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Thinking that she shouldn't have got so offended when I was talking about myself.

(54 Posts)
Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 14:52:29

In conversation with a friend yesterday I said that MY life would be easier and far less complicated if I were a single parent rather than a married one. I said that because at the minute that's how I feel. Life is pretty shit I'll be honest with you. Me and my dh are in a rut and I can't see a way out. Our youngest Dc is on the autism spectrum and whilst we would never ever change him we aren't coping. I explained in detail to my friend how I felt and the single parent comment was more an off the cuff remark which to be honest she knows me so should have known this. Instead she got in a big huff saying I've no idea how hard single parents have it and I'd never cope on my own. But in all fairness she doesn't know just how hard me and my dh have had these last few years. Well she does know but usually I'm not one to moan on about how hard things are but yesterday I needed an a shoulder to cry on.

My friend is a single parent but she's not a single parent in the sense that she does it all on her own with no help ie financial, practical from the father. Her ex is still very much involved in her kids lives and has them half the time. She gets financial emotional and practical support off her ex and her family. If she was genuinely struggling then maybe I could understand why she got so narky but imo she was well over the top. I may be being unreasonable but I was merely saying how my life would be if I were a single parent not how anyone else's life is.

SoupDragon Sat 12-Nov-16 14:54:33

Your friend is right, you have no idea. You say But in all fairness she doesn't know just how hard me and my dh have had these last few years but, equally, you have no idea what being a single parent is like either.

WorraLiberty Sat 12-Nov-16 14:55:51

YANBU, your rant was about you and how stressed you are and she somehow turned it into all about her.

It's not a competition and you are allowed to say how you personally feel right now.

Hope things improve for you soon thanks

Damelo Sat 12-Nov-16 14:56:17

The worst I ever felt about my life was when I was with my X before I left him.

I'm a single parent now and I'm happy so if somebody said that to me I'd feel for them and the paralysing limbo they're probably experiencing right now.

There's always a way out, it can mean losing things that feel like ''all you have'' though.


It doesn't matter what your friend thinks. Do what is going to give you a platform to live a happier life.

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 14:56:19

Maybe. But I know it can't be any harder than how things are for us right now. If me and my dh were separated then I'd have our DC half the time and so would he. We'd get equal time to recharge out batteries, which unless you are an Sen you have no idea how critical that is to just get through each day.

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 14:58:28

Exactly I know it's not a competition but for some reason I think my friend thinks it is. On the rare occasion I speak about how things are going in my life she always turns it around to her and how bad she has it.

CozyAutumn Sat 12-Nov-16 14:59:48

It's annoying when people say you aren't allowed to want to be single and that you aren't allowed to say you would be happier single. An unhappy relationship is an unhappy relationship, whether you have children or not.

It's as though you should be fucking grateful for having a partner/husband, even if you're unhappy. hmm

Some people would be happier as a single parent. To shoot them down for saying so is ignorant and arrogant.

Inthenick Sat 12-Nov-16 15:00:13

I think you'll find plenty of people who are single parents and will tell you their lives have been easier in many ways as single parents compared to when they were in a relationship.

In any case OP, you have a right to think your life might be easier but the truth is you don't know if that is the case until you try it.

Your close friend is unreasonable to make your conversation about her, it's not a competition.

Katy07 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:00:56

Some people will always make out that it's about them, and if you call them on it they'll then try and make you feel like you're wrong and being unreasonable. Just ignore it or you'll be playing into her hands.

lalalalyra Sat 12-Nov-16 15:01:14

I found being in a relationship where I should have had help and support, but didn't (I actually had someone making every single day harder) harder than when I was a single parent and knew that it was just me.

I don't think you are being unreasonable. I don't believe that you can't know what single parenting is like until you are officially single or living alone. I knew because I was a single parent. Everything was my sole responsibility, the only thing that changed when I became a sp officially was I didn't come home from the park with the kids to find that someone had made a mess of my house!

