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to think I shouldn't carry on living like this to avoid messing up the children's minds

(34 Posts)
Aloneandjustsad Thu 08-Feb-18 23:14:34

I'm in an unhappy marriage, nothing terrible just emotionally empty. I've pushed it to the back of my mind for years as my children mean the world to me and I don't want to hurt them. There's no arguments, it's all ticking along ok...children haven't really noticed the tension between dh and me.

I've suddenly decided this is my life too and I only get one. I deserve happiness too even if it messes with the children's minds. Obviously I would do absolutely everything to help them though it but we all hear stories of children who struggle so much when their parents split.

AIBU to think I should think about my happiness and not just accept that I will never feel loved again? Or do I just accept that the children come first.

throwcushions Thu 08-Feb-18 23:17:31

How old are they?

minisoksmakehardwork Thu 08-Feb-18 23:17:39

Children pick up on more than we give them credit for.

If you are unhappy, are you saying to you children 'you make you bed and you lie in it' or do you want to give them the confidence that they can change the world.

Aloneandjustsad Thu 08-Feb-18 23:19:30

Children are 2, 6, 10 and 13 : ((

GreenTulips Thu 08-Feb-18 23:19:54

My mum left an unhappy marriage to my dad. Best thing she ever did!!

Don't delay if mums happy the kids will be happier as well

throwcushions Thu 08-Feb-18 23:21:08

How bad it is for them will depend on how you and your husband approach it. A bad divorce can really fundamentally affect the children, speaking from personal experience.

PushMyButton Thu 08-Feb-18 23:27:20

I stayed in an unhappy marriage for years for the same reasons. It's only now that I can see just how much I've missed out on- and the effect that's had on the kids as well. I know in hindsight that I've done the wrong thing.

But having said that, the opposite could be true in your case... I'm so sorry that you're struggling.

Aloneandjustsad Thu 08-Feb-18 23:28:29

PushMyButton - thanks for posting....do you mean you regret leaving?

Pinkslink17 Thu 08-Feb-18 23:33:20

Coming from someone who's parents split when I was 9 - and believe me it was extremely messy, I completely understand why my mum left my dad and as PP stated.. happy parents = happy children. I was aware for a long time before the split that my parents weren't happy, and the change in character was instant and such a relieve to be living with once she walked away! I hadn't even noticed what an impact it had been having, nor did I understand at that age. But looking back, I'm grateful that my mum put herself first, which in turn put her children first and made our lives a lot more positive. From what you've said your partner hasn't done anything 'wrong' so hopefully it wouldn't be a messy break up, life's too short to simply drag yourself along! All the best x

PushMyButton Thu 08-Feb-18 23:35:37

Sorry... No... I regret staying for all those years. I thought it was better for the kids, I thought I couldn't cope without him, I thought I'd never be any happier anyway... But now I see that I missed out on so much by not sending the marriage sooner.

CaptainM Fri 09-Feb-18 07:39:20

My dcs are 5 & 7, and I left nearly 2 years ago. First year with messy divorce was bad for all of us. We're now in second year - I'm happier than I've ever been, my girls are settled and love our peaceful home full of games, playdates etc. They have also commented that home feels freer and that they see I'm happier, plus they are happier.

We didn't have any drama that led to the divorce. I just felt more and more consumed by the marriage and it felt like I was mostly parenting alone anyway, but with no break, plus running a demanding business!

We now have shared care. He hates my guts and communication is just via email/texts (about children's schedule). He's starting to do things with them that he would never have done (taking them to the park, organising playdates etc). They've basically gained a more involved fast and I have my life (seeing friends, reading, watching stupid programmes on Netflix & loving my business again as not so rushed, plus the occasional lie-ins!).

My advice would be to dedicate a specified period of time (it was just over 6 months for me) to try everything to work on your marriage - be clear on what you need, get some counseling etc. If all fails, move on. Life's too short and you'll be amazed at how much strength you have, and how much more fulfilling/exciting life can be, if you take control. So, it'll be tough in the short term, but definitely worth it (as long as you've tried your best to work things out first). What's a year or two of struggle, if it buys you a better "rest of your life"?! Good luck

CaptainM Fri 09-Feb-18 07:40:44

More involved dad*!

