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When to call it a day?

(108 Posts)
willowpatterned Wed 28-Dec-16 23:34:46

Long time poster but I've changed my username for this as there are mumsnetters who know me in real life.

I'm seriously thinking that dh and I should split. We've been together 15 years, married for 8 and have 2 young dc.

For at least a year things have been going steadily downhill and we are now barely speaking. There is so much resentment.

I thought we should get some kind of counselling but he refuses. I suggested going out for a walk just us 2 so we could really talk (and arranged provisional childcare). He agreed but then didn't feel like it when the time came so we didn't go.

My AIBU is... For those of you who have considered splitting from/actually split from long term partners, how hard did you try to find some common ground? Is counselling worth it? Did it work, even if one partner didn't want to do it?

I'm so worried and upset. I feel terribly guilty because we have children - I think I've let them down. I don't know what to do for the best.

This isn't a DH bashing opportunity (and I'm not perfect either), but for context...

He barely speaks to me. He always has headphones in and is watching YouTube. He is always grumpy. He snaps at me all the time. He patronises me and constantly finds fault with me. He passive aggressively criticises me through things he says to the children (Eg "oh look, Mummy left your bedroom door open so now your room will be all cold! How silly! I wonder why she did that!" ...or if he wants me to do something, rather than ask me... "don't worry X, Mummy's just going to do yz" ...etc. I hate it.)

He never asks me about my day, opinions etc. We never talk. He does however go on constantly (unless he's feeling particularly grumpy) about his work and his hobby.

His hobby takes a huge amount of his time. He works full time (I used to but am now part time since dc). His hobby takes up most of his free time meaning that I do bed and bath for both dc by myself most nights even though he is home.

I do all the housework and cooking. He expects a complicated cooked meal to be planned and prepared every night. He would be angry if this wasn't done. The occasional beans on toast would be unacceptable and he'd probably sulk for a couple of days (and flounce off to Tesco muttering about me not bothering and him having to go back out after a hard day's work.)

If I say anything remotely critical he accuses me of being negative and we end up arguing out of all proportion. To avoid arguments I have let a lot of things go, but I'm running out of patience now. I don't have the energy to put on this cheerful front.

We live hundreds of miles away from family although I have some very good friends locally. He doesn't really have many friends. Our home is mortgaged. I couldn't afford the mortgage on my own, especially as my salary is so reduced since going part time and childcare costs a fortune. He has a very good job and is by far the highest earner, even when I was full time.

I could go on and on and on but my post is already far too long. I'm so sad. I'm not sure there's even a relationship left to save.

OwlinaTree Wed 28-Dec-16 23:38:36

flowersfor you, must be tough at the moment.

Would you consider working full time of you left him?

willowpatterned Wed 28-Dec-16 23:41:35

Thank you Owl. Yes I definitely would consider full time or almost full time.

He goes away on business trips quite often and I'm so much more relaxed when he's not there, although the children really miss him sad

JoeyJoeJoeJuniorShabadu Wed 28-Dec-16 23:41:38

Now is the time to call it a day.

e1y1 Wed 28-Dec-16 23:43:53

So sorry OP flowers sounds so shit.

No advice per se, but from your OP it sounds pretty close to (if not definitely) over.

Have you indicated to him at all you want to split (assuming he didn't think this would be an outcome of not going to counselling?).

Is he just plodding along although he clearly has no patience or respect for you?

ffsdoingmybest Wed 28-Dec-16 23:45:53

Could have written this myself.

Im in a similar position - i also get told im lazy, slovenly, do nothing and basically get blamed for everything.

Sadly im not working (had a very well paid job then they got rid of me when on mat leave). Im also pregnant so unemployable and feeling trapped.

Thinking of you - you are not alone!

I believe that it is better to be genuinely alone and happier than to feel utterly alone within a miserable relationship.

Easier said than done, especially when you have the prospect of having no home 😕

Good luck x

DorindaJ Wed 28-Dec-16 23:47:42

Sounds like he is waiting for you to call time. It sounds as though he really isn't interested in you (sorry) or having any kind of workable relationship with you.

