Talk

Advanced search

AIBU to think women should take responsibility for their own happiness and leave an unhappy marraige?

(165 Posts)
PhilCoulsonsLeftHand17 Fri 03-Mar-17 12:41:44

Name changed as it could be outing if anyone finds the original post this is from.

Read a thread somewhere else 'Ode to Self Sacrifice' from a woman who no longer loves her husband, doesnt find him attractive now but "rolls over" and lets him have sex with her while wishing she was elsewhere or with someone else, fantasises daily with thoughts of leaving with the kids, thinks of how her life could be better without him and telling herself that after the kids are older she can have the life she wants. She claims its just a mothers love and as a 'mother' she has to sacrifice her happiness and stay.

Personally (apart from the women who have been beaten down by years of abuse and have no support to leave which is not the case here) I think she should take some responsibility for herself and her own happiness. She is living a lie and it would be better for everyone if she split. I am sure her kids have picked up on her unhappiness and her husband deserves to find someone who actually loves him back surely?

What happens in 10 years when the kids find out she only stayed 'for them'? How are they going to feel knowing she was unhappy all that time?
What if something happens and she cant leave in 10 years time? Does she continue to live a lie?
What does she tell her husband? "I have not loved you for 10 years, I have bewen lying to you all this time and I am leaving you now"

Surely in 2017 she can take responsibility for her own happiness? Not saying it is easy but its doable if she wants to. Why should her happiness come last in a family? Surely parents who are happy apart is better than unhappy together?

We all sacrifice things for our kids so they get the best we can give them in all aspects of their lives but should we sacrifice our own happiness for 15/20 years?

Disclaimer: its up to each individual how they live their life of course but the post was written in a kind of "when you are a mother this is what you have to do" martyrdom type of way and they believe that most women relate to this which I dont agree with at all.

Takes a deep breath...

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Fri 03-Mar-17 12:47:09

It's not that easy though. Sometimes you own happiness comes at the expense of your childrens happiness, and some people are not going to make that trade.
What if leaving your marriage means a huge reduction in living standards? What if it would mean going on benefits and insecure rentals and a complete lack of being able to provide for your children properly?

It's not martyrdom to say that your children are more important than yourself.

Magicpaintbrush Fri 03-Mar-17 12:47:46

I do get what you are saying OP and you have a point, but some people find themselves in a situation where leaving would result in them being financially screwed, with kids in tow, which can be a very scary prospect, so I imagine some people stay because they see no other option. If however a person was in a position to be financially independent but was staying with a spouse they didn't love for the sake of the kids, well, I guess I can see why they would think that was the best option but personally I would leave as I think kids aren't stupid and if parents have contempt for each other they pick up on it. Better to start afresh.

But....every situation is different and has its own unique set of circumstances.

Roanoke Fri 03-Mar-17 12:49:54

Because unless they're catastrophically wealthy, she can look forward to living in a 1 bed flat with the kids, trying to support them on a single salary paying bills, rent, mortgage plus childcare, rewarded with losing access to the children every alternate weekend and Tuesday nights. Yay kids. Mummy's so happy in her new bedsit.

Same for Dad. Yay for splitting a family home into two smaller, crappier ones. Yay for trying to struggle on a single salary, juggling expenses and childcare. Yay for not seeing your children every day.

This is happiness?

And that's the 'nice' splits. Let's not go down the routes of partners who don't wish to pay any maintenance, who would see their once-beloved spouses on benefits and the kids they once cherished go without new shoes.

Pack up kids, mummy's got her eye on a cracking studio flat above the chippy. Somehow I'll manage to pay a childminder, rent, bills and food on the £14k salary I can look forward to after 10 years out of the workforce, or maybe things will be spontaneous and unpredictable with a zero hours contract and I'll just leave you with a neighbour. Speaking of unpredictable, let's move every 6 months when the landlord puts up the rent! Who needs routines, hey kids? Plus, I can't afford to live near your school so say goodbye to your friends. Dad still works 12 hour days so not really sure this '50 50' thing is going to work out even with the most willing of dads, but remember - HAPPINESS!

