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How do you know when it's time to end a relationship?

(18 Posts)
Confuzzlednow Sun 18-Feb-18 14:54:14

I have been questioning it for a year and we have become more and more distant during this time. Mostly down to me tbh. I know for certain he would not want it to end. We have 2 DC, have been together for 10 years and I do love him. But, to sound like a major cliche, I don't think I'm in love with him anymore. I just don't feel happy.

There was a crisis in my family recently. Something I would have told him about straight away before. I haven't told him. I just didn't want to talk to him about it. Now a week has passed and I've still not mentioned it and I feel like if I tell him now he will be upset I didn't say sooner. I feel like I'm wrong for holding it back. It doesn't affect him, It's just something I would have shared before. I have pretended to be ill before to get out of spending time with him. I dread the weekends because I know we will both be at home.

He's been talking about treating me to something expensive, something I have wanted for a while. I have been brushing off the subject because I don't want him spending the money on me and then for me to leave.

I have no appetite, I've lost a lot of weight this year. I've started smoking again, which he hates and I hate myself actually for doing it. I rarely want to leave the house, my sleeping is bad. I feel like I'm falling apart sometimes.

In many ways we are right together, we get along mostly. I feel like I have no real reason to end things but I have found myself wanting to be around him less and less. We have only slept together once this year. I didnt want to when we did. He absolutely did not pressure me and never would, I initiated it. I wanted to try and feel some intimacy but I felt nothing. He would be so upset if he knew how I felt. I have found myself looking at other men. Not doing anything, but I have caught myself fantasising about it. Never would have even crossed my mind before.

I hate to say any of this because I know he loves me and I know he is a good person and we have had a happy life together. I just don't know what to do. Is it time to end things? It would break his heart, and it would be so hard on the DC.

Whenever I try and think about the future, if I think of still being with him I feel completely despondent. If I imagine living on my own with the dc I feel happy, until I start thinking about how it will work on a practical level and then it's like my mind shuts down and I freeze. I am a complete mess.

OP’s posts: |
AnnieAnoniMouse Sun 18-Feb-18 15:05:30


I’m sorry you feel like this, it’s a shitty way to feel.

I think you should rule out other reasons for feeling so unhappy first. How’s your job? How are your relationships with friends & family?

Would you consider seeing your GP to see if you are clinically depressed?

Sometimes we think one thing is the problem, when actually it’s other things, but the thing we blame is the easiest to lash out at, or consider changing. Looking at other men, day dreaming about being on your own with the kids, doesn’t mean it’s actually your relationship/husband that’s the cause of your unhappiness, but it’s something that’s easy to blame. It’s easy to build up resentment if he’s more fulfilled in his job or has a hobby he loves etc but it’s more about what other th8ngs you need to change in your life to make you happy.

I fear I’m not explaining this well, but I think you need to see your GP & explore other possible reasons for your unhappy place before ending your marriage, when you still love him & think you’re actuallybwell suited.

Confuzzlednow Sun 18-Feb-18 16:20:45

Thank you Annie smile

You explained what you mean very well. Yes I will think about seeing my GP. I am finding it so hard to work out my own thoughts atm, I don't want to make any big decisions while I'm like this. Actually I feel incapable of making any decisions. At the same time I feel like the longer I spend thinking about it and not knowing what to do, the more I'm sort of lulling him into a false sense of security - being unfair on him, whereas if I told him right away he would be able to start planning his life without me. Maybe the GP would be a good first step. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Confuzzlednow Tue 20-Feb-18 10:43:36

I spoke to him last night and said I wasn't happy. He said he thinks I'm suffering from severe depression and perhaps my unhappiness about our relationship could be the root cause of this. That talk was the closest I have felt to him in a long time. It has left me more confused really. I have agreed to seek help but I feel I have now left him in limbo. I feel really selfish. I wish I could work out my own thoughts but I can't at all. My head just isn't working.

If anyone is reading, would it be fair on him for me to get help with my mental health and stay with him during this time. Wait until I am in a more fit state of mind to make a decision about leaving? It sounds very unfair to me. I feel the right thing to do would be to leave and let him get on with his life. But what if I come out of the other side and realise I have made the wrong decision and it was depression (or whatever is wrong with me) making me see things the wrong way? I really can't work out my feelings or thoughts, I am finding it hard to carry out the most basic of tasks right now. I feel so stuck, so selfish, so confused.

OP’s posts: |
AForest Tue 20-Feb-18 12:02:41

OP I have felt like this for a long time. The difference with me is that I don't love my H any more. After six years of indifference, no emotional support and no physical relationship I can't do it any more. We have agreed to separate but still live in the same house while we try and agree on where to go from here.

All I would say is maybe have a trial separation and give it a time limit and then reassess how you feel. I think I have wasted too much time trying to get things to improve, while in my heart I've know for years that things won't improve. H won't change, I can't be happy unless things do. Life really is what you make it. Some decisions are hard but need to be made. If your H loves you he will respect you and give you space. I find it hard to understand why my H, who knows how unhappy I am, won't help me. I couldn't force someone to stay with me knowing they were so unhappy. In answer to your question your H needs to tell you what he is prepared to do to help you get through this. I can relate totally to your feelings and not being able to carry out basic tasks. You probably are depressed and maybe taking some control will help you improve your energy levels.

