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Can it be ok to just say enough is enough?

(59 Posts)
NorthernerAtHeart Wed 16-Mar-11 11:37:10

I've posted a bit on the Diary of a Separation thread, and also a while back here

Relationship not good - no violence or abuse, just lots of arguing, ignoring etc. Together for 8 years, 3 kids.

We had a rubbish weekend 10 days ago. DH home early and feeding the kids, I got home at 5 to come and help and he really resented it (normally get home between 5 and 5.30). Ignored me most of the evening, swept the issue under the carpet, but the stirring the next day, ignoring during the evening, sunday I was pretty fed up and by the evening again silence and ignoring, so I asked him why he wanted to be with me. Silence in response, followed by 'that's a difficult question.' Great. More discussions, arguing, he told me I shouldn't have come on on the fri at which point I said I'd had enough and couldn't do this any more. Spent all day monday figuring out practicalities.

Since then he has turned himself into super husband - lots of cuddles, kisses and telling me how devoted he is and has always been to me, how much he loves me etcetc.

The trouble is that is just feel incredibly low and empty. Before, if he'd have done that I'd have got upset and said I love him too etc etc. I feel like he has suddenly stepped up a gear but that it is all too late. I have built up so many defences and feel very detached. I don't cry when he is about if I can avoid it, as it just gets ignored. He started complaining last night that he was getting nothing back for his efforts to fix things, and was going on and on about both of us turning over a new leaf. He also asked me if i just wanted him to disappear - i didn't reply, but it's pretty much at that point.

We have booked councelling but I'm not sure how that can work when I feel so completely detached anyway.

I'm not sure what reponses I'm hoping for, but any comments would be appreciated.

Can I just say I don't want to continue? It seems wrong without their being a major event to be the reason. What if it's the wrong thing to do?

I need a fairy godmother to tell me what to do and hold my hand!!!

Thanks for reading if you made it this far!!

squeakytoy Wed 16-Mar-11 11:42:17

I think you should give the counselling a go. It may help you to make a more informed decision about what your next step is. It could mean you are more certain you want to start afresh with your marriage, or it may convince you that you have got to the end of the road. Either way, there is nothing to lose by going.

Two days of being a superhusband isnt enough, and your husband probably knows that too. The test is how long he an keep it going without it being an act, and to prove he has genuinely kicked his arse into gear.

FairyGodMouse Wed 16-Mar-11 12:01:08

<Pfhhht! Apears in a cloud of glitter and fairy dust>


I think that counselling could be the first step forward as squeaky says, give it a go.

You both have to want to go though, this has to be a mutual decision. And you both have to be completely honest.

What worries me here is that he said it was hard to answer you when you asked why he was still with you.

Such an odd and even cold thing to say to someone.

Do you think that perhaps you have gotten stuck in a rut of existing with one another, rather than enjoying life, going out, doing things together as a family at weekends or even having time just for you/him?

If you really think about it, do you believe that counselling can solve this?

Are you still in love with him?

NorthernerAtHeart Wed 16-Mar-11 12:20:27

A Fairy GodMouse - even better grin

(reading back, where i wrote shouldn't have come on on the friday, of course I meant 'home'!)

Thanks both of you for replying. We both want to try the counselling - I'm worried it's got the point of it not being helpful, but it sounds like it might help me make a more informed decision, so thanks Squeakytoy.

I don't really think that the counselling can solve the problems. I guess I just feel that it is the only option left and we should give it a go so at least we have tried. I'm not normally a negative person and give everything a fair go, but that is how I am feeling.

Am I still in love with him? I really don't know. I find myself in a position of disbelief when he makes comments like that. He can be very cold and heartless.

I don't know how long he can keep the superhusband act up (sorry, shouldn't really say it's an act, but does feel like it). Things have been pretty awful since Nov, during which time he has made an effort and then reverted back to normal behaviour. This last week he has been saying that he didn't realise how bad it was and how bad I was feeling. Again I find that hard to believe as I've been virtually jumping up and down in front of him telling him as much!

Polaris Wed 16-Mar-11 13:47:35

You sound like me Northerner. I have endured a non-intimate, occassionally abusive relationship for years now. We've done counselling, we've talked stuff through. We're in a rut. I've had enough and DH knows it so he's reinvented himself as DH of the year and it's really getting on my nerves.

Have I just had enough? Yes. Do I love him? NO. Do I care for him? Yes. Do I fantasise about living without him? Often. Am I looking foward to spending time with him and the DCs on holiday? Yes, very much. Is there any hope? I suppose so.

