce but never did and at 65 they are blissfully happy together. Marriage or any form of relatiohsip takes a lot of efforts on everyone's side.

Tilly80 Mon 03-Sep-12 13:40:36

I really feel for you OP. I'm currently unhappy in my marriage ( I posted a few months ago about my H's suddenn obsessionw with religion). I was even unhappy before we got married which says it all really! But now we have 2 DCs - 3yrs and a newborn. It breaks my heart to think of them not seeing daddy every day if we split. And I know it'd break his heart also, which is why I'm such a wimp and haven't yet done anything about it. But i'm so unhappy, not coz he's nasty in any way but coz we're so different. I do fancy other guys and I hinestly would be pleased if he turned around and told me he was habing an affair as that'd be my exit! I don't have the guts to leave him at the moment purely coz I'm unhappy and think we'd both find happiness eventually with other people. I think we need counselling, but when I suggested this about a yr ago he refused to come. I'll bring it up again soon though.

Can any single parents tell me how you deal with bdays and xmas? That's something that worries me about how to divide it equally.

Good luck OP - it's such a hard decision but as others have said, you only have one life. x

dnjr Mon 03-Sep-12 13:43:03

Thank you thistlepetal, I've given him many opportunities to live a separate life and on the last occasion of isolation from his life, I said I couldnt do this any more and either he wanted us to be a family or we went our separate ways. We had the 20 week scan and I believed everything would be better once he told his son but a week of happiness is then followed by 2 weeks of unsettled feeling.

Oliveandjim, I understand entirely what you're saying and had a similar conversation recently with a friend that every relationship takes work and the ones which dont are those that are blessed. I've had counselling in the past after a nervous break down when I was 23. I became acutely aware of myself and how I could be considered in a relationship. The problem is when you are the only person working at a relationship (which I am) it feels like a constant uphill struggle and for what? I have justified on so many occasions that he has not grieved his 10 year relationship, he is not happy at work, he has had stress etc but he does nothing to help himself despite being aware from time to time that his life isnt right. Its great when he has a lightbulb moment but then never acts on it and things remain status quo.

I always believe that things can work out and generally hopeful of any situation; so many friends have said that they dont feel I'm treated properly and should get out but I'd not wanted to for the sake of giving my children a family (plus I didnt want his son to be even further confused that me and his dad didnt work out). But now I feel I've been pushed away one too many times and I don't know if being upset on such a frequent basis is healthy for me during pregnancy and if it would just be better allround to call it a day

Athendof Mon 03-Sep-12 13:44:40

I'm sorry, but would you like your children to be talking to their partners in the future about how messed up they were for their father/mother problems, but the other parent never decided to leave?

My ex was also a son to a narcissist, which he workships and fears in the same measure. ' If she is disappointed on him he can cry all night despite being a grown up independant man in his 40s. When H started acting towards DS in exactly the same way, I thought it was perfectly reasonable for someone to break the cycle.

fridakahlo Mon 03-Sep-12 16:25:40

dnjr, I really would not be tying myself further to this man, he sounds like a total headcase and will really not be what you need around when you are dealing wuth being mother to two babies .
Establish yourself as relying on yourself now and then you will not have to be worrying about the impact his behaviour will be having on your life at the next stage, on top of everything else.
The first few years will be hard but from what you have written here, with him involved emotionally with you, it will only be harder .

Apty Tue 04-Sep-12 20:10:36

Toastwithatwist - your story sounds so positive, it's great that you managed to do what was right for you both and stay good friends - it shows that it's possible. I wonder if the children thing does make this much harder as you put their needs automatically above your own as a parent.

dnjr - it sounds so difficult - it really doesn't sound like he's committed to this relationship at all but he's been really cowardly in the way that he keeps you at arms length but hasn't ended it. I really agree that you need to be as self sufficient as possible, especially emotionally, so as not to get repeatedly hurt by him. I wish you lots of luck and strength.

oliveandjim - i've thought the way you do for years and years - and what you're saying has really stopped me doing anything for a long time. Maybe you're right, and people throw things away too easily - but look at all the people on this thread staying out of fear of the unknown, not wanting to hurt other people, not wanting to be selfish - women live in unhappy relationships for YEARS - they don't just jack things in on a whim. I don't want to wait until I'm 65 to be happy if I'm going to feel like this for years and years - I don't think I can be a whole person while I'm struggling with this.

fridakahlo Wed 05-Sep-12 01:02:36

Well, the decision has been taken out of my hands. Which is both good and bad.
Good because I will be getting the finalization I desire.
Bad because I have to leave my babies behind and only see them every few months for the next three or four years.
Feeling kind of majorly gutted, don't eant to leave them but I feel I will already be rocking their world enough with my departure, never mind dragging them away from their home and friends.
They will be with their father and he is a good dad, always knew that he would be.

Coconutter Wed 05-Sep-12 07:52:29

What has happened frida? Why will you not see them very often?

CoteDAzur Wed 05-Sep-12 08:01:58

"I will have to go back to the UK to get a divorce, the kids could not come with me, at least not in the short term. "

Please get legal advice before you do this. I'm not that familiar with US divorce laws but these rules are kind of universal:

(1) You can only get a divorce where you legally live. Not where you are both from (except maybe if you both agree), and certainly not where you used to live.

(2) Leaving your kids now for months would look like abandonment and would count against you in custody proceedings

And from what I remember, New York divorce courts like to give custody to one parent rather than give equal (shared) custody.

Please get legal advice before you move away for several months right before your divorce. Good luck.

fridakahlo Wed 05-Sep-12 12:11:39

www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/4194189/Divorce-and-infidelity-abroad.html

As far as this article goes, you can get divorced back in England, even if you have been living abroad. My stbxh has researched as well and his findings agree. The reason I am moving home sooner rather than later is because my visa in the US is dependant on being married to my spouse, so as soon as I am not married ti him, I will have to leave the country.
I'd rather do it now, so that I can start hetting myself established in the Uk.
The plan in regards to the children is that they stay with stbxh for the time being, so that their lives remain (relativly) stable.
I have, as of last night, got verbal agreement from my stbxh that he will not apply for a green card and therefore will mive back to the UK when his visa runs out.
Obviously, I need to talk to a solicitor about what could go wrong in regards to that and what recourse I would have, should the situation arise that he does decide to stay in the US.
He has been talking about getting a divorce on grounds of 'unreasonable behaviour', with the behaviour coming from both sides. Again I will have to discuss with a solicitor the implications behind that.
Stbxh has said that I can stay here until things are finalised but, again, I really want to get on with finding my feet in the UK.

fridakahlo Wed 05-Sep-12 22:07:36

Where did everyone go?

joanofarchitrave Wed 05-Sep-12 22:11:56

I'm not sure you can cite unreasonable behaviour on both sides - I could be wrong though.

UK divorce always based on irretrievable breakdown, one of the facts you can prove is unreasonable behaviour, but AFAIK one partner has to be the plaintiff proving unreasonable behaviour on the part of the defendant. However, you can decide between you which way round that will be; in my case, my lawyer said there wasn't much in it in my case (we had no kids) but she would usually advise being the plaintiff as it gave slightly more control (I didn't take this advice).

Clearly you need urgent legal advice.

AnastasiaSteele Wed 05-Sep-12 22:20:19

I used to miss him when I wasn't with him in the honeymoon period. Then things changed and when I wasn't with him, I was happy, relaxed.

I pray to god every night that he will leave or that I will find the strength once and for all.

I'm not even religious. But out loud I beg for this to happen sometimes, pray for a nice life.

fridakahlo Wed 05-Sep-12 22:29:34

Any ideas on how to go about getting some while I am still in the states? I have been thinking about starting a thread. in divorce and separation. Guess I should probably do that, aye?
Anastasia, it has been a long, horrible painful process that still is not finished but it is already a hell of a lot better now that the light at the end of the tunnel is there, dimly in the distance .
Is there one small thing you could do, just a tiny step you could take to start the ball rolling?

joanofarchitrave Wed 05-Sep-12 22:33:14

Yes, another thread sounds good.

I would talk to a family law specialist firm urgently and ask for a referral to a UK equivalent, I think.

onanightlikethis Thu 06-Sep-12 11:43:55

I'm in the same situation. Lovely man just not right for me. Emotional affair with someone else. Told him I wanted to leave but now am full of regret guilt and wondering if I should stay for the kids.

Thing is, we are all still told in various subtle and unsubtle ways that women exist for men's benefit. That it's a woman's duty to look after, please and service Her Man domestically, emotionally and sexually. There simply isn't the same expectations of men to 'work at' relationships, consider their partner's feelings, change their behaviour if it is making the woman they live with unhappy - or frightened.

I tend to think that a lot of women in crap relationships don't leave soon enough: if a man considers you less than human and inferior to him he's not going to change so bin and move on.

Athendof Thu 06-Sep-12 16:39:44

Frida, when is your stbexh planning to comeback to the uk?

I really don't want to scare youbut by leaving the children behind, much more so in another country, you are putting yourself in a very very vulnerable position.

You should know by now, that if he chooses to apply for a green card you can't do anything about it, if you leave the country without your children and your ex decides to stay in the US permanently, you will find it practically impossible to recover them. Sort custody order first otherwise, if things go nasty, you are in deep trouble.

fridakahlo Thu 06-Sep-12 17:07:22

He will never deny me access and if he does choose to stay in the States, then so be it.
Anyway I have emailed nine solicitors today, am just waiting for a response.

fridakahlo Thu 06-Sep-12 17:11:15

He has said that he will work the remainder of his visa (four years) in order to be able to use company funds to be re-patriated.
He recently joined the quakers, so if those values mean anything at all to him then I'll be able to take him at his word.

Athendof Thu 06-Sep-12 20:26:17

Have you agreed for thr children to be away from you for four years??? Blimey, sometimes I don't understand people... hmm

Athendof Thu 06-Sep-12 20:31:32

BTW, what if he meets some one else and have more kids? Would he leave them behind to come and return to you children he has been parenting for four years without much involvement in your part?
It is not going to happen, it won't be fair on the children.

fridakahlo Thu 06-Sep-12 21:27:23

Athendof, would you pm me please?

Athendof Thu 06-Sep-12 22:24:09

I'm sorry Frida. My first reaction after I left my ex was to want to take a flight home asap, I'm glad that I didn't, as tthis can have serious consequences, have a look at the Reunite website to get an idea of the battle you may have ahead of you if you leave your children behind.

fridakahlo Thu 06-Sep-12 22:53:41

Really, Athenhof would you pm me please? I would you but I think you have it turned off?

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 06-Sep-12 23:43:10

I know this thread's gone a bit quieter, but I wondered if I could join.

I've started various agonised threads of my own over the last couple of years.

Reading this so many of you could be me.

My husband's a good man, and a good dad. He's also crap at communicating, passive aggressive and makes me feel like shit. I've been so unhappy for so long. I had an emotional affair with someone a few years ago. It nearly destroyed me. It was very 'innocent', nothing was said, it was all tentative, but I fell in love with someone else and I think he did with me but I will never know now what it really was.

Like Feck I feel I want to hide away in my own home, even from my kids. My world got smaller and smaller.

We finally agreed to separate in February, but we are still under the same roof. A house has been bought for me, and I'm trying to sort it out to move in. I feel tortured with guilt. Dh's business is currently going down the tubes and I feel so awful for him. I'm sure the limbo of the last few months has been awful for the kids as well as dh and me. But I'm the only one who really wants things to change and I can hardly bear the responsibility.

I'm terrified of being on my own as well. And I have mh issues and a toxic mother who thinks I'm being a bitch breaking up my marriage.

And I know that feeling of not knowing if you are unhappy/bad mother because you are in a crap marriage, or if you are just like that anyway. I'm 41 and I've been really unhappy since I was in my early-mid thirties. I just want some happiness but have no idea how I can find it. I struggle with thoughts of suicide and I feel like I'm damned if I stay and damned if I go.

sad

fridakahlo Fri 07-Sep-12 04:21:42

Tired, your in the worse bit now, waiting to move forward but still, in a way, able to stop it and wandering if you should.
Your stbxh's buisiness is nothing to do with you and while it is crap that it is not going well, ir's not your responsibilty to fix.
See Solids post further up. It makes sense, in this sort of situation.

fridakahlo Fri 07-Sep-12 04:23:09

Oh and if you're having suicidal thoughts, go and talk to a doctor, ASAP!

Inyourhippyhat Fri 07-Sep-12 05:12:29

I decided we should try to stay together until DD2 (then 3) was 18. I lasted three years and realised that I couldn't face another 12. What happened after the split was traumatic. Be careful what you wish for...

SmallSherryforMedicinal Fri 07-Sep-12 10:24:02

Tired I know exactly how you feel. Exactly. I'm in your shoes, except broke & no house to go to

Apty Fri 07-Sep-12 10:47:16

Tired - try and trust yourself a bit. If this relationship has been making you unhappy, then some space and time WILL make you stronger, think of all that space in your head to think about what's important to you instead of managing someone else? you have the house, you're getting there, sounds like you've not got much further to go - I know it's terrifying but you've been really brave to get this far.

Hippyhat - what happened?

Athendof Fri 07-Sep-12 23:06:09

Message sent Frida

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 07-Sep-12 23:54:27

Yes, Hippyhat, what happened?

Smallsherry I really identified with your earlier posts. I'm so sorry for your situation. I know I'm lucky I have this house to go to and not to be broke. We have money worries though. I'm a full time student doing a really tough course (MBBS) and I won't qualify for two years, so won't earn til then.

'My' house has been bought with a loan from family members that needs to be paid back when we sell the family home. We are still in the family home and struggling to sell it. Once the money is paid back, dh will struggle to find somewhere satisfactory with what's left over. He plans to give me some capital as a 'clean break' to tide me over until I finish my course.

All sounds good in theory but we are going to be very skint. I'm sure money pressures is a big reason why I think sometimes I should try to work things out with dh. He would like this. I feel by seeking my freedom I am condemning my kids to living in very straitened circumstances when a few years ago they were having skiing holidays.

And dd1 seems to hate me at the moment. She's just started secondary school, has a lot on her plate and resents what is happening which is understandable.

I'm to blame for everything in everyone's eyes and I can't bear it sometimes.

Dh thinks us splitting is the end of the world, and it seems so unfair. So many people separate. No one's died, have they? I'm not going to fight over the kids, I'm not moving away, I haven't got another bloke. But I'm made to feel like a criminal for not wanting to stay in a very unfulfilling and unhappy marriage sad

fridakahlo Sat 08-Sep-12 01:38:22

Thanks Athendof, have,responded.
Tired, that sounds like a horrific situation to be in.
Have the kids ever asked about why you are doing it?
While it would not help in any tangible way, perhaps if you sat down and explained in kid friendly terms the reasons for leaving their father, it could make some difference?
Also your dd is about to hit adolescence, she would likely be bound to find something wrong, regardless of the circumstances. But perhaps she might find talking to a counsellor useful?

Glaringstrumpet Sat 08-Sep-12 07:05:45

Tiredof just wondering if you can give DD a chance to vent, I was brought up in an unhappy home but it wasn't ever talked about so we developed excellent emotion suppressing skills! not good!

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 08-Sep-12 09:07:14

frida, strumpet I have tried to talk to dd. She used to be cheery and open but has become more withdrawn and uncommunicative. Irony is, she is now doing what dh has done to me for years, and what, at root, is what killed my marriage - sulking, giving me the bad vibes, but if I ask her what's wrong saying 'nothing'. I get stonewalled.

We went to an event at her new school last night - fresher's fair etc and she went round with dh, talked to dh and sat next to dh the whole time. I was left trailing around with dd2 feeling like a spare part. I don't know what to do, if I try to get her to talk to me she seems irritated. I feel I'm losing her and what's ironic is that one of the reasons I felt we had to separate was that I wanted to reclaim my relationship with my daughters.

I'd been really unhappy for so long and was more and more isolated from the family unit and so often in another world because I was so unhappy.

I've always supported dh as a parent and when they were small and wanted me the whole time I felt bad for him. I always tried to promote his relationship with them.

He's less like this. He's a very jealous person and I feel there is a moral struggle going on for the kids, one which it's hard to win, because I am 'the villain'.

My big fear is that dd1 isn't even going to want to live with me.

And she and I have always had a good relationship, this feels like it's happened almost overnight sad

handbagCrab Sat 08-Sep-12 09:20:25

Tired I was probably like your dd to my mum. Reasons being, it was easier to be on dads side than mums because he'd kick off and could be very nasty and she wouldn't, I felt mum let me down as she wouldn't stick up for me to keep the peace when dad started, when dad chose to be nice he was fun, mum was usually tired and stressed, I'd try to keep dad amused so he wouldn't kick off particularly at events he wasn't personally interested in.

My dh is great but honestly, if I was really unhappy I'd leave. Growing up in a two parent household where one or more parents aren't happy for whatever reasons (whether he other partner or something inside them) isn't all hugs and puppies. My mum was going to leave my dad and she didn't and she ought to have done. I think now shes waiting for one of them to die and it's shit but also she made that choice. I don't thank her for throwing away her happiness and life so I had parents that stayed together and I can't say anyone cares or is impressed she has managed a long unhappy marriage. Marriage might take work but it shouldn't be hard work all the time, life's hard enough as it is! smile

Athendof Sat 08-Sep-12 09:23:23

I know a woman who stayed in an unhappy marriage because her children oposed the split. I always thought the children were very unfair to the mum, and also that the mum was a bit stupid for letting her children decide, and all for what?

Her boys are now as abusive to their wives as her husband was towards her. Her daughter is now the perfect abused woman who takes every sort of rubbish from her husband because that is the example she got from her mum. Sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind..

At the moment you are doing what your DD wants and she is still being mean and is sulking, if she is going to be like that anyway... What's the point of staying to please her? She won't appreciate it, anyway.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 08-Sep-12 10:01:47

Crab thanks for what you wrote. But I don't think my dh is like your dad. He's actually 'the perfect parent' - he gets to take them for bike rides etc and completely focus on them while I run around cleaning family home for viewings and trying to get new one ready to move into.

Athendof the story you tell is very salutary and quite horrifying.

So much of doing this (separating) is about wanting to be a better parent. I've got the impression from this thread that one of the most agonising things those of us in the awful 'should I stay or should I go?' situation feel is that we aren't doing well as mothers. Either because the dynamic in the family isolates us, or because we isolate ourselves because we are unhappy and preoccupied.

Dh never wants to relinquish time spent with dds. At the weekends if I ever suggested doing something on my own with them he would suggest we all did it. I hated being around him so would let him do things with them on his own to escape him, in doing this cutting myself off from my kids. I am sick of it and it's a big reason why I want to leave.

I want to be the happy, fun person I was before dh wore me down with his negativity, criticism and bad vibes. Everything I do, whether he is around or not, it's as if he is on my shoulder, disapproving. Life is tinged with guilt all over the place because I've been conditioned to feel like this.

Like others on here also, he kind of gave up his outside interests, time with friends, etc years ago so he's always around and I find it really oppressive. It also makes me feel guilty for wanting to have a life outside the home, as if that somehow makes me a bad, selfish person. My world has shrunk and when I'm not at Uni I'm almost a recluse.

I'm fed up with that too.

What worries me is that I was hoping to reclaim my relationship with dd (rebuild?) by getting out and I'm scared it's too late anyway.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 08-Sep-12 10:02:43

*we feel we aren't doing well as mothers

Glaringstrumpet Sat 08-Sep-12 16:13:53

tiredofwaiting I can imagine difficult teenagers 'blaming' mum (the one who took care of you when you were little) when mum decides she needs to change things for her own sake.

If you can afford it I would speak to a child psychologist or counsellor for advice on this as it is tricky to see how to handle it for the best.

Sounds to me as if she knows she is getting at you by being best buddies with DH and using it as a way to get back at you because she doesn't want the upcoming changes. She might be v angry about things and when you ask what's wrong can't say what she really feels, or doesn't know how to say it.

But in the long run the best thing you can be is a happy mum, no bike runs or treats really top that imo, and in the end this is what you will be and she will be happier too.

B1ueberry Sat 08-Sep-12 16:19:17

I think a lot of people dread the splitting up process. And they stay not because they want to but because they can't face the splitting up. If somebody could wave a wand and 'fast forward' you a year into a future in which you have already split up and the worst is behind you, does that sound like a relief?

B1ueberry Sat 08-Sep-12 16:20:08

I left when I had no fear left. I knew that nothing could be worse. People had told me I was brave to leave though. The brave thing to do would have been to have left four years earlier.

ThistlePetal Sat 08-Sep-12 20:23:05

Tired of, I can so relate to what you're saying re. letting DH take the kids out on his own because he's insisting on everyone being together. I just don't want to do the happy families thing, because I am not happy. And I take the kids out on my own terms when he's not here so it's not like I'm sacrificing quality time with them.

B1ueberry, this is where I am right now - I don't want to stay, but I am dreading the thought of splitting up. I have a feeling that I've reached the tipping point through, something is going to have to give.

I'm still quite shocked at how many people are going through this at the same time - it's so hard, but it's so helpful to see people sharing their experiences on here. Thank you all.

Apty Sat 08-Sep-12 21:23:22

Tiredof, I'm sure that it's never too late to sort out your relationship with your daughter. She must feel the atmosphere and the unhappiness and she doesn't understand it. I remember being a teenager with parents in a bad marriage and you can't help feeling somehow responsible and weighed down by the misery without understanding why. When you're out and happier and getting yourself back again, you'll spend time with her and talk to her and be able to give her your real focus and attention again in a way that you just can't when you're unhappy and confused.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 08-Sep-12 23:02:51

Thanks people. I feel so much for anyone in this situation because it is so awful and agonising precisely because it is not black and white. The to-ing and fro-ing and oscillating between thinking it's right to stay and feeling like there is no alternative but to go.

B1ueberry I think it is true that it takes courage to leave. One of the reasons it maddens me that there is this Daily Mail view that so many people have that if someone leaves they are frivolously chucking away their marriage out of selfishness. Also there are lots of people who leave for someone else and I think it's because there are so many of us unhappy and if you meet someone else it can seem like being thrown a lifebelt.

There are plenty of times I wished I was leaving for someone else, just to have some support and not feel so isolated. Because I fear being on my own, and because it would give an unequivocal reason why my marriage must end.

But I also know it's cleaner this way, with no-one else involved.

My day improved. I've spent hours decorating, but dds came over to the house. DD1 spent some time reading in her new room, and they both 'helped' me with some decorating. I'm glad because I want them to feel some ownership of their new home. Dd1 got a bit teary at one point and it's clear that she is struggling with things but I think a lot of it is hormones and what she talked about was all to do with her feeling dd2 gets favoured, nothing to do with separating.

We've been giggling about stuff this evening and it's been nice. And I've nearly finished the awful decorating job.

Thanks for your suggestions. If things carry on feeling tricky I think I will look into a psychologist. I want her to have someone to talk to and if it can't be me...

fridakahlo Sat 08-Sep-12 23:26:03

Tired. from where I am standing, it sounds like you are doing a great job!

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 09-Sep-12 22:03:01

Thanks frida

They both came over to the house again today. DD1 again went and read in her bedroom. I quite liked knowing she was there, upstairs chilling out in her new space. I am only just getting used to the house myself and it's good that she wants to spend time there. Little one came over later and was really helpful with the decorating which is still nearly finished.

I feel awful for dh though. He's left out and it must feel awful. His future is very uncertain and I wish I could just throw him a lifeline but I know if I do I will resent it, and wish I hadn't.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Sun 09-Sep-12 22:46:06

Sounds like you are making some progress TiredOf, that's wonderful. Another awful weekend grinds to an end here. Dh and I did talk a bit on Saturday but he made it very clear that financially, there's no way we can afford to run 2 households. We were invited out as a couple to a dinner later that evening, and at one stage I looked over at him, and he looked so desperately sad, my heart broke again. We have an 11yo dd who's a daddy's girl and pushes me away & god forgive me sometimes I let her, i just want let them all get on with it. I spend a lot of time in my en suite or alone in my room. Im struggling a bit with alcohol too, and just don't know where I'll get the strength to make a space for myself here. It is a sad consolation to realise I'm not alone if this thread is anything to go by. I'm astounded by how similar our stories are TiredOf, but dh is not a bad man, but very controlling.

ThistlePetal Mon 10-Sep-12 00:24:58

Tiredof, so pleased that you've had a good weekend with your girls smile. Fab too that they're involved in getting the new house ready, sounds like there's some great bonding going on over that.

I think it's only natural to feel bad for your DH - you're a decent, caring human at the end of the day and you're concerned for the welfare of your DDs' dad. But I think you're also right not to reach out to him, as he could mistake your concern for you wanting to start a reconciliation process.

Hope your week continues to go well smile

SmallSherryforMedicinal Mon 10-Sep-12 07:19:23

Woke up this morning feeling like an utter failure. Ds (4) got up during the night but went to dhs bed. Looks like I'm losing him too.
Just don't think I can do this, my body feels like there's a huge rock in my chest cavity. I can hardly breathe. It's got to be easier to stay, and I feel a nauseous sense of relief at the thought - similar to the feeling of finally hearing some long anticipated bad news.

PurplePlant Mon 10-Sep-12 13:52:47

Stumbled accross this thread late last night.

It really resonates with me. OP and everyone else, I'm sorry this is happening to so many of us.

When it's ok, it's ok. when it's bad it's shit.

I look at dp playing with the dc and the joy it brings to all of them.
I see the way he looks at me and know there is nothing left.

Like so many others I am financially dependent on him. But, even if I wasn't could I ever be brave/selfish enough to destroy a little family.

OP Do you still kiss your DH tenderly? Do you miss him when you're not together?
They are two very searching questions a good friend asked me recently. It was easy, but sad to answer.

ladyWordy Mon 10-Sep-12 14:39:14

Many difficult or abusive men seem, to their wives, to be 'great dads'. It's seen on MN again and again. But a truly good father does not upset, frighten or hurt the mother of his child. He just doesn't. 

So while you have a family, and you may be fearful of breaking it up,  it isn't a healthy family. The suffering of all will increase over time. 

If anyone feels in need of some guidance and a helping hand, please try this thread, and its resources

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1560639-Support-for-those-in-Emotionally-Abusive-relationships-11

Apty Mon 10-Sep-12 16:49:50

PP I do miss him when we're not together, but I think I also miss him when we're together - and I realise that maybe it's just the him that he was or who I would like him to be or who i imagine he could be. The reality is very lonely.

It's very sad that the decision to be happier or to be free from a really destructive relationship should feel like selfish decision.

Agree with Ladywordy that it's hard to see how an abusive man is also a good father, but that's because we are disregarding ourselves and trying to see things only through everyone else's eyes, it's a trap that's too easy to fall into.

ladyWordy Mon 10-Sep-12 19:45:18

Apty, You have hit the nail on the head with every line.
I'm sure you're right about the trap, or ingrained ability to see things from other points of view, and completely discard your own view/feelings as, perhaps, irrelevant.

I saw a RL friend go through this,  and can remember being baffled that when she'd been abused, she would simply analyse the facts as she saw them... eg her child was happy,  loved her dad, and she'd made a commitment so had to put up with everything.....But she seemed to have no idea how she felt, or even that it might matter.  sad

You've given me some insight into why this was.

Over time, her child started to verbally abuse her too, as in her world that seemed acceptable.  In addition, the NSDH began to use the child as a means to control and upset my friend further, especially when she was trying to end the relationship. So the true colours of this 'nice dad' became even more apparent. sad

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 10-Sep-12 21:07:12

Hi fellow travellers...

SmallSherry you need to really try to quit the booze. It can't be helping.
I am the last to judge. My drinking was pathological earlier this year and I have a very troublesome relationship with alcohol. I was actually worried I was an alcoholic a couple of months ago. There was a street party in our road for the Jubilee and I let the kids go home to bed and got absolutely smashed, woke up in my clothes. I was solely responsible for dc at the time. Dh was away and I felt really sad going to the party on my own.

I can open a bottle of wine, finish it and open and finish another. I got so I was counting down the minutes until six o clock so I could open a bottle and occasionally drinking during the day (finishing the second bottle I had started the night before). I regularly woke up in my clothes. I've peed myself when drunk.

So I am not being holier than thou. But I stopped eight weeks ago and since then I have had a single drink on half a dozen occasions. I've been drinking Becks Blue (alcohol free). It's been much much easier than I expected and I have felt so much better and more stable. Alcohol dulls the pain, but it creates depression and paranoia and really eats into self esteem.

I'm still having wobbles and have some terrible days. But I honestly think the worst phase is when you can't see the relationship ever being OK and you can't bring yourself to end it either. It feels like there is nothing to look forward to.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Mon 10-Sep-12 23:18:04

Hi all. After a super leaden start to the day I roused myself. Im lucky in that I love my job - but - Oh my Tired. Every one one of your posts has huge resonance for me. My job has a social element and now that I've cut back boozing at home to practically nil as dd was starting to notice what I was packing away - but I've been drinking more & more at work (outside hours, with colleagues, but way way too much. Can't seem to pace myself & have put self in compromising situations which makes me hate myself even more. I hate that I hate Fridays - Monday is my favourite day of the week now. I'm not going to drink this week & hope to not drink on Friday, or to drink like a normal person. Totally agree with sentiment of feeling like all is lost in the marriage but yet theres no hope of anything else. Things have to improve, they have to. Seeing my counsellor tomorrow, hope that helps.

ComfySlipperGirl Mon 10-Sep-12 23:34:42

Hi all
I feel it's a bit portentous that I've found this thread tonight, when I'm wondering for the umpteenth time whether to end it with DH.

He's lovely, but I'm just not in love with him any more. It feels odd to type that but it's true. I'm quite sure within my heart that I'd rather be single (long-term, I just don't think I'm cut out to be in a couple).

Like all couples, we have our similarities and our differences, but the differences that didn't seem so important when we got together are suddenly looming huge, while the similarities are fading away. We've both changed, and not in a way that's compatible.

He would be devastated if we split - he moved from his home country and all his family for me. If we split, would he go home or stay here for the DDs? I would feel awful inflicting that decision on him. I know he still loves me very much so it seems so cruel to chuck him out when he hasn't really done anything wrong.

But on the other hand, it seems cruel to stay together, when I have to admit the most obvious reason I have for keeping him is so he can look after the DDs while I pursue my own interests in the evenings/weekends. I'd have to give up my hobbies if we split.

Tonight he said something about us moving back to his country and my heart leapt, thinking that if he really wants to go home that would be the solution to my problems.

It's not good, is it?

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 10-Sep-12 23:56:22

But on the other hand, it seems cruel to stay together, when I have to admit the most obvious reason I have for keeping him is so he can look after the DDs while I pursue my own interests in the evenings/weekends.

I know.

I have lived a more and more separate life from dh. But in doing so I have separated myself more from my dds and you are doing the same. Are you missing out on them because you don't want to be around dh and find the family unit oppressive/stultifying?