Purplesky2 Fri 09-Feb-18 07:42:07

He will potentially find someone else serious in 6months to a year which will open problems with regards to the kids

HeyMicky Fri 09-Feb-18 07:53:37

My parents stayed together for years and we were well aware of how unhappy my mother was. It's not showing your children how a happy, healthy relationship works. It's genuinely not "for the sake of the kids".

One practical thing to consider is how you establish a single life and single finances. My mother would have ultimately been better off if they had split sooner - she would have more time to establish her career and her own pension pot

SwarmOfCats Fri 09-Feb-18 07:59:28

I left a relationship with a man who I was engaged to be married to. I had two children from a previous marriage (exH left me), and one with my fiancé.

He was a good friend, but the relationship just...wasn’t a relationship. I was unhappy. It was a hard decision; I worried about the children, I worried that there was nothing particularly wrong as such (maybe I was just bored?), I even worried about what people would think.

It turned out to be a very good decision. My ex fiancé and I are very close friends now, we co-parent, I went to his wedding and get on great with his wife (she is lovely and they seem so happy!), he really likes my (now long-term) boyfriend, his parents still do the grandparent thing for all of my children.

I’m now in a very loving relationship and am ridiculously happy. The children have a big extended family and they’re doing great.

On the other side of this...my mom was horrible to my dad and I remember, from the age of around 9, that I wished they would just split up so that I could have two happy families instead of one miserable one. This may inform my beliefs a bit!

I know that my situation isn’t the norm and there’ll usually be some bad feelings somewhere...but if you’re really very unhappy, sometimes the best thing for everybody is to make changes.

Onlyoldontheoutside Fri 09-Feb-18 08:04:12

Someone else here who regrets not leaving years earlier.Now a year and a half out but should have gone ten years ago.

expatinscotland Fri 09-Feb-18 08:18:11

As long as you're okay with his potentially finding someone else in a few months and having her in your kids' lives and/or you're okay financially.

Purplesky2 Fri 09-Feb-18 08:23:12

Yep - most men can’t stay on there own for long.

PushMyButton Fri 09-Feb-18 08:36:14

My XH certainly couldn't @Purplesky2 ... And to be honest I really feel sorry for his new partner- who I still haven't met after a year!

He's been a nightmare about the kids and their honeymoon period is clearly over as he's returning to his usual ways of not bothering to work and expecting to be supported... But I guess that like my it will take her years to realise it and it'll affect her DS....

Nothing I can do though.

expatinscotland Fri 09-Feb-18 08:37:02

And plenty of men get out of paying for their kids, go and have a kid with someone else quickly, don't take their kids for contact, etc. If you're okay with all those potential scenarios and ready to support them all in the worst case, go for it. But poverty and being homeless or living in private rentals with kids does a lot to put a damper on happiness.

Fluffyunicorns Fri 09-Feb-18 08:49:39

Another one here who should have left years earlier. He could not be bothered with me and unfortunately can not be bothered with Dd now - she is lucky to see him once a month. But I am happpier away from him. Do you think your H will be a good father Op and you will get the time to yourself or will you be a true single parent with all the responsibilities? Oh and my ExH was another one who could not cope with being alone - he joined PofF the day after I moved out and was in a relationship within 2 days - love to know what he told her!

ladybirdsaredotty Fri 09-Feb-18 10:27:36

My parents stayed in what was a ridiculously unhappy marriage. My dad used to shout and roar at us all, mum included, then sulk for days but be lovely to everyone except us hmm Mum wouldn't do anything about it and would be moody and miserable and would moan to us about it. I totally resent them both for this. I'm not saying that your relationship is like this but just to show you that I genuinely, genuinely wanted them to split up. It's not always in the children's best interests to stay.

Good luck, whatever your decision flowers

CheeseyToast Fri 09-Feb-18 10:30:56

If you're in a bad marriage, your kids are getting screwed up. The only honest thing to do is to separate.

bullyingadvice2017 Fri 09-Feb-18 10:33:23

I left at Christmas. It's all very sad... but the complete change it on massively positive and feels like a new start. We are amicable so I hope it stays that way.

Strongvegetables Fri 09-Feb-18 10:34:05

Oh op I wish my best friend would take your view.

She has completely lost herself in the day to day drudge of staying in a dead relationship and it’s killing her off. Your right you only get one life.

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