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Can somebody help me please - how do I make them understand???

(576 Posts)
Overtiredmum Thu 18-Apr-13 19:41:19

I have been with my DH for 12 years, married for 7 and we have two beautiful children, DS 7 and DD 4. DH is a wonderful dad and a good husband, problem is that for the last year or so I have just drifted apart from him, to the point I am just so unhappy, we have finally separated.

This has only been since last week, and we are slowly starting to tell friends and family. The problem is I feel like I am beign ganged up on, no-one really understands how I feel and that I need to do whats best, which in everyone elses view is patch things up with DH for the sake of the kids! But thats the problem, I have been "patching" for the last year, now I just feel like I am barely surviving day to day.

Since having DS, I have worked evenings. I am fortunate that I have a good job which enabled me to continue my career, but working in the evenings, 5-11pm. DH works days 7am to 4pm, which meant we have never needed additional childcare. But also meant that we had very little time together. I have always tried to do the lions share of stuff at home, maybe a couple of times a week he will need to cook for DC, but apart from that I do everything, and then I go to work. My day starts at 6am and finishes about 12.30am when I crawl into bed.

For the last 4 months or so, everything has just gotten on top of me. Growing up, my parents had an unhappy marriage, splitting up on numerous occasions, my DF being always at work, my DM being the primary care provider. My DM made sacrifices for her own happiness, and they stayed together and are companions for each other in their retirement. But I watched this growing up, and can now see my life heading in the same direction. I have tried to talk to my mum about my feelings, but she is of the view that I should stay put, that I could never do any better, a companion is better than a partner and to "think of the children". I can see having a companion works for her, she is 65 - I am 38?

But that is my problem - I am doing this for my babies. For the last 4-6 months they are picking up on my unhappiness. DS is at school all day, but DD is home for 3 days a week - I spend whole days crying, with her drying my tears, telling me she loves me and it will be OK. Thats surely not healthy for her?? My DS has a nervous thing he does with his eyes, which he cannot seem to stop. I feel like I am being a terrible mum, I need to be happy, surely if I'm happy I will be a better mum?

Together as a family, the DC continually fight and argue, fighting for my attention and love.

So, I have broken DH's heart by asking for a separation. This was last Friday. He stayed at his mums for the weekend but came back every day. Every time he left, I felt a great sense of relief, the DC calmed down, played together great, and we had fun. Thats sounds awful I know. The minute he walks back through the door, I am uncomfortable, it is back to square one with the fighting and arguing. For the first time ever, he took them to the park at the weekend on his own, they loved it.

I am just so unhappy, and I feel I am being pushed into a corner. I have had some really dark days during the last few months, I have been drinking a ridiculous amount of alcohol. This past few days have been so tough, I know he doesn't understand, but I feel relief that he now knows at least, and I haven't even felt the need for a drop of alcohol.

I have made an appointment to see a Relate counsellor next week on my own, although don't really know what to expect. I just want to sit down and talk to someone who doesn't know me, or how great DH is.

I just feel drained. I am continually trying to explain that I am just so unhappy, that it is reflecting on the DC, and that I feel to be the best mum I can, I need to be happy, and if that means being apart from DH, then so be it.

Sorry - long and rambling, but needed to get this out of my head. I feel terrible for breaking the heart of a good man - but I have one life, don't I owe it to myself to make the very best of it for me and my DC? I love my DH, but more as a brother. We just returned from a 10 day holiday together, I had hoped the time together would help - but I felt like I was away with a stranger sad

So opinions please - am I doing the right thing?

StrangeGlue Thu 18-Apr-13 19:52:03

Despite your friends and family's unsupportiveness it really sounds like you think you're doing the right thing and are already feeling better for it. I'm no expert in these things but if you don't think it can improve and you think separate will be better then that sounds the right way to me. It's terrible your friends aren't supporting you but that doesn't make you wrong.

Good luck!

Overtiredmum Thu 18-Apr-13 19:53:26

Sorry I was unclear - my friends are being supportive, its my family that are not.

Overtiredmum Thu 18-Apr-13 19:53:59

I just need my babies to be happy, for that I need to be happy too!

NothingsLeft Thu 18-Apr-13 20:10:05

My parents stayed together for us and are both are miserable, both alcoholics. Don't go there.

Sounds to me, as hard as it isn't the mo, that you are doing the right thing. He may be a nice man and all but if you are arguing and unhappy, it's not a healthy environment for your DC's.

It's sad he is heart broken but the end of relationships is always difficult. I would try not to discuss the ins and outs too much if possible with your family. You don't owe them an explanation. Talk to your friends that are supportive while you you're in this transitional phase. Stay strong smile

Overtiredmum Thu 18-Apr-13 20:22:39

Thank you.

I feel sick at how I have hurt him. I feel sick at how things will turn out, our finances are a total mess, hes staying on the sofa during the week because of my work, then this weekend he's staying in a hotel.

