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I'm living a lie, and I just need to tell someone the truth because it is making me very unhappy. This is long - sorry.

(42 Posts)
thescribbler Wed 05-Sep-07 04:10:34

This is going to be long but please stick with it - I need some support and advice because I can only see one way out of this, and those thoughts scare me.

I used to be a happy, energetic, driven and positive person. I was so lucky, had brilliant friends, a lot of fun, had achieved so much I was proud of, had left all my younger insecurities behind and could only see life getting better and better. Sometimes things had been tough, but I'd got through them and believed in who I was. The only shadow I had was that I somehow sensed that my long-term relationship wasn't right for me and that I needed to leave it.

But I didn't - I somehow had this idea htat I had to 'try'. And we then went through a terrible protracted break-up over about 3 years or so which left me very depressed, lost me friends, longing for children, angry, frustrated and bitter. I met someone who I felt incredibly strongly about - he felt like the person I'd been waiting all my life for, but I was so scared by the strength of my emotions that I gave him lots of mixed messages without actually leaving my partner, making all three of us very miserable in the process.

Eventually we split and I moved out. I spent some very dark months but with the help of an amazing GP, ADs and lots of exercise I was slowly slowly starting to crawl upwards. I didn't feel worthy of any form of happiness though and believed that I would never have children, which affected my relationships with friends who did have them as I always felt aware of their pity. All I could do was hate myself and feel terrible guilt and shame for what I had done. But at the same time I could see that with time I might be capable of forming another relationship and being happy.

Then my ex started to spend time together and we were having such a good time that we slept together, and I got pregnant and he asked me to marry him. I felt so happy for a year or so, so positive and so elated at being pregnant when I'd all but given up (I'm in my mid-30s). I tried to explain away all the sadness of the previous years as if it was all ok now.

Now I have a toddler and another on the way, and all I do is wake every morning around this time knowing that I am a living a lie. Every day I put on a bright, coping, 'loving life' front and everyone thinks we have a wonderful happy relationship that has survived. But we don't. We barely communicate on a deeper level and we have never talked about the reasons for our break-up. He makes me feel insecure and pathetic and doesn't value or acknowledge my strengths - he never has - so I don't feel I have any. I hate the person I am when I am with him. I can never fully relax round him and although I care about him very deeply and he is a wonderful dad, I know that he will never give me what I truly need and that I lost the opportunity to be the real me when I didn't leave him years ago. I also feel that I never really fell in love with him as he's a very difficult person to really get close to for all kinds of reasons. He's always held me at arm's length.

All I can see is future, deep-set unhappiness with a happy exterior and I worry and worry and worry about what this will do to my children. But I know at the same time that I won't leave him because nothing is 'awful'. I feel like I can't look my family or friends in the eye, that I am not a real person, but nobody would ever know that because I lie so well.

Please help. I can't tell anyone I love the truth. I am a liar, and how am I going to help my children be themselves in life if their mum is so expert at covering up who she really is? I love my friends and family so much, but I can never be my true self with them as I used to be, and that makes me feel that I have a lonely life ahead where I will never feel truly at peace, and worst of all, know the reason why.

Sorry this has gone on so much. I can't bear it. But I don't know how to solve it.

welliemum Wed 05-Sep-07 04:25:33

thescribbler - that is such a sad post. I don't have experience of your situation but I couldn't not respond.

I hesitate to offer any advice, but to me the sentence that really jumps out is "I hate the person I am when I am with him."

You say that you won't leave him because nothing is "awful" but to me, hating yourself seems pretty rock bottom awful. Maybe that could be your starting point: what do you need to do to feel better about yourself?

I hope wiser people will be along with good advice as the UK wakes up!

Missingme Wed 05-Sep-07 04:32:32

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

welliemum Wed 05-Sep-07 04:42:45

Is there any way you can sit down with a neutral 3rd party (Relate??) and talk about it? What would be the worst possible outcome of that? Could you deal with the worst possible outcome?

ghosty Wed 05-Sep-07 04:50:00

Missingme, I just wanted to send hugs to you {{{}}} I don't have any advice as such but couldn't ignore your post. Welliemum has given good advice here ... speaking to a third party may be the best way forward. And it seems to me that you have taken the first steps to work on this issue and tackle this pretty big problem.

arfishy Wed 05-Sep-07 05:30:05

Hi missingme. I'm sorry you're feeling so down.

