This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Stay or leave - very torn(21 Posts)
I’m so stuck. I would appreciate any advice. Sorry for the very long post.
I love my husband dearly. We have been together for five years and have a baby son who is eleven months old.
The problem is since I was eight months pregnant my husband basically had a huge meltdown. He was very very angry with me and I couldn’t get him to talk or open up about why he was being so difficult. Sporadically in the past he has had the odd blow out and gone off the rails but this was a seething anger that went on for months. There were the odd happy moments but generally he just switched off from me or was irate and resentful with me. Obviously I was very lonely and unhappy and torn because having our son was the best thing ever but my husband just would not seem to enjoy it or support me in anything. And I mean anything. He downed tools or made life very difficult including for me to continue relationships with groups and people I liked. Things around the house etc were left to me or done with a stinking attitude after much argument so really I’ve just got on with trying to do as much as I possibly can myself. The one exception was cooking as he likes to cook, and he absolutely adores our son so would do anything for him and is a hands on father in terms of changing nappies and interacting with him day to day or looking after him himself on occasion.
The anger was at me. On top of this my husband has not touched me. This began on our honeymoon and has continued since. Again he wouldn’t talk to me about why.
Anyway after much soul searching and him getting more and more disrespectful and bad tempered (swearing at me etc I left him for a week to visit family so he could think about things. He was under no illusions as to why we were going.
I got home and whilst he was pleased to see us both he hadn’t lifted a finger while we were away. It was like I’d walked out of the door that morning! I had really hoped he might use the time to show me he could be proactive and do things that clearly needed done and to think about things between us. But he’d done nothing. I was beside myself with sadness.
The next day I told him I was putting our house (which I own) on the market. Enough was enough. I was exhausted mentally and physically and could not fight him or try and drag him along anymore. At first he was very angry and then he calmed down and it seems to have finally jolted him into action. This was about five weeks ago.
Since then he has dropped the stinking attitude and we have talked properly and in depth several times. He has been to the doctors twice. The doctor found he had undiagnosed condition which has in all probability being leaving my DH exhausted. After a breakdown at work my husband went back to the doctors who wanted to sign him off with stress. My DH also agreed to couples counselling. It didn’t really help though as whilst I was keen to go I was so angry with him and he just chirruped that he wanted us to stay together and gave no indication of how bad he had really been to the counsellor. I tried but actually felt guilty telling her how awful things had been and some of the things he had done - so didn’t go into details. I have left out of lot of incidents and bits of behaviour in the above but bluntly it’s been awful - some incidents involving drink, drunken rages, temper tantrums, saying hurtful things to me, never mind not being touched or supported. Anyway, my husband has also said he will change jobs (something I have been asking him to do for years) and explained the physical side of things is down to the stress and how he’s been feeling and really not me.
He really genuinely is a lovely man. He hasn’t been and I know he sounds awful! But there is a very loveable person underneath who I have seen a lot more of recently. He had an awful upbringing and I feel he has been self sabotaging our relationship and the birth of our son just pushed him over he edge. But he has also told me he felt everything in our relationship moved too fast. We’re both in our late thirties and he proposed to me after three years together. But he’s been very honest on that front and I do understand as we moved in together quite quickly and I think he just felt it all snowballed from there. He’s not a person who moves quickly with anything usually! I am!
So my dilemma is do I stay and try and work this through with him. I’m worried that if I do he will be helpful and supportive for a little while and then revert back to his moody, resentful behaviour. When I met him he was passionate, happy, helpful, humble and kind. If I’m really honest he has shown his unhappiness at being ‘rushed’ by being moody and stonewalling since he moved in years ago! I just tried to ignore it.
But now that it’s dawned on him what he has to lose he really wants to work it out. I take responsibility for everything in our lives so I guess this decision shouldn’t be any different. I don’t want our child to grow up thinking the way Dad has behaved is normal though. In the last month we’ve had more family days out since our DS was born and my husband is almost back to his old self (although we’re in separate bedrooms).
Deep down I think we are very different people, something I ignored because I loved him and wanted it to work. But I am wracked with worry that I will regret not giving it more of a go although I tried and tried for months to try and get him to see sense and talk before we got to this point. I’m back to work in the summer and want to go back with a clear decision made and I’m also very conscious that I’m exhausted by the unpredictability of his moods and I can’t manage that, work, a house and a baby.
