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To stay with DH because I'm scared of my children having my childhood?

(23 Posts)
cliberryjibbery Sun 17-Jun-18 12:06:15

I'm unhappy in my marriage. It is dead in the water after many attempts to save it. My H and I met at university. We come from very different backgrounds, his parents have been together for a long time and he had a great upbringing. I had a traumatic upbringing with a single parent and I left in my teens due to abuse and went into care.

I grew up on a rough council estate and attended an awful school where most didn't make it to college and very few to university. Lots of them ended up on drugs and in prison. I'm concerned about my children getting in with the wrong crowds etc like I could easily have done if I had a different personality. I know that this can happen in any area and any school, and I suppose that I am proof that this doesn't always happen, but I worry that it's more likely if we head down this path.

I know I sound like a snob, I probably am being and will get flamed, I'm just terrified of feeling like I have let them down and not given them the life I promised them in my head before we had them.

AIBU to stay to avoid this potential path?

Nefney14 Sun 17-Jun-18 17:48:57

Honestly children don't get into drugs, the wrong crowd etc because their parents have split. Any person can become involved in these things and all we can do as parents is try to teach our children right from wrong, give them the confidence and education to say no when put in these situations and hope for the best. go and be happy. Life is to short.

silkpyjamasallday Sun 17-Jun-18 18:03:46

I agree with @nefney14, and actually I think being in a family where the marriage is unhappy is probably far more damaging than having divorced, independent, happy parents. I had the picture perfect upbringing, nuclear family and private education etc, I still had terrible mental health issues and got into drugs at a young age, you cannot predict these things. Your DC will pick up on the bad atmosphere, do yourself and them a favour if your marriage is beyond saving, split and coparent with your ex amicably.

user1469293602 Sun 17-Jun-18 18:19:47

Children know when their parents' marriage is not working. There will be tension, if not outright arguments, and it's draining and exhausting. It's unhappy children who turn to substance abuse and all the other things you worry about.

When they grow up, they will have no idea how to create a loving, supportive and mature relationship because the example presented to them was dysfunctional and they don't know what's normal and right.

If the parents split up, at least each of them has a chance to rebuild their life as they see fit and a chance to be happy. Whatever issues you have with your husband now will only get magnified as the time goes on and will have a bigger effect on your children.

Judester24 Sun 17-Jun-18 18:23:02

My dd's dad left when I was pregnant, she's currently doing very well at uni and is an absolutely wonderful young woman. Success in life does not depend upon having parents living together.
If you're unhappy, you should leave. I'm sure you can give your dc a wonderful life.

KatnissK Sun 17-Jun-18 18:24:00

I was brought up by a single mum on a council estate and have never taken a single drug in my life. I don't think your marital status will have much impact on your children's lifestyle choices.

Mrsharrison Sun 17-Jun-18 18:35:54

If you believe you're strong enough to carry on this life until your children are older, then go for it.
Many couples have done this back when there was more stigma around divorce.
If your dp isn't abusive, you still like and respect him then yes it can work.

However sacrificing your personal happiness is no guarantee for your dc's future.

WellThisIsShit Sun 17-Jun-18 18:48:43

I had the exact same fears... except the other way around. I will never let my little boy be hurt and neglected and subject to the awful unending and inescapable abuse that is the life of a child trapped in a battleground of hateful hurtful parents who’s marriage is a trap and a sham!

That turns home into a hideous and unusual punishment, a lesson in how to destroy and harm another persons whole being... and a child cannot get out, cannot end it and cannot do anything else except slap on a happy face and not let the damage show to the neighbours. Oh and absorb the lessons and the psychological harm for a lifetime.

So, no! It’s not sone kind of better option.

Damage is done by being in harmful situations, regardless of relationship status.

YorkieDorkie Sun 17-Jun-18 18:54:35

YABU, good parenting comes in all shapes and sizes.

I come from a very affluent area and the drug of choice among teens is cocaine. It can happen anywhere!

busybarbara Sun 17-Jun-18 18:55:10

I think being in a family where the marriage is unhappy is probably far more damaging than having divorced, independent, happy parents

It's all well and good saying that when middle class parents split, liquidate their commuter belt equity, and both end up living in decent little cottages in villages in Surrey, but when it comes to having a single working class parent on the breadline it is no joke and the op is right to consider if this is the way her children should grow up. It is possible to cohabit with a failed partner without there being animosity but it would take agreement and work.

