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Staying together for the sake of the kids

(16 Posts)
legolegolegolego Sun 14-Jun-20 09:29:18

I am in an unhappy, dysfunctional marriage. We rarely are able to go a day without fighting, although occasionally we are able to plod along and things are okay. DS can swing from being super loving and saying he can't live without me, I am the love of his life etc to being very nasty in an argument. I know in my heart I want out and want to be free although that would mean breaking up the family. I know this isn't a healthy upbringing If we didn't have kids I would have left him years ago. I worry about the practicalities of being a single parent especially as DS 2 has special needs. We rent so we wouldn't have to worry about a joint mortgage. We split briefly last year, I rely on him 100% for childcare while I work 3 days a week and during our split he came to the house looked after the kids. I wonder how this sort of set up would work in the long term and financially if I would still get child support as they would still be living with me? I also worry that he would be difficult should we split. Ive been on auto pilot and planned to stay together until the kids have grown up although I know this isn't healthy.

OP’s posts: |
TARSCOUT Sun 14-Jun-20 13:17:06

Tough answer warning! So as the child of.parents who did this. Don't be so bloody selfish and let your kids live in an atmosphere like this. Stop thinking about the financial side of things and how you're going to cope. The day my DM left DF was the best ever. We money, we shared a bed for a year and had no carpets for 2 years but offset that against constant arguing and theres no choice.

3NMe Sun 14-Jun-20 13:27:02

I split from my dh of 20 years 6 months ago. Honestly I feel I stayed with him for the children and for him for the last 5 years. It has been incredibly difficult at times (I also have a dc with additional needs) but I can honestly say it's been liberating.
As partners we didn't really argue, we could have a good giggle together but I feel we'd just grown apart over the years.
I sleep better now. I'm much less moody. I feel I've gained confidence. I feel the house is more relaxed.
I have to say lockdown and the evenings in general I find difficult once the kids are settled and in bed, I'm a bit lonely. But I have to keep telling myself it's not just loneliness it's freedom.
The hardest part was telling the dc and the day he left.
But it does get easier. Don't stay just for the dc, you'll end up resenting your life.

LordGribeau Sun 14-Jun-20 13:28:56


Tough answer warning! So as the child of.parents who did this. Don't be so bloody selfish and let your kids live in an atmosphere like this. Stop thinking about the financial side of things and how you're going to cope. The day my DM left DF was the best ever. We money, we shared a bed for a year and had no carpets for 2 years but offset that against constant arguing and theres no choice.

This. 100%. My parents stayed in a very dysfunctional marriage until I was 19. It was far more emotionally harmful to my DB and me than if they had split when we were much younger. My DM really blossomed as a person and came into herself after she finally left DF. I really wish she had done it much, much sooner.

Waxonwaxoff0 Sun 14-Jun-20 13:31:42

I split with DS's dad when DS was 10 months. The amount of child support you get would depend on how much your partner earns and how often he has the kids overnight. As a single parent you can claim Universal Credit to help top up your wages if you are a low earner - this will comprise of child tax credits, working tax credits and possibly the housing benefit element depending on how much your rent is.

Do not stay in a bad relationship for the children, it will do them more harm than good in the long run.

longtimecomin Sun 14-Jun-20 13:36:19

My parents argued throughout my childhood, unfortunately because I was shown such a dysfunctional dynamic, I'm unable to get into a healthy relationship myself. I have gone from one Abi's I've partner to another. Just end it now, don't wait a second longer.

PurplePansy05 Sun 14-Jun-20 13:38:46

Another tough answer warning from someone whose mother thought the same as you, OP: it's a mistake.

She is still paying the price for it and so am I, although I cut the ties with my father completely and it's only for the best. I think it's wrong to force your kids to grow up in this atmosphere. They will never thank you for it. The world would be a better place if more women admitted that they're staying married out of fear of going at it on their own or out of convenience, financial security, misconceived idea that it's embarrassing to have a failed marriage, etc., etc. None of which are valid reasons for sacrificing your children's happiness (and your own). This has to be the top priority, no ifs od buts.