(I appreciate martyrness is unattractive, but splitting for many people is a one way street to poverty. So, thanks, but no thanks.)

Euripidesralph Fri 03-Mar-17 12:50:25

I suspect you'll get some backlash but I totally agree

It's very easy for mothers to be taught that their happiness is irrelevant and extraneous to the family unit but in reality it's part of a whole and it makes for a toxic environment for the martyrdom to exist

Not in all but in a lot of cases it's often not quiet either ....I know many women who in theory stay and put themselves last on the list but at the same time passive aggressivery punish everyone around them by subtly reminding them every two seconds....it's just as toxic

I don't believe in giving up easily and I also think everyone in a family unit makes some level of self sacrifice for the whole and that's as it should be but ultimately I agree what you describe above means taking responsibility for your own life and making a change

Obviously in agreement as above the exception is those who are unable to leave and abuse situations

MrsDustyBusty Fri 03-Mar-17 12:52:30

I think we have to live with our decisions to some extent. For the woman you're talking about, this appears to mean staying in her marriage. I wouldn't say thats a good choice for many people, but if she's not being abused, who's to say she's wrong if she prefers that hardship to the hardship of starting over with possibly very unhappy children to deal with?

TheStoic Fri 03-Mar-17 12:54:49

It's obviously working for her, and anyone who stays in an unhappy marriage. Discomfort of leaving outweighs discomfort of staying and putting up with it.

Their life, their decision.

MynyddoeddEryri Fri 03-Mar-17 12:55:13

I'm with you OP. I hate it when women (or men) say they're "staying for the kids". The kids do pick up on the unhappiness, the potential tension etc. And maybe women also need to take responsibility for themselves and not end up in the situations described above where they'll end up in a bedsit when they leave...

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Fri 03-Mar-17 12:56:27

And maybe women also need to take responsibility for themselves and not end up in the situations described above where they'll end up in a bedsit when they leave...

How do they do that then?

IamFriedSpam Fri 03-Mar-17 13:00:02

In the situation where I didn't really love my partner but the relationship was not abusive or dysfunctional I'd probably stay too until the children are older. I have two friends who left unfulfilling but functioning relationships and regret it (I'm not suggesting everyone feels that way - especially people in dysfunctional relationships).

MynyddoeddEryri Fri 03-Mar-17 13:01:49

By not becoming solely financially dependent on their DPs, by not giving up their careers, by not assuming because they have a uterus they are the people who look after the DC the most, particularly once split.

ThymeLord Fri 03-Mar-17 13:03:31

Another thing that's womens fault eh?

littlefrog3 Fri 03-Mar-17 13:04:05

I know a few women who have stayed in their marriage, even though it's just OK, with a man they have never even really loved at all, because it's convenient, and they like their lifestyle. Despite the fact they don't even love their hubby and sometimes don't even like him much, and he bores them, or irritates them, or they have little in common anymore, they stay, because it's convenient.

As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, unless the woman has 300 grand in the bank, she will only have a lifetime of poverty and struggling ahead of her if she is on her own. Many women have to do what's best for them, and if that means staying with a man for their whole life who they don't love, to maintain their lifestyle, then so be it.

I have seen many women who have been ditched for a younger model by their man, (or he has just left,) and they now live alone, in a shitty little flat with fuck-all to their name, fighting for hours at work so they can top up their electric key! Me and my hubby get on well most of the time and I do love him, but even if the love went, I would stay, because fuck that!

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Fri 03-Mar-17 13:05:27

By not becoming solely financially dependent on their DPs, by not giving up their careers, by not assuming because they have a uterus they are the people who look after the DC the most, particularly once split

So no SAHM's ever, in your world? If only childcare was available and affordable. No people with jobs either, just careers? Alas many people don't have those. And what do women with disabled or SN children do?

They don't assume they do the bulk of the caring, they generally do. It's a fact.

It's so nice to know that its all womens own fault though, isn't it?