BUT now he’s started to try and work through things and he’s also keen to get counselling to address things from his childhood I feel so guilty if I just up and leave. I do love him but I’m not sure if I’m in love with him anymore. My family and friends (who I have only spoken to recently about things) have said I’ve given it everything and much as they like my husband and understand his issues, want me to leave. I just feel so guilty as we married in sickness and in health.
I'm so sorry with what you are going through and I completely sympathise. It's must be difficult living with a different person who you married and loved. For me I would question two things,
1. what is his actual condition and is he REALLY prepared to work through it?
2. The way he has been with you almost sounds like there is another woman on the scene.
The reason I ask those questions is I am in a similar situation. My husband drastically changed towards me (loosing interest in sex, putting me down, making false allegation about how I took him for granted etc. All this was excuses because was and still is having an affair (yes within our first year of marriage and after I had a miscarriage). The other issues about my husband is that he claims to be suffering from PTSD which also explains (but does not excuse) his behaviour towards me. I researched and found this can have impact on relationships.
I love my husband and struggling with petitioning for a divorce but i know it is the right thing to do. Like you I have tried everything in my power (counselling, speaking to GP, family) but he's not showing me any change in fixing our marriage. It is totally heartbreaking and I'm hoping a miracle will happen but deep down I know it won't. xx
I found this article a interesting read to evaluate if you (or even I) want a divorce. These are the real questions you need to ask before making that decision.
I just feel so guilty as we married in sickness and in health.
Sickness and health, yes. Abuse, NO. Your husband is an abusive tyrant and no illness excuses that. He has put you through absolute hell. I would end this marriage immediately. Personally, I think you should have done so ages ago.
Isreeh, thank you so much for your reply and the link to the article which was really useful to read. From reading it, I think I’m almost there. Just the one thing still to detach from (emotional attachment!).
I was so so sorry to read about your situation. I honestly feel you deserve so much better. I don’t think you would look back with regret to leave someone who has been that bad to you, especially including a time when you’re at your most vulnerable. And what ever condition your husband has, that is no excuse for having an affair or treating you badly.
Wow! It’s so easy to give advice and not follow it : )
Aquamarine1029 - thank you too so much. My husband has made the point a number of times that I’m not some battered wife. But he’s really ground me (and himself) down with his behaviour. And because it’s been so out of control I do feel it’s crossed the line on a few occasions where it has almost been abusive and also, I’ve been at my most vulnerable when this has happened (feeding baby etc). I’m not a pushover but because he was so steady to begin with this behaviour has crept up and you’re almost in disbelief when it’s happening and then you’re on autopilot to manage everything and present a happy family unit externally. He knows he’s messed up. And I think he will regret it for the rest of his life. I really hope the counselling helps him sort out the anger issues. I do think logically I know what I have to do. I just think it is hard when there is love there and I will feel guilty. But it would be a huge relief to walk away as well in some respects. Although I can imagine he will make it difficult at times so it won’t be an easy ride by any means. I think in some ways I’m
Most worried about him and feel guilty for abandoning him. Especially now he trying. But even today he snapped at me and I thought, I don’t have to live like this.
I totally understand how you feel when you say it is the emotional attachment which is hard to break as its all the good things you have shared plus you have a baby. It is easy to say but very hard to do!
I know I have to do the same and divorce him but I feel angry my married life just started and already it ended. Its all the future hopes and dreams you wanted which is drastically taken away. I hoped my husband and I would be growing old together and have a lots of happy and healthy children but it looks like Life has other ideas.
Either way, I have found there is lots of support material online (Google, Should I get a divorce, or reasons to send a marriage etc) which helps you understand no matter how hard it might be the right decision. I am also good at the advice but struggling to take it myself! Yikkkess... this means we know what we have to do!
Isreeh thank you! I really hope you do stay strong! You deserve so much better. It is hard though. You can’t just forget the good times and there is obviously a huge bond with the person you married, a special bond, no matter how much of an idiot they’ve been. But that doesn’t mean we have to stay and put up with any further rubbish. It is so hard breaking up with someone you expected to be with for life but as I mentioned, even today I got snapped at and could see anger simmering and I realised I don’t want to live with an angry man. He needs to sort that issue out himself.
