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Anyone there please? DP admitted to kissing someone in the pub.

(256 Posts)
Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 04:23:56

I've namechanged as I'm worried my usual name is too recognisable to family and friends.

If there is anyone awake who could hold my hand I would be so grateful.

A friend told me this evening (sat) that last night my DP had been seen "snogging" another woman in a pub. He was out with some friends.

I've confronted him and he initially denied it, but then admitted it.

I'm not sure there is a word for how I feel- shell shocked shocked, sick, panicky.

We've been together 9 years and have a fabulous 5yo DS together. Things have been tense for a few weeks following a disagreement between us, but I fully expected us to be able to work through it.

He has said sorry, but I'm ashamed to admit he doesn't seem very sorry. I confronted him around 11.30pm fully expecting him to be full of remorse but he just kept referring to the fact that we've not been getting on.

I felt so angry that I had to get out of the house (DS is staying with my mum), I'm due to collect him in the morning. I drove round for a bit, and for some reason checked myself into a cheap hotel.

I'm there now, unable to sleep and frantic with not knowing what to do.

I know it's a cliche and people say its not so important but I'm petrified of turning our sweet loving little boy's world upside down. He adores his dad and would be devastated if he was to leave.

I can't believe this is happening, I don't know what to do.

Dear Owl
You don't need to do anything right away. Gather your thoughts. Try try try to get some sleep, ensure you eat something and take care of basics first. Then, personally, I would wait a bit, and talk to DP. It's just so tricky to know when it is the truth you are hearing. In your shoes, I would ask my best friend's help, she is calm, no-nonsense and loves me. Big unmumsnetty hug.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sun 25-Nov-12 04:29:24


I'm sorry!

The fact that he's shown no remorse shows that he's probably moved on.

If not (and he apologises properly) could you forgive him?

ktef Sun 25-Nov-12 04:32:16

I am so sorry you are going through this. I think you are right to have got out and got yourself some space. How did he react when you left?

Strawhatpirate Sun 25-Nov-12 04:33:23

I don't know what to say wine try and get some rest so you have a clear head. Then later on collect your DS and have a really nice day out together. Unfortunately I think that the only thing H is sorry about is being caught.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 04:34:02

Thank you littlemiss, I feel full if adrenaline but shattered I would love to sleep.

He has said sorry but yes there was an unbelievable lack of heartfeltness about it. If he's moved on then why couldn't he speak to me about it instead of doing this?

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 04:36:37

Ktef, he wanted to know where I was going, TBH I didn't really know at the time so I told him I needed to get out. He said I was being silly and should just sleep in our sons room. I don't know what he will think when Im not there in the morning.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 04:39:29

Even though my priority is DS Straw, Im afraid that Im not feeling strong enough to put on a brave face for DS tomorrow. My mum was very emotional and highly strung when I was growing up, I've always wanted to be a strong mu to DS, but I'm not sure I can do it.

Wankarella Sun 25-Nov-12 04:40:44

I have to go soon but I couldn't let this just hang here, I'm sorry to read this, it's terrible that his excuse is 'not been getting it on'... I think if I were you I would have rather-ed have heard 'I drank way too much'.

Do you know if this is the first time? Have you had any reason to suspect him before you were told by someone, I don't think you will get a lot of sleep tonight but try rest some and think of what to do tomorrow, was he devastated when you walked out? Did he say he was going to leave?

This need not be the end of your relationship you can over-come this but it takes two and he needs to work at it more than you right now, I know you will be feeling terrible and hurting badly (been there) try get some rest and go back tomorrow and sit down and have a proper talk when you are calmer, ask for more details other than 'we're not getting it on' as that's no excuse to be kissing someone else, I think you need to find out if it was just an kiss or something more and then talk it all out, tell him you need him to be brutally honest with you and no lies. Don't think so far ahead about your boy. No-one had left yet, you have just took some time out for breathing space.

Take care I will check back tomorrow and hopefully someone else will come along with some advice,do try rest though, I know it may seem impossible as you head will be reeling but try to push those thoughts to the back of you mind and concentrate on your breathing, every time your brain hits a bad thought tell yourself to think about your breathing, I used to do this and it worked and let me get some rest/sleep for a while.

Once again I am so sorry but try not to think too far ahead right now, you need to have more information before you can decide what you want to do from here in!

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 04:46:59

Thank you wankerella, I've always trusted him in the past, because I thought he just wouldn't do this to me. I've nothing specific that I'm suspicious of but if he can do this in a pub which is local to us then god only knows what else he is capable of. It sounds like he hadnt met her before, snogging in a pub fgs, we're not teenagers anymore. My trust feels shattered.

Strawhatpirate Sun 25-Nov-12 04:50:03

Do you think your Mum could keep DS for a bit longer? Then you could get some headspace and some proper rest.

Yes to everything Wankarella said! Breathing is a great focus point for you right now. You mind must be (mine would be) running wild with thoughts, and that's not usually helpful. Try to focus on what is relevant only. Your DS can handle a few days of mummy not being in the best mood, if having him around will help to distract you at least partially.

Whatever happens next (and FWIW I agree that this does not, as things stand, have to be the end of your relationship) your DP must not be left under the impression that this was just a minor error that's okay. He will need to be totally honest to you and himself, as to how he could allow that to happen, and respond as he did to your questions, and he should earn your trust again. My heart aches for you, and I really hope that this man will see sense and do everything possible to fix this mess he created.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 04:54:54

I'm sure mum would happily keep DS straw but I would need to make up SN excuse, which would probably be transparent to her and I don't think I want her to know. I will give it some thought though.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 04:58:25

Thank you littlemiss, I was shocked that he didn't seem to want to fight for our relationship. He kept asking me what I was going to do, wether I want to make it work and referring back to the thing that had caused us to fall out recently.

I'm beginning to have a horrible suspicion that he's really not a very nice mansad.

lotsofcheese Sun 25-Nov-12 05:14:36

You poor thing! I have a feeling there's more to your DP's story than meets the eye.

Could you tell your mum you're not well? Eg d&v bug? Asking her to keep him for longer will give you more breathing space.

Really sorry you're going through this x

CleansLate Sun 25-Nov-12 05:14:44

Sounds to me like he did it to punish you or to force the responsibility for the decision (to work on it or not), onto you when he had already made his decision.

I can see how you would feel that way. From what you described here he sounds ridiculously selfish. I'm very much hoping that this is not who he normally is, and that he will have a good think, realise that the grass is not always greener on the other side, and fight for his wife and son tomorrow.

But if he doesn't, or even if he does, but you decide that you can't be with him anymore, please don't be embarrassed to tell a few trustworthy people in RL. You need the support. Perhaps the honest friend who told you is a good starting point, as she already knows, and cares enough to risk the 'shoot the messenger' situation.

Toddle Sun 25-Nov-12 05:20:05

I'm not the best with words so someone else will come along during the day with much better advice but I'm up for the rest of the day if you just want to chat, keep you occupied.

Could you maybe ask your mum and say that somethings come up but you don't want to talk about it at the moment? Maybe wouldn't work if you think she will try to get it out of you.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 05:42:56

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Tears flowing now, which I guess is not always a bad thing.

I'm sad for me but whatever happens I will have to deal with it, I always do. But our son is such a lovely little chap, Im so proud if him and I know he would be devastated if his dad wasn't around. It breaks my heart to think of how confused and upset he would feel.i have tried do hard to give him a strong stable home and it's all crumbling around me.

FloralWellies Sun 25-Nov-12 05:46:20

I would be furious and upset too, but I also agree that I would try and do my best to keep my marriage together.

You need to speak to him, but you need to be rested, so text your mum and ask if she can keep your DS, just say you've been up all night with a bug so need to catch up on sleep or something and will have phone on silent.

Then to get yourself to sleep, try doing some stretches, I find that if you release the physical tension in your body, your mind soon follows. Also some breathing i learnt in my yoga class really helps.

Concentrate on your breathing, all through your nose. Breathe in to your chest and out through your belly.

In breath count up to 4, then breathe out, 8 (out breath longer than in breath) X 3

then in 5, out 10 x3
in6, out12 X3

keep going to your maximum and do 6 breaths then breath normally. Usually the concentrating on your breathing will distract your mind enough for it to switch off

ErikNorseman Sun 25-Nov-12 07:14:07

The instinct, when you have been cheated on, is often to 'fight for your relationship' and that is not a wrong instinct- it's ok to decide that you hope and wish to get past it. However, if 'fighting' actually means 'settling' for a half assed apology with a huge dollop of blame thrown in, some lack of responsibility and not much remorse, then you are on a hiding to nothing (personal experience and obsessive reading of the relationship board taught me that)
He may have to feel what he risked losing in a real way. And I'm not talking about playing games with him - I mean you need to demand and expect real remorse and examination of why and how he chose to cheat on you, and a genuine commitment to never doing it again. And if you don't get that, chances are he will do it again next time he's pissed off with you/the opportunity arises. If you can't live with that then you need to tell him so.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 07:50:17

Thanks Erik, I understand where you are coming from. Last night his remorse was sadly pretty weak.

I've spent a sleepiness night here and will head off home soon.

This has knocked the stuffing out of me, I don't know what to do if his apology remains weak and he keeps blaming me.

I'm afraid if I ask him to leave he won't come back. He is very very stubborn. We had a big row when DS was 6 months old, in sleep deprived anger I told him if he didn't help out more he should leave. He packed his bags and didn't come back for 6 months (continued to see DS though). When he came back he admitted he had been stubborn and stupid, but that was nearly the end of our relationship.

I wonder if he actually wants to be together it not. When I ask him, he turns the question back at me. Last night I kept saying that until I found out what he'd done I really really wanted to work at things, but he refused to accept that.

Good morning owl and so sorry about your dreadful night.

Firstly PLEASE do not try to drive anywhere without having some sleep. It is dangerous and unnecessary.
Second, please phone your mother and tell her the truth. Not necessarily the whole truth, but enough so that she will look after your DS for today. "DH and I are having some problems at the moment and we need to spend some time working them out" don't feel you have to answer detailed questions.

Then DIGNITY is your friend.
Do not beg for anything.
HE is the one who should be begging, apologizing, talking to you about how bad he feels.


Don't be sidetracked by anything that he says that translates to 'you made me do it' that is NEVER valid. We have free will.

If you are feeling very brave you could say "is this your way of ending our marriage?' because then you would KNOW then answer one way or another.

We are always here for you to talk to

CleansLate Sun 25-Nov-12 08:03:57

He can still be a part of your son's life without being your partner. Massive MN cliche here but it's a cliche because it's true - best thing you can give your DS is an upbringing where he sees functional adult relationships modelled.

I know it's the internet and it's dangerous to judge on a few words.

But his act - doing this somewhere so close to you, where I'd assume there's a good chance people who knew you/him would be, and then throwing your previous issue back in your face and asking you what YOU are going to do about his cheating...

it seems hostile, to me. I'd want to know why he'd done it.

shinyblackgrape Sun 25-Nov-12 08:08:23

You poor thing. I'm really sorry about this

I was once in a similarish situation pre DH and my Dad gave me some very good advice which was that I didn't need to be reactive and make a decision right away. And it was up to me to make a decision. It wasn't just for ex-boyfriend.

My head was spinning for days and I couldn't sleep. I remember the pure relief if actually thinking that I could park things for a bit to wait and see what happened.

I would go home now and talk to P. It sounds to me like this isn't a total deal breaker for you. Therefore, if he is suitably remorseful, you could work this out.

If he's not, then I would ask him to leave for a bit before you have one last chance at resuming talking. I know you'll be very concerned about DS but you could say that his dad is working away for a week.

I'm going to be really honest and say that I'm a bit concerned that he seems to be so blasé about this. I'm wondering if he has moved on and away from your relationship in his head? However, I don't know him and it might be that this is his "game" face. However, he'll need to let that down if you're to sort this out.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 08:17:45

Thank you for the wisdom of Mumsnet.

Several posters have suggested maybe he has already moved away from our relationship in his head. I guess this has to be true to some extent- or he wouldn't have done this?

I am going to remember not to beg, and try to retain my dignity (possibly tricky as I'm tearful). But if he has moved on already, I want him to admit it and leave of his own accord. I'm worried that he wants me to ask him to go, because then he can blame me for finalising things. So he could end up staying because neither if us wants to put the final nail in the coffin.

CleansLate Sun 25-Nov-12 08:22:33

I don't think ANYONE sane could 'blame you' for 'finalising things' when he's been seen, and admitted, snogging another woman openly in your local.

Nor would they think you were being unreasonable in insisting he change his attitude and demonstrate his commitment to the relationship pretty quicksmart, as specifically as you want.

Nor would they think less of you for, with the support of perhaps a carefully chosen friend or two, taking this as the starting point for a MUTUAL rebuilding of trust, respect and communication with a view to improving your relationship

It's a massive thing and don't let anyone tell you different.

I really hope you get some rest.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 25-Nov-12 08:24:25

It sounds like a dysfunctional relationship - what an immature selfish whiny man he is!! Sulking for 6 months FFS, teenage snogging with OW in public, silly fights etc.

He so needs to grow up - you and your DS deserve a real man. Sadly I don't think he ever will sad

ohfunnyface Sun 25-Nov-12 08:35:26

I don't think he wants to work on it, as sad as that is, he isn't behaving like a man who cares.

I would give yourself time to think it through, don't be drawn on what decision you want yet, and let him tell/show you what sort of man he is and what he thinks of you.

Do you think this previous row was signalling your break up? How long had you been arguing for? Was it resolved? Is it possible he could have orchestrated it to give him an 'out' of the relationship?

ErikNorseman Sun 25-Nov-12 08:35:42

He left for 6 months after a row??!?! And never tried to make it up to you? I'm sorry OP but no, he doesn't really want to be with you. I'm really sorry.

shinyblackgrape Sun 25-Nov-12 08:42:27

Don't get drawn in to the "he needs to end it" thought train. You give all your power away.

Second telling your mum the truth. You can swear her to secrecy but you need some RL support.

hopenglory Sun 25-Nov-12 08:55:27

If he's prepared to act like that in a public setting where there are people who know you, I think it's probably a very clear signal that he is sending.

