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How do you know for sure that you should leave?

(431 Posts)
Apty Sat 01-Sep-12 21:59:21

Relationships are full of good and bad. What do you do when you are confused about the balance and how bad it really is?

My instincts tell me to leave sometimes, and then at other times that seems like the worst thing to do.

Do you reach a point when you know?

Kixicle Sat 03-Nov-12 09:30:16

Thank you for your kind words cannot, it means a lot to me. I still feel a bit grub-like, but I think that's from feeling as though here I am, painting my woe-is-me and my husband isn't able to present his.

I don't feel as though he is EA, just that he is very depressed and inconsiderate at times. I put a lot of his behaviour down to his depression some days though, and although I knew he was depressed when we married, he also promised to get help, which hasn't happened. I think it's more complicated in my head because he's not someone that does absolutely nothing around the house. He does 99% of the food preparation, and is capable of looking after the kids if I need to go out, though if they misbehave he is a lot quicker to shout at them than I am.

I feel worse because he is also so reliant on me emotionally. I'm the only person he talks to, and even after all our arguments he says he can't imagine a time we aren't together, that he's terrified I'll leave him. I find myself worrying that if I leave him he'll do something stupid.

At the same time, feeling like I only live with him out of guilt is not healthy. I sat and made a list of things I loved about him, and in his depressed state it's not very long. Part of me feels like I want the man I married back, but the other part is starting to wonder if that man is even there any more. And then a good day comes along, and I feel awful for even thinking that, not to mention the added complication of not knowing that the hell I would do if our marriage really broke down. Part of me feels as though I'm holding things together just until the DC get older, that I'm biding my time to see what will happen, if things will get better, or at least the point at which the DC will be old enough for me to be safe with them. That kind of mercenary thinking leaves a bad taste in my mouth though.

Apty Thu 08-Nov-12 18:14:15

Came back to see if this thread is still here. I've had a break for a while as I could easily have moaned on and on over the past few weeks and thought it might be better not to but to grit my teeth and get on with it.

Hope everyone is ok. Thistle sounds like you're being strong and resolved in the face of pita family. I'm astounded at how unsupportive family can be when you need them most.

I've had inlaws being very very upset about everything and wanting me to put things back together which I found hard to handle.

I got ill last week - i think it's from not eating properly and not sleeping very well, but it made me realise how hard it is on your own when you're unwell adn still have to do everything and look after children / work etc. Went to the dr who has given me drugs and this time i've decided to take them - i think i need all the help I can get to get past this bit.

I do still have doubts about what I'm doing and what will happen. Dh still trying to persuade me that we should be together and as he's being nice atm, it's hard. But I can't get past the things that have happened so i need to shut all that out atm.

Tired - how's it going in the new house? Hope you're all settled.

8rubberduckies Tue 13-Nov-12 13:31:57

It is cannot here, I have namechanged back to my original username as I do not have anything to hide anymore.

I just wanted to drop in and tell you that DP and I separated 12 days ago. It has been a very nasty, tough fortnight, and it was the hardest decision of my life, and we now have to move forward, but I believe we can.

I can't give any more detail as I have had all of my posts read on here by xp, including a thread on Off the Beaten Track.

Wishing you all strength however you are moving forward, and I hope you are all in good places at the moment smile.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Wed 14-Nov-12 19:41:24

Hello all
Things gone and going from bad to worse here, mostly my own doing. Engaged with an ex that I had a long-distance affair with 6 years ago. The feelings are still there for him but it's still long distance and always will be. Its just been emails, no texts or calls. It's not doing me any good. Planned to meet him for some alone time but a toxic gay friend emailed him and has ruined our meetup.

The other thing that's happened is h seems to have hooked up with someone and is seeing her. He went out sat night & didn't come home.
I just don't feel like I can cope with it all anymore tonight. Work is a nightmare, my daughter (11) only speaks to her dad and is contemptuous of me, speaks horribly to me.
Just feel like checking out tonight.

ThistlePetal Wed 14-Nov-12 23:19:56

Hello all, so pleased to see some new responses on this thread, it has been an absolute lifeline for me and I kept meaning to pop back on and see how everyone is doing.

Aptly I missed your message from last week but thank you for your kind words. My DM is still being a pita and I have just kept out of her way. She occasionally texts me to ask how the kids are.... Hope you're feeling better this week, well done for accepting the drugs and I hope they do help you. It sounds like you need some space and time away from your DH to sort through your feelings, is there a chance you will get some?

