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I wanted to end this relationship but I am still here

(30 Posts)
CactusRash Sun 02-Oct-11 20:34:39

Been with H for 14 years and we have 2 primary school age dcs.
Things have been very hard since the birth of first dcs, just getting harder and harder as time went on.

I told H a year ago that I had enough but tbh didn't have emotional strength to go much further away than this. He was very difficult to live with, was very hurtful (some of his behaviors could be said to be abusive). His attitude towards the dcs was bad too.
A few things changed in this last year. It very much felt as if it was too little too late.

So I decided to leave after the summer and the dc birthday. I had decided that this weekend I would tell him it's finished, that there is nothing to salvage and I am not in love with anymore.

But... this sunday has been the day where he decided for the first time in well... perhaps years to actually be relatively relaxed. He smiled. I even managed to have a relaxed conversation with him, very much a chitchat type of things but we haven't had that in a very very long time. Quite a few of his unacceptable behaviors seem to have disappeared over the summer (as my resolve to leave was getting stronger hmm).
At the same time, I spoke to my mum about my decision and she has been equal to herself. Oh poor him. So hard, what about the dcs etc... Always putting herself/me after others (read my dad, my H) as these poor men have had such bad childhood/so many difficulties etc.. I knew she would do that, so I hadn't talk to her about it before. But my strength has disappeared again.

So my question is really, is my feeling that nothing can be salvaged the right one? Am I putting everybodyelse before me (again!)? Or should I give H another chance (again!)?

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 02-Oct-11 20:40:16

Only you know the answer to that, Cactus.

Would it help you to spell out and list the positives and negatives of staying?

CactusRash Sun 02-Oct-11 20:53:25

dcs would be living in a house where they aren't being out down each time they slightly step out of the line.
dcs, esp dc1, would be living in ahouse where they are made to feel like an idiot (dc1 words)
I could do my job and follow my beliefs wo being told I am doing 'strange things' (all said wo words and with facial expressions, little sarcacism in the voice etc...)
I wouldn't have to deal with H grumpyness all the time, his incapacity to communicate, accept others pov etc... Think PA behavior.
I wouldn't feel like I am actually avoiding him.
I would have some time for myself wo feeling guilty (Oh that would be a bliss but H would need first to actually be happy to see his dcs on a regular basis)
Atmosphere in the house would be much more relaxed.
... I could go for quite q while tbh.

The financial side, even though I know I could cope.
This feeling that I should be trying harder. That getting divorced is bad. that I would have failed, I would hurt him (?!?). It would be so difficult for him blablabla.
Talk to my counsellor about the last one. Typical thing where I have interneliazed my mum ideas iyswim. Hence the fact I do not trust this feeling is actually mine and not 'hers' if that makes sense??
But then today could neraly have been a good day...

solidgoldbrass Sun 02-Oct-11 20:57:32

Yup, you will be better off without a whining, bullying, energy-sapping man in the house.
Forget the 'trying harder' crap, this is just a way of saying 'WOmen, eat shit, accept that you are a man's servant because being single is WRONG'. Being single is much better than having to live with a man who isn't pleasant to live with.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 02-Oct-11 20:59:51

Your list seems to me to pretty clearly show what you want to do:

The positives of going that you list are all solid, emotionally healthy things for both you and DC.

The negatives of going are either not negatives at all (you say you could cope financially), or acquired reasoning that you now want to disavow.

CactusRash Sun 02-Oct-11 21:03:35

But then why I do I feel so guilty.....

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Sun 02-Oct-11 21:06:56

Because you want permission to do what you know you want to do?

buzzskillington Sun 02-Oct-11 21:07:14

The positives for your children are enough on their own.

ninja Sun 02-Oct-11 21:09:31

I've just separated from someone who I knew for a long time wasn't someone I really wanted to spend my time with. In fact it was him who finally made the decision (while we were on holiday - I was going to try and pluck up courage to say it after! I don't think he thought I would agree)

I had stuck with it for such a long time for the reasons that you have on your negatives list, the 'feeling I should be trying harder' really rings true with me (and he would often say it to me)

In the end though, I got to the stage of not caring whether divorce was bad, not worrying about telling people and I knew that it was the right thing.

I had to live in a house with him for 6 months while he bough a house and sponged off me (didn't pay anything towards the house or kids for the last month) and that time was hell.

I can say now a month down the line that it was so worth it, really it's like a weight has been lifted. There are still communications that are hard with him, when you have kids there have to be. He still takes the piss, but when I close the door I'm free from him.

I have tow DDs (8 and 3) and I have been amazed by how they've coped. DD2 (3) doesn't seem to be bothered. She sees us both, has 2 houses. At some time I'm sure I'll see some effects. DD1 obviously found it harder but has tried so hard to be positive and again is quite excited about having 2 rooms.

Good Luck!

CactusRash Sun 02-Oct-11 21:10:43

Possibly puppy.

Next time I am not going to speak to my mum, just letting her know my decision when I've actually talked to H. I love deraly but in these circumstances she is not a help.

And you can carry on telling me that one day isn't enough to erase 8 years of 'bad' behaviour. Or that my dcs deserve to have a happier, less stressful life.

FabbyChic Sun 02-Oct-11 21:11:08

You feel guilty becuase you are not a selfish person, becuase whilst you do not love him any more you do inpart care for him.

You care about what others are going to think.

At some point you have to put the needs of you and your children first, and that is this time.

