To stay?(9 Posts)
I'm really struggling to know what to do next, I've posted here for traffic as my other post isn't getting much, (I've name changed), I'm going to try not to drip feed, so this could be a long post, but I'm also confused and struggling to think straight.
I've been married 8 years, we have two daughters, DD2 is 2 and DD1 is 6, she is autistic and her behaviour can be very challenging a lot of the time. We live in a nice house, nice area, great school, good friends. DH is the sole earner, I'm a SAHM, he earns a good wage, though like many our outgoing take all the money each month. He has a few jobs round the house, dishes, bins and ironing. The girls adore him, and he adores them, he's great at playing, reading with them, putting our eldest to bed, I can go out the odd afternoon at weekends to see a friend, he takes them out a morning or two each month, when he's home early he'll give them tea if I've jobs to do or I need an hours peace. He's easy going, amiable, I enjoy his company, share similar tastes in films, music, books etc.
Is this all enough and I should just get on with things.
The other side of the coin, he's dreadful with money, he's apathetic, he was self employed but his company went under as he waited to be chased to pay his taxes rather than keep on top of them. He's paid weekly, it's complicated and he's not always paid on time, sometimes his fault for not submitting the paperwork, but he doesn't notice, I'm the one who knows when bills are due and check there's money to cover them, if there isn't he's always surprised! Final demand notices are frequent as he forgets to pay bills.
I've mentioned he's an adoring dad, but he has no interest in the nitty gritty, he will take the easy option every time when it comes to discipline, he's apathetic about school work, health issues.
Our relationship is like that of housemates, he's in the spare room, we've had sex twice in the last three years (he watches porn), he never suggestions anything, he gives me the remote and we watch telly, anything different I need to instigate, I plan any weekend activity. We don't really talk, I'll tell him I'm upset about something (a letter from the school for example) and he'll listen but no suggestion for tackling it or even just empathy. He really doesn't grasp the complexity of issues with our DD1, and doesn't think about their safty before doing something, eg if they are unsupervised, who he gets out of the car first on a busy road. I have to tell him to feed them if I'm not there for some reason, or they will but he's then more likely to just give them sweets, crisps. As he puts our eldest to bed I'd asked him to follow instructions from her dentist to stop a problem getting worse, he did once!
I've talked to him over and over, we've been to counselling, his view is that it's my problem, I need to tell him what he needs to do/change! But even if I give him a list (yes it was extreme) he doesn't do it, no discussion he just forgets!
I like our lifestyle but I'm exhausted, stressed, lonely. He's happy that he's fed and clothed, around the kids, and leaving for him would be too much effort. I've thought about leaving, asked him to leave which he did for a few days but I was persuaded to have him back. But at the end of the day I think my life is easier with him here than not, financially and also that his help is appreciated as I feel that if I give anymore I'll break 😔
When you look back to before you had children, what was it about him then that attracted you?
Also...if you do leave, I assume you will have custody of the children...then you will still be exhausted and for a while at least, lonely.
He sounds childish and weak which is awful for you when you're already dealing with a child who has additional needs.
And those additional needs DO place extra strain on couples. Is it possible he's finding it harder than you realise?
How was he before DD's diagnoses?
Sounds like my dh - apart from the sex situation. . To make your marriage more of a relationship than a partnership that's the bit I would be most unhappy about. . Does he acknowledge that his habit is ruining your marriage?
Thank you both. Wish, that's an interesting take I hadn't thought of it as a relationship not a partnership. It's helpful to know I'm not alone in struggling with this situation. Have you found anything helpful?
Jonesy, that's exactly my point, although things are difficult I can't see how separating makes anything easier for anyone, all I can see is it bringing more financial hardship, emotional turmoil, unhappiness and more for me to deal with! But it seems like such a crappy way to live!
Sorry you're on this situation OP. The thing I could not cope with is the separate rooms and the porn. How do you know he's watching it - does he tell you? Tbh, he just sounds very lazy and emotionally checked out.
To be honest, porn's a sod. Antithesis of intimacy and usually does a lot of undetected damage. Might be worth examining that.
Well, what was nice about him before DC? Did he get worse after your DD had her diagnoses?
Jonesy- I liked and still do his company, he's easy to be around, we like the same things, we like the same tv programmes we like to play cards, before kids we enjoyed holidays together. It got worse before diagnosis, I suppose ttc our second was difficult, then the joys of newborn and toddler, dd1s behaviour, assessment process etc, it's fair to say I'm the one that's changed he is exactly who he was when I met him. I'm the one who's been hurt by miscarriage, worried about money, fighting for help for our DD, putting the girls needs first. I'm not saying he's not gone through this as well put its not changed him if that makes sense.
Porn - I was his first serious relationship and he'd obviously used porn as his substitute, it never really had a problem, it was only after dd2 was born. We fell into the no sex as I was tired, low libido etc I thought we were in the same place, but I found out (honestly by accident) he was using chat services, swapping pictures, fantasises etc, I know he sees this as no different to porn, it's just a cheap option but the fact it was real women (obviously porn workers are real too! I mean not being paid), meant I was upset by this. Two years on we haven't had a sex life as he says I said I was angry and didn't want intamacy so he's taken me at my word. I don't know how he thinks anything will change if he doesn't acknowledge or do something to regain trust/respect, yes I've told him this many times!
It sounds like you do a lot of the emotional labour in the relationship. It gets too much, doesn't it? You find yourself being so sick of being proactive that you just have to take a step back. Sadly, it doesn't usually stop the stonewalling from the side and the gulf grows wider.
As for using messengers to swap fantasies, to be honest I would class that as cheating. It's difficult for someone who's entire sexual identity has been shaped by porn to feel satisfied by real life. Certainly, their view of intimacy and the effort they should need to make is skewed (because hey, porn women are grateful for so much as a sideways glance). He needs to take responsibility for that but I'm not sure I see a way forward in that respect unless you can begin to rewrite your expectations of sex together.
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