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AIBU to think you can still stay together for the sake of the children and it work out

(273 Posts)
fluckered Tue 26-Feb-13 16:56:53

we cant seem to live together anymore. things out of our control his depression and my lack of tolerance to live with it anymore. we have one child. 80% of the time we are just living as lodgers no arguments. every once in a while it kicks off but we both shield our son (either in school or asleep). therefore i feel it will be worse on him if we seperate as we can actually live with eachother. no physical contact, very little emotion, just going through the motions. i feel deep down we still do love each other but i feel trapped and stuck but because i can just get on with it (other than it flaring up once in a while as i'm sure other couples do) think its better for ds. he is my focus, my world, my reason for living. so aibu to think this arrangement is less damaging for him? he is 5 btw

Frogstomp2299 Fri 01-Mar-13 18:11:01

My parents stayed together... It was hell! However now we've all left home the seem happy:/

fluckered Fri 01-Mar-13 18:12:24

sorry i havent been back til now. my head has not been right for last few days. and tbh i feel namechagers situation is a bit different to mine so didnt reply. thanks for those that replied to me. namechanger dont be sorry you havent hijacked perhaps was a good thing and will help your situation. one thing stands out that i resent is being accused of being a "martyr". but i cant even argue the point as havent the energy. we have tried all of those counselling .. together/seperately ... helps for a while. both on anti ds. his are being upped the whole time. on 4 different meds daily. i am still up in the air about what to do its in the back of my mind the whole time. i guess time will just slip by. am kind of numb to it at this stage. guess it makes me spineless and weak wont argue with you. but thanks for listening.

DoeEyedBeauties Fri 01-Mar-13 18:15:59

You don't think we all deserve to be loved? The right to have love if you want it? How sad.

If I had a 50/50 option I would rather DD hated me for 'lying' to her than hated me for tearing her family apart just to make me happy.

What family? You don't have a 'family'. You have a shell.

And just to make me happy? Have you missed the point of the thread? This isn't about you, this is about your children.

I must keep in mind you have brainwashed yourself for the last four years and no, you won't see reason in the space of a few days.

My abrupt posts stem from the anger I still harbour against my mother who put her own needs above mine and yet told herself and me how self-sacrificing she was. Grand Martyr and all. What a crock of shite. But at least you won't have to deal with me any more deeply than as an annoying poster that will soon be gone. But it could be worse.

I could be your daughter in 10 years.

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 18:16:35

Change, I know this is really hard for you. I know it isn't as simple as just making a decision, you have to act on it and that is the scary bit. I do understand.

I answered you with a question just to show there are other options, I think Ive answered already anyway, I said firstly I don't think you could be forced into sending her under those circumstances but I hear you on the proving it part and that is something to look into.

I think it was AF that touched on enabling his alcoholism, what you say about him being sole carer on visits and him being drunk, don't let the thought of that stop you moving forward, it may well be the wake up call to him to get his drinking problem in check. That is his decision though and not one you should feel you are responsible for.

I'll give you an insight to why I am banging on a bit, I know how it feels to be scared of rocking the boat, scared of how things will be after you leave and scared if it is indeed the right thing to do. I was with my EX for about 15 years, I wasn't happy and I knew I/our relationship wasn't his priority, we didn't have the same problems that you are having, but there were good enough reasons for me to leave him.

Probably because my own parents had divorced, I really wanted my family unit to work, I think I hung around longer than I should've because of that. I am aware that that may have hurt my children.

I did leave him and I will not lie and say it was easy, financially it was really hard, He had always provided well for our family while I was a SAHM but I knew before I left that he would be able to dodge paying if he chose to. That was what he did in the end and he hasn't paid a penny towards their upkeep since.

He was angry, he had manipulated me into feeling I didn't have options and I think he played on my insecurities. He threatened me, real serious threats too. He threatened to walk away from the children, then he threatened to go for custody, he also threatened me personally, It was all just words though and because I just called his bluff he didn't go through with any of it.

He has regular contact and is pretty friendly with me nowdays, the first 4 months were the hardest.