What you said about all the hopes and dreams we have for the relationship and our future ... it has also dawned on me recently that my hopes and dreams were just that. Mine. My husband really hadn’t bought into any of the things I hoped to do in the future. He was going along with it. But they weren’t and aren’t shared hopes and dreams. I don’t know if it’s the same for you? It can be so startling when things start slotting into place and you see things as they actually are (at least I’ve found that to be the case - how did I not see some of this before!)
Your comments have been so compassionate and helpful. I will be cheerleading you along with your own journey but you definitely do deserve better 👏🏻🙌👍🏻 I’m so glad I posted now.
I read your post & a few things resonated.
You can read this information about Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome and see if you identify with it?
I’m sorry for your situation. I recently left my H who was similarly behaved and after 10 years (8 married) I reached the end of my tether.
Best of luck to you xx
Moffa, thank you so much for your message and that link. That link was like looking into a mirror of our lives. So much is familiar. In fact pretty much everything written was! Certainly some of my family are convinced DH has Aspergers even if mild. His brother does, but it is much more pronounced.
I hope your situation has improved now you’ve left. I don’t know how you stuck it out ten years. Five years has been challenging. Even more so having had a baby. It’s been a very lonely time. And because of their indifference to how they’ve behaved you do sometimes think you’re going mad. I’ve spent so much energy trying to keep the show running too. I hope to recoup some of it soon though. Hard as it will be these messages have been so helpful for keeping me in the reality zone that this isn’t alright and it is time for change. 👍🏻
@Finklewinkle, thank you for your kinds words.
I actually agree with some of the things you said in the last post. My future hopes and dreams were just mine and he went along thinking everything might fall into place. He keeps saying I cannot make him into something he is not (but I hear alot rubbish being pumped into his ear from the OW).
The latest he's said to me was so damaging. He claims I 'Battered and Bruised' him emotionally and the marriage. I think we must have been having two different marriages because again all this is crap for his behaviour. That statement really hurt me alot, I would never in a million years hurt anyone but he got into his mind that I am his enemy and has started focuses all his anger onto me.
Today, I have taken the brave step by instructing my solicitor to start drafting the divorce papers on Monday so by the time he comes back from holiday he will have a nice surprise.
The emotional and psychological abuse is too much, my own mental health has suffered and it will take time for me to heal aswell. There is only so much as women we can take! It's painful to leave our marriage but when the man is abusive then its another matter. I say this but shit scared of going through the process too, but you need a strong network of support. Luckily I have my family and close friends who all want me out of this hell of a marriage. MEN!!!!!
@finklewinkle I’m so glad it was helpful. There are plenty of undiagnosed adults around and it can really have a huge impact on your mental health in the end.
I left my H 2 months ago, we have 2 DC aged 4 and 2 and it’s been such a relief. I ended up being referred for therapy via the NHS as I was so depressed by the end. It’s been hugely helpful (actually it’s been transformative) & I would recommend although you must stipulate you need someone who specialises in ASD as this is possibly a very relevant aspect of the dynamic in your relationship. Plus it might help you going forward.
My H is seeking a diagnosis and pre-assessment has put him in the Aspergers category. He thinks he can ‘win’ me back but I’m done. It’s been too many years of no love, emotion, kindness, helpfulness and he has a bad temper that flares regularly. In the end, I don’t want my kids in that environment let alone me. It’s fairly amicable at the moment but when I tell him I want a divorce the shit will hit the fan.
@isreeh it is so hard. I have a solicitor now & it feels so final & really sad.
But life is short. Don’t waste it.
Wow ladies. I read your replies and am just in awe of how strong you’re both being and have been.
