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To LTB even though he's not a B?!

(40 Posts)
moofolk Sun 07-Apr-19 22:24:46

Situation is that I left my partner and he's really unhappy. He isn't a bastard I've just had enough. He's a lovely, lovely bloke and a brilliant dad. He's done much of the stay at home parenting while I've been out to work.
However I didn't want to stay living where we were and he refused to move. He wouldn't talk about the future or make any plans. He hid behind the kids to some extent and it's been years with no real job, long after they were in school.
Things between us were ambiguous after I left and I was continually offering situations / plans in which we'd get back together but he wouldn't discuss it.
I've now said it's too late and begun to plot my life without him and of course he now wants to be back together. But I don't think I can. Things have fallen into place for me and he's having a shit time.
I know I could make him feel better by going back but at what cost to me I don't know. Am I being selfish or sensible?!

Obviously the kids want us to be together but love my house, the new life he so definitely didn't want.

user1473878824 Sun 07-Apr-19 22:26:55

How long were you together? Sometimes people just grow apart. I am hugely guessing here but this can’t just be over a new house, especially if you’re happy being separated?

Chocolate1984 Sun 07-Apr-19 22:27:51

Don’t stay to make other people happy. He had his chance.

Trills Sun 07-Apr-19 22:28:41

You don't have to have a "really good reason" to not be in a relationship.

You can just "not want to be in that relationship".

Parents being together won't make children happy in the long run, if those parents are not happy together. Better (if you can) to be considerate and cordial co-parents who are not in a relationship.

moofolk Sun 07-Apr-19 22:41:06

We were together well over a decade and have kids. Obviously they want us to be together but they want us to be together and happy, not arguing all the time like we were.

The house thing (we were in a flat in a friendly but pretty rough area) is a representation of everything that was wrong I suppose but ultimately it did come down to that; I said eventually if he wouldn't move I'd go without him and so did.

I know staying to make someone happy isn't the right thing to do, but we are in a relationship forever anyway because of the kids, and now he's so much more unhappy than he was!

I'm happy in every other aspect of my life I want good things for him too but I can't actually do it for him. Although going back would make him happy (he says).

sweeneytoddsrazor Sun 07-Apr-19 22:43:43

If he was a SAHD did you leave the kids with him?

moofolk Sun 07-Apr-19 22:47:33

No the kids came with me they are all in school but now I have a new house closer to him we are going to have them 50/50.

We don't need a SAHP at this age, we haven't for years. He thinks I am hypocritical as I'm a feminist and believe in the value of parenting, and that economically active working parents (usually men) should respect and support the rights and needs of SAHPs (usually women).

This is true but it's gone well beyond that and I have tried in vain to get him better and more paid work. He does bits and pieces but nothing regular.

Singlenotsingle Sun 07-Apr-19 22:48:34

He should have taken it seriously when you said you weren't happy, and certainly when you talked about leaving. Did he think you were joking? People move on, and you've done just that! You only get one life. It sounds as though even now he just wants to wallow in his own misery.

Singlenotsingle Sun 07-Apr-19 22:50:43

So he wants to be a SAHP even though there is no need for one? Is he just too lazy to get a job then?

Cherrysoup Sun 07-Apr-19 22:51:49

I would find it hard to respect someone who wasn’t working for no good reason if the kids are reasonably independent. Why does he not work properly?

If you’ve grown apart, then stay apart. Kids aren’t glue, they’re no reason to stay together, particularly if they don’t need babysitting anymore. Life is too short, live it.

FactsOfLife Sun 07-Apr-19 22:52:08

Big question really is do you think things will change and do you think you could be happy with him again?
I'd definitely try for the kids sakes if you think you could make it work.
If not though then make the boundaries clear.

SkinnyPete Sun 07-Apr-19 22:53:36

Where do the kids now live?
How was the sex life?
Did you still love him despite not having similar desires?
Would you have stayed with him if he'd have moved?
Did you try/suggest counselling?

sweeneytoddsrazor Sun 07-Apr-19 22:55:10

What age are the children?

ZumaSkyeRocky Sun 07-Apr-19 22:56:07

This seems harsh, but while you don't see him as a bastard now, you might begin to be less generous in your description of him in time - that's my prediction.
When I left my husband I would have said very similar things to you.
But as time has gone on the scales have fallen from my eyes. I still don't describe him as a bastard admittedly, but I would say it was an impossible situation and he was an impossible person/ bad partner.
You left for a reason.
When I left my husband I still loved him and so did the kids. Love is not always enough.

moofolk Sun 07-Apr-19 23:47:53

Some insightful (and resonant) comments.

Kids are junior school age, he's scared of working and doesn't want to work just to pay for childcare which made sense when talking about childminders / nursery but not after school clubs.