So despite all of that and the big changes in circumstances, moving/finance etc, I am so much happier, my boys are happy, their dad is happy and they get to spend time with him without any atmosphere. He has certainly behaved better in the long run than I thought he was going to.

I have thought a few times what if we had stayed together, because I know I could have, but it was fake and I am genuinely happier now.

So I do understand how hard this is.

It could be so much better for you and your family than how it is now.

amillionyears Fri 01-Mar-13 18:25:22

I think Changenamer needs some time to process all of this.

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 18:26:41

I agree with that amillionyears.

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 18:27:09

...and sorry for the mahoosive post blush

Don't be sorry, it was great Amber -
And well done to you !
Sounds quite tough at times, but worth it x

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 18:41:58

Thanks Juggling, definitely worth it.

Just seen the OPs post

guess it makes me spineless and weak wont argue with you. but thanks for listening

Not at all spineless or weak, I hope that you get some clarity soon.

fluckered Fri 01-Mar-13 18:50:14

thanks AmberLeaf ... me too.

LondonNinja Fri 01-Mar-13 23:07:40

OP, you are not spineless and weak. You are doing your best now. Ditto CN, I can see where you're coming from - and who's to say that in a few years, you may think differently? Not to say you should but just that we can really only do what we believe, in our hearts, is best at that time. For instance, a person would have to be an idiot to go into a marriage, or other long-term relationship - including parenthood, thinking your decision was bad. At the time it is the right thing. But shit happens. Because the OP and NC feel this way now is up to them and them alone - none of us have walked a mile in their shoes. And as their children grow older, maybe seeing them less physically reliant - and far more vocal - will spur these posters to take different courses of action.

NC - your DDs will at some point comment on the drinking. I'd keep it as ammunition. Don't write it off or gloss over it.... Just saying.

Best to you both.

MagicHouse Sat 02-Mar-13 10:22:25

Have read most of the thread. Just to add - no it doesn't work staying together for the sake of the children. My parents did. We all lived this facade of a "happy family". Actually it was quite frightening to live like that for a child. How it affected me was never feeling able to talk about how I felt (because the expectation was that everything was happy). I had panic attacks and anxiety for years as an adult, and counselling for years too (which worked!). The panic attacks were repressed emotion - it was how I learnt to deal with all my emotions. I was angry with my mum for a time too, though now I completely understand why she felt she wanted to stay/ hide her true emotions, and I love her to bits.

She also says even now that we were sheltered from the worst bits and we had "no idea" there was anything wrong. Of course we knew. It wasn't a good way to grow up (to put it very, very mildly). My relationships have not been happy ones, and I link it to that. I learnt to turn my back on pretty major problems.

The good news is, now in my 40's and fairly recently out of a terrible marriage (which I did find the courage to walk away from - but that at one point I thought I'd never find the courage to leave. I also went through all the agonies of thinking would it be better to stay for the sake of my children. Now I have left I can't imagine even considering that would have been better. There is NO comparison to how I feel now, and how I felt then.) I finally feel confident and happy!

But my advice to those with small children in unhappy marriages - I think the most powerful message you can give them is about what is right/ acceptable in a relationship, because ultimately that is what they will carry forward into their own relationships. If you teach them to put up with misery, and put themselves second (even if you think you are hiding it) then that is what they will "choose" as an adult (subconsciously I mean). I would do everything I possibly can to avoid that for my own dd.

LaQueen Sat 02-Mar-13 10:23:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LondonNinja Sat 02-Mar-13 10:31:59

But, NC, for instance is terrified she may lose custody. While it may be unlikely, it's a risk, isn't it? The desire to stop that happening must be overwhelming. She is putting herself in a position where she is there for her girls, and while it's not ideal, I can see why she feels that way. Imagine if the alcoholic, lazy arse twisted things and got residence?? How dreadful for those girls. FWIW, I suspect things will change once the girls are older and they begin to question things (and see the truth of what their DF is)...