PhilCoulsonsLeftHand17 Fri 03-Mar-17 13:05:33

I have been there and split up. I know how hard it is and have watched every penny to keep a roof over the kids heads. I have gone without to provide for them and with precious little support from thier dad (monetary wise) Its not easy but its better than living with someone who doesnt love you any more and who wants to be somewhere else. (Him not me)

I never said that everyone should do it, but there is the option to leave and make your own happiness. You dont have to stay unhappy for 10 years as I am sure you will not hide the fact every day for 10 years and it will be picked up by the kids who will be stuck in the middle wondering whats going on.

Horses for courses. Just wondered what everyone elses opionion on this was.

But I do not believe that this is the norm for most women.

PhilCoulsonsLeftHand17 Fri 03-Mar-17 13:11:33

300grand in the bank? WTF, dont be daft. I had sod all in the bank and was left with debts he had run up but I went to CAB got them sorted out on a payment plan, talked to the mortgage provider and counted the pennies.
It wasnt easy but it was manageable. Yes I got benefit top ups as well as working but I paid it all off myself, on my own terms.

If you are really unhappy somewhere all the money in the world and having sex with someone you come to despise will not make it better. JMHO

MynyddoeddEryri Fri 03-Mar-17 13:11:56

They don't assume they do the bulk of the caring, they generally do. It's a fact.

But they do assume onlyliving I know so many people who've split up and refuse to allow the dad any more than every other weekend plus one night in the week. The father can fight as much as he likes but in most cases that's all he'll get. They assume because they gave birth they shouldn't have to give up their children - but it's okay for the dad?!

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Fri 03-Mar-17 13:13:03

Thats what you think they assume, you don't know anything about it.

littlefrog3 Fri 03-Mar-17 13:38:00

300grand in the bank? WTF, dont be daft. I had sod all in the bank and was left with debts he had run up but I went to CAB got them sorted out on a payment plan, talked to the mortgage provider and counted the pennies. It wasnt easy but it was manageable. Yes I got benefit top ups as well as working but I paid it all off *myself, on my own terms. If you are really unhappy somewhere all the money in the world and having sex with someone you come to despise will not make it better

Good for you philcoulsonslefthand.*

Just coz YOU managed to sort shitloads of debt left by hubby and managed to live a wonderful life alone with with sod-all except benefit top-ups, that doesn't mean other women can do the same! (Or would even WANT to.)

Anyway, I am not talking about women who are REALLY UNHAPPY. I never said that; I said women who don't love their hubbys anymore and are bored with them etc...

I re-iterate, unless a woman has 6 figures in the bank, she may as well stay where she is if her lifestyle is good and the marriage is not bad or abusive.

I have seen WAAAAAAY too many women struggling in poverty after their man has buggared off and they're left alone with jack shit! It ain't a pretty life, and many women would prefer to stay in a boring marriage with a man they don't love, and have a nice lifestyle, than be living a life of penury - ALONE - in a shitty little flat where they can't afford to put the sodding heating on!

AlecTrevelyan006 Fri 03-Mar-17 13:39:36

I think happiness is overrated.

littlefrog3 Fri 03-Mar-17 13:47:09

posted by Theonlyboylivinginnewcork...

It's not that easy though. What if leaving your marriage means a huge reduction in living standards? What if it would mean going on benefits and insecure rentals and a complete lack of being able to provide for your children properly? I do get what you are saying OP and you have a point, but some people find themselves in a situation where leaving would result in them being financially screwed, with kids in tow, which can be a very scary prospect, so I imagine some people stay because they see no other .. every situation is different and has its own unique set of circumstances.

