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Staying together for the kids

(11 Posts)
thylarctosplummetus Wed 17-Apr-13 08:04:48

(Namechanger but regular lurker and occasional poster)

I just wondered how many people here are staying in their (non-abusive but loveless) marriage for the kids?

If we didn't have kids, I think DH and I would have split up by now. DH says he still loves me, but I'm not sure I love him any more. We're in the position where we can't really afford to live separate lives, and both coming from broken homes, really don't want our kids to have to go through separation and divorce.

Are there any other people on MN in the same situation? Are there any people that have gone through this, and then found their love rekindle months or years later?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 17-Apr-13 08:17:53

There are lots of people in the same situation. If I can give the perspective of a kid whose parents stayed together for the sake of them ... it's rubbish. Low-level resentment & tetchiness all day spilling over into arguments at night when they think you can't hear. Zero affection between them creating an awkward atmosphere. Being piggy in the middle when there's a disagreement or being expected to listen to complaints about the other parent. The danger is you grow up thinking this is how marriages are supposed to play out, you have to stick with your spouse even when it's all wrong and that martyrdom and 'putting on a good face' are part of the package.

I don't know if things would have been different, better or worse if they'd split... but I'm approaching fifty, they're still together, and nothing has changed. Still snapping at each other but old and sick into the bargain. It makes me very, very sad.

thylarctosplummetus Thu 18-Apr-13 03:44:16

My perspective as a child going through two divorces, was that after my parents split, me and my siblings were always secondary considerations. We moved house because my stepmum didn't want to live where my mum had, I moved school because my stepmum didn't want to have to talk to my mum's old friends on the school run, my mum moved 200 miles away because her partner wanted to live in the middle of nowhere, we were ferried between parents and step parents so that the other ones could go on foreign holidays without the kids. Maybe we had bad luck that our (6) collective parents and step-parents were all selfish, but it's not an upbringing I would wish on anyone. And now that my dad has been with his partner for 10 years, and my mum has been with her husband for 25 years, they still snap and snipe at their respective partners endlessly.

I read an article about what makes marriages work, and it was described as lust, laughter and loyalty. Can you still make it work with one out of three? If you can hold out, will the other two come back?

SucksToBeMe Thu 18-Apr-13 03:51:13

I am happy with my partner, but if we didn't have children I would've hit the high road years ago. He cheated when I was pregnant with DD1, when he was working overseas for 6 months.
I'm not the forgiving type but we never argue and the children prefer him to me so I'm happy to settle.

Mosman Thu 18-Apr-13 04:03:50

Don't settle, mine cheated the first time when I was 7 months pregnant with number three. I stayed because where the duck would I go with three under 4 ? Of course she's 9 this week and now after years of unhappiness on both sides we are divorcing anyway, but how much misery could we have saved ourselves and those children ?

SucksToBeMe Thu 18-Apr-13 04:19:52

Very sound advice Mosmen. 100% correct as well

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Apr-13 07:04:26

OP.... in your case, whether your various parents stayed together or split up, neither was 'for the kids'. I think there are plenty of examples of people who grow apart, remain friends and successfully co-parent.

TheYoniKeeper Thu 18-Apr-13 07:15:04

Don't mean to offend but it sounds like your parents were a bit preoccupied & forgot to put the kids (you guys) first.

It is possible to break up and take your children's wishes into consideration you know. Plenty of people do it...and even get on after the break up! smile

DottyboutDots Thu 18-Apr-13 09:12:25

Loads of people think they are staying together for their children but actually get on really well and have a stable marriage, maybe just not one with lots of lust.

Mosman Thu 18-Apr-13 09:41:44

Lust comes and goes its the other stuff that glues a marriage together. Is that there ?

Lovingfreedom Thu 18-Apr-13 11:10:56

You describe your marriage as 'loveless' but say that he says he loves you. Do you believe this? Do you think he really wants to make a go of it?

If you believe he does, then it's up to you whether you want to put in the effort required to improve your relationship.

However, if you think he's just saying he loves you for an easy life and isn't actually willing to make any effort then it's probably not worth the bother.

Splitting up from your partner can be a positive move. It is also a major hassle and disruption and you might or might not be happier away from the marriage at the end of the day. If you've got kids then you will both be involved with their upbringing whatever you decide.

The other thing is to remember that life isn't just about your marriage. Do you have time to do things that you enjoy away from your partner? See friends, hobbies, work.. stuff like that?

If you're not happy then do something about it - either within your outwith your marriage. Good luck!

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