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I really don't know what to do about this curveball!

(38 Posts)
nureyev Mon 01-Oct-12 12:23:47

DH and I have been having problems for along time. Essentially he felt unloved while I was in a period of great stress and bereavement. I have given him space and time for the whole of this year to try and overcome it and he has repeatedly said he does not want to be married to me.

So, I have prepared myself either for reconcilliation or a split but he has just dealt me a total curveball which seems to me far worse than either of them.

He wants us to have no married relationship, except on paper, I presume, but to live in our house and raise our two little children (4 and 2) together. I have told him I think this is completely unworkable. I know it is motiviated by his desire to be with the children and he says I will be being completely selfish if I don't agree to it.

I want our marriage to work, I don't want him to be apart from the children but this idea has me practically hyperventilating with stress. It seems appalling to me: like a prison. For us to be together, when we used to love each other so much, and now he doesn't has me in such a panic.

I have told him I think it is a recipe for a disaster and that he has to make up his mind to make the marriage work or accept the consequences. Our last words in this discussion were that I have ruined his life and he mine.

We get on fine in front of the children. We don't fight. He is making a conscious effort to be Mr Marvellous with them and to help around the house I suppose in an effort to show me it could work. But it can't. Can it? This is not 1870: I don't have to live with a man who doesn't love me or be a bitch?

Dahlen Mon 01-Oct-12 12:30:30

No, it won't work. If you both felt like your H says ge does, it could, but you don't so it won't.

Eventually, one of you could end up falling for someone else and it will all go horribly wrong anyway.

In fact, are you sure he doesn't already have someone waiting in the wings? What's the point in him saying the reason the marriage has failed is because he doesn't feel loved and then saying his solution is to stay in a loveless marriage? The answer could be that he's getting that 'love' elsewhere but doesn't want the inconvenience of breaking up your home and family.

If you don't like his solution, don't accept it. You don't have to. And accusations of selfishness are just emotional blackmail that you also don't have to accept.

Dahlen Mon 01-Oct-12 12:31:41

he felt unloved while I was in a period of great stress and bereavement to me suggests that he's the one being selfish. If you can't put aside your own need to feel loved while your partner is going through a period of great stress and bereavement then you are not worthy of calling yourself a spouse. I bet he was really unsupportive. sad

Ormiriathomimus Mon 01-Oct-12 12:32:14

No it can't work. You will be miserable.

OneMoreChap Mon 01-Oct-12 12:33:12

Sorry, he's a nit.

There's no reason why he won't see his kids if you divorce.
If he feels unloved, it's obviously sensible to split; if he felt unloved for a long time, all sorts of things wither away.

Are you SAHM?
If so, he might be - rightly - concerned about how he'll afford to live anywhere, but that's an issue he has to deal with. No point in 2 of you being miserable in the same house.

You've done the Relate type stuff?

LittleFrieda Mon 01-Oct-12 12:36:09

Ugh. He's in no position to call the shots. He's opted out of your marriage, he's ending it. He's the one being selfish.

I suggest you go and see a good family lawyer and talk through your options. Of course you aren't a bitch not to want to live in a loveless marriage. You don't have to do that.

Good luck.

(PS Ending a marriage except on paper has given me quite a chuckle. grin)

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 12:43:03

I'm with everyone else saying it's a crap idea. If it's over it's over and everyone gets to move on, make a new life and meet new people. If he sticks around in the house like a bad smell how are you supposed to do that? It's the measure of someone very controlling to say that they don't like you enough to be your partner any more but they want you to invade your privacy and be a permanent presence in your home 'for the sake of the kids'. You mention prisoners... even they get to go home eventually.

nureyev Mon 01-Oct-12 12:43:04

I am a SAHM He has quite an international career and is thinking of moving jobs. I thnk he has finally cottoned on to the fact that I won't leave where I live to go with someone who doesn't love me. Of course, he thinks I should just up and follow him without question because he is my husband. Yes. He has actually said that.

He was supportive in some senses but that is all quite complicated.

I know where I stand legally.

He has tried to say we are not married and that he wants to treat me as a friend. I have pointed out to him if either of these things were true we wouldn't have a problem.

LittleFrieda Mon 01-Oct-12 12:47:40

nureyev - so basically it's more convenient and cheaper to keep you as his wife than it would be to divorce? And presumably as his wife, he would have no need to inconvenience his career by having to factor-in minding his own children. You can mind the children and he can come and see them whenever it suits him? Stay classy, Mr Nureyev.

OneMoreChap Mon 01-Oct-12 12:49:30

OK, that makes it loads clearer.

He's trying to avoid the financial penalties of divorce.
I wouldn't say "Leave the bastard", but "Know where you stand."

He's not thinking of moving abroad, is he?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 12:50:11

"he thinks I should just up and follow him without question because he is my husband"

He's seriously deluded isn't he? The phrase 'having your cake and eating it' springs to mind. He gets to travel the world as a bachelor and you obediently trip along behind with the kids, thus saving him the bother of finding child-care? I'm glad you're getting legal advice....

porcamiseria Mon 01-Oct-12 12:51:17

then divorce him

he is being a bit of a bully, if he does not want to be married and try to be married, then he should allow a divorce

you say :I know it is motiviated by his desire to be with the children and he says I will be being completely selfish if I don't agree to it. this is BULLYING and diont let him make you think this is so

i suspect maybe this is sourced from him not want to lose kids? but if you are SAHM, then week/weekend splits should work anyway

sorry OP, but he canot force you to stay in a loveless marriage, you deserve better

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 12:51:17

<Slaps forehead> And of course staying married 'on paper' relieves him of the very tacky business of having to share his assets or income with you. How convenient...

