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'Rough patches' in a marriage - experiences?

(8 Posts)
brawhen Fri 16-Sep-11 22:42:44

So you often hear mentioned about marriages/partnerships going through 'a rough patch'.

I'd be interested to hear some experiences of this. Have you been through rough patches? How long did they last? How often? Did you do something specific to get over it, or did live just kind of move on??

Background - been with DH 11 yrs, married about 7. I'd say the last year has been 'rough'. DH would say that it has been longer. I think things are getting better recently, but not completely smooth yet. In pessimistic moments I think this is progression towards end of the marriage. In optimistic moments I think it's a rough patch that we will get past.

(NB - to be clear - by rough I don't mean 'physically rough/violent' - just when the relationship is strained / difficult / unhappy.)

clam Fri 16-Sep-11 23:21:43

Looking back, I'd say that the year after DH's mum died was tough. I loved her very much too and we both missed her terribly, but even though he knew I understood, he was very grumpy and short-tempered. The kids and I frankly used to dread him coming home sometimes for what he would jump on us for.

It passed. I gritted my teeth, tolerated lots, yelled back at some, cried at others. He's basically a decent bloke and acknowledged his faults. We're back on an even keel now.

clam Fri 16-Sep-11 23:32:22

On a more normal basis, 9 times out of ten, we rub along great together. We're best mates and like each other's company most. We both look forward, after 16 years together, to coming home from work and chatting over a glass of wine. He is the only person in the world who totally "gets" me and with whom I can be 100% natural.

But, every now and then, stuff happens and we start snipping at each other. We begin "bean-counting," both adamant that we're doing more around the house and for the kids than the other. It might end in an explosive row, triggered by something embarrassingly petty. We'll then both sulk for a day or two, before he we make friends and then we're OK again.

Irishchic Fri 16-Sep-11 23:45:17

We went through a rough patch that lasted on and off for about 3 years. We had counselling during this and it never worked. Then, a few months ago I sat down with dh and said that maybe we should think about an amicable split, as I felt i had done as much as i could, tried as hard as i could, and felt that he was not reciprocating, and that i was dreadfully unhappy, and felt that I would be happier on my own. i was totally calm and not at all emotional as i felt that i was all cried out. For the first time ever I think my dh really listened to me, really realised how serious i was, how unhappy i felt and that i really was quite prepared to separate. From that day on, he asked me to give him the chance to make things better,to make me feel loved and respected again. 6 months on, things have never been better. There will no doubt be tough patches again down the line, but we survived this one and that gives me great hope.

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 17-Sep-11 08:10:30

Our rough patch started before H began his affair - he became critical and distant, which made me moody etc.

At the time I thought he was stressed due to work pressures and had no idea until one really bad evening when I asked if he was ok and he told me that he didn't love me anymore. Came on MN who suggested that he could be having an affair - cue some digging around until I found some evidence.

piellabakewell Sat 17-Sep-11 08:55:15

My worst period with exH was also, like clam, immediately after his mother died. We all loved her but his grief, irritability, withdrawal from family life and selfishness did a lot of damage. After about a year he wanted back in, but the DDs and I had got used to life without him taking a part and I think he always felt on the outside after that. He wasn't much involved to start with, tbh.

We split, but there were other reasons (emotional abuse) too. I knew that if I'd been grieving for my parents or going through something similar, he would have been no help to me. Unlike clam, he was definitely not my 'best mate'.

HaveALittleFaithBaybee Sat 17-Sep-11 09:47:30

We went through a rough patch about 18 months into marriage. We'd had a tough time from the start of our relationship - my Mum was diagnosed with cancer when we'd been together two months and died four months after that. I almost think we'd been fighting or pushing for stuff for so long (my Mum, our wedding then moving house) six months after that we couldn't stop arguing. Almost like we didn't have anything to stand together about so we fell apart for a bit?!
In the end we just sat down, talked about what was bothering us over ourselves. Still argue at times but not all the time!!

brawhen Sat 17-Sep-11 15:21:27

Thanks. It's quite reassuring to hear some other stories - both ones that worked out and ones that didn't.

(DH definitely not having an affair - we live & work together and we both have very little time apart - so no chance there's an affair, but the OTT amount of time we are together is certainly a source of the stress)

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