Haven't really thought beyond that, I am trying to keep it amicable for my babies, we are still trying to do some family stuff together, its DD's birthday in a couple of weeks, we will go to Legoland for the day, the four of us. But these arrangements will be confusing for us all in the long term, but financially theres no other option. I am going to try and find day work, which I am gutted about as I love my job, but needs must.

Overtiredmum Thu 18-Apr-13 21:32:38


catkin14 Thu 18-Apr-13 21:42:05

Hi, I just wanted to add my support.
Only you know how you feel and how your marriage has been. Its easy for others to criticise but they dont have to live your life.
I have recently left my H of 27 years, to the outside world he was a lovely man, but i have been unhappy for years (he has EA issues). And finally had the guts to leave!
M friends have also been great but my mother says how could i give up the fantastically secure financial life i had..! And not a lot of support from her.
So i understand what you are going through.
Could you have a trial separation and see how you feel?
I too have been seeing a Relate counsellor, she has been wonderful, has helped me makes sense of everything, so i highly recommend.
Good luck x

NothingsLeft Mon 22-Apr-13 12:23:28

How are things op? smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 12:34:30

I think there comes a point where you have to go with 'don't complain, don't explain'.... and just get on with doing whatever it is you need to do. Give people reasons for what you're doing and they'll find counter-arguments that suit their own agenda. So best to just quietly proceed, don't ask for anything, don't explain anything and ... if they interfere anyway ... tell them to MYOB.

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 17:48:49

Well to be honest, things are going from bad to worse. My mum and DH are ganging up on me, pushing me further into the corner, and I feel so trapped.

DH is now telling everyone I am "unwell" but the counsellor will make me better. I had a good talk with my parents today, but walked away feeling like a naughty child that had been told off sad They seem oblivious to my actual feelings. For example:

Me: I'm just so unhappy, have been for a long time.
Mum: No you're not, just going through a rough patch.
Me: But I don't love him enough to spend my life with him.
Mum: Yes you do, you just need to learn how to get those feelings back.
Me: But I don't want to.
Mum: Yes you do!!

At 38, am I not allowed to actually know how I feel?? DM says that I should be grateful for having such a wonderful husband, and that he does so much for me?! I missed that, cos he does nothing for me, I do everything cos I am home during the day, never bothered me before, never resented that, until now, when I get it thrown in my face! The only thing he actually does is look after his own children while I go to work?!

DH is now back at the house, refusing to leave. Saying he feels like a glorified babysitter, only there when I need him to have the kids?! He says I need to "learn" family values?! I work evenings, I'm lucky I can so I could stay home during the day and not have to pay additional childcare. I earn alot more than him, so I could never afford not to work.

I don't know where to turn now. I have my first session with the counsellor tomorrow morning, but they are making me feel like a freak for seeing her sad

OhWhenWillThePlayDateEnd Mon 22-Apr-13 17:53:44

But your children are in school, so you dont have any childcare duties in the day, like he has when he gets home from work?

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 17:58:02

No, DD is in pre-school, does 2 days a week, she is home with me the other 3 days.

Yardley Mon 22-Apr-13 17:59:27

Unfortunately I think, from anecdotal evidence and my own similar experience of this, that your Mums is a common parental reaction.I guess they just want for you to be happy and secure (and the same for the grandkids) and they perceive that the most secure you can be is in a marriage etc. That said, its not her life.
If you've told her how unhappy you are, more than once, then now is the time to say very gently that you love her, but you need her support now because the situation is already very hard and you feel guilty, but you dont feel you have another option if you are going to have any chance of a happy life.
Your DH is also now displaying a common reaction-he is understandably hurt and is lashing out and trying to guilt you into changing your mind by implying that your decision indicates that you dont care about your family.I get why he's doing that, he must, (you both must) feel very sad and scared about everything right now...
If the counsellor is any good she will heklp you see that you are in no way a freak....and she might make you think about the decision you are making in ways you havent before, (which may or may not make things clearer for you/vindicate your decision to seperate).However what you must take from it is that although you are going to get alot of flak if you do decide to seperate it isnt anyone elses decision to make.
Be prepared to feel very guilty if you do split up with dh, but weight that up agaisnt your own potential life happiness I suppose.

Sorry you are going through this op

Mondrian Mon 22-Apr-13 18:02:03

Is DH the problem or how life has turned out? Will separation fix life or just provide something different which will feel like a breath of fresh air for now?

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 18:16:15

Good luck, OP, you sound brave and wise. I don't think you will ever "get them to understand" and why should you? Your focus should be you and dc not worrying about what others think.

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 18:20:31

No Mondrian, its just how life has turned out. Working evenings has meant we see very little of each other, and over time I have just drifted away. He is a great dad, and i want to focus on that rather than start pointing fingers of who does what, when or not at all?! The DC must remain priority.