Beware. When you have a baby or a toddler everyone tells you to make the most of it because the time will pass so quickly. And then it does, and you can hardly believe it. My elder one is 12 and suddenly no longer a little girl. My sweet, sunny baby sulks, has hissy fits and rolls her eyes at me. Where did she go?

It sounds awful but apart from all the big, important reasons to stay with dh (keeping the family unit together, not being totally crippled financially) I like you have looked at the 'benefits' of having a partner who does the supermarket run, changes the bedsheets, mows the grass etc. Of course I would do all these things if he didn't, but I don't wish I had to do them. And he brings me a cup of tea in bed every morning. Heartbreakingly he has carried on doing this since we agreed to separate, which was completely against his wishes.

My feelings are too mixed up to want to see him with someone else yet

But I kind of hope that if I looked into a crystal ball I could see him happy in the future with someone who really loves him in the way I feel unable to.

For myself, I have no desire to replace him with another partner, I just want to be free to be my own person.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 11-Sep-12 00:05:48

And Apty I know exactly what you mean when you talk about looking at your dh and seeing him in an unguarded moment looking really sad. It is heartbreaking.

There seem to be a lot of us in this situation. It's not dramatic, is it? No affairs, no dv, no secret phones, facebooking of exes, gambling. Just slowly withering away and shrinking in dead relationships and hating ourselves for wanting and needing to escape when it feels like no-one else wants us to. Whose life is it anyway? I feel everyone on here is moral and decent and that's the problem in many ways. It's so hard to bring yourself to discard someone. It sounds self indulgent but I can hardly bear it for dh that I'm rejecting him. I want to write to my MIL because I love her but I don't know what to say. I feel so awful for not wanting her son and how hurtful it must be sad

Every time I start feeling excited about my new life on my own I feel massive guilt and that it's wrong and immoral to feel excited.

Early start tomorrow so off to bed now.

justoverit Tue 11-Sep-12 00:22:28

Wow, how timely. I've been thinking about this very dilemma tonight and came on here to see if anyone had a relevant thread. Sorry, i don't have much advice but I do really identify.

I'm in counselling and its helping to get my thoughts together somewhat but on a daily, sometimes hourly basis I swing between - it's ok, let 's make a go of it, he's not that bad, and "I hate him and my life with him and want to leave". We have 2 young dc and he has depression and a drinking problem, though he's currently in recovery. He is a complex and difficult man who can be very loving but is very selfish and has clocked up such bad behaviour over the years we've been together. Now that he's sober more stable and being a better dad I just can't stop thinking about all the shitty things he's done and said to me over the years and how terribly selfish he was when the kids were babies.

I hate that it's just whlrling round my head all the time and every time we argue I go straight to thinking of separating. But i'm financially dependent on him too, and have trouble picturing myself actually leaving and living on my own with the dc. Anyway i'm going to bed now but will keep on the thread tomorrow. Good luck to all of you going through similar times..

MrsJohnMurphy Tue 11-Sep-12 00:51:26

Wow tired, so much of what you write rings a massive bell with me. I told Dp I wanted to separate 2 nights ago, we have been here a couple of times before, but usually the yawning chasm of alone-hood makes me capitulate and submit to his utter refusal to accept that I actually mean it sad.

His behaviour over the last 2 days has nailed the lid on the coffin though, I told him I wanted to split, I got up the next morning and he avoided me for the whole of the next day, fair enough I thought, he is hurt and wants time to process so kept out of his way.

The next day, he woke me up with breakfast hmm I was very cool with him, because I know from experience any sign of civility is seen by him as a "oh yay she didn't mean it, back to normality, I can give her the occasional hug and cup of tea and live again in my little no worries bubble".

He tried little advances all through the day, without you know actually talking to me. He then announced he was off to bed, I then broke and asked him why the fuck had he not even mentioned my comments.

He said, "oh you said you wanted to split the other night, so I was in a really bad mood with you" I mean WTAF?

I explained that yes I actually do want to split, he then said that he would look for somewhere to live and that the children will suffer. Oh not before saying that I hate him, which I don't, he spent a lot of time staring at the carpet and not a lot of time talking to me, which is basically the whole reason why I want to split.

Grrrrrr

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 11-Sep-12 10:34:40

justoverit I can identify with the trajectory of your marriage breakdown. My dh was very absorbed in work troubles when dc were small.

He was good with them but grumpy and critical with me. I was lonely in a big house in a new town where I knew no one. I railed at him to change. Warned him countless times that he was destroying things. I asked for counselling with him. Nothing changed and he refused counselling. Things changed when my unhappiness progressed to saying I wanted a divorce.

He has tried really hard to change and mostly succeeded. But it is too late. I have been a cow to him in recent years. He blames THIS for the marriage breakdown while of course I see things differently. I've found it so hard to forgive him for as I see it trashing things and destroying the love I felt for him.

I didn't want things to end up like this. I feel heartbroken that the marriage has 'failed'. But because I have instigated it I have to carry the can.

ThistlePetal Tue 11-Sep-12 18:42:41

Went to relationship counselling today. After listening again to all the ways my DH says he is going to change "because this is what Thistle wants", and both me and the counsellor saying "but that is not what Thistle says she needs from this relationship, and you need to change for yourself, and only if you really want to", I finally said that I think we should move on and start planning our separation.

Having said the words out loud, and having witnessed his reaction (understandably upset, wondering aloud how to move all his stuff out, and how to tell the kids), I now feel even more racked with guilt. And for the first time in a couple of weeks, I am also starting to question whether I'm doing the right thing. The counsellor has suggested we go away and discuss whether to separate or give our relationship more time. We all acknowledged that I am still not feeling a "spark". And I said (again) that I can't believe he'd want to be with someone who didn't feel a spark for him sad. I do feel very sorry for him.

That said, I still can't see me being happy within our marriage. I can't imagine having fun with him, or him taking back any responsibility for anything in our relationship (which is my biggest issue with him). I still think the way we are with each other right now is damaging for our DCs to witness.

So what do I do? Not really looking for answers, just a bit of empathy!

MrsJohn, like yours, my DH would love to sweep all this under the carpet and pretend that everything is normal. So I feel I can't even be civil to him without it being misconstrued as everything being suddenly ok again.

Tiredof, like you say, I am currently being a cow to DH. And he WILL blame our marriage breakdown on this, not the years of emotional and physical absence on his part. I too feel it is too late to save this marriage, but I know the responsibility for ending it will fall to me anyway, as everything else has.

Comfy, hope you get some assurance and clarity from this thread - I know I have.

Athendof Wed 12-Sep-12 00:25:19

Thistle, I am not going to say that I'm sorry things have come down to this, as this may be the beginning of a happier life. But just wanted to share something some one told me that may help to ease your guilt.

Some one told me that "love" was like a garden, in order for it to grow and flourish, it needs to be taken care of, somebody has to tend to it in order for it to be ok. But as a garden... there is no point in watering it once the plants are already dead.

I believe the "spark" is nothing else but "admiration' for the other person, once the admiration is gone, it is very hard to recover even if they end up doing what you thought it needed to be done. Sometimes is simply too late.

He had his chance, he blew it, you started moving on long time ago, he didn't pay attention to the signs or act to change things. He might be surprised and hurt, but I am sure it is not as if he had not had thousands of any warnings.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 12-Sep-12 00:45:09

Tiredof, like you say, I am currently being a cow to DH. And he WILL blame our marriage breakdown on this, not the years of emotional and physical absence on his part. I too feel it is too late to save this marriage, but I know the responsibility for ending it will fall to me anyway, as everything else has.

I don't think you will ever be able to change his mind either. He sounds like my dh - an ostrich. I have ranted and raved at dh trying to get him to accept some responsibility. I've tried to bargain with him, saying I will take 50% of the blame if so will he.

It's pointless. It will never work and my only option is to try not to care.

Had a horrible conversation with dh about money tonight. He let our estate agent (who's a c* and couldn't care less) talk him into lowering our asking price for the family home. The asking price is now at what we actually need to achieve. It doesn't take a genius to work out that lower asking price = lower offers. I'm really pissed off that he did this without discussing it with me because I think he's shafted us.

I've been postponing moving out and taking the plunge but I need to do it now. It's time to move things on.

Shellywelly1973 Wed 12-Sep-12 00:45:31

God,reading this thread is so weird...

I've been thinking about splitting up with dp for about 3 yrs on&off.

I read the posts on here&it makes me realise dp does nothing for me. Its my house, financially Im not dependant on him. I was a single parent for 10 years before i met him,13 years ago.

We have 3dc. He is an absolutely crap dad. He only engages with youngest ds.

He's not abusive,violent or a cheater. He's emotionally with drawn,not supportive in any respect. Almost totally indifferent to me realise&dc...

Its time to live again&i no its time he went. He'll never understand me,never really has but i need to live not lurch from day to day...

Athendof Wed 12-Sep-12 01:00:48

Tired, is the house on both your names?? if so ask your h to call the state agent tomorrow to keep the price back at what it was, and tell him you have not authorised the reduction on price, even if he gets a lower offer, you cannot be forced to sign (unless he takes you to court, and even so... it is unlikely)

hersuit Wed 12-Sep-12 01:10:12

God, so much of this thread is resonating very loudly. The indecision, the terrible guilt...I've never said out loud that I think we should separate but I know in my heart it's the truth and I'm devastated about it.

I feel so sad for him, that lovely, lovely man who works so hard to take care of me and keep me happy. He's an incredible person and my best friend and I will always love him but I'm certain our sexual relationship is over for good.

I think he would carry on forever this way but I can't do that to him. He deserves to be loved properly. I don't want it for me either.

This is shit, isn't it? It's really not the easy way out. I've felt this way for at least 5 years, and no amount of wishing we were still happy together or even working at our relationship, counselling, whatever has changed that fact.

And yet I think I just can't do this to my family- I worry so much about DS1, he's very sensitive and will be heart broken if we separate sad

I wonder if maybe I've made my bed & should lie in it/ that I'll be letting a lot of people down/ that our parents will be upset/ that I'm a failure for not being able to make it work...Seems like an awful lot of waves to make just because I'm not all that happy.

Athendof Wed 12-Sep-12 01:49:10

Oh people! I really feel sad at reading your messages as it reminds me of the situation that I was in for 8 of the 10 years my marriage lasted.

The truth is, you will never know if splitting/staying is the right decision, even after years of happiness after the split, you may find yourself wondering if things would have been different if only... (fill the blank).

Yes, life after divorce is not particularly easy, especially if you have taken the decision to stop working to care for the family. But is doable. Yes, children get upset and take some time to adjust to the situation but they do adjust and in most occasions they grow up happier away of the daily grind of resentment that stems from staying in an unhappy marriage out of duty, guilt, financial fears, responsibility or even a spirit of self sacrifice. Really, my son is much better of living with separated parents than he was seeing us so fed up with each other all the time.

And contrary to what many may think, if you are going to split anyway, the sooner the better, children find it easier to cope with divorce the younger they are.

I remember my last years as a married woman and even with all the challenges that being a lone parent brings, the difference is enormous, I look years younger, I have dreams, I have a lot of financial problems but I still have no regrets as my life is not perfect but there is HOPE. This little word brings all the significance to my life, after spending 8 years taking one day at a time. Simply, I was dead inside, now I am pretty much alive and looking forward to whatever fate throws at me.

Have a I found a better man? well, it depends what a "better man" means. Admittedly my ex was handsome, intelligent, rich, a good friendm and an extrovert who commanded a lot of respect. But, I was not happy with him. I knew I was not going to find anyone like him, but instead I found someone who wasn't like him but who has made me laugh non stop for over three years and who has been a father to my son in a way his dad never was. My ex, is now happy with another woman maybe thinking the same as I do: Why on Earth did we wait so long?

One thing that you get to know after divorce is that nothing is permanent. It may be that things change and I end up again on my own, but frankly, I much rather be sitting on my own by the seaside writing my memories with a Margarita in hand at 80, than waiting for someone to die to be free.

Life is short and we are not here to waste it.

MrsJohnMurphy Wed 12-Sep-12 02:14:47

It's really really hard to split up with someone who doesn't want to be split up with confused, I feel like I'm back to square one after a nice day choosing dd's birthday present. No air has been cleared, no resolutions reached, dp obviously thinks that the state of the relationship is a-ok confused.

Honestly what Woman on earth, after her dp telling her that they wanted to leave would not actually bother to ask why? I'm guessing very few. Then proceed to take any signs of communication and co-parenting from said dp as signs that they can 100% ignore everything they have said.

I am trapped, frigging trapped unless I find it in myself to actually leave.

Athendof Wed 12-Sep-12 08:26:19

That's the thing mrsjohn, nobody wants to be the 'executor' who puts anc end to the marriage, i talked for years about divorce without my ex acknowledging what I was saying. He just said 'we are not doing bad', i just needed not to carry the responsibility of the split and so he didn't. At the end is all about courage, you need a lot if it to take the plunge,

If you are going to leave, build on your independancc and leave when you are ready, if you are going to stay, take the steps to make things better, what is not an option is to stay in the middle feeling miserable about the marriage.

If it helps. Many divorced women will agree that it was far more difficult to take the decision to leave than dealing with the consequences of it.

jojoanna Wed 12-Sep-12 08:33:37

MrsJohnMurphy I have wanted my DH to leave for years and he never will.

Just sits depressed saying ever day he's going to die soon, hates his job etc etc. I told him to give up drinking and now he says I have taken his only pleasure away.

I spend all my life on eggshells in case I say the wrong thing.

I do my own thing a lot. Went on holiday with girlfriends see people socially without him. Saves me worrying if he's drinking and chatting women up.

Unless I find it in myself to leave I live in a house with a man who does the shopping and mows the lawn.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 12-Sep-12 10:13:27

Athendof the house is in his name only.

I don't think he realised what a daft strategy it was lowering the price. We haven't had a lot of viewings and the agent persuaded him that it would generate more interest. But realistically, you don't lower your price to attract a higher offer do you?

The offer we've turned down looks like a good one relative to our present asking price. I would never have done this without talking to him first. I can't believe how stupid it is.

He's in bad shape financially with the recession and may soon be out of a job. I will start earning in two years. A house has been bought for me, but I won't earn a lot at first. He's going to give me a lump sum to tide me over. Last night he said I might after that have to sell my house and use the money to live on or 'give him some money' if he is unable to pay maintenance. He doesn't seem to grasp that it has to be a clean break and I don't want him trying to get me to sell the house later on if he's not working. I don't want to make it a home and get settled there with dc if I won't be able to stay.

I need a solicitor, don't I? sad

Athendof Wed 12-Sep-12 12:37:04

Yes, you really need a solicitor and quick, you really need to establish ASAP that you are separated (if you are) because if you buy a new house before that happens, the new house will be counted as a marital asset not yours only.

I would think the only way you can prevent him from selling the house before the divorce is also for it to be clear that you are already separated (he cannot simply dispose of marital assets without your agreement).

Why don't you ask the agent to ring the people who put the offer you rejected to ring them again to say you are accepting? if they are still looking perhaps that is the most cost effective way out.

I understand that lowering the price may leave you both in a more vulnerable position, but, if the house sells quicker it may turn the cheaper option in the long run.

You really need to move quick, if he is unemployed you may end up worse off, than if you divorce while he has a job. Maintenance doesn't come into the equation as he has to pay what he has to pay, but if he is in bad shape he can make a claim on the value of your new house.

Apty Wed 12-Sep-12 14:11:55

athendof that's a really useful post about your life now and not wasting life being unhappy. I suppose it's so hard because none of us can quite believe that life the other side will really be any happier - and for some of us I suppose we're worrying that it will actually be harder. It's a big risk to take isn't it.

Jojoanna you sound like me! I've come to seriously believe that doing the shopping and mowing the lawn is some indespensable thing that I should be hugely grateful for. I'm only just realising that I can do all that, I'd swap the cooking and the lawn mowing for some support or understanding - and without it, I think I'd rather do those things by myself.

I'm very scared that I've done the wrong thing, but I know I won't really know for a while, I have to give myself a chance. I think that the pressure of coping with his depression and unpredictability / coldness / moods will show me what I can be like and if life is easier and I feel stronger and braver.

deleted203 Wed 12-Sep-12 14:23:00

I knew the time had come to split with my ex-husband when it occurred to me after 13 years together that if someone had told me we would still be together in 30 years time that I would slit my wrists that night.....it's always horrible to make that decision - I dithered for years for sake of kids, despite ex being a nightmare to live with. He was moody, unsupportive, critical, but I was terrified of being lonely, struggling financially, effect on the children and all the other 101 things we fear. But you DO cope with divorce. I won't say it's easy, it's bloody tough at times, but 14 years down the line I am settled, happy and re-married to a wonderful man. Good luck to all who are struggling, hope life gets better.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 12-Sep-12 17:38:55

if you buy a new house before that happens, the new house will be counted as a marital asset not yours only.

It's too late. A house has been bought already. It's in my sole name. I haven't moved in yet.

On a brighter note, the people who'd offered on the family home upped their offer today and we have accepted.

I honestly don't think dh will shaft me because he wants the kids to be OK and they need a home with me as well as with him. Maybe that's naive. I will get a half hour free with a solicitor anyway.

suburbophobe Wed 12-Sep-12 19:29:34

I'm sometimes very lonely or sad or worried, but at other times I'm happy

Well said. I think this is part of the human condition.

I think expecting someone else to make you happy in life, you never will be. Because you are just projecting your expectations onto that person, and of course it's a 2-way street...

I just prefer being single (at least each having our own place...).

ThistlePetal Wed 12-Sep-12 20:51:37

Athendof, thanks for sharing your experiences, and I like the garden analogy, very true. Sowornout, good to hear from someone else who has successfully come out the other side, thank you too.

I am feeling less angry and under pressure today - up to yesterday I was sure I wanted to separate immediately and my biggest fear was that I wouldn't be able to keep a lid on it until DS' birthday at the end of the month. Don't know if I'm just feeling worn out with it all, or whether I'm thinking I still need to try to make one final effort within our marriage..... But the thought of that still feels me with dread. Maybe 3 months, but i can't imagine 3 years. Maybe I'm just feeling sorry and guilty for DH. And maybe I'm just not feeling so trapped today because he isn't here!

Suburb, that's an interesting point re happiness. I have been wondering today if I'm projecting my unhappiness on to him and he's just a convenient scapegoat. But I have been doing lots of work on myself and my self esteem, and have made great leaps and bounds in many ways, so it would seem odd that I'm doing that more now than before.... And on the flip side, he doesn't seem to have any great expectations of happiness, he would be happy just to have me in the marriage. I do wish his expectations were higher, I might have something to aspire to?

So for now I'm going to reflect a bit more, do a bit more research on finances, benefits etc, and bide my time. My emotions are all over the place yet again.

Hugs and good luck to you all. I'll be reading how you're all getting on. And probably posting soon with a competent different set of thoughts....

ThistlePetal Wed 12-Sep-12 20:52:46

Tiredof, well done on selling the house - onwards for you now smile

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 12-Sep-12 21:23:17

Thanks Thistle. I feel sad as well. It's the end of an era and the start of a new, uncertain future.

This is shit, isn't it? It's really not the easy way out. I've felt this way for at least 5 years, and no amount of wishing we were still happy together or even working at our relationship, counselling, whatever has changed that fact.

This sums it up for me.

I can see how I can move on, but I don't think I will ever lose the regret I feel that we haven't managed to make things work. Dh and I have these two amazing children together and no one else can ever share that. We both love them dearly. It's such a shame we can't love each other and be a happy family. I think we do love each other, but not in a way that works for us.

I heard a Christmas tune on the telly today and thought 'fuck, what the hell's going to happen at Christmas?'

It suddenly feels cold and autumnal as well, and that just adds to the general feeling of melancholy sad

Athendof Wed 12-Sep-12 23:31:03

Good to hear the house is sold. My advice, Talk to the solicitor with the info on hand about the equity of both if they were to be sold, take info about his and your income too, and about any other asset either of you have. And ask the solicitor what would you be likely to get if things get nasty, if the difference is not much, i would advice to take whatever your husband is offering now and run with it. Don't tell him about your visit to the solicitor, if he is being generous you really want to keep him that way. And remember, the thing that you have to protect the most after the split is not whatever assets that may belong to each of you but the Good will and the communication channels, as if you keep in good terms, life after divorce is substantially easier: You need to keep the communication flowing in order to be able to co parent effectively after divorce.

Athendof Wed 12-Sep-12 23:36:57

Christmas is difficult but it is not the end if the world. Most people take turns in spending time with the children on Christmas day one year and boxing day the other.

We kept spending Christmas together for 2 years after the split for the sake of DS, then as we moved on, we agreed on an alternate Christmas pattern. The key is to organise something, tag along with friends or family, go for a holiday but don't spend the time on your own.

ComfySlipperGirl Thu 13-Sep-12 07:02:45

he doesn't seem to have any great expectations of happiness, he would be happy just to have me in the marriage. I do wish his expectations were higher, I might have something to aspire to?

Yes! This!! My DH seems so resigned to a mediocre life, and I want so much more for us. He's a real Eeyore and just never seems happy, which really drags me down.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange - I don't go out in the evenings to get away from the family, don't worry about that. I have hobbies that pre-date any marital woes - I'm just someone who needs personal space and interests. I'm only out two evenings a week, once the DDs are in bed.

I may well suggest to DH that we go to Relate or similar. I just don't think he realises how unhappy I am with how he's withdrawing more and more into himself. He may not even realise he's doing it. I certainly owe him that chance.

jojoanna Thu 13-Sep-12 09:28:31

Yes Eeyore exactly. My DH is never happy. it is making me depressed and I am not even a depressed person. Yesterday I went shopping to Waitrose and was anticipating him moaning that

A) I should not have gone shopping in the first place it's his job
B) I should have gone to Tesco.

Then I rang up to make a hospital appointment for him and he said oh your just making sure I don't drop dead in a way that suggested he would like to drop dead.

I will be glad to go back to work.

JazleEd Thu 13-Sep-12 09:38:41

<<Im with the should i stay or should I go group>>

cannotseeaway Thu 13-Sep-12 13:30:52

I have at long last plucked up the courage to post here, I have been following this thread, and it has given me hope for my life in general and made me feel very depressed about the demise of my feelings for my DP in turn.

My DP is not abusive at all, lets me see my friends and have outside interests, he is a complete manchild and has made some mistakes over the years, but I just don't "want" him anymore, and am currently trying to work through my feelings to see if I can get them back. I'm not sure I can sad. I told him I didn't think I was in love with him any more 4 weeks ago, and since then he has been trying so hard to make a difference it breaks my heart to see it, but it just does not seem to be helping my feelings.

I wish I could change how I feel, because he is a lovely guy, we laugh together most days, we have a happy family unit, he has started doing his fair share around the house and taking more responsibility. I just feel like such a bitch for still wanting to leave. I am having counselling but it is only making me feel more bleak about the future of our relationship, because it has made me realise how much anger I have towards him and how I'm sure we're pretty doomed.

Most people on the relationships board seem to have a concrete reason for wanting to leave, I don't feel like I have anymore.

We got pregnant very early on in our relationship and now have 2 dc aged 15m and 4y. He is shit with money, and is still a little boy in so many ways. I feel very responsible for his happiness. He emotionally pressurised me for sex for so long (after a difficult labour with dc1), and spent so long groping me like a teenager even though I asked him not to, that although he has now seen his mistakes and is doing his best to rectifythem, I can't get past it, and have lost all lust for him and feel sick when he touches me. How do you tell someone that? How do you get past it? Answers on a postcard please.

I had a thread on here recently but asked for it to be deleted cos I was so scared OH would find it and find out the truth about how I feel, even though I have namechanged from my usual name. That is how responsible for his happiness I feel, I don't even feel entitled to express my feelings anonymously, that is why it has taken me so long to post on here.

ladyWordy Thu 13-Sep-12 16:04:42

cannot ... this is what you say you're dealing with ...
 - Pressurised for sex
- Groped when you asked him not to
 - Feel responsible for his happiness
 - Don't  even feel entitled to express your feelings anonymously 

...so from this  post alone, the problems are more serious than you think. Looks as if your feelings have been extinguished by him. sad

Don't feel bad about making tracks out of there.

cannotseeaway Thu 13-Sep-12 16:51:18

I feel like if he finds out the truth about how much I just don't fancy him, there is no going back, and I have blown our family out of the water. He is very insecure at the moment (understandably) since I told him I don't know if I love him anymore and I know he has been checking my Facebook, and he knows I come on here a lot. He also makes me feel guilty if I make him feel bad by bringing up difficulties in our relationship. That's why I feel I can't express myself fully to him.

He has admitted the way he was acting before was wrong and that he has been a twunt with money, that he will stop pressurising me for sex, give me space, start being more responsible and grown up, yadeyadeyadee, but when he is telling me all this I can see his mouth moving and I just feel nothing. All I feel is guilt, and sorry for him, and scared of the future. Maybe that is a sign that I know for sure I should leave.

Like other posters here and OP I often feel like our relationship and life is somewhere between tolerable and good, how the hell do you leave someone that you get on well with and treats the dc really well and is making efforts to change his behaviours that you have cited as being the ones that make you want to leave him?

spookytoo Thu 13-Sep-12 20:04:50

I think maybe you need to be able to laugh together at things. It doesn't sound as if you do and I have no idea how you bring that into a relationship as I have this problem myself.
Does anyone else have any suggestions?

fridakahlo Thu 13-Sep-12 21:36:44

I just got told "This is going to ruin my career" , in reference to me leaving him and, presumably, not wanting him to over here with our kids long term.
hmm

hersuit Fri 14-Sep-12 08:27:40

Cannot, I feel almost exactly the same. I just don't want to be in a relationship with DH anymore.

He's my best friend and a wonderful person but I too feel repulsed by his sexual advances. I thought it was issues of my own for a long time but the more counselling I have, and the better I feel about myself, the more I feel like it's over sad

I'm heartbroken about it, and wracked with guilt too. I told him we need to talk on Sunday and his face lit up, said he thought it would be lovely to spend some time alone sad sad He clearly has no idea what I'm thinking...

Apty Fri 14-Sep-12 09:13:25

I get the sick and heartbroken feeling. I just don't know how I feel about dh because I can't get the bad things into any kind of perspective, and then he has a period of being so nice again and I don't know how I'm supposed to react.

Hoping this time apart will give me clarity, I know I'll miss him, I know i'll be relieved not to have to manage his moods anymore. I'm scared of having all the responsibility for everything and how I'll manage with jobs and children and all the things that need doing.

This doesn't feel like the easy option but I know that I'm becoming more unwell the longer I stay living with him.

cannotseeaway Fri 14-Sep-12 09:43:22

sad Frida, do you think he is trying to come up with reasons for you to stay, or has it gone past that?

hersuit I am 2 sessions in to a 5-session block of counselling at the moment, which was originally meant to be about me talking about my issues with sex. We have only had sex 4 or 5 times since dd was conceived (she's 16mo). The sessions have ended up with me just talking about him and our relationship, so I am beginning to see that the issue is not me and my sex problems at all, but that my lack of interest in sex is a symptom of our problems.

We had a massive talk last night, I talked about my feelings of resentment that had come up in yesterday's counselling session and about how angry I am with him for making me be the parent in the relationship. We talked about his other long-term relationship before me, which he has never spoken about much. It turns out that he finished with her because he felt that he loved her more than she loved him and he was pushing her away. Sounds like history has repeated itself sad.

He says he is going to grow up and start taking more responsibilty, and that he doesn't want to be alone. I feel like I should give him a chance to make changes, but at the moment it does not feel like it is going to change my feelings much, and to be honest, I doubt his ability to change in the long term.

Apty, stick with it, it sounds like you are being really strong and true to yourself at the moment. You are bound to feel a bit wobbly. I am scared of the same feelings if I leave DP, as I am so indecisive in most areas of my life! I think it is only natural to feel unsure of whether you have made the right decision if you end a serious relationship, unless there are definite reasons, such as abuse, for leaving.

Apty Fri 14-Sep-12 09:52:57

cannot there has been abuse in this relationship but it really doesn't make it any clearer or more straightforward for me - because there's mental health issues and then periods when things are better and he can be very nice and we get on - the abuse is never acknowledged so it just stays with me and I try to get over it. It's really unsettling - that's the worst bit, the crazy sense that I don't know what could happen, while being with someone who seems to be acting normally again.

It sounds like you're being really strong and facing up to your feelings and talking to your partner and being clear about what's going on for you - that does sound positive, that he wants to change and sort it out - do you feel like it's too late?

cannotseeaway Fri 14-Sep-12 10:09:59

Sorry Apty I should have read your earlier posts properly again before commenting. I realise after thinking on it that even if there has been abusive behaviour there must often be a grey area regarding whether to stay or go for a lot of people still. I don't think that I could stay in a relationship where I was wondering if my other half was going to become abusive again, even if he was acting normally.

I do feel it may be a bit too late for me and DP, yes. I wish it wasn't and I wish I had been more open with him years ago. I withdrew and simmered in a massive ball of resentment for so long, and I really could not put my finger on what he was doing wrong; they all seemed like really small things when taken on face value.

Apty Fri 14-Sep-12 10:30:29

It's only in the last few months that I've even considered the behaviour to have been abusive. I really thought I could just handle it differently and it would change.

Have you tried the too good to leave too bad to stay book?

cannotseeaway Fri 14-Sep-12 10:38:57

No, I haven't, although it was recommended to me on the thread I started a few weeks ago. I don't think my OH would like me reading it (God, that sounds bad, doesn't it?) and would notice an Amazon delivery. I may order it to be delivered to my work address though.

Apty Fri 14-Sep-12 12:22:49

Have you got a kindle?

cannotseeaway Fri 14-Sep-12 12:27:23

No, I am a luddite when it comes to books grin

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 14-Sep-12 16:57:44

Apty I can identify a lot with your pain and indecision. You are right to go ahead and strike on your own and see if time will answer the question, I think.

I mean to do the same. I don't know if this is the end for my marriage but I know I need space and freedom to find clarity. There is a huge temptation, all the time, to ask dh if he wants to come with me/us. I wonder if a new start in a new home could be the answer. And it is the path of least resistance because I am afraid of being on my own. But I, and you, need to see what it is really like. If I weakened and said these things to dh he would grab onto my coattails. I think I would feel held back and we would only transfer our problems to a new location.

And there would be the huge regret of not taking the braver step of trying out freedom having got really close to it. I haven't been through all this agony to capitulate now. Nor must you. Stick with it x

Apty Fri 14-Sep-12 18:10:31

Hmm it's an easy trap to fall into though isn't it - new house, new start, if he only had a different job, if the neighbours were different, if the house was bigger, if we just changed something external, everything might be better. Everyone has said that if Dh enjoyed his job he'd be happier and therefore easeir and less depressed etc etc - but I've been waiting and I can't make those changes for him - we had the same problems in a different home, we'd have the same problems again if we moved or if he did manage to find a new job, I kind of know that.

