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Am I not trying hard enough?

(105 Posts)
AzureBlue Fri 07-Dec-12 14:03:27

After 23 years of marriage, 4 kids, 14 months of counselling (which we have recently stopped) I find I just do not want to be with my husband any more. But he says all I need to do is think more positively and make little moves like touching him or sending a loving text and it will all be OK.
I would really like to be in love with him as I cannot see how we can ever afford 2 places to live, and the children will not have two parents to care for them together.
How do you fall in love with someone? He is a good person.

Lueji Fri 07-Dec-12 14:20:36

What kind of moves does he do, though?

Does he touch you without wanting sex? Does he send you loving texts?

Is he kind to you? Do you feel he genuinely cares about you?

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 14:24:54

You saying you want to fall in love with him due to not being able to afford 2 places to live and the kids isn't going to make it happen.

Maybe, you have just had enough and will never get that feeling back.

Are you prepared to live the rest of your life with this man?

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 14:25:22

"How do you fall in love with someone? "

Who knows? Tell you how you don't do it, however, and that's by trying to force it or analyse it to death. Romantic novels don't go 'boy meets girl', 'boy & girl spend 14 months in counselling', 'girl doesn't really like boy', 'girl stays with boy to save on the rent', 'they all live happily ever after'.....

What first attracted you to each other? Is there any way of recreating those initial conditions? If not.... stop flogging the dead horse, set each other free and care for your DCs in a 50/50 arrangement. There are worse things than growing up in a home where parents are unhappy but tolerating each other, but it's still pretty unpleasant.

Hi, no answers really as I am in a similar position but if you read your post back, it seems like he thinks that you need to do all the work, so to speak. Does he not feel that he needs to make himself more desirable to you?

He may be a good person but that doesn't mean that you should be taken for granted? just a thought! I am curious as to why you stopped the counselling-- Did it help?

AzureBlue Fri 07-Dec-12 15:00:12

The counselling seemed to always focus on me, and I feel I gained hugely in confidence from it. DH was reluctant to look at his issues. We stopped as it was so tricky for DH to get off work (and expensive) also he suggested we should stop it as it was getting negative (usually ending with me asking for a divorce) and saying we should try going out for a pizza once a week instead (3 weeks and 1 drink in the pub later-also ending in same manner). Of course we won't do pizza!
He has no problems with living with me. It's only me that has the problem, so I should try and fix it. I'm so tierd of doing all the running in our relationship.

badtime Fri 07-Dec-12 15:06:50

So he is making no effort, and that is one reason why you have a problem. The (potentially non-relationship ending) solution is for him to make some effort, not for you to try harder.

AzureBlue Fri 07-Dec-12 15:08:53

Actually DH says I'm not making enough of an effort, so maybe I'm not bothering enough.
I have found a hobby in the last couple of years which takes me out of the house quite a bit and I have a new set of friends through this, as well as existing ones I have been seeing more of. Realising it's possible to have fun!

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 15:09:42

So stop running. Stop denying what's staring you in the face. Stop thinking you have a problem just because you're incompatible. I know there are children and houses to think about but that's just a question of organisation - it doesn't change the fundamentals. What price peace of mind? What price not waking up in the morning with a sinking feeling? Agree to split and start fresh and everyone - including your children - will probably be happoer.

AzureBlue Fri 07-Dec-12 15:15:25

His idea of an effort was to unexpectedly book a weekend in Rome...when I was so busy and tierd with over-work. Everyone said 'how great he's taking you to Rome' but it ended up really badly. We just walked and walked all the time in 104 degree heat....the first day we didn't even stop for coffee or lunch in an effort to save money!

AzureBlue Fri 07-Dec-12 15:20:49

Worried the kids will hate me for breaking up the home. We have a smallish but really perfect house we all love. Lots of big family meals. Impossible to find even a 2 bed flat near where I live for 50% of the house price.

I keep delaying so will have fewer kids at home...but they're now coming back from uni and living at home.

AbigailAdams Fri 07-Dec-12 15:29:11

hmm He is really making you dance to his tune isn't he. Insisting that you make all the effort. And the grand gesture - when it isn't convenient for you sounds a bit conrolling to me, especially when there are conditions attached - like saving money [double hmm].

Making an effort isn't using the credit card to buy a weekend away that you don't want it is putting in the hard work within the relationship.

How does he treat you and your children? Does he do his fair share around the house etc? You aren't really going into many details about the state of the relationship and why you feel you have reached divorce point, which is fine btw. But if you look at the state of your relationship it might better explain why you don't want to be with your husband.