I'm just biding some time and I plan to build up my financial and social independance over the coming months so that I'm in a position to leave without having to slum it or be entirely on my own. Not sure how it'll go at the moment.

Mouseface Wed 16-Mar-11 14:12:04


(It's FairyGodMouse BTW, this is my normal posting name smile)

I think that counselling and talking honestly together, and even apart, might be what you need to discover how you truly feel about him.

It's hard, really bloody hard to keep a relationship all roses and bunny rabbits <boak> because real life isn't like that.

There's no handbook to life, children, work etc.... you just kinda do it. So when things aren't as they were or as you want them to be, you have to look at why.

Can you change things? Is it in your control? Do you want to try?

Take it back to basics...... do a list of all the pros of your relationship. And then the cons.

Not cons as in his feet smell or he leaves the loo seat up (both offenses = punishment in this housegrin), I mean things like taking your for granted, not talking to you when he's worried, stonewalling, verbal abuse.....

Just think about how you're feeling day in day out. Be honest with yourself, however hard that may be.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it isn't happy ever after. And, if that's the case, so be it, don't force something that's just not there anymore. But before you start thinking that, try.

Just make sure that whatever you decide, is right for YOU. xx

Mouseface Wed 16-Mar-11 14:13:05

Polaris - sad

Polaris Wed 16-Mar-11 14:15:55

Thanks Mouse. The indecison is terrible. Although your post sums it up beautifully.

Mouseface Wed 16-Mar-11 14:42:09

Not wanting to hijack but have you posted your own thread on this Polaris?

So sorry that you are feeling so unsure. xx

NorthernerAtHeart Wed 16-Mar-11 15:50:42

Don't worry about hijacking - other peoples experiences are so helpful to read.

(Fairygod) Mouse, you write a lot of good sense.

Wanting to try is a good question - I feel like I've run out of steam and have already been trying for so long.

Polaris - sorry to hear you are going through similar things. I can understand completely the irritation with the H of the year thing. Sounds like you feel it is too late too.
I would answer those questions similarly, but not sure I am looking forward to our holiday together with the kids. They have been made awkward and hard work so often in the past.

Mouseface Wed 16-Mar-11 16:07:34


A holiday won't fix things and you know that. I can feel your pain in your posts. sad

What do you want to happen?

NorthernerAtHeart Wed 27-Apr-11 13:11:40

I can't believe I started this 6 weeks ago.
Things don't seem to be much better.
Good few days away, interspersed with being told i'm not being sufficiently intimate with him, not cuddling the right way in bed. Days that I have felt have been good and a step in the right direction he says have been distant wiht nothing between us. 1 step forwards, 2 back.

Also deciding not to tell me a couple of important (in my mind) things and undermining my reaction - a bike being stolen, and large amount of earnings being put by him in his savings account rather than joint savings. No effort to understand my point of view - just a blanket 'no i can't see where you're coming from', or 'but you did x/y/z without telling me', or 'well i never asked you to put money in the joint account' or 'i earn most of the money in the house'.

There is no rational discussion of anything.

So, we've had 3 counselling session and 1 more this week. I have no idea if the counsellor is any good or not. What can I expect from her? It seems to be that one of us talks, she asks how that makes the other one feel, they talk and repeat. Is that it? I know it's a place for us to discuss things properly, but seems like they have no input really.

Ho hum.

Thought i'd add to this rather than start a new thread.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 27-Apr-11 13:29:09

It won't get any better if you remain with this man. All he is now doing is sucking the very life out of you. He will not change, he's not bothered and has lied to you repeatedly also. He is acting like this too because he can.

My guess also is that he is talking over you in counselling sessions and is making it all out to be your fault. Joint counselling in your circs is a complete waste of time and effort - he is not interested in resolving anything ultimately and is only thinking of his own self here. He does not think he has done anything wrong. If counselling is sought then it should only be for your own self.

I would also ask you this question which needs your consideration as well.
What are you both teaching your children about relationships here?. Two words suffice currently - damaging lessons. You and your children deserve more.

NorthernerAtHeart Wed 27-Apr-11 13:38:29

Thanks for replying Attila.
He talks a lot about wanting to be with me, wanting it to work etc etc, but there are behaviours like the money thing that just keep on repeating themselves.
He says we are more like friends at the moment, which in my mind would be a good thing, but in his a bad thing.

I'm probably the one that wants to end things, although I 'think' he does too, although he says not and would never be the one to take that step.
Enormous pressure.

I'm stressed. Shouted at DS this morning. He was being a pain, but didn't deserve it. Will hug him lots later.

