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so, when you are reasonably sure it is all over, but your other half doesn't feel the same(27 Posts)
how do you go about splitting up?
I am a namechanger. I am a long time poster.
dh and I have been married for 12 years. we have children together, one with additional needs. life has not been easy, and for a variety of reasons I feel like I cannot carry on as we are.
there are issues on both sides, but when I have brought it up before (twice now), dh says he doesn't think we shoudl split up, and things have not been so bad that I (and the children) need to get away, and so it all drifts on.
I am once more thinking that we should go our separate ways. but I am not sure I can get dh to see it that way
he has been married before, and I think he dreads a second divorce most of all.
in a nutshell, I feel typically unappreciated (am a sahm, by agreement), at times unloved (dh is a workaholic), and get very frustrated with the way he does things at times (sleeps in late at weekends, meaning I am the one to get up with the children; whenever we go out for the day it is always me organising everything, from plans to sorting out all the stuff and equipment for children; little to no input in some pretty major things to do with our dc SN). in his defence I am a crap housewife (some of this stems from depression following not coping with dc's SN, feeling unsupported etc, but not all, I am seriously crap at housework), and over time have been increasingly snappy and at times downright awful to him.
so, how can I go about this and try to keep it as amicable as possible? I know he will say that he doesn't think things are that bad, but for me, they are.
have you tried saying "well they are that bad for me"? Do you want to split up or do you want to try to get him to act differently?
he will not act differently. I have been waiting for him to for many years now.
yes, I have said they are that bad for me. and then we talk and talk and talk, and go around it all. fall asleep exhausted, and then usually he is working late for a few days, so I don't see him for a bit, and then he might pick up the slack for a bit, and things improve a bit (and I bite my tongue instead of saying "too little, too late"), and then it all starts slipping back again.
been there, done that.
jeez. I can't even split up right.
How will you cope financially and emotionally with the kids without him? If you got a job (part time) would that help you feel less focussed on your family life and less depressed?
It sounds like he works hard a needs a rest at weekends. It can be a big burden having financial responsibility for you all. Maybe he's scared of redundancy or he works to avoid being at home if he doesn't enjoy being there. Given he works I'm not surprised you organise the kids, he probably feels you arevmor efficient at it and know what they need. He may not be a confident dad because he doesn't get much hands on practice or even worries that if he steps in he takes away your job. He might not think about doing that in the same way you wouldnt do his job.
Maybe some joint counselling would help. I think it would be good to write down what would make you happy and what needs to change and show that list to each other. It sounds like to talk more about your feelings and expectations. Reread you marriage vows together.
Judging just from what you've written above it seems salvageable. I think you need to be sure that single parenting and sharing care of your kids would be better. After all he'd have sole care every other weekend, or similar.
you make some fair points, happycamel.
he does work hard. he does it because he wants to. even if I could have a high flying career (impossible, given dc's SN) he would work the hours he does. he lives for his job.
he is not likely to be made redundant (his job is as secure as any, though, I suppose).
I have, for the last 9 years (eldest dc is 9) been the sole carer for a child with severe SN. I can count on one hand the number of nights out I have had, because dh is always at work (not possible to leave dc with a babysitter - finding someone qualified is near impossible). I am the one who has had interrupted sleep - fair enough when they are babies, but for 9 years it gets a bit much. I am fine with this in the week, as he goes to work, but need him to pull his weight at weekends. but he cannot even get them up and dressed - if it was left to him he would rock up at about 10.30/11 am, which given the dc wake from 7.30, and 2 of them are still in nappies is to long to leave them to their own devices. so I get up and do it. and the cycle goes on. if I ask him to do it, he sees it as me nagging.
he is fine with what needs doing - he knows what it is, and is competent enough, but it is always me that does it. he does not even cook meals for the children at weekends - if I don't do it, they would go hungry until he remembered eventually (or more likely, prompted me to do it).
A job is unlikely - children at different schools, one of them unable to access regular childcare options means pick ups are down to me, and there is always the school holidays too.
he probably does work late sometimes to avoid being at home - but that is hardly an indicator of a good relationship. I have talked and talked and talked. and nothing changes.
Hi - just wondered about the positives in your relationship - do you have much affection for him? Hold hands, cuddle etc? Do you still fancy him? Sorry to get personal ....
we do still hold hands/cuddle. we don't often have sex - this side of things broke down initially due to sheer exhaustion/not coping with SN. and then ground on, into feeling unappreciated etc. and it has been a big thing for him, so I know he is unhappy with that side of things (I am not over the moon about it, but find it hard to be intimate with someone I don't feel 'in tune' with, iyswim).
if I am being brutally honest, I probably don't fancy him much at the moment.