Helltotheno Sun 25-Nov-12 09:22:06

I agree that he must have known your friend was there and that it would get back to you. What he's doing is forcing YOU to end it and in this case, I wouldn't let him do that, just so he can go round saying `owlfright Brooke up the family `. He's the one who wants out out so get him to admit it and tell everyone you know it's down to him.

Helltotheno Sun 25-Nov-12 09:23:09

Broke..durn phone

Sugary Sun 25-Nov-12 09:57:02

If a man did something like this as a result of being completely hammered and it was out of character and absolutely and utterly regretted, then he would be remorseful and beside himself with guilt and fear. He's not. He ought to be; you are the mother of his child.

I would calmly tell him that he's crossed a line and he needs to leave and think about what he's done and what it means. Tell him not to get in touch until he has done answers.

His reaction is so underwhelming that you would be setting yourself up for further pain if you allow him to carry on.

Good luck x

lotsofcheese Sun 25-Nov-12 10:17:42

How are things now, owl?

Unfortunately your "D"P is exhibiting emotionally-stunted behaviour. Agree with other posters who have said this is his passive-aggressive way of forcing you to make the decision when he is the one who wants out.

Leaving for 6 months after a row is ridiculous behaviour.

I'm really sorry to say this, but he sounds a real piece of work & I wonder what he contributes to to your happiness.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 10:18:59

Apparently is was outside, he didn't think anyone had seen. He said sorry and it shouldnt have happened, but not in a way that had much feeling. When I asked why he said maybe because someone showed him some attention- I called him a pathetic weak little man blush and he stormed off saying that if that's what I think of him......

He's collecting DS, I called my mum and told her the truth, she was so upset and pretty furious. I've asked her to be civil with DP when he arrives, I don't think her giving him a piece of her mind will help.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 10:23:48

Sugary, I'm almost certain that if I tell him to leave as you suggest, he will not come back ever. He will then say I ended it by making him leave so there's no point in him trying to fix it.

I realise maybe I would be better off without him, but for my own sanity I do not want to be the one who ends it. I would probably always regret it.

CleansLate Sun 25-Nov-12 10:25:17

But just because he says it, doesn't make it true.

I'd say HE ended it by cheating on you and acting like a spoilt child huffing off for SIX MONTHS.

Doha Sun 25-Nov-12 10:27:53

For your own self respect you have to be the one who ends it. Do you want to live like this wondering where he is and what he is doing every time he is out? That is no way to live. If he stays without remorse it is practically a green light for him to continue in this way.
What time of atmosphere and home life is this for your DS.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 10:29:26

Yes, don't get drawn into this silly blame game.

Whatever happens to end this relationship it IS going to end by the sounds of it and he IS going to blame you no matter what. I suspect what you may regret on the other side of all this is not ending it sooner and putting up with all his bullshit. What other people think doesn't matter, think only about what is good for you and ds not what people will think or what you may regret later, make good decisions for sound reasons and you should not regret anything.

ohfunnyface Sun 25-Nov-12 10:32:47

He cheated on you and won't apologise??

He has already ended it.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 10:33:55

DS will be heartbroken sad

shinyblackgrape Sun 25-Nov-12 10:35:21

Who cares what he says re who ended it. If anyone asks, and you feel the need to explain, you can say that yes. You did end it. However, it was due to him moving out for 6 no ths and then cheating on you.

No one exists in a vacuum so people will know that you won't have suddenly on a whim done this. Further, most peoe aren't (or shouldn't) be interested in the gory details. Just giving you support

CleansLate Sun 25-Nov-12 10:38:46

It's totally understandable but I think you are hiding behind DS because you are scared of ending it.

He stayed in contact with your DS during his six month huff, right? No reason to think he'll vanish out of your DSs life. At 5 your DS can have overnights and weekends with his dad, spend loads of time with him (assume he's at school/nursery?)

shinyblackgrape Sun 25-Nov-12 10:39:29

DS will be upset. I agree.

However, he will be just as upset living in a house full of anger and where his father could bugger off for 6 months without notice.

So, unfortunately, neither option is particularly good. However, I feel that you and DS will both hopefully re over more quickly if you end things now.

However, per my first post, I would bide your time. Wait and see what he has to say today. No need to make immediate decisions.

He stormed off after you asked him to help more for six months leaving you to look after DS on your own.

that's not stubborn, that's pathologically scumbag.

And now he's saying that he cheated on you and it was all your fault for not giving him enough attention and for falling out with him a month ago.

Leave him, you deserve more. Your son will cope as he clearly has one fab parent and an ok-but-not-particularly-useful-one-other.

betrayedandwobbly Sun 25-Nov-12 10:50:53

I'm sorry to say, but I have recently discovered my H's long-lasting affair that began (I think) with an EA and had a lengthy "snogging" phase before it moved to full PA.

Whatever may or may not be wrong in your marriage, moving outside it to give time, attention and intimacy to someone else is his choice and his responsibility alone. You are right to see this as a crisis time, but you can only save the marriage if you are both committed to doing so. If he does not accept that he has done wrong and take responsibility for his choice, it is unlikely that you even have a starting point to do so.

You may need time and space to sort out what you really want, both of you. There is a shock of discovery for him too, and he needs to decide for himself whether his priority is in or out, and though this is hard and unfair on you as it is a realisation that he is not automatically putting his family first, his free choice is the one he is more likely to mean.

So I agree that you need to hang on to your dignity: that doesn't mean hiding the depths of your hurt, but instead strive to remain calm and, if necessary because he continues unrepentant, kick him out temporarily. Having the time and space to think about what you really want is important.

Try to avoid making permanent decisions during the immediate crisis, but do research your options.

kernowgal Sun 25-Nov-12 10:51:16

I'm still agog that he said you could sleep in your son's room. While he gets to stay in your bed? Flippin nora, he should be offering to sleep on the sofa or go to a hotel himself.

He sounds extremely selfish.

I remember my guilt about my DCs growing up in a 'broken home' I labelled it and kept thinking about all the statistics as well. It's horrid to think of it all but these days I am so glad that I did end it. It was hard at the time though. Try not to let your son cloud your judgement too much. He needs a Mum who feels valued, so she is happy and that will make you a better Mum. He also needs to grow up in a family where the Father respects the Mother.

Give yourself sometime to make a decision and I would really push for marriage counselling if he wants to work things out, do not let him pretend it never happened and leave it all un dealt with.

To be honest he sounds very childish, do not let him put the blame on you for his actions.

Out of a matter of interest, what was the argument about a few weeks ago? The fact he is still holding a grudge about it all, is disturbing and a very poor example for his son. He is a modelling a very poor way to treat his partner and to deal with disagreements and conflict. Surely life would be far easier, not living with a man who guilt trips you and makes you feel bad until you back down or apologise? He doesn't sound very nice tbh sad

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 10:58:24

The six month storm off was 5 years ago, DS was tiny. Not that it makes it any better, just trying to show it was a long time ago.

Of course DS will be welcome to see his dad at any time if we split up. But I'm certain he will be very sad if daddy didn't live here. The poor wee chap was in tears last week because I said we would move house if we won the lottery- he loves things the way they are....

I know it's considered foolish to stay together for DC, but I'm really struggling with the idea of causing him distress. I know how tough for kids in a break-up even if at least one parent is reasonable.

Oh, my children are running around giggling together right now, as I type and see their Dad regularly. They are happy and so am I. There is life after separation and it can be better than you can imagine, once the dust settles.

Take your time though, talk it all through, try not to be rash or make big decisions, whilst feeling like this. Or it's ok to say I'll think about it, to anything he says today x

CleansLate Sun 25-Nov-12 11:02:27

He wants things to stay the same because he is a child.

You are an adult. And things can't stay the same.

But try to rest, don't get ahead of yourself.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 25-Nov-12 11:03:26

It is tough for kids growing up in an unhappy and unstable household and that is what your DS is experiencing.

You both are teaching him that its ok to be childish, to storm off etc.

LittleEdie Sun 25-Nov-12 11:18:36

A big thing for me (currently in the middle of splitting up) has been accepting that my DH will always blame me for ending it, no matter what he has done to provoke things.

cashmere Sun 25-Nov-12 11:19:40

What does he expect you to think of him?!
Storming off is the last thing he should be doing and from what you've written I expect he is expecting you to step back into line. Eg if I make enough fuss I'll scare her into forgetting about it.

I also wonder if his haste to collect DS is also an attempt to stop you being able to talk about it. Keeping things public or in front of children is quite effective- by the time you have privacy your adrenaline is often gone and you're tired/sleepy.

You might not want to say but was your argument sex related? If so do not allow that to justify what he's done.

DS may adore his Dad. I'm sure he adores you too. He will notice if his Mummy is unhappy. It's not a black and white case of if you ask him to leave he won't see DS. I think he's done a good job of keeping you in your place by 'leaving' when your DS was a baby.

No-one is all bad but he really does sound unpleasant. I'm so glad you've told your Mum.

Do YOU want to stay for YOU?

Wankarella Sun 25-Nov-12 13:07:03

He does sound very selfish, don't blush about what you said to him, he needs to hear the truth.

I do not think anyone brings children into the world with thought that one day they will be a single parents, I didn't, I knew my relationship was toxic (affairs, shouting, walking on eggshells awaiting him return from work) but I stayed as I didn't want to upset poor DC.

I won't lie my dc were devastated when we separated, my eldest was 9/10 at the time and I still have a very vivid image of him sitting crying and sobbing, when his father left, poor boy, move forward a few years and he a happy child, I have so much love for my children, we are a very cuddly family, he reduces me to tears sometimes just for being such a lovely, kind, helpful boy, he is my best friend, he helps with everything, very considerate to me, to the point he tells me to 'come to your bed Mum I will carry your tea and magazines' (this melts my heart every time) they also do fight but at the end of each evening though the 12 year old always asks his brother for hug and they say 'I love you' to each other and have a kiss and cuddle.

I thought there was no way I could 'cope' with 2 children alone and I felt terrible and lonely and useless, few years on and I realise I have more than enough love to give my dc, someone coming in and out of dc lives does more harm to them in the long-run, an ad-hoc Dad is not good, we have lots of fun and laughter, lots of giggling and silliness, more importantly lot of love with no arguing, this makes me very reluctant to ever bring a man back into our family unit we have.

I hope you can work through this but keep your self-respect, if you P is behaving like an idiot please do not beg for him stay to keep together a 'family unit' again I am sorry this has happened and stay strong, these next few days/weeks will be difficult do whatever you can to take care of yourself.

AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 13:17:10

From what you have said about him, it sounds like he wants out of your relationship but is too chicken to do it himself and doesn't want to look like a the bad guy

Now you say that you don't want to be the one to end it either

Where does that leave you ? Stuck in an unhappy relationship with a cheating man, and both of you giving damaging examples to your little boy

IMO, children do better when both of their parents are happy and neither of them are making sacrifices that diminish them. If that means mum and dad don't live in the same house, but continue to co-parent, then so be it.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 14:30:07

I really don't think that DS has been affected so far as he's witnessed no arguing or hostility. But I know sooner or later he is likely to notice.

I somehow feel that because he's an only, he will take a split harder and will feel his father's absence more. I know I can manage practically alone, and luckily I could just about make ends meet financially too. But I've been a single parent when he left for 6 months and I know how tough it is emotionally, I found it very hard, lonely and desperately missed someone to share in the responsibility and joy of DS.

The argument we had was about his work. If I say too much I will out myself to family and friends who use Mumsnet. He basically made a decision that meant working unsociable hours, for no more money, so he could spend weekday hours trying to establish a business that he has been working at for 10 years as a hobby, but which has never made a penny. He doesn't earn much as it is, I work hard and cover most if our outgoings. I have supported him in his efforts so far but when he decided to change hours so DS and I will not spend time with him at weekends, to enable him to chase his dream I objected. He disagreed, and we were at loggerheads about it. It now feels stupid and childish to have not settled an argument for 3 weeks, we had reached stalemate but I never thought it would come to this.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 14:34:14

Do you not think that is a symptom of his ongoing lack of commitment to his family rather than a cause of an argument. FWIW I think you are right not to let it drop btw. Exactly right to still be angry with him.

Inertia Sun 25-Nov-12 14:45:27

But he's not sharing the responsibility and joy of DS now. He's prioritising his hobby and guilt-free nights out with other women above both DS and you.

I'm sorry this has happened - sounds as though you are carrying all the responsibility in your family with little support. Hope you've had the chance to clear your thoughts today.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 14:56:04

I think exactly that offred, which is why I was so against it. He genuinely seemed baffled by the fact I thought it wasn't fair on DS and I, he felt I wasn't supporting him.

We ended up being civil but little else, unless DS was around. We haven't had sex for over 3 weeks, I know he was upset about this but I told him I can't have sex with someone who isn't being nice to me IYSWIM.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 14:58:05

I'm actually in bed. He took DS straight out from my mums, don't know where as I've not heard from them.

I know I need to get up and sort myself out instead of hiding away feeling pathetic but I can't face it and I feel terribly sick.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 15:02:40

Let yourself hide. You will benefit from the rest even if you don't sleep.

It is him that is completely wrong. You and ds shouldn't be there to support him with a hobby that he is replacing his work with. If he had the option to change his working hours like that it should be so he can spend more time with you both not less. He is a total coward and very selfish. Can't believe he is showing such contempt for you sad

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 15:09:42

I feel confident he is being unfair until I talk to him, he sees things so very differently to me. Then I begin to doubt myself and spend ages trying and failing to explain my point of view. He tells me all his friends think its a great idea, which just fuels his insistence that I'm being unreasonable.

Thank you for your support Offred, and everyone else.

scaevola Sun 25-Nov-12 15:13:45

I suggest then that you do not attemp to see him and talk to him until you have had the time to become stronger and not doubt yourself so easily. Also, you are not responsible for his choice to involve himself with another woman. You need not explain yourself. He needs to explain himself.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 15:17:56

Is he a sheep? All his friends... Pah, even if it were true!

The facts as I see them are he has a son, he has a partner and that word should mean what it means. It sounds as if he has not ever had any intention of being a father or a partner and he has done his best to avoid it.