Freedom is such an appealing word, but I don't know what it means - it doesn't sound possible. It's just replacing one lot of pressures with another isn't it? I'm going to really struggle for money and juggling childcare with several jobs, it's just overwhelming knowing what's coming up and still feeling like i'm recovering from what's happened.

ThistlePetal Fri 14-Sep-12 20:47:08

Knew I wouldn't be able to not post for long.....

A few days on from our last counselling session and I'm feeling as trapped as ever. DH is back, I have been pleasant (because I am a nice person, and our kids are here) and I just know he won't instigate a "big conversation" because he's hoping that everything is "returning to normal". (Tiredof, it's that thing of him hanging onto cocktails, isn't it?) So I can either carry on as if I didn't actually say that I want to start planning for separation, or I can start the conversation and feel like the big mean nasty wife again.

I've been thinking about changing things to try to make it work - moving house, etc. But it's just putting off the inevitable, isn't it?

I don't know what freedom feels like either, and I don't know if I'm brave enough to find out. I feel so run down just now, I can't carry on this pretence forever. And I know I can manage on my own.

But what if I find that I'm just as run down without him? What if it turns out the problem is just me and not him?

Sorry, this is a pointless rant! In any case, I'm going away for the weekend, and even if DH asks for a chat this evening (his usual tactic is to start sharing his feelings as i turn my light off) I'll be putting it off until Monday. Hopefully getting away, away (no DH, no DC) will help me sort my foggy head out a bit.

PS Cannot, if you have an iPhone/iPad, you can download the kindle app and read your book that way. I may have been one of the people who recommended it to you, it is definitely worth a look smile

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 14-Sep-12 21:59:51

Freedom is such an appealing word, but I don't know what it means - it doesn't sound possible. It's just replacing one lot of pressures with another isn't it? I'm going to really struggle for money and juggling childcare with several jobs

I know what you mean. I am going to be SKINT and I'm crap with money, admin, practical stuff. I'm also doing a v demanding uni course, which will lead to an even more demanding job at the end of it in two years' time. At which time both dd will likely be hormonal horrors.

But I've watched a lot of threads and there seem to be many women who think that trading financial security and ease with emotional and psychological freedom is a no-brainer once you are on the other side and know what it's like.

Dogstar1 Sat 15-Sep-12 13:21:06

I'm new on here and just spied this thread. I wanted to briefly share my experience. For a very long time I was in the 'should I stay or should I go?' category. My ex was emotionally abusive towards me but most people weren't even aware of it. To others on the outside he was a lovely bloke but its true what they say, 'no one knows what goes on behind closed doors'. He suffered with depression and I acknowledged this and did my best to help him for years. At one point his work was making him really miserable so I supported him when he gave up work, on the condition he sought help and at least attempted to get better. The result was years later he still didn't work, spent hours a day in bed (although he managed to get up and go out if it was something for him), he did nothing to help around the house, virtually nothing with our DD and became increasingly abusive towards me, although thankfully never physically, I couldn't do right for doing wrong. I was totally and utterly miserable, I dreaded getting out of bed on a morning and then found myself wishing the day away till bedtime. And yet still I debated with myself as what to do. I was very lucky to have an understanding friend who knew exactly what he was like and listened patiently while I worked through everything. The thought of spending the rest of my life in this situation filled me with dread and it had to change. I made the decision to end the relationship and have never looked back.

I took a long time to finally make my decision and after all that time I knew I had done the right thing especially when a week after the split my DD who was then 13 said to me "I'm glad you and Dad split up because now I don't have to worry about you".

Sometimes in life we have to make choices that not everyone agrees with or understands but ultimately in your gut you know what is best for you. Sometimes saying the words "its over" is the hardest part. Once the decision is made you just take the rest step by step. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Apty Sat 15-Sep-12 20:03:57

Thanks Dogstar, that's really helpful - so glad you did it and felt better - did you ever have any regrets? Sounds like you were really brave.

Dogstar1 Sat 15-Sep-12 21:22:18

I can hand on heart say I've never regretted it, I have peace of mind that I know what to expect when I wake up on a morning. It's a year since we split and are now divorced, I am very happily single, I genuinely enjoy being on my own after so long. I'm not against another relationship, I just don't feel the need to have anyone in my life. I was lucky that I was financially independent of him as I was the only one working and paid all the bills anyway. My only regret is that I didn't do it years ago but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The strange thing is we are still on reasonably good terms, it hasn't always been easy to maintain that but we always said we would try to keep things friendly because of our dd.

No one can tell you what you should do but I'm a firm believer that life always has a funny way of working itself out. Try to imagine yourself in 5, 10, 20 years time. Where do you see yourself? I can't answer that question, only you can but one thing I know, you deserve to be happy regardless of what path you choose.

Take care.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Sun 16-Sep-12 18:19:38

Hi everyone - just checking in. No real changes here. I asked dh if he'd consider counselling, on foot of advice from my own counsellor. She reckons we need help to separate. I'm not sure about that. A quick lotto win would solve the vast majority of my problems... The thought of the next two years are killing me. But until i get out from under my debt situation there's no hope of a second residence. He's not too keen on counselling but said he'd do it if I wanted to.

cannotseeaway Mon 17-Sep-12 10:58:15

Good to hear your positive story Dogstar.

It was our 5th anniversary of getting together yesterday, my DP was on majorly romantic mode and I was fluctuating between depression, feeling like my heart was being torn out, and appreciating the lovely things he did for me all day. A very confusing day. I had to keep a smile on my face all day and it was a massive struggle.

He has been making a big effort at home too, helping with the cooking, tidying up, getting bits from the shop. If he was being a twunt it would be so much more clear-cut sad. My feelings are still the same, even though we have been having more fun together over the last few days since our big chat.

How has your weekend away gone Thistlepetal?

I have just been re-reading this thread rather than working, and all of your experiences and advice to eachother are giving me so much to think about. Thanks thanks.

Feckbox Mon 17-Sep-12 20:19:10

Tired of, how are you? You sound a lot like me , but I'm still here , living with my dp and our kids wishing he would leave , lacking the guts to make a move myself

ThistlePetal Mon 17-Sep-12 21:15:30

My weekend away was good thanks smile, great to be away from it all with good friends. Came home to a very long and detailed email from DH in which he seems to be issuing an ultimatum. (Counsellor suggested any means of communication since DH away a lot and few opps to discuss).

Basically he wants us to try again in our marriage, in which case he will make lots of changes, but if I won't try then he feels has done all he can. And that he's not to blame for any of this. And that he'd like to know so he can move on and find another partner.

Don't know whether to laugh maniacally (*sp) or cry. I've responded to some of his points and he is coming home tonight so we can discuss during the day tomorrow, without risk of the DCs overhearing. I'm nervous of what the outcome will be, but relieved to finally be having a full discussion about it. I know he is very hurt right now and there is a fair degree of emotional blackmail in the email, but I'm trying to stay focussed on what's best for the me and the kids.

Sherry it sounds positive that your DH is at least considering counselling with you? How do you feel about it now?

Cannot your situation sounds so sad, but good to hear you are managing to have some fun together. That's what is so horribly lacking from our marriage but if you can get that back, do you feel there is some hope?

Dogstar you sound so contented, that's great - and it's also great that you're on such good terms with your ex. Can't see that happening for us if we split, it's already starting to get a bit nasty, so any advice you could give to nip that in the bud would be much appreciated smile .

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 17-Sep-12 21:38:58

I'd also like to thank Dogstar for being kind enough to post when she's moved on.

That post made me think though. Dogstar's dh sounds 'worse' than mine. Though there are others on here whose dhs sound 'better' than mine. I guess it's all irrelevant really, what counts is if you are happy or can imagine being happy in the future and feel you have things to look forward to.

Feck, thanks for asking. I've just come on here because I'm feeling stressed out and I thought I'd see if the thread was still alive. I'm procrastinating about moving out. Dh is in no hurry to see me go. Little things are stopping me...

1) I spent absolutely AGES half-killing myself decorating the big sitting room in my new house. I used a litre of filler, did all the prep properly. Chose a lovely colour. After one coat it looked great, but on close scrutiny a little of the underlying white showed through as specks. I'd run out of paint, so bought some more and did a second coat. It looks like shit because the second tin of paint wasn't the same colour (it should have been). So it looks patchy. I've taken the paint back and they gave me some more and a refund but I really wanted to have one room looking nice before I moved in so knowing I need to do the walls again is a nuisance and I don't want to move in until it's done (or am I just making excuses?)

2) I need bedroom curtains and I haven't got any. I'm not going to sleep much without them.

3) I can't bring myself to organise moving. My office is a mess and I need to sort it all out. I need to order packing boxes and start packing. I can't get my head round getting a removals company in and saying I want them to take the odd piece of furniture here and there. And I can't face doing all this with dh around, it seems so cruel.

4) I'm back at Uni and I have hardly any time for anything now.

5) I've got an au pair lined up and I need to tell her to book a flight and give the poor girl some dates. But I can't until I know when I'm moving in.

This is crazy, isn't it?

I'm really scared. I'm scared I won't know how to work the heating in the new house. I'm scared I won't like it when I'm on my own. There is no telly or internet. I go over there and let myself in, it's still empty and every time there is a new letter on the mat re council tax, TV licence etc. I feel engulfed by it all.

This is bloody pathetic, isn't it?

Dh's twin has offered him a long term loan which would help financially a lot. I can't urge him to take it but I wish he would. It would give him a bigger budget to find a house, he's really struggling to find anything to go and see at the moment.

Family home is actually under offer now, so it's definitely all going to happen.

I can hardly believe it and keep feeling like begging dh to come too.

God, I'm hopeless sad

Feckbox Mon 17-Sep-12 22:44:16

tired, I get it, I really do.
I have projected into my ( single) future and amongst the (pathetic) things that hold me back, are
a) internet access/ internet problems ( DP is a techie whizz)
b) painting and decorating ( One of his fortes)

so allow me a sympathetic and wry smile at your predicament.
feel free to PM me

Dogstar1 Tue 18-Sep-12 00:01:04

Hi, thanks to you all for your kind words.

Thistle The only advice I can give you on keeping things civil for when you split is to sit your DH down and say that for the sake of the kids you want to at least be able to talk about stuff regarding them without arguing. Even if it involves arguments initially say you would hope when its all sorted you can both behave like mature adults for their sake. Explain how you'd like to be able to keep him updated on things like school or what they are up to but you won't be able to do that if he is being nasty and cos he's a good dad you know he'd be disappointed not to hear those things. Make it sound like you are doing him a favour, he might not be as confrontational then. Not sure if it will work but worth a try.

tiredof It can all be very daunting but I find the best thing to do is make a list. Write down everything you need to do and sort out, then work through it one thing at a time. I can understand you wanting everything decorated but it really doesn't matter if its not done. As long as you have somewhere clean to live the painting can wait. It's a year since my ex moved out and I decided to paint the stairs myself, got half of it done and then gave up. I'll get back to it eventually but tbh I don't care. So what if my stairs are multi coloured, its not the end of the world. Just so you know, Argos do some cheap curtains, buy the cheapest you can find for your bedroom, they'll do for now. I had pink walls and green curtains for ages lol.

Feck Again with painting and decorating, its actually not that difficult and as I said above, not the end of the world if it doesn't get done. With regard to internet access etc, again pretty easy to figure out and if you can't do it ask about, there is bound to be someone who can help or will know someone else who can.

Hope this helps, things do get better, I promise.

Apty Tue 18-Sep-12 20:03:38

Tiredof, I get the overwhelming feeling of all the things you will have to do and worrying whether you can do them.

Dh has gone, and it's the start of everthing being different, and so far, the bits I think I can't do have been ok. I'm managing children and work and practical stuff - it's tiring and sometimes scary, but I can only live hour by hour at the moment, and as something comes up, I just have to deal with it. I feel very sad a lot of the time as it's all very new and I'm still coming to terms with my decision, but I also feel relieved and a little bit excited - I'm moved things around and made the place feel different and nice, it all feels totally possible right now.

cannotseeaway Thu 20-Sep-12 13:35:12

Hi all, feel like I should start my own thread really, but you all seem like such a supportive lot to moan on at, share my woes with. I hope everyone is okay, and that those of you who have made decisive moves recently are coping ok.

Thistle thanks for your comment, it is really good that we can have fun together still, but it makes everything so confusing. I am not sure if it does give us hope, it just makes me feel such a bitch. I kind of feel now like he is a wonderful friend, but that I don't want him to be a sexual partner, although he is a partner to me in so many other ways. I don't think a relationship should have the sex bit missing long term to be healthy, but I basically can't stand him touching me sad sad. I don't fancy him at all sad.

He has been really helpful since last Thursday's big chat, around the house, giving me general support, making a real effort. The thing is that with this he has been trying to get all smoochy, and I have been trying for his sake but kissing / touching etc just leaves me cold. He says that every time he kisses me it blows his mind, and I am thinking about the kids / what's for tea / work sad.

The atmosphere has gone downhill between us since Wednesday morning. We have not talked about it yet as he was out last night. TMI ALERT I woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday night to him rubbing inbetween my legs, and my immediate, sleepy reaction was to push him off and shout "get the fuck off of me". He did, and I then don't remember anything else as I went straight back to sleep. I know from past experience he will tell me that he wasn't even aware that he was doing it. Now, I know from being a regular on Relationships, that many here would say this is assault, and I don't feel comfortable or good about it, as I have made it clear that I am finding the sexual side of our relationship difficult, and he has promised me he will back off. But, OTOH, I know that for many, and me too in previous relationships, this is a pleasant and perfectly acceptable way of being woken up by your partner. I guess I am just confused because I swing between being angry about it because he used to grope at me all of the time and this is one of the reasons our relationship has hit the doldrums, and thinking that it isn't really his fault, because in most relationships this is okay behaviour... isn't it?

No, it's not OK behaviour. It's a demonstration that he thinks he's entitled to have sex on you, and that he is going to keep trying to do so whether you like it or not.

It's also unsurprising that you are not interested in physical contact with him; being constantly touched and slobbered on and having to be on permanent alert to stay out of reach of his grabby hands and clammy cock is utterly off-putting. And it's worth bearing in mind that some men who constantly pester for sex don't actually want sex at all; what they want is to make you feel anxious, miserable and revolted.

PulledInTwo Thu 20-Sep-12 17:28:16

Hi all,

Can I join please. I think my name says it all! I'm switching between the relief at the thought of life without my H, and then feeling like I should give it yet another try for our 20 month old dd.

We had a huge talk a couple of weeks ago, where we both said we're at breaking point. H wants to try but I've been at this point before and he hasn't cared. It's only because hrs at breaking point now that he's 'committed' to changing.

I on the other hand am tiered of it all. If I could snap my fingers and be on the other side of separating from him, I honestly think I'd do it in a heart beat.

At the moment he's being all lovely, promising me everything he thinks I want, but at the back of my head I'm just thinking, I'm done, I want out, I want my own space, my freedom. I have no effort left to put in, and tbh I don't think I even want to.

Bit if background, we are each others first relationship, got together young and been together 9 years almost. So I have no idea how to end a relationship.

Sorry for spelling, on my phone.

Gotta go, he's back

cannotseeaway,

Would not stay for the sake of the child; it teaches the child that your relationship is based on a lie.

The child/children will then have two parents who don't get along, and so they can grow up in a dysfunctional home run by two parents who can't show love for one another.

It is not at all fair to do that to the child if you are as unhappy as you are and mired in unhappiness. Do not let it drag on for years. If you stay for the child, the child will likely not thank you for doing so and could even go onto ask why you put him (i.e your H) before her.

What do you want to teach your child about relationships?. If it was not for your child would you be together at all now?.

My post should be addressed to PulledInTwo

Apologies.

Apty Thu 20-Sep-12 17:53:53

Cannotseeaway - I do think that sort of behaviour is so damaging and confusing. It makes you feel mad because sex should be a normal part of a relationship and when it makes you feel so awful, but there's pressure to just give in and pretend, you feel so guilty and angry and horrible.

When I first started a thread on all this, months ago, it was because my dh had raped me after years of this kind of pushy behaviour. I didn't face it at all but it eventually made me really ill, just the effort of living with the pressure. I got really confused about what I should do and if I should leave or not - it became all about that. I started this thread with a name change because I wanted to find all the other reasons apart from that one - and feel strong in my decision, I couldnt decide how I felt about anything. I'd already made steps to split up but needed to feel strong in that, and confident in my choice. As soon as you mention rape, everyone tells you to leave - but the kind of pressure and control you're talking about was just as bad in a way.

Now it's happened, it's very very early days - but I can see that there's just no escaping from it, it's been so so destructive, you can't be true to yourself while in that situation - it's like you're not being heard and your feelings don't count. I know I've done the right thing. I may be exhausted and feeling a little bit shell shocked, but I can cope with all that better than being in a relationship where someone does that to me. I think you'll feel better when you take some decisive steps.

Pulledintwo - I don't think any of us knows how to end a relationship, one step at a time I guess? It's never going to be easy but it sounds like you know your own mind and what you want. Maybe you could start to make small plans and gather information to keep you strong. Good luck

ThistlePetal Thu 20-Sep-12 19:46:32

PulledInTwo not sure "welcome" is the appropriate word, but you will definitely find lots of empathy and support here.

"We had a huge talk a couple of weeks ago, where we both said we're at breaking point. H wants to try but I've been at this point before and he hasn't cared. It's only because hrs at breaking point now that he's 'committed' to changing."

I could have written this about 2 months ago - exactly that. I had to suggest separation before he realised I was serious, and by that time I really had had enough. He still wants to try, I still can't find that spark.

We had a very big chat this week and DH is coming round to the idea of separating amicably for the sake of the children. Before this point I couldn't tell if I was putting off saying for definite that it's over, because that was what I felt was best for me as a person, or just because I felt he was going to make it very difficult and nasty from that point onwards. I now feel a huge weight has been lifted, and that when I do call it, it will be for the right reasons. I'm still biding my time though, as I still feel he has a lot to come to terms with and I think the potential for nastiness may still be there.

So in some ways I am no further forward, but in other ways I can see that the less rush there is, the more likely we'll all come out of it in tact.

Cannot, I can see why you're so confused - it does seem like your H is pulling out all the stops to change your mind, and I wonder if he thinks that trying to win you over in bed is another means to that end. But when you clearly are giving signals that you're not interested in him sexually, he has no right to do that. None at all. Even if you were to give things another go, I suspect that the sex side of things would be the very last thing to fall into place - and he needs to respect that.

Apty, I'm so sorry to read what you're having to cope with. You're right about being decisive though, you are taking back control and it must be better than being stuck in a relationship where you're not being heard. Stay strong, and use all the support you're being offered.

I hope others here are coping well and making progress, I sure I wouldn't be nearly as strong without this thread.

andyjay Thu 20-Sep-12 19:54:20

I decided to leave my ex husband when I found myself wishing he'd have an affair so I'd have an excuse to go! 4 years later we're separated but he still rings me and calls in to see the kids, I'm sorta like his best friend now, he even gets on with my new partner!! It was a very hard thing to do, but I'm soooooo glad I did it.

ThistlePetal Thu 20-Sep-12 20:34:51

andyjay if I could guarantee this outcome for us, I'd be gone in a flash! Which kind of says it all, doesn't it..... Baby steps..... Thanks for sharing - lovely to hear from all these folks who have made it through smile

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 20-Sep-12 23:06:20

Pulledintwo yes, welcome. It's kind of sad when someone identifies with all the stuff on here because it's a hellish place to be in, but there is some reassurance in knowing other people are in the same boat/know what it's like.

Well, folks, I have got a date to move out. I'm getting some help from someone and we have agreed a date, so it will be in just over a fortnight. I've had the keys to my new place for over a month, so it is about time, really. Feels very daunting. I'm hoping it will give me some clarity. At the moment, I am either at work which is really stressful all the time, or at home where dh is ominipresent, which is also really stressful all the time. I feel exhausted.

Keep thinking I should ask dh to come too; think about a new start, free from financial worries, which is what it would be if he did. Things are very bad for him at work. If we all went we could bank a load of equity from the family home and use it to live on, go on holiday, make life fun again. And it would take the work pressure off him, which is one of the things that killed our marriage. He might be different then. He could find another, more enjoyable job, or start a new business.

I don't know if these thoughts are real and how much I should respect them. Is this just me getting cold feet? Not being able to let go? I have to try it alone, don't I?

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 20-Sep-12 23:12:57

Apty I'm so sorry to read what happened to you.

I think you are brave to have freed yourself. A while ago I was on, or started, a thread about agonising what to do. Someone told me that it's weird, and sad, for a while. Then you start enjoying life again and do not wish to go back. I hope it's true.

Also, I meant to say, another thing I have noticed about this thread and have wondered about. We are all in agony about what to do. Things are not so bad that getting out feels like a matter of life and death, it's all about mixed feelings. I can't help feeling that some of us have marriages that should have worked, except for the fact that our husbands didn't wake up and smell the coffee until it was too fucking late.

I can't imagine ever reaching a point where I don't regret massively my marriage not working out. And along with that, there is anger because I was not waving but drowning for years and I was unheard. Why do they only try to change in the way we need them to when they have a gun to their heads? Why could they not do it when it would have counted? How many of us tried to talk, asked for counselling, and were only listened to when we said we'd had enough and wanted a divorce? angry

cannotseeaway Fri 21-Sep-12 12:18:12

Apty I cried when I read your post yesterday, I am so sorry about what happened. Much of what you described rang so true with me, especially the part about feeling like you are going mad, and that your feelings don't count and you are not being heard. Thanks for sharing something that must be difficult to share, as it has really helped me, and helped give me the courage to have it out with DP last night.

SGB I do not think that DP would act as he did to purposely make me feel anxious, miserable and revolted, but he has managed it anyway. Your words sum up my anger.

I told DP last night that what happened on Tuesday night was very much out of order, and cannot happen again. He suggested him moving into the spare room, and agreed with me that he needs some individual counselling to address his "neediness and disrespect to himself and me" (his words). He also echoed your words Thistle, about how he now realises that the physical side of our relationship is going to be the last thing to slot into place if we do end up staying together.

So that is it then, he is in the spare room, and it is all very depressing. It feels like this is the beginning of the end to be truthful, although I really want to give our relationship a chance.

Tiredof you are so right about all of these men waiting until the last minute to change their ways. DP said last night he has had the kick up the arse he needs now, but that he also knows that I have heard it all before. I think it is probably too late for us, but want to give it a chance and let him have his counselling and see if he can put his money (or lack of) where his mouth is. It is painful sleeping alone with him in the attic room above me, knowing that he is sleeping alone too, but there is also relief.

tiredof I am glad you have a date to move. I reckon that once you are moved and settled into your new place you will have a much clearer idea of whether you can ever envisage your partner living there with you, and whether this idea fills you with hope or dread wink.

Glad some weight has lifted thistle, I feel the same. I do not feel so guilty now DP has taken some of the blame off of my shoulders.

PulledInTwo Fri 21-Sep-12 22:36:27

Thank you for the welcomes. I'm sorry you're all in this awful situation to, but at the same time it makes me feel better I'm not alone. Little steps does seem to be the way forward. I'm a full time student just starting my final year, so my plan is to wait and see what finances I'm getting from student finance. Hopefully I'll be able to support myself financially if I moved out. If I can I guess I'll start looking for somewhere to rent...

Its just so confusing at times. As someone mentioned, the relationship isn't awful but its not good. I find myself wishing at times that my H would cheat so I could have a clear cut reason for leaving. I agree with tieredof that it seems to be that, at least my H, only seems to care now that it's to late, now that the spark has completely died. I don't want to hurt him,but I'm so tiered of this ...deadness. We were so great at the start, so in love and we complemented each other so well. I think H neglected the relationship due to putting it on the back burner and now he's ready to work on it,its already dead sad we should have worked, and I'm so sad, sad to be at this point, sad for my H, for loosing what we had, sad for our dd,...

Going to take small steps and keep posting on here if thats ok.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 22-Sep-12 01:35:02

Pulledintwo, yes, keep posting. I'm not always around, but I'm grateful this thread is still going. It's helping me a lot, and others too, I'm sure.

I'm also a full time student and have one more year to go after this one. Then I will start earning smile I am also worried about the finances until this happens. Feel free to Pm me if you want to share any info about practical stuff.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 22-Sep-12 09:22:31

Wondering if Smallsherry is still around? Hope you're OK.

bushymcbush Sat 22-Sep-12 09:25:59

Please may I join you all? Having similar issues. My H has drinking issues and is currently not working. He isn't doing enough to remedy either problem despite me issuing an ultimatum 3 weeks ago.

I've had enough. Even if he does decide to apply for 10 jobs tomorrow and join an alcohol support group (highly unlikely on both counts) I think there may well be no way back for me now. Right now I think ky respect for him has gone.

I just feel churned up inside about it all, devastated for my DDs and I can't think about anything else.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 22-Sep-12 09:39:52

Sorry for you bushy sad Welcome.

ThistlePetal Sat 22-Sep-12 23:02:00

Hi Bushy. I started getting support from these threads when I realised I'd lost respect for my DH too - there may still be a way back, or there may not, but it's safe to explore either way here.

Pulled, I completely see where you're at - as Tiredof said, these Hs of ours have woken up far too late to the reality of what we've been telling them.... That our relationships are failing and that something needs to be done about it.... It is truly horrible to realise that there is no spark, and to feel absolutely nothing towards him so much of the time.

Cannot it sounds like you have made some progress - I guess only time will tell if it is the beginning of the end, or the start of a better relationship - either way, I hope you do find the right way forward for you.

My DH isn't as "bad" as some others, but I just can't forgive him for being so damn lazy about our relationship. He's pulling out all the stops now, but I'm so distant from him, and so judgemental of him now - he says he feels like he's being assessed at the moment and in a way he's right, I can hear myself saying "oh good effort there, but where was that thoughtfulness/helpfulness/gumption/effort in the last 1/2/5 years?" And he was going to let it rumble on "until the kids had left home" - at least another 7 years!!

It is so tiring, thinking about this over and over. I can hear the exhaustion in so many of your posts on this thread too - we are utterly drained by this state of limbo. I have put so many other aspects of life on hold (trivial stuff, like reading books for book group, and huge stuff like spending proper quality time with both DCs every day) and today I'm feeling that I really need to move on. Still no spark, and still no desire to try again.... I think it's time to call it. And hang the trivial consequences (what other people will think, etc.). I'm so sad tonight, but so fed up of thinking about me! And us. I want to get back to thinking about my kids, and all the other good things in life.

Hugs to you all x

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 22-Sep-12 23:25:12

I can hear the exhaustion in so many of your posts on this thread too - we are utterly drained by this state of limbo. I have put so many other aspects of life on hold (trivial stuff, like reading books for book group, and huge stuff like spending proper quality time with both DCs every day)...I'm so sad tonight, but so fed up of thinking about me! And us. I want to get back to thinking about my kids, and all the other good things in life.

God do I get this. I feel like I live so unproductively. I get so little done. Like everything is on hold and I am in a state of torpor. I want to go out and be part of the world again, to get up in the morning and want to go out and do things. I spend so much time sitting around agonising, worrying, feeling resented by dh. It's a bit like depression but it's not depression, it's just feeling unable to engage with the normal world and feeling guilty and exhausted.

My world has shrunk to a little bubble of misery and I feel like the real, actual world is out there, full of opportunities and experiences I don't take.

I'm out of here soon. I'm scared as hell but I also can't wait to see what it's like.

Hugs to you too, Thistle.

PulledInTwo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:45:09

Omg, I could have written you last post thistle word for word. I find myself thinking the same of my H 'you did well, but why haven't you bothered in x years' or 'you've done such and such, but you still haven't even thought to do x'. Its awful. I get what you say about realising you actually don't feel anything towards them anymore, to me it's more painful that hating them. There will be odd moments when we have a laugh together but now I feel as if I'm laughing with a friend, that spark of 'more' has gone. There is no passion or affection anymore, we never properly kiss, at most its just a quick peck, he says I love you all the time, but tbh I thinks its to often and has lost any real meaning.

This limbo is awful, and tonight I'm feeling very down and sad to. I feel like crying a lot recently, i can't imagine myself ending it, but can imagine the other side and the relief. I can't continue like this though, I'm so tiered and drained by it all, and now that my H has decided to try, his efforts are actually making me feel suffocated now. I see people in love, like my brother and soon to be sister in law, who are bust planning their wedding and it makes me feel so sad, sad I don't have a relationship happy like that where we love spending time together, where we work as a team. To sum it up, I feel really shitty right now.

ThistlePetal Sun 23-Sep-12 00:09:17

It's a bit like depression but it's not depression, it's just feeling unable to engage with the normal world and feeling guilty and exhausted.

I agree Tiredof - I have wondered if I'm depressed (I do have history of PND and stress) - but I have so much more clarity about my life nowadays than I did in my depressive phases. I do think it's about guilt, about wanting to make a choice that you know is not what society expects (or what we ourselves have been brought up to believe is right), and ultimately about feeling okay about saying "this is not good enough for me ".

Pulled - I have been experiencing the suffocating effects too - and I think it drives you away even more quickly. Have you asked your DH to give you some space (emotional, I mean)? I think it's difficult to really get to grips with how you feel while they are trying so hard to be super-husband, full of I-love-yous and promises. It's just added pressure that you don't need right now.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 23-Sep-12 00:25:06

Pulled I hear you and understand the pain. Hearing love songs on the radio and seeing happy couples really breaks my heart too. One of my friends had a horrible divorce, her dh left her for an OW. She's been with her partner for seven years and they are so happy. They still hold hands, flirt, obviously and conspicuously love each other without being at all 'icky' about it. They just came back from a blowout trip in an exciting city and he proposed. I'm happy for them, but the contrast with my own situation is so painful.

At home we are civil, mostly, but so distant. The idea of any warmth, affection, intimacy is unthinkable. But dh would be prepared to carry on like this indefinitely. His mantra: 'I just don't want us to split up'. If he had ever put a fraction of the energy and love into his relationship with me that he has put into his relationship with the children, we would probably have been OK.

Instead, he was grumpy and critical. Made me feel like the worst person in the world. I couldn't understand why I was the person he was supposed to love the most, yet he seemed to judge me by completely different standards to the ones he had for everyone else. Everyone else was to be treated with respect, courtesy and generosity, while I could do nothing right. If we had guests, ever, he would be in a foul mood while I did all the cooking. He was always stressed that I wouldn't have the food ready on time (I'm an excellent cook and have never failed to pull it off). If we went to see people for lunch and the traffic was bad, and we might be late, it was my fault because I wasn't ready in time to leave with half an hour to spare.