Do you know that relate do an email service? A good start might be sending them your OP and getting some advice that way.

Jackaroo Wed 05-Sep-07 09:36:32

The other thing you might consider is that many many people have someone, or several someones who sort of know the lie of the land (forgive the pun) and of their relationship. YOu don't need to keep absolutely everyone in the dark about everything you're thinking.
If you are honest with a couple of close friends, a sister, someone like that, and let them know gradually over time that life isn't a bed of roses (!), then you may feel that you are less isolated, less putting a face on, more that you are doing what you need to do to make a home for your children, and as a consequence you might actually enjoy your life more.
You say that you still feel alot for your husband, and it sounds as if you do have lots you've got through before, and that you are unlikely to leave. So, to be practical you have to find someone to be close to. I don't mean an affair, just a friend or relation who you can go to if you're getting no support from your husband.

Meanwhile, I think the email to Relate idea is fantastic...... but I suspect you won't want to get your husband involved. Although he surely cannot think his life is the best it could be?

NO idea if that will help, but just giving you an idea of what has worked for me.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 05-Sep-07 09:38:45

Sorry to hear this. It sounds as if you're depressed, though - which means your perspective on life/your relationship may be a bit skewed.

Have you seen your GP?

purpleduck Wed 05-Sep-07 10:07:48

Work on yourself first, get yourself strong, then have another look at the relationship. BTW, counselling is not always the best bet for depression, try something like cognitive/behaviour therapy. Sounds like you have had issues for awhile, and perhaps its not HIM thats "making" you feel bad, but rather how you feel about yourself. Good luck, don't give up on yourself.

snowleopard Wed 05-Sep-07 10:18:22

I have no first-hand experience of this but I just want to say from your post, I think your "true self" is alive and well. It isn't your fault things turned out this way - you did your best, you wanted kids, and when you got back together you thought you were happy. Many, many people have similar feelings about their relationship and I know you're not alone in this. I agree that if you open up to a friend or two it might be a great relief. The fact that you're with someone who isn't right for you is a problem obviously, but remember you are your true self, and he can't take that away from you. It isn't up to him who you are inside, or how you feel about yourself - it's up to you. It is your true self that will see you through this, whatever the outcome - and I hope it is a help that you can be that self on here.

Rosylily Wed 05-Sep-07 10:29:38

Yep I think telling people how you really feel will. help. That's what I do. Things don't have to be perfect. It is very very hard to find one person who fulfills all your needs I think. And nothing will work until you love yourself.

YeahBut Wed 05-Sep-07 10:40:46

sad I think to judge your relationship accurately and fairly, you need to be sure that you are looking at it rationally. As a depression "survivor", I can remember just how much the illness distorted my feelings about my dh. I'd chat to your GP to rule out depression and definitely find someone to talk to about it all. Take care.

NAB3 Wed 05-Sep-07 10:42:51

You have to leave. A sad mother can make for sad children and you all, including your husband, deserve so much for in your life.

NAB3 Wed 05-Sep-07 10:43:53

so much more in your life

mocca Wed 05-Sep-07 11:40:36

I know how you feel Scribbler. I've just split with a husband who made me feel EXACTLY the way you do (your description of the type of man your husband is couldn't be closer to mine, it's almost spooky). I never would have left him because I'm incapable of leaving anyone, no matter how bad I'm feeling and he did me a favour by going. Now that he's gone, I'm so much more my own person and realise that there's nothing much wrong with me, apart from the very serious threat of alcoholism combined with low self-esteem (the two are often linked). I'm trying very hard to do something about this though.

I think you probably know you're incompatible so accept this and start working on yourself and begin that journey back to your true self. The fact that your family is growing makes it so much harder and the option of leaving may well seem like an impossibility at the moment. Because of that, you'd probably benefit from something like Relate (I managed to persuade my H to go so hopefully you can too). This may help you to see the situation more clearly and stop doubting yourself. If you can't talk to anyone face to face, keep posting here (I've found message boards immensely comforting). There's nothing worse than being with a man who makes you doubt yourself and who can't give you what you need. As soon as you realise this, things will start getting better.