For your sanity and for your ds' happiness you can't keep mopping up his mess and I'm glad you haven't given in to his ridiculousness over these things. I know from my life that ultimately if your partner intends on not being a dad or a partner in any meaningful way; providing financially, physically and emotionally and working in partnership with you then it does more harm than good to try and cover this up. I think children can cope with anything, it is sad that they sometimes have to take crap from an inconsiderate and irresponsible parent but it is much better than protecting them from that if it is the truth.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 16:33:53

He's bought DS back and gone out to watch football. I managed to hold it together with DS, hard at first but now we've got stuck into making something out of a big boxgrin I'm doing a great fake smile.......

I can't get into his stubborn head that what he's done is a bigger deal that what we disagreed about a few weeks ago. He just keeps referring to how we've had a horrible few weeks, and how unreasonable I'm being about his working hours. As far as I'm concerned the working hours issue pales into insignificance now, but he won't accept that.

I just can't find the words to make him understand.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 25-Nov-12 16:34:19

I think the subject of the row is relevant - often men who are workaholics choose to work rather than spend time with family as a way of checking out of their marriage and family life and being distant.

The fact that he chooses to spend his leisure time on hobbies and nights out etc must mean that he hardly has time for his family so I would imagine your DS is already used to the idea of him not being around much.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 16:39:01

Yes mad DS is used to him not being here quite a bit. But that's not the same as him not living here at all...... He's a creature of habit, I wouldn't k ow how to begin to explain that daddy will not be living here anymore.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 25-Nov-12 16:43:11

I think you are hiding behind DS.

He does not need to know the full details - just that his dad will be living in another house but will see him lots and that he still loves him etc.

You really need to start thinking about investing in your life- developing friendships, hobbies etc, even if you decide to stay in this dead marriage.

It's not acceptable to go off snogging people angry

Poor you. I think you're at an impasse right now. Do not settle for this being brushed under the carpet.

Can you write notes about how you feel? So if he interrupts you when you speak, you do not get confused or forget what you were trying to say?

You need a time to speak when DS is asleep really.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 16:59:24

Mad, I have invested in my life. There's plenty of room for improvement but I've got friends, and hobbies (although dint get enough free time to persue them). I'm pretty independent in many ways, would miss DP but I can deal with going out without him etc.......

But he's DS's father and I wanted to share bringing up DS together as a couple. I don't want to offend anyone, but the times that the 3 of us have spent together having fun are by far and away the happiest moments I've ever experienced. I don't want them to stop because nothing comes close.....

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 17:05:17

You say to him that living together is making you both unhappy and that you are going to now live apart and that although you will probably all be sad about this for a while in the end it will mean you will all be happier and your home will be calmer. Only tell him when you are sure of the contact arrangement and reassure him about when he will see you and when he will see daddy.

I think you are hiding behind ds too. This man doesn't seem to be much interested in him or you, this is horrible for a child to live with and learn as normal from a father.

I'm not sure I agree with the mummy and daddy don't love each other anymore but both love you because I think it sounds like a threat to a child who begins to understand love can be taken away.

dequoisagitil Sun 25-Nov-12 17:06:22

But your dp obviously doesn't share that sentiment if he's arranging to work in such a way that there's very little family time and when you're having a difficult time together pisses off down the pub and gets off with other women.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 17:11:35

It is really hard and sad for you if that is how you feel op sad I agree he doesn't feel like that about you or ds and I wonder if realising that may tarnish any family time you do spend together.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 17:12:33

Although maybe I am being unfair to him about ds? Has he been better since he flounced off for a 6 month hiatus from parenthood?

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 18:01:35

Yes he has been a good dad to DS. Teaching him things, nurturing him, does school run if he's free, helps with homework.

The default person to do everything is me, but when He spends time with DS he is fully involved and hands on. DS is so on his daddy's wavelength.....

Dear Owl, your ds will take his lead from YOU. At the age of five this can be done without trauma to him if you choose.

I simply told my dds that mummy and daddy are going to live in two different houses now, and that they wanted to be friends instead of married.

When i was a child my brothers and I were all lined up and some long, uncomfortable explanation was brought forth by both my parents. It was dreadful and we couldn't wait to get away and think our own thoughts.

If you make it seem quite normal to your child then he will be fine.

Actually, nowadays, it is quite normal and most children know other children whose parents don't live together.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 25-Nov-12 18:21:33

I am sure he can still be a good father to DS should you decide to split up.

However, can I say that a truly good Dad respects the mother of his DC, is equally involved with his DC as the mother and also is happy to have the same amount of childfree leisure time as the mother.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 18:24:45

Does he make time for him though? By doing the school run when he is free do you mean when he isn't doing his hobby? Surely if he has quit daytime working for his hobby you should be splitting the school run evenly? Does he do practical stuff like toilet, cleaning up sick etc or is that what you mean by leaving stuff to you? Lots of disinterested dads do the nice bits without helping with the hard work.

LucettaTempleman Sun 25-Nov-12 18:34:43

This thread has saddened me.

I'm an only child, Owl. Parents divorced. I have no more issues than the next person.
I would say that actually, rather than a divorce affecting only children more than those who have siblings, it's the other way round. NOT splitting up and staying together miserably is probably more harmful to an only child, simply because of the closeness to the parents. An only child, without the distraction of other siblings in the home, is probably much more sensitive to the mood between its parents.
The saddest thing about the thread is that your 'D'H doesn't seem to even care about you very much, according to the behaviour you've described here.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 18:37:13

Do you work? Is he expecting you to do all the shit bits because you don't?

And yes he will be fine when he has ds by the sound of it but if he doesn't make time for him now he probably won't if you split up, he'll probably be happy being a nrp with set hours of a small amount of contact and not really an equal parent. Does he realise if you split potentially he could be responsible for ds by himself 50% of the time without you picking up the slack?

I suppose I find it hard to reconcile the hobby/changing work hours and the 6 month abandonment because he didn't want to care for his baby with a person who is a proper father.

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 19:07:22

Lucetta you are so right, I hadn't thought of it like that before (despite being an only child of divorced parents myself). Thank you for your thoughtful insight. I'm scared I'm not enough for DS, DP is the life and soul most of the time, it feels like our family comes alive when he is around and DS loves it. I'm scared he will be unhappy as he gets older living at home with just his mumsad.

Offred, most of the day to day stuff is me. There isn't an equal division of tasks, I know that it's not ideal but I've managed fine so far. I can't imaging DP would want 50% access, he is 'busy' so much, has nowhere to go, and would struggle to afford to rent anywhere. So sadly for DS, if his dad leaves he is likely to have to rent a room off a friend which would make extended visits tricky (I've no intention of attempting to restrict access though).

We are going round in circles: me "I don't think I can get past this unless you are truly sorry", DP "unless we can sort out My working hours we can't live happily anyway", me: "that's a seperate issue, I think we could have compromised, now the issue is what you did on Friday" DP " we've barely spoken for 3 weeks, we were never going to sort it out". You get the picture.........

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 19:13:06

sad owl. It would be tempting for me to think like that about my twins (dh does split home tasks equally I am in bed with a really nasty cold and he is making tea for me just now after having looked after all the kids most of the day). The twins are always "no me want dadda to do it!" "Me want a cuddle with dadda!" "No me not want you, me want dadda!" Except when they are sick or scared and then they only want me. It is novelty and love how they are about dh but I know they love me and appreciate that I'm the one providing the foundation for their lives.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 19:13:53

What does he mean about sorting out his working hours? Is he trying to say he is unhappy with work?

Owlfright Sun 25-Nov-12 19:31:48

offred sorry you are feeling poorly, your DH sounds lovely.

By his working hours, he means the subject of our argument from 3 weeks ago.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 19:36:36

He has bad points I posted a thread about yesterday! grin He is very helpful though!

Not sure the cheating is separate from the work argument because the root of both is him leaving the relationship and possibly the family. That's what he needs to explain and what needs to be address.

ImperialBlether Sun 25-Nov-12 19:38:41

No, Offred, he wanted to change his working hours so he worked weekends and could spend time on his hobby new interest in the week. The OP said she and their son wanted to spend weekends with him. Apparently she was unreasonable there.

OP, he's an utter twat. You'd be far better off without him and I have to say your self-respect would rise if you dumped him rather than waited for him to dump you.

I hate to say this but generally people don't snog random women down the pub. They might snog women they have a date with or women they have previously had some sort of relationship with. I would put my money on that rather than her being a total stranger.

GhostShip Sun 25-Nov-12 19:42:11

He said I was being silly and should just sleep in our sons room

For that comment alone he is a bastard. You are not being silly, and I think he should be the one forgoing the marital bed since he's the one who's done wrong, the cheeky sod!!

I hope you're feeling okay, you've been given some fantastic advice. And remember that you've done nothing wrong.

Sometimes its a good thing when parents split, better that a child living in a strained household x

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 25-Nov-12 19:47:12

Bluntly your dp sounds like he was teaching you a lesson for not gladly going along with his ideas of developing his hobby into a business at the additional cost of sacrificing family time. You'd gone off sex for the past three weeks because it's not always easy compartmentalising when feelings run high.

He came back when DS was an infant and you've been hoping the three of you could be a settled family. It wouldn't be surprising if you've never quite felt sure of him.

This time he uttered the words but the apology never rang true because I bet he thought if you're given a shock you'll not risk rocking the boat and losing him for 6 months or longer this time. Of course if you don't give in, and he leaves to save face, he can tell anyone else, it was all a mistake, he was under the influence, he apologised but Owlfright overreacted and wouldn't listen to reason.. ie your fault!

Either you call him on it or if he resorts to this kind of strategy every time he wants his own way, and you cave in for maintaing the myth of happy families, any self respect you have dies a little.

You're already working hard to cover overheads so if he thinks scaring you into climbing down by snogging some random female is going to work I hope you can tell him a few facts of life. He has all the comforts of home with you and DS and perhaps he's forgotten the bachelor life means paying his way, all the domestic stuff he takes for granted, along with all the fun bits.

Of course you want to shield DS and keep his world as he knows it stable and secure but you sound a very warm capable person, DS can still see daddy and have fun with him.

LittleEdie Sun 25-Nov-12 22:55:45

I can only imagine the frustration of a DP who says an argument about working hours is in any way comparable to an argument about snogging someone else. You have my every sympathey.

From everything you have said Owl, your DS is the only reason you're not chucking his clothes out of the window

I understand totally.

But. Being a good Dad and living in the same house are not mutually exclusive. Your H can continue to be a good dad with a close and loving relationship with his son from anywhere. It wouldn't be the life you imagined, but no doubt, the ideal didn't involve your H snogging people down the pub and scheduling his hobby work in a way that avoids family time.

The sad fact is that the 'lovely life' you are clinging on to doesn't exist at the moment and unless you do something decisive now, you are giving your H the message (and teaching your DS) that you will just roll over. Because right now every thing your H says and every action is screaming ' I want out but I'm a coward so you do it'

A drunken snog may or may not be forgivable. But he is not asking for forgiveness so you can't give it to him. The only way to salvage any respect and therefore have a fighting chance of a healthy relationship in the future (if that's what you want) is to put your foot down now and say "you are not sorry, so leave"

I suspect he will leave. And then he will want to come back. This will give you time to process your thoughts and make sure that if he does come back it is on your terms. Or at least on a level playing field.

CuriousMama Mon 26-Nov-12 00:16:28

You can have a better life if you split. I doubt you'll ever trust him again?

My sister should've left her partner years ago. Her dd,only child, now grown with dcs of her own, was affected because sis stayed. His problem was drink which he died of. But still the fact that she was an only child meant she had to deal with the dysfunction on her own.

I left my exdh over 6 years ago. DS2 was 6 and also hated change. Yes he wasn't very happy about it but it's all turned out for the best. I'm with an amazing dp who is great with dcs. Exdh sees dcs every weekend. He tends to spoil ds2 most which is bloody annoying. DS1 is very bright so has sussed him out. He's closer to me. But they're both happy lads. All I'm saying is yes, you ds will no doubt feel the change but will soon get used to it.

Your 'D' p sounds like a prick. And a selfish one at that. You deserve happiness.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 00:24:29

Thank you do much everyone for your thoughtful, wise posts.

I went to see a friend thus evening and we talked and talked. I can't decide what to do, but it was good to talk. I am lucky to have such a lovely friend.

I told DP I couldn't sleep with him in the bed. I'm shattered, and if he's next to me I'll be alternately restless and trying to talk to him.

He's still adamant that he felt things were irreconcilable given that we couldn't agree on his work hours, and for him this is the bigger issue. He insists he has said he's sorry.

I've explained as clearly as I can that we could most probably have come to a compromise on the hours, and the kissing on Friday is by far a bigger issue and that I'm not convinced he is at all sorry.

I think that he's furious to be on the sofa (small sofa, tall man, dodgy neck). I actually do feel bad about it, but I'm well aware it's the right thing to do.

I can see the wisdom in asking him to leave as a few posters have suggested. But I don't think I can do it (apologies if this is frustrating to read), I know him, and I know if I reject him like that he won't entertain the thought of trying to make things work. Maybe I might feel differently in a few days.

I should be at work tomorrow, I'm tempted to call in sick, but it would be a bit dishonest.

Thank you again for the amazing support, it has carried my through a horrible 24 hours. I will pay it forward.....

CuriousMama Mon 26-Nov-12 00:36:29

Owlfright you are sick, emotionally. So call in sick and rest.

My best friend was recently dumped (now back with him hmm) He dumped her in a pub brave soul he is. She was so distraught. She took the next day off and I took her out on the piss. She couldn't have gone in she was a wreck.
I know you haven't been dumped but he's made you feel ill. Be kind to yourself.

And I hope he gets a stiff neck grin

CleopatrasAsp Mon 26-Nov-12 01:06:57

Owlfright, the way you write makes it sound that you are completely at the mercy of this man. He has you right where he wants you. He's already left you once so you are too frightened to 'rock the boat' too much and ask him to leave for a while. His snogging another woman so obviously in a place where he was bound to be seen by somebody - I don't believe the crap that he didn't think anyone would see - was clearly to punish you for not going along with his mad 'business' plan. He is an arse of the highest order and I bet that there is loads more negative stuff about him that you haven't revealed here.

