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Not been the best husband but I want to make things better

(30 Posts)
WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 10-Nov-12 08:46:57

Ok this is not easy for me to post here

I have been an absolute shit to my wife over the years I have taken her for granted and for this I feel totally ashamed.

Things came to a head a few months ago when she tells me that she has had enough and that she is thinking of leaving me.

I have not been the partner to her that I should have been and I do not know what to do.

She tells me that she has been feeling very lonely and that I have not been around for her and this is true.

Our love life has all but faded away

I want to change and am trying to change not just for her but also for myself I have been doing much more around the house and am being the father to our children that I should have been for years.

I have been trying my hardest to make things up to her but realise that it is going to take her a long time to fully trust me that I am not going to hurt her again and to build our relationship back up again.

When we first got together we loved each other with all our hearts and married life just got in the way.

I know people say you cannot change but I know I can and I am. I love my Wife and my children and do not want to be apart from them.

We used that have a great relationship both inside the bedroom and outside and I want to get this back but think that it may be too late

Sometimes I think that I should just leave my family but this just brings hurt

I have beautiful children and we live in a lovely house and I do not want to be apart from my family

Is it too late

MrsWolowitz Sat 10-Nov-12 08:54:13

What do you mean by you have been a shit to her?

What have you done and for how long? Have you been abusive or unfaithful? These things will massively impact your relationships recovery so it's hard to comment without knowing more.

Have you considered counselling? It sounds like you have a long hard slog ahead but the only way you can hope to get things back in the right track is by putting in the work and proving to her daily that you intend to improve.

amillionyears Sat 10-Nov-12 08:54:14

I dont think it is too late. But that is up to your wife to decide.
I am a person who think that people can change, and some do if they genuinely want to. Which I think you do.
I assume you have said lots of sorrys to her for the bits that were wrong with your behaviour?
Your marriage has to be about her as well.
You say that "I love my wife and children, and do not want to be apart from them".
Do you also want to please your wife and help to make her genuinely happy again?

pictish Sat 10-Nov-12 08:59:28

It's great that you recognise what you have done, and wish to change for the better. Your wife many not be able to forgive years of being treated like shit though, and you have to be prepared for that.

You need to change because YOU want to be different. That's what is fundamental. Don't do it to please your wife...do it because you know in your heart of hearts it is the right thing to do for you...whether you remain married or not.

springyspring Sat 10-Nov-12 09:03:23

Have you told her how sorry you are? You've a lot of ground to make up if she's been slowly dying of neglect (which is immensely painful for her). Make sure this isnt a flash in the pan but that you are totally focused on negotiating changes for good, for ever. If you take your eye off the ball and neglect her again, once this flush of sorrow is over and she is appeased ( if she is appeased!), you will hurt her unbelievably and, yes, you will lose her.

Find out exactly what she wants - don't assume, you clearly haven't known what she wants before now (or haven't cared).

You say you are thinking of leaving - why is that?

Lastly, cherish her. If you'd got that at the beginning she wouldn't be in so much pain now.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 10-Nov-12 09:14:21

Thank you for your replies I truly do want to change and not just for her

Ive never been unfaithful and never would I have never been abusive I just have not done enough for her around the house and with our children

My wife deserves the very best she is amazing I have not been the husband she deserves and she means the world to me
thank you for your kind words

Rippedpaperdrivingmemad1 Sat 10-Nov-12 09:23:50

You sound as though you genuinely want to work to put things right, I hope you manage this and it all works out for you both

pictish Sat 10-Nov-12 09:28:09

Selfishly not doing your share is recognised as an abusive If she made her feelings on the matter clear, and you dismissed them, then you made the choice to treat her badly.
I think the word 'abuse' is often associated with violence, but many forms of abuse are insidious and subtle.
You don't need to be screaming at her or hitting her to be considered as maltreating her. Maltreatment is abuse.
Even taking your wife for granted to the point of refusing to lift a finger, is abusive. Just so you know.

The only way you will be able to make changes that will become permanent, is to own what you have done, and not minimise it or justify it.
That's where you start.

pictish Sat 10-Nov-12 09:31:27

Abd OP - I'm not about chiding you or giving you a hard time. I am offering genuine advice, as I see it.
I may have some experience to impart on this subject.

Looksgoodingravy Sat 10-Nov-12 09:32:04

Then actions speak louder than words.

Make changes and let her see those changes. How don't you help with the dc and what needs doing around the house?

Good on you for wanting to make a change btw!

pictish Sat 10-Nov-12 09:35:09

Selfishly not doing your share is recognised as an abusive trait I meant to say.

Hyperballad Sat 10-Nov-12 09:38:50

What do you mean by 'married life' got in the way? Don't understand this.

