Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Am I the only here who has put blanket on eyes and chosen to stay in troublesome marriage for the sake of children?

(81 Posts)
confusedperson Wed 12-Oct-11 11:04:48

We have been together for 5 years and have two DC under 4. If I was to follow Mumsnet advice, I would have divorced him long time ago. I am main earner, main decision maker the one with most household duties. He earns little, is studying part time and is trying to pursue his career, while looking after our DC 3 days in a week. He is a not good parent (not consistent, lets DC watch too much TV so he can sit on computer, does not take them out). He is a bit boring as companion, does not talk much, does not make jokes, and does not engage well into conversations. We hardly spend any time together (partially because he works shifts). Also, I caught him on dating website recently, but his activity there was random and looked more out of curiosity, and it seems to have died out.
I liked in the beginning because he was and is hardworking (when he has a proper job), very tidy, neat, not demanding towards me in any manner, not going out with friends, a bit shy and not flirty manner, cleans after himself, takes care after children’s basic needs without reminding (nappy, food, bathing), complies with whatever rules I set in the house, gives the share of money that I ask (I ask a reasonable amount). Our sex life is regular and not bad (not very exciting though).
Basically, when I say it out loudly, he seems useless. I used to argue with him about it a lot, but I have learnt to detach myself emotionally, make decisions on my own and ask for his help where needed (should ask even more though). It sounds like a single motherhood, but I almost enjoy it, having all the responsibility for decisions. He is out for night work 3-4 nights a week, and I enjoy that time to my own. When he is in, I don’t mind, it is nice to have someone around for a small bit of conversation (actually we are both quiet people) or getting some help with children. We do not argue anymore, because I let him function on his own (most of time) and he usually helps when asked. He cooks, washes and irons for himself (we like different foods). On rare occasions we go out together to a restaurant or another town, but more likely I would leave DC with him and enjoy my cup of tea with a female friend.
He has broken my trust on couple occasions regarding money (like taking too many credit cards for whatever reason), but it didn’t do any material harm to me and hasn’t taken any further, and am just not interested in his financial matters anymore. We have separate budgets, the house is mortgaged on my name, I gladly put aside some odd money to my savings account, and I’d rather don’t know about his debts, if any (I suspect some few hundreds debt on his credit cards).
So we function fine, albeit mostly separate, on daily basis. Obviously DC enjoy having daddy around and they do no see any arguments or odd silences. I do not suffer emotionally (in an obvious way), but I understand that my expectations of having a family were different, and this is not how a family should be. I think I still have some feelings for him, but not sure whether is more sympathy or love. He has long term medical condition which could make his life shorter, and also he is still struggling to pursue his career. I sometimes feel sorry for him but this is not what keeps me with him. I just find it convenient. I don’t want to harm children. I think for breaking the marriage, you have to have a major reason, or feel really unhappy. I convinced myself, that if I am truly not happy, I will divorce, but that moment has not come yet. I wonder if I just blocked my emotions away?
I was married once before and my marriage lasted for 6 years (no children) I cheated on my xDH on several occasions. I was behaving immature and irresponsible. xDH forgave me, but later we split up (other reasons). One thing I realised that I was making mistakes and my xDH was kind enough not to dump me then. I learned a lot and became a responsible family person. Now, I can see that my DH is making lots of mistakes, but I just think that he has to learn in his own way… We will probably never be the most compatible people, but I don’t mind, as long as we have something in common and allow each other breath.
I am a bit afraid that I am blinding myself and wasting my time for something that could be fundamentally wrong. Have I put blanket on my eyes, or there are some of you who managed to live in a similar way, or came out the better way? Please share your thoughts.

Are you happy to live like this? Feeling nothing, feeling - numb? Isn't the same as being happy.
Do you think that children don't see through fake happiness?

What would you want for your children in their relationships. Because their main role model for relationships is...

...their parents.

That said, I hold my hands up. I'm not going to be a hypocrite. Things have not been easy in my marriage and many people have advised me to walk. I stayed. It was right for me and, tbh, I'm glad I did because things are seriously on the up now. But every relationship is different. We never existed separately and always have had a laugh together and are the best of friends, contribute equally in all ways etc. It doesn't sound like that's the case for you.