You sound lovely by-the-way, you deserve so much more.

Gennz Mon 26-Nov-12 02:00:47

so let me get this right ...

- you work full time and cover most of the bills;
- you also do most of the domestic work;
- when your child was a baby your "D" P chucked a strop when you got frustrated at him for not pulling his weight and stayed away for six months :shocked: to hammer the point home (i.e. punish you);
- he unilaterally decided to change his work, for no additional money, for work that will take him away from the family & mean he is even less able to help out with childcare/domestic chores;
- when you objected tot his he threw another strop, sulked for 3 weeks, and when you didn't give in, snogged someone at the pub.

why have you not packed his bags? he sounds utterly awful.

Plus he is not a good dad. A good dad does not flounce off when their child is a tiny baby because the child's mother asks them to help out a bit.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 07:17:05

Cleopatra do I really sound "at his mercy", sounds so weak!! gentz I'm know that if I sent him packing "for a bit", he wouldn't be likely to come back, taking it as a sure sign that I don't want him anymore.

I've found the advice on here so helpful, I hope that posters will still feel able to help me even if I don't seem to be able to throw him out as suggested.

It sounds so simple "pack his bags", "tell him to leave", but the reality would be a massive and traumatic change for DS and I. So it's not something I could do lightly.

If I did it, saying it was "for a bit", while he worked things out, what on earth would we say to DS? Daddy has gone for a bit, he might be back?

He's not listening to me, or taking in what I'm saying. Maybe it's deliberate but I'm afraid it's because I'm not explaining myself properly. I try to tell him how I see things and what I want, and he then says "I don't know what you want"confused.

So I'm thinking of writing him a letter. That way it's there in black and white- how u feel, the situation as I see it. I can't force him to read if but at least I'll know I've tried.

If anyone wants to suggest any wording, feel freesmile.......

Doha Mon 26-Nov-12 07:26:02

Something along the lines of

you cheated without remorse and have no respect for me or this family. It appears that your own happiness and your hobby takes precedence over everything else in your life.
So for the above reasons can l ask you to revaluate your priorities and if you can't put DS and our family before everything else may l respectifully suggest that you fuck off-and don't come back..

just a suggestion smile

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 07:29:02

Oh owl. The thing is you can't make him love and care for you and I really think it is obvious that he doesn't. He isn't a good dad if he lets you do all the crap and sweeps in for the fun. sad

ErikNorseman Mon 26-Nov-12 07:38:46

In my own experience I didn't split with h for a good 6 months after finding out, so I certainly won't judge you or lose patience if you don't jump to LTB. It took me a while to realise that he just didn't love me enough (and nor I him to be fair) and that it would never be good enough. It may be that you reach that decision, it may not. He may pull it out of the bag and 'get it'. But I do know that ending a marriage is a huge decision and if you don't feel right about it you will have regrets- so keep thinking, don't stick your head in the sand, keep pushing for what you want and need and you will get to the place you need to be, one way or another.

I used to write e-mails.

After I started reading Shirley Glasses book, I saw things clearer and articulated my needs better. ExH probably wished I'd never picked up that book grin

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 07:50:34

Bit of a shock to see two posts right after one another pointing out he doesn't love me, or doesn't love me enough. It must seem so obvious to you, so why can't I believe it?

Thank you for sharing your experience eric, were you sure you had done the right thing after you split up from your ExH?

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 08:05:27

I think he's doing a good job of making you happy with the crumbs of what he gives you and afraid that those crumbs will be taken away.

I can't comment on what he feels for you.

I can comment on what you've described he shows you.

He does not show you love, care, respect, he doesn't behave like a partner or a father. He giveth and he taketh away like a little God, and he makes sure you feel super grateful for the not enough that he provides. Either he doesn't love you or he isn't capable of a loving relationship.

ErikNorseman Mon 26-Nov-12 08:10:56

I was sure, yes. But we had split 3 times prior and got back together so it was a long process.
My experience is not yours - I'm not saying that. But I realised, the way he was towards me - it didn't feel like love, and it wasn't wht I believed love should feel like. And that if he actually did love me he would have acted and felt differently.

scaevola Mon 26-Nov-12 08:34:12

I am so sorry. He doesn't sound remotely penitent.

I do like the letter by doha though it might be better to say it than write it. You could usefully add that he should fuck off to his job as he said that's what matters most to him.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 26-Nov-12 09:03:31

I don't know what I'd write but I'd certainly look him in the eye and say whatever was behind his actions on Saturday, it's a pretty peculiar way of going about trying to fix things. That sofa must've been very uncomfortable last night. If he wants to try apologising sincerely and talk like an adult about what's causing the rift of the past month, you're willing to listen.

clam Mon 26-Nov-12 09:15:38

I know you're not married to him, but there are many similar stories on here by people who are. So, according to the way of the world by people like your partner, maybe the marriage vows should be rewritten to say "I promise to love and cherish you, forsaking all others, unless we have a row and you refuse to do what I say, in which case I can go out and snog/shag other people."

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 26-Nov-12 10:30:24

Re his feelings for you.

Are his actions those of a man who loves his partner?

Actions speak louder than words.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 26-Nov-12 10:32:15

His actions suggest that he sees you as someone to pay the bills, be the nanny, cook, housekeeper and doormat. He shows zero respect for you and a total lack of care for you. sad

The thing that stands out for me is the fact that you are so convinced that if you asked him to leave for a bit to give you some space, he'd never come back

That says it all really. Deep down you know you are hanging on to him by a thread and that if you dare ask for the relationship to be played on a more equal footing - That will be construed as you rocking the boat a bit too hard, and he'll be off again

Look. OP ending a marriage is MASSIVE and nobody knows you or your H but everything you have said tells us that he is holding all the power and for some reason (I suspect out of love for your DS) you are prepared to take a subservient role on your relationship and follow his rules.

If I asked my DH to leave for a bit to give me space, he wouldn't like it but he'd be desperate to be back with me and the DC so would be trying to come home, not stay away forever. I expect that would be the same in any healthy relationship. The fact that you are so sure he will up and leave for good is not normal.

I'm sorry Owl. Your situation is hard.

Sorry. I keep referring to him as your H. I mean P blush

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 26-Nov-12 10:51:00

The fact that you suspect he will not bother coming back to beg for another chance says a lot to me too. If he really loved you he would be working hard to win you back.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 10:55:01

Thanks slightly, and everyone else. I am off work today, I've asked him to come and talk to me properly this afternoon.

If the outcome is that I ask him to go for a bit, how do I express that in a way that doesn't mean that I've definitely decided its over? how can I make it clear? Sorry if it sounds like a stupid question, but I'm so used to the thought pattern that if I ask him to go, he can't or won't come back that I can't think if the words. Even if it seems very obvious I would be very grateful for any suggestions.

Also, more importantly how would we explain to DS that Daddy is not here, but may be back? I could tell him Daddy has gone on a trip, but he usually collects DS from school twice this week, so it won't make sense that he's away IYSWIM. I don't think it's right to tell him there's a possibility of us splitting up until we know for sure what is happening?

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 11:04:31

You need to face up that you can't control him choosing to take you asking for space or standing up for yourself as an excuse to end things and blame you. There is nothing you can say to make him not take it that way if that's what he wants to do.

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 11:07:45

You basically as I see it can let him pull this relationship apart piece by piece in the way he is doing or you can stop it yourself.

I would suggest something like:

I don't want our relationship to end but I need time alone to process what has happened between us. I am hurt by both your actions and your failure to acknowledge the scale of what you have done.

I need to clear my head to think about how i feel about everything and i cant do that with you here - you will cloud my judgement and you have betrayed me and broken the trust. Otherwise we will not be moving forward with a clean slate and the relationship can never be healthy and happy.

Or something

And to DS - anything. It doesn't matter if it's a white lie - Daddy has to work away, visit family, visit an old friend - really anything that protects his feelings. You can worry about tacking it properly if it comes to it.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 26-Nov-12 11:10:41

Just say something like:

Because your actions show that you do not want to be committed to us, I am asking you to give me time and space to think about what I want to do with my future.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 26-Nov-12 11:12:26

And if he chooses to take this as a way of leaving you all, there is nothing you can do about this. There is no magic phrase that will make him do the right thing I'm afraid.

AnyFucker Mon 26-Nov-12 11:27:20

Am going to buck the trend here a little. I don't think you are ready to make him leave (yet). The very fact you are asking for the simple way to "word" things is don't mean it (and won't follow through with conviction) because if you did the words would come easily to you.

You are still stuck in the trap of trying to make him "understand" your POV. If you really were at the end of the road, you would no longer be bothering to wonder if he didn't "get it" simply because you hadn't said it in the "right" way.

My advice to you is to seek counselling for own self to find out why you have such a low bar in what is acceptable in a loving relationship. I would start to disengage from him, stop dancing to his tune and stop trying to make someone understand who never will. I would withdraw my good will and start making a life of my own away from him. I would buy the Patricia Evans book (The Verbally Abusive Man) and Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That)

Have a good think about why you feel so is because his actions have made you feel so. And when you do nothing about this latest behaviour of his, he knows he has you even more cowed. Stop worrying about his thought processes and start nurturing your own. You are in independent woman and a great mother.

One day (soon, I hope) you will be in a better frame of mind to put him out of your life. Maybe he has to do something else so awful, because the snog in the pub doesn't appear to be your deal breaker. That day will come though, if you work on yourself and stop trying to work on him

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 11:36:29

Thank you got your insight AF, you are probably right, but I do have flashes of wanting to tell him to just "fuck the fuck off!!" but it's probably because I'm angry and I might regret taking such a huge step (which I guess us what you are suggesting in your post).

I do feel a need to talk this through with him though, I've arranged to talk this afternoon but there is a chance he will act like a petulant teenager and refuse to engage- so we will get nowhere, other than making me exasperated!

Maybe I'm in too much of a hurry to sort this out- I am one if those people who struggles to do things slowly and thoughtfully.

AnyFucker Mon 26-Nov-12 11:45:16

Don't misunderstand me, love. I don't think you would regret telling him to fuck the fuck off (in the long term). I think once you do it (and stick with it) you will wonder why you didn't do it years ago (around the time he fucked off for 6 months would have been ideal, but no matter).

You are still stuck in the cycle of trying to talk to him, despite knowing it is futile. When you properly acknowledge that, and stop trying is the point you need to get to. I don't think you will do it on your own though, some counselling will help you get there ( not couples counselling)

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 11:55:10

Thank you AF, will try to get some counselling alone. Any further advice for getting there if I'm struggling to wait for the time it will take to arrange and attend counselling?!!!!grin

I'm so sorry. I think tbh that he wants out but doesn't want to be the 'bad guy'. You describe him as fun and sort of the life of the party type, that is exactly the guy who does not want the blame for breaking things up.

I have known people like this before, they push and push until finally the other person leaves. Usually what pushes it over the edge is infidelity.

If this is the case, then there is nothing you can really do. There is no magic phrase you can say that will turn him into a good husband. He is already halfway out the door and the only power you have is over how long you are willing to tolerate this process.

I agree with AF, I think you could really benefit from some counseling. What makes your posts so sad, to me, is how much you are sacrificing your own happiness and wellbeing for your family. You deserve to be happy too and treated with love and respect, and I think if you can really believe and accept that then you will see that this man does not deserve you as a partner.

AnyFucker Mon 26-Nov-12 12:01:40

Well, I would simply tell him what I was doing, and why. I would say I was arranging counselling for myself to explore why I was so accepting of poor treatment by my partner, and possibly to help me decide whether this is the life I wanted or not.

Then quit trying to make him see your POV. You know you are right, it doesn't matter what he thinks. Back right off...disengage from what he thinks and does. You know that running after him and keeping him at the centre of everything is not working

If he fucks off, so be it, because it was going to happen anyway.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 26-Nov-12 12:01:54

Good post AF.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 26-Nov-12 12:05:20

Op - do get the books AF has suggested while you organise counselling.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Mon 26-Nov-12 12:16:43

"I just can't find the words to make him understand."

That would be because he is stupid and stubborn.

He is choosing to work weekends because family life matters less to him than it does to you. This means, you and your son matters less to him.

If I were you, I would like to know exactly how he is planning to make his "business work" in the week days, ask to see his business plan, how he is planning to make money from it.

I would also like to know what he would do, and with whom.

Why would a grown man, a father and a partner, want to chose away his family to spend time in the week, when you are presumably working and out of the house, and your dc in school, doing a "hobby" because he could "turn it into a business"?

He is asking a lot of you. Where is the relationship?

Think back to before his request, when did your relationship really change? Has he orchestrated this "not getting on" to have an excuse to stray and start building new relationships?

itsthequietones Mon 26-Nov-12 12:23:15

Great posts from AF. OP, while you're waiting for counselling maybe think about the things that you can do that make you happy. What about a college course, evening class, assertiveness training, learn to dance, meet up with friends more - invest your time and effort into you. When you begin to realise just how strong and amazing you are you'll probably find that you have no place in your life for this sorry excuse for a man.

HandbagCrab Mon 26-Nov-12 12:33:44

Did you post about your dp a couple of weeks ago? I guess you discussed his crazee work plans after that thread and he didn't like you standing up for yourself.

The 'you sleep in ds' bed' comment made my blood boil for you op.

He should be kissing your arse you know. You enable him to pursue his hobby and his 'dream' and have a lovely family by breadwinning and doing the majority of the childcare. If it wasn't for you, would he be able to do these things on his own? Whereas you could thrive without him if you gave yourself permission to put yourself first for a while.

Best of luck with your chat smile

I also seem to remember a previous thread, where I believe there were a lot of responses all telling the OP she was reasonable and her DH's plans were incredibly selfish and ill-thought-out. I'm so sorry things have come to this OP sad but please please remember that YOU are not to blame for any of this. Your DH sounds incredibly entitled and inconsiderate, and if the marriage breaks up it will be HIS fault.

I cannot get over the fact that he left you for six months with a newborn baby. What a -- grrrrrr, I cannot even think of words bad enough to describe that.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Mon 26-Nov-12 13:13:29

Would it really be so bad if he left?

