AIBU to leave my husband?(24 Posts)
I'm tearing my hair out here and could really do with some advice.
Been with my husband 6 years, married for nearly 2. Over the last few years we have faced some really difficult times in our lives, including me being unwell (and very reliant on him at that time) and also losing my father who we were both very close to. These shitty times brought us closer together and I've always said he's my best friend.
However, I feel like I've totally fallen out of love with him, to the point where I've also become distracted by someone else (nothing has happened between us, other than hanging out and talking for hours).
My husband is a good man, everyone tells me. He's funny, kind and likes grand gestures like taking us away for weekends but it's all the little things that drive me mad. He doesn't clean, he's run up a ton of debt, he doesn't listen to me at all when I'm talking, I just feel like I'm babysitting him half the time. I want to leave because I can't imagine doing this for the rest of my life and I'm late 20s with no children or mortgage, so feel like it's either now or never. However, when I have broached the subject of us parting ways he's absolutely heartbroken and sobs, tells me not to leave, and that he will change (he doesn't). I feel so guilty it's unreal and trying to think of the logistical side of splitting up makes me feel dizzy. I also then second guess myself and wonder if I can fall back in love with him again. Or I think what if I spend the rest of my life alone and that I'll never find anyone that puts up with my bad habits or finds me attractive.
I don't know, I'm at a total loss as to what to do. Would it be unreasonable to leave him? Why am I feeling so guilty?
He sounds very immature. You are probably right that it is now or never. Make it now.
You've said you'll leave before and didn't. He said he would change, he didn't.
Something needs to happen or you'll be unhappy forever. He can't use emotional blackmail alone to keep you.
You need to stop hanging out with the other man. You are, at best, dangerously close to an emotional affair. The consider your marriage carefully. Presumably your dh had all these character traits when you married him? Why is he now unattractive when before he was not?
Only you can decide and now is a good time to do so when you have no dc. But quit seeing the other man as he will be influencing your opinion right now and that’s unfair.
You have no kids or mortgage. The logistical side of splitting up will never be easier than right now.
You don’t want him. That’s your absolute right. Don’t sacrifice your happiness for another person, someone who doesn’t fulfil you at all.
Be brave. Otherwise what’s the point? A life with someone you don’t want to be with?
DEFINITELY agree with Matilda. You need to stop seeing or talking to the other man, you're having an emotional affair which is worse than anything your DH is doing.
There are times we need to be selfish and put ourselves first.
This is one of those times.
I get that you are unhappy. But i find it odd that its coming to a head now you have met someone else.
I am not saying this is the case. But is there a chancr the problems with your husband feel like they have got worse since you met someone else.
Its a common theme in people having affairs. They withdraw for their relationship and see major issues where there would have been minor annoyances, before.
That said, no one is unreasonable to leave a marriage they are unhappy with.
He says he will be heartbroken....but not actually heartbroken enough to make the changes necessary for a better relationship. So he cares, but not enough to DO something. This is his doing (or not-doing) not yours. No need to feel guilty.
If you leave him will you pursue the other man?
In terms of the other man, no I wouldn't then try and start something with him. He's been in my life for a couple of weeks, but these issues started long, long before he entered the scene. The thought of growing close to someone else in the immediate future makes me shudder, it really doesn't interest me like that, I just enjoy having someone to talk to. I think I just want to be on my own and that's perhaps what is so daunting (I've always been frightened of being on my own before) and holding me back.
Life is to short to be unhappy. You have to be selfish sometimes. I stayed far too long in an unhappy marriage and wish I had ended it sooner. Good luck.
The other person aside (and I agree you do need to stop seeing them while you sort this out) those 'little things' don't sound so little to me. It sounds like you're carrying the entire mental and domestic load, he's financially irresponsible and doesn't respect you enough to listen to you, no wonder you're unhappy.
The logistics will only get more complicated the longer you stay and are, harsh though it sounds, something you just have to figure out a way round if you decide you don't want to be with him anymore. You can't sacrifice your happiness for the sake of some temporary upheaval.