Sorry but 'working hard all week' is not an excuse to be a shite fahter at weekends. I work hard but make damn sure my dw has at least one day where she gets up when she wants to and i can have some one on one time with 3yr old dc and I'm what you would call an 'older' dad!
He really needs to grow a pair, wise up and become a decent father and husband.
Relate would be my first step, they are very good at resolving these type of issues.
Ccan you get any respite help for dc(sn)? it sounds like you need a good break.
It will be even harder if u split....sounds like you need counselling....if that doesn't work, kick him out for a while for a trial separation maybe? He needs to know that you are serious!
It won't be harder if you get rid of him, because he is doing fuck all anyway. He will have to contribute financially but you will no longer be living under the strain of wishing and waiting and hoping for him to stop being a selfish prick and do his fair share of domestic work.
What I would suggest is doing research and making sure you have all the facts re housing and finance: depending on whose name the home is in etc, who will have to leave. It is likely that he will have to leave as the house is the DC's home, but if his name is on the mortgage/tenancy and he is not violent/aggressive/threatening, it will be harder (but not impossible) to get him out of the house.
IF you are in this position (joint tenancy/ownership) and he refuses to go, you need to make it very clear that you are no longer his partner: separate rooms and stop doing his laundry/cooking for him, though this is an awful way to have to live.
I'm in the same sort of situation OP, relationship is all but over but dp won't accept it and refuses to leave.
I've now told him that we need a break from each other for at least a month to evaluate our feelings and what we want from the future and he's accepted that, it's just making him actually go that's the hard part. It's my house etc but I don't want to have to be nasty and get him removed, I'd far rather we can do it amicably so I'm sort of drumming my fingers while gradually making him think it's his idea.
So I'm useless for advice but going to lurk so I can hopefully learn something too :/
thanks everyone, reading opinions does help a bit.
sgb - that is how I feel. yes, doing it all "officially" by myself would be hard. living how I am is hard. there are undoubtedly things that dh does, which I would then have to do. but what I wouldn't have is the sitting and waiting, the hoping, the being put behind his work, having to get stuff done that he should be doing (amazing how much resentment can build up over little things like loading/unloading a dishwasher!). and a lot more stuff would get done on time, like forms for school, or reviews of statements concerning dc's SN etc.
the problem is he hasn't achieved what he wants to do, work-wise. he is very successful in his field, and wants to be more so - always something bigger and better happening. it's great that he enjoys his work so much. in the ordinary scheme of things, if we didn't have a dc with SN, then it probably wouldn't matter so much.
we agreed I would be a sahm (am absolutely happy with that choice), but then it all turned out very differently - when I say this I think he thinks "well, not my problem if it isn't what you thought it would be". but of course, neither of us really considered severe disability - you don't, do you? and so my life is not what it should have been. having a child with SN is isolating. so I am on my own all day, and all evening, with just the children. no groups, no PTAs, nothing - not possible due to school runs/timings/extra meetings for medical and educational needs. and then I don't get a break, ever.
so, my life has changed (if not forever then for the foreseeable), and yet he has not modified his at all. he still works late, does all the works socialising (yes, it is work, but he enjoys it too - his friends are all work colleagues, and he lives for his work), has business trips - at least 2 or 3 a month, often over weekends too. last night he was home for bedtime. that is the first time in nearly 2 weeks, and that is not an unusual pattern. so for 12 days I was on my own with the children anyway. he is now working late for the rest of the week, home on Saturday when he will sleep in, and I will end up nagging and resentful, and then away from Sunday lunchtime again until next Friday.
my only break in that time will be the half hour minutes I snatch for a parents evening - my best friend will come to watch the children for me (she lives an hour away - she is a good friend indeed).
what a bloody mess.
house-wise, we are currently renting. we do own a house jointly - it is rented out.bugger all equity in it though. the house we are in is big enough for us to do a living separately thing, but it would not be pretty, I don't think. and I want to keep this as amicable as possible - the children will have enough to cope with as it is. there is no question that he would not contribute financially. he is, on paper, a good dad. he provides, and provides well. it is the personal interest that is lacking - all his time is spent at work, or on dealing with work issues at home.
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Oh FFS counselling won't work on a man who thinks that he is the person and his wife just a 'woman' ie existing to do the domestic work and childcare, without needs of her own. Fundamentally selfish people do not change, so you have to change your reaction to them eg by getting rid of them or getting away from them.
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I do not think counselling would work.