You would not have to support him any longer if you did?
Neither would you have to worry about his working hours, his women on the side, or whether he is going to leave you or not?
You might be better off financially if he left.

He sounds like an inconsiderate twat.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 13:16:20

Yes I did post about his work plans a few weeks ago. I've name changed though, and not been very specific about the work stuff on this thread because I really don't want to out myself to people who I know IRL, not least as I'm not ready to shout from the rooftops that DP spent fri night snogging someone else!

I have absolutely kept to the gist of the work thing though......

My step father has called DP. I didn't know he was planning to do it. He then called me, he's on my side and made that clear, but he also said that DP said I've said some stuff over the past few weeks which has hurt him deeply, and that DP said that if things had been ok between us he would be on his knees begging for forgiveness.confusedangry.

I have said some stuff that he's taken to heart like that I was sick of everything, I wanted a DP with a normal life and he was making me put my life on hold. He says that given how hard he had tried to make me happy, these comments were really hurtful. He constantly refers back to them, and glosses over the fact I've said countless times that I said them at a low, angry, upset point and I am sorry.

He said DP said he was afraid that if we tried to make it work, he might look back in 5 years time and realise he had made a mistake and wasted 5 years of his life. Stepdad, asked me to keep this to myself, so I can't call DP on it, but it sounds odd?!

Oh dear, I'm on a roller coaster. One minute I want him out of my life, the next I don't.angry

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 13:18:25

How has he tried hard to make you happy exactly?

Oh god this is just awful. Please speak to women's aid and see if you can get some women's aid counselling owl.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Mon 26-Nov-12 13:21:17

I think I remember your thread too. His hobby is quite expensive though.
Not sure how he plans to make money of it?

I reckon he just wants to keep earning at the same level, and wants more time to spend on his hobby. He is choosing hobby over family life.

And now he thinks he will regret it, if he prioritizes you and his son.

What a tool.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 26-Nov-12 13:21:46

So he's gone one better since Saturday night OP he's ahead of you in painting that one-sided picture to your family and friends. He really doesn't want to be seen as the bad guy and is prepping the ground.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 13:29:15

Oh dear, chat is arranged for now. I'm even more confused about what to say than ever. I shouldn't have insisted on it!

I know I must remain dignified, not beg, stay calm.

Feel a bit sick!!

AnyFucker Mon 26-Nov-12 13:30:12

He sounds utterly grim, and utterly energy-sapping

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 13:32:14

itstgequietones, those things sound amazing!! I like trying new things wand would live to do more for myself, the main problem is time.

If DP leaves I will have even less time and no free evenings do I will be able to do even less for myself!

So he had to snog a woman in a pub because you didn't like his change to his working hours?

Him snogging a woman in a pub is grounds for divorce. You not liking not being consulted is just a normal reaction to disrespectful behaviour. Don't allow him to equate the two. You are in the right.

It seems to me he's told your stepfather he wants to leave. Hasn't he?

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 13:36:14

longtall no I'm not aware that he's told stepfather that he wants to leave. Sounds like they had a much more open honest chat than we've had about this though hmm.

AnyFucker Mon 26-Nov-12 13:36:18

if DP leaves, you will set up formal access to his children which will be more likely to give you more proper (meaning less on his terms) free time for yourself

every other weekend and an evening during the week is standard...I'll bet that is more free time than you get now (since you are doing everything, all the time)

I'm referring to this bit:

He said DP said he was afraid that if we tried to make it work, he might look back in 5 years time and realise he had made a mistake and wasted 5 years of his life.

Not a man who wants to stay in his relationship, I would argue...

Longtall is totally right. Your reactions to your husband's ridiculous plans were quite normal, and no matter what kind of argument you had about it, not the kind of thing that on its own should end a marriage.

His reactions are so, so wrong. For him to blame them on you and anything you said is bollocks, please believe that.

Don't let him paint some equivalence between the two of you. You are acting like a responsible and caring adult and he is acting like a selfish teenager really.

He needs to grow up, badly. This is not your fault.

cashmere Mon 26-Nov-12 13:51:47

You know I never feel like I'm far enough along the road to give advice that doesn't draw heavily on my own experiences.
However, what AF has said really resonates with me. I absolutely think you will leave him in time, (and I hope for your sake it's sooner than later) but you don't seem to be there yet.

I know for me I had to try everything... I wrote letters, talked when we were getting on (which was ruining things hmm, talked in the heat of the moment, cried, shouted, left for weekends, suggested divorce, had space, got my family to talk to him, got his family to talk to him, got his friends to talk to him, suggested counselling, tried to see the funny side, cooked nice meals, little gifts, taxied him around, supported his dreams above mine.....

Nothing worked- for some reason though I had to try all these things. I may have well banged my head against a wall.
Eventually it was a relatively minor thing that ended it. I realised no matter what I did I was treated with contempt. My Mum asked why I was so passive and I said that it was as I had finally realised I couldn't do anything to change the way he treated me/our relationship.
I told him it was over and meant it. It would have been a lot better for me to get out sooner but I had to go through the process.

HandbagCrab Mon 26-Nov-12 13:55:30

Sorry op it's just I remember how selfish your dp was from that thread and how you had put all your dreams on hold for him. I hope mentioning it hasn't upset you or made you worry about being outed.

How has he tried really hard to make you happy? When he walked out for 6 months when your ds was a baby? When he let you be the main breadwinner and main childcarer for the last 5 years? When he pursues his dreams and interests whenever he pleases expecting you to pick up and pay for the shortfall? How does this show he's tried really, really hard to make you happy?

Your stepfather should be keeping his beak out too. It's not his business to be having cosy chats with your dp when you're having difficulties.

It sounds like your dp wants out. I don't see how you can give more if you think that is what it will take to save your relationship. If you get back together it is saying every time you disagree or pull him up on his selfishness, he can go off and cheat. So you don't disagree and go along with everything he wants and he may stay with you and/ or not cheat. But there is no guarantee and a man that can take, take, take like he has and treat you like this is not one I would put my money on to keep his side of a shitty to you bargain.

I hope your chat goes well. You could say you've changed your mind and are not ready to talk if you don't feel up to it. Don't be pressured into doing things you don't want. Best wishes

aefondkisses Mon 26-Nov-12 14:14:34

Owlfright I could have written your post and feel very sad and angry for you.

I know exactly how it feels, particularly because "snogging" is so bloody childish for someone who has a child himself, I mean WTF is he eighteen? Even then. I remember my male friends having morals when they were eighteen.

I don't want to influence you in any way BUT, if I'd known about mumsnet three years ago I wouldn't be here, faced with a full-blown affair and the potential for a really horrible split (I have one DS too, he's six). You can read my thread if you need convincing (the one with "kicked me" in the title) but I remember what this feels like so I'm going to talk to your instinct because you know deep down that this is not right.

So my question is: do you really want to be with someone who handles relationship issues like this? I wish I'd asked myself that at the time. No matter how much fun he brings (when he feels like it) to the family, he's your DS's role model, so WTF is he doing? angry

If he doesn't know that already, as an adult, you're about to massively waste your time, energy and good will. Keep all that for your DS.

Please don't wear yourself out trying to explain, understand, made me ill, read my thread, seriously.

I know it's hard but life is too short, don't waste it.

Big hug x

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Mon 26-Nov-12 14:27:50

Well said Aefond

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 16:03:44

He wants to go stay with a Mutual friend. To get some discs for a few days. I don't want him to go I know it will be the end. We are still talking but I think that's what he is going to do

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 16:05:15

Sorry distance not disks

Let him go.

He's going to do it anyway, sooner or later, why put yourself through the angst?

HandbagCrab Mon 26-Nov-12 16:26:56

Awh sweetheart you must be shellshocked. Maybe just try to get some rest and do something unrelated?

It is your life and you should do what you want and what feels right for you. However, your dp has not shown in any of this sorry escapade you have detailed an ounce of sympathy and compassion for you. I really, really wouldn't beg him to come home. Even if he does I can't see it working out for you unless he has a personality transplant.

It must be really hard and I wish you the best.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 16:27:33

If he's going to go I can't bear another protracted period of thinking where I'm desperately waiting for an answer. It tore me apart, I can't do it again.

HandbagCrab Mon 26-Nov-12 16:29:57

You could make the decision yourself then?

Take back the power and tell him to go.

You are too good for this selfish man-child. One day he will realise what he has lost, but hopefully you will have moved onwards and upwards by then. You and your DS deserve much better than this excuse for a relationship.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 26-Nov-12 16:35:23

By all means let him "get some distance" if he is so determined to have things his own way and whine about your patience running out. Your stepdad at least gave you advance warning DP wants out.

"If you love somebody, set them free".
Likewise, if he's a sulky PITA who can't compromise or talk things through, let him go.

And don't let him blame you for tearing the family apart/breaking DS's heart, if he throws that at you. He opts out when the going gets tough. What lesson does that give a child?

THERhubarb Mon 26-Nov-12 16:39:20

OP I don't know you and have just quickly scanned through this thread but here are my thoughts:

Is it possible that he did this in your local pub knowing full well that it would get back to you? That could be why he is not remorseful, because he had planned it to be this way iyswim?

It's his way of telling you that someone else finds him attractive and that if you don't come round, he might find someone else.

Put that way, I'm inclined to think that he might not be a nice person either.

He wants his own way. You and your ds don't figure in this because he is only thinking of himself. You have sacrificed a lot for him and your ds no doubt and you have done so willingly. He hasn't.

As a family you make decisions together, certainly decisions like this that affect the entire family. You talk about things, you take each other's concerns into account, you thrash out an agreement, work out a compromise. It appears that he is saying that it's either his way or not at all.

I think he expected you to be so shocked by what you heard, that you would agree to his plan for the sake of the family. That's why he keeps coming back to that point, because his snog in the pub was supposed to make you agree to it.

I think it was all planned. I'm sorry OP but this man is very selfish and very childish. What kind of father would he be if he's never there for your ds? You might as well be a single mum in those circumstances anyway.

Kids are adaptable. Life happens and sometimes we just cannot control events or situations but make the best of them. This is one of those situations. Yes it will be hard for your ds if you leave him, but you have to make the best of it and think about the future. Your ds will understand as he gets older. Whereas if you stay, he'll never see his dad, never spend time with him and will never grow close to him. Not a great example to set is it?

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 16:43:26

sadsadsad just let him go. You'll be sad but you'll also be free.

Are you sure this snog in the pub is the only incident of cheating?

loopylou6 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:52:46

Listen to what he is telling you owl, he wants to end it sad

Nothing he has said points to him wanting your relationship to work, he's mentally already checked out, you really need to understand this.

I'm so sorry for you and I can't even imagine how you must be feeling, but this is for the best, your ds will eventually have two happy parents, because even if he is unaware now, he will start to sense the tension.


AnyFucker Mon 26-Nov-12 16:54:03

Let him go. It's quite clear that all his behaviour recently has been leading up to this. It's what he wants but he's not man enough to say it.

aefondkisses Mon 26-Nov-12 17:10:47

again, from experience, even if he comes back and plays the perfect P for a while, which I doubt but I remember that fantasy well and I think you're still hanging on to it: would you still want him after what he did, all he's said, all that's happened? Do you want your DS being drip-fed his attention like this?

You won't see him in the same light at all, believe me, and the thought of him kissing someone else will haunt you every time you fall out and then it'll escalate.

Keep your kisses (snogging is for teenagers) for someone that cares and values them. It's the same as sex by the way, kissing someone else, it's just different body parts. In fact it was worse than anything for me because it's such an intimate, tender act (that's my personal view but I'm sure you get my point). Value those kisses, if I could back in time that's what I'd do. Lock them up until someone worthy comes along.

aefondkisses Mon 26-Nov-12 17:12:03

PS big hugs

mammadiggingdeep Mon 26-Nov-12 17:18:34

So sorry he's treating you like this. You've got to let him go though- and not beg/try to persuade etc.
As hard as it is, whatever the final outcome is going to be- keeping your dignity will help you in the long run.
I agree- you should (if you can) tell him to go- he's playing power hames and you can take the power back if you want.

AnyFucker Mon 26-Nov-12 17:18:44

Good advice, ae

ErikNorseman Mon 26-Nov-12 17:36:21

If he leaves it's because he wants to leave...and what does that say? He wants to leave.
I'm sorry but it's not possible to make someone not want to leave.

bumhead Mon 26-Nov-12 17:41:10

God I feel like kicking your DPs arse on your behalf.

He has moved on my love and you need to accept that, bin bag the twats stuff up and start taking care of yourself and your DC. You are a worthy, wonderful woman who will find a decent man in time but in order to heal you need to ditch this arsehole.
I have been where you are and clutching his leg as he walks out the door won't make him stay
ps you will get over this, I promise you.

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 17:46:07

Can I just add that I think you've been really brave owl, in the circumstances (how you feel and how he treats you), to leave last night, to not back down over this work thing and to have this talk.

It doesn't surprise me he has decided to pre-empty you asking him to leave. I think it probably is designed to convince you he should stay. I think he probably doesn't really want to leave, he has had a taste of being responsible for himself and I guess he didn't like it so came back. Since then he hasn't contributed by the sounds of it and instead has been scrounging off you and happily trotting off to kiss (and worse?) ow in the pub and abandoning ds so he can do his hobby.

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 17:46:37

Sorry sat night!

Offred Mon 26-Nov-12 17:51:11

I don't think he is your partner and I don't think you and ds are getting what you need or deserve from him. If he plays you like this I think he may well play ds like this too. This feeling of being desperate to hold onto him (familiar to me) is likely to come from the fact he is always absent and threatening to leave. My two eldest until recently have had this kind of desperate love for their dad for the same reason "if I can just be/do/feel/say a bit more xyz he will give me what I need"

tallow Mon 26-Nov-12 18:51:29

He has already moved on I'm sorry to say.

He wouldn't have been kissing another woman in full view of the pub if he had any thought that there might be a future for you.

Sometimes a relationship runs it's course and you have to move on. I would be classy and polite but icy and keep your dignity intact.

