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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?

Overtiredmum Mon 01-Jul-13 15:50:09

I'm in Kent about 30 minutes out of central London.

DD is home today and tomorrow so have spent the day with her. I threatened him with going 50:50 on the house on Saturday, he changed his mind again within minutes. I have am au pair website to look at tonight xx

BerkshireMum Mon 01-Jul-13 16:46:01

Have been following your thread and think you are doing fantastically well. Clearly a brilliant mum and a strong lady. Well done.

I think the au pair route could work well for you, especially after you have your own place. It'll be another (almost) adult and, as long as you don't take advantage, give you flexibility as well.

I'm on my 7th au pair and happy to share tips on recruiting them, house rules etc if that would help - just PM me.

Overtiredmum Mon 01-Jul-13 21:42:46

I think the only thing that puts me off the idea is having them live with you, apart from that I think its a marvelous idea! My friend and has husband couldn't survive without their au pair. Its definitely an option and affordability-wise, its a good one. I just think after all these years of being home during the day with them and being the main carer, I would feel jealous of another woman coming in and spending more time with them. Does that sound weird? I've updated my profile on the Childcare website, maybe something will come out of that.

Scarey times xx

BerylStreep Mon 01-Jul-13 21:55:04

But you would still be around, if you continue to work evenings, you would see your DC during the day, and if you move to a day job, you would see them before bed and at weekends. Am I right in thinking your youngest is due to start school in Sept?

Overtiredmum Mon 01-Jul-13 22:07:55

Yes she does, she's so excited! Its gives me more flexibility with work, am just used to being pretty much solely responsible for them.

Overtiredmum Tue 02-Jul-13 21:03:10

So I had a very minor car accident back in October, which wasn;t my fault, had been contacted by a firm of solicitors to put in a claim. Had completely forgotten about it today, when a cheque landed through the door, in my name, for more than enough for a months deposit and a month in advance rental grin

Unfortunately it looks like I am going to have to find another job, I can't play the waiting game they (work) are asking of me, might even not be until next year that they can offer me something. I'm putting my feelers out through some more agencies.

Had another viewing on my house tonight, which turned out to be one of DDs pre-school assistants. They think its ideal, and first time buyers so there would be no chain at all - am trying really hard not to get my hopes up. Got another viewing Thursday afternoon.

He at least, for now, seems to be behaving. He doesn't know about the cheque and I'm not going to tell him.

captainmummy Tue 02-Jul-13 21:59:27

Yep - softly softly OTM. How great about the cheque - it is at the very least a crack in the door for you! And fingers crossed about the house-sale.

Hope the work gets sorted for you too. And glad that dh is not being an arse.

BerylStreep Tue 02-Jul-13 22:45:23


Overtiredmum Thu 04-Jul-13 21:12:02

Hi all

I have just read this thread right the way through - its weird. In some respects, I almost didn't recognise myself now as being the OP, but in other ways I feel no further forward.

I feel so much stronger but I am still so very much stuck in limbo. The house still on the market, but have had a few viewings this week. Looking at jobs, but it will be gut-wrenching to leave here cos I love the firm and the people sad, thats assuming of course I can find something?

I am walking on eggshells at home because I am trying to keep it civil, but then I don't know if I'm giving out the wrong signals by doing this, cos he's back to "we need to talk at weekend, I need a definitive answer as to whether we have a future". I'll again tell him no, he'll then throw in the mix "well I'm not babysitting the DC" and the arguments start again.

I think its probably my fault this is still dragging on, I need a slap, a kick up the backside. In some respects I am much happier, but in other ways I am miserable because I am no further forward. There is absolutely no going back now between us, not that it was ever an option but his behaviour towards me over the last few weeks has been horrible. He text MY best friend the other day to find out what I had told her, then I found out tonight he had called another of my "friends" to tell her everything. I haven't seen her in a while, so hadn't even told her we had separated - but then, is she really my friend, cos she has now known for a while and hasn't even bothered to pick up a phone, send me a text/email - nothing.

Anyway, hopefully I'm just having a low point tonight, but can someone come kick me back up to where I need to be sad


BerylStreep Thu 04-Jul-13 21:49:14

Have you considered any form of mediation? Not to rebuild your marriage, but to agree upon a future in which you are both parenting your DC in as positive manner as possible? I had a fairly fraught experience at work a few years ago, (being bullied by my boss) and we used a mediator. I have to say I didn't really know what to expect, but the mediator was brilliant, and now, almost 3 years later, we have quite a positive relationship (although it helps that he is no longer my line manager).

I can't recall - were you arranging to see a new counsellor? How has that worked out for you?

Contacting your friends is very out of order - not respecting you or boundaries.

Witholding the care of DC is also out of order - he is using them as pawns because he resents your job.

Perhaps if another independent person was involved he may reign it back in a bit, and ultimately what you want for any future relationship (as co-parents) is to be civil and putting the DC first.

In a way, I feel a bit of sympathy for your DH - you have been unhappy for such a long time, that you have weighed all the pros and cons up for quite a while. There is quite a lot for him to process at the moment - if you look at the stages of grief, you are probably at the acceptance stage, whereas he is going through denial and anger. He isn't as far along the road as you are.

Maybe suggest family mediation at the weekend when he wants to talk? Avoid getting into specifics about him looking after the DC, but try to focus on more general aims - working positively, being good role models for DC, putting their happiness first etc. The specifics can come later.

