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Sick with guilt and no idea how to proceed...(19 Posts)
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Yes, Donkey - you are right. The inaction and pretence is wearing.
I just struggle to find the right time to tell him how I am feeling. I kept thinking 'after Christmas' as didnt want to spoil things for the kids....now I keep thinking 'after this busy period for him at work'....it is cowardly, I know.
As tiredofwaitingforitalltochange said yesterday, the grass isn't always greener, it has plenty of brown patches! It's no picnic either way, but perhaps if as Cogito suggests, you look into how things stand, and how you could cope, you'll be making your decisions based on good information.
How would it be if after gathering information, you simply start by broaching the subject of how things are between you? Once you start talking, it could all come out. I think the relief of sharing how you feel will give you the impetus to take action. Allowing for shock on his part, if he is as unaware as you suspect, he could be very willing to work at this. It's the inactivity and misery of putting on a front all the time that's tiring and frightening.
If fears about finances are getting in the way of your independence then seek professional advice. Whether that's CAB, CSA, a solicitor, www.turn2us.org.uk or the mighty legions of Mumsnet, get the reality in front of you so that you're making your decisions based on good information rather than bad assumptions and guesswork. In this situation 'knowledge is power, ignorance is fear'
Thanks for all your replies. It is a relief just to admit this, even if it is only online and to strangers.
Donkey - I dont really know what my husband thinks is going on. He knows I am unhappy, but not sure he understands how much it is our marriage that makes me unhappy.
The practicalities of a split terrify me, to be honest. I am not in a position currently to be financially independent, although I am looking for a full time job. That aspect worries me most.
Yes Avuncular love always hopes and perseveres and that is why couples stay together so long, even when they know in their hearts that one or both is no longer happy and loving. There doesn't have to be brutality or unfaithfulness between two people to cause them to reflect on their relationship. It's often said that divorce is "the easy option". If the OP here is going through the motions, how does that make her life look? I don't imagine many people close a long chapter lightly, especially if they have children. Isn't it a form of selfishness, to cling on and demand the other person subjugates their will to the other? Are we going to tell our children to grow up and be honest in relationships then live a lie ourselves?
MonoBrowser has your husband any inkling that you feel this way? Does he not realise that you've been drifting away this past year and a half?
Is this you and him, or are there other factors, problems affecting you together? Can any of these be overcome?
I would make a list, think of practical matters. Do you each have family support available, or friends close by? Have you looked into where he or you could move to? What about income? Are you both working? How old are your children, are they school aged, how will you tell them what is happening? How do you envisage their living arrangements?
From what you have said, you want to inflict as little hurt as possible, you respect him. The difficulty as I see it is you don't want to give him false hope, so you have to be honest. Think in advance what your answer will be if he becomes upset, or gets angry, or suggests counselling.
Find a moment when you know you and he won't be disturbed. Tell him how you have felt, and that you are unhappy. Listen to what he says, see how he respond, but be clear and tell him what you want to happen.
I prefer Matthew 5:30 if your right hand offends you, cut it off and cast it from you
In the early years love is a feeling - I am in love; we are in love.
But later it is a decision: I will love. This may cause reciprocity and result in happiness.
We've been through those 'middle years', sometimes of slog and grind.
Coming out the other side; 41 years and it continues to get better. 4 DGCs too, now.
And - believer or not - read the New Testament 1st book of Corinthians verses 4-8.
(Had the reference handy because we've got it framed on the bedroom cabinet.)
It may encourage and inspire you.
Sometimes counselling can be helpful when it comes to managing the separation in a kind, fair, as-amicable-as-possible way.
" I have agreed, but deep down I know that it wont fix things."
Why waste your and his time if you're not committed to fixing anything? Why not put the brakes on, tell him the truth and take it from there? All you have to say is that you've changed your mind about the counselling. Do it 'more in sorrow than in anger' if you feel guilty about it but don't drag it on if there's no point. Good luck
I am in the same situation...lovely partner, two youngish children and a relationship that has been lacking in intimacy for a really long time. I have always thought that it would be enough to jog along until the children were a bit older but I just dont think i can do it any more. We have talked through our problems in the past, had some counselling for a bit, but as soon as that stopped then we went back to co-existing without any real of communication. I feel like a bitch because he is a genuinely lovely man - and I know that he does still love me, but i just dont think I want to be in a relationship which feels so functional and nothing more any longer. I broached the subject with him on friday night and he wants us to go for counselling again. I have agreed, but deep down I know that it wont fix things. I dont have any great advice, but do know what you are going through and it would be good to have someone to share some of this with.