I personally wouldn't limp along in a relationship where my OH eyes are elsewhere.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 22:01:28

Why does it feel almost impossible to let go? Why would I cling onto this relationship when you are all telling me to let go? It's too hard, I can't seem to make myself understand that it's the right thing to do.

We spoke about him moving out for a bit. I think it's what he wants, to give him some time to think. I said if that's what he wants then he should go, but he was risking loosing our relationship if he went, and that there's no way he could let it drag on past a week or so, as DS would get confused (plus it's not fair in me).

I'm ready for all the shouts of kick him out, and I'm sorry if I'm causing frustration. Please stick with me, I am trying to take it all in.

AnyFuckingDude Mon 26-Nov-12 22:03:06

We are sticking with you, don't you worry about that.

EdithWeston Mon 26-Nov-12 22:07:55

Of course you need time to take it all in. And time without him around may help you in that process. Repeated daily rows will not bring you peace or strength of purpose.

It's unimaginably hard to stay calm, but if you're finding it hard, do it for your DS.

Having time away from the drama, to soothe and rebuild yourself, does not commit you to leaving and the less you feed his expectations, the more likely it is he will actually think about what he stands to lose.

AnyFuckingDude Mon 26-Nov-12 22:11:35

"Giving him time to think" will give you some space to process things too.

Things are happening, love. You haven't just brushed this under the carpet, had a dicky fit at us and flounced off. Stop worrying about what we think of you.

None of us expect you to sort your life out in one fell swoop. We give our take on it, and hope you will take the bits that apply to your situation and put to one side the rest.

AnyFuckingDude Mon 26-Nov-12 22:12:20

oops, have namechanged, btw

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 26-Nov-12 22:15:10

We can't live your life for you Owlfright or dictate what you do next but if you post here there's always someone to listen. Think things through at your own pace.

lotsofcheese Mon 26-Nov-12 22:28:47

It's very easy for us strangers on the Internet, looking from the outside, to make judgements & give advice.

However, when you're in that situation, you don't have clarity & can't see the wood for the trees. There's also the emotional lag-factor, where your emotions are a step or ten behind reality.

Letting go & making the decision is so hard. You spend a lot of time exploring the grey area (speaking as someone who spent a lot of time faffing around in "no man's land", as I called it).

You might have a lightbulb moment or you might take a while. It will all work itself out, one way or another.

We're here to hold your hand through the process.

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Nov-12 22:44:32

Try to regain some control. You will feel a hell of a lot better if you do.

So yes, he should go (he's clearly going anyway) so that you can BOTH think about whether you should carry on having a relationship. Say you have a pretty good idea of what you want to happen - and don't say it with a begging tone in your voice, say it so that he wonders what you want. Say that of course if he's away from home his child will need to see him "and of course I'll need to get out and have a break myself. So you have him for Friday night until Saturday 2pm, eh?"

I do think the only think you can try to do is put yourself in the driving seat here rather than wait to see what he decides.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 22:50:44

I'm so relieved that people understand. smile

The talk went ok, lots of straight talking which made a nice change. I think the anger and then the not talking for several weeks tipped him over into a place where he began to love me less. We've agreed that terrible communication and lack of intimacy were and are a big problem, he accepted his share of the blame.

I'm furious with myself for letting the silence continue for so long, I so wish I had realised it was risking our relationship. Looking back it seems so stupid.

I've told him to go if he needs space. He offered to sleep in the sofa tonight. I'm not sure if he's definitely going tomorrow, but I think he probably will.

He will be staying with the same friend he did all that time ago. When he stormed off and spent the next 6 moths kicking his wounds and deciding whether he wanted to come back or not. The feeling of history repeating itself is really really horrible.

Thanks again everyone, I don't know what I would do without you.

edith I'm not sure what you mean by "feeding his expectations"?

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 22:54:39

imperial, your advice is great, but I've already totally f***ed it up by admitting I want to make it work. I feel very very stupid now, but at the time it felt like being honest was the right thing to do.

Oh bugger, I've gone and put myself into the weakest position ever haven't I?!

AnyFuckingDude Mon 26-Nov-12 22:56:25


"A little time" The Beautiful South

I need a little time
To think it over
I need a little space
Just on my own
I need a little time
To find my freedom
I need a little...
Funny how quick the milk turns sour
Isn't it, isn't it
Your face has been looking like that for hours
Hasn't it, hasn't it
Promises, promises turn to dust
Wedding bells just turn to rust
Trust into mistrust
I need a little room
To find myself
I need a little space
To work it out
I need a little room
All alone
I need a little...
You need a little room for your big head
Don't you, don't you
You need a little space for a thousand beds
Won't you, won't you
Lips that promise - fear the worst
Tongue so sharp - the bubble burst
Just into unjust
I've had a little time
To find the truth
Now l've had a little room
To check what's wrong
I've had a little time
And I still love you
I've had a little...
You had a little time
And you had a little fun
Didn't you, didn't you
While you had yours
Do you think I had none
Do you, do you
The Freedom that you wanted bad
Is yours for good
I hope you're glad
Sad into unsad
I had a little time
To think it over
Had a little room
To work it out
I found a little courage
To call it off
I've had a little time
I've had a little time
I've had a little time
I've had a little time

brighterfuture Mon 26-Nov-12 22:58:31

Let him go. As far as i can tell from your description of the situation ..he will no longer have a comfortable home. He will no longer earn enough to keep himself , he will lose out on family life with his Ds.
It seems he has much more to lose than you but he's too childish and stubborn to realise it. He'll probably be sheepishly begging for your forgiveness in a few weeks.

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 23:02:25

AF that's brilliant, really really brilliant!! I pray that I might feel like that one day!!

I've heard that track so many times but I've never realised the significance if the words.

I may have to make an exception to my 'no gimmicky' ringtone policy grin.

AnyFuckingDude Mon 26-Nov-12 23:02:29

...and by then I hope you will have decided he is surplus to requirements and doesn't posses the necessary attributes you wish for in a partner

Owlfright Mon 26-Nov-12 23:06:01

brighter you're right, he will loose that and doesn't have the resources to fund any kind of life. He may even end up back with his parents, unless that is he finds a new woman- I've seen it before when men jump from one warn bed into another sadangry.

From our discussion earlier, I think he has realised how much he stands to loose- SI the fact that he's willing to risk it all must mean he really doesn't want me....

AnyFuckingDude Mon 26-Nov-12 23:08:08

it's not that he doesn't want you as such...he doesn't want the you that questions him, that expects respect and faithfulness, that is unwilling to let him shit all over you

AnyFuckingDude Mon 26-Nov-12 23:09:26

hence, he will punish you again to bring you back into line, by making you terrified he will leave you for ever

he is the one that stands to lose the most...but his arrogance will never let him acknowledge that

and I have to agree...he will go and cocklodge somewhere else in a jiffy

TheReturnOfBridezilla Mon 26-Nov-12 23:12:15

If he leaves the family home, he has permission/an excuse to go out and kiss some more (perhaps the same) women. Which is what he wants. If he was sorry he would be kicking and screaming and doing anything to stay.

He is no good. Get him to leave and detach, detach, detach. Move yourself on emotionally because it sounds like he already has. I'm so sorry.

Fwiw you sound like a fabulous mum and far and away the best parent of the two of you. Your ds needs someone to be the grown up so stop playing his games. Just let him go.

EdithWeston Mon 26-Nov-12 23:21:29

By 'feeding his expectations", I meant acting in the way he expects - row, drama, things he can blame you for - the old predictable path along which he can manipulate you. If you do not react in the way he expects, he has to find new ways of handling an emotionally charged situations. And you get to see more of what sort of man he really is. If he thinks you will beg him to stay, he retains undue power in your relationship. If you do not conform to that expectation, he has to consider things in a new way.

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Nov-12 23:24:28

If there's one piece of advice I'd give, too, it's that you shouldn't look upset when he goes or when you see him. He'll love that, all that drama, all about him. Get up early, get yourself showered, make up on, nicest clothes on. Treat yourself if you want something new. Try to look happy. "Oh I'm fine, everything's great!" should be what you're saying. "No, really, it's fantastic having this time apart. It makes me realise..." (pause for effect) "Well, never mind that. Now I have to dash - come and pick up DS at the same time next week, ok? Don't be late as I'll be going out."

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 04:52:24

Ok, thanks everyone I will steel myself not to look too upset when he goes, or to beg.

I actually got to sleep and just woke up now, a little before 5. That feeling while you are waking up of remembering that something horrible is happening is just awful. One minute I was waking up thinking "it's raining again", then it hits me like a train, and I'm hot, anxious, panicking.

Yesterday I just needed to hibernate, I was so so relieved to get DS into bed. He deserves better, he was just so lovely- all chatty and full of fun after his afternoon with my mum, and I wasn't properly listening. I just wanted to run back to my bed sad.

It puzzles me that yesterday I really felt I couldn't decide what I wanted, then we chat, and bang, I desperately don't want us to split up. All the reasons I could see for splitting up have gone, and I'm terrified.

Thank you all so much for your support. Im sorry I haven't been able to comment in every post, but I've read and taken every one in. You nest of vipers are my lifeline.

I'm really dreading the day ahead sad.

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 04:53:52

Sorry, I meant comment on every post.

Of course you are finding it hard to let him go, you know it unlikely he will come back, but keeping him there will not stop it from happening if it's already where he is in his head.

No one expects you should be able to just kick him out without a second glance but you cannot do all the work at saving this.

It does sound as though he is going to leave, we can't say if he will come back but I can tell you often when partners leave and then want to come back they aren't wanted. People learn to realize that actually they weren't happy either, life is easier/simpler/calmer/generally more enjoyable without them.

It is not easy. It you will get through this.

CheerfulYank Tue 27-Nov-12 05:16:16

Oh, darlin'. sad No words of advice that haven't already been said. Just here to hold your hand.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 07:08:44

Hmm, I don't think he is going to leave. I don't think he came back last time because he loved you both and wanted to be a dad. I think he came back because 6 months in his friends' house was the absolute maximum he could possibly have stayed without massively pissing them off and he needed to come back so you could keep him again. Since then he has been punishing you for expecting he be a partner and a father because what he wants is to be a child. If he goes this time it will be for a very short time, his friend definitely won't want a repeat of last time.

I suspect he has been cheating because of this argument over his work because he is trying to find a backup woman to cocklodge with in case you continue to put your foot down over him having to be a partner and not a dependent. He has now succeeded in getting you to take at least some (the majority?) of the blame for that argument even though it was 100% reasonable of you and to be, and express that you are, frightened of him leaving.

If he does actually go it will not be for long unless he has found another meal ticket and then he will not come back.

When you say he took his share of the blame do you mean you agreed you caused the relationship problem by continuing to insist his choice over work was wrong and he accepted it was wrong to kiss someone else? You do know that he was 100% wrong and you were 100% right in the way you dealt with that and unless he accepted that he hasn't accepted responsibility, what he has done is blame you.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 07:20:40

Sorry, I don't mean to come across as angry/irritated at you! I feel angry at him!!! I do have a theory about the type of dickhead we are dealing with here. If you are compliant he will not be trying to find the next meal ticket. When you are not he will first of all try to make you absolutely afraid he will leave you and simultaneously convinced that would be the end of the world. This cheating serves two purposes; 1. To humiliate and manipulate you into trying to hang onto him like he is a prize which allows him to either get away with having treated you like shit on his shoe or prepare you to accept that treatment or both and 2. Suss out possible replacement meal tickets in case you get too difficult to manage.

ErikNorseman Tue 27-Nov-12 07:21:52

I understand
I really, really do
I'm not going to give any more advice, you've heard my story and as I said, it's not yours. Just know that I empathise with you massively. If you are interested in how I felt then and feel now- there was panic and anxiety about making the decision, insecurity, worry, desperate sadness at what I was losing. Now? 4 months later I feel good. Of course I have moments of sadness and regret but my heart is at peace. I'm not seesawing between elation when I get some (rare) quality couple or family time, and depression when we are abandoned yet again all weekend on our own. I'm not worrying about what I can do to improve our future together, I'm not trying to sneak a look at his mobile or wondering who he is with when he goes out after a row.
Honestly, my heart is calm and at peace. It's a lovely place to be. (Probably a bit like people in good relationships feel but I wouldn't know!)

MrsFlibble Tue 27-Nov-12 08:16:33

Owl Im gonna gve you advice via my own story of a break up with my ex:

It started via an old girlfriend from 20 yrs back contacting my then P, i encouraged the contact, so it started, one day he was asleep, and my instincts nagged at me, so i checked the messages on his phone, well i was right, sexual and loving texts from her, i didnt see ones from him to her, we fought, i decided to forgive, HUGE MISTAKE, because from then on he turned into a selfish, bratish, horrid man, i had PND, it got so much worse, to the point waking up was a chore, much less raise a child, who was just a bit more than 1 at this point. This woman would text him all the time, and even lie about who was texting, it went on for 8 LONG MONTHS, he was depressed by now too (well boo hoo) i tried a suicide attempt, he left me that same day, then sent me a text saying "Goodnight Sexy, cant wait to say that in person in 2 days time" i called him he said it was me, but where was he in 2 days, oh yeah, 300 mile away with the other woman, leaving me with 100 quid for me and the DD, did he call to ask about his child, did he heck, did he have a go at me saying i was using our DD as a weapon, cause i dared to say how much she missed him, oh heck yeah he did. we had a fight after he returned (egg on his face coz this woman was married and planned to stay that way) saying that we only got engaged to "shut me up", he tried getting back together with me, but i hurt so much i just couldnt be near him again. Hes a half arsed parent, sees DD once every 6 weeks, took him 2 years to pay for her, now he knows im not being made a mug of.

I've been single for 3 years now, prefer to raise my child, and im doing my very best, we happy together.

So Owl think about what you really want?, because your child will be just fine, being a good mummy means being healthy in the head, he doesnt make you healthy does he? He, if actually sorry needs to know what losing you for good means, coz, oh boy, does my ex know now, if he leaves and doesnt come back then he obviously didnt love you enough to make it work, if he comes back and you want to make it work, then let the strong woman out, and let him know, that he does it ever again then hes gone, dont be a mug and be a women and mummy, coz i went through hell, and i can tell you, the strength i've gained was worth it.

fluffyraggies Tue 27-Nov-12 08:21:05

No advice to add - just another hand to hold.