I know what the problems are (and so does he) - on both sides, I mean. everyone has their faults, and there are things I could have done better too.
but fundamentally, he will not change. it is a running joke that I would not have married him if he had been working the way he is now back then (we talked about it a lot. it was my biggest concern. we changed our lives radically - moved abroad - and it was ok. we still had problems, mostly health wise (which left me feeling very unsupported), but work wise it was ok. and then we moved back to the uk, only now we had children. and bit by bit, the work has crept back. and it now feels as though I have been nagging about it forever. but I did not want this life, and was upfront about that before we got married.)
he wants the nice lifestyle, the glitz and the high life. I think it is nice, but would rather have my husband spend some time with us. there is no balance to his life, and therefore to mine. I would rather get rid of the huge house, life in a modest house, not change cars every year, not have foreign holidays every year etc, and have a husband who is interested in his children (and me!) as people.
right now, he gets to have it all - the high profile job, the rewards from that job (yes, he works hard, and so earns it) and a family just waiting nice and patiently for scraps of his time. I think his priorities are all wrong. I cannot change that. but I can not waste more of my life waiting for it to change.
he would argue that I have a nice life. in many ways I do -nice house, no money worries. but I have no actual life, and that, in part is because he does not pull his weight. I have all the trappings, but no substance.
he wold argue that he supports me to do what I want (I am currently studying in and around school hours), but it is monetary support, not emotional. he pays for it, yes. but I cannot attend tutorials, and get no break even if work is due in (meaning at weekends here). there is no 'give' on his part at all - his solution is always to throw money at it. but we can't easily hire babysitters (we are working on this, and do keep trying). we have tried to have a nanny, but again, it ends up with me being able to do stuff, and him working. ok great, I get to go to my tutorials, or the odd night out (not belittling this, it really does help) but ultimately it is hard to find someone prepared to do what is needed, and who has the training, SN wise, and him carrying on with his life as he always has.
so we end up with pretty separate lives anyway - so what is the point in being together?
Sorry to bring this up, but is there any possibility DH is having an affair? All the late nights and business trips even at weekends sounds a bit suspicious. You said before that your sex life isn't really happening, so could it be that he's met somebody else? Just a thought
Hopefully this isn't the case, and it's just that you've reached a bit of a stalemate - you're stressed and exhausted, quite understandably, from dealing with all the home stuff on your own. But then he maybe can't face coming home to a knackered, resentful wife who doesn't want sex and hasn't even cleaned the house! (Sorry, you said you're a crap housewife! And I'm totally with you there!) I'm really just playing devil's advocate, but it could be he has major resentments building up if he feels he's doing all the macho hunter-gathering stuff, providing you with the big house, nice cars, holidays etc, and yet you're still not happy.....
So, how do you make your life better here and now? First off, go on looking for a nanny with SN experience, maybe just to help out once a week or once a fortnight. You say money is not really a problem, with all the hours DH is working, so make the most of it. You don't even have to go anywhere, it might be nice just having another pair of hands/ a bit of company, until you feel confident enough and the kids are happy to be left with someone else.
Second, get a cleaner! Again, take advantage of the money. I know many SAH mums who do this, there is no shame in not being superwoman, or just not being very good at housework! But you can't deny that a tidy home makes you feel a whole lot better about stuff, and DH might enjoy the change!
Third, be proactive about weekends. Okay, so DH may feel he needs/deserves a lie in - fine - he gets one on Saturday, you get Sunday. Try to make a deal - you won't nag about him not getting up 'til 11 if he does the same for you .... And then, think about booking something in (on the weekends he's actually there) for you to do - whether it's just meeting up with a friend for the afternoon, or going for a swim, or to a gallery. Anthing, so long as it's you that gets the break, and him that gets experience at looking after all three DCs.
Hang in there, you sound lovely, just worn down by it all.
OP, your last post really struck a chord with me, as that just about describes my life with my husband. Workaholic, always working late or away on business. Emotionally unavailable and no help around the house, but uses material things as a replacement. We have 2 children, (both NT, so I don't have the added issue of not being able to leave them with most people), but even so, it's a hard lonely life. We live overseas, far away from any family support, and it gets harder every year. What you said about sitting waiting patiently for any scraps of attention is exactly how I've phrased it in the past.
He is very generous with material things, but doesn't seem to get that none of that is important to me, and I would rather have a real loving relationship with both of us working hard and being partners instead of being chucked a new iPhone or something with a pleased grin, like he thinks that is what makes me happy. We haven't had sex for four years, because he is so focused on work that he doesn't take care of himself, is overweight with high blood pressure, but any time I try to help I get accused of nagging. He doesn't see how sad I am and how lonely. When I told him I wasn't happy he promised to change, but never sticks to it.