Nobody can tell you what's right for you. They can tell you what they think they would or would not put up with, but that's them not you.

Just ask yourself this - When you look back on your life, will you be glad that this was the love you had in it?

bejeezus Wed 12-Oct-11 11:43:45

i was going to say that it sounds functional and you say yourself that you are happy with the arrangements...

BUT I have seen your comments on another thread--and your husband has threatened you. Although the behaviour you describe is not the same as the husband on the other thread, do you think there are passive-aggressive similarities?

Miggsie Wed 12-Oct-11 11:43:47

My brother and his wife.
His children are now 16, they can't wait to leave home.
Their main role models for relationships is: dad stays out at work and makes lots of money while mum cleans the house and drinks 2 bottles of wine a day.
They came to visit us last year (without mum) and my brother said "this is what a normal relationship is like" after DH and I were chatting about something.

All of them are miserable in some degree or other, my brother mentioned a divorce, the kids said great, can we live with you, we hate mum, and my brother said, you have to live with your mum because my work takes me away too much
Cue much sulking.

My brother stays with us a lot and the girls text him : "It's all right for you, you can get away from here" and similar.

I wouldn't recommend it and I've only been an observer, and it only gets worse.

bejeezus Wed 12-Oct-11 11:45:17

also do you think he disrespects/ disregards your opinions and feelings?

NotJustClassic Wed 12-Oct-11 11:48:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gay40 Wed 12-Oct-11 11:55:21

I'm not in the LEAVE HIM brigade.
I think it is difficult to know whether you are in a phase of ticking along, not getting along, lacking spark, or needing to seperate. All relationships go through these phases I reckon. It's when settled becomes boring, but even that is a fine line.
This is no help, I know. But I think that if your gut feeling is that the reatiosnhip is not for you, then it is probably not. And tootling along to keep other people happy, even your children, never works. They sharp see through the facade.

amItooangry Wed 12-Oct-11 15:00:17

It is still v v early in the separation process for me, as you know from the other thread. However, when I suddenly realised what he was actually like, you know instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt for all the bad behaviour, it was an easy decision to make.

Two weeks ago, I would have told you we would be together, existing, for the next 15 years - sometimes it just takes something to trigger the decision. For me it was being in physical pain, and he looked at me with such contempt and disinterest as I struggled with day to day activities.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 12-Oct-11 15:16:18

One day your children will leave home then it will be just the two of you.
What then for you?.

This is not a healthy functioning relationship for your children to be witness to and be a part of. They see and hear all the spoken and unspoken stuff that goes on between you both. You live basically separate lives and act like housemates towards each other. Think you have shut yourself down emotionally because the truth is too painful to actually face currently.

What are you teaching them both about relationships?.

What are you getting out of this relationship now?.

toptramp Wed 12-Oct-11 23:28:05

What's the point of this marriage? I guess if you are both happy living side by side for the kids as flatmates that's fine. I know someone who lives with her child's father but they are not together and they get on great. It sounds like that; without the getting on great bit.

It depends if you want passion and romance in your life though.

toptramp Wed 12-Oct-11 23:30:04

TBH if he looked at you with contempt and disinterest whilst struggling with housework whilst in pain I would dump the twat. Your kids WILL pick up on his disrespect. Honestly; what is the actual point of staying? It's abuse.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 12-Oct-11 23:40:03

Confusedperson, no, you are not the only one here to do this. In fact many of the women who have went on to leave their partners have done this for a long time before it became too unbearable and eventually left.

Most of those who say leave him have been in your position and wish that they left sooner, for their own sake and the sake of their children.

I would urge you to try anything you can if you believe that your marriage is worth saving. However, there may come a time when you decide to leave. Only you can decide if and when that time will come. In my case it came when I realised how much damage was being done to all of us, not just me.

AnyPhantomFucker Wed 12-Oct-11 23:42:22

I just don't understand why you are with him

Don't you want to be happy ?