I am so wound up inside about the thought of losing my children.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 27-Apr-11 13:54:55

Why would you lose your children?. Has he held that threat over you because if he has it is an empty one and one designed to hurt you and hard.

He likely does not want this dysfunctional relationship you have to end because he can they say "oh well Northerner decided to end it" (and not me therefore making me the "good" person here because she told me to go). Its a tactic often employed by such manipulative people for their own ends. To my mind he does not give a stuff for either you or the children actually, only his own self.

Hug your son later on, none of what is happening between you two is in any way their fault (they have probably seen and heard more between you and H than you realise) and if you do go onto separate that point will need to be stressed to them again.

Reconsider joint counselling and instead have counselling solely for yourself.

May I suggest that in longer term also you do a "freedom" course run by Womens Aid. I suggest this as such men can take a hell of a long time to recover from. Your house should be a place of sanctuary, not a warzone.

RoyalFucker Wed 27-Apr-11 14:07:35

He sounds like much talk and very little action

That will grind you down...offering you the carrot but then not doing the donkey work require to improve your relationship

He wants things all on his terms doesn't he ?

actions not words is the key here

you can't do it by yourself, and I sense your mental exhaustion

there is nothing wrong with calling it a day

you tried, it isn't working

do you still want to be in this situation in 5 years time ? Imagine that..

worthless Wed 27-Apr-11 14:08:55

Hi NAH and Polaris......again not meaning to hi-jack but I am in exactly the same situation and have posted a couple of threads on here over the last few months. It is a sorry sorry situation when you feel like we feel. I have been with my H for nearly 30 years and am only 45!!!!! we have 3 children and it is them that I am hanging on in there for...I have given my H everything, mind, body and soul in the last 3 decades only to be told that it wasn't enough, and that he wanted more!!!! More sex......more passion....more excitement.....more lust....more of me!!!!! do I hate him - NO
do I want to force him out of his home - NO do I want to change the dynamics of my family unit - NO....
What I do know is that I feel dead inside, I feel lonely, I feel unloved and unappreciatred in every your H NAH mine says that he has changed and in actual fact for some time know he has been doing all the things that he should have been doing for years but like you it means nothing now.....too little too late. He says that I am "still at war" with him. I was never "at war" but am truely now defeated. Am so sorry that I have no positive words of advice and am so sorry that you too feel as empty confused as I do.......will follow your thread with interest

NorthernerAtHeart Wed 27-Apr-11 14:22:58

Worthless, your post is so sad sad
Do you think you will still be there when the kids have left home?
I'm very glad you replied. It feels less lonely hearing of others in a similar situation.

Likewise, i don't hate DH. I do want to change the family dynamics because they are not healthy. Then I see the kids playing with DH in the garden and feel that I can't possibly change their lives.

However, DS asked if he could call his uncle who got married a few weeks back. I asked why he wanted to talk to him, and he said to see if they had had their first argument, as that is what married people do.

Attila - he hasn't threatened to take the kids. It's a (possibly irrational) fear inside me, but is eating me up and stopping me from doing anything. The only way I can guarentee always being with them is by staying as we are. I 'think' that if it was just me, I'd not be here when he got home.

Royal Fucker - 5 years from now? No I don't. I gave myself a year from November to sort my life out. I'm already 5 months in.....

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 27-Apr-11 14:30:39


I am not going to use your full posting name as I do not personally believe that you are that.

Why don't you hate him, want him out of the home or change the dynamics of your family unit?. An innate fear of the unknown, perceived embarrassment, perceived shame?. What is it, I am geniunely interested to know why you have written that. He has been at war with you all that time, saying what he has is projecting his own self onto you.

He has ground you down completely hasn't he, he has done a bang up job on you to get you to that dark place where you are now. Dig your way out of the hole, do not grow flowers in it. Do you want to spend the next three decades like those last three?.

What are you teaching your children about relationships here?. That is a question I have also posed to Northerner. It is also one I would put to you.

If you are primarily staying because of the children I would urge you to think again. Children are very perceptive and you cannot fully protect them from the realities of a failing or failed marriage. They won't ultimately thank you for choosing to remain with their Dad if you did so and could well accuse you as adults of putting him before them. How would you respond then?.

NorthernerAtHeart Wed 27-Apr-11 14:35:59

Attila you are 100% right about what we are teaching our kids.

I guess on 1 level I want them to love spending time with their Dad, see him all the time etc etc. Then again, I want them to see their Mum happy. Things keep springing to mind - when DS was younger, he would have to tell his Dad that Mummy needs a hug, and DS being the one to bring me toy trains (very cute, solve all problems!) and cuddle me to cheer me up.