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:01:42

Thanks Damelo. Don't get me wrong my dh isn't abusive, an alcoholic, work shy or anything like that. We have simply grew apart and in a way even though we have accepted how things are with our Ds we are still craving our old life and how things used to be. He works all the time and we get literally no time alone apart from the odd hour of an evening if our Ds settles down to sleep (it can take four hours some nights) . Our family, despite seeing how much we are struggling do not help and we are becoming resentful. Not towards our kids but towards each other and that isn't healthy.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sat 12-Nov-16 15:03:29

This is a classic case of The grass always looks greener on the other side.

fc301 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:04:16

I would imagine she was irritated that you were being needy and so deftly managed to make it all about her.
Know that she is a 'fair weather friend' (acquaintance), great for coffee and a chat ... NOT to be relied upon when the chips are down.
Sorry x

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:05:38

I love my dh don't get me wrong but like I said we are not the people we used to be. Doing even the simplest of things with an autistic child is so challenging and I don't think my dh is coping. I can cope and get on with things but when he can't I feel like I'm carrying him as well as trying to keep my Ds calm and happy and trying to keep my Dd settled and feeling loved. Our whole family dynamic has changed which I suppose is to be expected, but I expected us to adapt to that together but it's difficult.

RedStripeLassie Sat 12-Nov-16 15:07:50

I've had those thoughts too op. I've also been told it'd be easier and less stressful to be a single parent(in my own situation). I have no clue if that's the case yet.

DancingDinosaur Sat 12-Nov-16 15:08:22

Being a single parent is pretty much the hardest thing I've ever done. And before it happened, actually I had no idea of the reality of living it. I used to imagine, but I was way off.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 12-Nov-16 15:09:02

Why are you still with him, Bluebel? If you've grown apart and you genuinely believe you'd have a better life as a single parent, maybe it's time to move towards that and draw your line in the sand. It might reduce the stress on everyone, including your son.

I do feel it was an ill-advised thing to say to your friend, as she's a single parent - there are just polite boundaries. None of my friends with children moan about them in the presence of the friend who can't have them, for example, none of my married friends moan about their husbands in front of the two currently going through divorces - it's not that one situation is worse, but that it seems short-sighted and people in those situations are unlikely to be able to agree with you.

It sounds hard at the moment flowers

WorraLiberty Sat 12-Nov-16 15:09:14

Also, I've known quite a few single parents who have taken offence when people automatically assume they've 'got it bad' or they're struggling.

Not all single parents struggle, I know I certainly didn't when I became a single parent to an 8yr old and a 10 month old baby. It was much easier than living with their dad.

I think sometimes people assume too much about other people's lives.

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:10:07

But in a lot of ways the grass would be greener. Firstly I'd get sleep, (which at the minute I don't even near enough) is get time to recharge my batteries, I'd get time to be me etc etc. I support my kids and care for them the best I can but the way I feel right now I'm not doing my absolute best and feel like I'm letting them down. Me and my dh aren't at each other's throats as I refuse to ever be like that in front of our kids but it's building up and the resentment is definitely there. If me and my dh were no longer together then that would disappear.

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:12:38

Dancing, I can imagine it's bloody hard work and I have nothing but respect for parents who do it alone. But in my case I wouldn't technically be doing it alone. I know that my husband would take the kids when he's not working (weekends) and I'd have them the rest of the time which to me is easier than how things are now. He would support them financially as that's the man he is and if I ever needed him in an emergency he would be there. I genuinely know this and I'm not just being optimistic. He's a good man a good father and in many ways a good husband. But we aren't as good altogether as we used to be.

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:15:44

I'm with him because I believe that in life things can chnage. Whether they do or not is another matter but I didn't want to just and the easy way out I suppose. It's the situation we are in that has just taken its toll not that we don't love each other or care for one another. I don't want to jump in and make a decision that I'll live to regret but then things will have to change (the things that can change) for us to be able to move forward.

DancingDinosaur Sat 12-Nov-16 15:16:11

Thats true. If you've got someone sharing 50 per cent of the care then that would help. And maybe in some ways that would be easier.

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:17:52

You're right there Worral. Usually I wouldn't pass comment on someone else's life but when my friend got so uppity it just made me think.

Bluebel1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:21:19

Obviously when he is here he does help but we both don't really get any downtime which I think if we weren't together we would get. I realise that if be giving up on a 20 year relationship (met when we were 15) and marriage and that's why it's not an easy decision. In some ways omi think I'd be happier on my own as I'd only have to think of myself and my kids but then there would be so many things I'd miss.

SoupDragon Sat 12-Nov-16 15:26:57

But in a lot of ways the grass would be greener.

But would it? Your H can't cope as part of a couple, do you think he will magically cope on his own? What if it turns out that the most stable environment for your youngest child is that he is with you all the time to minimise change and disruption?

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