But you don't need a reason tbh. You can just end it because you don't want to be with him.

Lueji Fri 07-Dec-12 15:36:16

At some point you stop bothering because you do all the running.

Do you actually ask anything of your OH?
Because it seems that he asks of you, but you only want to get away. Probably deservedly.

He should not be asking you to do things. He should be offering to do things and you too. And each other should say if that is enough or a good idea.

Ah, the grand gestures...

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 15:39:02

"Worried the kids will hate me for breaking up the home"

I don't hate my parents but, if there's one thing I really wish they hadn't done, it's stay together 'for the children's sake'. They don't get on at all, constantly bicker and it makes for a very unhappy & awkward atmosphere to grow up in when you're worried about saying anything for fear of triggering another argument. As a child you want your parents to be happy. It's horrible when you can do nothing except listen to the sniping and watch them get more and more miserable.

When a home is broken already, kids know it.

vintagewarrior Fri 07-Dec-12 17:46:13

If every counselling session ended in you wanting a divorce, there is your answer. I had the same during my first marraige, didn't want to see it, so wasted a further 2 or 3 years before I finally left.
I was child free at the time.

Kids are stronger than you think, and you could be really happy once the dust settles.

WoollySocks Fri 07-Dec-12 19:47:42

Azure I could have written your post, almost word for word. Isn't it terrible? You want to wave a magic wand and just make yourself be happy in that situation. But you don't have a magic wand. I fantasise every day about him leaving and just leaving me alone with the kids.

I am also in the same boat with regard to finances. I'm sure you wouldn't mind living in a two bed flat and that's fine when the kids are used to it and what they know, but when your kids have come from something bigger/nicer/with memories etc, how do you cope with the guilt of making them downsize when they are happy with the status quo? Other posters please tell us.

It's one thing escaping from a nasty husband but if you just don't like them anymore, will the kids accept the change in their lives?

Azure I am sure there are so many women out there who are in exactly the same boat. sad

WantToMakeThingsRight Fri 07-Dec-12 19:49:55

congratulations you have come to the right place if you want to here from many mumsnutters oops I mean mumsnutters if you want to hear them say split up its over or leave the bastard seems to be pretty much the advice you will get from here... Quite an interesting film I saw recently was called fireproof if you are not religious then you may find it a little heavy but it sure made me think.... It links in with the lovedare book might be worth looking into it as it might just help you good luck

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 19:58:10

"will the kids accept the change in their lives?"

Children tend to accept the reality you create. You are their normal. Change is as traumatic or relaxed as you manage the process. What they currently have no choice in accepting is living in a household where the adults don't like each other. When there are no good options, it's often a case of having the courage to choose the least worst option.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 20:01:54


Because misogynistic books and films that advise deeply unhappy women to let go of any shred of self-respect and simply read bible passages and 'say nothing negative to your spouse' are totally sane... hmm

WantToMakeThingsRight Fri 07-Dec-12 20:55:06

Cogito once again always the voice of mumsnet

AbigailAdams Fri 07-Dec-12 21:04:24

Well she speaks for me in this instance!

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 21:54:58

You can stop trying now, OP

You can give yourself permission to do that. It's no one else's decision but yours x

HollyBerryBush Fri 07-Dec-12 22:02:03

Why did you fall out of love with him?

Seems you hold all the cards - you found yourself a new hobby that took you away from home, yet don;t want to give up home comforts.

If this were gender reversed, Mn would be screaming the bloke had a bit on the side.

izzyizin Fri 07-Dec-12 22:21:37

I'd rather have Cogito speaking for me than a surrendered wife creationist from the bible belt, WTMTR.

IMO there are a number of regulars who are worthy of the title 'Voice of Mumsnet' and Cog is one of them.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 22:27:02

Thank you. Any belief system that had to deny something as noble & natural as a fully sexual mother and regress her back to virgin status in order to make her acceptable has not one leg to stand on when it comes to women's issues....

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 22:29:29

ooo, deeep

but yeah, cogito speaka da sense

Flisspaps Fri 07-Dec-12 22:31:12

Sounds to me like you've tried plenty hard enough.

Are you happy OP? Your children are at Uni, grown up. You don't need to stay together 'for the kids' (no-one does)

You only have one crack at life. Isn't it time to do what makes you happy? If being with your husband isn't it, then leave. If its not working you'll both be bloody miserable - what's the sodding point in that?!

olgaga Fri 07-Dec-12 22:31:41

You really don't have to live the rest of your life like this OP. You want a divorce. He knows you want a divorce. How about you do a bit of research into the practicalities?