Yes, I think, as a previous poster said, it is over. There is nothing to save. flowers

willowpatterned Wed 28-Dec-16 23:49:47

I wish I knew what he thinks is going to happen. I've said that I don't think we can carry on as we are, but he just didn't answer.

Reading my post back I sound so pathetic. I suppose it's got so bad that I've changed a bit. I'm actually a very confident and assertive person - this isn't me at all! The way I am when I'm at work or with my friends is so different to when he's there.

CalleighDoodle Wed 28-Dec-16 23:50:39

he would be angry if this wasnt done

^thIs. Read this again. Even without the rest of it (which is bloody appalling) you are afraid of his reaction if you dont cook an approved meal.

You are justified in calling it a day.

DorindaJ Wed 28-Dec-16 23:50:39

Best thing to do is to get advice about how to split and what you are entitled to, the devil is in the detail, so make sure the advice is specific to you.

Then think about what you want. Having information doesn't mean that you must act on it.

ffsdoingmybest Wed 28-Dec-16 23:53:24

To try and balance it out a bit....

Do you love him? Could it work if more effort was forthcoming on both sides?

You are feeling very sad and sound as if you arent sure what you want to happen.

If in doubt then maybe lay it on the line and spell it out to him - counselling (if thats still wanted) and try to work it out or its over.

I understand the guilty feeling over children but if you know youve done what you can to try...that should make you feel less so. Also, look at the behaviour at home - is this the example you want to set?

SortAllTheThings Wed 28-Dec-16 23:54:46

For me, it was the question "do you see yourself with him in 5, 10, 20 years".

No. I did not see myself growing old with him, potentially having to look after him. I didn't love him anymore. In fact, the resentment was so great that I fucking hated him and his passive agressive ways.

Does he bring you any joy? Any love?

booitsme Wed 28-Dec-16 23:58:16

professionally I see people when they are parting but people often have regrets that they didn't try to salvage the relationship and just stopped communicating. Raising kids is bloody hard work and it's easy for a relationship to slide and couples to take each other for granted. I don't know if your relationship is salvageable but I think you need to tell him that for you it feels that your marriage is in real trouble. Suggest couple counselling such as relate but make it clear that without it then you don't see a future. When you speak to him try and use I instead of you. You feels like finger pointing and blaming, I.e you are only interested in your hobby. Instead try; I know you work long hours and need to unwind but I would really like us to spend more time together as a couple....

It sounds like he is selfish and quite happy with you doing all the household chores and looking after the children. If you are willing to allow it to continue he will too. If he is unwilling to try and save the marriage you will know you have at least tried.

You should see a solicitor if you do decide to end the relationship. There are many women in your position who manage to stay in the family home or find suitable alternative accomadation without necessarily just selling and renting using any equity. Alone you should be entitled to tax credits (working and child) which can really help. He will have to pay child maintenance and this can be taken into account when considering your mortgage capacity. You may well be entitled to spousal maintenance for the children's minority. Maybe you can live nearer to family for childcare? Confide in a close friend so you don't feel so alone. Wishing for a happier future for you.

ffsdoingmybest Thu 29-Dec-16 00:00:40

Good advice from Boo ⬆ x

dollydaydream114 Thu 29-Dec-16 00:01:11

It doesn't sound from your post as if you have any real love left for him, and it almost sounds as if you are slightly frightened of him. You've tried to resolve things and he can't be bothered.

I wouldn't ever say this lightly, but yes, it does sound like you are both unhappy and that the relationship has probably reached its natural end.

Totally understand your worries about your children, but I would be more worried about the example that's currently being set for them - ie that it's normal for a man to sulk for two days if his wife doesn't make the right dinner, among other things.