Are you content to just get through the slog of each day and then look at your partner (and he you) with thinly veiled contempt ?

don't you want a friend, a confidante, someone on your side, a fucking good shag ?

you sound like you are living a half life

which is kinda shocking when you remember that old truism you only get one

confusedperson Thu 13-Oct-11 10:15:43

Thank you for all your responses. I should have expected this… saying that I should end the marriage.
How do I explain… I do not feel unhappy, no. Actually, I feel happy most of the time, because my life does not revolve around DH and I do not see him that much. This comes naturally due to his shift work, also explainable to children (although they are still very young to fully understand why we do not spend much time together). We do not shout or argue, we even touchy/huggy sometimes, and we do have conversations at home, so how would DC know that his family model is wrong?
When DH is at home, it does not bother me in any negative way. I feel very content and strong, and I do not feel miserable in any way. I got tired of trying to resolved our issues in the past, but somehow it did not get worse – when I am calm it is easier to talk to him and get the help I need. It could be that I blocked my emotions out.
DH’s input is little bit of financial help, looking after children most weekdays (huge factor), a bit of household help, average sex. Not enough, though. Proper conversations, honesty, common interests and activities are missing. I have a great friend support, so again learnt to lean on my friends, and do not feel unhappy about it (anymore).
By the way, he was there for me with both DC birth from the beginning till end. I don’t know though what will he do if I was ill. I think he would take care of children and me, so I don’t see it as a problem. Sometimes he blames me that I want to be in control of everything, and then likes demonstrating that he can handle things on his own – for example, if I leave him with the children all day and have not left food, he would not complain but cook himself.
I wonder if I am trying to justify him here…. I know that our relationship is not the way it should be. But I think “it is not that bad and I can handle it” and I am truly not ready for divorce. There should be some trigger, for me to decide on divorce. If I do divorce, I don’t think I will want any other man in my life, so the perspective is to be a lone parent with two DC, which, I am not sure, is a better option than it is now. At least we cooperate well towards children now. I am terrified of being a single mum. I dream sometimes, that after when I will be in my mid 40ties (now mid 30ties), he will have ran away from us, children will be bigger, and I will have a platonic male soulmate with which I can have intelligent conversations. But then I think about my DC… no father figure.. and my heart melts.
As regards respect, I think he respects me, although sometimes it looks like he fears me, because he does most things without a reminding. We used to have problems in the past when I wanted to talk and he wouldn’t pay attention to how I feel, but then I learned that there are better ways to communicate to him. He does not intimidate or threaten me in any way. He is more like lazy quiet type. I am quiet type too, and I feel happiest when I have stability and routine, rather than passion and adventure. At least DH and I match in this way.
DioneTheDiabolist when you say “In my case it came when I realised how much damage was being done to all of us” what do you mean exactly?
If anyone else was in the same position, what triggered you into divorce?

foggybrain Thu 13-Oct-11 10:26:18

In similar position, am about 90% of way to making up mind to leave, is now a question of when not if in my mind but I know it will be messy and have decided to wait until after christmas and get DC2 sleeping better before doing anything.
I was able to maintain an attitude a little similar to what you describe until not getting any sleep and now it is too exhausting to pretend all the time. At moment for us things are deteriorating to point of lots of arguments, I am very down a lot of time and angry. bitter etc. It's no good for the DC - I just am trying to work out if I can hang in to improve things but TBH the thought of posting as you do in another year makes me so sad, sorry to be blunt. I feel for you and hope you come to a resolution.

AngryFeet Thu 13-Oct-11 10:30:31

Have you actually spoken to your DH and asked how he feels? Even if you are happy with living like this maybe he is not and it would be unfair to soldier on if he doesn't want that. I think some people can stay together for the kids but more the couples who get along really well but just don't fancy each other anymore and can live together but get sex etc elsewhere (although even this is weird to me and happened with my friends parents and it messed her up a bit as they weren't subtle).

Either way you do only live this one time and divorce is better than living in a house with an uncomfortable atmosphere and not showing your DC a good loving relationship (having conversation and the odd hug does not a good relationship make, sorry). Our DC see us giggling together, hugging and kissing several times a day, spending lots of time together, going for weekends away twice a year etc etc. You may think it is not obvious but it will be as they get older. Maybe it just seems normal to you now. Either way as time goes by if you do not want to be together your resentment and frustration towards each other will become more obvious.

omgomgomg Thu 13-Oct-11 10:48:02

I have a close friend who stays married to her husband for the sake of the children. Her husband knows she would like to divorce but he prefers to stay married as it is convenient for him.