I obviously don't know what is the best course of action for you, but I am planning to leave him next year, come home and make a life for me and my children. I feel like I'm wasting my life here, and as well as wanting the chance for a real loving relationship. I am worried about the effect on my children if we stay, as they will grow up not ever seeing their parents being physically affectionate. He regularly buys them toys, Lego, cars or other crap that they don't need to overcompensate for rarely being around, and I can't stand the thought of them growing up to be shallow and materialistic because of that.
I can't think what else to say, just that I feel for you and I think you need to put yourself first.
Is he working all the hours to get away from the fact that you have a child with SN and he cannot deal with it emotionally? has he ever dealt with it do you think?
He sounds like he is working as hard as he does because it is preferred to coming home and being part of a family.
Sometimes one person just has to be strong and say enough is enough. In an ideal world things would always be amicable but it's not and ideal world.
Firstly maybe ask for a separation (then he's out of the house).
Secondly, you could go for coucilling as they aren't solely there to reconcile couples, they also help them part.
Thirdly at the end of the day you will just have to do it and roll with it knowing the shit will hit the fan at first but it WILL get better.
I know this easier said than done but it's bottom line stuff.
OP are you still there? Just wondered how you're doing ....
I am still here, yes. thank you for thinking of me
just to go over the last few posts - yes, it is possible he is having/has had an affair. I couldn't absolutely swear that I was positive he hadn't, iyswim? and yes, it is possible that he resents coming home to a knackered resentful wife and a messy house. that is all a bit catch-22.
Fabby - I do not think he hasn't come to terms with dc SN. he has (since dx) always been fine about that.
we have, over the last couple of years, been concentrating on trying to be happy within ourselves - this has often meant individually (due to circumstance) but that is not bad thing overall - no couple are joined at the hip! this has lead to me feeling increasingly as though we are separated in a way - we live n the same house, and have children together, but other than that we have separate lives. we have different friends, different interests, different outlooks. we want different things overall from life. and so I am left wondering why we are together, other than the fact that we are, iyswim?
Iwasthebadone - exactly. I would far rather we were a hardworking partnership, with less material stuff going on, but more personal input and give and take from both sides. right now, the only partnership I would have would be with a nanny, with dh wandering through when he has some free time. and that is not what I want from life.
thisisnotmyrealname, if he has come to terms with his dc SN, why is it that he doesn't feel that more input from him is necessary? Or is that you both slipped into roles that you didn't quite agree on in the first place? (you as a SAHM who look at all HW, children related stuff and him who brings money - a very 1950's arrangement)
What were the things that brought you together in the first place? What did attract you to him? Is it still there?
we are very 1950s. and up to a point, that is fine. the bit that is not fine is the attitude behind the arrangement. we always agreed (because that is what we both wanted) that I would stay at home, and he would work. this was true from our earliest days together, pre-children, due to moving abroad (lack of available work permit for me), and so it has always been an unbalanced relationship in that sense.
but it is now, when I could be doing something else (SN are on as even a keel as they ever will be, schooling sorted, etc) that it has become apparent that he is all take and no give on a personal level. this is something I have believed to be true for a while, but since there was nothing to really test it by it just carried on. as I said in an earlier post - he does a good job of seemingly supporting me - I am studying - but for what end? I cannot get a job when I finish, as he would not pick up any slack at home. I don't want a high flying career, but I also don't want to be going out to work, coping with all the SN stuff, juggling all the childcare, always being the one to have to take time off for illness/meetings/hospital appts etc. and I would be. the support is there in monetary terms, but no input from him.
and yes, the agreement was there for me to stay at home, but that does not mean 24/7. I know he works long hours (as do I, but he does not really see it as work, despite having had to suddenly be an expert in health and SN in order to deliver SALT, OT, nutritional demands, allergy issues, legal issues, educational issues - the list is endless), but there is no teamwork when he is at home. I cook, always. he will help me, but would never do it himself. same for the children - I do it all, everyday inc weekends. If I don't, it doesn't get done. If I am in the middle of something, and make a move to do it, he might say "I was about to do that" - but never actually does it, iyswim?
do we still have what brought us together? we could, I suppose. but only through some major changes in the above, which I cannot see happening - I have been saying it all for years now, and it hasn't done so far...
He sounds quite a lot like my dh as a dad (although mine had alcohol problems which decided it for me in the end) but I know exactly where you are coming from in that it is 'easy' to let time drift on, dissatisfied and resentful for years, without biting the bullet and saying enough is enough. Does he really take your complaints seriously or does he know he will just be able to wriggle out of the discussion, put it off and maintain the status quo again. You say he fears a second divorce but it doesn't sound like he believes you would go through with it. He has played the 'nagging' card. Sounds familiar!
Decide what you really want, set it out for him in writing and set a deadline for things to happen. Maybe get some individual counselling to sort out your own feelings towards him.
Good luck with the whole thing...
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