He would get home to a beautiful, welcoming house, with a delicious dinner in the oven and notice the one thing I hadn't done. He would do things like silently restack the dishwasher. I have been conditioned into anxiety about what he thinks about me and everything I do. This evening we had dinner and I felt the familiar flashes of anxiety that I might have taken too many peas, or too much custard with my pudding. Earlier I was over at my new house with dd and got increasingly anxious as time went on that he would be annoyed that we'd been away for too long.

I don't think he realises he makes me feel like this. He's conditioned me with his years of emotional abuse. Even problems in our sex life were my fault. I lost desire for him because I felt so unloved, so I started rejecting him. He got occasional ED and this was all my fault. I always had to initiate it because he lost confidence. Everything is always my fault.

Now he resents that I am 'taking' half of what we own. He told me last night that he had earned all our property. Never mind that I was at home raising and caring for our children. I also have to take all the responsibility for the failure of our marriage because it is 'what I want'. He is the injured party and I am a wicked witch. He knew I was suicidal before I initiated this, I had told him I wanted to separate for years, but he put every single bit of emotional blackmail on me from crying to telling me how it would destroy the kids.

My relationship with dds has been damaged by all this. Not just because he has been able to focus on them better than I have, because he hasn't been engulfed in misery, but because I have cut myself off from the family unit to get away from him.

I am desperate to be away, to be myself. I have wasted years and I think it would have been better for the kids if I had done this when they were younger.

Dh's view of all this is so twisted. I feel like he hates me, but despite this, he would still keep me if he could. It's sick, really. I don't know if it's all about the kids, or just him wanting respectability and financial security, both of which we are going to lose.

Sorry, I didn't mean to rant but to sympathise. You are not alone, Pulled. This is all horrible, but it cannot last forever, can it? People come out the other side and live again. I hope we both will, and soon.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 23-Sep-12 00:31:45

Cross posted with you, Thistle, with my long, sad post. I've just read what I wrote and it makes me feel so foolish for all the thoughts I've had recently, about suggesting he comes with me and the dd to my new house. It would be a disaster for me, like being let out of prison and trying to break back in. I know I would never get away if I took him back and I would confuse and mess up my kids even more than I am already.

I might end up under a train. I had a lonely night on the platform at my local station a couple of months ago. I came so, so close to walking out on to the line and jumping in front of the fast train that goes whistling through. He knows all this but he still hates me and wants to keep me at the same time.

At least I know I am leaving soon. Not long now.

Stay strong people.

Ginga66 Sun 23-Sep-12 00:51:45

Same here. I think we are both guilty of emotionally abusive behaviour but since our beautiful second baby has come along it had been pretty bad between us, not helped by him sleeping with ds1.
We are now both I think wondering what to do. We sway from politeness to hideous rows for the last few months. There has always been a lot of turmoil in our relationship but previously it led to sparky making up, that has not happened this time, we have barely touched for ten days.
I hate this limbo. I want commitment and effort to make it work or a quick end. This protracted should we shouldn't we is death by a thousand cuts.
I wish I knew if he wanted to stay, if he still loves me.
I don't want to warp the kids as he put it with arguments and tears. But they will see through a charade.
Glesga your regret makes me want to think twice but it takes two. I don't know if this is the hardship of young children or if this is us.
I do know every night he sleeps soundly and I weep and wake.
Not good.

PulledInTwo Sun 23-Sep-12 10:03:34

It's awful isn't it tiered. I get so used to how our relationship is that I think it's normal, that this distance happens naturally with time, but then I see a happy couple and am painfully reminded that that's not true. I think H actually thinks it's normal, he's forever telling me when I talk about it 'but it's normal, everyone gets like this', he to like your H would stay with me no matter what, as long as we don't split up, it's fine. He has said he is happy living like this.

I get that awful anxiety over what he thinks as well, though I have started trying to reason with myself when this happens. One thing I do is scramble to stop DD doing anything he may not like when I hear him coming home, through, getting up in the morning etc.

Another thing is that he worries so much about money, admirably we have debts that we are paying off, but due to this he does not enjoy the hear and now, all he does is plan for the future and says stuff like 'I can't wait for you to graduate, then our life can start' and I think but this is part of our lives, its a stage and all he does is wish life away. He's never happy with what we've got. We went to a cafe for lunch yesterday as we were out and DD was hungry and we spent £6 on lunch for all 3 of us. He took DD to the table while I paid, when I got to the table I was met with him asking how much it cost, when i told him he responds that bloody hell, that's a lot of money sad

I honestly wish that I could wave a wand and have us just be friends. I don't hate him, I don't want to hurt him and I still care for him, but not as a partner. I think that's the hard part, if I disliked him or didn't care then I wouldn't feel so guilty, but I feel awful for wanting to leave as I know how much it will hurt him. Though when I've mentioned to him before that I think I may want to leave, but don't want to hurt him he's said well if your not happy then you shouldn't stay with me, there's no point staying in a relationship your not happy in, so do what you need to... So will he really care if I leave? I wish he'd leave, as I don't want to be the evil bitch that ends it. How do I tell him I'm leaving and then have to see him everyday until I move out, how do I deal with the guilt and the sadness. I wish I could look into the future and see that it'll make us both happier...

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 23-Sep-12 10:34:40

Oh, Pulled. I am so sorry. I could have written your last post, and the one before.

When you wrote this:

I find myself thinking the same of my H 'you did well, but why haven't you bothered in x years'

The trouble is, if someone tries to change when it's too late, it's almost worse than if they never did it at all. Because you feel you 'owe it to them' to be grateful and try to make the marriage work and you feel awful about still wanting out. And you find it hard to be nice back and you become the grumpy one, even though before this man drained the life out of you, you were cheery and positive. You resent that it had to get so, so bad before they were prepared to try and be a bit nicer. You think, if you were capable of changing, why the fuck didn't you do it before, when it would have counted?

Another thing is that he worries so much about money, admirably we have debts that we are paying off, but due to this he does not enjoy the hear and now

I really get this too. The backdrop of anxiety about money means life becomes joyless. And we are not poor, we don't have genuine, can't pay the bills, money worries - well not at the moment. It spoils holidays even, the one time when you should say 'fuck it' and be prepared to just accept that spending money is part of having a good time. My dd commented on it yesterday, and guess what? She blames herself sad She said that she hates going to the supermarket with him and that after he has spent money he gets in a bad mood. She said it's her fault for asking for things (and I'm talking about asking for posh yogurts, not iPods). It's so grim.

I am also a student, Pulled. He accused me of doing something that made me dependent on him, during a reproachful conversation the other night when he was saying I was taking half of everything he had earned. Of course another way to look at it is that I have done the opposite - that my degree is an investment in my career which will actually make me dependent on him for less time than if I had remained a sahm. He was very keen for me to stay at home when they were small.

I spent nearly all yesterday on MN. I feel guilty about that. I'm going to try and get some stuff done today. Keep posting though, people. One thing about living in marriages like this is that they make you feel like you are going mad. Thistle you were right when you said that there is nothing wrong with saying it's just not working for you, that it is taking all the enjoyment out of your life.

When my unhappiness all came out and the kids found out, my elder dd said immediately that 'everyone deserves to be happy, Mum, including you'. She was right.

PulledInTwo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:08:49

That's exactly it tiered I feel so guilty and like I owe it to him now he's trying, and I feel like the biggest shit ever for still wanting to leave. I get the same for H about money, if I have to buy DD a coat, or the next size clothes he makes such a fuss over it, all with the 'but if you need to then do' thrown in at the end so he can say he's being reasonable. He got all weird when I got a costa coffee and sandwich for lunch one day as opposed to my usual supermarket lunch as it was a few quid more. He asked me why I did that, I said I fancied a small treat and he said well tomorrow you'll get your normal lunch then. He doesn't realise what it's like, as to him it makes him feel better sad When I go shopping I can;t win, if I buy the cheap stuff for him he doesn't like it/complains about eating it, but if I buy the expensive stuff he likes, then I get him asking why the shopping cost so much, how can we reduce the amount etc.

The uni thing, H finished his course first, as I changed course and then got pregnant. However all he does is bang on about when I graduate, how we'll have more money, how we can start 'earning'. I just want to enjoy the here and now. I feel that H counts success by how much money he/we have, I count it by happy days, time spent with people. Oh and I meant admittedly we have debts, not admirably.

Another thing that drives me crazy is that in the evenings when I have put DD to bed, I would love to get on a clean the house/do the housework and then sit down all relaxed afterwards. I can't do this though as, as soon as DD is in bed H wants to play on the computer (with me) or watch tv, whatever it is it has to be together to keep H happy. If I want to clean he huffs and puffs and keeps saying hurry up, I want to play. It's crazy.

I feel like I have to give it time atm, so that I can say to H that he's tried, but nothings better so I'm leaving. But then of course he will think things are better, as for him everything is fine. He doesn't have to cook, clean or do childcare, the only thing that is missing is affection, but he doesn't seem to care. I really need student finance to come through so I can see what money I have to budget with to move out.

I get moment where I sit and think 'omg am I really doing this'. Usually after we have had a good night. He can be a good man, he would never cheat, he works hard, but I don't think we are right for each other anymore, this would be so much easier if he was a nasty fucker. I have a part time job, but it's for my sister in law, so I doubt that will continue after we separate! Which is a right pain, as if I could rely on that job I would def have enough money to leave.

Uni starts tomorrow, so I'm going to try and concentrate on that today. DD is napping now and H is busy, so I'm going to go and get some housework done. Thank you all for the support, it is helping me keep focused and realise I'm not insane.

ThistlePetal Sun 23-Sep-12 17:27:37

Tired I've only just read your post from last night. You sounded so down sad. I'm glad to see you posting again today though. And it sounds like your elder daughter is a star - very tuned in to you and what is going on, which will make the coming weeks and months better for you all. You're nearly at the point where your new life can begin - stick in, it will be worth it, I'm sure.

Pulled I can match you on the feeling like the biggest shit front - I know he will be devastated and most people around us will have had absolutely no idea that we have been struggling through counselling etc. My DH also counts success in terms of money, and actually is gobsmacked that I would consider leaving because I will certainly be less well off. In fact, I think he is still hoping it will all just blow over and it will all turn out to have just me having a wee mid life crisis and being a bit silly.

I can't imagine wanting to stay with someone who has so clearly said they want to leave, but it does seem that men (generally speaking, of course) have pretty thick skins when it comes to this. Like you say if they can still come home to a clean and fed family, many of them seem quite content to live without joy or affection.

Ugh, every time I sit down to give you all some support, I start ranting about my situation instead. I'm so sorry! Really starting to bore myself now....

Take care of you all, and stay strong.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 23-Sep-12 19:33:14

it sounds like your elder daughter is a star - very tuned in to you and what is going on, which will make the coming weeks and months better for you all

Well that was 7 months ago. Fast forward to now and we have all still been living under the same roof since the decision was taken. I think it's put all of us under a lot of strain. She is now very distant from me. Won't talk, wants dh all the time. She has just started at a new school. I feel what I am doing the situation is totally screwing her up but it's hard to know how much is hormones etc. She's 12 and has gone from being sunny and kind to sullen and snappy.

She told me today that she doesn't want to move with me. She wants to stay in the family home for now, with dh. She doesn't want to move until half term at the earliest. I get this, when she's just started at a new school, but it's very painful. What is also painful is that I can see she is hurting and want to make it better but she doesn't want me, and sees me as the villain.

Also had a conversation with dh today about finding him somewhere to buy. There is nothing suitable for him at his price range right now, and our sale is commencing. His business is failing and he can't pay himself this month. I have come so close today to telling him he should come and live with me and we should try again.

But I don't want to do that just out of guilt and financial worries because living with him is so damaging to me. It's not selfish to want not to be terribly unhappy is it?

I can't imagine wanting to stay with someone who has so clearly said they want to leave

I don't get this either and I've said it to dh.

Feeling low again sad Sorry. You say you come on here and just rant about your own situation but I am far worse. Sorry everyone.

ThistlePetal Sun 23-Sep-12 20:00:23

It's not selfish to want not to be terribly unhappy is it? No, it is not selfish. I can see that your DD might not want any further changes at the moment, and she's probably resisting change rather than resisting or rejecting you. Doesn't make it hurt any less though. Are you willing or able to leave her in the family home until she's ready to move into your new house? Perhaps if she feels she has more control over when she moves, that will help her to see that she does actually want to move in with you after all? I'm not suggesting that you delay your own move though, sounds like you need to move for your own sake and that is still a priority.

I can see your dilemma with your H too. But if you're only doing it out of guilt, you are not giving yourself the chance to be happier. I don't want to be harsh, and I do sympathise with his business failing, but he has known for 7 months that this was coming. There must be some options available to him - is he putting any work into finding them, or is he hoping you'll bail him out? You need to be very strong here - because you've got plenty to deal with and he is no longer your responsibility.

I'm sorry you're low again today - PM me if you like, and you can rant as much as you need.

Viviennemary Sun 23-Sep-12 20:05:58

Leaving is a huge decision and can create lots of problems. If you're not sure then I'd say don't leave yet. And think of yourself in 10 or 15 years. Do you think you would say 'I wish I had left all these years ago'. If the answer is yes then it's probably the right thing to do to leave. Don't make a rash decision.

Apty Sun 23-Sep-12 20:29:54

If your reason for staying is fear of coping on your own, I found this blog post really helpful and inspiring - the one about the joy of single motherhood.

herbsandhags.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-joy-of-single-motherhood-and-why.html

cannotseeaway Mon 24-Sep-12 13:17:31

tired I have been reading your posts but I am rubbish at typing on my phone, and don't use the laptop much, and also don't want DP to catch me posting on here and reading how I really feel, but I just wanted to say that you should not feel bad for posting your thoughts and feelings on here, rant away, it is what this thread has ended up being good for smile. You sound so down sometimes, and I hope things start looking up for you soon. It must be very hard dealing with your DDs response to your situation, and I am wishing you strength for now, knowing it will all come good eventually.

My DC are very young, but I still worry my oldest DC (4) will blame me if we do split. I also worry that my DP would try to get custody if things got nasty, he loves them to distraction, and although it is a good thing whilst we are together, and for the DC, I worry about the fact he is so able and willing to pull his weight with them. He also threatened me when I was pg with DC1 that I couldn't expect to keep my child if I was ever unfaithful to him sad. I know this is bullshit, but it still worries me. When I told him a few weeks ago I dodn't think I was in love with him anymore he took them to London for a couple of days to stay with his best mate, to give me some space, but I spent the whole time petrified he wasn't going to bring them back.

I get moment where I sit and think 'omg am I really doing this'. Usually after we have had a good night. He can be a good man, he would never cheat, he works hard, but I don't think we are right for each other anymore, this would be so much easier if he was a nasty fucker.

Pulled this is exactly how I feel, it is so hard, isn't it? We get along pretty well most of the time, and I think I must be the worst sort of shit ever for wanting to break up our family, but then he does something, like hugs me, or goes in for a snog, and my skin crawls, and I feel like it can't continue.

Your DP sounds very needy, just like mine. I also don't feel like my time is my own in the evenings, as DP has always got visibly upset if what I want to do doesn't include him. This was the case long before I voiced any concerns about our relationship. Even reading the paper or going and having a bath have been loaded with guilt for a logn time. Spending time with him has had a distinct air of another chore to be completed about it at times, as I know that if I don't put my hours in with him he is going to be sad and pissed off, and worried about how much I love him. It is stifling.

Ginga how much does your DP know about how you are thinking about leaving? Would a sit-own talk with him help, when the kids aren't about?

I have had a hard weekend, found out my Mum might have breast cancer, so everything else has gone on the backburner, but DP has said he has written a list of things he wants to talk about tonight to do with our relationship, and my stomach is churning just thinking about it. Don't feel up to it at the moment, but we won't get a chance til Thursday if we don't do it tonight, wish me luck smile.

PulledInTwo Mon 24-Sep-12 15:34:40

Aw cannot that's it exactly, I don't feel like my time is my own. And your H definetly sounds like mine. Its awful getting on well a lot of the time, I really do feel like a heartless evil bitch for feeling like this.

Today my H asked why I wasn't wearing my rings, I said I just don't feel comfortable wearing them with how things are. He goes silent on me. Later after me asking him several times what's wrong he messages me saying that its just that he's hurting, and in a pain he's never felt before. I really am nasty aren't I sad. He said he's committed to change, however is this what I'm wanting...

I wish I could start our relationship over, there are things I would do so differently.

Good luck tonight cannot and I hope your mum is ok.

cannotseeaway Mon 24-Sep-12 15:50:12

Oh pulled you are not evil, the fact you are posting on here about how bad you feel about splitting up proves that.

cannotseeaway Mon 24-Sep-12 15:52:54

Or nasty, even blush.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 24-Sep-12 18:21:08

cannot this is really bad:

Even reading the paper or going and having a bath have been loaded with guilt for a long time

You need and are entitled to time for yourself. Doesn't your partner realise that he will suffocate you? Living with guilt is so draining. I know what it's like, I mentioned above about worrying about taking too many peas at the table (almost funny, isn't it? Like being a naughty schoolchild). If you can't even relax and read the paper or enjoy soaking in the bath, what kind of life can you have?

When you say you feel guilty, is this because your partner actually complains about you doing things like having a bath? Or do you just get the bad vibes? When you say you feel guilty I assume that what that also involves is a certain amount of anxiety around doing things that give time for you. This is unacceptable.

So is threatening to take the kids, not to mention it being crazy and unrealistic. Unless there were serious issues of risk, no court would take little ones away from their mother. But I know how it feels - my dh threatened to 'fight for full custody' one time I suggested separating. He suggested he would say I was an unfit mother because of MH and alcohol abuse, and I was terrified.

But he loves the kids too much to do this, and I'm sure yours does too.

I really hope it's good news for your mum.

Pulled of course you are not evil and nasty. If you were you wouldn't give a shit and wouldn't be here agonising. I hope you had a good first day back at Uni.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 24-Sep-12 18:52:01

Apty thanks so much for the link to the blog... I've read it and feel so uplifted by what she says, it is so eloquent, sensible and empowering.

I've bookmarked it and am going to read it whenever I find myself wavering.

ThistlePetal Mon 24-Sep-12 19:19:56

Apty thanks from me too for the blog link - very uplifting indeed smile.

Cannot I hope your Mum is ok, I imagine you're all very shaken at the moment. If you do have to go ahead with your chat with DH this evening, I hope it goes well - good luck.

Feckbox Mon 24-Sep-12 23:26:05

apty, great blog, thanks

Feckbox Mon 24-Sep-12 23:29:18

tired said

God do I get this. I feel like I live so unproductively. I get so little done. Like everything is on hold and I am in a state of torpor. I want to go out and be part of the world again, to get up in the morning and want to go out and do things. I spend so much time sitting around agonising, worrying, feeling resented by dh. It's a bit like depression but it's not depression, it's just feeling unable to engage with the normal world and feeling guilty and exhausted.

My world has shrunk to a little bubble of misery and I feel like the real, actual world is out there, full of opportunities and experiences ....

I so get this

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 25-Sep-12 00:01:20

I am feeling more cheerful tonight. I felt like I turned a bit of a corner when I read Apty's blog. It worked better than wine. And no hangover. I'm going to read it again tomorrow.

Good night everyone.

Feckbox Tue 25-Sep-12 00:04:59

more cheerful is a very good start.
goodnight, sleep tight all

Apty Tue 25-Sep-12 19:59:48

Glad you all liked the blog - I found it so encouraging and positive, it almost made it seem exciting rather than dread filled panic about the future. I think part of the problem is we all see it as ourselves failing to make it work or save it, and the punishment is either a loveless marriage, or loneliness and misery. When actually, single motherhood is not failure, sometimes it's just impossible to save a relationship when it's broken.

So far I've been on my own for a very short amount of time, but my observations are - it's easier than being in limbo. Nothing is as hard as that being on hold feeling. Nothing is as hard as walking on eggshells. I've made my space my own and that feels very good. There have been no obstacles so far that I can't manage. The more I do, the more I feel I CAN do.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Tue 25-Sep-12 23:24:40

I've read & bookmarked that blog too. Still reading, still taking great comfort from this thread - incredibly so. The loneliness of this limbo is very painful. It's a bereavement but I'm the only attendant at a funeral that nobody knows about.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 25-Sep-12 23:37:19

Nothing is as hard as that being on hold feeling. Nothing is as hard as walking on eggshells. I've made my space my own and that feels very good.

Wooooh!!!! That sounds great. I'm joining you in 11 days. My house-moving kit - almost eco-friendly pre-used packing boxes, gaffer tape, bubble wrap - arrived today.

If I needed proof that I'm doing the right thing, I got it tonight - went out for a glass of wine and some dinner with medical school friends and got home at half eleven to find dh had put the chain on the inside of the front door.

He came downstairs bleary-eyed, saying he'd 'forgotten'. Funny how it's the first time that's happened in our fifteen years of living together...

Another calculated move to make me feel bad.

I'm so sick of it. Out of here soon.

Love to all.x

Ginga66 Wed 26-Sep-12 00:10:04

Well we finally were intimate again last night but it was very strained. It's like now we have both in turn threatened to leave something has been broken.
Cannot we have talked quite a bit...or rather I have talked and he has sighed. He said he will try to be less grumpy if I am less controlling. By this he means let him do whatever he wants without complaint I think.
I get very little sleep
With ds2 compared to him but he still moaned all day about my going out to see friend whilst he chose to do housework. He gets out plenty and I took baby along anyway.
I m torn between missing him and yearning for closeness and really disliking how he is.
My mum is Ill at the moment so I feel a bit isolated as we see a lot of his mum.
Imthinking of asking dr for antidepressants but as I have a history of depression am worried they will get jumpy that I am not being good mum.
I am also scared to put a foot wrong in case we end up splitting and he gets heavy handed about custody. That would be the end of my life. Strange to feel can't trust dh to protect kids right to be with me.just don't trust he would not turn nasty as he has a very vindictive nature.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 26-Sep-12 00:40:15

I am also scared to put a foot wrong in case we end up splitting and he gets heavy handed about custody. That would be the end of my life.

Oh, poor you - what a way to live. Try not to worry about this, and remember that you are the one in the strong position. Your kids are small - they need to be with you and any court would recognise this.

He sounds like the controlling one, not you, based on what you say. And you do sound isolated... sorry about your mum. I think you need an ally in RL, do you have a colleague or friend you can confide in?

Please don't let your anxieties get in the way of asking for help from your GP, whether in the form of anti-depressants or anything else.

iwillbefree Wed 26-Sep-12 01:13:27

How do you know:
* you blow your candles out on your birthday cake and your wish is this time next year you will be divorced
* hes late home from work and the thought he has been in an accident brings relief
* you wish wish wish he would find someone else and leave of his own accord
* he wipes his dick on you after sex like you are nothing
* that list of things I dont do quite to his standard is so long now after 20 years I can no longer keep up with it
* you dont know who you are anymore
* you get great advice off here yet there is so little left of yourself its difficult to do anything about it because this is all you know

I know what I should do, and I have detached so much over the last couple of years....but that leap of faith still seems too far.

Well that was a miserable post!!

Hugs to everyone

IWBF xx

RedBushedT Wed 26-Sep-12 12:24:00

It took me years to finally make the decision. Although inside I knew it was coming for a long while. I was terrified though of being on my own. Of hurting the children. Of upsetting him.
Kept thinking if I could just be a better wife then maybe we'd be happier.
It's taken me almost a year from separating to even begin to get my head around the abuse I'd just accepted as normal.
And do you know? I cope fine. The children are fine. We've had odd blips (him using them as pawns mainly) but they are happier. I am extremely happy.
I can do whatever I like without snide comments & judgements or arguments.
I feel like my life is just starting, and its so exciting!
My tipping point was realising that I'd never be more important to him than his next drink. And then when he shouted at me about how flawed & cold I was in front of my children.. Final straw.
I didn't want them thinking that my shit marriage was the way a relationship should be.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 26-Sep-12 16:11:34

Thanks for your optimistic post, Red. It's nice when someone out the other side comes on here to give those of us still stuck in limbo-land a happy outcome story.

IWBF, your list makes sad reading. I think some of the problem for many of us on here is that a bad marriage drains you and crushes your spirit. This in itself makes it harder to find the strength and sense that there could be a happier future that is needed to make the break.

It is striking how many women seem to struggle like this but when they do escape, and get over the first difficult weeks and months, they don't look back.

Also, while there is less social stigma attached to separation and divorce these days, there are also fewer people with family support which must make it all so much easier. It's a lonely business and I often think how much easier it must be for people who leave for someone else. It's ugly, but not so lonely.

IWBF that bit about him wiping his dick on you after sex is chilling. I hope you will be free sooner rather than later x

can i join in and say im feeling the same way as apty and the others
been married 15 yrs with 3 kids ,im in no mans land trying to decide to call it a day ,i just dont love,fancy or trust him and i cannot imagine going through the rest of my life never being in love with someone.
for 3 years ive ummed and ahhed and cannot make up my mind -im scared the truth be told ,scared i wont cope scared my depression and anxiety will come back ,scared for my children ,how upset they will be and scared financially .
ive suggested marriage counselling but he has brushed me off ,i really dont think he has a clue how unhappy i am.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 26-Sep-12 19:18:17

Welcome wendy. Sorry about your situation.

It all seems to take so long. I think you stay in this place until you just can't do it any more. Go back a page or two and find Apty's blog link. It might help you feel a bit stronger. x

i will thanks

ThistlePetal Wed 26-Sep-12 22:02:44

Welcome Wendy. It's a horrible place to be, but lots of us are here and it does help to share. Have you had any counselling for yourself, even if DH won't entertain it? I find sometimes I don't really know what I'm thinking until I'm asked to say it out loud, especially to someone who won't judge.

I find I get close to finally calling it a day some days, will feel calm about it, and strong.... And then the next day I'll have a wobble and start doubting myself again.... Having a wobble this eve, DH is home, I'm avoiding by having a bath and early night - too exhausted to face him really. But picked up an old book today called "The Good Divorce" - has anyone read anything similar?

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 26-Sep-12 23:16:58

My husband and I are getting less and less amicable as time goes on. Also I have fixed a date to move out, as I said, and now the reality is looming he is angrier than ever.

We would never have chosen to continue to spend 8 months living under the same roof after deciding we were separating... the longer it goes on, the harder it is to leave. The wavering has gone on, and still does. I know exactly the feeling Thistle of feeling strong, determined and positive one day and very wobbly and shaky the next. We ended up in this situation because our buyers pulled out a week before we thought we were going to exchange contracts.

This year has been hell. Now we have reached a point where we can hardly try and have a conversation, particularly about the kids, without it escalating to an argument. DD1 doesn't want to move to my house until half term. She has just started at a new school. I don't want her and DD2 to be separated, and I want her to feel ownership of her new home and that she is sharing the project. I have to leave sooner rather than later. Apart from the fact I've had the keys for weeks, I can't get the funds I will get as a single parent/full time student until I move. And we are skint. He didn't give me any money this month and is asking for money out of our (getting on for empty) savings account (that is in my name). I have no idea if he has any savings left or not.

And he is using DD to score points. He told me this evening that he would be happy if they wanted to live with him and not me. If they wanted to live only with me, I would be devastated, for him, and for them, because they need a relationship with both their parents, and because we both love them and deserve them. He undermines me as a mother, doesn't promote my relationship with the children, doesn't support me. He is saying that he thinks DD should be allowed to make up her own mind about when she moves. I have talked to her about it, and made clear that I don't want to put any pressure on her.

I told him about this conversation, yet later he saw fit to give her a long talk about how much I want her to move when I do, how upset I will be if she won't. It puts pressure on her, but makes me the villain.

I'm also paranoid that he wants me to leave the family home without them at the same time as he has started working from home. He has argued that him working from home means that I don't have to have an au pair (I do a full time course). If I don't have an au pair, obviously this means that he is the primary parent because I can't be there until they leave for school or be there to pick them up. Without childcare I can't have them living with me. So he gets to stay in fh (which is being sold) and be the stay at home parent.

I'm worried about how this would look in a court. When I say this, he gets angry. We haven't involved lawyers and he is angry at the idea we might. He thinks we should sort it all out ourselves and I'm starting to worry that this is just his way of controlling events and that I am being manipulated.

I am going to get 30 mins free advice, I'm looking into it tomorrow.

Sorry for moaning. Can't believe how ugly this is getting. Want to escape so badly, but I've got to fight for my kids.

sad

Ginga66 Thu 27-Sep-12 00:28:09

Tired thank you for your post. I did see gp today and got a script for anti depressants. I told dh but he just does not get why I depressed. I said if you were nicer to me I probably wouldn't be. He says aren't you scared of social services! And I am scared that it may be used against me in th future but I just can't go on feeling like this. And now he says it will be secreted in breastmilk but I've been prescribed safest one called amitryptiline.
Alo, gp says stop co sleeping before I take them.
I've put on super happy face today. Feel pressure to be ultra mum t make up for wobbly mood and relationship. How did it get like this?
Tired, don let him be stay at home parent. I don't know the ins and outs of the law but it just makes me worried hearing that?
Iwbf your list made me sad. I can identify with it too. He's supposed to be going climbing in this shitty weather and I thought go ahead.
But I am confused again, he seemed to be trying tonight. He said maybe he's depressed in the mornings.
I just don't know.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 27-Sep-12 01:12:05

Amitryptiline is a good drug but very dangerous in overdose so be careful. And yes, don't risk co-sleeping, not once. Don't expect to feel better straight away either. Some people feel worse at the beginning on a-ds and you probably won't feel any beneficial effect for at least a couple of weeks, so don't be discouraged if they don't seem to work at first.

Hoping everyone has a good day tomorrow. I am finally off to bed. Oh to have my own bed...

cannotseeaway Thu 27-Sep-12 11:28:32

Hi all, just checking in. Thansk to those of you who sent best wishes about my Mum - it has been a hard week and she still does not have any answers as to whether her lump is cancerous or not, we have to wait until next Monday for a mammogram and possible biopsy.

DP and I had our "big talk" on Monday - he presented me with a spider chart ffs, with all the issues around our relationship listed, and his feelings. It felt a bit like a work appraisal, but if that is how he needs to deal with it (he is a people manager in work), that is fine. He is being a lot more grown up and we even talked about custody if we do split up. He doesn't feel he could manage being the main caregiver, which I must admit made me breathe a sigh of relief, but he has said that he would want lots of involvement.

He was worried that I was going to leave him with the kids, as he was checking my internet history one night, and looked at all of the threads I had been looking at on here one evening, and I had looked at one about a Mother who is thinking of sending her two oldest children to live with their Dad. FFS, I look at all sorts of threads on here, but he seems to think that they are all pertinent to our home circumstances. That is why I only really post in work, but I lurk on my iPhone all the time smile.