NotSoSprightly Tue 20-Feb-18 12:22:22

I think saying it's depression and not the relationship is hopeful at best.

You don't sound depressed OP. You sound unhappy in your relationship, and not attracted to your partner. That's enough to make most miserable.

I've been where you are (although not together as long). He was a FANTASTIC man, but I was no longer attracted to him in a sexual way. I'd dread going to bed because I knew he'd love to have sex but I just didn't want to be touched by him.

You deserve to be with someone who gives you the feeling you crave. The fairest thing for both of you is to end it.

Would you want to be with someone who wasn't attracted to you?

Confuzzlednow Tue 20-Feb-18 13:56:31

Would you want to be with someone who wasn't attracted to you?

No I wouldn't. sad

After six years of indifference, no emotional support and no physical relationship I can't do it any more.

It didn't last six years, but there was a period of time, perhaps two or three years, where I felt similar to this. No emotional support, no real effort was made to show affection from him to me. I kept trying and trying, and over time I think I grew indifferent. I also felt/feel resentful about becoming a sahm when we had DC. It wasn't my intention but the way things worked out it was just easier for me to give up my job. He knew at the time it wasn't what I wanted but I don't think either of us expected it to affect me as much as it did.

A few months ago I think he noticed what a wreck I'd turned into and he realised he had been taking me for granted (his words). He apologised and has made some effort since then but I can't seem to get my feelings back. I wish I could though.

OP’s posts: |
SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 27-Feb-18 14:31:59

I could have almost written this post. Even down to the smoking!
I'm in the same boat OP - except I told DH 9 days ago that I wanted a trial separation. We are still under the same roof, although I stay at friends a couple of nights a week - we have 2 DC (4 and 7).

I know exactly what you mean when you say "Whenever I try and think about the future, if I think of still being with him I feel completely despondent. If I imagine living on my own with the dc I feel happy, until I start thinking about how it will work on a practical level and then it's like my mind shuts down and I freeze. I am a complete mess."
That's literally how I feel.
My DH is devastated, and wanted us to "muddle on through" but I just couldn't.
PM me if you want OP and we can freak out together...

SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 27-Feb-18 14:35:30

Also, I don't think it's unfair of you at all to try and get some help with your mental health. Have you tried Relate or anything like that for couples counselling, or iTalk for yourself?
Does your husband have any employee assistance programmes with his job, as these often offer free counselling sessions, and spouses are included too.

Winmel Wed 28-Feb-18 19:51:58

Hi Im in the same boat OP, ive been with my DH for 15 years and its never really been a whirlwind romance from the off, we have split up post DC but i panicked and begged him to come back scared of being on my own with a child but i realise now that was a big mistake... I dont know what to do now i feel stuck. I think you should stay and take your time to work out how you feel / what you want and communicate with your DH ( keep him in the loop), if he loves you he will want whats best for all of you in the end.

serena5610 Sat 03-Mar-18 03:40:45

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Blossom5 Wed 07-Mar-18 14:26:29

Same as you all 10 years and 5 children.... I was stuck in a place of not being able to make a decision. Counclling helped and I did make the choice to leave and then all hell broke and he has been hideous beyond all imagination and now... now I see it I see what that undercurrent was about but only now I see the subtle behaviours that made me so unhappy they are now not subtle anymore and very obvious. It is like being in hell but I'm sure it has to get better x

Mumto1boy1girl Wed 07-Mar-18 18:07:24

Just wanted to add...I am in exactly the same position. I am at a loss as to what to do but know I can't continue like this. We have been married 20 years. I do not love him like that and we haven't had sex for years! Not fair on me or him.

Sugarplumps Thu 08-Mar-18 10:59:37

I know I'm like a broken record, but I read a book called Too Good To Leave Too Bad To Stay which is a diagnostic tool for people languishing in relationship ambivalence. I knew I wanted out but the book made me feel so much better and more confident about being the instigator and making that tough call.

Blossom5 Thu 08-Mar-18 11:45:13

I read that book too and it was really good !!!!

Blossom5 Thu 08-Mar-18 11:46:11

And getting out is not easy if someone would have told me how horrific it would have been .... But you will amaze your self how strong you are x

iamthrough Thu 08-Mar-18 11:53:56

Yep - what @blossom5 said - with bells on! Its likely going to be the toughest decision you ever make.... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't make that decision. I would deffo recommend counselling and wish you the best of luck.

Blossom5 Thu 08-Mar-18 12:13:49

Thanks ! Like the book says actually the worst place to be is in a place where you just can't decide and are trapped in fear for a long time my friend did this for 3 years just terrified either way. I had about 50 counclling sessions on my own and these were brilliant relate do them for about £25 ph I got some free via a health care scheme. I can pin point the worst moments yet the absolute lowest In life where I didn't think I work ever be ok crying for days not eating looking really bad.... however I did survive and I kmow I still have more difficulty to come. People finding out was awful and the things people have the ordasity to say too you is unbelievable.... But people have kind of started to move on from it. There is only one way and it's forward someone said "keep swimming" I feel excited for my future now rather than "I have no future and I'll end up a lonely old bag". Do read the book and do get counclling and ignore the mass of people who will push their opinions on you. Chose a select few friends who you trust x

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