Missingme Wed 05-Sep-07 12:00:12

Thank you for all your kind words. I meant to change my identity and then blew it - whoops! Oh well, I don't think anyone knows me. Reading what you all say makes me cry(again). I don't know why - perhaps for myself or our relationship, or for my kids, I don't know. I know my husband isn't entirely happy, but when I try to raise it with him he says otherwise, that he's very happy. The trouble is that he's so very different from me and (in his words) has 'simple pleasures', whereas I am always looking and striving for more and feel like I need someone to make me brave. I've always felt he's depressed but am never able to raise that with him.

What you all say about confiding in someone makes a lot of sense. I'm just scared of feeling that I've led people on and let them all down. But the thought of the relief it would bring is very attractive. I have emailed Relate in the past and it helped, but I can't do that alone - I'd want him to be involved. And I think for both of us facing up to some hard truths is too painful and scary.

NAB3 I appreciate your bluntness, but I can't. I can't bear to do that to a toddler and an unborn baby and I just can't consider that as an option, not now. Right now I just need somewhere that I can be honest, because I don't feel I can be with anyone I know, not deep down. I really really like what you say though Snowleopard.

I have been to my GP but I didn't find them very helpful. I've had help in the past form a different GP in another area and she was amazing - just seeing her made me feel better. But this time it's different and sadly I can't sign on with her again as she's too far away and the practice wouldn't take me.

Please keep talking to me. It's what helps the most while I try to sort out my tangled head.

NAB3 Wed 05-Sep-07 13:18:29

"NAB3 I appreciate your bluntness, but I can't. I can't bear to do that to a toddler and an unborn baby and I just can't consider that as an option, not now. Right now I just need somewhere that I can be honest, because I don't feel I can be with anyone I know, not deep down. I really really like what you say though Snowleopard."

I know it must be hard. But we are talking about the rest of your life . Kids are adaptable and if you are happy, they will be happy. The children will pick up on the tension and that will do more damage than good.

Talk to your partner and make it clear things need to change. He can't be happy either.

Missingme Wed 05-Sep-07 13:25:43

I have tried to. I wrote him a letter saying that I didn't feel happy and that I didn't want the kids growing up seeing their mum crying. He said we'd talk about it but we haven't and that was a week ago. One of the problems is that he hates facing things, so when we 'talk' I do all the talking and he just says 'yes, yes, you're right, I agree'. Which doesn't really get us anywhere. I need it to come from him as well.

When we went through the awful time I described in the op we exhausted ourselves with talking and going round in circles and I think we're both really wary of going to that place again as it was horrible and dragged us both down terribly.

NAB3 Wed 05-Sep-07 13:28:04

We have had a problem and it shocked me out of my stupid behaviour as my DH had been thinking about getting a solicitor so I do understand that you don't want to go to that dark place again. However, this is getting you nowhere. If he won't listen you need to plan things for you and the children yourself. If you want to leave, what is there to say?

Jackaroo Wed 05-Sep-07 16:00:27

I was very hesitant to suggest leaving as I know that I couldn't ever do that myself - and actually don't want to, I just didn't want to feel the way I did in the relationship. but I also agree that a child growing up seeing their parent/parents distressed is very unnerving and does nothing for their self confidence, and if you leave with them (or he leaves) and you're still tearful and sad because you don't immediately feel elated, then it's probably too late to fix it again.