Isreeh, your husband sounds like a master manipulator. He has had and is having an affair but makes you feel guilty?! Really! Deep down he must know he is responsible for this. There is no wrong in hoping and believing your husband will live up to his marriage vows. You have done nothing (Nothing!) wrong. You’ve done right for applying for a divorce but I guess the way he’s treated you will make you doubt that. He really does sound very manipulative but from the very fact you’re on here and helping people like me, makes me think you are strong enough to keep moving forward. 🙌
Moffa, thank you. And I am so (SO) sorry to hear what you’ve been through 😪. With our babies involved none of this is done lightly. What I took from the information you sent me (thank you 🙏🏻) is that I can’t change DH and it isn’t my fault. I’m sure you realise the same. Like you I do not think it is healthy to bring children up in an environment where DH does not give love, affection and respect. Also the unpredictably of the ‘eruptions’ is not something any of us should live with. I honestly think my DH will be happier in the long term without me. He can lead a simpler, ‘nag free’, life and still see DS. He is desperate to save things between us right now but still the moods are so unpredictable which re-enforces separating is the right thing to do.
As ever it is over to us to make the difficult decisions. They load the gun, but we have to pull the trigger. Sorry to use such an awful example. But it does sum things up! I’m hoping in a few months from now all of us are in such a better place. 😊
Well picked up my stuff (H on holiday) but it was really sad. I cried leaving my marital home and I even kissed my H bed pillows goodbye. It’s difficult and totally heartbreaking H has hardly made no effort to fix anything so no choice left. 😥😓😔
What a great post! It is so hard to make that decision because like you I had shared my life with and had 4 children with someone I believed I would grow old with. BUT....something you said resonated so true everything I was wishing for and I mean everything was my hopes and dreams not his, it’s sad but that’s just the way it is, I realised I no longer loved him and the things he did that annoyed me just wore me down. Believe me when I say if you make the decision you’ll feel better, I’ve been simmering for many years and just one day decided I didn’t have to do this anymore. It’s been hard and for him and others it looks to have come out of the blue because I’ve worked so hard on my external family front that to most it looked perfect! No body really knows what goes on behind closed doors. I wish all of you the bravery to put you first for a bit, you matter your feelings matter x
Isreeh, I bet it is mixed emotions and extremely hard. But I think that’s because you’ve accepted the marriage is over and taken the most difficult decision but the one that is definitely best for you. I hope somewhere in amongst all the hurt and pain today there is a slo a glimmer of relief and a feeling of a weight being off your shoulders! There should be! You have SO much to look forward to now. I will be thinking of you.
Itsallchange thank you! Since posting the original message and getting the responses I have (and useful links) it’s really helped me accept that the marriage (if you can really call it that 😕) is over and it is time to move on for all our sakes. Life is too short to be this unhappy because of someone else and I definitely do want a partner who will share the same hopes and dreams as me. Next time I am going think with my head and not just my heart. If there is a next time!!!
I just thought I’d post this link as well in case it’s of interest.
Thank you . A lot of that article really resonated too.
I hope everyone on this thread is doing ok and staying strong. Xx
Hi, well I’m nearly there with getting the divorce in motion. I’ve listed unreasonable behaviour but I’m also going to send a side letter with more details about how the situation has effected and damaged me. I feel constantly sick with the idea of ending it but as I’ve said I have no choice and he’s put me in this place. So so sad!
FYI I’ve finally given the go ahead! I can’t believe this is happening! 😔
I’m SO happy for you Isreeh! Honestly I know it’s been a very hard decision for you but he has done nothing to save the marriage and you can now look forward to your own amazingly bright, positive future!! Woohoo! I’m sure family and friends will also help you over the coming weeks and months. (Mine have been amazing!).
Things have (touch wood) been a lot easier here. I think DH has accepted we are separating and since then it feels like a bit of peace and calm has descended on the house. Still co-parenting but without the tantrums and anger from him. There is no going back for me though. I’m looking forward to having my own space and freedom again! I can’t say again how helpful posting to here has been and getting everyone’s input. Please keep us posted on how things go Isreeh.
@Finklewinkle, thank you for your kind and supportive words. It is really scary and I do feel extremely volunerable for the future as a single woman again. I just hope some good decent men are left out there!
In regards to your situation it sounds like things are definitely getting better. Sometimes the toughest decisions are the best for all round. You cannot live in constant fear of a man with temper. My H started to get a temper for no reason too which was very worrying. I’m glad you have a supportive network which is key to help get through these tough times. 💐🌸
Please login first.