How are you?

Just read your whole thread OP. Let him go sad I'm sorry.

He's bringing you down, not bringing you love or joy.

Be strong this morning.

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 09:07:40

I'm ok, in a British not ok at all but trying to be sort if way. I'm reading everything but am gathering my thoughts before I can reply properly, I'm so confused I wish I could turn my brain off for a bit.

DS surprised me by bursting into tearsto find daddy not in the bed again, sad.

I said to DP this morning that if he had made a decision to go for a bit, could he tell DS before school in a breezy way that he was working away tonight (which he does ocassionally), so wouldn't see DS tonight or in the morning, but he would pick him up from school tomorrow.

He said he hadn't confirmed things with his friend yet, and hadnt made up his mind. This 'making up his mind took months before', I'm too petrified to rush himsadangry.

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 09:08:33

Sorry terrible spelling!

fosterdream Tue 27-Nov-12 09:08:48

I've read most of the thread and feel so sorry that he has done this to you and your DS. If my DH kissed a woman in the pub and was truly sorry I would most likely forgive him but if he was acting how your DP I would be just as hurt and confused as you, I know it's easy to say but I would never be able to forgive him because he won't be sorry till it's to late.

I hope you kick him out and show your DS it is not acceptable to treat women like this let alone the mother of his child. I am holding your hand.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 09:35:58

sad ds no doubt will be feeling the exact same way as you, like you are constantly waiting for the axe to fall and if you can just find the right thing to do or say it might stop it happening completely.

I don't think he is really deciding whether to go or not. Are you sure the friend would even have him? 6 months is a long time to put up with someone living off you in your house. Is it not more likely he is just manipulating this situation to his advantage? Now your ds is becoming upset by it the pressure is intensifying even more on you to STFU about any complaint you have and give in to being a doormat. A father who cared about the child would not behave like this, creating this ridiculous limbo.

I think you should tell him to go but I completely understand if you are too afraid or upset to do that. completely understand it, I absolutely couldn't do it and eventually he left when he found someone else to sponge off who was much freer (no baby to care for) to make him her every focus.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 27-Nov-12 09:38:37

Christmas is 5 weeks away so if dp is dawdling over what to do he possibly banks on the fact you'll be keen to make up before then.

I don't think I saw the earlier thread but if at the root of all this is work/family security vs hobby, it's been brewing a while and a big cornerstone of your relationship. DS doesn't just need fun daddy, he needs dad who looks out for his family. Not a person who thinks mum is a stifling killjoy brought to heel with casual snogs and tittle tattling to her family.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 09:46:01

I think maybe you should sit down, put him completely out of your mind and think about what your needs are and where your boundaries are in relationships as an abstract concept. Maybe if it helps think in terms of "in an ideal world", those things should not be ideals but expectations but I suspect they will feel like ideals in your current situation. When you have done that tick off how many he actually provides and also mark where he fails miserably to provide for your needs.

You can do this on behalf of ds too. What he needs from a father.

It might help you to really understand how much you are missing from this man.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 09:47:33

And I might also take my own advice about that!!! Ha!confused

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 09:58:02

dear owl, I'm so sad and angry for you. Did you read my "kicked me when i'm down" thread? Please have a quick look as i truly was in your shoes three years ago and I want to prevent you heading down the same road.

What strikes me is that he's diverting attention onto himself all the time. Mine did that. His totally unacceptable behaviour was somehow my fault, all about his work needs, not doing anything to man up to the issue. All this talk about moving out is NOT the point. You're suffering is the point, what's he doing about that? Changing the subject that's what!

And your little DS is picking up on all this, which could be very damaging.

I totally understand how scary this is btw, but the MN girls here are so supportive, they'll help you work it out.

Can you get away for a bit, with your DS?

More hugs

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 09:59:07

offred I'll be taking that advice too wink

AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 10:01:39

Have you made that call to arrange counselling yet ?

Owl, I am very worried about you. I agree with Offred. What worries me is your writing this:

"I think the anger and then the not talking for several weeks tipped him over into a place where he began to love me less. We've agreed that terrible communication and lack of intimacy were and are a big problem, he accepted his share of the blame. I'm furious with myself for letting the silence continue for so long, I so wish I had realised it was risking our relationship. Looking back it seems so stupid."

Do you see what he is doing? He is escalating the problems in your relationship to a point where you are so afraid of losing him, you will forgive him for all the earlier things you were so reasonably upset with him about. You are already taking on blame for things when you did nothing wrong at all.

Your previous argument was not stupid. You had a whole thread of many women who agreed with you that you were not wrong to be upset with your husband's plans, they were ridiculous.

Do you really want to stay with someone who subjects you to this emotional blackmail? Do you realise how very wrong it is for a partner to love you less because of a perfectly valid argument?

I am not judging you, please believe me, but I am very worried for you. I would really urge you to get some counseling, talk to some people, read some self-help books, anything that will help you refocus your attention on what is best for YOU and DS.

You are obviously a very loving person. I just think you should love yourself a lot more and this awful man a lot less. He doesn't deserve you.

MrsFlibble Tue 27-Nov-12 10:32:25

Sorry, im reposting this, as it applies to Owl situation.

It started via an old girlfriend from 20 yrs back contacting my then P, i encouraged the contact, so it started, one day he was asleep, and my instincts nagged at me, so i checked the messages on his phone, well i was right, sexual and loving texts from her, i didnt see ones from him to her, we fought, i decided to forgive, HUGE MISTAKE, because from then on he turned into a selfish, bratish, horrid man, i had PND, it got so much worse, to the point waking up was a chore, much less raise a child, who was just a bit more than 1 at this point. This woman would text him all the time, and even lie about who was texting, it went on for 8 LONG MONTHS, he was depressed by now too (well boo hoo) i tried a suicide attempt, he left me that same day, then sent me a text saying "Goodnight Sexy, cant wait to say that in person in 2 days time" i called him he said it was me, but where was he in 2 days, oh yeah, 300 mile away with the other woman, leaving me with 100 quid for me and the DD, did he call to ask about his child, did he heck, did he have a go at me saying i was using our DD as a weapon, cause i dared to say how much she missed him, oh heck yeah he did. we had a fight after he returned (egg on his face coz this woman was married and planned to stay that way) saying that we only got engaged to "shut me up", he tried getting back together with me, but i hurt so much i just couldnt be near him again. Hes a half arsed parent, sees DD once every 6 weeks, took him 2 years to pay for her, now he knows im not being made a mug of.

I've been single for 3 years now, prefer to raise my child, and im doing my very best, we happy together.

So Owl think about what you really want?, because your child will be just fine, being a good mummy means being healthy in the head, he doesnt make you healthy does he? He, if actually sorry needs to know what losing you for good means, coz, oh boy, does my ex know now, if he leaves and doesnt come back then he obviously didnt love you enough to make it work, if he comes back and you want to make it work, then let the strong woman out, and let him know, that he does it ever again then hes gone, dont be a mug and be a women and mummy, coz i went through hell, and i can tell you, the strength i've gained was worth it.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 27-Nov-12 10:38:59

Back on page 1 Owlfright you said when you were growing up your mum was "very emotional and highly strung" but you didn't want to be like that for DS.

That doesn't mean letting dp trample over you for a quiet life, does it.

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 11:10:54

You are all keeping me going, thank you so much. I am going to call a counsellor who I saw once in the past right now. Feels scary as its the first step towards getting out of this situation proactively, myself.

I'm taking everything in that is being posted. Something that keeps popping into my head is that many posters are sure he is plotting and calculating all this.

I don't know how to explain properly bug I struggle to believe that he is capable of that sort of very clever manipulation. Not bacause he's not unkind enough to do it, but because I don't see him as perceptive or even clever enough to manipulate me SI cleverly.

Is it possible he's just an almighty prick, and behaving like a prick- rather than cleverly manipulating me?

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 11:23:25

if that thought crosses your mind then it has to have come from somewhere, don't you think?

someone on my thread taught me that truly manipulative people don't necessarily do it consciously , it's in their nature. Oh and you can be thick and manipulative, they're not mutually exclusive wink

I think analysing him is a waster of time, and that's what wore me down to illness, so protect yourself from that. Go by his acts not your explanations of them, as the wise ones here told me.

Counselling is a great idea to establish your boundaries. Work from there, that's what I'm trying to do and already feel ten times stronger than just four days ago.

AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 11:24:36

Of course it's possible. Is that any more acceptable though ? Who wants to be partnered with a massive prick, who won't ever accept he is behaving like a massive prick ?

You wouldn't sign yourself up for a life with such a person, would you ?

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 11:24:39

"waste" not "waster"

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 11:55:53

I don't think it is necessarily conscious manipulation no, not many people are actually evil like that but it is more often just that they have a set of beliefs and principles in life that cause them to behave in a predictable pattern in response to events in life. It is that way with my ex, he is very damaged from childhood and I suspect narcissistic.

AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 11:58:29

it certainly is no excuse nor any justification...and in no way should make you feel any of it is your fault, or if you could just behave in a certain way, it would "cure" them of their destructive ways

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 12:00:45

With my x there is also a measure of having recognised some of those beliefs and principles exist and are harmful and made a choice not to do anything about them because that would involve sacrifice of some of the things he enjoys... I expect, if your DP IS like what I think, he will be a mix of conscious and subconscious motivations and manipulations. That's why I think it is more helpful not to analyse too deeply why someone behaves in frankly what IS an abusive way, but focus only on that it is abusive when it is actually happening to you. Women's aid can be really useful because they can take on the burden of safely thinking about all the whys and whats with you.

I agree, the kind of manipulation that I think he's doing doesn't need to be done consciously. It doesn't need to be the work of an evil genius or anything.

I mean, even toddlers know that if they make you laugh or make you worried you will stop being angry with them...

I think he is probably repeating history here. You said last time he left, it was after you were asking him to help out more (a perfectly reasonable request). He left and made this huge drama, and I imagine that as a result you were pretty happy when he came back and dropped the whole issue that started everything.

Isn't this the same thing? You call him up on his plans -- which, again, means him having to do something he doesn't want to do -- and he creates this whole drama so you will forget about it.

It doesn't mean he's always evil or anything like that. It just means he knows how to get out of trouble and manipulate things so nothing is ever his fault.

And if you take him back, and drop the problem you had with him (which it seems you already are leaning toward) then I'm pretty sure you can expect him to do this again, and again, and again. Unless, of course, you bow down to his every wish. Either way, it is no way to live, and not a good dynamic for your DS to grow up in.

This is why I am worried for you. I'm so glad you are calling a counselor, I hope you are able to see her soon.

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 13:20:21

Thank you, I feel clearer about the conscious manipulation thing.

I can see it is partly irrelevant whether it's conscious and planned. At the end of the day it is what it is, the reasons behind it don't change the fact that he is being horrible.

I just wanted to know because some posts suggested to me that it was planned, and I can't see that being the case...... I was struggling to think of him being clever enough to do it, which was confusing me.....

Yes, it absolutely is history repeating itself. From both of us sad, it's like a scripted play and I am trying but failing to play a different part this time.

countingto10 Tue 27-Nov-12 13:50:58

It's a relationship dance Owl, most relationships have them and it's up to you to change it. You cannot change him, the only thing you can change is you and how you react to him. Counselling will be good for you, it will help you understand how your childhood has affected how you respond to these situations and why you put up with this crap. Not many of us can change overnight, baby steps are sometimes the way forward.

Look at a man's actions, not his words and remember this man is a significant role model for your DS, is this how you want your DS to behave?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 27-Nov-12 13:53:52

Lashing out spontaneously when upset isn't necessarily planned or calculated.
Picking your weak spot is.
Judging himself thwarted in a long held desire or dream, (however selfish or impractical).
It wouldn't take much to even fleetingly consider, how do I get her to change her mind? even before any resentment of perceived withdrawal of intimacy.

What's the worst turmoil he ever put you through? Yes, leaving you when DS was 6 months. As dreamingbohemian just said, it doesn't take an evil genius, I think you can almost hear the cogs turning in his mind. Not a huge leap to manipulating you, was it.

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 15:23:41

copying this from my thread, where I replied to you:

That's great you called a counsellor, but you don't need fixing. UNLESS you decide, like I did, to put up with it a day longer.
But I'll copy this to your own thread otherwise we could miss each other.
Hang in there, the support here will help you get through until your appointment. Keep posting, even if you think you're questions are crazy, stupid, etc. no-one here will think that.

The fact that you're here show's you have strength, you'll see it's rock solid once you stop trying to understand his behaviour that's exactly what someone manipulative (conscious or not) wants you to do, it lets them off the hook. That has to stop, you'd be amazed the energy that comes back when you pull back from that.


Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 16:37:22

AEfond I am hoping to look at why I'm willing to settle for so little in relationship with a counsellor. Sadly, I don't think I can throw DP out yet, but maybe a counsellor will help me move towards doing it.

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 16:52:13

I get that, it's so hard when you still have strong ties to someone and you seem so intertwined you can't unravel it all.. I'm doing exactly the same thing with my therapist so will be here for you if you want to discuss it. Keep reading and re-reading the posts, I've done that and it's really helped me get perspective (see how much I've lost perspective actually).
No-one's rushing you, do what you need to to feel comfortable with the pace.
best wishes

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 16:54:28

DP came home just before I collected DS from school. I went upstairs and saw a holdall on the bed, I realised he was actually packing for the gym, but I thought he was leaving. Until I realised it was just for the gym the panic was awful, I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I'm still shaking, and I'm not usually an anxious person.

I knew I'd be gutted if he left, but I thought I had achnowledged that it would possibly be a good thing so I would cope OK with it. Clearly not sad. Its left me really anxious about coping with that gut wrenching moment that may or may not be coming.

He's still saying he's not made a decision. I said this couldn't go on forever and he said he knew that. He asked me how I felt and I said I thought I'd explained clearly yesterday how I felt. I think that my comment was pretty rubbish- I'm playing into his hands. Part of me wants to scare him into thinking I've changed my mind and I want to finish things- but when it comes to it I go into autopilot and tell the truth confused.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 16:57:37

Do you think he has made use of the opportunity of packing a hold all to go to the gym to frighten you? Have you given him a time limit? You could just say "well you have to make a decision by x or I will" and not say anything about what you might decide for him but you could only do this if you feel able to holding to being strong and deciding for him and making him comply because an empty threat would be worst of all.