I also think you need to come up with a realistic long-term alternative to him looking after the DC every night that you are at work (if you can't change jobs). Could you have a babysitter 2 or 3 nights a week, and him look after the DC the other 2 or 3 nights? I know the argument is that he is their father, and why shouldn't he look after them, but this might show a bit of willing on your part, and also dilute his argument about merely being a convenient babysitter whilst you are at work. Is there any way you can do your work from home a couple of evenings?

Overtiredmum Fri 05-Jul-13 00:02:06

Thanks beryl. He is very bitter, I ha e done that to him, yes. I too feel empathy with him, yes I have been unfair.

I was going to suggest I find someone a couple of evenings a week, to alleviate that feeling for him, and suggest he has them 2 nights a week overnight? Would a mediator help us resolve issues?

BerylStreep Fri 05-Jul-13 00:13:41

My mediator was brilliant. Completely diffused all the tension, and got both parties to agree to basic ground-rules that we were able to stick to. Any difficulties with sticking to the rules were to be raised with him, not confronted by ourselves. It worked (well, to a degree. My boss stepped over the mark, and we had to redefine the rules a bit - i.e. he was no longer my line manager, and that seemed to sort the problem).
Completely different part of the country though. May be worth checking out? I have heard that mediators can be of varying standards though, so ideally you would want a recommendation.

captainmummy Fri 05-Jul-13 08:24:43

OTM - of course he should want to look after his dc a few nights a week; if he doesn't, he is not a good father. And if he's not a good father you don't want him looking after the dc.... Round in circles. HE is using the dc as a stick to beat you with.
When it comes down to it, do you think he would refuse to look after the dc? Especially if you then say you have someone else to do his fathering job (a childminder/au pair)? I suspect he will back down but find a way of using that against you - although you are 'childminding' his dc whilst he is at work! angry

I still think you should get legal advice - when I split from ex, she drew up guidelines as to how often he would have the dc, and we went from there

captainmummy Fri 05-Jul-13 08:27:11

And the contacting of your friends behind your back - is disgusting. He is getting his point in first, to your friends, to alienate you from them.

Mind you, you will find out who your friends are...

The ex of a friend of mine did this, went through her facebook/telephone book/told all her schoolyard friends what a bitch she was, made up stuff, called her mental shock He was pathetic.

Overtiredmum Fri 05-Jul-13 08:56:36

Captain mummy that is what he is doing, I was heartbroken to find out someone I considered one of my closest friends has been reporting back to him. I have distanced myself from the school mums now which is hard cos they were my escape from the whole mess sad

I know I can't handle this myself now, I will seek legal advice and go from there.

He may well back down, but that doesn't stop the constant threats of not looking after them, I am just exhausted by it all now. I know he thinks I will run back with the tail between my legs just via he threatens it, but he doesn't seem to realise it has that his behaviour has done the complete opposite angry

captainmummy Fri 05-Jul-13 14:03:04

I think he will probab;y retract his 'won't look after them' when he realises that this would be his 'contact' with them; otherwise he will not see them.

Do get legal advise - it's the only language they respect.

Re your friends - my friend's ex tried to corner me in Tescos, to tell me what a bad mother she was, all the things she was supposed to have done, how mental she was. I nodded and smiled and went straight to her. I really felt for her, but also weighed up - do I tell her? Or just leave it and go on as normal?
Reporting back to him was not an option. angry that any friend could do that. Not tell you, yes I can understand they don't want to hurt you, but actively colluding....No.

Stay strong, You will get your life back, and it will be better when it's all sorted.

On the bright side - i heard that house prices have gone up by record amounts, this year so far! Hope the house sale goes through for you

Overtiredmum Fri 05-Jul-13 17:55:09

Thank you, had two viewings yesterday, still waiting for feedback, even though H said one went really, really well.

Overtiredmum Mon 08-Jul-13 13:13:15

Counselling Friday, he's accused me of having an affair. Like to know when I'd have time hmm

BerylStreep Mon 08-Jul-13 13:19:31

I think I said something similar upthread - he just doesn't accept that he has contributed at all to this situation and your burn out. So of course you must be having an affair, because he has done nothing wrong. hmm

Overtiredmum Mon 08-Jul-13 13:41:12

It's just exhausting but everything has been said now, think he finally accepts it. He came home from pub, after what we had was a fairly pleasant family day. Not my finest moment but I slapped his face when he called me a whore hmm I'm a bad person xx

captainmummy Mon 08-Jul-13 15:19:49

Agreed, Beryl. It's got to be your fault, OTM.

WHy did he call you a whore? I would have slapped him too, if that were me. There is definite provocation . WHat did he do then? Hopefully he has found the end of your tether!

Overtiredmum Sat 13-Jul-13 10:02:56

So had my counselling yesterday, is it right to feel so drained emotionally today? X

Euclase Sat 13-Jul-13 10:26:58

Perfectly normal xx

Overtiredmum Sat 13-Jul-13 11:02:56

Just can't stop crying hmm

BerylStreep Sat 13-Jul-13 16:57:12

Sorry to hear you are finding it tough. It must be so difficult being in a position where you are reliant on other things happening before you can take positive steps forward. How did you find the counselling? Did you click with the counsellor? Is your H still being angry and resentful? Are you any clearer on the way forward?

When are you next seeing the counsellor?

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