Cannot/Brubber - hugs and strength to you too. How are you feeling now? You do sound positive that you're on the right track, I hope you can post on here when you need support. If not, I hope you have support in RL. It is such a tough decision to make, but you haven't made it rashly or lightly, and in your darker moments you need to remember that, and remember the reasons for making your decision.

Sherry I'm sorry things feel so bad for you right now. Have you got RL support? If not, keep posting and we will support you. Has your DD been like this with you before, or is it a new thing? All I can suggest is to keep the lines of communication open with her, remind her that talking might help her whether she is angry, sad or whatever. What's going on with work? It s horrible when all these things seem to stack up at the same time, but hopefully all you need is for one of those things to start to improve and you'll start to feel more in control again. One day at a time, is all you need to think about. Stay strong.

I've not posted for a while, I think because I've disappeared up my own backside! Feel like I'm presenting a cool, calm, efficient face to the world, and doing such a good job that I'm convincing myself that I'm fine too. Maybe I am! But I am quite wobbly at times too, more so than I've been since I first realised that I wanted us to split up. Not sure where I am in the grieving process, and keep expecting it all to bite me in the bum. So I'm keeping a low profile, keeping busy, keeping an eye out for wobbly DCs (they're mostly fine), and keeping away from toxic people including my mother. DH has moved out, and the DCs go there for the first time, for 4 nights this weekend. Have a solid social diary for 3 of the days and a pile of housework for the 4th. Will no doubt be back on here for reassurance!

AboutToSelfDestruct Thu 15-Nov-12 09:56:53

Don't know how I've not found this thread sooner. I've read bits and pieces..too long to read it all. This is all so so sad that so many of us are feeling this way sad Everything resonates with me right now.

Won't give the whole story but have been so close to leaving on three occasionas over the last few years. Its yet another case of when its ok its ok but thats as far as it gets. On Monday I made the decision to leave. Was going to go back to our counsellor to talk it through and then bring DH with me the next time and tell him. Can't remember who posted about a very innocent emotional affair, but thats where I have been for the past year. idn't realise thats what it was until this last week as it had all been in my head, but as soon as feelings were out in the open I knew something had to change.

DH knew something was up and we had the big talk before seeing the counsellor. I've broken off contact with OM and its crushing me if I'm honest, but has to be. In the last 48hrs DH and I have talked and cried and talked some more. He is broken and its killing me that I am doing this. DC's all over the place too. My 8 yr old was actually shaking this morning while I held him. How can I possibly do this to my family? How? DH is a lovely lovely man. Not abussive and utterly trustworthy. He has just been totally absent for the past 5 years. Something changed a while ago and he is now so much better but the pain has taken its toll and I don't know if its too late.

He really badly wants us to work through this and is showing all the right signs and talking like I've never heard him talk before. He says this has been a massive wake up call for him and that he is nothing without me and that nothing else matters. Cannot / 8rubber you mentioned this earlier

"It seems to be a recurring theme on this thread, that DPs only seem to be willing to make changes once their cosy homelife is threatened, or they have been a bit dense and have had to have things really spelt out to them, by which point their other half is seething with anger and resentment. They just did not notice what effect their negative behaviours were having. "

This is so true for us. From being in a place where it was over, I am now 48 hrs in and feeling confused. Didn't mean this to be a long rambling me post. I'm just still very numb and in shock and so lost sad

tennesseyhennessey Thu 15-Nov-12 11:57:57

Im glad ive stumbled across this. I feel like others, a bit like im in limbo. The thought of leaving makes me feel sick, and i wish i could wave a wand to get it all done and over with.

There are times, like recently, where h can be wonderful, my main gripe and it seems pathetic thati would consider leaving over this, but he never gets up to help with the kids. He usually works late shifts so doesnt get to bed til 2-3 in the morning. But even on his second day off he'll just lay in bed. He's going back to work tonight after 3 weeks off, in that time he has only got up once so i could have a lie in and thats only because i lost it and shouted at him from tiredness. Even then he made a fuss, and ended up snoozing all day because 'he was shattered'. I do it every bloody day AND work full time.

I also cant stand him touching me, he paws me and tries it on when the kids are in the room. We cant just have a cuddle it has to be a grope too. I also realised i panic when my phone rings and its him. I instantly worry ive done something to piss him off.

I sound pathetic sad

ThistlePetal Thu 15-Nov-12 18:25:40

SelfDestruct, I'm glad you found the thread, it has been such a useful space for me to share my feeling and hear how other people have dealt with the same thing. It's a horrible place to be in, but like you say, not at all uncommon sad.