He wants to change, he is going to try his hardest, he seems to be managing it so far, and has contacted his counsellor. I feel I need to give him this chance. I just don't know if I can stand him in my bed again.

thistle he never expressly said that my time at home had to be time with him, but that was the general vibe. He has always been fine about me going out with friends etc., but if I chose to spend time on my own when we were both at home the sulking would start. We talked about this too, and he denied it. I don't care if he denies things now though, as I have more faith in my internal passive-aggressive radar, especially now he has started to admit that he was being passive-aggressive and sulky in the not-so-distant past.

I haven't got time to comment on everyone's posts today, as work is mental, but I am thinking of you all, especially those going through difficult blips. One thing I will say though tired, is try not to let your "D"P become the main caregiver for both of your kids at the moment, when things are so up in the air and may turn nasty.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Thu 27-Sep-12 19:01:48

I worry a lot about the main care giver. Dh because of location of his job spends more time with them. I have 2 hours commute on top of full time+ demanding job (that I love). Sometimes I think I should just go, theyre more his than mine, and leave them all to it. Other times I wish he'd just Jeff off and let me cope but that won't happen. He's going travelling for work soon, cant wait. Feel so resentful of him but maybe it's my fault for letting him get the upper hand domestically. He's up b4 me in the morning & has lunches made and packed first thing.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 27-Sep-12 19:42:58

Sometimes I think I should just go, theyre more his than mine, and leave them all to it

Never, never, never, never, never.

They're not, you musn't. I get the thing about the packed lunches smile but it doesn't mean that they don't need me and I won't let go. Nor must you, don't even think about it.

We just had an awful row. I sought legal advice today. I got some general advice, and made an appointment for some specific advice tomorrow. It's going to cost me, and I feel guilty about it. I'm thinking of cancelling, it seems wrong.

But I'm scared of shooting myself in the foot by being too trusting. Dh absolutely infuriated at the suggestion we formalise anything (ie deed of separation). He's either taking it horribly personally and lashing out because he is so hurt, or he's playing a stealthy game. I don't know if thinking the latter is paranoid, or thinking the former is naive. So confused. Formalising it all is sensible, isn't it? But he sees it as insulting. Dunno if that's because he feels rejected and it's just another kick in the teeth or because he wants to keep his options open. confused sad

ThistlePetal Thu 27-Sep-12 23:18:13

Oh cannot, I was presented with a spreadsheet when we had our big chat.... Glad you had a productive discussion though, i think it does help you to move forward when you have a clearer idea of how the big things like custody might look. Hope your mum gets good news on Monday.

Tired, I think you are right to be wary of your DH's reluctance to formalise things, especially when he is already telling your DD a different story. Apart from it costing money, what does he have to lose at this point by getting lawyers involved?

Will try to catch up with everyone over weekend, take care all.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 28-Sep-12 00:58:54

Well we had an awful row tonight. Partly because I want to formalise things and he feels really insulted.

But I've been with this man for 15 years, and I honestly think he is just really, really hurt rather than playing a game.

It was an ugly row, but we both apologised and the air felt clearer afterwards. And we both apologised to the kids, who could hear from a distance the raised voices. Reassured them. I'm going to cancel the legal advice tomorrow morning. It will save me £200 that I need for bedroom curtains in my new house (it's a huge window, buying everything secondhand and as cheap as possible, but it's still hard to find a bargain). Got some lovely interlined toile de jouy ones on eBay, so that's cheered me up.

Dh was really upset at the idea that I thought he might want to take the kids off me. But despite this, said that he would be OK with having a formal deed of separation if I insisted.

I know I'm being a bit defensive and paranoid. I have to remember how hurt he is. And I am wary of lawyers and their insistence on protecting against the worst case scenario. There is a risk that if I get one, he gets one, and because they've all seen the worst, they counsel against that, paranoia germinates and all goes nuclear.

Sorry for another self absorbed post. I'm really in the thick of it right now.

I'd like to thank everyone on here for sharing their stories, and the support I have had. I wish you all a good day tomorrow x

Feckbox Fri 28-Sep-12 08:32:42

like you, tired , I would not involve lawyers if at all possible.
Wishing you a better day today

Apty Fri 28-Sep-12 12:23:13

I think you're doing the right things Tired, if you can negotiate it all between you for now, it seems easier and less stressful, and you can always change your mind later on if you need to.

I'm also trying to do everything without involving solicitors or mediators etc - this mostly involves me needing to be incredibly reasonable and forgiving and calm and a lot of pretence at normality when actually I'd like to scream or run away. Of course I never do and things are smooth as they can be. Sometimes it feels like a cost to my mental health, the pretending, but I don't really see any other option as the children really need to feel that we can all get on and he needs to be able to spend time with them. Hopefully it'll get easier.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 28-Sep-12 18:16:23

Thanks. I cancelled the lawyer appointment, I think we've agreed a truce. Bought some nice bedroom curtains for my new house - cheaper than the lawyer and will last for years.

had a bad day with dh - my sister ,her kids and her bf came over for a while and he doesnt like them ,after they left he said something about my sisters bf ,he has a hang up that i fancy him - no way i dont at all ,he's a ncie guy thats where it ends ,dh has gone off to work thankgod i just dont want to have to deal with him anymore

Ginga66 Sun 30-Sep-12 03:59:37

Had our four year anniversary Friday. He made an effort to be nice all day and so did I. Dinner without babies first time. He accused me of being anxious and quiet, which I was,
My new solution is to let him do whatever he wants outside the house if it puts him in a better mood. He's climbing tues then doing a race in a few weeks. He is pretty obsessive about physical activity.
Have had my mum over tonite. She's in pain with health probs, fractured back and possible hip issue. Her living circumstances pretty dire with my sponging schizoid alcoholic brother and she hobbled over to me. She couldn't do much to help physically but she's super with the kids.
Ds2 awake now. I am soooo shattered. Wish I could sit dh down and explain how dragged down I am but he says he doesn't want ds2 suffering because of me so don't take amitryptyline as secreted in breastmilk.
Thinking of you all and hoping for better mood nd circumstances to prevail for us all.

Apty Mon 01-Oct-12 23:24:07

Ginga did the gp say that the antidepressants were safe for breastfeeding? I know that there are some that are - it doesn't seem right for your dh to dictate if you can take the drugs or not, that's totally your decision. I do agree that amitrytiline no good if you co-sleep as it can make you a bit knocked out at night - maybe see if there's another suitable one?

How's everyone else doing?

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 02-Oct-12 00:29:28

Rubbish. Have backtracked on moving out this weekend, long story.

Can't wait for this bit to be over, but I think it's going to carry on getting worse before it gets better. How are you?

ThistlePetal Tue 02-Oct-12 10:09:44

Morning all,

We have finally agreed to separate and are both making plans to see solicitors etc in the next couple of week. Feeling calm and strong at the moment, but may need some hand holding here over the next few weeks.... Going to a counsellor today to gather my thoughts and a bit more courage about telling kids and family....

H seems calm too - which is a change, and possibly a sign that he's going to try to take me to the cleaners (financially - that's what motivates him). He wants to keep the house (but works away from home, so can't possibly challenge to keep the kids with him, and he doesn't even want 50-50 contact). I'm inclined to let him if he buys me out in full, as my initial sums show me that I can't really afford to stay here with the DCs. And tbh the house is too big for me to manage without a cleaner so a bit of downsizing is in order. And I can buy a house nearer the kids' friends so there's a better chance of them buying into it. Quite how they'd cope with coming back here for one week a month is anyone's guess though.... Tough times ahead sad.

Ginga if you haven't already done so, it might be worth speaking to someone on the NCT Breastfeeding Line - the counsellors are mother-centred and will give you information and support (never advice) on breast feeding and antidepressants - you sound torn between the two and they can help you reach a decision - which your H will have to live with. It's not his choice, it's yours.

Would love to hear how everyone else is doing too....

Feckbox Tue 02-Oct-12 18:30:27

the feeling of being frozen , stuck is torture

cannotseeaway Tue 02-Oct-12 20:29:19

Hi all, I haven't known whether to post for the last few days, but I am feeling very alone and down. I haven't felt like
posting because last Thursday DP told me he had read this whole thread and recognised me, even though I have name changed. Maybe I can talk about this in 'another place'? He has told me he won't read this thread again, but I have been just reading and keeping up with you all so as not to cause more hurt.

thistle things sound like they are moving on, stay strong, you and everyone else.

Feckbox Tue 02-Oct-12 20:41:24

cannot, was he sympathetic towards you?

cannotseeaway Tue 02-Oct-12 21:06:52

Yes. OTBT.

backjustforaminute Tue 02-Oct-12 21:13:56

I have just read the whole thread and cried because I recognise so much of it.

I have been with Dh for nearly 9 years, 2 DC. Have posted on here about him before but I always change a few details because a few family members are on here and I worry they will recognise me. Every time I have been told to leave the bastard grin but I am still with him.

He hates me going out even just with work colleagues, and sometimes I think he is right to worry because whenever a bloke is nice to me I start having secret fantasy crushes. Never act on it, but just dream about life with Someone Else. H used to threaten to knock me out, say I deserved a kicking etc. and a couple of times threw things but never actually hit me though he has come very close.

That was the worst time and he has calmed down a lot since then as I told him I would leave and really meant it if he didn't stop being so aggressive. Now it's just if he is in a bad mood he takes it out on me regardless of whether the problem was my fault. He sometimes calls me a bitch, cunt, whore etc. I am not sure how normal this is. Some couples do have the arguments like this, but I hate it. Then sometimes he is fine, he can go for days or weeks without incident.

I think it's just that I get on his nerves but I don't know how to be different. If it was just me I would be away in less time than it took to type this post, as I work and could afford to live on my own. But there are the DC to think about I don't want to leave without making all the efforts to stay together. The thing is, I think we have reached the end of the road now as I just don't have it in me to even try to love him. I feel sick if he ever wants sex.

I am making him sound awful and he isn't, really. If I talk about separation he tells me to just fuck off then. Not possible to have a constructive discussion about this.

Apty Wed 03-Oct-12 09:27:42

backforjustaminute - he does sound pretty awful tbh, there's never any excuse to call you names like that and threaten you, it's abusive and you don't have to put up with it. Staying for the children isn't necessarily the right thing, because your children will grow up with an unhappy mother, and believing that this is how relationships work. It's more important that they learn to value themselves that it is to have both parents living in the same house.

Thistle - well done on the huge step forwards! It's great you feel so calm - shows you that it's the right thing. It sounds like the practicalities could get complicated, but they're not as bad as the limbo are they, and at least you know that you're moving towards a better life for yourself.

cannot - could it be a positive thing that your dh has seen the thread? Maybe it's given him some insight? I hope you're ok.

Tired - sorry to hear about the delay, how much longer before you move? Are you stalling because you're still unsure?

cannotseeaway Wed 03-Oct-12 13:23:12

backjustforaminute so sorry to read your story. Yes, you are making him sound awful, but maybe that is because he is? He may have stopped being physically agressive, but he is still being verbally agressive. How horrible to throw those insults at you on a regular basis. My DP called me a whore once during an argument, and it still makes me feel angry and sad when I think about it. It is not normal, if you need people to confirm that for you.

If you are staying just for the kids, then think about the lessons they are learning about what an adult relatinship should look like. They will replicate your relationship when they are older, whether that is a woman thinking it is okay to be treated like that, and have everything that is worng in her partner's world to be taken out on her, or whether it is a boy growing up to think it is okay to treat women like that.

I also think that what we all need to keep in mind is how much happier children will be with a happy mother, and the pressure they may feel being the glue holding together a bad adult relationship (shamelessly pilfered from another, more eloquent MNer on another thread).

Keep posting here, whether you decide to leave, or stay for the meantime, posters on here are so supportive.

arequipa Thu 04-Oct-12 04:53:28

backjustforaminute - your partner is as bad as they get. Because you know him well and have compassion, your feelings towards him are complex. But he has a hold over you, you care what he thinks and believe his opinions of you. You know his abuse (whether verbal, emotional or physical) will continue as long as you stay with him. Can you make a practical plan for how you would leave? Could anyone help with it?

hi ladies
im planning to get through this christmas then call it a day - i think it will be a big shock for him as he feels that no matter what we should stay together -im sure he doesnt care if im unhappy or not ,when he is at work im fine but when he comes home i feel tense ,you are meant to be happy when you see your husband at the end of the day but im not.
there isnt anyone else but i know that it will be the first thing he will think when i tell him its over.

PulledInTwo Thu 04-Oct-12 17:29:34

Hi,

Me again. Been so busy at uni I haven't had chance to get on here! H has been trying very hard, but as soon as I stop being distant he thinks everything is fine and things are slowly going back to normal. I still want to leave, but am finding it so hard, he mentioned a few weeks ago that he knew how close I was to leaving and that he'd never felt pain like it. But I know that I'm going to hurt him so much more when I leave sad

As soon as I leave for uni now I take my rings off, I hate wearing them, I'm always aware of them and they feel so awkward and heavy. It's the main thing that's made me realise I'm better off leaving. H deserve better than someone who does that also. I also find myself so attracted to other guys, wanting to date them, get to know them etc I always thought when you were with the right guy, even though you can fancy other guys, you want to be and are glad to be with your guy?

This is so messed up. I wish I knew how to end it with him...

PulledInTwo Thu 04-Oct-12 17:33:16

Oh and woundering I know what you mean about being happy when they ate at work but tense when they come home. I feel that to. Also we never kiss, never cuddle, I used to miss that, but now if he tries I just want to off of me. I really sound like a bitch don't I...

My h also thinks no matter what we should stay together, I don't think anything I could ever do would make him leave. So insted I've gotta be the heartless one to end it sad

PulledInTwo Thu 04-Oct-12 17:33:47

Are at work, not ate lol. Long day at uni!

do you have kids pulled ?
we have 3 ,its so hard do i put them or myself first and what if they hate me for breaking up the family
and btw you do not sound like a bitch - me and dh never kiss and cuddle ,he thinks groping my boobs is love angry

PulledInTwo Thu 04-Oct-12 18:55:17

hay wendy yes me and H have a 20 months old DD together. I feel awful for wanting to leave her daddy and break up her world, that I think is why I'm struggling, by going I'll be destroying 2 people, just to be selfish...

i think if i knew now what id known when my kids were tiny then it would of been for the best - she is young enough not to remember it.
MY KIDS ARE 14,11 AND 6

ThistlePetal Thu 04-Oct-12 20:06:07

Thanks Cannot and Apty, things are definitely moving forward and I can honestly say that with every day I am feeling more and more like I have done the right thing. It's almost like I've been pulling a heavy trailer behind me and now I've unhooked it.... Still a long way to go, but I'm sure I'm on the right track.

Totally agree with Cannot re staying for the sake of the kids. If you are in a marriage/relationship which is making you unhappy, and you can't find a way to be happy in it (for whatever reason), by leaving you are showing your children that everyone is responsible for their own happiness, and that no one needs to stay in a relationship that isn't right for them. That's a hugely valuable life lesson. If it's right for you to leave, and you put your kids at the forefront of all you do while you get out of your marriage and beyond, they will cope, and they will be happier too in the long run.

I also agree with Wendy that if I had the clarity I have now, when my kids were much younger (they are 12 and 9) I'd have left a long time ago. For years I have been fine when DH is away (albeit knackered by the time he came home, he works away for 2 weeks at a time) and on pins when he comes home. I've only just faced up to it this year.

You will make the right decision for you. So keep thinking over your situation, stay aware of your feelings and where they might be coming from (get some help from a counsellor if you can), and have faith in yourself smile.

backjustforaminute Fri 05-Oct-12 19:19:41

Cannot I also agree re. staying for the children but I did it anyway.

It's sad to think of all of us in this situation, I hope we all find the solution somehow.

As someone said upthread, it's easy to know what you should be doing, actually putting the plan into action is something else.

I have viewed 2 flats for rent, the one which I can afford is tiny and I feel bad making the kids move out of our current flat, which is iovely. Trying to cheer myself up with the thougt that potential new flat is in a building with a huge enclosed courtyard in the middle which would be perfect for the DDs to play outside.

I told the agency that I am interested in the flat and they will speak to the owner. I have never been this close to leaving and it's really scary, like being about to jump off a bridge not sure if the bungee rope is properly tied on or not.

PulledInTwo Sun 07-Oct-12 12:10:24

Hay, just really need some support right now. I've been stroppy for a few days now, uni pressure and being confused about H. Anyway today we got into a big argument again, h was going on about how we said we'd move on and try to make it work. I called him an arsehole. He git upset saying there was no need for that. I apologized, but knew it would lead to him thinking my heart is on trying. So I came out and told him the truth, that the spark is gone for me, I care for him, but don't have that 'connection'. He's now upset and hurt, not speaking to me and just keeping busy now sad before I always go and make it better, say I still love him, want to try etc even if I don't feel it. This time I don't want to do that, but I hate this atmosphere...

Soditall Sun 07-Oct-12 12:18:17

For me it was when I reached the point that I left him(my ex) or left this world.

If someone makes you feel so bad that you'd rather not go on anymore then it's time to end it.If they make you so you don't recognize yourself anymore or like yourself anymore then it's time to leave.

If the bad in your relationship is everyone elses awful and your good is only ever present when your partner knows they've pushed it to far again and are trying to make it seem like they will change then it's time to leave.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Oct-12 12:46:44

I always go and make it better, say I still love him, want to try etc even if I don't feel it. This time I don't want to do that, but I hate this atmosphere...

I used to always do this too. Couldn't bear the magnitude of separating. But you can only do this so many times, making no progress. Then it happens again.

me it was when I reached the point that I left him(my ex) or left this world.

I got to the point where I was suicidal all the time as well. But I was still doing what Pulled did.

I haven't updated on here for a while. I postponed moving out. The only good thing is, I have a house that has been bought. So I will have to move eventually.

At the moment, the house is mostly empty and when I can I'm going over there and decorating. It had a big messy family in it before, so it's painted white everywhere with lots of dirty fingerprints. I've done the downstairs room and am doing the dds rooms now. And I will slap some paint on the walls of the au pair's room, then my office, then the kitchen. It's tiring and lonely doing it all on my own.

Dh has taken the kids out all today on his own. He is arranging things to do with them on his own all the time now. I hate it, and they are missing me, but I can wear it for now, because things are going to change imminently.

He has tortured me for months with how screwed he is vis a vis budget for another house for himself (basically he insisted he wanted to be mortgage-free which limited him to poky shitholes). Implication being 'you're alright Jack, look at poor me'. But now he has said he is going to transfer the small mortgage from the family home. This gives him more scope, and will allow him to find a house in the area he wants. He seems determined to find a house on the doorstep of dd's friends. I'm trying to tell myself this is just him being insecure and wanting to make sure being with him is attractive to them, not part of a horrible strategy to isolate me and argue for him having custody.

I've been feeling very low, partly because I have little support. My friends are lovely but I don't contact them because I don't want to burden them. I find myself doubting what I am doing. My mum's pretty toxic but like lots of daughters of toxic mums I find it hard to give up hope and I really thought when the chips were down and I was having a truly terrible time that she would be supportive, but she isn't at all and I feel really down about it.

Ah well, I need to get out of this dressing gown, put some make up on, stop spending time on MN and get over to my new house and put some more paint on the walls. I've finally got round to getting the au pair over, and when she arrives and I've got some childcare there is no reason to delay moving.

I've applied for some bursaries from Uni, and I know there are plenty more grants and bursaries I can apply for when I finally move out.

I just want to get sorted and start living my life out of the shadow of this miserable marriage.

Lots of love and strength to everyone else in this horrible situation.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Oct-12 12:57:33

Try to stay strong, Pulled. If you cave and say you will try again, you will only repeat the pattern, won't you?

I've taken off my rings too. It feels so weird. But I couldn't keep them on any more, it was ridiculous. Dh took his off months ago.

backforjustaminute the new flat sounds lovely. I know what you mean about the bunjee rope, but go for it!! You're being really brave.

The place you're moving to may be more modest than what you are leaving but what price freedom, happiness, release from the misery and psychological burden?

I know how you feel, our family home is like something out of Homes and Gardens haha. It took me a long time to realise I could give it up because I'd put so much into making it beautiful. But it's like a beautiful, shiny apple or a ripe delicious peach - with a maggot eating away at the core. Money, possessions, 'lifestyle' don't matter. A 'dream' holiday isn't a dream when you're with someone who makes you unhappy and a lovely home isn't lovely when you have to share it with someone who drains you and drags you down - it's a prison.

my mum is exactly the same tiredofwaitingforitalltochange

backjustforaminute Sun 07-Oct-12 14:55:06

Carry on Pulled and Tired you're on the right track! I'm sure the leaving, packing up, and setting up a new home is the hardest bit. The actual living without the ex will be a piece of piss. Tired, it's probably the best time to start a uni course, it will be a good distraction and you will meet new people. A real new start!

Tired, I totally understand what you mean about leaving a nice home. Our current flat, although nice and spacious, is HA so not the height of luxury. But I've lived here for a while, know and get on with all the neighbours, and just feel at home here. All my memories of the girls growing up are here (eldest is only 6 so loads of time left to create more memories!) That said I have never really been motivated to decorate and get nice furniture, H always used to grumble over wasting money on non essentials. And over the last couple of years the thought was always in the back of my mind that one day I would leave so there was no point spending time and money on this flat.

Thinking logically, I know that bar obnoxious neighbours / nightclub next door etc. you can be happy almost anywhere, it's mostly a question of attitude.

I should hear in the next couple of days if I can move into new flat or not.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Oct-12 15:01:38

my mum is exactly the same

I really feel for you. Mine has more sympathy with dh than with me and seems at some level 'pleased' that my marriage is ending because it proves what a failure I am, and also angry/envious that I'm not prepared to tolerate a miserable life any more. She also resents that I went to Uni, and resents that I'm back there twenty years later, studying for a professional qualification.

She never did anything for herself and she and my dad are like chalk and cheese. I think she's been really bored and frustrated with him. My living in a miserable marriage validated her own choices. Her only bit of satisfaction now is thinking she's better than me staying married. But marriage should be something happy, not a hair shirt you wear to keep society happy.

I know I would drop everything to help one of my daughters if they were having a hard time and offer them my unequivocal support. I don't like my mum at the moment and resent the energy I'm wasting on it.

Once I come out the other side, though, I'm going to be really strong. This experience might make me realise, finally, that she hasn't got anything positive to offer me. Giving up on her is painful but I think it's going to be liberating.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Oct-12 15:04:14

I have never really been motivated to decorate and get nice furniture, H always used to grumble over wasting money on non essentials.

You'll feel so different when you've got your own place. Right, I'm going to stop navel-gazing and go and do some decorating!

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange

my mum and dad are breaking up right now after 34 yrs of marriage they were never happy - she cheated alot,i just feel that their lack of support really makes me scared to strike out on my own.i decided a few years ago just to stop trying with my parents neither of them has bothered with me or my beautiful kids so its their loss -doesn't make it hurt any less though.
i just want to be happy and life is short why spend it unhappy im sure the kids notice ,having said that im a good actress !!
only my best friend and little sister know how unhappy i am.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Oct-12 16:08:06

Poor you ww sad

I wonder how many women on this thread have got crap/unsupportive mums?

Not making any assumptions, just thinking aloud.

Can't help wondering if toxic mother = people pleaser daughter/low expectations of relationships/settling/low self esteem/self blame = stuck in bad marriage/emotional abuse/guilt re leaving = on this thread.

I think if my mum was the kind of mum I try to be, I would have had higher expectations of life. I would have been more confident. I would have had higher self esteem. I might not have married a grumpy, negative abuser and felt 'comfortable' trying to be good enough all the time, conditioned as I was to do this - by my mother.

And it might have taken me less time than it did to start struggling my way to the surface, and it might have taken less time to get the hell out. And it might be less agonising and guilt-laden than it is now.

When you get older you want your mum to be like your best mate - always supportive, always with your interests in mind, always wanting you to have, and thinking you deserve, a great life. If my daughter was unhappy living with a petty tyrant I would insist she escape, I would make her feel good and strong about it. Not feel wrong, guilty, inadequate. If I had my mum's support I think all this would be much easier.

Not that I'm blaming her, it's all down to me in the end, isn't it?

Just some thoughts. Sorry for the self indulgence smile

Feckbox Sun 07-Oct-12 16:27:55

Interesting re the mums.
My mum was just lovely. A strong, straightforward woman who loved my dad very much, and he her , and was married to him for over 50 years.
Oddly she never wanted to know about my marriage problems.
She used to say
I needed to sort it out for myself.
She died last year after a short illness.
I miss her so much

ThistlePetal Mon 08-Oct-12 18:30:50

*Mine has more sympathy with dh than with me and seems at some level 'pleased' that my marriage is ending because it proves what a failure I am, and also angry/envious that I'm not prepared to tolerate a miserable life any more. She also resents that I went to Uni, and resents that I'm back there twenty years later, studying for a professional qualification.

She never did anything for herself and she and my dad are like chalk and cheese. I think she's been really bored and frustrated with him. My living in a miserable marriage validated her own choices. Her only bit of satisfaction now is thinking she's better than me staying married. But marriage should be something happy, not a hair shirt you wear to keep society happy.*

I still haven't told my mum, but this is exactly how I expect things to pan out - I'd bet money on it. She loves my H, and he panders to her neediness, so he will fully have her support. I gave her a huge clue this weekend (inadvertently at first, then I decided to use it as a way of testing the water with her, as I will need to tell her in the next couple of weeks) and was expecting a phone call today to ask "is something up?" But of course, I forgot. She doesn't actually have any interest in me so will have completely missed the cue. So the news will come as a huge blow and it will be drama central.

Except it won't be. I've realised today, having seen a solicitor, how many things I have to deal with and organise over the coming weeks, and I can't afford to carry anyone who is trying to get their needs met over mine ( except of course my DCs). So that's what she will be told - offer support if you want to, it will be gratefully accepted. Criticism and woe-is-me-isms will be flatly refused entry.

I have also been pondering the link between unsupportive mums and our own failing relationships - and I think there's no getting away from it. But this is where it stops - we won't be doing the same to our own daughters or indeed sons, so hopefully they will make better relationship choices when their turns come.

Will come back later to properly read all your posts - have head firmed lodged up backside of late so have been a poor correspondent.

Middy86 Mon 08-Oct-12 22:29:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Apty Mon 08-Oct-12 23:12:23

Hi Middy, sorry you're here, but welcome iykwim!

Really interesting about mothers. I feel really let down about my mother's reaction, although I don't know how I cold have expected anything different. I can't really cope with discussing anything with her at all. She makes it all about her and I feel like I have to protect myself by not even engaging.

It's been a difficult week with him being quite persuasive about putting things back together. I know it would be wrong but with the children also really missing him being here, there's a lot of pressure. It feels very confusing and I wish I could be clear and strong. Just exhausted really.

ThistlePetal Tue 09-Oct-12 12:40:57

Welcome Middy, glad you've found this thread, you're definitely not on your own here. Please do keep posting, sometimes seeing things in print makes it clearer, and of course you'll get lots of kind words of support too.

She makes it all about her and I feel like I have to protect myself by not even engaging. Apty this is where I'm at too. It's so exhausting having to deal with all this without having a mum to truly rely on, isn't it? Do you have friends that you have confided in, who can scoop you up? Or can you get a break away from the DCs for a few hours just to rest and/or clear your head? You are probably much stronger than you think, but you do need to take care of yourself while you're dealing with all the pressure.

As for my own toxic mother - we live in the same town, and I used to rely on her quite heavily for childcare, but haven't been able to dicsuss my feelings with her ever. Then she started her toxic nonsense on DD when she was in her care, so I put a stop to that too. I only see her for short bursts of time now, and I am very quick to call her on any rudeness (it has taken me years to be able to stand up to her like that). I have to work hard to stay "adult" with her when I do see her, but it's definitely worth it.

I think I have mentioned on this thread before, that the one thing that has helped me deal with my mother and how she has brought me up (and how that has impacted every relationship decision I've ever made) was a therapy called BodyTalk. In one session my mum featured really strongly (and in another session my dad featured very strongly as her enabler) and since that day, I have felt free of her shackles. It still hurts hugely that she cannot support me in the way other mums support their daughters, but I am no longer hamstrung by her beliefs or what she will think of me. I am just quietly accepting of the fact that she cannot support me, and gets some satisfaction from criticising me. It's her problem. I'd really recommend BodyTalk to anyone. No idea how it works - but it does! There's a website with a list of practitioners on it.

In other news, I had a complete wobble last night after my appointment with the solicitor. I just felt that she didn't have any concrete advice for me, and she was very gloomy about H's chances of buying me out (apparently mortgages for this kind of thing are like hen's teeth just now). Interestingly though, even though I was very low, every time I thought about giving in and just not doing this whole separation thing, I was filled with dread.

So I had an early night, and woke this morning with renewed determination to stay positive and keep pressing on with plans. So now have a shiny new current account in my own name, have started to transfer some bits and pieces into my name only, have called up for a benefits application pack. Onwards smile.

cannotseeaway Tue 09-Oct-12 14:13:24

Delurking to say Hello. Thistle and Apty keep on powering through, you know you are doing the right thing.

On the Mum thing, my Mum is lovely, but I am still unable to talk to her. I know that she wants a happy home for her Grandchildren. I feel the weight of that whenever I think about talking to her. She saw a consultant yesterday for a biopsy and mammogram by the way, and there are two lumps, but he thinks they are both cysts. Will find out in 9 days for definite.

Back any news on the flat?

I feel conspicuous in my silence, but I don't really feel I can post anything on here at the moment.

PulledInTwo Tue 09-Oct-12 14:27:53

I'm back again. I caved in the other day, I couldn't take the atmosphere, I'm so useless. I am waiting to hear back with an appointment to view a house though, so that's a step forwards. I just keep thinking that if I stay with H then I may never meet someone who is right for me, if I leave then in 5, 10, 15 years time I may be happy. I haven't spoken to my mum about this, I think it's because it'll make it real and final, I won't be able to stay in this limbo. I'm so scared of making the wrong choice, but I can;t relax or be happy atm. Hope your all staying strong and doing well x

PulledInTwo Tue 09-Oct-12 21:45:27

Well thanks to a screw up with home delivery for the weekly shop I've had a few hours just me and my DD this evening. And you know what, it's just made me realise even more that I don't want to be with H any more and that leaving is the right path to take. It's been lovely and so stress free, and just makes me want it even more. Seeing a flat to possibly rent tomorrow, first time I've ever done this, and I'm getting quite... excited by it all... I'll miss H in some ways, but I'll be glad not to be dealing with the same crap anymore

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 09-Oct-12 22:07:33

Hello everyone. Welcome Middy. Thanks for what you said. I will be qualified in less than two years, so not long now smile

Stay on here and share your feelings and how things are going. We all understand each other I think.

cannot sorry for what you are going through. Try not to worry. Your consultant is almost certainly right. I have had two referrals to the breast clinic so I have an idea of how it feels but remind yourself that it's much more likely to be something harmless.

I couldn't find this thread earlier, and was worried I'd killed it with my musings about mums!