Let me explain what "for the sake of the children" means in her life.

He has said, and she knows him best they've been together a long time, so if she says she believes him then I trust her judgement, that if she pushes for divorce he will take a job abroad like he has wanted to do for years. She doesn't want to lose the support of her close family, up root the children give up her career which is not really transferable to the countries he wants to work in so she has said she will not agree to emigrate. He has also apparently said that he will not be coming back except for his family's funerals (he is not close to his family none of whom live in the UK, sees them once a year if he has to for the sake of them seeing their grandchildren).

So there you have it, he is basically threatening to not bother seeing his own children if she insists on divorce. I also knew and felt obliged to inform her too, that the CSA will not pursue him for payment if he takes up residence in some of the countries he has in mind.

She says he seems to find the children impinge on "his free time" too much. He is willing to do some stuff but has a very low threshold for how much time he devotes to them and a very high level of entitlement as far as his own life is concerned.

She says I'm the only person who knows all this stuff about their marriage and I can no longer be around him as I loathe him for what he is putting her through. She manages to stay cheerful outside the home etc, loves being a mum to her children and loves her career but she seems to need to be able to vent round at our house once a week/fortnight when my dh is out.

GreenBlueRed Thu 13-Oct-11 10:48:20

He looks at dating websites, does as he is told, seems a bit scared of you, has debts that you don't know about. You may find that the choice is taken away from you at some point, because from your description he doesn't sound very happy or fulfilled by your relationship either. Poor bloke, he's a person, you talk about him like an employee, or a pet, that will just carry on indefinitely doing as you want, following your rules. Surely the least he deserves is a conversation about how each of you could be happier?

rycooler Thu 13-Oct-11 11:07:43

Sends like a pretty normal relationship to me - I wouldn't dream of leaving him.

rycooler Thu 13-Oct-11 11:14:42

Sounds even - plus, never never Never take advice from random strangers on the Internet over something as important as your marriage - only you and your partner really know what's going on - if you're happy 50% of the time that's •• cool ••

GreenBlueRed Thu 13-Oct-11 11:42:51

Rycooler, I do hope you're wrong that that's normal, god help all of us if that's true. If my dh was scared of me, and I felt as little respect as the op shows for hers, I wouldn't consider that it was 'all cool'.

rycooler Thu 13-Oct-11 11:57:30

If my dh came on here and posted about me and my failings you'd be telling him to leave me - I'm egotistical to the point of madness, lazy, boring, inconsiderate, won't stop talking for ages then go all quiet and moody - in short, a compete pain in the arse. But we've been happily married for years.

nothaunted Thu 13-Oct-11 12:21:29

Any marriage or relationship is a personal accommodation between two people who, one hopes, has the best interests of their DCs in mind. Let's face it, we will all be accused of failing our children in some way at some point in their lives. Has anyone hear never thought their parents made mistakes? As long as no one is being hurt, no one is particular unhappy and the situation is secure then that is good enough.
Someone somewhere went off on a kick about how selling individual happiness and self-achievement above all was a capitalist conspiracy as individual households need more stuff, consume more stuff etc. That may be a little too far but doing ok is probably all we can aim for in life? I'm all for quiet contentment however it is achieved. smile

antlerqueen Thu 13-Oct-11 12:23:29

If there's no love and respect between the parents, the children will grow up not knowing how to love and respect a partner later in life.

Not saying there's no love and respect between you two, not enough information here so you'll probably know best. I'm just saying that, because there are so many women who don't think they are 'entitled' to leave a bad relationship, because 'he doesn't hit me' or what ever. Lack of love and respect is enough. If not for the grown-ups, then for the children.

Uppity Thu 13-Oct-11 12:27:26

No of course you're not, it's the norm to stay in bad marriages "for the sake of the children", that's why so many children grow up unable to form good relationships, because their parents have role-modelled bad ones for their sakes.

I love how people who say relationships should be respectful, kind, decent, loving and equal, are demonised as the rabid "leave him brigade", while those who advocate living with abuse, are held up to be rational reasonable sensible people. Interesting eh?

Will now read the thread...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now