If you really don't want to leave you need to tackle the problems causing your unhappiness and discontent. Focus on your marriage, maybe get some relationship counselling, give him a chance to change the things that make you unhappy (and vice versa of course) and see if you can make it work. That's your path forward if you need to feel you've done everything possible before you give up but only you know whether it's already too late for that.
What hiding said is more or less what I came on to reply. Only she did it more eloquently
You need to think about the future (As an example, I am about to assume that you want children, apologies if you don’t) If he does nothing now, add a newborn to that and sleepless nights... how will he fare then?
If you leave, it will hurt you both immediately and for some time after. Pain hurts. But then it’ll get better.
Ultimately in your heart you know the answer and we don’t need to give you permission.
Have you anyone in RL to discuss this with whom you trust well enough to be a confidante?
Leave him. You don't need his permission or his co-operation to do so, and he's very, very unlikely to change. What was probably cute and endearing when you first fell for him is clearly starting to seem like an intolerable burden (and you are not unreasonable either for having fallen for a sweet, helpless, charming type in the beginning, or for realising that the helplessness is actually quite repellent, selfish behaviour if it persists).
And ignore the whining of the monogamy police about emotional affairs. Often, in a shitty relationship like the one you are stuck in, it's the appearance on the scene of someone else that gives you the necessary wake-up call to move on from a person who is no good for you.
It sounds like you are having an emotional reaction to all these other stresses rather than thinking clearly and honestly about what is going to be successful and happy long term. I would urge you to bear in mind the following ideas:
1.People aren't perfect, they are a work in progress and you dont need to take them or leave them as they are - its part of your job as his wife (and his job as your DH) to help him work on those things which are shitty. If you happen not to like that he does no housework, tell him to do more housework. Don't just disappear!
2. of course you are distracted by someone else - that is not remotely unusual. Distraction is very different to marriage. Fancying a virtual stranger is not a reason to throw away a long term relationship. Happy people know the difference, silly people chase the illusion.
3. Unless you are Heidi Klum (and even then) I think the chances of you meeting someone you love as much as him are minimal, so if you leave him, do it with a view to being alone for the rest of your life and wanting that. Not because you have an unrealistic idealised view of some other bloke you barely know.
4. If the excitement has gone, can't you spice it up? Watch 50 Shades, get him to read a chapter, meet in a bar and pretend you are strangers - whatever bit of fun helps you forget the drudgery of a deep relationship with someone you see every day!
If you feel this strongly now - and did so before any other guy came on the scene - you'd be doing him a favour by ending it now even if he doesn't see it. Rip off the band-aid.
trying to think of the logistical side of splitting up makes me feel dizzy.
I'm not belittling that, but you're in a much better position to leave now, than a few years down the line with kids as well (if that's something you want). I think your feelings are clear, and on a practical note many of us on here can probably tell you that men like this don't change, and we wish we'd left them earlier. The crying and begging is meant to make you feel guilty. It's how men like this make you stay, because they can't make you stay by being a decent, responsible adult. It's probably not planned and deliberate on his part – he's just a man child.
The other man is a red herring IMO - it's good that you haven't taken it any further, but I think you're right that he's a distraction - from your dissatisfaction with your H, and the decision you have to make.
You have a great chance to do this now - I'd grab it with both hands. He'll be upset - but he's upsetting you. Running up debt, leaving the cleaning to you, not listening to you is all seriously upsetting and not what you should be going through in a marriage. He's been challenged on it but he's not bothered to change.
I ver much doubt you won't meet someone else, but even if that happened it would be better than the stress and anxiety that this will drive you to over many years, and I speak from experience.
My husband is a good man, everyone tells me. He's funny, kind and likes grand gestures like taking us away for weekends but it's all the little things that drive me mad. He doesn't clean, he's run up a ton of debt, he doesn't listen to me at all when I'm talking, I just feel like I'm babysitting him half the time.
The things you list as 'little things' are NOT little things. They are the things that matter. How come you think of 'running up a ton of debt' and 'doesn't listen to me' and 'doesn't clean' as little things?!
It sounds like you are telling yourself/he has taught you to believe that 'in the big picture' he is a good man, and the things that are not great about him are 'insignificant'.