I'm not clear from your post whether your big talk with your DH resulted in you leaving, at agreeing to stay? Either way, I wish you lots of luck in finding the right way forward for you. You say that your DH has been absent for 5 years, then you go on to question how you can do this to your family: it seems to me that you are simply reacting to the situation you find yourself in, and the fact that you are taking action to make it better is only going to help your family, no matter what the outcome.

Tennessey I'm glad you're here too, I think all of us recognise the feeling of limbo you describe. You don't sound pathetic, you sound really sad. You've mentioned a couple of fairly big things which make you feel less than valued, and that would be reason enough to make you question your desire to stay..... But you also mention feeling panicky when he calls you - whatever is making you feel like that (I don't mean to pry, just reflecting this back to you) can't be good.

Does he know how strongly you feel about these things? Is he open to discussing the issues and trying to sort them out in partnership with you? Or do you feel that you've gone past that point?

8rubberduckies Fri 16-Nov-12 10:24:24

Thistle good luck this weekend, I hope you enjoy the space, try not to miss DCs too much and do some fun things!

I have lots of support in RL, I am very lucky, and have been having some good chats with friends now. I just want to stay focused on the DC at the moment and being the best Mum I can. I don't really feel I can post here for support as xdp read every thread I have posted on or started, and carried on reading them, and searched for me on OTBT, so I don't see why he would stop now. It is a shame, as the support I have had here has been amazing.

tennessey please don't feel you sound pathetic, you really don't. It is not nice feeling like you are being pawed; it is your body, your boundaries should be respected if you don't want sexual contact when your kids are in the room. I would also be really resentful if I was the only one doing the early morning shifts, I was always lucky in that respect, xdp and I would always take turns.

Abouttoselfdestruct sorry you are feeling so confused, it is a very confusing time. If you really feel there is no future then stick to your guns. If you really have any major doubts then maybe bring them up in counselling to work through whether they are the basis of you having a chance to work things out. I think it is natural to have doubts though, even if you know deep down you are doing the right thing. Keep going Apty, it really does sound to me from your posts that you have done the right thing.

Smallsherry hope you are feeling better than the other day.

Proportions Fri 16-Nov-12 13:12:25

Hi all, have been following this thread for a long time now as much of it resonates with a situation I found myself in a few years back. I Incidently did leave but then realised after only a few weeks that I was being unrealistic and blowing everything out of all proportion due to low self-esteem, post natal depression and because of external indluences. I am so glad I changed my mind with a more open, respectful and honest relationship we are now very happy and love has blossomed.

8rubber/cannot I am amazed you are still writing on here, you have mentioned him reading your threads a few times and so it seems like you are writing knowing he will read it, is that not in a funny way a bit manipulative and even disrespectful to someone you may feel deserves it but . . . Having read lots of this thread, and lots of others as well as my own experiences, he sounds ok for a man.

I hope you can all find happiness this weekend - my Dp is whisking me away for a romantic weekend. Can't wait.

8rubberduckies Fri 16-Nov-12 13:41:38

Hi Proportions I am glad things worked out for you and your DP.

My xp originally read this thread and we talked about what I had written, and since then I did not write anything on this thread that I hadn't already addressed, or was not out in the open between us at home, and he also told me he would not read any more, as he felt it was a bit like reading my diary and felt very guilty. I also have given support to other posters here since he first told me he had been reading this thread, nothing manipulative about giving other people support or commenting on their individual situations IMO.

I was still trying to work out what to do, and not really able to talk to anyone in RL, so I then started a thread on Off the Beaten Track, which is not Googlable and you have to be a member to view that section. I really did not think that xp would find that thread, but he joined Mumsnet and went looking, and then cut and pasted the thread and emailed it to me. I was gutted. He knows this.

I do feel bad and guilty that he read all of my private thoughts, as some of them must have been difficult to read for him, but I have not posted anything on this thread since becoming aware that he may read what I have written that he does not already know. I have really needed the support at times, and have not posted anything inflammatory just in case he does read the thread again, and nothing I have posted is a secret from him. I am not leaving him "messages" on here or writing anything to manipulate him.

I do not feel like he "deserves" anything bad from me, but I do feel that I have a right to keep on posting here where I have had such amazing support.

Proportions Fri 16-Nov-12 17:03:49

Not so 'off the beaten track' now, oops

8rubberduckies Sat 17-Nov-12 05:57:49

I think the general etiquette is that you can talk about OTBT but not link to it, from what I have gathered from other threads.