Well I have to get my act together and start physically moving. Younger dd is frustrated by the postponements while elder one is the opposite, a bit hostile as it is all approaching.

Dh has made an offer on a house, it was turned down, so he offered more. He is waiting to hear and has another one to go and see. I'm not getting such bad vibes from him.

Feeling a bit 'pulled in two' myself at the moment. Not having a date to move I feel frustrated and want to sort it all out. Now things are progressing fast with our sale and dh is making plans it is all starting to hit home and I feel very sad.

Sorry to hear how tough it is Apty. I am dreading the girls missing their dad and feeling responsible. And feel that being denied them some of the time myself will be really hard, but will be my just punishment for what I am doing sad

Apty Wed 10-Oct-12 09:16:38

tired, try not to see it as a punishment, with your demanding studies, it might actually be time for yourself to work on what's important to you, and to help to build a better future for all of you. We all need time to ourselves, it could be a good thing. There is a lot of guilt, and grief, but hopefully there will also be some relief and some space to start rebuilding.

Pulled - glad you have more resolve about what to do. Excitement is good! I think it will be sad, but that doesn't mean it's not the right thing does it?

Thistle - I googled bodytalk - looks interesting, but can't work out what it actually involves.

I feel really up and down at the moment, never very constant. Sometimes I have total panic about what I'm doing and doubt myself completely, and other times i KNOW i'm doing the right thing. Just wish I felt stronger really. Work is really draining as I find it hard to concentrate and focus, and sleeping is a problem so i'm tired all the time. I really hope that it starts to get a bit easier. I know that if he was here, it would be much worse though.

PulledInTwo Wed 10-Oct-12 18:47:28

Apty I know what you mean about being up and down, yesterday I had so much resolve, today I wave between knowing it's right and then feeling so guilty and like you doubting myself. I'm sure we'll both make the right decision in time.

I feel so sad that it's ending, but at the same time hopeful, that I won;t have to put up with this forever and that I might be happy. The flat I saw today was no good, but I've found some more to look at. I also almost told my mum today, it seems I am slowly edging closer to leaving. When I looked at the flat I just thought how nice it'd be to have my own home that is actually relaxing.

Tonight, no surprise really, is stressful. H is home and already getting all 'put out' that I am studying downstairs and am not upstairs with him. I'm getting the whole wounded, hurt, so don;t you love me (not said, but definitely feels like its implied). I am so struggling to get my work done as he will then make an atmosphere (unintentionally I think....) so that it's difficult to concentrate. I've also had the checking everything I've spent... I hate it. My sister has started her xmas shopping, I love xmas shopping but just can't bring myself to start yet as I don't have the energy yet to defend all the spending and to have it all scrutinized sad. He's really not changing at all, just superficially...Fingers crossed I can muster the strength to make this my last xmas with H...

ThistlePetal Sat 13-Oct-12 16:39:22

How are we all doing?

Not much change here, except we've now set a date to tell the DCs, and begin the process of telling everyone else. H is going to move out until he can buy me out and I have secured a new house. He is still more interested in which bits of furniture he can take, than in agreeing a schedule for having the DCs.

I'm finding that I have big wobbles at the strangest times - usually when out and about, say in a shop, or at work. It all starts to feel very surreal and it's really unnerving. Thankfully though, they have been short lived - long may that continue.

Anyway just checking in with you all as I didn't want the thread to disappear, there's so much good support and understanding here xx

pulledintwo - this is why im waiting until after christmas i dont want the kids to go without ,very shallow i know.

cannotseeaway Wed 17-Oct-12 09:40:02

Hi all, I have just read on another thread that you have big weekends coming up Thistle and Tired, I wanted to wish you both luck.

I am still lurking around, still in limbo. I am feeling very weak at the moment for letting this limbo carry on, and it is not fair on me or DP. I can't make the jump to having a proper relationship with him at the moment, so wonder if I ever will be able to, even though we are getting on pretty well in our domestic / family set up. I can't forget all of the hurt involved in our sex life whenever DP shows me any affection physically, and just want him to back off. He isn't able to. And feel like I am healing sleeping on my own.

My free counselling sessions are coming to an end this week, so I wonder where it is from here?

Unfairdismissal Wed 17-Oct-12 14:57:06

NC - I also wish thistle and tired best of luck. Hope it works out for you both. I have been following this for a while and thought it had ended its run. I was in a similar confused state a few years ago and found it all so hard and wanted to pinpoint exact issues and blame DP (now DH) for his sexual pestery, immature issues.

Cannot, your situation is very much like mine was and I got advised (by my mother) whilst in my limbo state that I needed to feel happy that i had given it a real go, because he is a good man and he was changing so much at the time that i, he and the family deserved it. She told me to take complete control. I set out all the physical boundaries on my terms and how I liked it and I was to be the one to instigate anything if at all. I didnt initially feel like it because I felt so much resentment over previous behaviours. He was in the spare room for 2 months while I healed too. He had counselling about his neediness and sexual behaviour. It transpired that there were childhood issues that he was desperate to avoid repeating. The counselling and my openness of exactly how our physical relationship should be and explaining that it may take some time to fully trust him physically again slowly helped and worked out wonderfully in the end. He is brilliant now, showing respect, trust and complete honesty, i also realised we held much more interests in common than i previously did too. He does have his minor faults of course but So do we all - I ended up marrying the fool! I still remember on occasion his lack of respect and remind him of itto keep him on his toes. I am quite a strong and controlling person but didnt feel it at the time I felt out of touch and out of control. I wanted to be with friends but found they too like me were getting old and werent having so much fun and happiness, in fact most of them had been on the brink of leaving their partners at some stage or other. Mums-net is great and has lots of wonderful advise and sometimes all to quickly advise the get out of there quick route, I get the vibe that you don't want that but would rather have a happy respectful family. Take very good care of yourself and I hope it works out for you.

cannotseeaway Wed 17-Oct-12 15:36:55

I am glad it worked out for you unfairdismissal. It does sound like a very similar situation, but I am worried it is a case of too little too late here. His intentions are good, but his actions are the complete opposite. He does things I don't want him to do at the moment, nothing really bad, but stuff like hopping in the shower when I am in there, going in for lots of cuddles and kisses, and then apologises straight after and promises to give me my space from now on. I am Going Nuts. Don't know up from down.

Unfairdismissal Wed 17-Oct-12 15:46:03

Cannot I felt like that too, set down the rules/boundaries and advise he seeks counselling, if that fails you have can be happy you tried. It is hard I know for sure but worth it if it works. smile

cannotseeaway Wed 17-Oct-12 16:13:42

The boundaries have been set, but it is like he just can't help himself but step over them. I end up feeling bad when he steps over them as he looks so gutted and annoyed with himself as soon as he realises what he has done, muttering about having to say "sorry" again and how he is always having to say sorry. Madness.

He will be starting some counselling soon, which is good news for him I think, whether we work out or not.

Unfairdismissal Wed 17-Oct-12 16:27:32

Who set the boundaries? When I set ours strongly something clicked with him and that is great about the counselling it really helped my Dh. It sounds for sure like your Dp really doesn't want to do these things at the moment which is good. Tell him straight what you want as boundaries - boundaries for now anyway, you take control. smile

Unfairdismissal Wed 17-Oct-12 16:56:44

My Dh just agreed that when I set boundaries strongly - they mean everything to him and he feels all the more determined to sticking them and soon after initial difficult adjustments, enjoys doing so.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 17-Oct-12 17:07:59

Thanks for your good wishes, people.

Have removers booked. Lots of packing to do.

Taking Friday off.

Feels weird more than anything. Keep getting flashbacks to happy times when the children were small sad

ThistlePetal Wed 17-Oct-12 19:26:54

Thanks from me too - and good luck Tired, hope the move goes well.

I am terrified about telling the DCs and my parents, but I just want to get on and do it, then we can all start to plan the future together.

DH has now produced a fairly decent schedule for seeing the kids and I'm feeling that we can remain civil. I feel sad, and especially sad for him, but also quite excited to see what the future brings.

Unfairdismissal Thu 18-Oct-12 10:38:46

How's it going today everyone? Hope packing is going ok and not too painful.

Cannot how is everything with you today?

cannotseeaway Thu 18-Oct-12 13:32:05

Nothing has really changed today, I feel like we have reached a hiatus again after a couple of months of turbulence and mindfuckery. I was 99% sure it was over this time last week, and now, after a few days of dp being kind, helpful and not so clingy, I feel numb again. Why has it got to be so hard?

I have taken on board your post yesterday about how your dh came through the other side of his sexual pestery, and I hope dp can, but at the moment it feels like something has been irreparably damaged. I am feeling guilty because I feel I enabled his behaviour for years by not pulling him up on it, so it is partly my fault for being so stupid and weak. I don't feel like a strong, intelligent feminist, I feel like a weak victim of misogynist society. I let this happen. My thoughts about thus have strengthened today after reading a thread about this here.

I worry I will never want sex with him again even if he addresses his issues in therapy and changes. Then we will en up splitting anyway and it will be my fault. I will be splitting my family up with my own selfishness. sad

cannotseeaway Thu 18-Oct-12 13:35:34

This not thus, end not en blush.

I pressed send before previewing my post, I also wanted to add that I am worried that dp will get fixed and I will feel the fucked-up same.

Unfairdismissal Thu 18-Oct-12 14:02:03

I went through all those mixed up feelings, I really understand exactly what you are saying and thinking, quite scary actually.

If he does get 'fixed' then your feelings might change too - feeling respected and valued is massive after resentment and hurt. I took and was in control, I didn't 'fix' my own feelings overnight and did not do anything/kept the boundaries until I was ready to change those boundaries.
Don't feel weak or the victim - you will be so empowered by all this if you control this repair of your relationship and will be and feel strong beyond belief.

For me, it was the most powerful thing I have ever overcome, was hard but worth it.

ThistlePetal Thu 18-Oct-12 18:40:00

Cannot it does sound positive that your DH is going for counselling - and if it does 'fix' him, then you have a clearer basis on which to have a good look at how you really feel about him and your relationship. It's true that you might still want to finish it - but at least you can reach that conclusion having had a bit more time and physical space to think about it. And if you decide to stay, then you have your new boundaries in place and you can take it from there. Hope it goes well for you in any case. It's fab, Unfair, that your own story turned out so well smile.

Apty I meant to come back to you with more info on Bodytalk. It seems to be based on kinesiology, Chinese medicine, and bits of many other holistic therapies! It doesn't really matter if you believe in any of the therapies, it just seems to work. It cured my best pal's lifelong fear of flying - she is 50 - and she now flies on her own. It has helped me hugely with my self esteem - I still think the same way (I'm not good enough, etc) but I am much more able to put those thoughts to one side and be more rational.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 18-Oct-12 22:59:19

Well I'm packing tomorrow, out on Saturday.

I will keep you all posted, re how it feels, but may be offline for a bit till I get internet sorted in my new house.

x

ThistlePetal Thu 18-Oct-12 23:14:07

Good luck Tired, hope it goes well. Will look forward to hearing how you are getting on x

Unfairdismissal Fri 19-Oct-12 11:00:34

Thanks Thistle I took a while to be fab, but got there in the end small steps and on my terms and my confidence grew again.

Good luck today Tired, keep smiling and enjoy a well earned wine at the end of the day or before if not driving today wink.

Am en route to London to see a friend for the night, actually feeling like I will miss DH tonight - never thought that I would feel that again a while back.

Have a fab day everyone.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 19-Oct-12 16:45:49

Today is awful. Packing with my mum. Been in tears most of the day and we both broke down this morning. Keep finding wedding photos, pics of the kids when they were small, all the bits and pieces bought on various holidays. So many memories.

I wonder if this means I'm doing the wrong thing or it's just natural grief at things not turning out the way I hoped and believed they would.

I suppose I will find out the answer to this question after I've moved out and things have settled down.

I haven't written it off, but maybe that's just finding it hard to let go. Or maybe it's because I still love my husband underneath all the hurt that we've caused each other. I know that I felt stifled in my marriage, unable to be myself and unable to grow up. He's not a bad man and has lots of good qualities but he is screwed up and would need to change and get rid of the 'Mr Hyde' in him. I don't think he can do that without time on his own to think about it all and finally admit to himself his own responsibility in our marriage ending up like this.

He has always been defensive and blaming me, because I haven't been terribly nice to him in recent years - this was because he hurt me so much with years of chipping away at my self esteem with his critical, passive aggressive behaviour.

He is heartbroken at what is happening, I know that. If he can reflect on it and accept his own part in things going so wrong, we might be able to move on together rather than apart. Only time will tell. Whatever, hopefully we will be able to rediscover some friendship when we no longer live together and co-operate in making a good and happy life for our children.

DD1 being very unhelpful, I need to make a decisions about big furniture to take tomorrow and she gets very annoyed and stressed when I ask her which wardrobe we need to take from here. And says coldly that she 'can't help me'. It's horrible. sad

Ah well, I'd better get back to the packing.

ThistlePetal Fri 19-Oct-12 20:25:06

Tired, in hear your pain. You are busy sifting through happy memories whilst making huge changes to your life and taking that great leap into the unknown. It sounds perfectly reasonable to cry, and feel sad, and grieve for what you are leaving behind, and I'm glad your mum has been there with you to do the same. Of course you didn't plan on things turning out this way - but you weren't in control of this any more than anyone else was.

Tomorrow though, you move on. With whichever wardrobe you choose - and DD can't say she wasn't offered a choice. At some point tomorrow, you may get a chance to ask yourself - if I could stop all this now to give it one last chance, would I do that? And if the immediate answer is yes, then you can still stop all this and tell your DH that you would like to stay and try again. If you're not sure, or you're sure that the answer is no, then start unpacking those boxes at the other end and start making a new home for you and your DCs. It doesn't have to be forever, but you do need to make your own space for now.

What's for you, won't go by you, as they say round my bit of the world. Lots of strength and un-mumsnetty hugs to you xx

ThistlePetal Fri 19-Oct-12 20:25:58

Damned iPad. *I hear

Unfairdismissal Sat 20-Oct-12 08:45:51

Hope you are feeling better about it all today tired, it must have been so hard to do, big hugs (un-mumsnetty ones) to you.

Thistle those were lovely words for tired and I like your bit of the world saying.

Cannot hope you are ok?

Night in London was lush, lovely to catch up with friend. Head a bit sore now though.

Have a good day everyone.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 21-Oct-12 09:16:28

Thanks Thistle and Unfair for the nice messages.

Well I moved out yesterday. It was a very difficult day, but my friends were great. One helped me assemble my bed and got the new telly working. Another came and unpacked lots of boxes. Another drove up from London with flowers, biscuits, wine and posh bread and spent most the day with me, helping with the jobs. She sussed out the central heating and switched it on and it was lovely warming up the house.

Another friend came round in the evening with her daughter and fiancé and we sat and drank prosecco in the kitchen and it felt so relaxed.

Kids each spent the day with a friend and dh took himself off out of the way.

The house looks wonderful. I had two months to plan where everything would go and everything from the family home fits in really well.

Best of all, I took my daughters there last night and they were both bowled over by how the house looked with furniture. Dd1 was smiley and said it was really homely. I felt like crying! She did want to go home after a bit but it felt like a good start.

The house will be ready for them to stay in in a few days time.

I actually had to stay at family home last night as dh had a night out in London and I had to be with the kids. It wasn't deliberate on his part, he had gig tickets bought ages ago.

Will keep you posted re how it's going and hope to be a bit more supportive of others and less self absorbed on here now I've made the break.

Unfairdismissal Sun 21-Oct-12 10:58:56

Well, Tired that sounds like an alright/nice day in the end, smile.

I just had a Long lie in and breakfast brought to me in bed, lovely, headin out for a fresh autumn walk in a minute to fully wake up.

Hope all ok.

ThistlePetal Sun 21-Oct-12 18:00:20

Tired, glad things went ok for you. So pleased to hear that DD1 was so positive about the house.

We told our DCs this afternoon that we are separating. They took it quite well, we all had a team hug and explained what was going to happen, and why. They listened, we all cried, and they asked lots of really sensible questions which we both answered.

Then I went round to my parents and told them. Had a good hug with my mum, was able to explain calmly what was going on, but did have to take myself away when she called me a silly girl, I could tell that her shock would quickly give way to anger. My dad's reaction was worse than I feared though - he told me I'd broken my mother's heart and that my kids would be ruined. I left after that.

So I'm feeling quite numb now, quite washed out. I do feel relief at having told them, but I can't help feeling that there is far more upset to come. We're all just bumbling around the house as before, almost as if nothing has happened. Weird.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 21-Oct-12 20:37:23

Oh Thistle. Really feel for you. It does sound like you handled it very well with your children. I think the openness is good, and it's fine to acknowledge that it is sad, good that you were all there. Solidarity is really important to reassure them.

Yes, it does feel odd when everything just feels like it is 'carrying on as before'. It seems unreal. I've been busy unpacking over at my new house but that feels unreal too - like it is all a game and not real life.

What you said about your parents sounds horrible, especially your dad. That's a terrible reaction, so lacking in any compassion for you. I am so sorry. You have done what you needed to do, and told them. Avoid them now. You don't need their toxicity draining you, you will need your strength to sort out things for your own family. You are not a 'silly girl' and you are not doing this lightly. They should realise how painful this is and try and make things better for you, not worse.

Big hug.

ThistlePetal Sun 21-Oct-12 22:58:50

Thanks Tired. It really doesn't feel like real life, does it? I wonder when it starts to feel more 'normal'. I guess once you have actually moved in, you'll start to find your new real life.

I will be keeping out of my parents' way for now, except when I have the children with me. And even that might have to go by the wayside if they can't show support then either. I know it would have been a huge shock for them today and they were both reacting in the only way they know. I was actually expecting worse, and suspect if i went back tomorrow they'd be ready with both barrels as the initial shock will have passed.

But like you say, I've got enough to deal with right now, and I'll be supporting my own DCs in a better way. H and I seem to be pulling together on that front, long may it continue.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 21-Oct-12 23:15:40

Hi Thistle.

I think seeing your parents with the kids can go out of the window for now, unless you can trust your parents not to give you a hard time in front of the kids, or say anything to confuse or upset them.

I'm glad that you and your husband are 'pulling together' as you say. Hope it will stay that way. Has he reacted more reasonably than you were expecting?

Mine is being OK at the moment, he is very sad though, and I feel awful. I keep wanting to beg him to come with me. I sat and had lunch with two friends who had come and helped me yesterday and I was really shocked when they both said they thought we would eventually get back together. They've been quite supportive of splitting and knew all about how unhappy I was.

I can't tell you if it feels less unreal when you've moved out. I moved most of the stuff yesterday and went over and did some unpacking today, but am cravenly staying in the family home for a second night, while my new home sits unoccupied. Pathetic, aren't I? Dc went to a youth club tonight and I wanted to see them after they got back. Then I couldn't face going over to new house, because it was dark. I know how to put the heating on and off but not how to time it for a couple of hours at a time. And I haven't taken any towels over there. And there is nobody there shock

I am postponing actually having to wake up there, it feels so alien. And I'm a bit scared - it's a big old house. What if it's haunted? I put all the lights on when I am there in the evenings.

Not really sounding much like a grown woman, let alone one who can be a single mum and cope with a full time uni course sad

ThistlePetal Sun 21-Oct-12 23:34:20

You may be right about the parents, they are apt to put their own needs first, after all sad.

H is being very reasonable, but is also very sad. I'm sad too, of course, but I guess he's more on the back foot as I'm the one setting the pace.

How did you react when your friends said they'd expected you to get back together? Just wondering if your immediate reaction was to say "no way". Or "never say never"? I think we are so programmed as a society to expect marriage to be the optimum state, people sometimes forget all the pain you have endured in an unhappy marriage. In fact, I think sometimes we forget ourselves too.

Don't beat yourself up about not staying in the new house yet. I think you'll reach a tipping point where you know you have to just do it - and once you've managed a night you'll be fine. Would your DCs stay over with you just one night to help you? Or maybe it's easier to wait until they're ready to move permanently too? There's no rule book for this part, I'm sure. Keep the lights on if you need to! X

cannotseeaway Mon 22-Oct-12 09:33:49

Morning everyone, just wanted to say well done for coming out the other side of a difficult weekend thistle and tired. thistle sorry about your oarent's reaction, I am sure a lot of my family would react the same way, which will worry me. tired you have got the difficult bit out of the way now, the actual move, I hope your first night in your new home goes well. Rather than thinking of it being an empty spooky house, think of it as a sanctuary at the moment; do whatever floats your boat there on the first night, good wine, yummy food, a steaming hot bath, crisp new book, uplifting music would be my choice.

Bad day here yesterday, can't really go into detail here right now. I have not been on the Internet much this weekend as DP has been making veiled comments about me spending time on my smartphone. So fed up of the ups and downs, don't know what is going to happen day to day, I really crave some emotional calm in my life!

cannotseeaway Mon 22-Oct-12 09:35:14

Sorry about the grammar and spelling, my fingers are just too fat for an iPhone! grin

Unfairdismissal Mon 22-Oct-12 17:00:27

Very quick post to say hi to all, hoping your Monday's are going well and happy days.

cannot the journey down this beaten path is hard, I walked through very wierd and stressful places but i found it and ended up in a safe and reassuring place.

ThistlePetal Mon 22-Oct-12 17:12:26

Well my parents upped their ante today.... We were having a slow and really very pleasant start to the day here, planning a day out before H leaves for work tomorrow morning. Having asked my parents to stay away until we felt the DCs were ready to see them (knowing that M would be very emotional and looking for support herself), they pitched up and peace was shattered. Both M and D wasted no time telling me that M hadn't slept a wink, before M told me that all we need to do is go on holiday and sort ourselves out. They didn't ask how I was, or anyone else for that matter. They just reminded me how unbelievable they thought it all was.

Had to remain very adult and remind them that they couldn't bring their own angst and certainly not their criticisms round here at this time, if they couldn't support me then could they at least give the DCs the support they need. Then I had to ask H to go and tell them the same. Which, to his credit, he did. Maybe they will listen to him. My dad left without making eye contact. At least my mum managed a hug.

I feel quite surprised - and then surprised at why I'm so surprised! They have shown absolutely no concern for me at all today, and I shouldn't feel let down, because it was ever thus..... But I do feel let down. And I'm angry at being sidetracked into ranting about them, as every second spent doing that is a second I'd be better spending with my DCs. To make things worse DD overheard me asking H how someone's parents could seemingly dislike them so much, so I've had to deal with her understandable questions about that too.

Sorry, just needed to vent. Otherwise, H, kids and I went on to have a good day together. Hope you're all faring well x

Feckbox Mon 22-Oct-12 17:30:20

Thistle, you poor thing. Under similar circumstances many years ago my dad told me that I had broken his heart and he had no more tears to cry. I love my parents very much but I managed to say to him that if HE had cried so many tears over it, how did he think I felt?

I am happy to say he got over himself

Tired, so happy for you and your new home. You can sleep over when you feel you can. Don't be hard on yourself.

ThistlePetal Mon 22-Oct-12 22:11:51

Thanks Feck, it is strangely reassuring to know that someone else has experienced the same - I'm glad your dad came to his senses.

I fear my dad's sense of righteousness will prevent him from getting over himself fully, but we'll see. My mum has since apologised, I think she realises that if they continue with that approach that we will simply stay away, and she won't want to lose contact with the DCs.

I've managed to tell the mums of the DCs best friends today, so hopefully the local jungle drums will do their usual work now.

DCs themselves have continued to be amazing. They do ask questions as they pop into their heads, which has thrown me a couple of times, but they're still all good, reasonable questions.

Cannot, thanks for your comment earlier, I hope today has been a better day for you.

Feckbox Mon 22-Oct-12 22:40:31

Thistle, my dad has a very strong sense of righteousness too. I was brought up in quite a narrow christian community. People in my background don't get divorced! Except of course they do!
It took my dad about 6 months to come round. Now we are closer than ever .

My mum was pretty disapproving too. She asked if there was violence, drink, or a third person involved . ( no, no, and no) Those were the only three acceptable reasons she could envisage for giving up on a marriage.

I just kept away from them for a few months and it was strangely liberating. I was in a kind of no man's land anyway , with friendships shifting around me, living in a crummy bedsit and stuff.

This was all years ago and we came through it and I became closer than ever to both mum and dad

cannotseeaway Tue 23-Oct-12 13:24:28

Thistle it must be hard your parents reacting like that, I think it is a massively innate need to crave support from our parents in difficult times. I don't think I will get that much emotional support from my Mum if me and DP split up. My DF is pretty useless in situations like that, he "doesn't 'do' family" in his own words, but I don't think he will judge me.

How is everyone else doing on this thread? Haven't heard from some people in a long time.

PulledInTwo Tue 23-Oct-12 20:32:49

Hi, me again. Thistle big hugs for you, sorry to hear how your parents. With regards to the house, I'm like that when in the house alone to, all the lights have to go on, it's crazy! Try and just relax and enjoy the freedom you have, read a book, have the music on, whatever, just enjoy it.

I don't know what's happening with me and H. We've been 'trying' to make things better for the last month or so, but it's just not really working. We had a huge fight again tonight over H not being happy for my mum to help us out with baby sitting, and only wanting his parents to. Well I kind of blew up, as I'm so sick of him always being so negative of my family. Well it ended in him saying how sick he was of the way I act, me saying that I feel the same, and him saying that we need to start divorce proceedings and that if I don't he will. I'm not sure how serious he is about that, but we're not speaking at all now and are completely avoiding each other.

He does try, and he has been really trying this last month, but it's just not enough, too late, I don;t know. I know that the thought of staying with him makes me feel like I'm giving up/in and that I am being a mug and settling. So much has happened in the past that I just can't let go off. Also all I keep on thinking is that if I stay with him then I'll never find someone who truly makes me happy. I feel sad at how things are between us, I hate seeing him upset like this and know it's cause of me. I know I said a lot of really nasty and hurtful things tonight, but if I say sorry then everything will carry on how it always does. I'm so torn in two. Part of me wants to go to him, hug him and say how sorry I am, the other part of me wants the 'threatened' divorce. I still remember how good things used to be, I remember when we both thought we'd love each other that much forever, the feeling of butterfly's when we saw each other, the laughs and enjoyment we had, the way I loved looking at him, touching him, and that I felt so lucky and special to be with him. I also worry that even if I left him, that I'd never be happy, as I'd sabotage any other relationship, or I'd end up regretting leaving. How am I meant to know whats the right choice when one path is a complete unknown...

Sorry it's so long, I just needed to talk, as my head is all confused right now and H is obviously not talking to me. I can;t ring my mum, H would hear, and I don't have any friends I can talk to about this. Just sitting here trying not to cry right now, trying to think what I should do.. x

cannotseeaway Tue 23-Oct-12 21:04:30

Oh pulled I am sorry you are feeling so down tonight, you are not on your own! I can hold your hand for a bit but soooo bloody exhausted I am going to get some sleep soon.

It sounds like your feelings have not changed much over the last month. Your partner though, I remember a month ago, was desperate for you to keep trying, and now he is mentioning divorce. Do you think he means it or do you think he is calling your bluff?

cannotseeaway Tue 23-Oct-12 21:08:02

PS I don't think you would sabotage all future relationships because This one hasn't worked out. One thing I am trying to do at the moment is let go of any feelings I have about my situation ties in with guilt. It is bloody hard, and not really working, but it is helpin me identify them nonetheless. I think it is just the guilt in you making you think like that.

cannotseeaway Tue 23-Oct-12 21:08:37

Tied, not ties.

confusedbyitall Tue 23-Oct-12 21:14:38

This thread could have been started by me! Hope you don't mind me looking through to see how some of you have made 'the' decision sad

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 23-Oct-12 21:37:48

Thistle I'm really sorry about your mum and dad. I know how it feels, it doesn't matter how shit they've been before, you can't help still wishing, against reason, that they will come up with the goods and support you when you are in need and it's horribly disappointing when they don't.

This was the scenario with my mum earlier this year. My dad isn't really an issue, he is so dominated by my mum he doesn't really take any position of his own. Try not to let it get to you. Odd though, isn't it, getting support from your dh for your parents being shit, when they are upset because you are doing something to dh that he doesn't want!! Maybe I am reading that wrong, but that's what happened here - I was moaning to dh a few weeks ago about my mum giving me no support re the separation.

Pulled you sound so sad. I'm sorry. There is an awful grieving process around doing all this, grieving the happy marriage you feel is lost and the hopes and dreams you had at the beginning. The torment when you are in the limbo stage, not knowing what to do, is awful. I hope that you will find a way forward soon.

Well I spent last night in my new house smile

It was odd, but nice, waking up there this morning. But I missed the girls, of course. I had a tiring day at work then went home and immediately started manically decorating. I have an au pair coming tomorrow and this was my last chance to do her room, a task I have been putting off.

I've got no internet, fridge or landline and my mobile doesn't work at the new house, so I feel a bit disconnected. Well I am - literally!

I'm in the family home right now. Jesus. I got here about half past eight and walked into the middle of some drama - the girls bickering about various trivial things. Both ended up in tears. Dh has always had selective hearing about these kind of arguments. I had literally been in the house two minutes, and elder dd burst into tears and ran off to the kitchen, so I went to comfort her. In the meantime I heard dh banging around in the hall, then shout - I heard 'fucking' involved somewhere but didn't hear what he said, and then my other daughter ran upstairs in hysterical tears and the front door slammed.

Dh had lost his rag, shouted at dd2 and stormed out of the house. He is back now, and said he 'went for a stroll' because of their arguing. It was horrible, he stormed out and left me with both of them in tears. He doesn't usually lose his temper like this but then he has always left me to sort out the arguments... It makes me worry about his ability to deal with them when I am not here - maybe that's the idea. I'm annoyed because he only stormed off because I was here to deal with it. And I had only just arrived and it kind of looks like me turning up has created a nasty situation, which it didn't.

I don't think he is coping well and I think he can't believe I have actually moved out.

I love being at the new house, but I really miss the girls. The reality of sharing them is starting to sink in. They came round for tea last night and it was just lovely, really relaxed.

It's depressing and sad to come and find the family home looking so awful as well. It's a mess and looks dreadful with half the stuff gone. He's not even bothering to keep it tidy.

I feel for him, and I know he is having a hard time, but I also think dh isn't making things easier for the kids with this anger. It's like he wants to make things as shit as possible, to demonstrate to me how awful this thing I have done - leaving him and breaking up the family - is.