Unfortunately my revised separation and divorce advice post will no longer fit into the space allowed here - but you can always take a look at my blog. I only set it up today, and it has all the info I usually post here. At the mo it's awaiting Mumsnet "approval" to join the MN bloggers network.

Have a look at the advice and do the sums. It may not be as bad as you think!

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 22:33:17

Blimey, olgaga

You is soon gonna be a nauthor smile

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 22:41:18

AF... after a couple of Harvey's Bristol Creams I have hidden shallows....

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 22:46:33

< clinks glass of port with cogito's sherry >

olgaga Fri 07-Dec-12 22:51:50

AF Yeah guv I gotta do something to keep me in Old Speckled Hen smile

OP, apologies for our slight diversion. We are paying attention, I promise.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 23:04:39

oh yes, OP we are certainly paying attention

the second you post again, we are right there with ya

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 12:24:54

How do you fall in love ....he's a good person. FFS get a grip you are asking strangers for advice on your 23 year relationship you have 4 kids with this man..please don't listen to the bad advise being given to you from lifeless people talk to your husband you know that is what you need to be doing

Only continue listening to this utter tosh that unloved feminists are giving out if you want to be brainwashed into splitting up

Believe me depressed people hang out with depressed people chink a few more glasses like wtf lack of a real life equates to spending their life here believing they are giving good advice what a joke

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sat 08-Dec-12 12:35:33

" I just do not want to be with my husband any more."

Which part of the sentence confuses you WantToMakeThingsRight? Do you think reaching the conclusion after 23 years of marriage, 4 kids and 14 months of counselling that she can't find anything in their DH to love any more was easy for the OP? To me it sounds heavy with regret but fundamentally honest. She deserves respect for that.

It's not an 'unloved feminist' matter, it's one of basic humanity.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 12:50:58

< falls lifelessly to the floor >

< surveys my cat-ridden, sour and depressingly alone environment >

You are right, Want. I urge other women to find happiness on their own account and not let men drag them down because I am actually jealous of their fabulous relationships.

Oh, wait....

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 12:57:12

Keep on reading between the lines she clearly states I would really like to be in love with him

Congo you spend your life on here trying to convince people to leave their partners may I ask just how many success stories do you have to tell

Try to keep things on track and don't try to take this personally

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 12:59:50

Anyfucker please tell me your not cogos bitch sorry did not really mean that

You give such good advice

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:06:15

Olgaga where in the post does she say she wants to divorce

I think if you actually bother to read it properly you will see that on numerous occasions she says she wants to love him

What ever happened to people working together to make a marriage work

I have or go I have a real life to attend unlike some of the notso a advisors here

olgaga Sat 08-Dec-12 13:07:11


unloved feminists

Hey that's half right there! Well done. Better than your usual stuff. Like this.

Just so we all know where you're coming from!

Or maybe this:

Men are not cleaver they think the way to make a woman happy is to have more sex men see that as a clear indicator that everything is fine in a relationship.

A bit of a generalisation there but I can't argue with the first four words, although the spelling needs work.

You're consistent though, I'll give you that.

olgaga Sat 08-Dec-12 13:08:50

Hey "Congo", did you namechange from Zaire?

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:12:02

Sorry did not realise that spelling was so important

So you can finally see where I am comming from that is great news

Now perhaps you will see that people can and do change

And being told leave the bastard all the time is not the perfect solution

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:13:06

People hiding behind other names why do that unless you really do have something to hide

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 13:13:22

WantTo you have much to learn, dude

The proper shit stirrers on this forum namechange to have a go at other posters, or else their agenda becomes crystal clear. Even then, you have to have a fair modicum of intelligence to not get caught out.

HTH smile

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 13:14:50

WantTo did you finally manage to bully and browbeat your wife into taking you back ?

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sat 08-Dec-12 13:17:03

"Congo you spend your life on here trying to convince people to leave their partners"

If you mean I take the time to reassure women trapped in miserable, unfaithful or abusive relationships that, if they choose to end it, they are not the devil incarnate... guilty as charged. I consider it a success whether people go on to work out their differences or go their separate ways. It's only a failure when nothing changes for the better.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:17:13

Anyoldfucker I could,have name changed but I have nothing to hide just pissed off with the advice given out here always the same old same old

olgaga Sat 08-Dec-12 13:17:33

Yeah I think we can all see where you're coming from Want. So don't feel you need to waste any more time coming here.