I think aefond has made a really good point -- there's nothing wrong with you, except for the fact that for a complex set of reasons you are willing to stay with someone who treats you quite badly. If you can unpack those reasons and reorient yourself -- so that you are not always putting him first and living in fear of what he will do -- then you can move on with your life, and probably you will find that you are actually quite fine.

I do recognise those reactions you are having -- the panic, the fear -- from a couple previous horrible relationships I have had. All I can say is I survived them and life went on and was actually much better in the long run. Sometimes panic and fear is not protective, they are just learned responses because of the way others -- your DP, your mum -- have treated you. I know it can be so hard to defy those feelings, to do things which will keep you feeling that way, but it is short term pain for long term gain. If you can bear it now, for a little while, then you can move on and not have to worry about feeling it ever again because of him.

You sound like such a lovely person. I think there is an amazing future in store for you, when you can move on from this man. Everything is going to suck really badly for a while, no doubt, but you will get through this and be happy again.

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 17:40:59

oh owl that punched feeling sad it's the worst.

It may be too early for you to hear this but what kind of man would put that kind of fear into you and call himself your P?

This how I've been breaking it down thanks to mn:

- This guy knows me intimately, which means he knows what scares me, makes me laugh, what I like to watch on TV, etc.

- I have had solid, daily proof of this intimate knowledge so I know I'm not making it up.

- Ergo, if he is scaring me, he is using that intimate knowledge to hurt me.

- I don't want to EVER EVER EVER be with someone who does that, it is not what I consider love to be.

- It is what nasty people or, at best immature, people do and I don't want my DS to think that is ok.

See what I mean?

Go with the feelings, however awful they are, they can show you your limits if you don't yet know them.

If you're not ready to dump him, maybe what you can do is find away to put an end to the suspense factor by giving him or at least yourself a deadline for him leaving you (even if it's just for thinking time).

Take care xx

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 27-Nov-12 17:54:06

He asked me how I felt

Pity you can't say "I'm arranging a lodger, he's single, a fireman and 25 so on you go, leave your key".

Yes your heart pounds and you feel frightened. It could mean you are taking this all in and standing up for yourself!

He'll take his time, he's like a cat toying with a mouse, confident you'll be in bits long before the weekend while he's round the back of a pub or if it's cold, in a car snogging some young female.

Life isn't all bravado and smart comebacks Owlfright. Sometimes it comes down to basics like do you trust each other, does holding onto someone you last felt 100% sure of five years' ago still mean anything when he is about to flounce off again? if giving in to patch things up means STFU about anything that rocks the boat whatever sneaky tactics he uses?

He can talk to your stepdad behind your back, get his story straight. He's not so upset and distressed he can't pick out a girl and humiliate you in front of your friends. You even name changed here to avoid embarrassment. He is playing you.

PerryCombover Tue 27-Nov-12 18:18:34

I've been lurking

I fail to see how this is a situation where you wait to see how he decides.

You need to be a in partnership to be in a relationship. It is the only way. You have to love and respect and value. You need to believe in fairness and equality.
You need to believe you are worth those things and demand them for yourself.

There is no partnership when one person gets to demand to do what they want or leave.

You aren't being difficult or selfish if you are asking someone to respect you and your feelings, values or love. It is possible to have self esteem and remain in a relationship.
Your child will grow up happier with good role models and happy parents.
Only you can make yourself happy

Lavenderhoney Tue 27-Nov-12 18:27:08

Just wanted to say I am sorry this is happening to you and your ds. He has power by saying he hasn't decided yet. You could say, well, I have and you should go. But as you say, you can't bring yourself to do that. Is he expecting something from you to change his mind, or is he waiting to hear from someone her can stay, this woman he was kissing, for instance?

I don't know about leaving gym holdays on beds, sounds very manipulative to me. How can he go to the gum and have all this going on at home?

The only good thing is that you can imagine him gone and how you and your ds will cope very well, so by visualising it, you might actually prefer it. He is being very cruel to you both. Can you get away at the weekend to family or friends with dc his age or thereabouts? Just to think and let you and your ds have some fun? It's very hard, but you and your ds dont deserve this. Make plans for christmas too, away. Just in case. If he amazes you with a total behaviour change he can accompany you. Dont end up alone or in an atmosphere at home.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 27-Nov-12 18:33:19

Hello OP. Not posted before but been reading and standing right behind you x

I just wanted to add something about the doing stuff on purpose to hurt / manipulate you. Or if he's just doing it because he's a clueless prick.

I have just come out of a very painful breakup. It dragged on for a long while afterwards becuase he would ignore me for weeks, then pick me up, then be horrible, then beg me to have him back etc etc all in a vicious circle. I couldn't work out if he was doing it on purpose to cause me maximum pain, or if it was by accident.

Then I thought "Hold on - he's hurting me either because he's a manipulative bastard, or an emotionally stunted clueless idiot. Either way he's hurting me. And either way, he's not someone I'm interested in"

It was like a lightbulb moment!

Liken it to murder and man slaughter. One is unintentional. One is done with malice aforethought. Either way, someone's dead!

Inertia Tue 27-Nov-12 18:45:42

He's using this time to get the measure of how far he can go in his manipulation of you. He isn't making up his mind about the relationship- he's pushing to see how far you'll bend to give in to him. I predict a statement from him saying he'll stay, as long as you never hassle him ever again about who he snogs or worse sees socially / pay all the bills while he does his hobby full time.

Of course you'll miss the fun happy times. But those are not on offer now, whether he stays or goes. And you know, that isn't solely his decision. He out the decision making in your hands when he started getting off with other women in pubs. Of course he wants to make it all about his work hours- far easier to tell everyone that his wife is crushing his dream than it is to admit that he's been unfaithful in public.

AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 19:14:24

I have been wanting to suggest this for a couple of days, but wasn't sure to. This "snog" was outside the pub, yes ? Are you sure it wasn't a knee-trembler, against the wall, knickers around ankles job ?

Would that make any difference to your mindset ? The reason I ask is because if you let this incident go with no consequences for him, you chase him and let him have all his own way...that is the next step. It is simply a matter of time. As someone else very sadly found, to her cost (and also millions of women the world over)

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 20:30:56

This is hard to write, I know I am letting down the wonderful posters on here who feel so sure that for me to not end this would be very stupid.

We have talked. DP has apologised, literally on his knees, in tears for his behaviour on Friday. He said this snog (yuck) was outside the pub, he was very drunk, very stupid. He has been to see the person who saw it and told them he is a complete twat.

The stupid man was flattered by the attention, at a time when he (boo hoo) was feeling low. It's not what I wanted to hear but it is his explanation, at least I have one now.

He will not work on Sundays, we will spend it together or he will do something with DS and I can do something for myself. His saturday work will be finished by 6. He will work at least three other days, which means if I want to I could drop my work to only 3.5 days (which I wont though, that would be too dangerous). Unfortunately the job stuff can't yet be set in stone as it is dependent on a company changing hands and the new owner taking him on. However, I do know for sure that the changeover is imminent, and that he has had discussions with the new owner.

In the meantime he will apply for work, next week he is working for a friend of a friend who is a builder and has hurt his shoulder so needs a hand.

He will be sleeping on the sofa until I am ready to forgive him. Not sure how that bit will go yet.

I've asked for more domestic help, he's agreed but I guess it's quite possible that he doesn't stick to this. I think he will need to prove himself on this front before he leaves the sofa.

I need to think about all this, I'm not promising him anything, but I'm not kicking him out yet.

Counsellor hasn't returned my call yet, and I think I will still go.

I'm am incredibly grateful to everyone for their kind, wise and insightful posts. I'm sorry to those of you who will feel let down that I've not taken the course of action that seems right to them.

I don't know if it's going to work or not, but I can't make myself end it at the moment, I'm not ready.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 20:39:31

Gosh, I don't think you are letting anyone down at all with that. Yes we all probably think you would be happier without him and doubt he will change but this is your life and I admire your strength in asserting to both him and us what it is that you expect and need. X

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Tue 27-Nov-12 20:43:28

You are not letting anybody down! shock It is your life, your relationship your family. I am not on Relationship with one aim in mind: For as many women to kick out their menfolk as possible. That is an option if things are not going well.

From the punch in your stomach (emotional) to his breaking down, it is obvious that you both want to try mend this. Talking is good. Good luck. Do come back and talk to us!

MrsFlibble Tue 27-Nov-12 20:48:41

Owlfright Why not set out an agreement, of things you both want your relationship to be, sit and discuss it, no butting in and listen, calm and cool, so you can both have say in what you both from your relationship, you've stalled, in time if he proves himself the man you want then forgive him, but make sure he knows that just because you've forgiven him, doesnt mean he can go back to his old ways.

AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 20:49:46

You haven't let us down. I hate the timing of my post above your last one now, but it can't be helped (and I do stand by I stand by everything else I have said to you)

But you don't owe us a thing

We gave our time and advice to you of our own free will, and we would be rotten people if we had expectations of a particular outcome (no matter how much we wanted it..for you) and punished you if we didn't get it

I wish you all the luck in the world. I hope you still see the counsellor (please, just do this one for me smile ) and I hope you still stick around on MN. And always this : you know where we are if you need us. wine

Inertia Tue 27-Nov-12 21:01:43

You're not letting anyone down Owl. You're starting to take control of your own decisions, which is a big leap forward. Your previous post was about how upset you were that he hadn't made his mind up - now you are talking about when you will be willing to move back to sharing a bed, whether you will consider kicking him out or not. Those decisions are yours to make - your husband doesn't get to take sole control over what happens now, and we certainly don't smile.

Seeing the counsellor sounds like a wise move.

And MN will always be here however things work out.

MrsFlibble Tue 27-Nov-12 21:08:50

Owl You do what you need to do for you, we are outsiders giving you advice to move forward, maybe in time things will work out, only you can decide if you want to give him that chance, so do whats right for you, stay strong, and advice is always available.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 27-Nov-12 21:12:58

Sincere good wishes Owlfright hope everything works out.

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 21:54:27

best wishes owl, will be thinking of you xx

Owl you are not letting anyone down. I believe people deserve second chances. He has the chance to prove himself one way or the other. I hope you are happy together.

Owlfright Wed 28-Nov-12 17:11:03

Thank you everyone, you are a wonderful bunch of ladies, I wish I knew how to thank you for your support. I couldn't have coped over the past few days without you.

AF, the councillor returned my call and I've just left her another message with the times that I'm free. So I hope I can see her really soon. Not sure where to start, but I'm hoping she will help with that.

AEfond, I think if you often. I'm not wise enough to comment on your thread but I will be a lurker there and I am holding your hand from here. PM me if there is anything I can do for you.

NorksAreTinselly Fri 30-Nov-12 07:41:56

How a you today owl?

Owlfright Fri 30-Nov-12 09:48:38

I'm good thank you. Seeing councillor today, actually I think shes a full blown therapist- really not sure where to start when I get there.

I have learned so much from this thread, which means I cannot sweep any of this neatly under the carpet.

DP is behaving in an exemplary way, and it is nice. If I let myself I could feel overjoyed, but I'm scared to because I don't want him to feel forgiven. In my own mind I feel like I've forgiven him, but I feel that I shouldnt have.

It's quite hard to balance moving forward, with not giving my forgiveness and trust on a plate if that makes any sense?!

I think knowing that quite a few people know about this is hard too. Plus I don't know how many other people the person who initially saw and told my friend will choose to tell. I don't think she is a particularly discrete person, and she owes me no favours.......

I don't want people wondering if I know, feeling sorry for me. I'd rather they knew that I know and have made my own decisions surrounding what DP did IYSWIM. I know it's best not to care what people think, but I've always found that hard....

Thank you again to all the wonderful MN who have helped me.

Offred Fri 30-Nov-12 13:33:45

Trust is really an essential part of a relationship. It is completely right to want to and to trust your partner.

Maybe you are worrying about letting us down still and holding back which may not be the right thing to do?

You feel he shouldn't be forgiven but you feel like you have? I think maybe you could examine that with the counsellor?

Owlfright Sat 01-Dec-12 08:16:27

Thanks offred, I worry about pleasing everyone unfortunately.

The session with therapist went well, I think she 'gets me'. I've seen her briefly before for something unrelated.

I think she thinks we should look at my tendency to feel pressure to do 'the right thing' all the time. We talked how this means I can't really be 'me'. I've had a tricky relationship with my mum all my life, which has possibly left me with issues. It's one thing accepting this, but I've no idea if I can actually change itsad.

I so hope she can help me address my relationship issues. I don't mean fix my relationship with DP (would be nice, but not that simple), but to help me to stop repeating the same mistakes like a stuck record.

Owlfright Sat 01-Dec-12 09:55:58

I don't know why but I can't seem to trust myself not to talk to people about all this. Anyone who shows me the slightest bit of kindness- I want to blurt it all out [confused.

I know it would be a bad idea, and I'm so lucky to have a couple of friends IRL who I can talk to. I've even talked it over with a professional therapist so why the hell to I feel the need to talk about it more and more.

I'm on the verge of turning down an invite to see a friend next week, she's having a few mates over and it would be a good opportunity to get out and meet some new people- but I'm worried all I will want to do is blurt it all out.

What is wrong with me?

You've discovered something big which is in your mind all of the time. That's normal imo. And it's normal to want to talk about it. And subconsciously maybe you want people to know how you're feeling and to take care of you.

I can relate to that. I think I felt the same when xh was a tosser.

But you probably need to pick who you tell a bit carefully and only you will know what's right.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 01-Dec-12 11:26:11

Yy talking about it gets it out of your system and in the retelling of it, it wouldn't be surprising if there were subtly different nuances as you gradually make sense of it all. Sadly the first person you'd normally turn to and spill everything to very honestly is the very individual who's at the centre of the upset. 'Blurting' it suggests you haven't identified someone close you can trust, if Mum's not suitable then someone dependable and non judgmental.

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