I don't think this is helpful to anyone but especially not the children. Maybe I am being unreasonable expecting him to be adult and together about it all when it isn't what he wants. I've had the new house since August though, so it's not exactly a shock that I've finally gone to live there.

sad

Feckbox Tue 23-Oct-12 22:42:12

Tired, it does sound like he is making things a shit as possible in a " see what you have done" way.
He needs to get over himself . And tidy up
Congratulations on the new house

PulledInTwo Wed 24-Oct-12 09:25:18

cannot I'm pretty sure he's just calling my bluff. And trying to push me towards apologizing and trying to make it all better. I hate seeing him hurt like this, and I'm having a constant battle with myself to not text him and get back in the same old cycle. I am really sad, I want things for the future like family Christmases and a sibling for our DD. I want family days out, I love seeing how happy H and DD are when they play together, but I can't stand the way I'm the only one who does the 'nasty' jobs, who cooks, cleans and organizes everything. I hate the way H trusts no-one apart from him, me and nursery for our DD, and will only be happy with his parents watching her if absolutely neccesery. We can have good times and laughs, but that just confuses me more. TBH I don't want to choose either path, they are both good and bad.

Really glad your first night in the new house went well tiered well done. Sorry I'm only moaning about my problems, I'm just so tiered and down cause of it all. At uni now, trying o o burst out crying, I'm pathetic.

ThistlePetal Wed 24-Oct-12 09:50:06

Thanks for all your lovely messages smile.

Confused you are most welcome to look through, hope it helps with your own decision.

Pulled it sounds as if you're both at a fork in the road. It is a painful place to be and it can take a while to work out which way to go. Since your DH has now mentioned starting "divorce proceedings", is it worth having a conversation about what that will look like, i.e. who goes where, when it might happen? I think once you start talking about practicalities you might become clearer on whether to stay or go. Can you visualise your life if you stay, and what does it look like if you're on your own? Good luck, and keep posting for hand-holding if you need it.

Tired - congrats on your first night in your new house! Glad you loved it. Re the bickering from your girls - I often find that when I've been away/out and someone else has the DCs, if they haven't felt able to argue when I've been away, it spills out as soon as I walk in the door. They just feel safer in your presence, I guess, which is a positive thing (just doesn't feel like it at the time). They know you'll help them with their feelings, rather than dwell on your own.

I agree that your DH is trying to make things look as shit as possible. Hopefully he will eventually realise that he is achieving nothing that way. I suspect my H will do something similar, looking for pity, once he has moved out. They are pretty good at hitting our guilt buttons, aren't they?

My mum wanted to "pop round for a chat" last night, I managed to fend her off (had to very firmly say, don't come round here unless we agree it first), and phoned her instead. Didn't pull my punches, but remained calm and relatively kind, so if she doesn't know how I feel about their lack of support now, she never will. I think she did eventually listen, although a lot of her "concerns" weren't about me or the kids at all, she was more worried about my in-laws having more contact with the DCs than them. She had also chosen to interpret what my H said to her (when he was talking to her about needing to support me), as me dropping this bombshell on H the day before we told everyone else - as if we had never discussed separating over the last few months! This is fairly typical of how she views me - as a "silly girl".

She also told me that I've changed over the last couple of years.... I could hardly tell her it was because they are toxic and I've been withdrawing.... so I just said that I hoped that if I had changed as a person, it was for the better.

Anyway, today is another day, hope it is a good one for you all x

ThistlePetal Wed 24-Oct-12 09:57:29

Sorry Pulled, I missed your last post. You sound like you feel really trapped. Have you read Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay by Mira Kirschenbaum? Sorry if I've recommended this to you before, but the questions in there really helped me to sort through my feelings, and to consider aspects of our relationship that I might have otherwise forgotten to include.

PulledInTwo Wed 24-Oct-12 10:02:03

Thank you thistle H is hard to talk to, he gets upset, I feel like a bitch, its awful. We have talked about it before, DD would have 50/50 with us etc, I'd move out and so on, but then I feel so guilty as I'm the one who would be tearing the family apart. H also says he'll do anything he can to keep me, he loves me, still feels the same about me as when we got together etc, but I don't think he can actually see the problems, he thinks he's made massive changes and that things have been so much better recently, but I feel differently sad.

I am debating with myself as to whether to wrote an e-mail to H as to how I'm feeling today? Every time I try to write it though it sounds like a break up letter. Feel like crying and or being sick right now.

ThistlePetal Wed 24-Oct-12 10:15:45

I recognise a lot of what you are saying, my DH said the same things and is still very upset that we have separated. And I felt (and still feel) guilty about tearing the family apart.... Except that's not really what is happening here. What you're trying to do is make a happier life for you and your DC, and you're trying to work out which way is likely to be best. Ultimately if you and DC are happy, there is every chance that your DH will end up happier too.

My DH wrote me an email. He said a lot of things in it which I felt were very harsh, and which he probably wouldn't have spoken in the same way. They are indelibly etched in my mind now. So I would urge caution about what you do put down in black and white, because it's there forever. Might be worth just writing/typing what you think you'd like to say, keeping it to yourself for now, and looking at it again in a few days time? Or saying all these things to a trusted friend? Quite often, I find just saying things aloud gives you a fresh insight into how you're really feeling x

cannotseeaway Wed 24-Oct-12 10:18:02

Pulled I agree with Thistle, maybe you should use his mention of divorce proceedings to have a talk about what divorce would look like for the both of you. Me and DP began talking about what may happen if we did separate a few weeks ago, and it really helped us both I think, as it seems we both had very different ideas of what the other would want to happen if we did separate. DP thought that I may want to leave the kids with him, I thought he would try and go for full custody; we were both wrong!

I am sorry you feel so trapped, I know exactly how you feel sad. I also want what you want, a happy family unit. I don't think there is anyone in our situation who doesn't, and that wish certainly muddles the waters. I have now decided not to make any decisions until after Christmas, but I worry that we cannot continue how we are for another 2-3 months. DP is still sleeping in the very cold attic room, and is pretty miserable.

He is trying to put a brave face on things but his misery comes out occasionally, when he is tired or he has had a few drinks. I know he is angry, and he has admitted he does not know what to do with his angry feelings or how to process them, so sometimes I am scared, although he has not done anything to warrant me feeling scared. This means I feel like I am walking on eggshells as I do not know what he is going to react like from one minute to the next. One minute he is doing nice things for me, the next he is leaving song lyrics he has written out for me screwed up where I can find them, making veiled comments if I re-do my makeup before going out to my drawing evening class, spend too long on my phone mumsnetting etc.etc.

I like not having him in our bed or getting in the shower with me when I am getting ready for work, or asking me for sex. I can't imagine ever wanting to be sexually active with him again. This is a massive factor in my hopes for the future, as I think that if we can't recover that it does not matter if we can have days / weeks where we get along and have a laugh, and work well as a parenting team.

I used to think that because we get on okay the majority of the time we should stay together, but I am beginning to see that probably only a small precentage of relationships that fail are all bad. Most are paertly still good, which is where the confusion lies.

Thistle I hope you have RL support to replace that which you are missing from your parents sad.

Tired glad you have spent a night on your own in your new home. It wil feel more "yours" now I am sure. Try not to let XDP guilt you too much, rise above it. Your DCs sound pretty clued up and will see through it all once the dust has settled.

cannotseeaway Wed 24-Oct-12 10:23:44

X-Post with Pulled and Thistle. Pulled maybe writing things down will help you see through the muddied waters, but I also would not send the letter / email straight away, but return to it in a couple of days.

I have talked about the situation with a couple of friends recently, and interestingly they both picked up on me saying "it would all be my fault" with the same answer. They both said that there is no fault issue in a breakup where no-one has done anything majorly wrong, it is just something that has happened. It made me feel better for a millisecond, but then I have my issues around guilt I have to deal with myself as well.

PulledInTwo Wed 24-Oct-12 10:32:53

Thank you all for the support. I know that sending the e-mail would be a bad idea, but I hate this silence, and he knows it. He has always resorted to ignoring me if we fight or I say things he doesn't like. I'm just so scared of making the wrong decision. I don;t have any close friends so don;t have anyone to talk to, and I don't really want to get my mum involved. I am waiting to hear back on a counselling appointment at uni to help me talk it all out, but until I've made a decision I don;t know how to proceed. If we were divorcing then there'd be things to do, if we were staying together then again I would have something to get on with, but what do I do in this limbo. What do I tell H. He'll either want me to say we're divorcing or we're trying again...

cannotseeaway Wed 24-Oct-12 10:51:31

Do you still love him Pulled? Deep down? I know it is not an easy question to answer, but go with your gut instinct and first reaction when answering it, rather than analysing all the other stuff that will pop into your head, especially those thoughts associated with your guilt, when looking at the answer. Separate your thoughts from your home, your DC, your past, and just concentrate on how you would feel if it was just you and him, and you were facing the next few months just the two of you somewhere away from all the problems and joys your life together inhabits at the moment.

I have done this. It has helped me clarify my feelings for our relationship, rather than concentrating on all the other stuff we have built around it when considering whether I want to stay with him.

PulledInTwo Wed 24-Oct-12 11:27:19

I do love him, I think I always will. But I think it is more a love I have for friends, mu mum, my DD. I don't feel attracted to him, I don't fancy him and I don't feel romantically connected to him. I find my self wanting to be with other men, i.e date, not just sex, I meet so badly, and getting sad that I can't. I think if I met my H now, then we wouldn't get together, he is so different to the person I fell in love with. He thinks that it's because we're stuck in a rut cause of education, and that things would be better if we could go on holidays etc, but I think that even then things wouldn't be ok, as it's fundamental things that we don;t agree on, parenting, money, family etc. I know I haven't mentioned this before, but there was violence from both of us in the past (5 years ago the last time), and I just can;t let that go, I feel stupid for still being with him. I see things on tv about DV and it gets me sad and angry all over again that we have that in our past. I'm starting to think this might be it now, as H is still completely ignoring me. x

cannotseeaway Wed 24-Oct-12 11:57:18

Oh Pulled I think you have your answer sad. It all depends if you are one of those people who can stay in an unhappy marriage, because I really do believe a marraige / partnership will only end up unhappy if one person in the partnership feels romantic love for the other, and the other only feels friendship love sad. By "do you love him?" I meant "do you love him romantically"?

I think once that has gone it is bloody hard to get back, especially if there is a history of DV. I also believe a partnership needs to be singing off the same hymn sheet when it comes to basic values and beliefs about money, parenting etc.

Unfairdismissal Wed 24-Oct-12 12:24:30

Hope I am ok to put a quick post on here, it is bloody hard to get that back - but it can be done - stay strong everyone.

cannotseeaway Wed 24-Oct-12 12:48:47

Unfair I think you can get it back, yes, but I also think you need to have very firm foundations to build on again.

I think among other things, DV, differing basic life values and outlooks, a build up of resentment, lack of sexual attraction do not make a strong foundation. That list, by the way pulled, is not aimed at you, but are my thoughts on the obvious things that can damage a relationship beyond repair.

Unfairdismissal Wed 24-Oct-12 13:04:40

Don't get me wrong I agree about firm foundations but when I was in this horrible situation I couldn't see the wood from he trees and thought we has no firm foundations to build on, minus the Dv I felt all those on your list were prevalent in our relationship- I was on the verge of giving up, but didn't, and love found its way again.

cannotseeaway Wed 24-Oct-12 14:24:05

I'm glad things worked out for you and your DP unfair smile. I also think though that most of the time when it gets to such a critical stage, like many of the women on this thread have reached, we should not feel bad if we are unable to get the feelings back, and need to move on and let our DPs move on too.

I remember someone saying upthread that quite often the partners do not want to put any work into the relationship until it is too late and the ship has sailed so to speak. Both partners have got to put the work in, and not be tardy about it. If one partner is saying they will change but not really changing any more than they feel they need to, or only starting to change once they have been backed up against a wall, that has a massive effect on the decision of the other person.

Unfairdismissal Wed 24-Oct-12 14:40:49

What effect cannot? Sorry for short post.

Unfairdismissal Wed 24-Oct-12 14:44:53

Hands covered in paint.

cannotseeaway Wed 24-Oct-12 15:11:19

By effect, I mean an effect on their decision about whether to stick it out in the relationship a bit longer or whether to finish things. I obviously cannot speak for everyone, but I remember someone saying, and a few people agreeing, that if their partners had made moves to change behaviours earlier down the line, they may have been able to have worked things out, but instead it was a case of too little, too late.

It seems to be a recurring theme on this thread, that DPs only seem to be willing to make changes once their cosy homelife is threatened, or they have been a bit dense and have had to have things really spelt out to them, by which point their other half is seething with anger and resentment. They just did not notice what effect their negative behaviours were having.

Unfairdismissal Wed 24-Oct-12 16:09:31

Clean hands now.

I too was a seething mess of anger and resentment amongst many other feelings but also regretted that I had let this happen for so long and felt that my partner should have worked it out before it got to breaking point.

I sometimes share these threads with my Dh and we talk about them and reflect on others negative experiences to continue to build our relationship. We think and talk about how we got from verge of ending it all to where we are now.
He just read y our comment and admitted that he was 'a bit dense' ( much more than a bit) and didn't notice the effects of his behaviours. He says 'there is nothing he will ever regret more than this and the hurt and resentment he caused me. He was devastated and didn't know how to be or how to change', we talked a lot, good conversations and very hurtful but honest conversations, we removed snied and veiled comments and used compliments and honesty, we listened to each other.

I should have told him sooner but was scared of ruining my family that was already nearly ruined. I regret my weakness to put up with it for so long. I blamed him and felt it was all his fault, but I let it happen.

In my previous name on here I ranted and vented in a similar thread to this an found many similar voices/troubles/opinions/advice but one shining light saved our relationship. Simplified by saying - we can't change our behaviours in the past, we can't predict the future, but we can change ourselves from today if the will is there. Look further than here and speak to people who have been through this and believe.

Anyway, who am I, but a wisened old woman trying to spread a nice story - do what your heart tells you!

cannotseeaway Wed 24-Oct-12 16:35:30

We can't change our behaviours in the past, we can't predict the future, but we can change ourselves from today if the will is there. That is so true, but sometimes for either party, the will isn't there, or it is just too late.

I definitely do not want to style myself as the LEAVE THE BASTARD voice on this thread, I am just trying my hardest to stop feeling guilty about not having any try left in me. Also somehow trying to differentiate my feelings regarding this difficult situation between my true deep feelings for my partner and those that that link to my guilt about splitting my family up, guilt about enabling my DPs behaviours by not pulling him up on them before, my guilt about not being more self-aware, of being too busy with my toddler / baby to notice the way our relationship was heading.

I am being rather ineloquent and rambling, but I think my message to myself and others is to work at it as much as you can, but don't feel guilty if you can't work at it any longer. Don't feel guilty for not pulling your partner up on his negative behaviours earlier, it was not your responsibility to, it was his responsibility alone. Just because you send all the birthday cards, bake all the cakes for the cake sales, make all the dentist appointments, don't also think you should have taken 100& responsibility for the emotional health of your relationship. Sometimes love comes back, sometimes it doesn't, but you are not at fault if you cannot reignite it. It is just the way it is.

ThistlePetal Wed 24-Oct-12 16:45:11

I agree with you, Unfair, that anyone considering leaving should look further than this board in the search for their own answer. It is lovely to hear of couples who have been in the same situation and have stayed together and made it work.

I found, in my extensive reading, discussions, therapy and soul searching, that I didn't want to try to make it work, for the reasons Cannot mentioned above. But I couldn't have come to my final decision without really closely examining the reasons for that. And I just couldn't force myself to try either. I think that's when I knew that, despite all the guilty feelings, and fear of the future, etc. I had to say it was over.

The other good piece of advice that comes up on this and similar threads is, to remember that there is no rush. The thing that will spur you on most to your decision may well be that you cannot bear the limbo any longer, and you will know when you have reached that point, but until that time you have every right to keep pondering, questioning, researching and reflecting.

NewsAtTen Wed 24-Oct-12 22:01:25

I am new to this thread but so pleased I found it tonight because I live with someone I no longer love and would like to leave, and will leave one day - but our kids adore him so for now I don't think it's a possibility.

So heartening though to know that other men are great with their kids but not so great with their partners. I have moments of doubt because people think he's such a great bloke - but they don't see what goes on in this house, how he is with me in private (how we are with each other, even, because I have backed away from him so much over the last couple of years) - only what a smiling, helpful, sociable person he is in public.

I will read your posts with great interest... thank you all for sharing your stories. They have made me feel better tonight.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 25-Oct-12 10:37:13

Hi All

It has just hit me that this is it. I'm on my own now.

After the excitement of actually moving in I feel very flat. Not helped by having a thick head from drinking a whole bottle of wine last night. I've had quite a lot of wine since I moved in and I haven't been going to college. I'm telling myself this is just because this is a period of readjustment. I'm also doing an undemanding and very boring rotation at medical school, which is probably no bad thing with all the moving admin I've had/have to do, but I'm worried I've lost my routine, structure and self discipline.

I'm also spending money like water which is terrifying. A lot of it on things I need (like a fridge freezer) but I still feel really uneasy about it.

I suppose it is normal to have good and bad days. I just feel numb really. I miss the children and can feel how much they miss me. When I see dd1 now she has lost her 'attitude' and is very sweet.

I daresay dh is quite flat and low, and I feel for them being stuck with him while I finish getting the house sorted for them to move in.

I'm wondering a bit what the point was. That sounds so self indulgent when I wanted so much to leave and for so long.

sad

cannotseeaway Thu 25-Oct-12 15:00:14

NewsAtTen sorry to hear you are going through similar, I'm glad the experiences and comments on here made you feel better last night. Post about your situation if it helps smile

Tired, good to hear from you. Your post is not self-indulgent at all, just because you finished the relationship doesn't mean you are not grieving too. I think a flat period is only to be expected after all the upheaval, uncertainty and stress of the last few months, hopefully that flatness will turn into calm and certainty soon. I agree that it is probably a good thing that you have an undemanding placement at medical school at the moment, relish the headspace and throw yourself into lectures! I would love to study again smile

I'm sorry you are missing your kids sad, it must be hard. But I am glad you are getting things sorted out at your new house. Hopefully your XH will start sorting himself out soon. Has the au pair arrived yet?

ThistlePetal Thu 25-Oct-12 16:46:47

Welcome News and do post if you need support.

Tired being away from your girls is very new, so I'm not surprised you're a bit down sad. And there may be a touch of "hangover depression" there too, so tomorrow you will hopefully feel a bit less flat and you can start to look forward to your DCs moving in with you. Your routine is different at the moment, but that doesn't mean it has changed forever - I guess that when you're back on a more demanding placement or part of your course, that will give you the drive to reorganise yourself once again and things will start to feel more 'normal'. In the meantime, use the relative quiet to tie up all those housey admin loose ends, and do other things you wouldn't normally have time to think about. Stay strong x

Unfairdismissal Fri 26-Oct-12 17:02:46

Hi all, just a quick wish of smiles this weekend for you all. smile and wine or brew and a biscuit or two. X

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 26-Oct-12 21:02:02

Awww, thanks Unfair - you too.

And thanks cannot and Thistle for your kind messages.

Welcome News

The au pair has arrived. I'm a bit gutted tbh. She came across as really bright and upbeat in her emails but in real life she isn't. I think she is an introvert. She is 18 and has never had a bf and says she doesn't want one!! Because she has had to pick up the pieces too many times with her friends. She admits that she can't cook. She doesn't speak much. The girls came round for tea last night and she barely spoke to them, though she brought them a cake over from Denmark. They are so sweet though and want to give her a chance.

She is into fantasy novels and films, draws these strange manga-type cartoons and has facial piercings and dip-dyed hair. A little bit gothic. She is also really into Halloween, and dd2 is having a sleepover and going trick or treating on Wednesday, so I've suggested she goes with them. She has a raccoon outfit she wants to wear. Why do I always get the weirdos? I always get the weirdo sit next to me on the train etc.

She was very helpful today anyway. The house is looking lovely and I have put everything away. Still loads to pick up from the family home. I got a new car yesterday as well. A Peugeot 207, traded in for my MX5. sad

I'm feeling really strange about it all. I miss my husband a lot. I was so focused for so long on my unhappiness with him and getting out, that now I have I am remembering his good qualities. I have to stick with it and see how it goes I guess.

One thing that's really weird, and has surprised me, and sorry if it's TMI, but I lie in my bed in my new bedroom and I'm thinking about how much I want a lover to share it with me. I don't want a relationship, just some sex!! It's really surprised me, because all I wanted was to be on my own and my own person.

Not in the least bit interested in another partner though haha.

NewsAtTen Fri 26-Oct-12 22:15:07

Tired, I don't know your story because I haven't had time to read all the post on here (sorry), but just sending hugs really because you sound so low. Don't beat yourself up, you are bound to have low times at this stage - just believe that you will get through them. The time will come, and hopefully soon, when you think it was worth it and you're really enjoying life - and I'm sure you'll get plenty of offers of sex too! You can always turn 'em down! Take care, you have done a huge thing and your house is looking lovely, so that's a plus! smile

ThistlePetal Fri 26-Oct-12 22:38:08

Thanks Unfair smile

Tired I quite like the sound of your au pair actually, she might turn out to be quite fab smile. At least she doesn't conform to the usual stereotype!

My DH works away for 2 weeks at a time. For a long time I felt awful about how trapped I felt when he came home, because I'd miss him terribly when he was away. So I get why you're missing your DH right now. It's only in the last year or so that I accepted that our relationship only looked and felt ok when he actually wasn't here, and realised how bad things were when he was home. Stick in, those feelings of missing him will pass.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 27-Oct-12 00:06:27

Thanks Thistle and News.

News I don't blame you not wanting to read the whole thread. It's got really long! I'm pleased about that actually. It's been a bit of a slow-burn thread, not lots of quick, dogmatic posts, but lots of thoughtful ones, and updates, and sharing experiences.

I spoke to the au pair this evening and asked her how she felt about being here, not in my house, but in England and she said it was better than she had imagined!! A bit surprising because she seems a bit depressed!

I am going to push ahead with decorating - every bit of the house was white when I moved in (I just typoed 'shite' by accident then corrected it, but that's about right, really haha)

Farrow and Ball Cinder Rose for my bedroom - atm it's a really dark blue (F&B Hague Blue?) and though I told myself that my bedroom would be decorated last I'm not sure I can live with it much longer.

Tomorrow I am getting my very grey and I'm only 41 roots done then I plan to hit the kitchen with roller and brush (Wickes 'Biscuit'). I can distract myself with decorating and maybe it will help me and the au pair to bond. She is keen to help.

I'm thinking a lot about Apty who started this thread and wondering how she is getting on. Please post Apty!!

Thistle thanks for your reassuring words about the au pair. And that missing dh is normal. You are right, when he is not around I start thinking about the ideal relationship (which doesn't exist and never did) and forget the badness of the real one. x

Unfairdismissal Sun 28-Oct-12 09:21:06

Hi all, how's your weekends going? Hope you've had some smiles

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 28-Oct-12 09:52:56

The au pair is unbearable. I can get her on a flight home for £79 on Wednesday. I feel really conned. I made clear my circumstances and it's a difficult time. I said I wanted someone mature, independent, happy, secure, positive, proactive. How she could ever have thought she might fit with this God only knows. I am sat here in the sitting room with my daughter on the sofa and she is sat opposite me silently watching the TV. I was dreading her coming downstairs. She is not just none of the qualities I listed, she is a really negative presence.

I can't bear it, I am happy here with just my kids. No idea how I will manage to get someone else at short notice. I have had a terrible year and this feels like the last straw. I feel like asking dh to come back, I honestly do.

sad

Doha Sun 28-Oct-12 10:41:13

send the au pair packing she is not what you want to need for your DD's

Could you even advertise for a local older person (even in the short term) to help you out who may be willing to work hours to fit around yours who would only saty overnight if needed.

My D sister did this and it worked very well.

Your DD's are old enough to just need a responsible adult present , they don't need care as such

SmallSherryforMedicinal Sun 28-Oct-12 15:08:14

Hi all, haven't posted in a bit for various reasons - but pop in to see how you are all doing.
Sorry to hear about the au pair Tired. I'd get rid, you don't need someone draining energy from you.
I must say I envy you your new house and I think you just need a bit of time to settle. It's inevitable. My h has been away with work for the past 10 days and I have not missed him. Missed an extra pair of hands around the house maybe, but that's it.
The thing I've been struggling terribly with lately is the celibacy. It's driving me crazy and makes me feel so sad and a bit pathetic. A long term single friend tells me it gets easier, and that I'll get used to it.
I wonder. It's not a relationship I want (I think) - just sexual contact - but there's no possibility of that. Its so strange to think I'll never be with h again in that way. Sorry for the rambles... I don't have any idea or plan for moving forward and I dont know how or where to begin. I have this idea that I need to get rid of my personal debt and thats what in trying to do. Then I can start to think of moving out or getting h to go sad another year of this.... sad

ThistlePetal Sun 28-Oct-12 17:20:04

Sorry it didn't work out Tired, it's just another stress you don't need sad. I agree with Doha, I know a few people who have hired a retired person just to be there for the DCs in the morning and after school, peg out washing etc, might be worth an advert.

Sherry good to hear from you smile. I like the idea of working on getting rid of personal debt, seems a good place to start. I'm sorry I don't remember why you have to continue to live together for another year, but is that why the celibacy thing is an issue? Or is it that you can't face another relationship in order to access the sexual contact? I have to say I feel a bit like that, can't imagine going without sex for a long time (although it's already been a few months to be fair) but have absolutely no plans to look for a relationship in the near future. Who knows, though? Maybe when we are least expecting it....

Everything fine here, DCs and I are bumbling along quite the thing, as we always do when DH is away. DF has wound his neck in for now, but DM is ramping up the disgust and anger towards me. Actually that's not true, she is just being her usual narc self. Have just had face all the parents at once, at DC's sport event, and DM placed herself firmly with the in-laws after telling me my manner was appalling and that I needed to stop talking down to her. I think that's called projection?! She was firing questions at me as to when she can see the DCs and what DH is doing, when he is moving out (this in full earshot of other mums), and because i kept saying i don't know - because i don't, she assumes I'm trying to keep her in the dark and she is convinced that the inlaws will see more of them than she will. i can't stand it, and there's no warmth at all from her, so I'm keeping her at arms length for now <sigh>. On a more positive note, I've told almost all my friends now, and have been getting loads of lovely messages of support. People aren't as shocked as I was expecting, just sad to hear.

Sorry to vent (again!). Hope you all had a good weekend x

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 28-Oct-12 23:29:37

Thistle I am so sorry about your parents. Yes, do keep her at arm's length for now, you have enough to deal with without your mum's emotional pathology.

Not sure how proactive your friends are... I am very busy because of my course so I see little of mine and usually don't mind because I can't spare the time. They are good at keeping in touch, but I'm not part of the daily social life because I can't be. Unless you see a lot of your friends in general I would urge you to tell them that you are in need of ongoing support. Mine rallied round when I first told them what was happening, then I went off the radar a bit. Don't be too proud to say that you need them to stay with you. I have spent many lonely evenings feeling dreadful, too proud to ring my friends, or too thoughtful to burden them with my problems. Don't let yourself get in this position, please. Get people to check in with you.

You sound stronger and more certain than I feel I am, though I'm further down the road sat here (alone) in my new house - more of that later. And your dh sounds like he is handling things better than mine.

But don't underestimate how awful the break will be. You will feel such an awful mix of emotions - joy and freedom one minute, terrible grief and guilt the next.

Smallsherry I get what you say about sex. I found the idea of spending the rest of my life with someone I didn't fancy horrific. I can't believe I'm posting this on MN - a judgemental place, sorry everyone - but after dh and I agreed to separate I had a brief and pretty meaningless fling with a nice man I fancied like mad who was in a similar situation. Technically unfaithfulness for sure, but actually much less significant than falling in love with someone else, something I did do, but which was 100% more damaging - to me and my marriage.

Doha thanks for your straightforward advice. It's the route I've taken.

NewsatTen thanks for your supportive message.

I am sad and lonely tonight. Drinking red wine on my own. Despite dh's florid emotional goodbyes yesterday, the dds have returned to their 'real' home. They didn't like it here much - no shower, and dd1 v obsessed with hygiene right now -start of puberty etc, said she didn't really feel clean after a bath.

Both bickering constantly. And though I have made house lovely -sitting room literally looks like something out of Homes and Gardens, both their bedrooms looking gorgeous and not in the least improvised - they couldn't help noticing the little missing bits - no pot for toothbrushes, no bookshelves.

I don't know if this is panic, but I honestly feel that maybe low level pain long term is better to deal with than this extreme agony, albeit hopefully for a short time. I have no hope or expectation (or perhaps even enthusiam) for another ltr.

Just want to be a good mum, deal with my course and forge a career commensurate with my abilities and skills. But this feels so hard to do.

I couldn't bear the au pair. I escaped to the family home this afternoon and felt a huge weight lifting. How crazy when I spent a few days here, feeling the strangeness, anticipating the arrival of my daughters, but loving the personal space - and headspace. I did four days with her on my own and it was hard work, but I couldn't cope with her inability to engage with the kids.

I have her on a flight home tomorrow. Feel guilty but also relieved. What a total disaster. She was probably a nice person but incredibly timid and unable to deal with the job. I told her my old au pair was coming back, didn't want to hurt her.

Now I have no childcare and can't have the kids here till I do.

Too tired to write more. Well I am tired wink Had a friend round since I started writing this, now texting another. Thank God for friends.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 28-Oct-12 23:37:02

Oh and Smallsherry I feel horny as hell since I've been out of marital home (sorry tmi). And the sex I had with Mr Meaningless was mind-blowing. It actually proved that it all still works. He was an awesome kisser and just thinking about him gave me an ache down there (being a bit ironic there, if anyone's read Fifty Shades and let's face it we probably all have - that's half a day I won't see again sad) haha

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 28-Oct-12 23:59:05

btw, I feel like some of you know me a bit by now, and I want to make clear I thought Fifty Shades was a crock of shit - badly written, unerotic, coy, tedious, blah blah...

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 29-Oct-12 00:04:22

Oh and cannot you said I should throw myself into lectures. I wish. I have no lectures these days. I'm a year off qualifying and doing psych at the moment. Clerking patients with really good-going schizophrenia puts things into perspective I can tell you. The hospital I've been based at is literally like Bedlam. Nice to have a non-stressful work environment given the shit at home. Not.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 29-Oct-12 00:07:02

Night all. Going to sleep off a bottle of Shiraz.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Mon 29-Oct-12 05:08:09

Tired - hope you enjoyed your Shiraz ;-) - I had some Pinot Noir and it was lovely. Not so lovely was the notion that I had decided not to have any but necked a bottle anyway :-( tomorrow is another day

So. H got back from his business trip. It was all so strange and weird
The kids were delighted to see him obvs - they had missed him a lot. He brought me back some clarins from duty free which is normal practice. What is different is that there was no hug or kiss or conversation - he went off to bed reasonably early
What is different is that he could see that over 10 days I had built up connectivity with my kids. It's sounds strange to say but he is a helicopter parent and a control freak and makes it hard for me to parent my kids. He monopolises the space and time and talks incessantly making his presence felt constantly. I hate this so much.
Its up to me now to maintain the connection - my dd is a daddy's girl at best of times but she's a good kid and she's smart - I think she knows I'm trying. I'm not going to retreat this to and lose my advantage. No more hiding in the en suite.