So wrong.

Part of 'my' problem is that things are often less drastic than that now. But that may be in part that I have stopped letting him get to me so much.

I keep kicking myself for not actually getting my arse in gear when there has been a major problem. It seems wrong to give up when there has been on major issue, then again waiting for the next one (which is bound to clash with a birthday/xmas whatever so I would prioritise that) is so wrong too.

jlcno57 Wed 27-Apr-11 14:39:14

I spent 22 utterly miserable years married to a man who behaved exactly like this. Nothing I ever did was good enough, I wasn't attractive enough, I was stupid, common, too loud, boring, an embarrassment....the list went on and on. Sometimes he would ignore me for the whole evening and then expect me to be full of enthusiasm when bedtime came around, then wouldn't speak to me when he didn't get the right response. He would push me to the limit then backtrack and be all over me and make all sorts of promises, which of course he never kept.
I frequently felt that life was no longer worth living and tried to find the guts to leave but he'd always manage to reel me back in somehow - so guess how this ended? He just announced one day that he'd met someone else (he'd met her twice to be precise) and was leaving!
Of course I found out afterwards that he'd been playing around and lying to me for years and I've now found out that there is something called Narcissistic Personality Disorder and that my ex has all of the symptoms of this and it's pretty nigh incurable.
Men like this don't change and they don't care about your feelings, my successor is now a shadow of the woman she was when he first met her. My advice to you would be to try and extricate yourself from this relationship before it does you any more damage. He will probably try every trick in the book to stop you but you need to do what's best for yourself and the children. Try reading up about this kind of abuse (because that's what it is), once you understand what he's doing you'll be better able to resist it. Maybe you should also ask the counsellor if you can have some sessions alone with her.
I really wish you all the best with this because you deserve better.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 27-Apr-11 14:42:16


re your comments:-

"Likewise, i don't hate DH. I do want to change the family dynamics because they are not healthy. Then I see the kids playing with DH in the garden and feel that I can't possibly change their lives".

He has already changed the family dynamic for the worse and your children are being imparted damaging lessons as a result from both of you. He has lied to you as his wife repeatedly about several things that remain very important to you. Are you so prepared to give up your principles for such a man who is really not worthy of you?. Him playing in the garden with his children amounts to diddly squat really after the hell he has and is putting you through.

Your DH has ruined your marriage by his actions; are you prepared to put up with his nonsense in the longer term?. He does this also because he can; this is about power and control ultimately.

"However, DS asked if he could call his uncle who got married a few weeks back. I asked why he wanted to talk to him, and he said to see if they had had their first argument, as that is what married people do".

That's very sad isn't it?. See what I mean about you both imparting damaging relationship lessons?. He is hearing all the arguments that go on between you two and is learning unhealthy lessons about conflict within relationships.

"Attila - he hasn't threatened to take the kids. It's a (possibly irrational) fear inside me, but is eating me up and stopping me from doing anything. The only way I can guarentee always being with them is by staying as we are. I 'think' that if it was just me, I'd not be here when he got home".

Where has this fear come from, what is the root of this?. Confront it now head on. Consider seeking legal advice re the children so you know where you stand legally.

You write that if it was just you, you would not be here with him when you got home. If you can write that about yourself why is it at all acceptable then by implication for your children to be witness to such a poor relationship between you two?. He does not want to fix it, he wants you to end it so he can then tell his friends that you told him to leave thus in his mind making him the "better" person.

You would be all happier and emotionally healthier apart - the children can still have a relationship with their Dad post separation. It does you and your children no favours at all to be a part of this failing marriage.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 27-Apr-11 14:48:29


I am glad you agree with me re what is being taught to the children here.

I have cross posted with your last post. Please seriously consider sole counselling.

NorthernerAtHeart Wed 27-Apr-11 16:19:56

Thanks again for your comments.
The children are all playing the garden together having loads of fun. I have to remember they are happy when he is not here too!

I don't want to give up my principles! I have a father who is scarily like DH. Mum and I were comparing notes/problems the other week. She stayed for the children. I recall wishing she wouldn't. My Dad, over the last 5 years or so, has being having an affair. Mum has just found out for the 3rd time. She feels it is too late to leave (he doesn't want to). I really don't want to be in that position!

I know what the answer is. Summoning up the courage to tackle this head on is difficult.

I really appeciate all your frank replies.

RoyalFucker Wed 27-Apr-11 16:24:19

don't let history repeat itself

would you like a daughter of yours to slip into the same pattern that you and your mum have ?

she will, if this is the model of relationships she is being shown

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