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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

sarahseashell Tue 26-Feb-13 18:06:31

changenamer sad you're making yourself a prisoner in your own marriage. You only get one life.

OP I recall reading about a study that showed most of the 'damage' to kids whose parents were divorced stems from the marriage before the split, not after. You will all be better off in the longer term with an amicable break up IMO.

Your ds can still see his dad, daily at first if necessary - he may not 'cry for his dad' and may actually be better off living without the tense atmosphere - unless of course you can make your relationship better/make it work

bisybackson Tue 26-Feb-13 18:06:36

Jeez, I am lost for words, changenamer, that is so sad. You say you are happy with your choice but I don't believe you are really. Please believe you don't have to do this.

Having said that, I am in a similar(ish) position. DH had an affair last year. We are supposed to be working through it. The reality is that we are getting nowhere. But I'm still playing the game.

fluckered - this is a 'do as I say, not as I do' post but please consider getting out soon. Your DS is young, and it will be hard, but he will cope. Probably more easily now than later.

Tee2072 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:10:38

If you're really happy, namechanger, why name change? Why not stand up and say 'this is me and this is my life'?

fluckered Tue 26-Feb-13 18:11:38

namechanger i feel for you. i dont think things are as bad for me. dp isnt violent towards me never has. he hasnt done anything wrong as such. thats what makes it harder. have tried all the counselling things and he is improving slowly but surely. but i feel immense damage has been done while i'm living with him through this. i get so upset and frustrated and anxiety through the roof in bed alone at night i want to break something let it out. have cut myself once never did it again. its just bottled up. sometimes we talk and its fine and i realise how much i love him and things will get better. other times i feel the opposite and resent him and feel trapped. he is a different man to what i met due to depression but perhaps its me being an intolernat bitch and should cut him more slack. i just wish someone could tell me what to do.

bisybackson Tue 26-Feb-13 18:15:28

We can't tell you what to do but we can listen and help. Perhaps the age old MN advice of getting some space would help you? You don't have to decide to leave permanently/divorce but could you spend some time apart whilst he works out his problems? Perhaps if you wren't together all the time you could help him more?

bisybackson Tue 26-Feb-13 18:15:48

BTW you are not an intolerant bitch

ChangeNamer101 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:21:30

Because I don't want to Tee. I am happy posting here, regularly, under my 'own' name. I don't post about my relationship at all so I'm not lying to anyone, I just don't want people 'knowing' me and feeling sorry for me. Well, obviously aMNHQ can see through the name change, but I can't do anything about that!

Please don't feel sorry for me anyone. I am at peace with my decision and its actually quite easy. I wobble every so often, but generally it doesn't affect me and it certainly doesn't affect the girls - they have NO idea. Oh and my girls didn't see any violence previously, they did hear the nastiness and arguments, but believe we resolved our issues.

What I would say to the OP though is that my life is very different to hers - my DH thinks everything is fine between us, hers knows it isn't. My secret is mine alone and it is easier that way.

I'm good though, promise, don't worry smile

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 18:23:30

That was a wee bit unfair tee people can namechange and say things if they like, an dhave a bit of privacy

Cherriesarelovely Tue 26-Feb-13 18:25:39

Both the OPs and namechanger's situation sound so incredibly hard. Personally I couldn't stay together for "the sake of Dd". That's not to say I wouldn't try very hard. I would definitely try counselling since I know that all relationships can get rocky at times and all kinds of things (illness, work stress, children etc) and sometimes you can have really angry, resentful feelings towards your partner for a while and then, once the situation has passed, or been resolved you feel TOTALLY different. Is he getting help? Are you getting help to deal with your feelings? That would be my first port of call. You are not an intolerant bitch AT ALL and you are NBU to be considering splitting up. You sound like very loving parents, that wont change because you're not together.

cory Tue 26-Feb-13 18:26:14

fluckered, if you are going to do this, you need to give careful thought to what you are going to tell your ds

it will be a horrible thing for him if he grows up believing that his mum and dad are a loving couple like any other and then finds out, maybe when he is going through puberty, that you have just been pretending

this happened to a couple of people I know and it affected their ability to trust a partner for life: after all, if your own parents could lie about love, why should you trust anybody?

one of them has never had a stable relationship; they have always broken up over trust issues

another case is affecting a friend of dc who is now in his teens: he had no idea his parents' relationship was a sham since he was a baby, so blames himself for their breaking up; everybody else around them knows the truth and one day he is going to find out how too sad

I am not saying relationships cannot be based on friendship or mutual respect

but if you lie to dc and pretend it is love when it isn't, then they won't know what love looks like and may make some dreadful choices when their own time comes

as for staying in a relationship and pretending you are in love after your dd has witnessed abuse, ChangeNamer, what you are saying to her is: "These are the choices a woman should be making, this is how I would like you to choose." And is it?

Cherriesarelovely Tue 26-Feb-13 18:27:28

You do need to BOTH realise that things are not right though and BOTH want to resolve them.

bisybackson Tue 26-Feb-13 18:27:42

I do get what you're saying changenamer because, to a lesser extent' I am saying the same thing. I have made a choice and I am living with it. I strongly believe, though, that it is not the right choice for everyone.

fluckered - if you could truly say you were happy with what you are doing - fine. But if you are so unhappy and frustrated that you are even thinking of cutting yourself, I don't think you are in the right place. And you won't be doing your DS any favours at all.