On phone so can't scroll back to see who it was asked me about the year of living with dh - yes we are both deep deep in personal debt barely paying the bills, not living lavishly by any means but can't afford two households - it's out of the question. We still have a huge childcare bill 900€ plus debt servicing
Next year childcare will be halved & debts paid down a bit.
My big fear is this - dd turns 12 next year - can she decide who to live with herself??

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 29-Oct-12 15:34:23

SmallSherry at 12 she is old enough to decide.

I know what you mean re the parenting thing. My dh is also very, very hands-on, proactive and I feel he makes it hard for me to parent too. He is always in there first. I've actually really lost confidence in myself as a parent as a consequence and because my work has escalated as his has downshifted it is easy for me to delegate so much to him - which suits him - and makes me feel like shit.

I've also worried dds would opt to live with dad given the choice. He is more confident and stable. I feel almost afraid of my dd1 sometimes, and fearful of parenting them both. I don't think dh would do this to me - he knows I would be destroyed - but it has worried me that this might happen because they feel sorry for him.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Wed 31-Oct-12 00:05:03

Tired we have so much in common. My h is like that too & whilst he works as much as I do, he can work from home and doesn't have to commute so he gets more time with them. Also he sits on his arse on his iPad on the couch with them when he's around the house, rather than cleaning which is what I seem to do.... Stoopid me sad

Hello, not had time to read the entire thread but I used to be in an abusive relationship (emotional, gaslighting and damaging my possessions, but no actual physical violence towards me although threatened).

I have also been in a relationship with a layabout pothead, world of warcraft player with no intention of ever working, who saw the dole and HB as his 'entitlement', ffs. hmm

In both instances I hoped the guy would change, and wanted them to. Thought they would. The time to leave* both times was when I knew that even if they changed and became the best partners you could ask for I could never love them again or forgive them for what they had put me through.

Once I entered that mindset it was easy.

*Just for the record I had my own house and I didn't actually leave but made them move out, which I actually think was harder than just leaving, no kids each time.

HTH.

Sorry, just realised that probably doesn't answer the OP. I have little experience with none twisted relationships.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 31-Oct-12 00:23:04

Sounds like you've really picked 'em, baker smile

ThistlePetal Wed 31-Oct-12 07:43:08

Just catching up with the thread, had missed the last few pages....

Tired I have an amazing best friend who has been totally supportive and is always just a phone call away, any time. Have leaned on her many times and have been there for her too, so feel very secure in the knowledge that she is there for me smile. Another couple of close friends are on permanent standby too. It's a shame my parents won't be there for me but I can't stand the simmering anger I feel from them all the time.

I do feel strong at the moment (almost to the point where I'm questioning myself, as in am I missing something really massive?) but I do recognise that I will wobble and possibly even cave some time soon. Off to see my counsellor today to unpick whatever is floating round my head at the moment.

My DH also does the hands on parenting etc, but like Sherry I've had the advantage of having the DCs to myself for the last 10 days and feel I've connected with DS especially well. Maybe when DH comes home and starts moving his stuff out, is when it will all start to unravel.

I'm just wittering on today, nothing of value to add, sorry! But I will say that I only read half of the first 50 shades, and got bored ;).

cannotseeaway Wed 31-Oct-12 08:57:59

Baker, sounds like you've had a rough time of it, and you're right, when you realise you can't love them again no matter what they change it is probably time to call it a day.

Tired sorry to hear your au-pair didn't work out. The short-term agony you are feeling must be horrendous, but it is better than a lifetime of sadness and bitterness, no matter how under the radar it is day-to-day. You are a very strong woman I think, although I have never met you smile.

A very self-indulgent post today from me, apologies in advance. I feel like I have been going through my own personal hell the last few days, and keeping it all in is nearly killing me. I am sat here in work, the first time I have felt safe to sit down and post for days, tears rolling down my face.

I know people say that there is always an excuse not to leave, but really, the last few days have thrown them all up. DP was so horrendous to me on Friday night something snapped, and I have had to keep it all to myself. I feel like I am dying inside, this is the only place to get it down.

We went out for birthday drinks with some friends on Friday night (DPs birthday was on Monday). DP was on edge all night, being very needy. We had an okay night, then got home, and the moment the babysitter left at 12, dd started crying (she's teething). DP was really pissed, so I took over looking after her, and popped her in her cot to have a wee, where she carried on screaming. I came out of the bathroom (my phone was left on the shelf in there), and DP was at the door saying that our daughter was more important than my phone wtf did I think I was doing leaving a baby to cry whilst I was checking my phone?

I just said calmly that I was not using my phone, went into dd's room and ignored him. I then carried her into my bed, and dp was shouting down from the attic room, doing impressions of me speaking, being really nasty, then he came down and started punching my pillow whilst I was sat on the bed with dd in my arms, saying that even my children noticed I was on my phone all the time, that he was fed up of my bullshit and was moving out in the morning. This went on for ages before I told him to get the hell to bed and get some sleep.

I led awake for 2 hours, just feeling my heart getting harder and harder, IYKWIM. It was one of DP's oldest friend's wedding the next day, and I had full intentions of not going, staying with the children and going to my Mum's, but in the morning, after his profuse apologies, I caved in and didn't tell him of my plans to take him up on his word and pack his bags for him myself. As well as his friend's wedding it was his birthday Monday, his first counselling session last night, and his lovely Granny died two weeks ago and it is her funeral this afternoon. I have been going through the motions this last few days, trying to protect him from how angry and hurt I am, even going ahead with my plans for a lovely day and evening the four of us on his birthday on Monday, spending money on country park admissions and a meal out I do not have, and I have felt utterly shit the whole time.

Everything I do is to protect him, the children, my Mother, my MIL, etc. etc., and I can't continue. I have tried so hard. I was planning on waiting til after Christmas, but at the moment I don't even feel like going home from work this afternoon. I can continue no more. sad.

We went to MIL's on Monday and she is so wonderful, and so concerned about her son, I feel so responsible to her to look after him. She is giving me £450 towards November's childcare bill so we can have a nice Christmas, and all I can think of when saying thanks to her is what a horrible, horrible, person I am.

He is meant to be changing and most of the time is really helpful, thoughtful, etc., but then he goes and pulls a stunt like Friday night's, and thinks all he has to do is apologise. I am at the end of the road. Please don't tell me to keep on trying, I just can't do it anymore, I am about to break.

cannotseeaway Wed 31-Oct-12 11:04:05

Sorry about the rant, I have been on annual leave since Friday and work is the only place I can get away at the moment, so that all just poured out as soon as I got here this morning whilst I was alone in the office. I can't even cry at home because either I am with the children or with DP. I can't even cry in bed at night because DP will hear me. I am too bloody tired to even go to a friend's house and vent in the evenings, as DC wake up at 5.30 every morning. I haven't even got the energy to push the vacuum cleaner around once they are in bed at the moment, let alone deal with mine and DP's situation.

I go from feeling terrible one hour to feeling like I have blown everything out of all proportion the next, and I should not split my family up but work at it. I feel able to go home later now at least.

ThistlePetal Wed 31-Oct-12 17:00:28

Cannot, I think you have your answer to the title of this thread at last.

You are right, you cannot go on any longer, you have reached the end of the line, and most importantly it is okay for you to have reached this point and to feel the way you do. You are carrying such a burden with this right now, as well as all the other things you're having to deal with at the moment. Please be kind to yourself now, do what you have to do to look after your DCs and try to carve out some time for yourself. You need head space to reflect and plan.

I'll come back later, have to go out now, but just wanted to say that I hear you, and to send you a hug. Take care x

cannotseeaway Wed 31-Oct-12 18:24:42

Thanks so, so much Thistle for your kind message.

And the gaslighting, the gaslighting, I forgot about the bloody gaslighting. He tried to tell me that he had not mocked me, had not said the things he said, 5 minutes after saying them. sad

ThistlePetal Wed 31-Oct-12 22:51:42

How are you feeling now, Cannot? I hope you did feel able to go home in the end. Have a good cry if you need to, you don't need to protect your DH from that (unless you are trying to avoid unwelcome attention from him). And keep posting if it helps smile x

I went for my counselling session today, it took her 50mins to break me! (Kidding, I know that's not the point....) As I suspected, it's my mother who is causing me the most anguish, and I've been feeling bad about that because its detracting from me focussing on my DCs during this split. She has made me see that, unfair as that is, I am going to have to deal with it or she will always be able to treat me badly (and my DD). I feel quite pissed off about that! However, that's where I'm at.

Hope everyone else faring ok x

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Wed 31-Oct-12 23:26:13

Cannot what a horrible situation.

I think in some ways your dp being such a cunt so unreasonable is good. That's not hard and unsympathetic, it's agony for you, but hopefully it will harden your heart and give you the strength to get out.

Make plans, quietly. This is a horribly dysfunctional relationship and you do have to get out. Punching a pillow? It's you he's punching in his mind. And he's doing this in front of your baby?

I know how hard it is. I agonised for years. But remember, the longer you stay, the harder it gets. Honestly. The opprobrium from society is worse the younger the kids are. But who gives a fuck? The older the kids are the more it affects them, the more potential for damage, the more complicated it is.

I wish I'd got out years ago.

I'm sat in my new house with my dd, her sister upstairs shrieking and laughing with friends staying over. We all went out trick or treating earlier, and got soaked. It's lovely - and a bit alien, I've lost confidence so much in parenting thanks to dh and his controlling of the dc and his subtle exclusion of me. He can't bear that I have the time and space to reconnect with them away from his influence.

But my confidence is growing all the time, and I am feeling more comfortable taking control, being authoritative, being a proper mum, not disengaged and sad.

I've also talked to friends about his behaviour and the consensus is that he is letting his need and wish to punish me impact on their wellbeing through this process. He needs to stop treating what is happening as if it is the end of the world for them, or he risks making it a self fulfilling prophecy. He needs to stop acting like it's a sad thing when they come to my house and help them feel good about their new home.

He's not man enough to do this, which makes me realise what a jealous, small person he is. I feel much stronger already and more certain I did the right thing. Dh is cutting off his nose to spite his face all the time. Our buyers want to gazunder us, the estate agent has warned us, and I fear dh will roll over and take it, because if we get shafted it will be yet more evidence that I've ruined our lives. It's crazy. He needs to get over himself, stop fighting it all and look to the future.

Crying in front of the kids and telling them he doesn't want any of this is indulging his own sense of grievance to their detriment. It's not acceptable to say he 'can't help it'.

I wrote him an incredibly long, heartfelt email about my feelings about our marriage ending. It was generous and in some ways apologetic, very regretful, but didn't absolve him of responsibility for ending our marriage. I took him to task, gently, for the way he is wallowing in misery and making things as 'bad' as possible. That this isn't helping anyone, that it is bad for the kids and all of us. I even made clear it didn't have to be the end, but spelled out my terms for any future reconciliation - the need for co-operation, rebuilding of friendship. All totally reasonable, but my terms nonetheless and therefore unacceptable, invalid.

He hasn't acknowledged it at all. His response really puts the lie to his moral high ground as the one who wanted to keep the marriage together - shows it was for completely for the wrong reasons, and that I was the strong, right one, ending the marriage. It tells me that he doesn't love me any more, and only wanted to keep me to keep the children. He can't bear that I am away from him, able to get perspective, entitled to my own feelings away from his emotional bullying.

I am still thinking almost all the time about what he is thinking, feeling scared of the anger and negativity he feels towards me. I'm sure this will take a long time to stop. I think one of the reasons I postponed this for so long is that I knew that the only thing worse than having him as a husband was having him as an ex-husband. I knew he was too small to be magnanimous and get past his own feelings. He's a very angry man, he always has been. Shitty about nearly all his exes, none of whom 'took his children away'. He was angry when he had nothing really to be angry about, so now he thinks he does, it's a million times worse.

He's been really shitty about something this weekend, and was pissed off that I wanted the girls for two nights in a row this week when he is taking them away from Friday to Sunday. What a joke, they have stayed with me twice and come for tea twice in the last 11 days.

It's a bit lonely in the house on my own, but I think when I've got it a bit more sorted I will feel more comfortable and able to pursue the things I need to do myself without feeling eaten up that they aren't with me.

I know there are still plenty of ups and downs ahead, but I feel stronger than I have. I'm sure dh knew this would happen, which was why he tried so hard to avert it for as long as possible.

My main worries now are about money.

ThistlePetal Thu 01-Nov-12 08:23:47

You sound so much stronger Tired, writing that email must have been quite cathartic. Hope your DDs got some sleep eventually (!), must have been great to hear/see them so happy in your new home. Onwards! X

cannotseeaway Thu 01-Nov-12 13:11:58

Sounds like you have turned a corner tired, how lovely for you that the kids are settling into your place and treating it as a home, and what a twunt your husband is being for not acknowledging your email. At least it was probably cathartic to get it all down, and no-one, including him, can say that you are not handling the breakup well and giving him chances to change.

Thistle I hope your counselling helps, it has really helped me. Mine finished a couple of weeks ago and I wish I could afford to continue going as I really need it right now.

I feel pretty similar today; I of course went home yesterday, I couldn't have not, spent a nice time doing Halloween things with DC. DP came home from the funeral yesterday and went straight out to a friend's. It seemed like he was avoiding me.

I need to talk to him so much, I am going to break into little pieces if I don't, or die of a heart attack smile, but I am dreading it, I am so scared of what is going to happen. Not for my safety, by the way, but just scared of the fallout. I need to stop being a coward.

It's not my fault, is it? It feels like my fault. Me telling him a couple of months ago I didn't know if I loved him any more has caused this, and caused the shitty way he acted on Friday night. I wonder how I would be faring if the shoe was on the other foot, whether I may be angry, and confused, and lash out emotionally.

PulledInTwo Thu 01-Nov-12 13:46:15

Hi again. Another over indulgent post from me, but I need to vent somewhere. Sorry I just pop in and out, but with uni, a toddler, H, job and everything else I don't get a lot of time to check in.

Yesterday was awful. I was at uni all afternoon, so H stayed at home with our DD. The plan was for my family to come over late afternoon to do some cooking for a halloween buffet, and H parents would come over early evening. Well before I went I had H saying all day that it was shit I had to go in, etc etc. Well when I got home my family were there, and H was just sitting at the table, not helping out, but just looking miserable. He only cheered up when he parents arrived. I've been with this man for almost 9 years now, it's riduculas that he keeps so distant from my family.

He threatened divorce again yesterday as I wasn't wearing my rings (bear in mind he's never actually bought me a proper engagement ring because of money, so I've had a variety of rings, current one is CZ). Started saying that I'm trying to act like a single woman. Then today he's saying how much he misses me, how he loves me, was thinking of the past etc.

I just can't bring myself to reply. I don;t want to be with someone he won't get involved with my family. I dread coming home at the moment. Not because of fighting, but because it's the same crap day in day out.

I've got my first session of counselling on wednesday, and am viewing a flat on monday. At the moment every time I start talking myself out of leaving, I find myself thinking 'no why should I stay. We've grown apart. How ever much he tries, I can;t get over x, y and z'. I found myself almost crying at uni over all this the other day. I cried in the car on my way home instead. I just waver between feeling so strong and sure to thinking maybe I should give it another go, what if it's wrong etc. I've never been on my own, he's my first ever relation ship (and me his), it's so scary and unknown to leave and be on my own. Staying with him is a 'safe and secure' choice, but it's not making me happy, or him, so maybe one of us just needs to be strong enough to end it. Sorry for my rant.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 01-Nov-12 14:08:25

Not all that safe and secure given how he makes you feel, Pulled. Sounds like it is anything but, emotionally.

No need to excuse not coming on here for a bit, it's good to have you back on here when you have time.

cannotseeaway Thu 01-Nov-12 14:15:48

The on-off-on-off feelings you describe pulled are exactly how I feel, it is very confusing, isn't it? I am veering from one extreme to the other hourly at the moment, it is making me feel physically sick.

It must be extra difficult for you as he is your first serious relationship. I have had a few long term relationships, but, however they ended, and a couple of them were messy, nothing comes close to the pain I am feeling now, as children are involved. Don't be scared of being on your own pulled if it ends up like that. It is liberating to discover you have the strength to be on your own, particularly after a difficult relationship. I came out of a very difficult relationship 10 years ago, and I loved the 5 years of being single after that, before I met DP. I have been happy with DP, but, I think that the loneliness of being in a relationship with someone you don't want to be with any more is far worse than the loneliness of being single.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 01-Nov-12 15:30:30

Agree cannot it is lonelier in an unhappy relationship. What I hated most in my dysfunctional marriage was the constant anxiety - about what dh was thinking, what he thought about me, etc.

This hasn't gone away, but I'm hoping it will in time. I feel more relaxed not being in the same house, but he is still a presence in my mind. It makes me realise how much he dominated me and intimidated and manipulated me.

When I first went on MN talking about my unhappiness I described his behaviour and was really shocked when people told me it was emotional abuse. I thought it was exaggeration, that those who said so on here were strident man-haters sorry blush

Now I realise that they were right, and I was completely brainwashed. I was like someone living in some kind of Orwellian nightmare.

I'm not missing him at all in any good ways. I'm still scared of him. Just because his abuse was so subtle didn't make it less. I think in some ways it is harder because you don't know if it's alright really and it's just you (and I'm sure that is the idea and critical to how it works).

I don't know if any of that rings a bell with you, and I apologise for going into a personal rant again.

But I would urge you to get some space if you can to get a sense of perspective. Living in a dysfunctional, toxic relationship is not just lonely, it's incredibly tiring and draining. I hope that one day I am able to feel like a normal person, who isn't preoccupied with this internal debate and anxiety, but just feels secure and relaxed and able to look outside and embrace life rather than be stuck in the torpor of a marriage that hasn't worked, and all the guilt, fear etc that this provides.

Not there yet, not by a long way.

Kixicle Thu 01-Nov-12 15:55:54

Hi, namechanger here, in need of a vent at the very least. I guess it may come out a little jumbled.

I feel like the worst person in the world. DH and I married a little over a year ago, and have two DC. We've been together for about 5 1/2 years altogether. (I was a late 19 when we met, so young)

DH has depression and I have epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures (may be outing myself a tad with that since I've talked about it elsewhere, but oh well). He is my carer, and we're home together all the time. I've been doing okay, I thought, despite my mother telling me I needed to set ultimatums if he didn't sort himsef out (she's controlling, so I put it down to that). But here we are, and over the last few years I find myself sinking every now and then to bad patches where I question where this is going. Nothing changes. He's not a bad man, not at all, and he doesn't hit or threaten me, but I just end up feeling so belittled at times, and I can't even put my finger on why.

On a good day, he's the gentlest man around, considerate, loving, good with the kids (oh, I know how that sounds after having been on mumsnet a while)... On a bad day he is grumpy, irritable, rude and condescending. He snaps at the kids and calls DS an idiot, and in the past he has walked out of the house following arguments, leaving his phone behind. He used to drink and conceal how much he was drinking, but I think that's calmed down now. He still drinks, but openly and less of it.

Throughout this, he either won't get help at all, or ducks out of the system without ever really trying. I know that stems from issues he has going back donkey's years, but it doesn't help now. And at the same time he brushes off talk of going to the doctor, he yells at me if I forget any appointments or tablets, despite the fact that I make an effort to do all I can for my health, and have been told that there's just no guarantee they can ever stop all of my seizures, especially as they are likely stress-based.

Over the last couple of years the thought of leaving him ahas come up and died away again a few times. Mostly it's knowing there are some things I cannot do myself, such as bathe the children. That's big, important stuff I would need help with (it's unsafe for me to bathe them alone incase I have a seizure). I don't go out of the house much either, because of these seizures and the fact that he worries to an extreme amount about me. I've also just..I feel safe at home, in my own little world, just going to drop my son off at school. I started talking to people via skype and the internet this last six months or so, which is so much easier (I've never been all that good at making friends).

Only now, here I am in the middle of a "good" patch after arguments a week or two ago where DH threw his wedding ring across the room, wondering if this will ever end. And the reason I feel shitty is that this time, I have a friend I talk to online and I realise I have one hell of a lot more in common with him - a guy I've never met - than I do with my own husband. I look back and think about our wedding, and how it nearly didn't happen because DH was so stressed out about me having a seizure and it all going wrong and he couldn't cope etc.

And I'm becoming the bad guy. There's "someone else" even if that someone else is only someone else in the fantasy department of my mind. I feel crappy, and I feel like a grub for being in two minds about the future of my marriage. DH won't talk to counsellors. I haven't brought up the subject of something like Relate but I know he would panic. But every time he yells at me for something, every time he makes a snide remark about something I'm interested in, I just think about how this friend takes my side when I cave in and go "urgh, this happened today".

I know I'm skirting beyond dangerously close to EA territory and it's just muddying this whole situation now. I felt crappy and unhappy before but I was just kinda trapped by needing DH. Now I feel like I'm the villain as well. And I probably am sad

PulledInTwo Thu 01-Nov-12 16:25:35

Thank you for the support everyone, it really helps. I know how you feel cannot the constant flipping between the 2 extremes is so draining and confusing. I'm starting to think that a split is inevitable anyway. H is starting to pull away, possibly doing some thinking himself. I've developed a massive crush on someone, and it reminds me of how I used to feel before seeing H back at the start, I chat with them, get on well, get butterfly's before I see them, and it makes me realise how dead my relationship with H is. We spent our lunch-break together on tuesday, and we had barley anything to talk about, same when we're at home. I really help the counselling helps me decide what choice to make and how to get there. Started crying again earlier as I thought about H getting stroppy over me not wearing my rings. Basically how can he get like that when he hasn't ever gotten me a proper engagement ring due to money, basically I feel like to him I'm not even worth that sad

cannotseeaway Thu 01-Nov-12 16:43:22

Pulled it sounds like your DH needs to stop throwing the threat of divorce in your face every time you row, and you need to sit down together and talk about whether he is serious about it. Maybe you both need some space away from eachother to think.

Kixicle, it sounds like your situation is very complicated, and your DP knows full well you rely on him for so much, but that does not give him the excuse to treat you like he is. He also needs to seriously consider counselling if he wants to give your relationship a chance, but I worry that what he is doing sounds like EA, so relationship counselling would not work. Have you thought about going for counselling alone?

You sound very trapped, and you are so young to feel like that, you have so much life ahead of you. I think you need to put your feelings aside for this guy you have met online for the moment, it is good that you recognise he is an escapist fantasy from your RL problems, keep that in mind.

Oh, and incidentally, you are not a villain, or the worst person in the world. You sound very kind and self-aware.

Kixicle Sat 03-Nov-12 09:30:16

Thank you for your kind words cannot, it means a lot to me. I still feel a bit grub-like, but I think that's from feeling as though here I am, painting my woe-is-me and my husband isn't able to present his.

I don't feel as though he is EA, just that he is very depressed and inconsiderate at times. I put a lot of his behaviour down to his depression some days though, and although I knew he was depressed when we married, he also promised to get help, which hasn't happened. I think it's more complicated in my head because he's not someone that does absolutely nothing around the house. He does 99% of the food preparation, and is capable of looking after the kids if I need to go out, though if they misbehave he is a lot quicker to shout at them than I am.

I feel worse because he is also so reliant on me emotionally. I'm the only person he talks to, and even after all our arguments he says he can't imagine a time we aren't together, that he's terrified I'll leave him. I find myself worrying that if I leave him he'll do something stupid.

At the same time, feeling like I only live with him out of guilt is not healthy. I sat and made a list of things I loved about him, and in his depressed state it's not very long. Part of me feels like I want the man I married back, but the other part is starting to wonder if that man is even there any more. And then a good day comes along, and I feel awful for even thinking that, not to mention the added complication of not knowing that the hell I would do if our marriage really broke down. Part of me feels as though I'm holding things together just until the DC get older, that I'm biding my time to see what will happen, if things will get better, or at least the point at which the DC will be old enough for me to be safe with them. That kind of mercenary thinking leaves a bad taste in my mouth though.

Apty Thu 08-Nov-12 18:14:15

Hello
Came back to see if this thread is still here. I've had a break for a while as I could easily have moaned on and on over the past few weeks and thought it might be better not to but to grit my teeth and get on with it.

Hope everyone is ok. Thistle sounds like you're being strong and resolved in the face of pita family. I'm astounded at how unsupportive family can be when you need them most.

I've had inlaws being very very upset about everything and wanting me to put things back together which I found hard to handle.

I got ill last week - i think it's from not eating properly and not sleeping very well, but it made me realise how hard it is on your own when you're unwell adn still have to do everything and look after children / work etc. Went to the dr who has given me drugs and this time i've decided to take them - i think i need all the help I can get to get past this bit.

I do still have doubts about what I'm doing and what will happen. Dh still trying to persuade me that we should be together and as he's being nice atm, it's hard. But I can't get past the things that have happened so i need to shut all that out atm.

Tired - how's it going in the new house? Hope you're all settled.

It is cannot here, I have namechanged back to my original username as I do not have anything to hide anymore.

I just wanted to drop in and tell you that DP and I separated 12 days ago. It has been a very nasty, tough fortnight, and it was the hardest decision of my life, and we now have to move forward, but I believe we can.

I can't give any more detail as I have had all of my posts read on here by xp, including a thread on Off the Beaten Track.

Wishing you all strength however you are moving forward, and I hope you are all in good places at the moment smile.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Wed 14-Nov-12 19:41:24

Hello all
Things gone and going from bad to worse here, mostly my own doing. Engaged with an ex that I had a long-distance affair with 6 years ago. The feelings are still there for him but it's still long distance and always will be. Its just been emails, no texts or calls. It's not doing me any good. Planned to meet him for some alone time but a toxic gay friend emailed him and has ruined our meetup.

The other thing that's happened is h seems to have hooked up with someone and is seeing her. He went out sat night & didn't come home.
I just don't feel like I can cope with it all anymore tonight. Work is a nightmare, my daughter (11) only speaks to her dad and is contemptuous of me, speaks horribly to me.
Just feel like checking out tonight.

ThistlePetal Wed 14-Nov-12 23:19:56

Hello all, so pleased to see some new responses on this thread, it has been an absolute lifeline for me and I kept meaning to pop back on and see how everyone is doing.

Aptly I missed your message from last week but thank you for your kind words. My DM is still being a pita and I have just kept out of her way. She occasionally texts me to ask how the kids are.... Hope you're feeling better this week, well done for accepting the drugs and I hope they do help you. It sounds like you need some space and time away from your DH to sort through your feelings, is there a chance you will get some?

Cannot/Brubber - hugs and strength to you too. How are you feeling now? You do sound positive that you're on the right track, I hope you can post on here when you need support. If not, I hope you have support in RL. It is such a tough decision to make, but you haven't made it rashly or lightly, and in your darker moments you need to remember that, and remember the reasons for making your decision.

Sherry I'm sorry things feel so bad for you right now. Have you got RL support? If not, keep posting and we will support you. Has your DD been like this with you before, or is it a new thing? All I can suggest is to keep the lines of communication open with her, remind her that talking might help her whether she is angry, sad or whatever. What's going on with work? It s horrible when all these things seem to stack up at the same time, but hopefully all you need is for one of those things to start to improve and you'll start to feel more in control again. One day at a time, is all you need to think about. Stay strong.

I've not posted for a while, I think because I've disappeared up my own backside! Feel like I'm presenting a cool, calm, efficient face to the world, and doing such a good job that I'm convincing myself that I'm fine too. Maybe I am! But I am quite wobbly at times too, more so than I've been since I first realised that I wanted us to split up. Not sure where I am in the grieving process, and keep expecting it all to bite me in the bum. So I'm keeping a low profile, keeping busy, keeping an eye out for wobbly DCs (they're mostly fine), and keeping away from toxic people including my mother. DH has moved out, and the DCs go there for the first time, for 4 nights this weekend. Have a solid social diary for 3 of the days and a pile of housework for the 4th. Will no doubt be back on here for reassurance!

AboutToSelfDestruct Thu 15-Nov-12 09:56:53

Don't know how I've not found this thread sooner. I've read bits and pieces..too long to read it all. This is all so so sad that so many of us are feeling this way sad Everything resonates with me right now.

Won't give the whole story but have been so close to leaving on three occasionas over the last few years. Its yet another case of when its ok its ok but thats as far as it gets. On Monday I made the decision to leave. Was going to go back to our counsellor to talk it through and then bring DH with me the next time and tell him. Can't remember who posted about a very innocent emotional affair, but thats where I have been for the past year. idn't realise thats what it was until this last week as it had all been in my head, but as soon as feelings were out in the open I knew something had to change.

DH knew something was up and we had the big talk before seeing the counsellor. I've broken off contact with OM and its crushing me if I'm honest, but has to be. In the last 48hrs DH and I have talked and cried and talked some more. He is broken and its killing me that I am doing this. DC's all over the place too. My 8 yr old was actually shaking this morning while I held him. How can I possibly do this to my family? How? DH is a lovely lovely man. Not abussive and utterly trustworthy. He has just been totally absent for the past 5 years. Something changed a while ago and he is now so much better but the pain has taken its toll and I don't know if its too late.

He really badly wants us to work through this and is showing all the right signs and talking like I've never heard him talk before. He says this has been a massive wake up call for him and that he is nothing without me and that nothing else matters. Cannot / 8rubber you mentioned this earlier

"It seems to be a recurring theme on this thread, that DPs only seem to be willing to make changes once their cosy homelife is threatened, or they have been a bit dense and have had to have things really spelt out to them, by which point their other half is seething with anger and resentment. They just did not notice what effect their negative behaviours were having. "

This is so true for us. From being in a place where it was over, I am now 48 hrs in and feeling confused. Didn't mean this to be a long rambling me post. I'm just still very numb and in shock and so lost sad

tennesseyhennessey Thu 15-Nov-12 11:57:57

Im glad ive stumbled across this. I feel like others, a bit like im in limbo. The thought of leaving makes me feel sick, and i wish i could wave a wand to get it all done and over with.

There are times, like recently, where h can be wonderful, my main gripe and it seems pathetic thati would consider leaving over this, but he never gets up to help with the kids. He usually works late shifts so doesnt get to bed til 2-3 in the morning. But even on his second day off he'll just lay in bed. He's going back to work tonight after 3 weeks off, in that time he has only got up once so i could have a lie in and thats only because i lost it and shouted at him from tiredness. Even then he made a fuss, and ended up snoozing all day because 'he was shattered'. I do it every bloody day AND work full time.

I also cant stand him touching me, he paws me and tries it on when the kids are in the room. We cant just have a cuddle it has to be a grope too. I also realised i panic when my phone rings and its him. I instantly worry ive done something to piss him off.

I sound pathetic sad

ThistlePetal Thu 15-Nov-12 18:25:40

SelfDestruct, I'm glad you found the thread, it has been such a useful space for me to share my