I have asked for a trial separation, the last two weekends, he has spent the days with us but stayed elsewhere at night to give me space, and if I'm honest I feel so much better when I am alone with the DC, and they are better behaved and relaxed because they can see I am more at ease. But he has decided that he will not leave the house now, and my DM has told him that he should stay put.

I am taking steps to see if I can transfer to day work with my employers, but not looking possible, so I will put my CV out to see if I can find something.

He is lashing out, we argued before I left for work because I know him and my DM are discussing this between themselves - he is saying things that only my DM would say - if that makes senses?

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 18:22:36

Thank you Salbertina. I am neither of those things, I just know I need to be the best mum I can, and I don't feel like I am being that at the moment, but at the same time, I don't need DH to make me feel like a freak?

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Apr-13 18:27:10

Saying he feels like a glorified babysitter, only there when I need him to have the kids?! He says I need to "learn" family values?! I work evenings, I'm lucky I can so I could stay home during the day and not have to pay additional childcare.

Ok from your Op, I would have said that if you are that unhappy then you need to leave but have you checked that the real issue is tiredness, and/or lack of support from your DH (ie you work evenings and still do all the childcare stuff etc...) etc... as there seem to be so little 'wrong' about your DH.

But now I think you have another major issue. Even if (which doesn't mean you should) you wanted to get back together, you would have to deal with 'Oh I am such a poor little husband who is doing so much for my family'. So he is used as childcare for looking after his dcs in the afternoon but you have a great chance/favour from him to be at home all day ... looking after the dcs hmmhmm
Is that his normal 'attitude' or has he been 'brainwashed' by family who think he has a hard life for putting his dcs in bed every day?

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Apr-13 18:31:44


Does he want you to stay? Is he still in love with you and does he really think that forcing you to stay (by refusing to move out/talking in this way) will help him in any way?

There seem to be so many people involved in your break up....
Perhaps it is time to make it clear that this is an issue between you and him and please could people keep their opinions for themselves?

Still can't quite understand how he is going to see your mum for support.

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 18:38:26

Yes Tumble, he wants me to stay. He said that he is not leaving because he needs to be in the house to make me work through it. I know he is hurting, and I have done that to him, but I am going to end up resenting him, and I'd hate to feel like that.

I feel like my voice is on a loop "I am unhappy". I want counselling because I want to work out why I feel like that, and to be honest, I have no-one neutral that I can talk to. He said that if, after a couple of months of counselling, the counsellor says the problem is our marriage and him, he will accept that and walk away. Why will he not accept it from me, but will from a "trained professional"!??

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 18:44:08

And answering your first post Tumble, he works hard, I know that, which is why I have never asked any help from him around the home, probably my fault entirely, but I do recognise his need to not come home and start cleaning etc.

He may need to cook their dinner a couple of evenings a week, and then put them in the bath, but they are then in bed by 7pm, then he has the evening to himself.

I don't know whether I would say he has been "brainwashed" but his DM has always said I am lucky to have a husband who lets me go to work for some "pocket money"?!

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Apr-13 18:55:53

Overtired I am sorry but you are both working and you are actually earning more than him. as a family you wouldn't manage to live wo you working. There is no choice really.

But you seem to think that he shouldn't come back home to start cleaning???
Why when you both have a similar (and if not more on monetary pov) input in the family finances, should you work your socks off and he shouldn't have to do any work at all ?

Look at your day;
Day from 6.00am till 5.00pm, looking after dcs, HW. A full time job for most people.
The 5.00pm till 11.00pm work (second shift)
And only 6 hours of sleep left if that. Personally I wouldn't have been able to physically cope with that.

And then you are wondering why you have enough, have drifted apart etc...

What I have notice too is that he doesn't seem to think there is any issue with him. That he isn't prepare to make any effort, just reminding you how lucky you are to work 19 hours a day hmm and witing for you to get back to your sense....
If he really wanted you back and really wanted to save your marriage, a decent man would have asked what he could do to improve things, would have asked if you needed a bit of space to think, would have proposed to have the dcs for some of the weekend etc... not waited until a 'professional' is saying its the marriage to then given up because it would mean he had to make some effort?

Sorry I might have got the wrong end of the stick but this is how it reads to me.

pigsDOfly Mon 22-Apr-13 18:58:56

I think you need to stop trying to explain to your DM why you want to separate and how you're feeling. Of course she's going to be unhappy that you want to end what she sees as a safe, secure situation. She has her view of your marriage but her view is not relevant. It's none of her business whether you choose to stay or leave your marriage and she's treating you like a child by telling how you are/should be feeling.

You need to do what feels right for you and your DC OP.

Please don't be made to feel guilty for wanting to be happy.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Mon 22-Apr-13 19:06:53

I am just wondering why we have this thing called marriage, where we vow to stay with someone until death do us part when in reality it means jack-shit.

I'm not getting at you personally, OP, but I'm just really wondering why we have this construct which in reality means nothing. All it means is that if you split up, the finances are infinitely more complicated.

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