He is scared of working more generally.

We got on / get on well (when it's great it's really great) but I think I've glossed over / put my head in the sand about a lot of difficulties and that's something I can't do any more m, but probably made him feel that things were ok.

Same with sex. It was great, then became a sticking plaster to make him feel better and I was bored of it, and of the responsibility to use it to make him feel better. It's that knowledge now; that I could make him feel better, albeit temporarily.

I thought me leaving would be a kick up the arse and he's sort his shit out a bit and we could move forward together but that was perhaps a bit naive and overly simplistic.

I am essentially a problem solver and he searches out problems.

moofolk Sun 07-Apr-19 23:50:20

I do love him deeply but can't fix him.

We went to counselling but (and maybe I'm being harsh here), it was all about him and nothing that happened in the sessions made me want to be with him.

@ZumaSkyeRocky that sounds like a really similar situation

sweeneytoddsrazor Mon 08-Apr-19 00:03:54

It's not unreasonable to still be a SAHP with junior age children. You don't need a reasin to leave the relationship but I do think you should have left the kids with him as he is their primary carer.

AyoadesChinDimple Mon 08-Apr-19 00:05:01

You aren't responsible for making him happy. You are responsible for showing your children how to live a happy life and if that means apart from him then so be it.

Singlenotsingle Mon 08-Apr-19 08:50:36

It is U, SweenyTodd if it means the family is left short of money. Mrmoofolk needs to man up and take on some responsibility. I'm sure moofolk has lost a lot of respect for him.

moofolk Mon 08-Apr-19 20:17:47

Well that's the thing @Singlenotsingle we need the money. My job is ok but unreliable.
He wanted me to work less before he would look for anything but that's untenable.

I've had periods of not earning, and at those times he's not earning either.

But now I'm in a good situation (without him), and he's in a shit situation and really struggling financially and emotionally.

I am helping him out with money btw I haven't just left him high an alms dry, but in essence he wants a key worker not a partner. He is incapable of living a functional adult life and as I write this it makes me more sure that I can't be with him, but bloody hell its hard because he's a lovely soul and a brilliant dad and I know I could really make it so much better for him.

I don't know how to help him. He has given me so much but now he wants something from me that I don't know how to give.

I suppose that's where my AIBU is; should I support and wait for him to 'be ready', to sort his shit out? Should I sort his shit out for him? We're linked forever anyway and I don't want the kids to see him like this / have a sad dad.

Honeypickle Mon 08-Apr-19 20:27:19

But you have left him, followed through on your ultimatum and he’s not done anything to fight for you or your marriage! He’s just sad but still not prepared to actually do the one thing that might make you consider going back to him. He won’t work even if it means losing you and your family life. That’s pretty weak and selfish in my book. If he really wanted to fight for the marriage, wouldn’t he be doing everything in his power to win you back? Instead he’s just moving around in the hope that your guilt will make you return. Good luck OP but I hope you stay strong.

Honeypickle Mon 08-Apr-19 20:27:54

Moping around not moving around!

Namenic Mon 08-Apr-19 20:39:55

Some people just struggle in life. Maybe you could help him build his confidence for skills to get a job (though I know you say you have helped find him some). Some people need a hand hold.

You sound v sensible and competent but life is uncertain and it’s good to have some support in case things get tough in future.

user1474894224 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:54:04

Why should he start working now? Primary kids need parents around...they are only at school for 190 days a year. There is a lots of time they aren't at school....by now your kids probably have activities in the evening, are used to having friends over, like to enjoy the holidays with their dad.....the reasons for him being a stay at home dad don't disappear the second they start school - the last week of term I had an assembly, two Easter services, a SATs meeting...the week before was an Easter play and mother's Day afternoon...I do have 3 kids...but if I worked there is no way I could have gone to all of these....maybe you don't understand your husband's role in the home... maybe because he doesn't communicate well. Add to that the fact that he might do more of the housework, cooking, laundry etc....add to that they fact he's been out the workforce for a while so is less employable and might have lost his confidence.. did you both discuss the need for him to work or did you tell him he had to get a job? (Not trying to get at working parents... Just offering an alternative perspective).

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Mon 08-Apr-19 21:03:45

I agree with honeypickle - where's the fight to save your relationship from his side? I want to kick him up the arse and I don't even know him!
Fwiw I'm a 'sahp' but I also work around the kids, and junior school age is still pretty young, the number of school performances and things on are pretty high but I manage all pick up and drop offs around 3 (very pt) jobs and 4 volunteering roles which will each help with a future career when my kids are older. I have very little actual down time but it's incredibly flexible and I feel great satisfaction from parts of it!

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