BeTheBestYouCanBe Sat 10-Nov-12 09:51:47

It is NOT too late. This is worth saving.
You can change only if you really want to and the fact that you are doing it for yourself as well as your wife tells me that you will do it!!
First of all you should have a chat with her to find out if she wants to save the marriage and be honest, tell her how you feel.. Maybe show her this thread if you find it hard to talk openly.
Make her feel special. Organise special nights in with her when the kids are not around. Cook for her, if you can afford to, why not book a special weekend away for you and her to send quality time together but make it a surprise. If you can't afford this, no problem. Remember it is also the little things that count a great deal like telling her she looks beautiful, remind her of old times together, old memories. What you were both like when you first met. Bring the love back in to your relationship. Cuddle her when she does not expect it, tell her to sit down and make her a cup of tea. Anything and everything.
It is true, life can take over sometimes but as long as you can recognise when this is happening and make time for each other you will be ok.
Stick together and face the challenges together as it will only make you stronger. The key is communication, talk to each other openly and support each other. This will make you close again. You are not only husband and wife but you should also be best friends, a team. Your family is your unit. Don't give up.

springyspring Sat 10-Nov-12 09:54:34

Don't you Hyper? What, the huge strain of bills, mortgage, work, pregnancy, childbirth, babies, children, career, work, sex, illness etc you're not getting (in-laws, families, location, transport, schools, getting into the 'right' schools/nurseries, childcare..)? And that's before working out how to cherish your partner, keep your marriage alive and healthy. yy we all go through it, and succeed/fail to varying degrees, but it can be a strain, no question.

BeTheBestYouCanBe Sat 10-Nov-12 09:55:38

and don't walk out on them!

Hyperballad Sat 10-Nov-12 10:57:07

Well springy, if that's what he ment then I understand it now.

I just can't imagine his wife putting the reason why she wants to separate as 'the marriage got in the way'

Just sounded like a cop out to me. As he does say he wants to save his marriage so he can't put is bad behaviour down to 'marriage'.

I think that's why I asked the question.

HappyTurquoise Sat 10-Nov-12 11:04:13

There are probably millions of men who get to this point in their marriages, well done you for being willing to bring this subject up here!
You have mentioned bedroom activity a couple of times. What you haven't mentioned is much about your wife, her needs, what she wants, and so on. It is great to do jobs around the house and make running the house a joint effort. But that is only external. What about who your wife is as a person, does she have outlets to express her personality other than housework/mother/job/cater/responsibilities?
On the whole parents generally tend to have to shelve our own wants and some aspects of our identity (hobbies, sports, career dreams, business risks, creativity, religious observances, meeting up with friends and extended family, etc.) There are not enough hours in the day to fit it all in. If your wife has had to give too much up, it would be wise for you to help her get back some of her own time to be herself, or try out something new and show an interest and in how that goes.
What about the emotional needs of your wife and yourself? Do you both discuss how your day has gone, share decisions about minor events, do the same with the DCs as well as have a bit of time each day, when awake and dressed, just the two of you? Share some music, some laughs, some bits of gossip or opinions about current affairs. Let her know you love all of her, and enjoy her company. Every day.
Ok...Then, after a couple more months of paying attention and listening, notice also whether she has any labido. It will not be constant. After a long break, and with the extra work of parenting she might have shut off noticing it herself. It isn't easy to turn on and off for a lot of people. So is suggest you aim for a very slow and romantic run up to one event a month. In fact, Is go further than that, I would say you should treat your wife like it's the first time between you it might never happen again. Bear in mind it might hurt her (and just in case this needs to be said, make sure you both do whatever is needed to avoid that! Foreplay is not optional in these circumstances, and a quicky might make you feel fab for 2 minutes but it could put her off altogether for another 6 months!) If there's any medical reasons why it would hurt her, or why you shouldn't have sex, then just don't.
Assuming you do ever get that far again at some point in your marriage, dont go thinking that's it, I can go back to being a shit again now! Enjoy being the best man, best husband, best father and consequently, the best lover you can be.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 10-Nov-12 11:10:55

Pictish thank you for your comments you are 100% correct in what you say

Bethebest I want my /our marriage to work and I do not think that i would be able to leave I know my wife is a stronger person than I am she could leave me.

Rippedpaper thank you I do want to make things work

I have got to this position with my wife because I have been selfish I have not done enough for my wife and for my children and I am not proud. I have hurt my wife and this makes me so so sad and I have to convince her that I will never hurt her again.

She deserves the best she is a fantastic mother to our children and I know that I can make her happy again.

Springspring I think you are correct and she has indeed been dying of neglect I will talk more with my wife I know I have been selfish putting myself first but I realise how wrong I have been and want/need to show my wife that I can be the man she first fell in love with.

Amillionyears she means everything to me I just feel so sad knowing that I have made her so unhappy.

I am not sure if she reads this if she will be happy or upset but I know that she reads mumsnet so we will see, I want her to know how sorry I am.