OneMoreChap Mon 01-Oct-12 12:54:12

porcamiseria Mon 01-Oct-12 12:51:17
i suspect maybe this is sourced from him not want to lose kids?

Unless OP is being a right shit, which it doesn't sound like, he won't lose the kids. It might be kind to make that very clear, and that might overcome some objections.

Mintyy Mon 01-Oct-12 12:55:46

Oh just tell him not to be so ridiculous! Ffs, what is it with some of these idiotic men?

I haven't read the whole thread but I did want to say that it is possible to have an amicable divorce and co parent well together. My ExH and I get on really well and he see's the children as often as he is able to and calls them inbetween. Not living together doesn't mean he will no longer have a good relationship with the DCs.

Some couples arrange contact as 50/50. Although if he is working abroad that's obviously not possible but personally as a divorced parent, I am glad now that we divorced. The children are happier and the home environment is stable now.

I couldn't imagine having to continue in a farce of a marriage as just friends, what would happen if you brought a man home in due course? And how can he ask you to move abroad with him for his job and live in a place where you know no one and the home is a loveless marriage? That's is an awful idea sad

solidgoldbrass Mon 01-Oct-12 13:04:50

What does he think will happen about sex? Does he mean that he's going to police you and make sure you don;t have any while he does what he likes? Has he already moved into the spare room?

It sounds like he is trying to relegate you to the status of servant, or rather indentured slave. Bear in mind that you do not need his permission to divorce him. I suggest you see a solicitor as soon as possible, and decide what to do on the grounds of what's best for you and your children, never mind what this man thinks.

nureyev Mon 01-Oct-12 13:07:43

He is thinking of moving abroad and that I should go with him. Yet he won't leave the house on the basis that if he does I may move away and take the children with me (we only moved where we are now for his job). I do like it here alot though.

Thanks for your responses. It helps a lot. I am very on my own. I don't have parents alive or family near, and most of my close friends live far away. Since we had this conversation i feel like I am just freefalling through space.

nureyev Mon 01-Oct-12 13:08:52

He has refused to sleep in the same room as me for years on the basis that his snoring wakes me up and I get fed up with it. (which seems fairly normal to me)

It is interesting how he seems to not trust you at all and think you'll run off with the kids. It does smack of controlling behaviour. You need to live where you want to, where you feel you have friends you can rely on and a good support network. As a single parent with children that is important. It's not about him but more about what's best for you and the children of course, especially as he is away a lot with work, so he won't be having them every other weekend or half the week to give you a rest.

You're reeling right now, you were hoping to work things out. Give yourself some time to make these important decisions and if needed get a friend to sit with you both to mediate (if doable) as you flesh out the plans for the future such as where you'll live.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Mon 01-Oct-12 13:22:13

I have no experience in this but it does sounds like a recipe for disaster. I feel for you.

I just wanted to point that remaining married on paper will count towards his work allowance. The away package is based on the need to house, school and maintain a family. If there is a change of circumstances, the package should go down.

nureyev Mon 01-Oct-12 13:55:43

The problem with an amicable settlement is that we come from different countries and neither of us live in our own country. Neither of us could have any guarantees it would work long term.

I don't think he is really thinking at all realistically, but saying that doesn't make him do it. He thinks he is entirely in the right and any way I can prove to him that it is not that simple is either stonewalled or has an impact for about 5 seconds.

One thing he particularly resents is that I once started a thread about our difficulties on here. He read it (and my texts) and has used it as a stick to beat me with ever since. I didn't write anything awful about him (what he can find to resent he will though) what he resents is my going elsewhere for support (although he wasn't talking to me at that point).

I just feel trapped!

OTheHugeManatee Mon 01-Oct-12 14:03:17

It's a crap idea. I grew up in a home where my parents stayed together 'for the kids': it wasn't that they were overtly horrible to one another but they just didn't love each other. The result of growing up with that lie was that I went into adult life with a completely distorted idea of what loving adult relationships look like. And as a result I had no idea how people who love each other are supposed to behave together, which in turn was a recipe for some pretty nasty relationship experiences.

Ten years and a lot of therapy later I think I'm more or less OK, but if you can spare your kids that then please do.

skyebluesapphire Mon 01-Oct-12 14:06:23

I agree with you. It would not work. What happens when either of you meet somebody else? It is too confusing for the children if you are not actually properly together...

plus I could not live with a man who did not love me....

I think he needs to accept that it is over and that he needs to move out. He cant have it all ways sad

solidgoldbrass Mon 01-Oct-12 14:12:11

Ok, he's an arsehole. See a solicitor ASAP - are you living somewhere civilised at the moment, or are you stuck somewhere that treats women as subhuman and gives them fewer legal rights than men? Hopefully you're in a civilised country: if so, you can (and should) start divorce proceedings, the law will ensure that you get fairly treated, that he makes a decent financial contribution to the upkeep of his DC and that he doesn't get to harass or torment you. Of course he will be allowed contact with DC but he will be expected to behave reasonably WRT that and courts will assess it on the grounds of what is best for DC not what suits him.

If he becomes aggressive or violent when he realises he's not getting his own way, don't be afraid to report him to the police. He may not do, of course, but men who consider women to be something along the lines of pets or household appliances rather than people sometimes do become physically abusive when confronted with what they percieve as a disobedient dog that needs putting int its place.

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