I will never respect my mother for staying, although I have sympathy for her. But the damage is done and both parents are to blame, equally. This is something you never forget or fully forgive, IMO.

Your choice will show in your children's mental health, in their choices of partners (likely unhealthy), in everything they do. Bring them up in happiness, not toxicity.

MzHz Sun 14-Jun-20 13:52:27

Your kids learn from the example you set.

Can you imagine how you will feel if you see your kids as miserable in their relationships as you are with their dad? And worse know that it because you’re condoning it and denying them the skills to learn how to live well.

Don’t stay in the relationship because of the kids, LEAVE the relationship because of the kids.


Starbuggy Sun 14-Jun-20 14:05:21

Another vote for don’t do it from someone who’s parents did it.

They eventually did split up about 10 years after they should have done. A decade of them being unhappy. A decade of their kids growing up in a bad atmosphere. The divorce was much less damaging than the years of my parents not being able to stand each other and barely seeing my dad because he worked all hours to avoid being home.

saturdaynightgin Sun 14-Jun-20 14:19:46

My parents are in a dysfunctional marriage, and at the age of 30 I’m still feeling the consequences of this. My siblings and I have some mental health issues as a result. I’m sure it will fee impossible to begin with, but you’ll soon settle into a new normal and it will be the best thing for the kids in the long run

Mummyjsa Sun 14-Jun-20 14:45:58

Separate. My mum stayed with my dad for us, and it hurts so much. It was horrible as we grew up, and now as an adult I feel so terribly sad and wish my mum could live the life she deserves and be happy. Instead she is still stuck and unhappy.
It affects me terribly, and I always vowed never to make the same mistake. One life, and one chance to be happy. Take it...!

JustC Sun 14-Jun-20 14:58:48

Listen, as someone whose parents had a pretty dysfunctional marriage, but stayed together because of us and because it was not the done thing to divorce in my country back then, I would say separate. Seriously. I wouldn't say I ended up dysfunctional for life, but it has affected me. My husband also came from a pretty dysfunctional household. Because of our dysfunctions together, we ended up with him being violent just the once. We have managed to get counselling and make our marriage better. But I do think had both our parents separated, and us having grown up in better circumstances, could have avoided that. You are affecting you children wether you think you are hiding well or not. My parents thought they were hiding their screaming matches. His parents thought they were hiding his dad smaking his mum. We knew. We grew up thinking these things just happen. If you are financially able, pls separate.

VettiyaIruken Sun 14-Jun-20 15:02:19

I'm fairly sure your children won't look back at their childhood fondly reminiscing about how mum and dad fought all the time and the atmosphere was terrible but there were some times when it wasn't too bad.

Sn0tnose Sun 14-Jun-20 15:04:16

Separate. Your children are not getting any benefit from you staying together.

M0mmyneedswine Sun 14-Jun-20 15:07:08

My parents stayed together for couple of years after they should have split. The house was miserable and we all would have been better off if they had made the decision sooner

BankofNook Sun 14-Jun-20 15:24:40

I'm another child who grew up with two parents who were staying together for the sake of the kids. It was damaging for us and damaging for them too as it turned them really bitter towards one another whereas if they'd split up sooner it probably would have a lot more amicable than it actually was and they'd have been able to be friends. They didn't separate until us kids were all adults and we have some truly horrible childhood memories of days out that ended in arguments with us in the middle unsure which parent we were supposed to go to, riding in the back of the car while they yelled at each other in the front, frosty silences, sly digs. They did separate a few times but always briefly before they'd get back together because my mum thought it was better to have two parents and he played on that. We have such "lovely" memories of the separation periods including the time our dad refused to return us after his access weekend and we spent three days driving around the countryside while he rang my mum from various pay phones telling her she would never see us again.

After a fuck tonne of therapy on all sides they did eventually find their way back to being friends and are now a couple again in a far healthier relationship but that has taken years and they both still carry a lot of guilt about the impact it had on us kids.

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