"but this is going to crush him. He is nearly 50 and our family unit is his life"
When there is no good outcome, all you can aim for is the least bad outcome. If you stick around and say nothing, you will both suffer eventually because things will slowly deteriorate. If you stick around and tell him you don't love him any more he'll be crushed. If you tell him the truth and separate he will be upset because he won't want you to go.
I don't envy you the dilemma but would urge you to avoid being cruel.
I am currently going through the same thing but from the other side. My DP left tonight saying he doesn't know if we have a future together. We both know he thinks its over but he won't admit it. That's the thing that hurts most - his lack of honesty.
Sit him down and tell him the truth, as kindly as you can.
Was there anything in particular that finished your feelings for him?
At the end of the day you cant alter how you feel and so you should just sit him down and be totally honest with him.
If he is the great husband you say then I would think he already knows and maybe he is expecting the 'dear John' speech very soon.
He deserves to have someone love him properly the way he wants to be loved and not locked into a relationship where he is starved of the afection he wants.
I recently split with my dh. He is mid-50s (quite a bit older than me) and our family unit was his life.
But I felt as you do, and he wasn't all that nice to me earlier in the marriage. He did try really hard to change but it was too late for me; I didn't love him any more.
It's been awful and I really, really feel for you. You sound quite tortured and it's a horrible place to be in.
I was on a thread about this that is no longer active. You might be able to find it though, I think it's called 'How do you know for sure that you should leave' or something similar. It was started by Apty.
There are so many women in this situation. We are conditioned to do all the emotional work of keeping a family together and it's very difficult to overcome this pressure.
I'm not sure how to look for that thread - bit crap at MN - or give you a link but you might find it helpful reading if you can find it.
So sorry for you being in this situation. I am still feeling very guilty about my dh, but it is dissipating a bit. But if you are unhappily married, one thing you don't take into account is how difficult life will be after you have separated. I was so desperate to get out, but now I miss my kids dreadfully when they are not here, and I miss the family unit too, even though it was dysfunctional. You may feel relieved if you split, but you will feel isolated and cast adrift at times as well.
There is no easy answer. But re the guilt, you have to tell yourself that it is not fair on your dh to live with him if you don't really love him because it is now what he deserves. I know in my rational mind that this is true of my situation too, but it's not always easy to believe it, especially because my husband didn't really care if I loved him or not, as long as I didn't leave. Which is not fair on me.
Eventually, having spent years trying to keep everyone else happy, I have chosen myself. But sometimes I feel I have made the right decision and sometimes not. I don't want to paint a bleak picture for you, but the grass isn't always greener, it has plenty of brown patches! That said, on the whole I am happier without my husband though.
However much you want to leave, the actual process of it is very painful, maybe more than you realise now. It's early days for me, and I hope you get some posts from women who are further down the line and have lost their regrets.
I want to selarate from my husband. Something inside me has just died for my DH. I care about him deeply, and objectively I see that he is a lovely man, good hearted, supportive and a terrific dad. But I don't love him. After 12 years together I feel absolutely awful for saying that...but I do not love him, or rather, I love him like a brother and nothing more. I have tried and tried to reignite the feeling...but its gone. Its just not there any more.
I have felt this way very strongly for about 18 months, maybe more. I am just going through the motions when we have alone time as a couple or when we have sex. I dotnt want to be with him. I am living a lie. Everyone else thinks we are so happy. DH, I think, acknowledges that things havent been amazing between us, but has a great optimism in general in life, and faith in our relationship.
I am consumed with guilt about this, but I do not think I can continue any longer. I know the line some on MN will say is 'it is fairer if you set him free to be with someone who really loves him' and of course I want him to be happy...but this is going to crush him. He is nearly 50 and our family unit is his life :-(
I have no idea how to even broach this with him. No fuckin idea at all. I am a coward, obviousy. I feel sick.
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