Honest! grin

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 13:18:55

I take that's a "no" then. Good for her.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:19:35

Any ducker not like that at all so your saying thAt people cannot change you know nothing about me so don't even try

Just like you have done in the past with anyone else that bothers to stand up to your crap you make things personal you need to get a life

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 13:19:47

"It's only a failure of nothing changes" I like that cogito. < licks cogito's hand >

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 13:19:57


WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:21:26

And any ducker yes my wife and I are building our relation back up you will be pleased to hear despite the advice given to her

Olgaga I thought this was a free open forum

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sat 08-Dec-12 13:23:46

Poor cow...

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:24:32

Roflmao Congo you are so funny

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:26:13

You just keep on doing what your great at trying to get people who love each other to split up way to go Congo we love you

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 13:27:26

Poor cow .......ha ha ha now that's not derogatary so sweet

olgaga Sat 08-Dec-12 13:33:48

AF if you are Congo's bitch can I be yours? wink

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 13:37:46

< presents hand for licking >

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 13:39:04

I am sure it will assist your "relation building" no end when your wife discovers you have been arguing with bitches on t'internet wink

olgaga Sat 08-Dec-12 13:43:26

<slurp> thanks

AzureBlue Sat 08-Dec-12 14:01:20

Woah! Steady on guys...I wondered if anyone had helpful tips on how to connect with a partner and it seems I started a slanging match instead!

olgaga Sat 08-Dec-12 14:19:18

Azure pleased you're back - don't get the wrong impression. Take a look at Want's previous post I linked to above and judge for yourself.

How are things? It seems to me you've done just about everything usually recommended. If all those counselling sessions ended in you wanting to divorce, perhaps you should try counselling on your own, to resolve how it is you want your life to be like from now on.

Your children are grown up - can you go on like this for the next 20, 30 years?

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sat 08-Dec-12 14:32:33

Have you considered a trial separation? There's a lot to be said for time apart. Can give you both time to think, call a halt to the habitual argument routine and allow everyone to get a taste whether life is better or worse one way or the other. As the country song title goes... 'How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?'... absence makes the heart grow fonder and so on.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 14:40:46

Your all doing it again she comes back and clearly states how to connect with a partner and you lot straight away start saying have you tried a trial separation and can you live like this for the nxt 20 30 years

Please do read my post you will see I actually do believe in making things better and work together to get a better marriage rather than divorce

Op sorry if I have got this wrong but have you said you want to divorce or separate ?

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 14:47:25

And yes I have gone from a pretty shit marriage to one where we now do love and respect each other again just like it was when we first got together

Just takes a little work from each side or do as the others say and give it all up after all that is probably the easy option but then I am not one to take the easy route

Go watch the film fireproof it is a good film if you can get over the religious aspects perhaps you are happy to look to god and it is not wrong or right either way I am not religious but still found the film well worth watching

Good luck and do what is right for you

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sat 08-Dec-12 14:52:33

Separation can be a useful way to reconnect. When people are together 24/7 it can create a kind of marital cabin-fever i.e the tiniest thing triggers an argument & well-worn behavioural routines get rehearsed over and over again. There is such a thing as being too much in each other's pockets. Time apart is a legitimate relationship revival technique...

ChunkyTurkeywiththetrimmings Sat 08-Dec-12 14:57:00

wanto I don't normally post on here, am not one your so-called unloved feminists, but seriously, have you read the OP and her other posts?

14mths counselling, repeatedly asking for a divorce, wanting to stay together because they can't afford not to...

Real signs of a loving relationship!!!

Sorry OP - I have nothing to add to help you. Good luck whatever you decide.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sat 08-Dec-12 15:12:17

I am not saying right now that they have a loving relationship I know if you spoke to my wife and month ago she would have said the same
what I am saying is she had a great relationship and now it is not great

perhaps she wants it to be great again who knows

all I am saying is by getting constantly negative comments from people here is not what she needs

but what do I know I will leave it to you experts

by the way what are your qualifications

izzyizin Sat 08-Dec-12 15:26:06

When did you fall out of love with your h and what made you decide you didn't want to be with him, Azure? Was it a gradual process or a sudden revelation?

I followed WTMTR's advice to read between the lines of your OP and all I could see were blank spaces.