Thank you all for your kind words

teedeeuk Sat 10-Nov-12 11:13:49

OP what was the catalyst for you suddenly realising all this ?

springyspring Sat 10-Nov-12 11:15:23

You posted here so she'd read it here??

How about saying it to her face?

puds11 Sat 10-Nov-12 11:16:48

Its a starting point just knowing that you need to change. The important thing now is to maintain the changes you make.

Maybe you should print this thread and keep it somewhere you can look back on it from time to time to keep you on track.

pictish Sat 10-Nov-12 11:21:14

Sometimes it's easier to write it down.
I'm not sure I would want to use a forum to communicate with my spouse, but different strokes and all that.

OP - you're welcome. Now is when you begin to read up, and do things a different way entirely. I think you sound genuine. It may take a long time for your wife to learn to trust you again, let alone feel like she is in love with you. Are you prepared to wait it out and give her the space to become used to the new improved you that has woken up to reality?

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 10-Nov-12 11:49:28

I posted here because I wanted to find out what other people think my chances are of keeping my wife

She does read mumsnet but I am not looking for her to read this post with the view of changing her mind I posted here so I can get people's opinions

I am already discussing things with my wife and she knows that I am trying to make things feel better and want to work on making our marriage work I know it takes two people to make things work and I am happy for things to run slowly I want to feel close to my wife again not just for the lovemaking but also outside of the bedroom

I know it is going to take her time to trust me again but this is all I can hope for I will work hard then work harder to make her realise I can be the man she first fell in love with and I will enjoy becoming a better man not just for her but because I really want to for myself

Thank you all so much for posting back to me

Abitwobblynow Sat 10-Nov-12 11:52:58

You now realise you have gone past her limits of tolerance, and she has had enough. You are on thin ice now I am warning you. Now is the time to 'grow the fuck up' (what I told my H) and face yourself.

So for starters:

1. say sorry.
2. look at yourself. Who are you, King God? Who gave you permission to treat this jewel like shit? Why are you so selfish? Why couldn't you be bothered to give a little? What does your family mean to you? These are important questions, you know.
3. apologise. Find some humility fast.
4. the most important thing of all. Go onto the website shouldIstayorshouldIgo.com . Tell your wife you are, and tell her you are working on the exercises there. It is a website done by a man who works with men like you, and if you really, really want to change you are going to have to work hard on changing the way you think. Talk with her through your exercises.

5. Go to counselling too. Tell them you are selfish immature man who wants to learn what it means to really care. Do not even think about blaming your wife.

Good luck.

scaevola Sat 10-Nov-12 11:57:47

It sounds like you have been emotionally unavailable in the marriage for some time. I am left wondering what the crisis was a few months ago when she was considering leaving, and why it is only now that you have realised that you need to do something about it.

Where has your emotional intimacy been all this time? Betrayal doesn't have to be sexual.

Do you know anything at all at the moment about your DW's emotional state right now? What are her priorities, hopes and dreams?

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 10-Nov-12 12:06:59

Hyper no she told me that she thinks we should split up because I have not been the father to our children that I should be and that I have not given her the love and that she is lonely in our marriage

Happy turquoise thank you for your post I do not know. I know that we used to have a good sex life and that she liked to make me just as happy in the bedroom as I made her happy. It defiantly got stagnant with my wife feeling that the only time I would ever show her any affection was when bedtime came about and this is true, I did not see it clearly but I was being selfish ignoring her during the evenings and then expecting us to have bedtime activity when she had been ignored could not have made her feel loved .

I am truly trying to make my wife happy and whatever come about comes about. I do want things to improve in the bedroom again but not at the expense of getting along better with my wife outside of the bedroom

This for me is where it has to begin and I think my wife would be happy beginning this way also.

Thank you again

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 10-Nov-12 12:13:36

Abitwobbley I think you have hit the nail on the head

I would not blame my wife it is absolutely nothing that she has done it totally is me and my doing I know this and if I loose her then I have no one at all to blame other than myself.

You describe her as a jewel an she is.

Thank you for the link I will go and register

Thank you

amillionyears Sat 10-Nov-12 12:26:25

op, do you think your wife is reading this?
Just to say, this is quite a big forum, so it is possible she will not see it unless she regularly reads most posts on the relationship board.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 10-Nov-12 13:02:03

Amillionyears I am not hopping that she reads this. I am not posting here because I want her to read this, if she does then I am sure she will realise that I have posted

I am just trying to voice things that are going around and around my head

HappyTurquoise Sat 10-Nov-12 13:02:13

For your wife to be happy, it would take her to make that happen. You can't make that happen (although not doing the things that she hates obviously helps). So talk to her about what makes her happy, what she wants to do with her life, her hopes for 5 years hence.

Also, enjoy being a father. Seeing how a husband is with their children: really delighting in their company and investing time and attention and thought into their development and future can go a long way to restoring trust and love.

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