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 18:28:18

My parents are still together though my younger sister is still at home so maybe they are like namechanger and her husband and my mum muddles through they seem happy , there was domestic violence for a few years well a lot of years That stopped in my teens , perhaps people just muddle through marriage

foreverondiet Tue 26-Feb-13 18:31:59

fluckured children are very perceptive and I don't think you can shield your DS from your unhappiness. If you do still love him, I think that you should have some marital counselling to see if you can work through the problems. If you can't work through the problems best to go your separate ways and hopefully you will both find other loving relationships.

FWIW my DH's aunt and uncle did this - stayed together for their DC.... sadly DH's cousin so disturbed he committed suicide aged 25.

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 18:32:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 18:32:55

ach wrong thread sorry will get it removed

ChangeNamer101 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:42:46

Oh dear, this is why I name change Tee smile

Once again, the girls have NEVER seen any violence. Neither of them think that anything is wrong, so they won't necessarily make the choices I have made. Honestly, they believe ours is a good relationship.

Sorry OP for hijacking. I thought my experience might be helpful is all, for you to see it can be done. But it is your choice of course.

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 18:44:44

She may not have witnessed actual physical violence but she did witness abuse yes?

You did say it affected her badly?

I think whether "staying together for the sake of the kids" is a good idea depends on your relationship.
I think if it's like changenamer's breaking up might be a better option. Sounds like you kind of know that too, changenamer ? Your happiness is as important as anyone else's you know ?
If things are more like in OP's relationship I think it's a harder call.

I guess my philosophy is that my happiness is as important, but not more important, than everyone else in the family. My DC's are now pre-teens - for now I'm focusing on getting through the teenage years - and yes, as happily as possible for everyone. Then I'll re-evaluate I think. We might very well stay together beyond that, into our twilight years, but I can't think that far ahead ATM !

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 18:47:11

DH was awful, violent, threatening and abusive during that period. DD saw it and it really affected her

How can you say she has no idea? or that she thinks yours is a happy relationship? showing her that a so called happy relationship includes the above is really bad.

I do feel for you and don't mean to 'get at you' but I think you are fooling yourself.

BigFatSpider Tue 26-Feb-13 18:49:45

OP, everything you write was my life, a month ago. Absolutely everything. I'd been biting my tongue for years, not saying how desperately unhappy I was in our marriage (because once you say something, it can't be unsaid), keeping it together and burying my own wants and needs for the sake of DH's mental health and for the sake of 'keeping the family together for DS'. Who is also 5, just like your son.

A month ago, I finally found the courage to say to DH (after another stupid bicker) that this is no way to live, that it wasn't working. His reaction - that he entirely agreed, but similarly lacked courage to say so - staggered me.

The last month has been bloody difficult, I can't deny it, as we start to unpick things and work out who goes where and when - but because there was fundamentally nothing 'wrong' (i.e. abuse, being at each other's throats etc. - though there sure as hell wasn't anything right either) we've been able to go about it with much the same atmosphere in the house. We haven't actually told DS in black and white yet, but we've started to prepare him by talking about a 'boys only' flat and suchlike. He is coping well and clearly knows something is afoot, but we can pave the way together and actually tell him when the time is right (extremely soon, I think). Here, the fact that you and your DH are not constantly rowing in front of him will be your biggest strength.

I looked at my life and knew that I owed it to myself to make the decision to separate sooner rather than later. I owe it to our son, to raise him as best we can apart, but know that we're no longer skewing his perception of what a healthy adult partnership should be. And I owe it to my husband, who can't give me what I need, nor I him. That's no way to live. It really isn't. Everything pp's have said rings so very true to me, being in the midst of it as I am. Yes, it's bloody hard and we certainly have our moments, but I still don't regret it for an instant. We're a long time dead, love.

CardinalRichelieu Tue 26-Feb-13 18:51:52

That is very sad NameChanger. It seems like such a waste of your life and your potential.

How would you feel if when they were 25 they admitted to you that they always knew you weren't happily married? I think that is quite likely to happen.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 26-Feb-13 18:54:21

My DM used to lie in bed and listen to her parents (my gps, now both dead, they stayed together til the bitter end) being forcedly polite to each other or shouting at each other. She used to pray they would get divorced, and this was in the 50s when it was not the done thing and she would have been bullied at school.

FWIW that fact you can't tolerate his depression anymore doesn't help him you know. Leaving your needs out of it for the moment, if you leave, you give him the opportunity to a) get help and b) meet someone who can deal. You are not the only woman in the world. I know that sounds harsh and I don't mean to be, but you are not the only one who can 'save' him. You are not seeing the wood for the trees.

Changenamer sad, just sad. And I'm not sure the right decision. You are telling DD that if she marries badly she should also stay in it. Are you sure that's a good thing? Sounds like you're just pushing the misery into the next generation.
Actually, the way your post is written sounds like you know it's not ok and your subconscious is quietly screaming.

Have just read your further posts fluckered and it doesn't sound like you're in a good place either.

Something someone posted seemed very helpful on another thread ... just simply that if you're not happy you can leave you know - there doesn't have to be another reason or other justification.

I probably think more people should split up than do really. I'm not really sure I believe in the institution of marriage any more - I feel like I got married because I wanted to have kids and that's what you do. I'm a bit jaded by life I think.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 26-Feb-13 18:55:46

we're a long time dead

Hear hear.

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