However, in your second post it seems that 14 months of joint counselling did little to persuade your h to address his issues but gave you confidence and brought you to the realisation that you are tired of doing all the running in our relationship.

You say you want to connect with your h but does he actively attempt to connect to you? Does he 'do litte moves' like 'touching' you and 'sending a loving text' or is this another example of you being expected to make all the running'?

As for the 'slanging match', what slanging match? WTMTR is engaging in an exercise on the lines of too little too late and I suspect his attempt to foment discord here is directly attributable to his lack of charm success with his dw who will no doubt be back after the festive season - providing his stalking hasn't served to convince her she has nowhere to turn to for dispassionate practical advice.

When the inevitable happens WTMTR will find it more expedient to blame a bunch of women on t'internet for the demise of his marriage than look to his shortcomings .

<gathers up cat and cases of sherry, port, JD and Old Speckled Hen>

<hands moggy and booze to Olgaga>

<flops lifelessly at feet of Cogito and AF>

izzyizin Sat 08-Dec-12 15:41:26

You got shares in this film you keep promoting, WTMTR? What's the script based on? A Reader's Digest story along the lines of 'how I got lost in the jungle, was chased by cannibals, almost eaten by crocodiles/lions, shagged a gorilla, and found god'?

"I have gone from a pretty shit marriage to one where we now do love and respect each other again just like it was when we first got together" In 4 short weeks? Really?

Btw I don't believe you and, tempted as I am to ask you to have your dw verify your account, I wouldn't put it past you to adopt an alter ego in the interests of self delusion deceiving your rabid avid fans.

Lueji Sat 08-Dec-12 15:54:55

Just takes a little work from each side

I fully agree with you WTMTR, the question her is how much has been done on the other side, and how much is it worth waiting fir things to change??

At some point the person doing all the effort does give up. And rightly so.

olgaga Sat 08-Dec-12 16:51:13

WTMTR You're all doing it again

None of us are here to take instructions from you.

It's for the OP will to judge whether she finds comments on this thread useful or "negative".

The only person who is insisting they have the right advice is you.

AzureBlue Sat 08-Dec-12 19:20:16

We have never been very close...
I was so relieved to meet a nice person who liked me as have never been noticed by boys. We got engaged in 2 1/2 months. Married in under a year and unexpectedly pregnant 6 moths later. So never any time to know who I was with I now realise.
The children are what make us happy.

olgaga Sat 08-Dec-12 23:02:47

Azure that is so sad and also lovely. Children make it all worthwhile, but when they're grown and gone, what then?

Let me tell you, as a child of separated parents who ended up living 12,000 miles apart - it's not terribly convenient, and I certainly felt more concerned about my (single) parents than friends did about parents who were still together. They just forgot about them and got on with their lives in a way I didn't quite feel comfortable about doing.

However, my mum had a fantastic time after she left my dad. She built a career out of nothing, and enjoyed life in ways she couldn't have done if she'd stayed with him.

She felt like she'd done her bit, for him and us - and she certainly had. She was 48 when she left him, and my only regret is that she didn't do it sooner.

Ah well - have you thought about what how you will feel and what you will be doing in 5, 10, 20 years from now?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 09-Dec-12 17:22:05

Don't stya with him for the children, if you stay with him

people who are no longer romantic partners can still be great collaborative parents. In fact, in some instances it is the best thing to more expectations, no more arguments

WantToMakeThingsRight Sun 09-Dec-12 18:12:20

Ok I'm back.... Busy day at the church been chucking my holey water about no end today lots of sinners would pass a little arround issy but I do not think she wants to repent her sins just yet
so original poster do you want to leave your partner have you really reached the end

I was just joking about the holey water I wouldn't really slosh you with it

AzureBlue Sun 09-Dec-12 18:34:29

We do not argue at all which is one of our problems. We both do anything to avoid confrontation. In the past disagreements have resulted in a week of silence from DH. Now we are both expert at avoiding this. But it does drive you crazy after a while!

I wish I could just slip into the role I should be playing. My husband loves me, helps around the house etc. it's just me that wants no physical contact and prefers being with friends. I would like any ideas on how to enjoy being with a long term partner...I feel such a louse being so cold towards him.

He will not countenance divorce and life would be perfect if only I enjoyed being with him.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 09-Dec-12 18:38:05

You can't make yourself love him by power of will sad

Btw, he can't stop you divorcing him if that is what you wish.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 09-Dec-12 18:42:59

Aren't you looking at this through the wrong end of the telescope? If you've essentially picked the wrong person ... albeit for reasons that seemed good at the time ... why are you surprised when you don't 'slip into the role' of loving wife? Why do you think you can suddenly switch on feelings that, by your own admission, were never there in the first place?