Anyway, sorry for this thread going a bit off subject, hope everyone is well this weekend. I have had a shocking night's sleep due to neighbours having a party, and of course to top it off dd woke at 5am!

Tired how are things going in your new place?

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 06:01:54

There seems little point in joining this thread now but

"My friend C said that she knew it was time to leave her first husband when she realised she was fancying other men."

seems a bit of a joke. Do people really break up a family for such a shallow reason?

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 06:04:05

I've interjected into some very serious conversations. Wishing you all well.

Feckbox Sat 17-Nov-12 06:21:27

Brycie, of course you can join the discussion.

tennesseyhennessey Sat 17-Nov-12 07:01:09

Thank you for your replies. thistle i think i panic because in the past (ie, up until august) he used to mainly ring to moan at me for something. As someone said above, it was only when i left in august his attitude changed and he was alit better. He'd previously spend most his time huffing and puffing at me and the kids. I spent my time terrified of what mood he might be in. Hes never physically abusive.

Another thing that bothers me is that i have to rely heavily on my family for help getting kids from A-B. For example dd has dancing at 4 on a friday, H could easily pick her up from school and bring her to me at work (self employed), and be back at home by 4 to get ready to leave at 5. In stead i have to get my retired dad to do it because 'i need time to get ready for work' or 'i dont like driving when i have to go to work.'

Im supposed to be seeing a friend tonight and staying at hers whilst he has the kids. He'll pick me up tomorrow and i already know there is a 95% chance he will be in a foul mood when he collects me. Part of me ishoping he will be as i think it may be the tipping point giving me the confidence to leave.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 09:02:33

Thank you Feckbox but I feel the conversation is more empathetic and serious than I can offer and my comment was rather judgemental when people are obviously quite agonised. It must be very hard and I hope people manage to find paths through the difficulties.

Abitwobblynow Sat 17-Nov-12 18:15:54

To all who are furious that their H's only decided to change after they had made the decision to leave:

Lundy Bancroft talks about it a lot. That often it only takes the very real possibility of losing their family that will jolt a lazy destructive man out of his rut and do the real work of changing.

He says: NOT to forgive them, but to stay away for 2-3 months and watch if they really are finally facing themselves and taking responsibility.

He reminds us of the old law: change happens ONLY when the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain of changing. And men cling to their old habits for grim death and it takes you leaving and meaning it for them (some of them) to take you seriously.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Sun 18-Nov-12 19:55:54

Hi everyone
Just checking in to catch up. Things here ok ish
H sent me an email the other day telling me he wasn't going anywhere. That we couldn't afford for us to separate and that the children are thriving and need us both here.
I haven't the mental energy to argue the case right now with him. He slept with someone recently - Im sure of it - but says talk of adultery is out the window since we haven't shared a room in 6 mos. After a sober week, I'm not sure how bothered I am about him sleeping with someone. Sobriety is hard but it's definitely working for me.
Next week I'm going to spend some R&R time with a very hot old flame. I need some me time, and I really need sex, and with a known quantity, not a stranger
After Xmas h & I are going into counselling - if only to figure how to separate graciously. We still have some feeling for each other after 15 years - but not enough, I suspect.
Hope eveyone is ok - I'm reading all your posts.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 07:47:36

Sherry - don't do this. Two wrongs do not make a right. Do not add your own destructive behaviour into the mix.

Keep on working on those issues, don't knock AA till you have tried it.

Please don't meet up with the old flame - you WILL get aroused drink wise, you will do things you regret.

If you sink to his level, there are TWO lots of anger and resentment, and how can you point fingers then?

There are better ways of getting self-esteem.

ThistlePetal Mon 26-Nov-12 15:47:15

How are we all doing? Sherry are you ok?

SmallSherryforMedicinal Mon 26-Nov-12 22:41:40

Hi all

Thistle thanks a mill. It's amazing to think of the concern we have for each other all slogging along on this road.
I did meet my ex. It was wonderful. There's hardly been a day over the past 7 years I haven't thought of him.
When I got back, H informed me that he's moving abroad for work for 5 months next year. This is just fantastic news.
My daughter and I are getting on much better as the bit of time and space possibly helped her to see - at least temporarily - that her mum is not the worst in the world. Spontaneous hugs from her!!
Work is frantic, but it will be ok ultimately I hope.
Feeling a lot better. More positive, not so bloody hopeless and ground down. Feel a lot calmer....

kaybristol Mon 26-Nov-12 22:46:46

If you can look in the mirror and honestly say I love my husband and he loves me.My children are safe and myself esteem is intact then you stay. If you can advise you own daughter to stay in a relationship like yours you stay, if not you live.and yes you know when you should leave, its the guts most people lack...
If its a good relationship work at it

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 27-Nov-12 00:56:50

Hi all

Haven't been on here for a while - had too much to do. I will make this fairly quick as I've promised myself I'll go to bed before 1.