Deadsouls Thu 29-Dec-16 00:02:19

Life is too short to stay in an unhappy marriage where you feel more lonely in it than out of it. This sounds miserable.
I'd say that counselling is worth it but only if DH is willing to go along too. You can't make him after all.
Have you considered individual counselling for yourself to get support and space to talk for yourself?
I was in an unhappy relationship that went on for far longer than it should have because we had children. The circumstances were different and I made so many mistakes. But although it's been hard breaking up and has taken a long time to get through we're both happier now. And get on better.
I'd much rather be on my own than be stuck in an unhappy relationship when it's not working.

PollytheDolly Thu 29-Dec-16 00:02:37

To put it briefly:

He sounds like a bit of a twat.

willowpatterned Thu 29-Dec-16 00:05:22

Thank you all so much for your replies. It helps to discuss it with people who are impartial.

I think deep down he really is feeling hard done by. I'm not sure why. He has said that I criticise him all the time. I really don't. To him, criticism would be something like asking him not to wear his shoes on the carpet. He sees this as nagging because I've asked him before, and yet he still wears his shoes on the carpet (where our youngest crawls around). It's little things.

He is good with the children when he's not distracted by other things, like his hobby hmm

I'm really torn. He wasn't always like this - it's like he's a completely different person. We used to have so much fun, but now everything is stressful. Even a family day out usually leads to an argument before we've left the house. He'll announce that he's ready and will comment sarcastically that I'm not ready, when in fact I'll be packing the changing bag, getting drinks and snacks ready etc.

Ncbecauseitshard Thu 29-Dec-16 00:05:48

It sounds like there is nothing for you in the marriage except the mortgage being paid and you are worth so much more than that. You've become the nanny/housekeeper and are no longer the partner/wife.

PandoraMole Thu 29-Dec-16 00:07:24

Sounds very similar to my marriage which eventually took a further downturn to emotional abuse and began to affect our DD.

I asked DH repeatedly to consider solo counselling, relationship therapy...just to talk to me. I begged him to make more efforts with my family who he largely disengaged from whilst expecting me to pander to his constantly.

I left with DD at the end of July. He had a complete volte face, I went to GP with him, he spoke to an NHS counsellor, went to group therapy for anger management and we even had a consultation with Relate.

It was too late. I'd fallen out of love with him and couldn't risk going back only for him to fall back into his old ways and do more emotional damage to me or DD who's 12. .

We are now in the throes of getting divorced and get on much better than we did as husband and wife. He has just started seeing someone and DD and I are looking forward to establishing a new home of our own in the coming year.

I also started working full time as a result of the split. I'm extremely fortunate that I managed to get a job at DD's school which makes life easier. We're also living with my elderly parents at the mo.

I won't lie, it's bloody hard work all round and we have some big challenges ahead of us, but I have never regretted my decision to leave.

I wish you the best of luck and lots of happiness in the future, however your marriage pans out flowers.

willowpatterned Thu 29-Dec-16 00:12:22

Thank you all so much flowers

willowpatterned Thu 29-Dec-16 00:17:59

Another example - we visited some of my family for an annual Christmas gathering on Boxing Day. When we got back to my parents' house (we left earlier than them because of tired dc) he immediately sat down on the sofa, YouTube on, headphones in. It was nearly 6pm and both children were hungry and tired. Our youngest was in a very clingy mood and needed to be held by me while I sorted tea for them. Dh did nothing. Apparently he was tired from the drive. He sat next to our eldest to encourage her to eat (after I specifically pointed out that I could do with some help) with a headphone in one ear, occasionally suggesting that she eat up.

willowpatterned Thu 29-Dec-16 00:19:33

Posted too soon.

He sensed I was pissed off and he told me (amid big huffy sighs) that he hadn't done anything wrong and I had no reason to be annoyed with him. Aaaaaargh.

PandoraMole Thu 29-Dec-16 00:19:58

He sounds very disengaged.

I hate to suggest this, but do you think there is a possibility that another woman is in the background?

willowpatterned Thu 29-Dec-16 00:24:21

I thought about that but I'm certain there isn't. He might fancy other women - I don't know - but I'm certain he isn't cheating.

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