Most people select a life-partner because they feel something very deeply for them to begin with. This means that, when life chucks challenges in their way, they've got some resilience even if it ultimately doesn't work out. Start with nothing and, frankly, I'm amazed you've lasted this long. Although if you both avoid talking about personal matters because it ends up with a week of sulking, maybe that goes some way to explaining it.

Why does he have to 'countenance divorce' btw? You know you could instigate it single-handed?

AndrewMyrrh Sun 09-Dec-12 18:48:32

Talk about a hi-jack hmm.

dequoisagitil Sun 09-Dec-12 18:52:45

You don't need his permission to split up.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Sun 09-Dec-12 18:54:42

"In the past disagreements have resulted in a week of silence from DH. Now we are both expert at avoiding this."

Stonewalling someone for a week is emotional abuse.

If you've become expert at avoiding that abuse, no wonder you are unhappy.

You don't owe him a marriage.

WantToMakeThingsRight Sun 09-Dec-12 18:54:50

Sounds to me like you may have fallen out of love with him and the way I see things is your have a few options
either work together with your partner to try and improve things and try to work to getting love and respect going again or look to separate.

You say that he loves you how does he feel with the current position

It should not be about you falling into a roll you have to want to do it

good luck lookup lovedare it might help I don't know

my wife told me that she was deeply unhappy and I took it upon myself to make things better 2 weeks ago we could not spend time in the same room now we are getting along way much better and each day we make a point of trying to improve things further

make quality time for each other if this is what you want to do

AndrewMyrrh Sun 09-Dec-12 18:57:28


Xenia Sun 09-Dec-12 19:27:15

1. YOu don't need his permission to split up.
2. Why would you have to sell the home? If you divorce him and remortgage and buy out his half of the equity you could stay where you are and he has to leave OR if you cannot afford that it may be he earns more than you do and you get to stay until the youngest child is 18 or you remarry and then you sell assuming the children will stay with you.
3. How old are the children - which of you would they choose to live with after a divorce?

Back2Two Sun 09-Dec-12 19:40:13

It's clear that is isn't a situation where love and respect can be worked for and re-gained: as the love, at least, was never truly there. I would suspect then the respect was fairly fragile.

*life would be perfect if only I enjoyed being with him"

It's not a lot of frigid miserable feminists crowing "leave the bastard" is it?
It's a group of women (including feminists) who think life is too short to spend it unfulfilled, unhappy and in the confines of a relationship that does not allow you to find your happiness potential along with probably your creative and social and romantic potential. Hence, missing out on the real stuff of life. There is a lot of love in mumsnet, it's just that it often has to be tough love.

AzureBlue Mon 10-Dec-12 13:10:45

Given that DH has been like a rabbit caught in the headlights since I told him I was unhappy over 2 years ago, I cannot see how to improve things at all. He says he feels under such pressure and so miserable that he cannot work on the relationship - and as he is happy with me, then he (justly) throws at me - what am I doing about it? Things are now so strained and awkward between us it is hard to spend any time with him at all - one reason I have found an exercise class and an adult education class to occupy my time, even if it means I see less of my kids sad

Given the downward spiral, I do dwell on divorce but the actual timing and how to split up are beyond my imagination...I can picture a flat in a year's time with my kids, but not how to get there.

Smallest DD is only 9 so would want to stay locally near her school and friends. I care full-time for her (I work only school hours, or when she is in bed at night). So terribly traumatic to be moved from her house...would I need to try and find a bed-sit to live in and go and sleep there after doing the child-care until DH came home?...not sure I can afford even this. Another DD in AS year so cannot jeopardise her exams - maybe summer holidays are the time to mention it? But still either DH or me would have to go somewhere that was not the family home...where????It's an impossible conundrum.

So back to plan 1 and trying to enjoy living with DH!

Lueji Mon 10-Dec-12 14:07:27

It's always hard to be the one complaining.

Ex didn't have any problems living with me and he would have continued, except for his abusive attitute, and then physical abuse.
Also because he was living in a nice place, off my salary and doing very little work in the home.

Do you have a clear idea of what it would take for you to enjoy living with your OH?