*Because unless they're catastrophically wealthy, she can look forward to living in a 1 bed flat with the kids, trying to support them on a single salary paying bills, rent, mortgage plus childcare, rewarded with losing access to the children every alternate weekend and Tuesday nights. Yay kids. Mummy's so happy in her new bedsit.*

Same for Dad. Yay for splitting a family home into two smaller, crappier ones. Yay for trying to struggle on a single salary, juggling expenses and childcare. Yay for not seeing your children every day. This is happiness? And that's the 'nice' splits. Let's not go down the routes of partners who don't wish to pay any maintenance, who would see their once-beloved spouses on benefits and the kids they once cherished go without new shoes. Pack up kids, mummy's got her eye on a cracking studio flat above the chippy. Somehow I'll manage to pay a childminder, rent, bills and food on the £14k salary I can look forward to after 10 years out of the workforce, or maybe things will be spontaneous and unpredictable with a zero hours contract and I'll just leave you with a neighbour.

Speaking of unpredictable, let's move every 6 months when the landlord puts up the rent! Who needs routines, hey kids? Plus, I can't afford to live near your school so say goodbye to your friends. Dad still works 12 hour days so not really sure this '50 50' thing is going to work out even with the most willing of dads, but remember - HAPPINESS!

THIS ^ 100%

RhodaBorrocks Fri 03-Mar-17 13:59:13

I took control and left. My XP was emotionally abusive and started becoming physically abusive too.

I have worked hard to ensure we're not in the bedsit 'above the chippy' and have no support or contribution from XP.

What winds me up is the women who want to moan to me about how they don't love/like/sleep with their husbands and how awful and unhappy their life is but then say they would never leave because they need his income or the double income to finance their lifestyle.

I tried that with XP and felt like a prostitute.

I feel sorry for these people who feel so trapped and believe that they couldn't make something better for themselves. Many of them are intelligent, well qualified women. One even likes to point out she's more qualified than her DH and has greater earning potential but sacrifices it because he doesn't want to be a SAHD or get a nanny. I can't imagine just taking that level of shit and disrespect from someone. Or being so disrespectful as to moan about them at every given opportunity but stay with them for their money.

PhilCoulsonsLeftHand17 Fri 03-Mar-17 14:03:11

littlefrog3

OFFS this is to discuss the issue not to slag each other off. Get a grip. And the woman in question is very unhappy every day.

I havent lived a wonderful life, I have had to struggle along with sfa, working and juggling kids school etc, wondering how to pay the car bill, only putting the heating on when kids were home, then only in their bedroom while I sat with a hot water bottle and fleece downstairs, plus a million other ways to save money but it was better than being with someone who didnt want me any more.

So dont make up stories about me to suit your own agenda.
I never said that women HAVE to leave, I asked what peoples opinions on the post were and should women be responsible for their own happiness.

If you are happy to stay in a loveless marraige just cos your oh is providing for you then fine, if you cannot leave due to circumstances then fine but at least look at your options. its your choice but its not the ONLY choice and its not for everyone. The writer said that she thought MOST women are doing this in their marraige. That MOST women are sacrificing their happiness for their kids which is bull.

Birdsgottaf1y Fri 03-Mar-17 14:04:46

""Because unless they're catastrophically wealthy, she can look forward to living in a 1 bed flat with the kids, trying to support them on a single salary paying bills, rent, mortgage plus childcare, rewarded with losing access to the children every alternate weekend and Tuesday nights. Yay kids. Mummy's so happy in her new bedsit.""

When I worked in Welfare Rights it was the Women with middle incomes that fared the worst and being tied into a mortgage.

On low income with the possibility of now being topped up by TC and maintenance, then leaving is doable.

Many Wealther and self employed men hide their income well.

OP, I somewhat agree. I hate those 'poems', it puts the message out that staying is the only/right option and if your in that's situation, you'll internalise it.

I hate the whole 'Relationships are tough' etc.

I hate that Women are portrayed as natural Victims, rather than being empowered.

It should be highlighted that they may live with an abuser, but it's them that's keeping the children in the situation, by staying.

I've been in an Abusive relationship and it was the stuff on the Relationship board that woke me up, to get out of it.

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Fri 03-Mar-17 14:06:29

but there is the option to leave and make your own happiness

Just because YOU had that option doesn't mean everyone does.

What about a woman with no job, no money, no family and a child with additional needs that can't go to childcare? What is she supposed to do?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now