It seems a little cut and dried to say you can't talk to anyone and you would then be telling them stuff that shows you've been lying (I think is what you're saying).. but my suggestion is that you just say how you're feeling now, in recent weeks, you don't say "i've felt like this for 6 months and kept it from you" grin

If you've already tried talking to you husband, try doing it a different way. Make it far more practical. Plan it like you're planning your finances and stuff, find somewhere neutral, point out that you have banged on for far too long about how you feel, and you want to know what's going on in his head... not everything, but you need to hear him say he's sad/depressed/disappointed it hasn't worked the way you both had hoped, or the reason he talks to you a certain way is because of "x". I assumed my DH didn't really like me, turns out he felt impotent in the face of the new family, my illness etc etc and ended up not interacting at all. This is probably where relate would help, but I couldn't do that at the time.. but I said "I don't think you care whether I'm here or not, and that makes me feel crap", and asked him to physically write down a few things that he liked/loved about me, and what was really bugging him. Fortunately I swallowed the cons, because the pros list was longer. that isn't because he's some magic guy underneath but because he knew what was at stake because I spelled it out to him. the pressure came off him a bit(and I'm not suggesting for amoment that this is everyone's route out) because I stopped being depressed, had therapy, took antidepressants, I stopped crying, and I found it much easier to cope with the everyday, the boredom and the distress of the situation. I wasn't sitting there in tattered pieces making him feel like the worst man in the world (which is apparently what the tears used to make him think hmm )

Just a few thoughts, may or may not help.

Missingme Wed 05-Sep-07 19:58:07

I won't leave. I'm 7 months pregnant and have a 15 month-old. I haven't got the strength or the ability to leave within me. I have to make things better somehow.

Jackaroo you're right - of course I don't have to tell anyone that I've been feeling this way for ages! But I've been thinking and thinking all day and working out the best person to tell. My problem is that I start crying as soon as I feel a bit vulnerable and I always feel that takes away from what I'm saying. I hadn't thought of it making DH feel crap as well.

I'm interested in what you said about how you approached things with your husband and will work out a way to do the same, when to broach it etc. things have been better the last couple of days ironically and he's out tonight which gives me some breathing space that I really need.

shreddies Wed 05-Sep-07 20:06:05

You are seven months pregnant and have a fifteen month old. You must be absolutely exhausted, no wonder you get teary. I think in your heart of hearts one always knows the truth, and in your case you know that you are not in a relationship that you are going to stay in for the rest of your life. And that's not what you wanted for your children, or for you, so it is very painful. But you need to get through the immediate future and you will feel so so much better once you have spoken to a friend, it will really put things in perspective.

I think there are more people in your situation than you would think, honestly in my NCT class the number of 30-something women who had got pregnant accidentally (well, 2, but that was 2 out of 6) was pretty high. People make a pact with themselves and it's about what you can live with. If it is unbearable in a few years then you will probably have to leave, but in the meantime you need to manage your mental health and the first step is in making sure that you are no longer so isolated.

Missingme Wed 05-Sep-07 21:52:07

Thank you Shreddies, I needed to hear that. I always think I should be strong and I've always been brought up to believe that lack of energy is some kind of weakness and you reminded me that I've got two exhausting things going on in my life. I want my relationship to be good. I want to like who I am in it, I want to be someone I can never be, but it's all just so tiring. I honestly don't know how I'm going to cope with another baby, physically and mentally. And I'm so scared of getting depressed.

You're all right - I need to talk to a friend. I will, I just need to decide who. I need to lean on someone cos I can't lean on my husband.

Jackaroo Wed 05-Sep-07 22:42:58

Sweetie, I hope you don't read this before going to bed, because I don't want to keep you from sleeping, but there's no "I don't want to get depressed" about it. As far as one can tell in a virtual conversation, I'd say you were already. Maybe if you went to the doctor and said "I think I'm depressed again because I'm crying all the time, and I don't feel as if I can cope and it's all just too hard", they might find a way of helping.............?

Chin up missingme, it's really not you, life sucks like this, and you've managed it all beautifully before. You'll get it right again. I think Shreddies was spot on -


empen Wed 05-Sep-07 23:08:27

It appears to me that you are being really hard on yourself. NO-ONE has got a perfect life - as much as it may seem to others looking in - but everyone has got their problems. You are clearly not happy in your relationship but I don't think you should even consider doing anything hasty. You are 7 months pregnant (me too) and this can be emotional stuff on its own. I truly believe that talking to someone about it will make you feel a whole lot better about things - a girly chat not a professional one. Blow off some steam and moan about him to someone - have a laugh and chill out.
SMILE - you do have things to be happy out just remind yourself what they are.

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