AzureBlue Mon 10-Dec-12 14:16:18

Don't think I can hack the Lovedare/Fireproof stuff as I lost all faith when DH chose to teach Sunday School over visiting me in hospital when I was v v v ill with pneumonia and 3 months pregnant. So upset to discover I had been put in the bidding prayers (ie I was going to die).
We have unpacked this in counselling - he could not face the fact I might die. I still find this a delicate issue, however. I do understand now why he did this, but still feel if push came to shove he would run away from me again in similar circumstances. It is hard to emotionally lean on someone in this situation.

oldwomaninashoe Mon 10-Dec-12 14:53:04

Op your Dh does not sound very "lovable" person, so that is why you are having difficulties. He thinks you are at fault so is waiting for you to make all the effort not realising it is a joint affair.
You cannot make yourself love someone unless they are lovable in some way, is he making himself lovable? What would he have to do for you even to feel vaguely fond of him?
Think hard OP if you see no answer, and he is unlikely to make any effort, perhaps it is time to go it alone.

Xenia Mon 10-Dec-12 15:11:41

Why could you not stay in the house and he continue to pay the mortgage and some costs (and you perhaps get a bit more work to help make ends meet)? Also if your income is lower you might get tax credits etc.

AzureBlue Mon 10-Dec-12 15:22:50

He kindly brings me tea in bed in the morning and loves looking after the children. He will do child-care when he is at home to enable me to work or do classes etc.
He is scrupulously honest and principled. And intelligent.
Maybe it's a man thing that I feel he lacks any empathy with me. eg when I was complaining that after 3 visits (to deliver her shopping to her) in 1 week and a weekend away with me, my mother was saying I never had time for her...the response of DH was 'at least you weren't born in Cambodia" (ie I might have died before I hit 5? hmmm). So maybe it's a guy-thing and I need to just cool it - it's normal. I did not grow up with any men in the house or at school so don't know really.
It would be nice if he'd said "yes, I understand".

AzureBlue Mon 10-Dec-12 15:26:37

No way could I work more...I work every week-day (and work calls during swimming lessons etc) most evenings, often through to eleven or twelve, plus most Sundays.
Need to get down to my accounts to see what I actually do earn. Certainly a quarter of DH or less.
I think my DH would never accept leaving the house - he sees it as ours...his as much as mine.

Xenia Mon 10-Dec-12 16:24:25

AB, my children's father did not want to move out and was happy married. However as I earned 10x what he did he could not prevent the divorce and he could not prevent my buying him out of the house and he got more money than I did as I earn more. If you only earn a quarter then it is fairly likely you would get the house - it would not be a 50.50 split. We were advised that he could be forced out once the finances and divorce were organised if necessary. In the end he left after decree absolute and money and property transfers.

It is likely your husband could be forced to move out at the same stage. In our case it took 7 months. Unless the house is too large for your and the children's needs and unless the children would choose to liev with him it is likely he would have to pay 25% of pay for the children and also may support to you as you earn a quarter even if that means he just moves to a tiny bed sit and does not get his equity out of the house until the youngest is 18 or you remarry or move another man in. It might be worth talking to a solicitor for an hour eveni f you haven't decided to split up just sdo you know where you stand.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 10-Dec-12 16:28:33

Good advice from xenia there

AB, in this day and age no-one is forced to stay married and living with someone if they don't want to

Lueji Mon 10-Dec-12 16:53:22

Essentially, it's the same advice as usual.
Seek legal advice.
Only then you'll be able to really make plans and know what to expect.

BTW, a coleague divorced her husband for lack of support during her cancer treatment.

If he is generally nice, but not empathic, etc, then you have a choice of accepting him as he is or leave.
Particularly as he doesn't seem to want to work on himself.

AndrewMyrrh Mon 10-Dec-12 16:57:10

Does he have aspergers?

garlicbaubles Mon 10-Dec-12 17:09:42

Azure, I started reading your thread with an open mind. I think there are things one can do to generate more of a loved-up feeling in a partnership that's gone stale. I even think it can be worth doing this when only one partner has lost the feeling. But, I'm sad to say, reading your thread has made me dislike your husband. I feel you'll be a happier, more fulfilled and generally more enchanting individual when you are single.

The first red flag was where you said you're realising it's possible to have fun, thanks to your hobbies and renewed friendships. If you only realised that fun is possible outside your marriage, then that marriage has not only been joyless for you but has closed your mind to the very possibility of joy. This is no good. In 23 years, a good marriage would have been at least 30% fun. Hell, my parents had a godawful war of a marriage but even theirs was about 25% fun!