With regards finances you might be entitled to tax credits and help with your rent if you pay it.

You have to do what makes you and your children happy, and that clearly seems to be leaving him or asking him to leave.

Forget what your mother thinks she does not live the life you live, no one does so theoretically their opinions really mean nothing.

CactusRash Sun 02-Oct-11 21:12:09

x post.

Thanks that helps!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Oct-11 21:12:56

What are you getting out of this relationship now?.

What are you both teaching your children about relationships here?. I would have told your mother that acting as either a rescuer or a saviour within a relationship does not work. Your mother made you feel guilty; you learnt a lot of damaging stuff from her.

Purely going by your list alone, the "negatives" you give are far stronger than the "positive" reasons for staying within this.

As for guilt, well guilt is a useless emotion. You think your H has felt any guilt for putting you all through such rubbish - I doubt it very much. He may now only be trying harder because you've finally found it within yourself to possibly give him the boot. Once he gets you back to being acquiescent again and no longer a threat, his normal pattern will resume.

CactusRash Sun 02-Oct-11 21:20:57

Yep, putting my needs first is something I am finding very difficult. I know that if anything the one thing that will make me move on is H bevavior towards the dcs.


I know that the positive of getting divorced are far stronger. The rational side of me is quite clear. It's the irrational side that doesn't want to (something totally irrational but then....)

ninja Sun 02-Oct-11 21:30:54

I know Cactus - it somehow feels like failing to leave a marriage, but how bad does it have to get and do you really want it to get that bad??

One day really of being cheerful doesn't make up for the rest, and if the kids are affected ......

FabbyChic Sun 02-Oct-11 21:31:10

It's hard to change what you know very much so, people shy away from doing really what is right because they are scared of the unknown and a life without your partner is the unknown.

I find children should come first they have to. If they suffer emotional cruelty at an early age they end up with personality problems later on. This then causes problems in their relationships with people.

Why not have a trial seperation?

CactusRash Sun 02-Oct-11 22:21:21

It's strange. i think that what I am worried is the separation as the bit between now and when we will live in separate houses. That's the unknown I am scared about.

I am acutely aware of the dcs and the influence on them. dc1 is a fantastic child. Very emotionally mature (tbh more mature than quite a few adults). He isn't 10yo. Just as much it is a fantastic thing, I know it is the case because of what has happened at home. The fact he is like this is all to his credit but I wish he was more 'immature' if that makes sense.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 03-Oct-11 09:15:21

I don't know how much this fits your family situation Cactus, re your son, but it's been my observation that children in emotionally abusive households can be very mature in some ways -- usually in terms of the sense of responsibility they display -- because the parent-child relationship is inversed to some extent: the child's needs come second to the out-of-control and self-centred parent.

The flip-side is that their self-esteem and sense of fun become stunted, which can have lifelong consequences.

CactusRash Mon 03-Oct-11 12:27:01

the child's needs come second to the out-of-control and self-centred parent

Puppy, thsi is a chilling comment because it actually looks so mcuh like the issue between dc1 and H. H has never been able to to adapt to life with dcs, always wants to do things his way. His moto seems to be 'Do as I say' and 'I am deciding'. On the top of it, H feels uneasy (resentful?, frightened?) that dc1 is a clever, academic child.. You get the picture.
dc1 self esteem certainly has suffered from it along with the feeling that he has to be perfect or isn't good enough.


ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 03-Oct-11 14:04:33

the feeling that he has to be perfect or isn't good enough

That is classic. Poor child. Those feelings are likely to stay with him a long time and affect all sorts of areas of his life.

solidgoldbrass Mon 03-Oct-11 14:07:14

And that's the overriding reason why you have to get rid of the H. Because his behaviour is harming your lovely DS. If it helps you get rid of the guilt, tell yourself that you are putting DS first by getting rid of H.

trulyscrumptious666 Mon 03-Oct-11 15:53:43

New here, but really needed to comment as you seem to be in exactly the same position as me. I would love to have the confidence to tell my H to go but not brave enough. He is very draining and rarely nice to the kids/me/my family. I just really don't want him to have an custody of the kids as I hate the way he shouts at them and he has never looked after them for more than 12 hours without me being around.
He'd never hurt any of us but like you I feel I should be trying harder to make it work, my parents have been married for 40years and I very much believed marriage was for life.

Hope everything works out for you once you tell him

NorthernerAtHeart Mon 03-Oct-11 23:00:07

Oh Cactus - I thought this might be you when I read the title of your post.

What is your gut feeling? If you could wake up tomorrow morning with your life arranged how you want it to be, what would it look like?

CactusRash Tue 04-Oct-11 15:38:15

Oh yes yu see I am still here and still struggling with the same issues.

If tomorrow I could wake up and have my life as I would like it?
- we would be separated
- H (exH?) would have changed his behaviour and would be respectful towards the dcs. He would be supportive of them and a 'good dad'.
- I would have stopped putting everybodyelse before me and start living my life for myself.
I've finally realized that really that's the issue. I've been taught my my mum that my H & his needs should come before me and I am struggling to acknowledge that my needs need to be met too. That would be fine if it wasn't for the dcs. That's for them that I need to do something so that the impact on them is minimal.

Still working at it.

What about you?

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 04-Oct-11 15:41:47

The good news is that items 1 and 3 on that list are within your control.

(not easy, of course, but completely doable.)

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