DoeEyedBeauties Sat 02-Mar-13 13:42:50

If you'd really loved me, really, truly loved me, you would have taken some very brave, and hard steps, and been a stronger woman. You would have been a woman I could admire, and look up to. A woman who was selfless enough to realise that some short term pain, was more than worth the long term gain.

LaQueen you are bang on the money!


NicknameTaken Sat 02-Mar-13 14:05:07

fluckered, I we shouldn't be conflating your situation with changenamer. Is there any way you could get a break from your H - could he go to family for bit, for example. You both sound trapped and miserable, and if it's possible to have some time apart, it might clarify whether you miss each other and both feel you're ready to make another effort. Or you might find your depression lifting, and that's another answer.

I know it's easier said than done, and not everyone has helpful family, but if there is any way of making the experiment, it might make things clearer.

LondonNinja Sat 02-Mar-13 14:33:39

That's good advice, Nickname. Crumbs, you are coping with your own depression, OP, and that of your DH. Do you have any support from your GP? Or can you request some CBT? You sound so exhausted.

(And, FWIW, I don't think the posts inferring weakness etc are especially helpful to someone who is ill.)

ChangeNamer101 Sat 02-Mar-13 15:55:51

Hello Fluckered, I'm sorry that all my shite took over your thread. I really didn't expect so many comments (or judgements) on my situation, but then this is MN - I was a bit naive. I hope that things go better for you soon. I am very lucky with my situation, and I feel for you, sincerely.

Juggling, thank you for your kind words and understanding, but I should point out that I'm actually a MN regular under a name change. My 'posting for 2 days' comment was meant to say 'posting about my situation'. I don't want to mislead you and I'm sadly well aware of how viperish this place can be grin. Your good wishes are gratefully accepted though.

AmberLeaf. I do understand what you are saying, and why. I cannot agree with all of it though. I've discovered today that the only way to 'prove' an alcoholic is with court ordered Liver Function Tests - but there has to be a reason (ie previous Drink Driving convictions etc) for them to be court ordered. Oh and LFTs aren't always conclusive. In America they are starting to use hair strand tests, but not here.

I seem to be between rock/hard place - the only way to prove DD would be in danger is for DD to have already been in danger - and DH punished. If that had happened I wouldn't be here now.

Things are never that easy are they hmm

(Oh and LeQueen, you keep saying OP when I think you mean me. I don't want poor Fluckered to be tarred with my brush, as its not fair on her and you are being rather 'robust' so could you just clarify so she doesn't feel bad please? Thanks)

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Sun 03-Mar-13 20:10:24

fluckered - I didn't realise both you and your DH are on meds, that makes everything harder. I absolutely know it's incredibly to make a decision on strong antiDs - getting through the day is the most you feel you can aim at.

But equally you know you won't feel like this forever, and when you can see the wood for the trees again perhaps you might have a rethink?

changenamer You feel it's working now and I'm not going to argue with you. I can also see why you worry that custody might be a my word/his word situation.

But how about this: by the time your DD is, say, 10 (possibly younger depending on her maturity) there's a very real chance she'll be seeing more than you want, partic if she's up later in the evenings. That gives you (say) three years to plan your getaway with chess-like, meticulous, accuracy. Start making notes of his drinking. Report any situations. Squirrel money away. Expect him to cook and clean more and make it clear to your DD and DSD that if you don't do it, he doesn't. And, as another poster pointed out, let the mask slip a little.
Basically, set yourself up to win custody further down the line.

This isn't a life sentence. Gather your armies now for victory in the future.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Sun 03-Mar-13 20:11:14

Edit: "I absolutely know it's incredibly difficult to make a decision on strong antiDs - getting through the day is the most you feel you can aim at."

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Mon 04-Mar-13 10:41:06


Thumbwitch Mon 04-Mar-13 12:56:57

God, what an awful time of it she had, Panpiper. sad for her and all children of alcoholics who go through shit like this.

But Changenamer will, I believe, get herself and her DD out of that situation before it becomes like Meg Henderson's.

FirstTimeForEverything Mon 04-Mar-13 13:06:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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