I'm deeply unimpressed by an inconvenient weekend away, in which you had to prioritise economy over comfort. That wasn't a treat; it was an imposition. If this is as good as his romantic gestures get, he's in no position to lecture you on relationship building. In fact, the whole lecturing thing is extremely offputting. Why should you be doing all the running, making all the effort? His efforts seem rather feeble at best.

His behaviour when you had pneumonia was unforgivable. I can only imagine how ghastly it must have been for you, to feel so poorly and to realise your partner had given you up for dead, yet still couldn't be bothered to come and comfort you! One of the primary reasons for forming a long-term commitment is to have support when things are bad. When your partner cannot face supporting you, he fails you and, in a meaningful sense, nullifies the commitment. A partner who's done this has no right to demand continued commitment.

I think his demands on you are founded in a recognition that you actually deserve better than him. He's trying to tie you to him by guilt, fear and obligation. This won't work long-term and is bad for you now. I also don't like what it's teaching your children.

You don't need permission to end a marriage.

AndrewMyrrh Mon 10-Dec-12 17:58:09

Yes, I am always a bit hmm with religious types who care more about being perceived as being upstanding and devout rather than actually being there for their spouse when needed.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Mon 10-Dec-12 18:14:54

He sounds like a sexist prat TBH. He doesn't 'love' you because he doesn't really consider that you are a person - you're a 'woman' which means marriage is about you attending to his domestic needs and being grateful to him.

As others have said, get some legal advice WRT what specifically would happen in a divorce. Don't pay any attention to anything your H says, he has not got your best interests at heart, he just doesn't want to have to do his own housework and, by the sound of it, likes presenting himself as a Happily Married Man. However, he's not prepared to put any effort into the marriage himself.
WHen you have all the facts then you can decide what to do. And remember that if you decide to leave he can't stop you. No one is entitled, either legally or ethically, to force another person to remain in an outgrown or unsatisfactory marriage.

WakeyCakey Mon 10-Dec-12 18:38:45

OP you really do deserve a better life than this!
you aren't happy and the whole situation is clearly dragging you down.
Your DD may only be 9 but that is no reason not to sort your life out.

I had an unhappy childhood and I really resent my parents for that. they were always referred to by myself and my sisters as 'the couple who are too lazy to get divorced'.

They don't get on at all, i think my dad is an an 11 month silent treatment bout at the moment and it is horrible. We won't even go to visit them because of this.

your children are important but they need to see you happy to get happiness in later life.

What would you be suggesting if this was your DD?

ladyWordy Mon 10-Dec-12 19:35:49

Azure, this is nothing to do with being with a long term partner; and your DH's lack of empathy is assuredly not a 'man thing'. Lack of empathy can occur in men and women, and it makes for very disheartening relationships.

As you describe it, you're living with a pretty chilly, controlling individual. Not a loving, healthy man at all really. His being happy and bringing you a cup of tea in the morning does not mean your relationship is ok, or that he is ok.

You're talking about a relationship where one partner is deeply unhappy, and the other thinks everything's fine (note, he doesn't actually care that you're unhappy. Normal men care about the happiness of their partners. That's what love is. )

It's also a relationship where you're unable to discuss anything, since you fear the silent treatment if you argue. Silent treatment = controlling behaviour....and it seems to be working.

Also, your DH is a man who left you pregnant and close to death, yet instead of cleaving to your side as any loving man would, he runs away to teach Sunday school! shock What was he teaching, the redeeming power of love? It's something you do, not talk about. (Sorry, that was me metaphorically ranting at your H, not at you.....But you see my point.)

Azure, this is quite a bit worse than you think. And it won't improve.Take some time to visit a solicitor and get some clarity on your financial position.

Try not to sorry about disrupting your children's lives too much. Chances are they are suffering too, even if they aren't showing it.

ladyWordy Mon 10-Dec-12 19:41:01

Sorry = worry...

AzureBlue Tue 11-Dec-12 15:20:22

Thanks for all the advice...plenty to consider.
Think I'll look at all options - will read the Lovedare book to see if can offer any ideas, and also get my finances in a better order and look into what would be reasonable to expect in a split.
I think keeping the whole house would mean plunging DH into penury. He would have no savings and no house and I'd still have a mortgage (actually I don't think I regularly earn enough to get a mortgage)! Not a great way for the kids to see how to be considerate and decent people. Even if a court granted this it just would not be fair.

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