I've been in the new house now, for, I think, about six weeks. It's been hard to adjust - mostly because I really feel for the kids shuttling this way and that. They seem to be coping very well now though and I'm much less worried about them than I was.

I've carried on sorting out the house. It takes up so much of my time. I decorated the kitchen, I'd already done the girls' rooms, the sitting room and the au pair's room. Now I've done my office. This was important because I need a space to work and I'm one of those people who can't concentrate when their surroundings are a mess. Everything has to be orderly and look nice. I am going to attack my bedroom next and then the bathrooms. That will leave only the hall stairs and landings, but with four floors it's a massive job.

I'm still neglecting my studies but want to focus and catch up and feel ready to now I have a space of my own.

I have a new au pair coming on Wednesday and I can't wait. We have Skyped her and she seems great - Australian. It will make a huge difference. I've been juggling childcare in all sorts of ways - getting people to take them after school etc and it's been a nightmare.

We finally exchanged contracts on the fh a couple of weeks ago and have been engaged in the monster task of clearing it. We complete on Friday and there is still loads of stuff over there. I have been trying to do as much as I can but I can hardly bear going there. Partly because of the memories but partly because it just doesn't feel like home any more, it's an alien place now.

Sorting out the house here is ongoing as every day there are more boxes of stuff arriving that need to be put away. My basement is full of stuff that has nowhere to go and I will be storing some stuff for dh as well.

He is my main worry. He's not in a good place at all. I'm sure he is depressed and needs some help to get through all this. But he won't be persuaded to go to the GP. His family is everything to him and to top it all he has terrible, terrible work problems. He may soon be out of a job as the company he mostly owns is falling apart. There were 13 people working there three years ago and now there are four. The company is in debt and one of his two partners announced last week that he was leaving to another job. I really feel for him and wish I could throw him a lifeline. It would be so good in so many ways - keep the family together, have a new start. My house is lovely and big but it was much less than we got for family home we would have lots of spare cash as there was loads of equity in the fh. It would totally take the pressure off him re work and could be a new start. This money will be eaten up buying a house for him (we live in an expensive town, commuterville) and we will both struggle financially. But I have put my heart and soul into my house, spent three months making it functional and beautiful and I have to admit I am enjoying my own space. I miss the kids when they are not here and I have been lonely but when the new au pair arrives I won't be. I just hope she will be nice. I would feel like he was invading and I think I would resent it.

Dh is buying a house he doesn't like (ugly little 1970s box and he likes old houses). I begged him to find somewhere he liked - he could get a little Victorian terrace) but he has doggedly gone ahead and though he's seen other places he prefers since he made the offer he doesn't want to let down the sellers. I think this is very admirable but he's shafting himself. It's as if he doesn't care any more, or doesn't want the best for himself. I'm absolutely racked with guilt at leaving him at the worst time in his life and hugely conscious of how much all his friends/family must hate me.

I would find all this so much easier if he would accept it and I thought he'd be OK and prepared to move on. I'm really worried about him, he seems to be finding it much harder than the children are. If I thought he still loved me it would be different, but he is so angry still. Someone upthread cut and pasted that comment about men not changing and their partners seething with resentment by the time they did and that was us. I begged him to change and he did try but it was too late. I no longer wanted to make it work. He also emotionally blackmailed me into staying when I wanted to go, but it was so obvious he didn't feel positively about me at all. It was crap for my self esteem, I felt suicidal at times. It has been so hard to leave.

I don't know how things will pan out in the longer term. I have tried to reach out to him a few times but we end up having the same argument - me trying to make him see how much he hurt me, and that this was the root of our difficulties and him blaming me for not being nice to him - the reason I wasn't was because he had almost destroyed me with his EA for years.

I wonder if time apart will help him to reflect on things and maybe we will get back together one day. I'm not interested in finding anyone else at all, I just want to focus on my studies and be a good mum.

Right, I've got to go as I'll miss my curfew. I will stay looking on here though and wish everyone well.

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