Whereas in fact it is more likely that towards the outside he presents a picture of a great man (which is why 'everyone tells me') but towards you he reveals his real self which is not that great at all.
Despite his protestations, he does not value and respect you. He doesn't think the things you do are valuable (cleaning as 'little thing' not to be worried about). He doesn't listen to you, clearly he doesn't respect you as a person who has opinions and thoughts. He doesn't care for your future or he would avoid getting into debts.
He obviously would prefer staying with you, because you know, he gets everything from you without having to give anything back! Very cushy for him. But ask yourself, what are you getting from this relationship?
The thing is, he sounds very like a manchild at the moment. You're doing all the picking up and looking after, he's just running up debt and doing the grand gestures. He might be kind and funny and charming etc., but that isn't going to be enough when you need help.
What about if you have a child with him? Do you think he'll grow up then? Do you think he'll take night shift with the baby, clean more, cook, change nappies, bathe the baby, or in any way help you out? Or do you think he'll still just be the charming flake who makes you laugh but offers no practical help, just spends the money you have?
My opinion is that he won't change. He might, of course, but you've threatened to leave before, he's said he'll change and he hasn't, so I don't think he will or can. I think you would be wise to call "time" on this before you involve any children and are tied to him forever.
I met my ex fiancé very young, when I finally left him I just wish that I had done it sooner, I went through phases of considering leaving, then things would improve a bit and I would rethink it and then feel relief that we were still together and on the cycle went. In the end it was 11 years of my life. He was my first proper relationship, we had bought a house, got engaged.
I had a distraction too, when single I pursued that and it went no where, looking back I am very glad it didn't.
Having been in such a long term and serious relationship so young I spent a long time looking for the next love of my life, I somehow expected to fall into another deep relationship very soon after and was left wandering around lonely frankly, I am very independent so living alone etc was ok but I was lonely and it scared guys off. I had some turbulent times.
My advice to you is to drop your distraction, that's taking up head space. Then really look at your partner, what plans have you made together? your marriage was a big life event, could you now be a bit bored? Picture yourself in 10 years time having completed your plans, does that make you feel happy?
Is he the same age as you? You mention his lack of cleaning and debt, could that be in part just part of being in your 20's? could you sort out the debts together and go on some crazy holidays together? Hire a cleaner.
If you break up you will have to deal with the legality of divorce and property etc. If that prospect doesn't diminish the excitement then give it further thought.
Where is his head at with regards to you marriage?
My husband is a bit like that. If you don't love him leave now. It all gets s thousand times more annoying once you have children.
It honestly sounds to me like this man is a useless tosser whose behaviour will get worse, not better.
He does no domestic work
He runs up debt
He ignores OP's concerns
He is more concerned about putting on a show of wonderfulness for other people.
OP, you have outgrown him, that's all. It's fine to walk, now, while it's easy to do so. Don't waste any more time on him.
Men like this sometimes become genuinely abusive and nasty as they age. Their looks go. People around them start 'growing up', getting mortgages, promotions, starting families etc (not that these things are compulsory, but a lot of people do them) and the funny, charming, aging playboy has fewer people to play with. For a while he can charm the people slightly younger than him into thinking he is cool and wonderful, but then that generation moves on, too. It can be slowed down if he's had some sort of success or can present himself as being or having been glamorous (eg played in a band that once got into the lower reaches of the charts, been in a minor film, written a book that was picked up by a mainstream publisher, or just been on namedropping terms with genuinely successful people).
But there comes a point where such a man (selfish, immature, lazy) realises that his life is actually a bit of a failure. He starts looking for someone other than himself to blame, and when he has decided who that person is (and guess what, if you stay with him, it's likely to be you) starts acting up.
It might take the form of constant put-downs and spite, or making you the butt of the joke every time you're out together.
It might be drug/alcohol abuse that leads to tantrums and possibly physical violence.
A man like this might simply dump his longstanding partner for a younger one - he might do this repeatedly, dating one 20-year-old after another as he progresses through his 40s and maybe into his 50s if he has always been particularly good looking and has taken sufficient care of himself to look younger than he is. But there comes a point where the young women start being repelled by advances from what is, to them, a creepy old grandad - unless he is rich/famous (and even then...)
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