BoxsetsAndPopcorn Sun 17-Jun-18 19:04:03

Why can't you give them a good life without him there daily? What's stopping you?

Staying for his money seems mercenary and is that what you want to model to your children?

Passportto Sun 17-Jun-18 19:04:15

I work in a pupil referal unit (where children who are excluded from school go) and we have very few (none) children who live with both their parents. There has to be some sort of link, although these are very troubled families in the very many ways.

In mainstream school I have witnessed parents who make a good job of the split and still manage to co-parent well but sadly many more where one or both Parent use the children as a weapon, especially in the early days.

It depends entirely on what sort of separated parents you'll be.

I'm not entirely convinced by the happy mum happy child argument. I think children are more selfish than that.

Millybingbong Sun 17-Jun-18 19:07:05

There is plenty of evidence to suggest there is a link unfortunately. Some thugs you can do to mitigate but it is there. sad

Nefney14 Sun 17-Jun-18 20:37:20

The 'link' comes from having 2 parents that act like children, don't work together and create emotional issues for their children. Not from separating. Plenty of parents manage to do the exact same damage living in the same house!
OP you don't have a crystal ball and you can't see what's in the future but I can assure you that separating from someone you don't love and who doesn't bring you happiness will not be the cause of a terrible life for your children, the way you act afterwards will of course have impact. As I said before all you can do is your best, equip your children with the right tools and give them as stable an upbringing as possible. And for what it's worth I grew up in a separated family with a very abusive mother, I was introduced to drugs and alcohol at a young age and even did cocaine with my mum at 15 I didn't complete school for no GCSEs and moved into a hostel at 16. Everything in my life set me up for a life time of failure yet here I am at 30 married with 2 children, a good career, a happy home and no drugs nor alcohol in sight. Adults make their own choices and I honestly believe you deserve more than a life time of being miserable just incase

Passportto Sun 17-Jun-18 20:48:03

" Plenty of parents manage to do the exact same damage living in the same house"

If that we're true there be plenty of children living with both parents in PRUs and there aren't.

Stinkywink Sun 17-Jun-18 20:51:14

I raised my son alone until the age of nine when I met DP. My son had/has a very nice stable life. We live a decent area, I've always worked, we have a good support network. He's nearly 13 and a lovely well behaved boy. There is no reason why being a single parent should mean your kid ends up going off the rails. Plenty of kids end up in trouble whatever their background.

Nefney14 Sun 17-Jun-18 21:23:31

@passportto is that based on just your experience? Children with two stable, loving parents do not go on to have behavioural problems just because their parents happen to not live in the same house anymore. The important part is how both adult ACTS after the break up. Children know when something isn't right and having 2 parents that are together but don't want to be and don't love each other is also damaging. We all deserve more in life than living day to day with no happiness or enjoyment. Of course separating will effect the children but if managed properly by both parents, if the children are made o feel secure and loved by both parents the effect will be minimal.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 17-Jun-18 21:24:56

Why is the marriage not working? Is he generally a decent, good man?

Passportto Sun 17-Jun-18 21:27:23

I know, I said that Stinky. The children we see are damaged in the very many ways. We very rarely see one who lives with both parents. That's not at all to say that all separated parents damage their DC, but yes, my experience is that the most troubled children come from families where the parents don't both live at home.

Icklepickle101 Sun 17-Jun-18 21:31:30

I considered staying with my cheating bastard of an ex because I wanted him to have the same childhood as me, the ideal nuclear family.

Then I realised how bonkers it was and I was an amazing mum more than capable of giving my kids an equally good if not better upbringing by myself and even if I say so myself I’m acing it. You need to put yourself first here to make sure your kids get the best version of you and that is all you can do

Furx Sun 17-Jun-18 21:31:55

It might be the case for immediately damaged kids in PRUs, but you have only to read the threads on here of how damaging a poor relationship model is to a child once they embark on their own relationships.

WellThisIsShit Tue 19-Jun-18 02:26:18

The difference is when the damage manifests, not the presence of the damage itself.

There’s also a separate but related factor of male role models. Or lack of.

LemonysSnicket Tue 19-Jun-18 12:25:10

I do think it fucks kids up. It gives them abandonment issues, makes them needy and anxious. Why do you think the snowflake generation exists?
I have friends who were very happy their parents divorced, but only in cases of alcoholism or abuse. If you can stick it out, I would.

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