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I've got to the end. How do I move on?

(17 Posts)
backtothedrawingboard Wed 24-Aug-11 10:59:01

H and I have been together for 20years. We have two beautiful DCs and I am distraught that our relationship has come to an end. When I married him I knew that he would never be a big earner because he is a skilled engineer but not interested in being a foreman or moving up. I did study for a profession but mainly because I didn't go to uni and I'm quite academic. When we decided to have kids we said that we would do whatever it took in order to manage their upbringing knowing that it was likely we would both have to keep working. However it really hasn't turned out that way.

He carried on working full time and I worked part time until our second child was born. My H had lots of problems at work with his boss and was very stressed. I agreed to go to work full time so that he could take some time off to get better, get to know the kids more and go to college to retrain as he said he was fed up with engineering. I was offered promotion after a year which meant we could afford to move house but we didn't overstretch ourselves so that I still had the option of going part time when H went back to work full time. However over the last 7 years H has repeatedly refused to go to college, refused to get a full time job and I am at a loss. I have found it really difficult to cope with demanding work, look after my DCs and have left three jobs in the hope that it would kickstart him into taking more responsibility (it hasn't and I've always been the one to find work as he hasn't done anything). Other than this, he has been a bully to the DCs, my youngest has suffered from an anxiety disorder and we have no social life and very little love. I have tried to do my best to be breadwinner and a good mother, both of which I know I would have to do if I was on my own but it is so frustrating when I have to do this whilst in a relationship. He has got a part time job now but the work isn't guaranteed so the wages he earns vary each month but generally pay for about half of our mortgage.

I told him a year ago that I thought we should separate, we went to Relate for a single session but he didn't think there would be any point going back. Then after I was poorly over Christmas I asked him to leave as I thought it would help me to have 6 months apart. He refused. I said that I was not going to continue to support him anymore so he needed to find a job which would contribute at least half towards all of our monthly outgoings. He said he would find something by September. And he hasn't done anything about it. So I know it is over.

What should I do next? I don't know how to do this emotionally or practically because I've always been the one to put things right or patch things up. Now I'm going to be tearing everything apart.

Pakdooik Wed 24-Aug-11 11:10:08

Hi Backto

You wrote "Now I'm going to be tearing everything apart." No you are not - he is by refusing to move out of his very easy life and comfort zone. He's had the life of Riley while you've slaved away. You'll be better off without him

backtothedrawingboard Wed 24-Aug-11 12:12:13

I know that he has some responsibility but how do we separate when he refuses to move out and refuses to accept that it is over because he doesn't think it is over?

In his words, he has been a "good husband because he hasn't hit me, he doesn't drink and he hasn't had affairs".

slartybartfast Wed 24-Aug-11 12:15:32

does not not work at all?

slartybartfast Wed 24-Aug-11 12:16:13

sorry, jsut read he does.

slartybartfast Wed 24-Aug-11 12:16:57

can you ask CAB?

backtothedrawingboard Wed 24-Aug-11 12:26:22

I could ask them for practical help - I'm just going round in circles emotionally at the moment. I wanted him to take more notice of our situation and understand that I need him to try and do something about it. I can't see how he can do this to me if he really loved me. Is it wrong for me to want him to help?

slartybartfast Wed 24-Aug-11 12:47:12

no, i am sorry my answer wasnt really what you wanted, can you find someone to talk to. after so many years there must have been somethign that kept you together?

garlicnutter Wed 24-Aug-11 12:57:42

Of course it's not wrong to want his help. Presumably you really want him to realise how lucky he is to have you, stop being a bully and bend over backwards to contribute whatever it takes for yours to be a happy, successful household.

You semm to have given him ample warning, endless chances to make a U-turn, and to have explained yourself well. But he couldn't even be bothered to go to counselling. If you "can't see the point" in couples counselling, you find out from your partner - that is the point! It must break your heart to realise he doesn't give enough a shit, really.

You're not wrong to want him to be supportive - either in staying together or splitting - but he's only prepared to do things on his own terms. His terms aren't good enough for you. So, it seems, you're at the stage where you have to accept that your partner is now your adversary. I know, it's horrible sad

After all you've done and tried to do, I suspect the only thing that'll get him moving is a divorce petition. You're simply going to have to carry on stating your terms, in increasingly concrete fashion, until you arrive at an outcome that is as close to satisfactor - for you - as you can manage. I'm sorry you're having to drive every last thing here, but then that's the problem isn't it.

backtothedrawingboard Wed 24-Aug-11 13:05:00

I loved him. I think that has been the reason that I've kept trying. I don't want to lose the house and not have enough money for the basics. But I resent him now because he won't help when I've asked so many times and because he refuses to try and bring in more money, which means that I have all of the responsibility. I don't want an easy life but I'd like to have more time and to feel less stressed.

garlicnutter Wed 24-Aug-11 13:08:02

Is there equity in your family home? With a deposit from that and your salary, what sort of a place could you buy?

backtothedrawingboard Wed 24-Aug-11 21:04:55

We have got some money in the house but not enough to share it equally and buy two smaller places. I don't think I could get a mortgage now as I have given up my job. I was relying on H earning enough to pay half our outgoings and then I have savings for about six months. I'm hoping to get some temp work where I can be flexible in the holidays. I know it was drastic giving up my job but I really am desperate.

garlicnutter Wed 24-Aug-11 21:25:02

Are your DC still at school? If so, there wouldn't be an equal split because, as the primary carer, you have family needs where he's only have his own self to think about.

You gave up your job to try and blackmail him into shifting his backside, is that right? Drastic indeed.

I think you're going to have to decide whether to love him and all his selfish entitlements - keep holding your lifestyle together by yourself and LIKE it - or give up on him, then get working on the best possible outcome for you and the kids without him.

Personally, I'd fire him. He's taking the piss. I know that what you really want is for him to get a miracle character transplant, but it isn't going to happen is it?
Sorry.

FabbyChic Wed 24-Aug-11 21:39:13

How old are your children?

Do you have enough money to rent a property then force a sale of the house?

Mortgages and own homes are over rated anyway!

Happiness is what is the most important thing, that and a life of tranquility as opposed to stress.

Consider renting, take you and the children and the bulk of your furniture whaterver you need and leave him. Then see a solicitor and force a house sale.

He is not interested in anything but himself, is blinkered and has his head stuck in the sand.

Takes love and respect to have a relationship you get neither of those from him.

Your children would be better off out of it.

backtothedrawingboard Wed 24-Aug-11 21:44:52

Thanks GN. You are talking a lot of sense. Blackmail wasn't really on my mind when I handed my notice in. I just needed to have the chance to sort things out. I suppose I did hold a gun to his head though by doing it. I guess that might be why he hasn't done anything because he feels cornered. But it doesn't change our situation. So we are where we are and I know I can't live with it. I just wish it didn't hurt as much as it does.

backtothedrawingboard Wed 24-Aug-11 21:55:39

FC I crave tranquility. What a lovely thought! No shouting or arguing and no more opinions being shoved down our throats! DCs are 15 and 10. I have no problem with renting but taking the DCs out of their home would be very disruptive for them.

garlicnutter Wed 24-Aug-11 22:27:21

... more disruptive, in the long run, than living through the decline of a marriage and the increasingly overbearing demands of a lazy/resentful father, I wonder?

I thought twice before using the word blackmail! I decided it might be necessary to highlight the extreme lengths you've gone to, in trying to alter the dynamics of your relationship.

Tranquillity IS within your grasp.

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